Seven Reasons Why Women are not Speaking at Conferences

2 Feb

Here is a fantastic post by Rachel Held Evans about why women are not speaking at mainstream Christian conferences. Before you groan, this is not a rant, it is a really relevant, well constructed post.

It’s kind of timely for me too. I was scrolling through the line up to a conference yesterday thinking “Where are the female voices, the female perspective?” Sometimes it feels like a mens club! The other thing I noticed this week is that there are many leaders conferences which have a special “sub-conference” for leaders wives. Now, on one hand this is great, as it’s good to get together with other leaders wives and share our journey etc. The thing is though, I want to be in the thick of it. My husband and I lead this church together, we pray for direction together (as well as with others), if we can go to a conference together I want to take part, not get shepherd off to a special room for women while men do the “leadership/theology stuff”.

What are your views? Is there a place for women to lead mainstream (personally, I’m thinking missionally here) or are women speakers consigned to inspirational and fluffy speaking? Is this just a situation that will move forward over time? For instance, I love speaking at our church, but I know some years back it would be frowned upon if I did speak as much as I do now.

I’d be interested to hear your perspective (please respect each others point of view in your comments!)

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2 Responses to “Seven Reasons Why Women are not Speaking at Conferences”

  1. Luke Holzmann February 3, 2011 at 10:45 #

    A couple thoughts:

    1. [This is coming from my homeschooling world experience] My mom–who hates public speaking–decided a year ago that she needed to start speaking at conventions. “Where are the homeschool moms at homeschool conventions talking about and encouraging homeschool moms?” she asked. So, she stepped up and spoke at a few conventions last year. I didn’t get to hear her, but I’m told the homeschool moms there were very appreciative of it.

    2. [This is coming from my church world experience] There may be a great many guys speaking and whatnot, but the Bible study materials available to men’s groups are abysmal. For all the seminary and whatnot men in church leadership get, it really doesn’t get passed down to the guys. At least, that’s been my experience.

    ~Luke

  2. lynhallewell February 3, 2011 at 21:48 #

    Hey Luke,

    That’s an interesting observation about homeschool conventions. I was looking at a couple of local ones last week and the main speakers at both are men. One of the men I knew, the other two I’d never heard of. Considering that most Mom’s homeschool you would think that they would be up there encouraging other Moms.

    I also agree with the bible study material for men. There are loads of materials out there for womens groups, but not a lot for men. I guess this is what I meant about inspirational, fluffy stuff for women. Also, another thing to note, is that not a lot of churches actually have mens group/retreats.

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