Advice for The Nines

the nein nines cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

“The Nein Nines” (by nakedpastor David Hayward)

I recently wrote a post in response to The Nines catastrophe of having only 4 women out of over 110 speakers. If this was a small local deal they might have gotten away with it. But The Nines is very public. That means higher scrutiny which in turn should inspire higher integrity. Instead it has caused a storm of implicit and explicit no’s to women on one hand and a storm of advocacy for women on the other.

I have simple advice for The Nines:

  1. Fair representation at the top. The board who makes the decisions should have fair representation.
  2. Fair representation on the docket. If you can’t find enough women speakers to equal the number of men speakers, decrease the number of men speakers to create a just balance.
  3. Build it and they will come. This is the root of the problem. I believe that if women were given equal opportunity in the church they would show up. Once this good news trickles down to young women they would aspire to fill these spaces.
  4. Announce your policy of equality. Once the word is out that The Nines insists on fair representation, I believe that quite soon you would have more than enough women speakers.

Problem solved.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

    Perhaps women are not allowed to speak, because The Nines don’t like what they might say…

  • Cecilia Davidson

    The Nines are but part of what Pope Francis calls the disease of ideology.

  • Chester McMackin

    DAVID :
    Your advice is sound.
    The problem is that is indeed too simple to be accepted , especiually by those in power who must assess it with a view to taking credit for it , if acceptable unto them.
    It is a result of long winded dissertations we must endure ,if we attend church and hear so many speaklers rave on in seeming perpetuity ,with volumes of scriptural reference.
    Simple answers to so many of today’s problems is just that : THER ARE TOO SIMPLE,CLEAR, AND APPROPRIATE WITHOUT ENDLESS DEBATE JUST DO IT, DAMMIT………DO IT !!!!
    Did I say a swear word ?

  • http://waskommenmag.tumblr.com Kyle Ritter

    You forgot the part where half of them need to stop thinking that half of our population is not qualified for leadership simply because they have 2 X chromosomes.

  • http://soullikeaspider.com Deanna Ogle

    Pah! I actually burst out laughing at this at my desk. Muy bueno, David. ;)

    I love the list. Equal representation from the top to the bottom. None of this “binders full of women” or “we invited so many and they just didn’t show up!” silliness anymore.

  • Al Cruise

    Yes, and notwithstanding that women hold the majority in sheer numbers of people who attend Church, [probably in almost every Church].

  • http://morechrist.blogspot.com K.W. Leslie

    The biggest hurdle is gonna be fair representation at the top. Those who have the power are gonna be loath to give it up. They might attempt the rest without surrendering their positions—they’ll make an equality policy, strive for more women in the conference, hope word of mouth attracts more women. But if the leadership remains a sausage fest, the women they select will subtly reflect this, won’t represent the equality they’re looking for, and won’t generate the word of mouth either.

  • Dennis Irwin

    I was wondering…..all you progressive/liberal Christians here…..don’t you ever wonder why the atheist are on your side so much? Just wondering.
    As for the subject at hand…..I wonder if any of have thought that maybe, just maybe….a big majority of women LOVE it when men lead them?

  • Dennis Irwin

    Unless of course…..they couldn’t care less.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    The fundies can kick, torture, and shun the atheists all they want in the afterlife. This one atheist at least appreciates that the progressive Christians have a live and let live philosophy in this life. That is why I tend to align with the progressives. The fundies will just have to wait a bit before they get their steely claws in me or toss me into the lake of fire. Patience, patience… If you are right, you will get your chance.

  • klhayes

    That is Christianity’s problem…they have the power and won’t give it up. Christianity is all about maintaining the status quo and there are people who can’t handle that the world is changing. As a result, they just cling harder to their beliefs.

  • klhayes

    Or it’s time to create another conference and to hell with the dinosaurs….pun intended :)

  • http://morechrist.blogspot.com K.W. Leslie

    Christianity is meant to be about replacing the status quo with the Kingdom of God. But yeah, too often it’s about maintaining the status quo.

  • http://morechrist.blogspot.com K.W. Leslie

    The atheists are on our side because we love them like Jesus ordered us to, and in so doing found there’s much to love about them. The rest of the Christians are too busy looking for loopholes which permit them their prejudices.

    As for those women who love it when men lead them: I get that. If you’ve got a good leader, it’s a pleasure to work for them. But just because you’re happy with your boss, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned for the plight of people with terrible bosses. Especially if those bosses are justifying their leadership with an argument as dumb as, “Well, I have a penis and you don’t.”

  • klhayes

    Should be shouldn’t it?

  • Dennis Irwin

    Of course love is more than just agreeing with or being nice to somebody. To be more specific, do you ever wonder why liberal/progressive Christians and atheists agree on ISSUES so much? I know there’s exceptions, and I’m not saying you agree with atheists on everything…..I’m speaking generally. There’s the hot button topics: homosexuality, abortion and even political. But it’s more than that. I’ve even seen in here atheists and lib Christians agree on theology! For example, is the bible 100% inspired by God? It seems to me…..both tend to think not.
    On women being lead…..I can’t ever recall the “penis” argument from a man. I’ve never used it……I just think it’s how we’re wired.

  • http://morechrist.blogspot.com K.W. Leslie

    Well, my dad is a conservative atheist, so we can’t generally paint all atheists with the same brush, any more than we can with Christians.

    I don’t know what you’ve seen in here. The prog. Christians I know do believe the bible’s inspired, but of course that’s not the same as inerrancy. And to many conservatives’ minds inerrancy is the litmus test for bibliology. And abortion is the litmus test for whether we respect life; homosexuality is the litmus test for whether we believe in tradition; and a lot of other assumptions with holes in the logic.

    I’ve seen we and atheists really don’t agree on theology. (Particularly when it comes to a relationship with God.) We only line up politically by accident: They figure if there’s no god, that’s all the more reason (or in Dad’s case, less) to be moral.

    Okay yeah, the penis-argument is hyperbole. But often that’s what it comes down to: “God said Levite men are to be his priests; you’re not a man; you can’t be a priest.” Or “Paul said women aren’t to teach; you’re a woman; you can’t teach.” (I disagree that’s what he meant, but that’s a whole other discussion.) It regularly comes down to gender, not ability, nor inspiration, nor Spirit-empowerment. If true, it invalidates every prophetess in the Old Testament, every female apostle in the New. Yet Christians who claim they do believe in inerrancy, refuse to reconcile this, and instead lean on non-biblical claims like, “Women are too emotional” or “Women are meant to be nurturers, not leaders,” or other such rubbish.

  • bexgee

    I wish the problem was as simple as simply making sure there’s a 50/50 balance. But as Christianity 21 proved, simply having an all female conference isn’t the answer – those putting on the conference were still cisgender white males who only invited those “save” women (mostly published authors) with only one POC included and hardly any LGBT folks. What’s needed is a queering of the model that’s more horizontal where ALL voices are added to the mix — emphasis on the word ALL. We need the voices of white males but right now the model favors their voice and worldview..

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    And what exactly is wrong with being in agreement with atheists on many issues?

  • Dennis Irwin

    Obviously, it depends on the atheist. James Taranto…good. Richard Dawkins…not so much.

  • klhayes

    We’re supposed to be AFRAID of people who don’t think like us!!!


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