The war against misogyny has not been a quiet one, but neither has been the backlash that it receives. Case and point, when female pastor and Christian author Beth Moore tried to reach out to her male counterparts and implore them to “hold each other accountable for the way they treat their female contemporaries.” Episcopalian blogger and author, Sarahbeth Caplin, took to Patheos’ The Friendly Atheist blog to make the matter public after seeing Moore’s plea and the expected reply from a male theologian.
— Sarahbeth Caplin (@SbethCaplin) May 9, 2018
In an open letter to her male counterparts, Moore describes how she conformed to showing “respect” and “deference” to the male leaders in the field. She talks about wearing flats to appear shorter than the men around her and what it was like being ignored and “made fun of” at conferences and face-to-face meetings.
Let's take a close look at Beth Moore's litany of troubles that grieve her so, and caused such a long lecture to us all. (In her Letter to Brothers published today). And then compare to… pic.twitter.com/Iz45wYIz81
— Elizabeth Prata (@elizabethprata) May 3, 2018
As if on cue, theologian Seth Dunn responded in a matter that completely validates Moore’s remarks. “Be silent. You are not a good Bible teacher,” Dunn wrote on his blog. “You preach and write about yourself all the time as if you were a character in the Biblical story. You’re not.”
A Letter Back to Beth Moore from Seth Dunn https://t.co/Rk4a9RLZZC
— Pulpit & Pen (@pulpitpenblog) May 4, 2018
His sharp-tongued blog post goes on to further criticize her abilities as a Bible teacher, clarifying that it has nothing to do with being a woman, but simply because “you are not good at teaching the Bible.”
Whatever ground Dunn thought he might have been making in his response to Moore was quickly washed away when he pulled a lesson straight from “Misogyny 101.” To conclude his rant against the female Bible teacher and speaking specifically about her concerns about being ignored at conferences, Dunn puts the blame on her. “Also, to be forthright, you are a good-looking woman. Did it ever cross your mind that the Christian ministers who didn’t talk to you at conferences didn’t want to jeopardize their career by being thought to flirt with you?”
Whoa. Quite a statement here from Beth Moore about the misogyny that pervades so much of white evangelical culture. Some of these stories are shocking. https://t.co/rVs9kUFBF8
— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) May 3, 2018
His critiques of Moore’s ability to teach the Bible aside, Dunn perfectly highlights the issues that the pastor was trying to get across in her post. In a roundabout way, Dunn suggests that the best way for Moore to get the attention she seeks among the male-centric crowd is not to be good at her job, but rather to appear unattractive.