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The Illusion of Clarity

Rachel Held Evans responds to a complementarian critique of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, firstly by clarifying her intention in writing the book:

I wanted to challenge the idea that the Bible contains a single message about something as complex, beautiful, and mysterious as womanhood. I wanted to unpack, piece by piece, what we mean when we talk about “biblical womanhood,” and I wanted to do it in a funny, disarming way that turned the laughter on myself as an imperfect interpreter rather than on the text itself. The goal was to hold up a mirror to our interpretive biases to show just how reductive and misleading the phrase “biblical womanhood” can be.

And secondly, but taking a more aggressive stance toward the supposed complementarian high ground of hermeneutical simplicity:

What frustrates me the most about complementarian conversations regarding “biblical womanhood” is not the fact that I disagree with a complementarian interpretation of the text but the fact that complementarians consistently insist that they are not, in fact, interpreting the text, but simply reading and applying its clear teachings, and that anyone who might disagree with their conclusions must simply hate the Bible and have no interest in faithfully living by it. But this idea of a simple, unbiased, and patently obvious hermeneutic is an illusion. It is appealed to, but never explained; cited, but never explored or unpacked.