Media's Depiction of Women and How it Influences the Church: A Podcast

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Jeri Bozeman
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According to a poll from 2017, approximately 23% of adult churchgoers are single, either never married or divorced (Chiu, 2017). While single people make up almost a quarter of active church attendees, single women make up 53% of the US population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). Chiu (2017) writes that the church needs to develop a better way to reach the single community by addressing ways to incorporate single members into leadership roles, connect them to married members, and provide a safe space where they feel noticed and served. Due to the structure of many church communities, single women sometimes feel pushed to the periphery of the church’s population experiencing exclusion from social gatherings and other activities (Gaddini, 2019). The marginalization of single women in the church can feel even more isolating in an environment that was meant to provide an alternative family. By including women from different church backgrounds, Gaddini found that women felt excluded from social gatherings or that they continued to fight against the norm of women’s roles in the church. Yet, as single women have expressed, staying in the church can help to change the status quo, broadening the community to be more inclusive (Gaddini, 2019). Thus, more attention to single women in the church is needed. As such, this professional project explored single women in the church through a series of podcast episodes. Specifically, the podcast episodes addressed the roles of media representations as connected to single women in the church.
The discussion of single women in the church contains elements of gender studies and feminism by addressing the traditional roles of women in the church as a reflection of media representation. The project used these theories in a Christian context and was based on Biblical scholars’ application of the theory to the modern church. Without dissecting the importance of women in the Bible, the church misses the opportunity to recognize strengths the female community brings to the everyday life experience.