Database: Let’s Get This Thing Started

After collating the statistics regarding UK Christian Conferences, there has been talk of developing a database of women speakers across the UK, similar to the Women’s Room. So here is the start of this!

 

I had originally put up an email form for people to send to me. However, after recieving some really helpful suggestions from amazing people. I have taken that down in order to ensure it is the best resource it can be.

 

At present, if you would like to be added to this database, please could you email me on befreeuk@gmail.com and ask to be added to the mailing list. Then, once there is a more substantial process for including all you amazing women speakers out there, I can let you know! Also, if you know of any amazing women speakers, please do send me their email addresses if they would be happy to be added to the list.

 

Let’s get this thing started and show all those who think there aren’t many gifted women speakers out there that God loves women, and has gifted them according to His awesome grace and faithfulness!

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Are Christian Conference Sexist?

After the hoo-hah that began when “The Nines” Leadership Conference chose to have only 4 female speakers while having 110 male speakers, was brought to public attention yesterday by Rachel Held Evans yesterday, @jonathonmerritt, a US blogger collated the male and female speakers at various high profile US Christian conferences. Helen Austin (@helen_a13- the blogger formally known as Fragmentz) mentioned that it would be useful to have a UK version, so the two of us set about doing this, with some help from various people giving us suggestions of conferences to include.

 

Where possible we’ve sourced the information about speakers from the online recordings after the events. Where that hasn’t been possible, we’ve looked at the contributors listed for future events. We have included the number of women and men who contributed, and the overall amount of presentations done by men and women (some speakers contribute multiple times). We’ve included married couples who spoke together as “couples” and have mentioned other interesting things like whether the women who are contributors are married to men who are also contributors.

 

We have done our best to gather the correct information, please do email me on befreeuk@gmail.com if there are ay alternations or additions.  So here goes…

 

Spring Harvest 2013 (Minehead 1)

27 men (69%) | Women 12 (31%)

Presentations by: Men 59 (71%) | Women 23 (29%) | [Couples 3]

 

 

New Wine 2013 (London South East)

Mainstage: 14 men (82%) | 3 women (18%) (67% of the women were married to male conference speakers)

Overall: 65 men (68%) | Women 30 (32%) (48% of women were speaking about relationships, children, abuse etc.)

Presentations by: Men 96 (73%) | Women 35 (27%) | [Couples 25]

 

 

Greenbelt 2013 (confirmed by conference organisers)

71 men (61%) | 45 women (39%)

Presentations by: Men 132 (65%) Women 72 (35%)| [Couples 1]

 

 

Keswick 2013

21 men (100%) 0 women (0%)

 

HTB Leadership Conference 2013

Mainstage: 5 men (83%) | 1 woman (17%)

Overall: 36 men 36 (84%) | 7 women (16%)

Presentations by: Men 48 (87%) Women 7 (13%) (57% of women were on a panel with at least 4 men each) (1 woman married to a male speaker at the conference)

 

Detling 2013 (information from website speaker profiles)

13 men (72%) | 5 women (18%) | [5 couples]

 

Hillsong Conference 2014 (information from website)

4 men (80%) | 1 woman (20%) (she is married to a male speaker at the conference) | [1 couple]

 

Westpoint 2013 (updated by Dave Bish, who spoke at the event)

14 men (88%) | 2 women (12%) (1 co-led a seminar, another married to a male speaker at the conference)

Presentations by: Men 22 (92%) | Women 2 (9%)

 

CNMAC 2013 (from website speaker profiles)

Mainstage: 7 men (70%) | 3 women (30%)

Overall: 25 men (71%) | 10 women (29%)

 

Creation Fest 2013

27 men (87%) | 4 women (13%)

Presentations by: Men 53 (90%) Women 6 (10%) [Couples 5]

 

Faithcamp

Mainstage: 5 men (83%) | 1 woman (17%) (she is married to a male conference speaker)

Mainstage presentations by: Men 11 (91%) | Women1 (9%)

General: 14 men (70%) | 6 women (30%)

General presentations by: Men 34 (76%) Women 11 (24%) (18% were on “women’s issues” )

 

Youthwork Summit 2013 (figures updated by Martin Saunders, conference organiser, who has said it was deliberate to ensure this gender balance)

15 men (48%) | 16 women (52%) [1 couple]

 

Youthwork Conference 2014 (Taken from website contributors list)

20 men (65%) | 11 women (35%)

 

Momentum 2013

24 men 24 (77%) | 7 women 7 (23%)

Presentations by: Men 63 (75%) Women 21 (25%) (57% of female speakers were married to male conference speakers)

 

Soul Survivor 2013

21 men 21 (70%) | 9 women (30%) (33% of female speakers were married to male conference speakers)

Presentations by: Men 58 (73%) Women 22 (27%)

 

Newday 2013

16 men (70%) | 7 women (30%) (1 female speaker was married to a male speaker – 14%)

Presentations by: Men 19 (67%) Women 9 (33%)

 

One Event 2013 (formally Grapevine)

Mainstage: 8 men (89%) | 1 woman (11%)

Seminars: 6 couples running 6 seminar streams

 

Baptist assembly 2014 (from website contributors)

3 men (75%) | 1 woman (25%)

 

Word Alive 2014 (from website contributors)

4 men (80%) | 1 woman (20%)

 

National Day Of Prayer 2013 (from website round up of the day)

14 men (88%) | 2 women (12%)

 

Street Angels CNI Conference 2013 (from Paul Blakey, conference organiser)

6 men (50%) | 6 women (50%) | 1 couple

 

Global Connections 2014 (information from Eddie Arthur, involved in conference organising)

1 man (50%) | 1 woman (50%) (conference will include more discussion, less front led content)

 

New Horizon

37 men (86%) | Women 6 (14%)

Presentations by: Men 64 (86%) | Women 10 (14%) | [Couple 1]

 

 

Big Church Day Out 2013 (confirmed by Wendy Beech-Ward)

6 men (75%) | 2 women (25%) | 4 all male bands | 4 collectives (mainly men with some women)

(These were musicians rather than speakers)

 

Church and Media Conference 2013 (confirmed by Andrew Graystone, conference organiser)

4 men (44%) | 5 women (56%)

 

Children and Families Conference 2013 (late addition to the list)

Presentations by: 19 men (61%) | 12 women (39%)

 

We were unable to gather any data on the Christian Resources Exhibition.

 

Some great responses to these stats are:

On the Youth Work Summit and female speakers” by Martin Saunders

Where are the women?” by Jenny Baker

Hate Something, Change Something” by Steve Holmes

Thoughts on Quotas” by Jenny Baker

On Sexism and Events: An Organisers Perspective” by Kevin Bennett

 

Thanks to Hannah Mudge (@boudledidge) for helping with these charts!!

Percentages

Guest Blog: Poem from my mum

My mum wrote this poem about patriarchy and I thought it was great and asked her if I could put it up here.  She said yes, do enjoy it!
Patriarchy, why are you so afraid of strong women,

Women with the heart to challenge you in the arena

Of words, or anywhere that your physical strength

Is of no significance?  Why do you need to control

Women?  Are they such a threat to you?

We are all, male and female, prey

To the patriarchs, they believe we must

Bow before their scathing, belittling

Words and deeds, their domination – No!

We will not be cowed into submission

Nor preyed upon by those who seek

Us out like missiles, homing in on us.

Our shield shall be the truth

That no woman or man owns another.

The spectrum of human nature is wide

For human beings no trait is purely male,

None solely female either.  Forget

What has been passed down to you,

Start afresh, embrace equality for all.

Men and women cannot be owned by anyone

They are free.  All women can be strong women

But not all realise their power yet, we who know

Our strength, must build up our unknowing sisters

With words of encouragement, and knowledge

Of the true reality of patriarchy, which tries to

Imprison women in the cage of a manufactured

And false femininity.  Wake up sisters, from the dream

Be the women you were meant to be,

And you men who are awake to the fake superiority

That you have been fed from birth and ancestry,

Arise and join your sisters, help to free

Your brothers from patriarchy and false masculinity.

Patriarchs will not concede easily but injustice will not

Win the day, it will fail as long as we stay strong.

Justice will always triumph in the end and

Our words will remain long after we are gone.

 

 

Dear Marilyn

Dear Marilyn,

 

(I don’t actually know if your name is Marilyn, but I wanted to give you a name, because you’re a person and you matter).

 

I met you on the train tonight.  You sat down next to me and then your partner made you move so he could sit next to you.  I could see him being unkind to you and making you cry.  I saw you try to stand up to him and the way he made you shrink.  I could see him become worse and I saw that other man, Kevin (I’m going to call him Kevin, even though I’m not sure what his real name was…) watch what was going on and stand up and get ready to intervene.  And I got ready to intervene too.

 

And suddenly Kevin was asking your partner if he “was alright mate?” and your partner was telling him to “f*ck off and not get involved.” I stood up and asked you if you were okay.  You said you weren’t and that you were scared and wanted to get away.  I asked you to come and stand with me, but even though you wanted to, your partner wouldn’t let you.  I asked if you wanted me to call the police and you said you did, then your partner was calling me a “f*cking………” and I was ringing the police and stopping the train and your partner was whispering and suddenly you wanted me to stop phoning the police and tried to sort everything out.  I know you were being brave.  I know you were trying to protect yourself and me by calming him down.  I know you were trying your best to make everything okay again.

 

Then we all got off the train and Kevin was really kind to me and didn’t leave until the police arrived.  And your partner was shouting at me, and you were trying to calm him down and telling the police that “it was just talking”.  And I saw your black eye under your make up and I saw how he hurts you.

 

Then the police said you didn’t want to do anything about your partner and I went on a different train home to you and then that was it.

 

Well Marilyn I wanted to tell you that you are really really brave.  That I know you were trying your best to make everything okay.  I’m sorry that when you got home he probably hurt you a lot, and says it’s your fault.  But Marilyn, it’s not your fault.  It’s his fault.  He chose to hurt you and that is not okay.  I know I couldn’t stop him and that the police didn’t arrest him, and that he’s done this to you before.

 

I know you might think I’m a nosy stranger, getting involved in your business and making things worse.  But please, please, please, know that I tried to help because you are so so important.  That you are valuable and worth so much.  Kevin and I didn’t get involved to make your life difficult, we stood up and spoke out to show you what your partner was doing is wrong.  And maybe nobody has ever shown you that before.

 

I know we will probably never see each other again, but I wanted to write to you and tell you that you matter, you’re important and anytime you need me to, I’ll stand up for you again.

 

Love Mrs GLW

Letter from a Pastor; How not to respond to a woman experiencing abuse

The following email was sent by a pastor to a woman who is being abused by her husband.  Her husband has been extremely abusive to her and she is seeking to escape from him.  All names and identifying details have been removed, but the recipient of the email has said she would like people to see the reality of how Church Leaders are unequipped to respond appropriately in cases of abuse.  As you read this email, you may think that some of the pastor’s comments or thoughts are correct.  I would suggest that for a couple struggling with relationship difficulties they might be, but where there is abuse, it is not the relationship that needs dealing with, but rather the abuser.

 
Hi Hannah,

 

I hope you are doing well, despite going through these difficulties in your marriage.  I thought about responding to your last email; the one you sent after another incident with Saul where you called 911, and where afterwards someone gave you some information about not staying with an abusive partner.

 

But to be honest, to me it looked like you had made up your mind and that you yourself are looking for a way out of the marriage.  I don’t know everything that has gone on between the two of you, but I do feel as though I know both of you fairly well in some degree.  I know Saul well enough to know that he is a believer who loves the Lord, and has changed in many ways from the way he was.  However, I also know that he is a work in progress as we all are.  He tries to look at many Scriptures with his Saul’s Way glasses on.  He is certainly not perfect, and he does have his quirks, and inappropriateness, but I also know he is not an aggressive or violent person.  He is stubborn and often pig headed, and doesn’t like to lose an argument, but I can say the exact same thing of many people, including yourself.  I do not believe you are afraid of Saul physically, rather frustrated and tired of how he often goes about things.

 

I also know that you are a believer who loves the Lord, and has had many great experiences in ministry.  However, you too are a work in progress.  You also, like Saul, like to try to look at certain Scriptures, and interpret them to fit what you want.

 

You two are very different people–different cultures, different families, different ways of looking at the Bible, different ideas of what is appropriate.  So many different things.  But something brought you two together.  If you don’t remember, it was your love and passion for our Lord Jesus.  I think you often forget that and focus instead on all the negative things in Saul–his past, his quirks, his inappropriateness.  (Some of these things he can change, and needs to work on changing, but others, like his past, he can’t change, and you simply need to accept, forgive and try to forget.)

 

Hannah, I believe that you need to be honest, and decide whether or not you are committed to this marriage–“in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live”.  If you are, then you will try to make things work, rather than always running away (often months at a time) and pointing out the negative, you will need to start working on the strengths and focusing on the positive.  What is going on now cannot help this goal.  Saul is not physical abusive to you.  He can be incredibly frustrating and mentally annoying, but not physically abusive.  And in regards to verbal abuse, in our counselling together, I have witnessed just as much verbal abuse coming from your lips, as I have from his.

 

If you don’t want to be married to Saul anymore, then just be honest and tell him you made a mistake–that you don’t want to be with him.  Don’t try and find loop holes in the Bible for your mistake or lack of commitment.

 

The fact is, Jesus said that the only reason Moses made a concession to allow for divorce, in the case of physical adultery, was because the people’s hearts were hard.  This is not what God intends.  If you are looking for a way out of your marriage, then your heart is not in the right place–it is hard.

 

Now, I know that if you decide to honour your marriage commitment, it will not be easy–nothing worth saving is easy.  It will demand a lot of love, grace, patience, work and sacrifice on both parts. Did I mention grace and patience.  But I believe anything is possible with God.  And I know that God’s will is that you marriage commitment be honoured, worked on, and be something that brings love and joy to both of you.

 

The last thing I want to do is get in the middle of this very dysfunctional marriage again.  But if I can help the both of you, I would consider it an honour, especially if it will bring peace, joy and love to both your lives.  I hope you know that the tone of this letter is one of love and wanting to help a sister and brother in the Lord.

 

 

Blessings and prayers,

 

Pastor Phillip

 

 

(P.S.  I don’t know whether or not you know, but Saul is going in for his major knee surgery on September 13th.  I thought you would want to know so you could be praying for him and his recovery.  Please feel free to reply or call me anytime.

To My Beautiful Son

To my beautiful son,

 

 

Never let the world dictate who you are

 

They’ll tell you you’re only acceptable with limited emotion

They’ll tell you your strength is there to dominate

They’ll tell you you’re defined by what you do

 

Don’t listen to them my precious,

Not one single word!

 

You see the world wants to control you

And see you control others

For you to be sucked into the lies of violence and sex and domination

But my lovely, do not listen to them

 

Strength is not in physical power

Domination brings no true satisfaction

 

My son, your strength is being broken with the broken

Loving deeply and resisting the world’s lies

 

You can feel all emotions

You can admit that you love and are loved

You can cry and laugh and see beauty

 

You are valuable

No matter what you do;

How much you earn;

Whether or not you are single

 

Know, my beauty, that the strength required

To live outside of boxes in which the world wants to place you

 

Requires more strength than many men have.

Colours

Me and the Lord had a couple of days away and He showed me so much.  Here’s a poem I wrote about one of the things He showed me:

 

A life drawn with pencil

So it could be rubbed out

 

With only three colours

To lay on my page:

 

 

Black; dying soul, destroyed by others

Red; bleeding heart, bleeding wrist, life source dripping away

Grey; creeping sighs and mist covered everything

 

Black

Red

Grey

 

THAT

Was

Me

 

But…

I am no longer THAT

 

Colours galore, colours true

Colours fresh, colours new

 

A life full of colours, full of laughter

With permanent marker, for ever and after

 

I’m no longer bound by black, red and grey

I’m free, I’m alive, with new colours each day

 

As you look at my pages

My life 2D

The change in colours

Is astonishing to see

 

Where once there was pencil

And black, red and grey

There is now a rainbow

New day by day

 

The colours of life and freedom and hope

Of love and of beauty and learning to cope

Of kindnesses offered and given away

Of Light and of Mercy and new Grace everyday