Recently I was reminded of two instances in my camp-going history, and discovered that I am still angry about them. Talking about these things got me thinking about other things and so this is going to be an angry post! Strap in.
Picture this! You’ve just had a fun week at Bible camp, it’s the last night and that means skit night. Fun! But what’s this? A male cabin leader in a position of authority is doing a skit by himself? Okay! He’s wearing a lab coat and puts up a white board, and proceeds to do a “mathematical equation”. What equation, you ask? Oh, you know, that one where relationships with women cost time and money, and since time is money and money is the root of all evil, all women must be evil! It’s science! Wow, so fun! What a great skit that all the boys are laughing at! The director of camp this week decided this was a good addition to the evening’s program! He was right!
And now picture this! The male worship leader in a position of authority who is supposed to help us feel closer to God is carrying around his guitar and singing a fun song! Let’s tune in to the words, shall we? Oh, what fun! It takes a couple Old Testament verses wildly out of context and says that all women should be kept in baskets! Hahaha, wow! Listen to those boys laugh! It’s too bad that if I oppose them in any way I will be labeled “crazy” or a “feminazi,” and it’ll have a negative impact on all the other girls and women at camp! Unfortunately, I’m a teen who doesn’t know how to shut other people down (yet)! Oh and also! Bible verses will used as a weapon against me! This is the right way to use the Bible!
Fast forward in time! I’m at a Bible Study! I love The Lord! I happen to mention feeling unsafe and being on my guard when I’m the only woman in a train car, or when I’m walking at night and see a man – but wait! The men have taken offence! They point out to me that Not! All! Men! are a threat to me! Oopsies, for a quick second there I forgot that my experiences and feelings are always invalid all of the time! My bad! It’s a good thing that there are men here to tell me how to think and feel about all manner of issues! Haha, I’m glad they tell jokes about how a woman’s place is in the kitchen, making sandwiches!
How ridiculous of me, I can’t believe that I forgot for .01 seconds that I, as a woman, represent my entire group, while they, as men, represent only themselves! I would have to be more than a fool to think that the systems that benefit, oh, I don’t know, Brock Turner, also benefit other white, middle class men in North America! Where do I get these ideas?! It’s not like I have several years of education combined with a lifetime of personal experience to draw from! I mean, IMAGINE thinking that it’s bad to say all women are evil or that all women belong in baskets! Of course it is good to make sweeping generalizations about women but one certainly mustn’t even imply that something applies to more than one man! They are individuals! I’m a member of a group! It would be so awful of me, an evil basket woman, to say that unknown men are sometimes scary! That might offend someone!
Wow, this post was emotional! Am I on my period?!