16 May 2010

uppity women

I was struck over the weekend by the relatively low key response to the consecration of Los Angeles's two new bishops. Oh, the requisite idiots were there -- trust the "Westboro Baptist Church" arguably neither Baptist nor a church -- to supply the screamer background outside (and it appears inside) the arena that for one day was a church. But over-all, things simply went along.

Most bishops are over 50 when they are selected. TEC diocese like experience. Well, we have lots of over 50 women, and the bishop's age at selection assures us a fair number of elections every year.

In one sense we saw progress today. Los Angeles moved past an all male episcopate: a second honest homosexual has become a bishop. And yet, if one is a man the chances to be a bishop are so much better.

I have been hearing "Hey Nellie Nellie" in my head today. A great song of the 60's civil rights movement it laments that a century after the civil war, "It's still a long hard and damn hard and bitter ride." 21 years after bishop Harris was consecrated, we still have the school yard bullying of women on right wing blogs, England debating allowing any women and the reality that we can elect female suffragans but not female ordinaries most of the time. Some diocese manage, certainly the house of bishops did when it elected the presiding bishop, but often the electors are uniformly men from congregations who do not think of women as leaders.

So, I suspect we still need some 'uppity women' who take very little from men. This too is still a long hard and damn hard and bitter ride. But today it is looking a bit better.

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