Carol Howard Merritt talks about feminism, change, and today’s challenges

April 8, 2013

(Wo)manifesto: What are we fighting for?
In this post on her Tribal Church blog for the Christian Century, Carol Howard Merritt writes, “I was not alive in the 1960s. This seems to be an important fact when it comes to feminism, because the dialogue around the movement morphs and changes among the generations, often causing misunderstanding or animosity between different waves.” She refers to the conservative household in which she was raised. “I was taught that women should submit to men, women should not work outside of the home, and the “F” word was a dirty one. Feminists were painted in an ugly light—quite literally.” She says she had to “stretch and grow into feminism.” Merritt provides what she calls not a manifesto but a “womanifesto” about what feminists need to be doing to have meaning today for all women in all circumstances and cultural contexts the world over. And she names specific challenges we need to be working on, such as in educational and economic opportunities for girls and women, women’s health and control over their own bodies, and religious teachings about women.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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