by Kelly Pelton (written 27 Nov 2021)

Subordination is abuse, 
the power-over motive strong;
don't use God's word as your excuse,
for God Himself would not do wrong

as do those ones who misconstrue
the scriptures for their worldly gain
while nicely smiling in the pew,
their doctrines causing females pain.

Subordination fits the bill
of wily tactics of control,
the old demoralizing drill
that puts the men in the best role.

No safety in the church exists
for girls and women yet to learn
the subtle lying that enlists
self-doubt, as from ourselves we turn

to follow "God's rules" as they're taught
by men with power-over minds,
who keep convincing us we ought
to cow down. Our ambition blinds

us women to God's truth, they say,
projecting their sins on to us,
exasperated by the way
egalitarians will fuss;

we won't buy in to their denial,
their countering and discounting,
their righteous-indignation-style
withholding of power. Our mounting

resistance to their scornful tone,
their critical, dismissive ways
and undermining makes them prone
to bring out their best power plays;

they emphasize a verse or two,
appeal to fallen hierarchy
as God's best plan for me and you
to keep the church from anarchy.

The most effective ones accuse
the women of a tendency
to be deceived, a clever ruse
to cultivate dependency

on men as chosen ones to speak
God's truth to all; integrity
and strength they feign, discarding meek
and lowly with inequity.

Let us not be deceived by these
who slyly shame daughters of Eve;
deceivers find their power flees
if all their lies we won't believe.