Why Ghostbusters Has Me Wearing My Clergy Collar
I’ve never been big on the clergy collar. When I first started in ministry, the blouses they made for women clergy were uncomfortable and unflattering, so I pretty much dismissed them. But now there are companies like Clergy Image, Women’s Spirit and House of Ilona that make comfortable, stylish options so you don’t feel like you’re just trying to make a man’s shirt work for you.
So about a year ago, I invested in a couple of knit clergy tops that have tab collars, and I wear them sometimes, particularly when a robe is too formal or simply too hot. I also tend to wear a collar at protest gatherings and vigils so it is clear that I am “official clergy”standing with whomever we are standing with that particular day.
But now, I’ve seen Ghostbusters–the 2016 version with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones–and I loved it! I loved it so much more than my husband, who thought it was “okay.” He didn’t get why I thought it was so fantastic.
Are you kidding? A group of women–not just a token Black Widow or a late-to-the-party Wonder Woman–are the heroes. Badass action heroes. And they are scientists! Smart, funny scientists. Who have a beautiful, dumb, male secretary. It’s genius.
“Bridesmaids was funny,” my husband said. “I thought Bridesmaids (which also stars Wiig and McCarthy) was funnier than Ghostbusters.”
Indeed that was a funny movie, but it was about women…who were bridesmaids. Groundbreaking.
I didn’t even know I was missing female action movie stars until I got them. Now, I’m ready for a female Bond, for Rhonda Rousey to kickstart her film career and for Venus and/or Serena to get a deal for a fall pilot on ABC.
What does that have to do with my clergy collar? On the infrequent occasions that I wear it and am “caught” outside a church/religious setting (at a drive-thru, getting gas, running a quick errand at Target), at least one woman (always a woman) asks me if I am a pastor and is always surprised when I say “yes.” (Some day I may be rude enough to respond, “What else would I be?”)
Living in my little progressive Presbyterian, downtown Argenta bubble, I continue to be surprised that people are suprised. I forget that there are people who not only have not had an experience with a female pastor, they don’t even realize that we exist. Or that, if we do, we don’t look like regular people…more like one of the elderly nuns from The Sound of Music or at least someone sporting a proper scowl of disapproval at the sinners of the world.
So, I’m going to be wearing a collar more often. Not everyday, but more often. I’m no Ghostbuster, but perhaps someone will see me and think that a church with a female pastor is not quite the church they think they know or have imagined. They might even discover that church can be funny, exciting and exactly what they’ve been missing.