No Dreamhouse for Women: Baptists and Barbie

No Dreamhouse for Women: Baptists and Barbie July 26, 2023

Images: Pixabay 1 / Pixabay 2

The SBC and Traditional Gender Roles

Oh, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the stalwart bastion of male dominance and continued ineptitude in the religious world. It was the foundation of my spiritual youth. After all these years, they’re still holding firm to their belief that the pulpit is a strictly boys-only club. They’ve been steadfast in their belief that the pulpit is a male domain, a stance that seems to echo the gender norms of the 1950s, rather than reflecting the progress made in the 21st century.

Barbie’s Challenge to the Patriarchy

Now, let’s shift gears to the land of plastic and pink, Barbie Land. In the hit Barbie movie, our eponymous heroine, played by Margot Robbie, embarks on a journey of self-discovery. She’s not content with her perfect plastic life and decides to confront the executives at Mattel about their disingenuous speeches on female empowerment and firm grip on the patriarchy. Barbie’s message is clear: she is more than just a pretty face in a pink convertible.

The parallels between the SBC and Barbie’s world are striking. Both are realms where women are expected to conform to a certain mold, and both are places where those who dare to question the status quo face resistance. But here’s the kicker: while Barbie is breaking free from her plastic constraints, the women of the SBC are still grappling with a patriarchal structure.

The Need for Change in Religious Institutions

The SBC’s stance on female pastors is a continuing, contentious issue. It’s an old dirty joke that keeps being told. It’s not just about religious doctrine; it’s about power and control. This stance also diverts attention from other pressing issues, such as the sexual abuse scandals that have troubled the denomination.

The Bible offers vastly different examples of women in leadership roles, such as Phoebe, a deaconess in the early church (Romans 16:1), and Junia, who is described as “outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7). These examples suggest that Jesus empowered women to lead in ministry, a fact that seems to be overlooked by the SBC.

In the end, the SBC’s stance on female pastors, much like the plot of the Barbie movie, is a glaring reflection of outdated gender norms that fail to recognize the capabilities and contributions of women and God. The Barbie movie serves as a stark reminder of the need for religious institutions to evolve and adapt, just as society has.

So, here’s to Barbie, who’s driving her pink convertible straight into the 21st century, leaving the SBC in her rearview mirror. Maybe one day, they’ll embrace change, progress, and their own Kenergy, and finally catch up.

About Stuart Delony
My hope with Snarky Faith is to incite change no matter how big or small. I want to cultivate conversations that help people to look for new ways to live out their faith. I'm also one of the weird ones that think that God still moves today - we're just looking in the wrong places. I'm here for those that are fed up with the way things are and want change. Whether you're tired of church culture or deconstructing your faith, you've got a safe space here. If you're questioning, seeking, or aren't even sure why you're here; just know it's cool, and I'm glad you showed up. It's always good to meet fellow travelers along the way, and I've learned that it's never by chance. You can read more about the author here.

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