Sunday 11 January 2009
by: Kathryn Joyce, Religion Dispatches
More than 6,000 women gathered in Chicago in October, 2008 for the Evangelical Christian "True Woman Conference." (Photo: True Woman Conference)
This October, more than 6,000 women gathered in Chicago for the True Woman Conference '08: a stadium-style event to promote what its proponents call biblical womanhood, complementarianism, or - most bluntly - the patriarchy movement.
Women gathering to support the patriarchy movement? It's evangelical counterculture at its most contrarian.
The Associated Baptist Press explains the relationship of biblical womanhood to feminism, highlighting an ambitious initiative that arose from the meeting: a signature-drive seeking 100,000 women to endorse its "True Woman Manifesto," which, the ABP writes, aims "at sparking a counter-revolution to the feminist movement of the 1960s."
To outside observers of the patriarchy movement, the starkness of the calls for gender hierarchy often seem amusingly outdated (not to mention historically misleading: feminist blogs Feministing and Pandagon have deftly dismantled some of the speakers' "Leave it to Beaver" idealizations of the 1950s as a time when women were universally protected).
For the rest of Kathryn Joyce's exploration of evangelical anti-feminism, please click here.
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