Beth Moore, the prominent US evangelical teacher, has criticised the 'colossal disregard and disrespect of women' shown by male Christian leaders.
The author and founder of Living Proof Ministries revealed how she is 'dismissed and ridiculed' in meetings with other evangelical leaders or ignored when sharing a car with them. She said she is labelled a heretic by fundamentalists who refused to read her teaching because 'they refused to study what a woman had taught'.
Describing meeting a male theologian who she had long admired, she said: 'The instant I met him, he looked me up and down, smiled approvingly and said, "You are better looking than _________________________________." He didn't leave it blank. He filled it in with the name of another woman Bible teacher.'
In a blog post on Thursday she said 'some key Christian leaders' had attitudes that 'smacked of misogyny, objectification and astonishing disesteem of women and it spread like wildfire.
'I came face to face with one of the most demoralizing realizations of my adult life: Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.'
Moore said she had tried to be deferential in her ministry and described how she would wear flats instead of heels if she was leading with a man shorter than her so as not to undermine him.
'This is where I cry foul and not for my own sake. Most of my life is behind me. I do so for sake of my gender, for the sake of our sisters in Christ and for the sake of other female leaders who will be faced with similar challenges,' she wrote.
'These examples may seem fairly benign in light of recent scandals of sexual abuse and assault coming to light but the attitudes are growing from the same dangerously malignant root. Many women have experienced horrific abuses within the power structures of our Christian world. Being any part of shaping misogynistic attitudes, whether or not they result in criminal behaviors, is sinful and harmful and produces terrible fruit. It also paints us continually as weak-willed women and seductresses. I think I can speak for many of us when I say we are neither interested in reducing or seducing our brothers.'