A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

What are the guys supposed to do?

I just came across this post What are the Guys Supposed to Do? written by a blogger called Jonathan. He describes himself as “a proud recovering Southern Baptist” (! LOL)   He writes:

Men, listen, we’ve had the upper hand.

The church knows our story inside and out.

I suspect most of us who have moved away from patriarchy (including complementarianism) probably know a whole lot of people who have remained. They are the people we work with, hang out with, go to church with.

It’s not okay for us to be silent about this. If we truly believe in equality, we’ll come alongside our sisters as full partners in this journey.

Here are some things we need to do:

  • The”Boy’s Only Club” mentality in ministry has to die. Welcome Recruit women into our ministry circles and treat them as equals. We need them.
  • Speak up when we see gender injustice happening, even if we feel we might face backlash for it. That’s okay. It’s part of the journey.
  • Show empathy. We don’t automatically understand what it feels like to be unwelcome, shunned, minimized, repressed, patronized or maligned because of our gender. Try to see things from that perspective.
  • Guard our own thoughts and conversations so that we never speak of women as anything but full partners. No condescension, no generalizations (“all women are like that,” etc.), no whining.
  • The word “bitch” is never an appropriate term for women. Neither is “slut” or “whore” and a bunch of others. Stop using them. Stop pretending it’s funny when your friends use them.
  • Don’t be defensive. I’ve seen this in responses to my blogs. To me, men who disagree will usually respond with a thoughtful answer. If my intelligent and capable wife gets into the conversation, all of the sudden it’s personal. That’s not okay. It’s insulting and, frankly, quite immature.

Women (and men), what am I leaving off my list that needs to be there?

Now I know some people here don’t believe in women pastors and suchlike, and I’m not wanting to open up that can of worms tonight. (truly! pretty please!) But dear reader, you might just like to choof on over to Jonathan’s blog and add your suggestions about “what the guys are supposed to do”.

I did. I said “Guys, wake up to the epidemic of domestic abuse and start doing something about it!” (or words to that effect).


  1. Joey

    It’s pretty simple really, just treat us with kindness, respect and compassion, just as you would wish to be treated.

    • Anonymous

      Joey, I find that the problem is with the definitions – they have different ones. My ex would tell pastors that he had the highest respect for me, and wanted only to shower me with kindness and compassion. And he would congratulate himself because he believed he did a good job. He doesn’t believe in the normal definitions of respect that don’t include control, and doesn’t agree that his approach is controlling – he thinks it is normal and right. And he would convince pastors and therapists that he had the right motive. They would often say that his heart was in the right place, but needed more insight and emotional sensitivity that didn’t come easily for a male.

      I once read from a Bancroft article that most of the men he interviewed would agree with the position that men should not treat women with contempt, etc. and it would take him 5 hours of conversation to uncover misogynistic attitudes.

  2. :”I once read from a Bancroft article that most of the men he interviewed would agree with the position that men should not treat women with contempt, etc. and it would take him 5 hours of conversation to uncover misogynistic attitudes.”
    That sounds so true! I know a man who avowed, with such hand-on-his-heart believability, that male abuse of women was a heinous sin; but then proceeded to covertly (and eventually overtly) do it himself.

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