Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stained Glass Ceiling

That's actually a picture from the worship service before the March for Women's Lives in 2004. That's me on the right at the microphone; Rabbi Sally Priesland, the first woman ordained as a Rabbi in the U.S., is at the microphone on the left.

It seems like a fitting picture to go with a post about a recent New York Times article on how few women serve large congregations in the United States. The article shares that there is still tremendous discrimination against women ministers and rabbis; they are much more likely to be associate clergy or directors of religious education than they are to hold the senior position.

They quote men as saying they are distracted by women in the pulpit, including one man who says he has to shut his eyes when a woman is preaching. It reminded me of that one liner, "There are three sexes. Men, Women, and Clergy." It is a challenge to own one's sexuality and be a woman minister. It's a topic that we address openly in my seminary classes, but one that I'm guessing isn't usually discussed at most seminaries.

The stained glass ceiling is real -- even in those denominations that have been ordaining women for more than thirty years. It's time for real full inclusion.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I've just found your blog today - it's truly wonderful to read all your musings, and to know that matters of sexuality and religion are being explored in such a manner :) I am a member of a UU congregation in New Zealand, and will be giving a lay address on sexuality and relgion this coming weekend. Your blog has been of much assistance - thanks!! I see in this post you mention seminary classes - does this mean you teach at seminary?

Thanks so much for your wonderful blog!!!