Religion

Being a 'Biblical' Woman

This week we’ve been hearing a lot about women’s relationship to binders. But arguably the most influential bound object is the Bible, and one woman has taken being “bound” to it to a new level.

Rachel Held Evans has spent a full year living according to every Old and New Testament rule prescribed for women. She did it to examine and challenge how conservative Christians see women’s role in society and the church. Throughout the year, Evans “submitted” to her husband, made her own clothes, punished herself for gossip or contentiousness, and even retreated to a tent during her menstrual cycle.

Evans has written a book of her experience called "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Hair, and Calling Her Husband 'Master,'" which will be released at the end of October.

A self-described feminist Evangelical Christian, Evans says in her blog, “As an honest reader, I confess that there are times when the Bible touches me, times when the Bible troubles me, and times when the Bible confounds me. As an interpreter, I acknowledge that my understanding of the Bible’s meaning is fallible.”

Outside of this experiment, Evans says she supports women in greater church leadership roles and has a very egalitarian marriage. So her journey as a “biblical” woman was well off her beaten path.

In this election season women are being simultaneously courted and compartmentalized, and the question of equal pay for equal work continues to be an issue decades after it first reared its head. So Evans’ chronicle of her experiment brings up many questions each of us may have about how far along we are in seeing women as equal to men in all aspects of life.

Tell us what you think of Evans’ experiment as a “biblical” woman.

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