What does church membership mean for women? Texts like Galatians 3:27-28 imply equality; experience contradicts this. Underlying the controversy are assumptions about women's nature as women. Baptismal practice suggests women's equality but experience denies it. Part I examines experience: in lay ministry, in marriage, and as economically marginalized. Turning from experience to theoretical analysis, there are two answers to the question of women's nature: women are inferior, or women are equal. Part II studies the two models at work in the dialogue held between representatives of the Women's Ordination Conference and the U.S. National Conference of Catholic Bishops as participants addressed the question: “What is woman?” Finally the two models are operative in the testimony given in the national hearings for the bishops' pastoral on women. Part III analyzes the reports of the national hearings, uncovering the correlation between model, methodology, and whether a group's feminism leads it to social or issue critique.