I happened to be on Shiela Gregoire’s blog the other day and noticed one of her top trending posts was from a year ago, titled When Women Start Saying “No” to Church Activities. As Gregoire explains, this is a column* she wrote for Faith Today, Canada’s largest Christian magazine. It opens with:
I hate it when someone from our church family dies.
I’m not talking about hating grief. Grief is a normal part of life. I’m talking about hating guilt.
And when someone I don’t know from our church passes away, I invariably receive that guilt-inducing phone call: Can you make sandwiches for the funeral?
I must have missed the Sunday School lesson when they taught girls how to make funeral sandwiches…
The premise of the column is that women in the church are working too hard while men coast. In order to right the situation women need to collectively stop saying “yes” when asked to do things like make sandwiches:
…this dysfunctional system can’t right itself until the over-functioning people start saying no.
Looking around, I think we’re just about at that point. Women are just too tired, and few men will willingly take on the jobs women have been doing in the background for years. If churches want to support the women in their midst, then, they will start adapting to the new reality.
Gregoire frames this as being asked to do too much, but the reality is it isn’t the amount of work which offends her but the kinds of work she and other women are being asked to do. Her feminist obsession with getting men to make sandwiches and casseroles and take an equal interest in decorating the church for Easter and Christmas is transparent. The entire column is riddled with feminist clichés; the harried super mom who manages to do it all, the lazy husband, guilt, the “new reality” etc. Like her secular counterparts Jessica Valenti and Margaret Sanger, Gregoire is resentful of being a woman and deeply envious of men.
Gregoire’s burning resentment of cooking and cleaning and all things womanly didn’t end when she traded in her graduate work in women’s studies for the title of Christian wife and mother. To confirm this, you need look no farther than the title of her blog:
To Love, Honor, and Vacuum …when you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother.
In her book by the same name Gregoire explains that biblical headship and submission means wives need to give their husbands lists of housework to do:
My husband is motivated by lists. If I just tell him I would like him to help clean up after dinner, he doesn’t know what to do. But if there is a list of daily and weekly chores on the fridge, and he can see what is left to be done, he’s like a Tasmanian devil whirling around the house, cleaning.
But no amount of twirling, decorating, or sandwich making by her husband or the men of the church will make Gregoire’s torment go away. So long as she resents being a woman she will be consumed with envy of men.
*You can see the original print version of the column here.