Kendra and I are celebrating the one-year anniversary of our blog. I’m enjoying the experience very much, and I think Kendra is too: we’ve developed a stronger writing discipline, and have become more knowledgeable, both about the blogging universe but also (more to the point) about the sometimes whacky world of evangelicalism. We’ve also collected enough material to create a kicking book proposal—more on this in the future, when a publisher delivers us a 50 Shades of Grey-sized publishing contract.
What I’ve liked most about this blogging enterprise is the interaction with others—other writers, other readers. I like the diversity of our audience, and that angry feminists and chicks with chips on their shoulders aren’t the only ones reading our blog. Turns out, sometimes even men are dedicated to gender equity! But then, this week, I learned that maybe men shouldn’t visit our blog at all: that by having male readers, we are transgressing the biblical mandate that says women are not to instruct men.
Yes, it’s true. According to Diana Bucknell, over at Theology for Girls, it may be problematic for men to read blogs written by women, especially if those blogs teach men something. (Never mind what I think about the title; I’ve got some tiny issues about calling women “girls.” Or that somehow there is a special theology, just for girls, and a separate theology for men.)
In “Should Christian Women be Instructing Men Through Blogging?” Bucknell wonders how women blogging can get around this “sticky wicket”—or whether they even should. There were, she admits, women prophets in the old testament, and a few examples of women instructing men in the new. And of course, it’s okay for women to speak in weekly Bible studies or Sunday schools taught by men, though females aren’t supposed to actually lead the sessions. Is speaking during a Wednesday night Bible study equal to blogging, or does blogging lend more authority to women, kind of like that forbidden practice of having a woman stand at a pulpit?
What to do, what to do . . .
The comments provide important insight to this dilemma. Some point out that because women’s theological blogs are intended for women, the blogger can’t help it if men take a peak, and maybe even (gasp!) learn something from what they read. Another opines that even Priscilla, when talking with Apollos about his doctrinal errors, brought a man with her; and so, by extension, women blogging should have a man working alongside, providing instruction and authority when necessary. Can’t wait to let Ron know this, that he may need to sit beside me each time I work on my blog . . .
A few commenters decided they needed to ask their husbands whether it was okay or not for men to learn from women in a blog setting, because they couldn’t decide for themselves. And thankfully, too, Mr. Bucknell—the writer’s husband—provides his own opinion in the comments section, offering an extensive exegesis of scripture passages his wife only manages to gloss. He lets us know that as daughters of Eve, women are complicit in “the unspeakable horror that befell the world,” and must therefore accept our husband’s authority. Blogging, he decides, is okay, but not women “disjockies (sic) on Christian radio who read Scripture, exhort, teach, and dispense Biblical advice to an audience that is decidedly comprised of Christian men and women.”
Got it. No disc jockey jobs for me.
As Kendra and I celebrate this one-year anniversary of blogging, we will seriously need to consider whether we can continue, especially because we know there are some men reading. In the least, I need to talk with my husband about what I should do. I’ll let you know what he says.