We are naive when we fail to connect that enmity to the oppression of women that has taken place through the centuries and continues today.
There is a curse—they say may you live in interesting times.
I’m reporting back to you from a very dramatic Sunday service this week.
Our society rests on a very fragile bedrock of unspoken agreements: killing is bad; let’s all try not to do that. It is good that people have access to food, water, and shelter. Do not make eye contact with someone you’ve run into at a public venue after you’ve already exchanged hellos. Know when your pew has been purloined; under no circumstances try to negotiate its return.
What will the world come to when we just start chopping and changing these time-honoured traditions, Handsome and Polite Asian Family? You mongers of seat displacement? Just where do we draw the line when someone’s pew hogging is challenged, even rebutted?
The times we live in, I tell you.
Anyway, after my unforeseen departure from the back pew, I ended up next to the tannie who fell asleep during a service a few weeks back. I think my presence spurred her on to new levels of awakeness, so there’s that. And it was nice not sitting through a church service alone for once. If introversion isn’t Hell, it’s pretty close to it.
Someone collapsed during the service. I looked around just in time to see his head bounce off the pew in front of him, and there was a second of horrified humour before it was just horror and that helplessness particular to bystanders. Leon the Swaziland Missions Trip guy, you and your wife, family, and friends are in my prayers, all the more so because I feel like a massive jerk.
The whole episode, plus the recent death in our family and the funeral of one of my mother’s co-workers we attended yesterday, has settled heavily on my heart. Fittingly, the minister at yesterday’s funeral spoke about how we need to look beyond the grave. But graves are pretty deep, though, aren’t they?
Oh, awkward turtle moment of the week: the funeral was held in a Reformed Church (they’re also known as the Doppers). It was my first time at one of their services so, after the first hymn, when some folks remained standing for the prayer, I did, too. I only noticed during the closing prayer that this is apparently a men-only thing.
So I literally, if accidentally, stood up for feminism. Ahem.
What was your Sunday service like?
Introducing a new regular feature I won’t update as often as I should: Women Wednesday. It is what it says on the box: I’ll use these posts to highlight articles and news I think is relevant to women, Christian women specifically. Beware the decidedly feminist tint :).
“Our understanding of adulthood needs to be clarified and decoupled from sexual activity or marital status.”
First up we have an article from her.meneutics, “A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood” by Tish Harrison Warren. Warren talks about how society equates female adulthood almost solely with sexual availability (cf Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance), thereby denying unmarried or celibate women full adult status. She then offers ideas about how the church can induct young adults into adulthood without focusing exclusively on sexuality.
Secondly there’s this great article on “strong female characters” and why that’s a potluck of oppression. “Part of the patronising promise of the Strong Female Character,” writes Sophia McDougall, “is that she’s anomalous.”
What happens when one tries to fit other iconic male heroes into an imaginary “Strong Male Character” box? A few fit reasonably well, but many look cramped and bewildered in there. They’re not used to this kind of confinement, poor things. They’re used to being interesting across more than one axis and in more than two dimensions.
Have a great Wednesday!
And that’s because this obsessive male Christian mentality can’t exist where women are speaking and preaching and leading in the same roles as men, mutually submitted to Christ and each other. Such an environment literally chokes out these misogynistic habits or at least exposes them for exactly what they are — objectifying and dehumanizing to women.
Insightful. Read the whole article: Zach J. Hoag: Smokin’ Hot Wives and Water to the Soul.
Actually, my focused thinking at yoga goes more like this: Damn planks are hard. What time is it? I am created in God’s image. Can that student behind me see my butt looming in downward dog? What’s for lunch? I am created in God’s image.
Okay, so I’m still learning to be zen in yoga. But the thing I want to say, long to say, over and over, is this: I am created in God’s image.
This post has helped me a lot today. Please read the whole thing: Created in God’s Image: An Affirmation that Matters – Ain’t I a Woman BlogAin’t I a Woman?.
But what “complementarians” are talking about is hierarchy; more specifically patriarchy — MALE RULE. The folks with penises get to be in charge and say what’s what.
Rachel Held Evans called them out on this last week with an eminently sane post, saying, “Complementarianism is patriarchy—nothing more, nothing less.” I would go further — in most cases, complementarianism is a purely theoretical construct that bears little resemblance to how most modern love marriages actually function.
Read the rest: “Complementarianism” Is a Sham | internetmonk.com.
The writings of Paul were Paul’s opinions and Paul’s ideas about what God wanted, about what Jesus wanted. Paul was not infallible. Paul was not God. Anyone who takes Paul’s word as God’s word is elevating him to a position above human. I’m not really okay with that. Does that mean there’s nothing to be learned in the letters? No, of course not. Just as I can learn from anyone’s opinions, I can learn from his.
‘Following Christ’ requires concrete, specific action, not merely adherence to the tenets of a given religious organization. Rosemary Radford Ruether declares that we must see Christ as a “liberator, not in the spiritual sense but in real terms in the political and social realm” (“Introductions” 33). His own ministry could be interpreted as a socio-political movement that Christians must continue in our own time. Leondard Swidler asserts that Jesus is a feminist, “a person who is in favor of, and promotes, the equality of women with men, who advocates and practices treating women primarily as human persons (as men are so treated) and willingly contravenes social customs in so acting” (17). I would like to take Swidler’s definition even further to assert that Jesus was a feminist, not only in his advocacy of women, but in his advocacy of the equality of all peoples. In this way, I argue that Christ embodies “Womanism” in his teachings and actions on earth.
It’s all fine and well until we hit “Biblical Feminists.”
Biblical feminism is a thing. A real, valuable, viable thing.
So why the derogatory quotes?
In the tradition of Internet feminists everywhere… *headdesk*
This pastor’s message, of course, was based on the fallacious assumption that the word “man” in Genesis 1:26 is referring to a male.