On Facebook yesterday I was prompted to reflect on the oddities that our herd mentality imposes on humans. We often signal words that name these “herds” linguistically (rightly or wrongly)1 by giving nouns that name human herds capital letters. Thus I am catholic but not Catholic in my tastes.2
Capitalisation to indicate herd membership is a handy tool. But it can make life complex.
Am I egalitarian or am I complementarian? Surely the answer has to be yes. As a Congolese student replied when my American colleague (who liked things to be precise) asked if he spelled his name with or without a hyphen – he did, he spelled it either way! I am egalitarian, I believe that God created men and women equally and of equal worth and with equal “inalienable rights”. I am also a complementarian, I am delighted that God made men and women different, to return to teaching classes comprised (as they were 20 years ago) almost entirely of men would be horrible!
But rewrite the question: Am I a Complementarian? and I have to answer “no”. For to answer “yes” to that question would imply agreeing with the lunatic posturings of those insecure human males who seem to think that if women are allowed to be really equal they will outperform them. On the other hand, I am not too keen to label myself as Egalitarian. For then I’d be tarred with the brush of those stupid enough to pretend that there are no consistent gender differences, and while Barbara can and did bear and birth babies I cannot, and I like to respect such brute facts.
So, on this issue am I a E/egalitarian and/or C/complementarian? Yes I am if you wish to label me and my views on issues of gender please refer to me as an E/egalitarian and/or C/complementarian !