Honour, dignity, and the opposite sex

Jan 30, 2018 | Jess Versteeg

I went into P2C PLUS this year pretty excited for Rev Sunder Krishnan to be back. I still remember parts of the talk he gave 11 years ago at my second conference as a student! This year he did not disappoint; be sure to check out the entire session that included his talk. I was surprised to realize that my favourite keynote speaker was not Rev Sunder this year but rather Molly Thomas.

As I walked into the main session room the final morning of the conference I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous for the content I would encounter that fell under the category of “God sees injustice.” My heart was already so tender from the constant barrage of injustice in the news. Was I going to see a video that would made me break down in tears? Would I leave feeling terribly guilty after a talk that was meant to inspire us to bring change? What I ended up walking away with was a quote from Molly Thomas that put to words some thoughts bubbling in my subconscious for awhile.

A bold proclamation

Molly brought the injustices toward woman and girls to the stage. It was the first time in 12 conferences I had ever heard a topic addressed like this at P2C PLUS and I was so glad after the last several months of news headlines covering assault scandal after scandal in North America and sexual assault and brokenness around the world.

Molly reminded us that God sees injustice and in order to be like Christ we need to see it too. This should not be news to us, but what some may not have considered is that this applies not only to injustice to the poor, the sweatshops, the child labour, the unborn children, and the exploited, but also to our sisters here beside us. The #metoo social media campaign last fall brought to light that many, if not most women, are taken advantage of in some way in their lifetime.

At the end of her talk Molly put out a challenge to both men and women:

“Men, be bold in knowing that your privilege as a Son of God is not at all threatened with the rise of the Daughters of God.”

I whooped and cheered.

It never occurred to me that my brothers might feel threatened if women were finally treated fairly and with dignity.

I realize that many might be skeptical that there really is a problem or may assume that talk like this is rooted in man-hating feminism and/or for the theologically liberal. I’ve had conversations like this with my male peers. I think Molly’s words can speak to parts of discomfort anyone might have with this discussion. In our society male dominance is starting to be threatened, yes. Things will change, (hopefully) yes. But, like men, women are also made in the image of God, imparted with worth, dignity, and value. Therefore, women should be viewed and treated as such. To do otherwise would be dishonouring to Christ.

Step into the space

Molly even presented suggestions in her talk for how to treat women justly.

“Men: If you value every woman as your sister in Christ here is what you have to do: do not be shy or sheepish but step into the space. When a sexist remark is made, speak up. Be strong enough to stand up when you see any unnecessary touching or groping or grabbing. It’s happening.” – Molly (Photo by Ben Ng)

The rise of the Daughters of God should only bring us to equal treatment and dignity, not greater dignity at the Sons’ expense.

Thank you Molly for bringing this up for our discussion and for challenging us to think about what this means for us as we charge headlong into the mission Christ has for us together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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About the Author

Jess Versteeg

Jess has worked for nearly a decade in Montreal in various roles on and off-campuses in both French and English. She’s currently a mentor, writer, and assistant to the Directeur national du Québec, P2C-Etudiants.

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