Jo Vitale on International Women’s Day at UC Berkeley: Jesus never tells me I’m just a girl

Posted by Ruth Malhotra on March 8, 2017
Topic: Blog

Jo Vitale UCB talk Dr. Jo Vitale, RZIM Speaker and Dean of Studies at the Zacharias Institute, spoke Monday at the University of California at Berkeley on the topic, “Is God Sexist?” The MLK Student Union’s Tilden room was packed with students who attended the talk and asked a wide range of questions regarding the rights and role of women in Christianity. This gathering was part of Fiat Lux Week at UC Berkeley, a series of events addressing life’s deepest questions from the Christian worldview.

“I find myself compelled by the God of the Bible not despite of, but because of, what He thinks about women,” contended Vitale, who received her doctoral degree from the University of Oxford on the topic, “Women and Beauty in the Old Testament” and speaks frequently on related matters. “Throughout the Bible, God chooses women to play a key role in His story.”

“Jesus never tells me that I’m just a girl,” Vitale continued. “He breaks down all the cultural stereotypes and turns prejudice on its head.”

RZIM-Jo Vitale-UCB
The topic of sexism and the scriptures garnered the interest of a diverse group of students, with many explaining that this has been a point of contention or confusion for them when considering the Christian worldview. Among the questions students asked were how the Biblical command that wives submit to their husbands could be reconciled with gender equality, how the Bible addresses women who find themselves in particularly vulnerable situations, and how Christians should contend for the dignity of women in today’s polarized culture.

“As a woman, I have never met a man who makes me feel more human, dignified, and respected than Jesus does,” concluded Vitale. “Far from being sexist, in Jesus we encounter a God who is committed to confronting culturally oppressive attitudes against women and completely smashing them.”


On International Women’s Day (Wednesday, March 8), Jo Vitale will hold a Facebook Live Q&A session at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET from the campus of UC Berkeley on this topic, “Is God Sexist?” You can participate on the RZIM Facebook page and submit your questions:

To request a media interview with Dr. Vitale, please email [email protected]

Follow updates from Fiat Lux Week at UC Berkeley with the hashtag #FiatLux