I have fun with it.
I go to our church leadership meetings with full intentions of testing my theory. And it always, always, always works.
This is what I do: I fool around with the women. I mean I fool around with their heads.
Our pastor is a man, of course. So I can get away with it. I haven’t told him about my game but I’d swear he plays along. He fulfills his role perfectly.
I prove that the women have no voice unless they’re the only ones in the room. If there’s a man in the room, his voice eliminates them all.
Here are a few of my tests:
1. If a woman is talking I just start talking over her. She might look shocked and stare at me while she tries to continue, but soon enough the pastor will say, “Suzie, excuse me but Peter’s speaking.” It’s hilarious.
2. If a woman gives an idea I think is half decent, I interject, “Ya, I thought about that same thing last week! Here’s how I think we should proceed with it!” I always end up getting the credit. True story!
3. If more than a few women agree on something, I will take on a very serious demeanor and say something like, “I think we really need to let this incubate for a while. Pastor, I’ll share with you later why I think it’s best to pray about this one.” Their idea is as good as dead after that.
4. If a woman is talking about something she’s really passionate about, sometimes I’ll snicker. To myself. But she’ll notice and lose her composure. Even a man would, but I love it when a woman does because it reveals her weakness and she looks, well, stupid to the men in the room.
5. I love it when a discussion gets heated. I can raise my voice and sound like I have authority. When a woman raises her voice she sounds hysterical. She loses after that.
6. Sometimes I think the women try to gang up on me… like they come prepared with attempts to put me in my place and push their ideas through. This is when I look to the pastor and say, in a pathetic voice, “Pastor, I feel ganged up on here.” He’ll usually take on his pastoral role and say something like, “Okay ladies, let’s stick to our value of respecting each other’s voices. Let Peter say what he has to say!” Love it.
7. I don’t do this often because I don’t want to come across as a major jerk, but sometimes I’ll pull out a scripture verse about how women are to serve men. I don’t make it obvious. Like, I won’t say, “You women are here to serve the men!” No! That’s a dead giveaway. Instead, I’ll say something like, “I really appreciate how you women took time away from your families… your children… to serve us in this way. To submit yourselves with such loyalty to this man of God’s ministry is really lovely to see.” You see, in that affirmation is embedded the idea that they should be at home, that their primary role is mother, that they are here to serve, that they are submitting to a man, and that it’s ‘lovely’… a feminine virtue.
If you’re a man, try it and see!
If you’re a woman, you already know all this.