Thursday, April 6, 2017

My feminist strategy for dealing with criticism as a Christian leader

From Faith and Leadership-

What do you do when you’re called shrill, hysterical or bossy? The executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches responds by feeling deeply and sharing her pain.

Christians say awful things to one another. I wish I hadn’t had to learn this as the leader of a Christian institution.

In my ministry, I’ve been called all sorts of cruel things: shrill, hysterical, bossy, manipulative, emotionally unstable. I’ve been likened to farm animals. I’ve had Christian colleagues repeat untrue rumors. I’ve had Christian colleagues stand in the sacristy and “joke” about cutting my mic when I speak. I’ve been called a name that is not printable here.

And this is not even counting what people have said about me online, anonymously or without my knowledge.

Navigating these particularly gendered criticisms is especially problematic for women in public Christian leadership. Our gender already puts us in a position of being perceived as overly emotional. Others will presume we’re additionally weak, volatile or angry based on their biases about age, sexuality, perceived abilities, class, educational status and race.

More here-

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