Treat … older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters … . (Paul’s advice to a young pastor, 1 Timothy 5:1-2.)
Jen Wilkin wrote a post for The Gospel Coalition on how men pastors can better relate to women in their congregations. I thought she did a good job, even though I don’t agree with the complementarian doctrine she touches upon at some points.
Doug Wilson, a prominent pastor who is decidedly complementarian, felt differently. He thought Wilkin’s “structure” was inadequate and would lead to trouble. Among his criticisms he wrote:
And briefly, the last distinction we must have is the distinction between the wise and intelligent women who understood exactly what Wilkin was getting at, … and the clueless women who blindly liked Wilkin’s article on Facebook, but who are themselves pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes.
I and a couple other people suggested to him that calling women names is disparaging to women, but Mr. Wilson denies that. He instead questioned the intelligence of me and the others who questioned him and said:
All I have to do is pop some particular sin associated with some women, however qualified, and a certain kind of mind reads it as an attack on all women. If I say that one woman can sin with her breasts, I must be saying that all women are sinning with their breasts. If I say that one woman is being pushy, I am arguing that all women are pushy. If I say that one woman plays dumb, then I am supposed to be maintaining that all women are playing dumb.
The examples he laid out in that paragraph bear no resemblance to the way he spoke of women in the original post. Mr. Wilson didn’t say, “This one woman is unintelligent”, and then found himself unfairly accused of saying all women are unintelligent. Likewise, no one said he called one woman a “pushy broad” and then concluded he must think all women are “pushy broads”. Rather, what he did was divide women into two groups and then resorted to name-calling for those in the disfavored category. This is what shows his lack of respect for women in general. After all, if you claim to respect all women but resort to chauvinistic name-calling when you disagree with a group of women, then you don’t respect women.
In other words, Mr. Wilson said he agrees with one group of women: the intelligent and wise. He said he disagrees with the other group of women; but does he merely label them unintelligent and unwise?
No, he labels them “pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes.” And Mr. Wilson thinks this is all right? He thinks it’s appropriate for a pastor to call women names – as long as they deserve it?
That’s not very pastoral.
He should stop.
Treat … older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters … . (1 Timothy 5:1-2.)