Friday, August 31, 2007

"Ain't I A Woman"

e·gal·i·tar·i·an (ĭ-gāl'ĭ-târ'ē-ən) adj. Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people

An earlier conversation with some acquaintances has prompted me to write a little about why this blog is important. It seems that the word "egalitarian" frightens people. Oh, I forgot something, only when it applies to "gender equality in the church." Yes, that is what I should have said.

Amazingly enough this type of prejudice (did I say prejudice?) occurs in many forms, sometimes subtly, but at times in an extreme "in your face" display that is both painful and unjust for the recipient.

History is full of examples of the "fight for equality" in the form of both race and gender, however, it is rare to find one that encompasses both. One of my favorite accounts is in the quest for equality for women, one woman chastised for both her race and her gender spoke out. Below is her legendary response.


by Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Why is this blog important? To reclaim the voice that God has given each of us. To "turn the world right side up again" and make a difference in the way God intended each of us to. God never intended for man to rule over women, and He never intended for women to sit on their gifts and abilities with God ordained longings, dreams and desires trapped inside of them.

As the mother of five girls, what I do now will make continue to plow the way for them. If women like Pastor Deanna and myself refuse to be a voice for our daughters (natural and spiritual) our legacy will soon deflate and the headway made by Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Aimee Semple McPherson, and countless others will have been in vain. WE are the revolutionaries of the 90's and early 2000's and prejudice has no place in the Body of Christ.

No, I am not a man hater! I love my husband, my children, ALL things feminine and I still think it is a man's job to kill the bugs! But I also believe that there will be no finer moment than when men and women stand together, side by side, and fulfill their destinies in Christ without comparison and without criticism.
Rev. Tara Sloan, Equal Time Co-Founder


Anonymous said...

Wow. Keep up the good work, ladies!!

Deb said...

Here's a sobering thought...

My daughters (ages 17 and 13) have heard a woman preach exactly twice... me! I guess it's progress, given that I was over 30 before I heard a woman preach.

But still...

God has much to do...