The British, slowly and unsurely, have reached the point where we're getting pretty equal as a country.
Sure, if you're born to a better-off family you'll get certain advantages in the way of nutrition, broader outlook, education and so on. But short of abolishing the private ownership of money, it's hard to see how you'd ever truly prevent that.
And it would seem that the rich are differently treated under the tax system. But again, given the ability to make your stash, your right to hire good tax accountants is completely blind to whether you are male or female, black or white, a Tory donor or an edgy comedian.
Those who remember the game Dungeons + Dragons will know that it was inherently racist. I don't know if it's still true now - there may have been a Half-Orc Spring or a Dwarf Awakening - but it was the case in the 80s that the ability to reach unlimited Levels, whether as a Fighter, a Magic-User, or a Thief, was dependent on being a human being. There may have been exceptions, but if you remember what they were then you're sadder than I am - that's all I'm saying.
But even in the 80s, in a make-believe Mittle-Europe setting with trolls tearing up the place and Halflings existing purely for copyright reasons, I don't remember any rule that said, if you were playing a female Cleric character, you had to stop at level 2. So it seems to me the Church of England is still dragging behind a 40-year-old fantasy adventure game.
To be fair, it's in company. A woman can't be a top-flight footballer, either.
And I know that some say that the Church - whatever it may appear, from within and without - isn't about climbing up a greasy pole. That it's not about "equal opportunity", as ministry is about servanthood, not about leadership, so you can't apply equal-rights arguments to who should be bishops. But it strikes me that, if it's about equal access to servanthood, then women have even more claim - after all, who's been doing all the cooking and housework these last few millennia?
So it seems that it's all going to go round another loop, and the only mixed-blessing is that it's only the bran-eating Guardian readers and the purple-faced Telegraph adherents that will care. The rest of the population don't meet a bishop from one lifetime to the next, and probably don't care two hoots, under all those copes and mitres and stuff, whether they're male, female or Lawful Neutral.
And I've no idea what a "right" solution is. How do you reconcile the majority view of how men and women should be under God with a view that is different - albeit equally sincerely held, and frequently with more commitment? Certainly not by simply trampling over the "losers" and driving them out. That's surely not a Christian way. The last proposals from the Bishops got awfully close to my suggestion that congregations could simply vote for the bishop they liked. But in the process they simply knocked everything round for another bash. So now they're probably in for another four months of wrangling.
I know I've no suggestions here - just more moaning. But with food-banks to run, lives to be changed, late-night streets to be pastored - how come the only thing the World hears about the church is its obsession with what chromosomes the clergy have under their cassocks?