My husband and I attend a monthy BBQ with friends from our church. It is a really fun and relaxing time for us. That being said I got into a conversation with some of my peers this last time that was more theological / intellectual. I wouldn't say it was anything uber deep or personal, but the ideas were a little more "challenging" so to speak. At any rate, I began adding my thoughts and comments accordingly, but before long I sensed I was being sniped out of the conversation. It's difficult to say why this happened, but the remaining participants were both male... and in my opinion they were affronted by intellect in the female form.
I have felt as though there is a narrowing margin of tolerance in the church for the intellectual - which seems to be much narrower for women. You see - I read a number of emerging christian blogs: nakedpastor, The church of no people, God's Eclectic, and Slacktivist. While I would consider all of these blogs pro-intellect, they have another thing in common - the authors are all men! Hmm... another thing I was just at crosswalk.com and I saw their blog roll.... only two women! A recent article at Pew Forum makes the conclusion that we accept women as authorities in our politics, but not in our faith.
It seems there are many outlets for women to feel at church, but not to think. A local congregation does not allow women to teach a class to anyone over the age of 12. Our church is not nearly this extreme, but I only have seen one instance a woman preaching a full-length sermon since I have been attending. (And we bring in guest speakers all the time -- and the pastor's sister is a speaker)Are women wishing this for themselves? Recently Anne (flowerdust.net) asks "Where are the women church planters?" It seems to me, that even though more women attend church our level of leadership is lower? Does anyone know what is causing this? Are there parallels in the secular realm?