Wherever offices of power and authority in the Church traditionally open only to men become open to women, it is not women, simpliciter, that come into view. It is not the Christian women, who sit, like Mary of Bethany, at the feet of Christ; it is not my solid, sensible Christian goodwife or the daughters she bore me in her image, that such liberations have in view, but a very different kind of woman, even if they do not explicitly seek to offend.
“Women” in general are always claimed to be the beneficiaries of this advancement, but that is manifest nonsense: it is only a particular kind of woman for whom such rule-changes open doors—the kind who are interested in having these doors opened for them, the kind who believe the power and authority once exclusively male will now become available to them as a matter of justice so that they may rule where once they served, the kind who believe these things are their right as the equals of men in all things that pertain to the offices of ministry. In grasping this equality, they leave behind all women who do not share their ambition to speak with the authority once viewed as peculiar to called-out men, putting them in the class of the not-fully-women, just as their secular counterparts do.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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