So, Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog has a piece up titled: “Stop Reading This and Get Back Into the Kitchen“.
The article is behind a paywall, so I can’t read all of it, and CT seems to have fixed its problem where you could see the whole article by doing a print preview. But based on the tagline and first few paragraphs it seems to be about “why our Christmas domesticity matters more than we know.” That’s actually a topic worth exploring if they do it right. I honestly can’t read enough to be sure. So my problem here is almost exclusively with the title rather than the piece itself. And to be fair to Ms. Michel, I’ve recently discovered that when you post to multi-member blogs like this you often don’t get to choose your title. I’m sure someone was trying to be cute here.
That said, this title is toxic. Majorly so in my opinion. There’s a pretty longstanding train of thought in Christian (esp. evangelical) circles that women’s “place” is in the kitchen. To be fair, it’s a longstanding train of thought in pretty much every institution that goes back more than a century or two. But if you’re choosing a headline for a major evangelical press you really need to think about how a headline like this will come across. It definitely dropkicked my mind into exactly the wrong spot. I don’t mind them saying that hmemaking and domesticity is important; it definitely is and never moreso than at Christmas. But I am 100% not okay with the idea that this is a “woman’s place.” Especially when it’s a Christian press doing it, because this gives Christian misogynists (they come in all flavors) an excuse to treat women like homemakers without a brain. It lets them off the hook from wrestling with what their religious tradition teaches.
And Christian feminists have resources we can tap into here. Not that they always have, to be sure. I’ve heard “wives, submit to your husbands” abused as many times as anyone. But I’m talking about what Christians should do if they’re being faithful to their religion, not what they actually do. So I thought it would be useful to mention the Bible stories and teachings that made me a feminist.