Question:

Are women less than men? Because the Bible says it's disgraceful for a woman to talk in the church. Seems like she's something dirty.

Answer:

I wonder about the question because I don't believe you think your mother or any other woman is inferior. It leaves me with the conclusion that you don't want to believe what God says, so you are grasping for something to discredit the Bible.

Are men less than women because women can have children and men cannot? "For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. ... Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God" (I Corinthians 11:8-9, 11-12). Spiritually, men and women are equals. "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered" (I Peter 3:7). "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). However, men and women were not made the same and, as a result, fulfill different roles.

While all Christians are to be submissive to each other (Ephesians 5:21), women are urged to be submissive to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) and to men in the church (I Corinthians 11:3). Submission is not a degradation, but a voluntary act of following. We submit to our government (Romans 13:1), but that doesn't make us dirt. It doesn't even make a citizen inferior to the government. An employee submits to his boss (I Peter 2:18), but this doesn't make either the boss a better man or the employee a lesser man. They have two different assigned roles -- one requires leading and the other requires following, and both are necessary for the success of the business. If a citizen or employee is not submissive, we perceive them to be rebellious.

"Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church" (I Corinthians 14:34-35).

Addressing the church is a position of authority. A woman who addresses the church is breaking the order of authority (I Corinthians 11:3). She is being rebellious because she is not demonstrating a willingness to follow but to take the lead. It has nothing to do with being inferior or "dirty" but demonstrating an unwillingness to be submissive.

The lesson "Submission" talks about the various forms of submission, its limits, and its necessity. You can argue that you don't a woman should submit to anyone, just like others argue that a citizen doesn't have to submit to the government, an employee doesn't want to submit to his employer, or a child submit to his parents. It is an argument for anarchy where no leadership is recognized. But such arguments are not what Christianity is about.

No, I was actually considering them being inferior. I didn't know if they were, but I thought it was possible, not because they might keep silence in church, but because of the word "shameful." And what does it mean to have the head covered? Is it talking about the hair?

What Paul called shameful was displaying rebellious behavior in the assembly by speaking out of turn. For head covering see the articles on head covering.