Chicky Babes?

There was a minor outcry in the office this afternoon as I looked at the Hillsong Colour Conference for women website . I let out one of my characteristically over-loud exclamations as I saw last year's gathering described as a large collection of "chicky babes".

Of all the diverse age groups surrrounding me in the office, none were interesting in being described as "chicky babes". I have trouble imagining anyone out of their teens proudly describing themselves as a "chicky babe". It set off a bit of cognitive dissonance in me, frankly.

I see Jesus as a liberator of women, rejecting narrow social roles and stereotypes, heading a church in which there is neither "male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave nor free", where spiritual gifts are poured out freely on all who call on Christ's name. I see that women of all ages, races, ethnic groups, shapes, sizes, and appearances are equal in God's sight... where all different kinds of unique personalities can "shine". I see in Christ we are liberated not to have to look or act a particular way to fit in with a the dominant society, but discover God's power to be courageous, to stand up for justice, to exert influence for good.

"Chicky babe" just doesn't have those connotations to me. It implies young, cute, and somewhat powerless (if not defenceless).

It has to be said that Hillsong do an incredible job with publicity, and that this conference attracts thousands of women. So maybe it's just me again. Or maybe it's the dour humourless women of Melbourne who just don't get the hip and happening Sydney world.

What about it? Are you a "chicky babe"? Do you know any "chicky babes"? Would Jesus call women "chicky babes"? Or am I just a humourless old git?

(For context, click here: http://www2.hillsong.com/conferences/colour2008/default.asp?pid=1903 )

Comments

Crazy Seraph said…
What! No one else has responded to this blog? I am as shocked by the lack of response as to the blog itself.
Anyone who ever calls me a 'chicky babe' is asking for a face slap. It is an insult IMO, intended to denegrate a woman's intelligence and abilities. When will the church stop promoting this 'ideal' of womanhood?
Janet Woodlock said…
Nice to hear from you CS, and I'm glad someone else in the world finds this appalling!!

They don't mean to be offensive of course. It seems to emerge unconscioulsy out of a culture where the female role models are pretty, thin, get plastic surgery, and sometimes sound a bit girly-ditzy.

In my ideal world (mmm...) church leaders do good theology first... and then seriously critique what they do... because what they do is the "theology" most people absorb. How they actually relate to women, and the role models they do and don't use, speak volumes about their true values.

I think huge churches like HS have a particular responsibility to think about issues like this because (like it or not) their size and their conferences, CD's, broadcasts etc. make them influential on other churches. So "bad" viruses (prosperity doctrine, "chicky-babe" styled women's ministry, heirachical control) can spread with the good viruses (passion for Jesus.)

Sigh... in an ideal world. There's a lot of bad copying of Hillsong going on out there!

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