Coming to the end of my week with Quakers at the Friends General Conference held in Grinnell College in Iowa, I have been wondering about the experiences of Quakers who currently or have ever identified as female. I know that for a long time Quakers have aspired to gender equality, but as a male identified/male-bodied person (aka cisgender male) I know I have blind spots.
So I have a query (fancy Quaker language for a question that hopefully will encourage deep thinking and sharing.) My intention is to hear exclusively from people who currently or have ever identified as female. THEREFORE I want to exclude other cisgender males like me from commenting. I know that may seem very un-Quakerly of me, but that’s how I want to go about this query for now. Some folks may identify as genderqueer, so I will let them decide for themselves if this is a relevant query to their experiences. I imagine we can have a huge and full discussion about gender non-conformity and Friends at some point.
I do not have fully formed opinions about the topic of gender equality and Quakers. I imagine there will be a mixture of responses. For some, the Religious Society of Friends may be a space of equality and respect far different from the wider world. Others may have and still do experience sexism and misogyny as they bump up against male privilege. As Friends we value integrity, equality, and social justice, so I ask the following query?
As someone who currently identifies as female or has identified as female, in regards to gender and gender equality what are your experiences among Friends at local Quaker meetings and in the wider Quaker world?
Again, cisgender men like me (birth sex=male and gender identity=male) refrain from commenting. Don’t make me elder you 😛