Anecdotally, it is known that women are bullied in the church to a greater extent than men. The data that was used in my previous post on bullying has been analysed by gender. It is noticeable that 11% of women say they are bullied most of the time or always compared with 0% of men, the chart is below.
Women priests are regularly treated as being second class by congregations and even if it stops short of bullying it is simply exhausting; the church still hasn’t worked out what it feels about women and consequently does not adequately support women priests. Jules Middleton describes how guarded she feels in mixed groups of leaders as a result of being a woman in leadership in the church. Emma Percy describes the situation as an ‘ambiguous welcome’. She writes:
“Careful provision has been made at every stage for those who not only will not accept women as priests, but require the service of bishops who have not participated in the ordination of women. The path to acceptance for women bishops has also been lengthy and subject to the same caveats and provisions. [T]here are still profound inequalities in the Church’s treatment of women in leadership.”
Percy, E. (2017) Women, Ordination and the Church of England: An Ambiguous Welcome
This ambiguity and discrimination is bound to cause women to be badly treated in some quarters and this needs to be addressed.