Karen D asked on A Travelogue of the Interior if there is a difference between complementarianism and patriarchy. Here is what I think:
IMO, there is a spectrum difference. I think 2 ideas are enough to qualify the holder as complementarian:
1) Some church tasks are restricted to men.
That is a spectrum in itself: Mild complementarians say that being head pastor is the only thing women cannot do, while others draw the line at all preaching in church. Some say women should not be pastors or elders, others pastors, elders or deacons. Some say women are not even allowed to make an announcement in church.
2) Husbands lead, wives submit.
That is a spectrum too: Some would have wives submitting to everything, even when asked to directly sin. Others pay lip service to submission, but live pretty close to egalitarian in practise. I actually wish the lip-service complementarians will state what the limits of submission ought to be, because if they do not, I think even “mild” complementarianism can be too harsh on those actually practicing it – as opposed to paying lip service. *
Because complementarianism seem to be based on 2 pillars, I see the possibility of being half-complementarian. It is entirely possible to believe in marriage without hierarchy, but in restricted church roles. Or in hierarchal marriage, but to have no problem with women in every possible form of church ministry.
“Christian” Patriarchy, or “Biblical” Patriarchy, also include these ideas (the more of these ideas someone believe, the more patriarchal (s)he is):
Stay at home daughters; no college for girls; “courtship” that means fathers screen potential suitors even before daughters spend time with them; home schooling not as a option but as mandatory for Christian families; falling in love as impure; physical punishment from babyhood upwards to break the will of the child; extreme “modesty” rules related to (almost always female) clothing; women not working for a salary; women not involved in politics or even voting; women as a class submitting to men (as opposed to wives submitting to only their own husbands) and even sisters submitting to their brothers; not taking steps to stay away (or keep a wife or children away) from an abusive father because he is their “God given authority” and it will be sin in their view to leave the authority God gave you; no birth control.
The terms “Biblical manhood” and “Biblical womanhood” were coined by the same people who coined the word “complementarian”, but is used by Patriarchy supporters too.
What do you think? Feel welcome to agree, disagree or add to the definitions.
* I think “mild” complementarianism is still too harsh: http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/when-soft-complementarianism-is-too-hard/