Resistance and backlash to social change
If you are working to promote social change, you can expect to meet resistance. Resistance may occur in any setting (e.g. a local church, or the Christian community at large). It may come from individuals or collectively, and from men or women.
When it comes to social change, people (and organisations) are on a continuum, from active resistance to active support.
Backlash is an inevitable consequence of social change. If backlash is occurring, it might be a sign of progress that the society is starting to adopt the social change.
For examples of how each of the forms of backlash are expressed in words, go to www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/resistance.
Quite a few pastors are now declaring that their church intends to be a safe supportive place for victims of abuse.
This is as a result of things like –
- Judge Aquilina giving a platform to Larry Nassar’s victims
- “Jane” telling her story of how The Master’s College and John MacArthur and his staff mistreated her after she reported being drugged and raped
- Jules Woodson going public about what Andy Savage did to her
- the increasing calls for an independent investigation into Sovereign Grace Churches/SGM.
But in my view, many of these pastors (e.g. Chris Conlee of Highpoint Memphis) are doing appeasement or appropriation or co-option – which are all forms of resistance.
I’m sure we can all think of other examples of resistance and backlash from our own experience. Please share them in the comments thread so we can all learn from each other.
We’ve talked a great deal at this blog about the ways abusers resist changing. So perhaps it would be more helpful if we shared examples of churches and Christian leaders displaying resistance and backlash.
The graphics in this post were tweeted by Michael Flood. The concepts are based on a Queensland University of Technology evidence review on backlash to gender equality, by Michael Flood, Molly Dragiewicz and Bob Pease, commissioned by VicHealth in 2017.
How society can prevent domestic abuse (Don Hennessy series part 11)