The past two weeks have been a rather sobering time for many people in Grand Cayman. A brutal murder of a promising young woman has many in the country asking questions about safety for women and the role of women in society. The woman was a women’s advocate, a counselor helping women escape battering and abuse. Her murder has helped blow the lid off a silent epidemic.
This election could have helped to blow the lid off the very same kinds of issues in the U.S. Alongside the positive advancement of a biblical vision for womanhood, there could also have been strong repudiation of any attitudes, comments, and actions that denigrate women. We need to champion our sisters on both fronts--positive encouragements to godly femininity and big-chested defense of their dignity and worth.
Christians could have advanced a public apologetic for the high calling of wives and mothers. And inside the Christian fold, there could have been a robust discussion about gender distinctions and roles in the family and church, about the abuses and misuses of pseudo-complementarian ideas, and about the wide opportunities for women to be genuinely submitted to male leadership in the home and church and still significantly engaged in the work of the kingdom (see Duncan and Hunt, Women’s Ministry in the Local Church). Where was the Christian conversation about marriage as a form of protection for women, about accountability for husbands who fail to lead and nourish, about discipline for abandonment and abuse, about discipling young girls and women, young boys and men for the callings of singleness, marriage, and parenthood?
And where was the concern for domestic violence? Equal opportunity and pay for women? Child support enforcement as an aide to abandoned women?
Our girls and boys, men and women, and our churches need help on this issue—desperate help. The misinformation is plentiful. And the loudest “positive” voices—those like Clinton and to a lesser extent Palin—happen to suggest a certain feminist orientation.
The single best predictor for well-being of children and adults is stable, healthy marriage. Pick your indicator and the social science data is clear—build a strong marriage and educational, income, asset ownership go up and teen pregnancy, delinquency, stress and a host of other negatives go down.
The prospect of a woman president or vice-president could have put these things on the public radar in a new and fresh way. But we’ve missed the opportunity. Clinton is a non-factor; Palin is all but ridiculed by the left and an embarrassment to many on the right. And we all lose—at least for a time.
I’m really quite hopeful that something like the True Woman conference will bear lasting fruit. The True Woman Manifesto advances some much needed food for thought and use among those who want to see growth and fruit in this area."