Saturday, May 27, 2017
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72-27 Blog

Kimberly George and Letha Dawson Scanzoni The 72-27 blog—A Cross-Generational Dialogue between Two Christian Feminists—was active from July 2008 through November 2011.  It was written by Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberly B. George. As they launched it in the summer of 2008, they were aware that the digits of their respective ages were exactly reversed. Letha was 72 and Kimberly was 27, hence the title and the numeric nicknames they used for their posts.

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“When One Woman Cries. . .”

Hi Kimberly, We seem to have come full circle, having begun this blog three and a half years ago with a discussion of Betty Friedan...

More on Friedan: Marketing of Desire and What Language Hides

Hi Letha, Thanks so much for your last post on Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, in which you helpfully outlined the historical realities that many women were facing...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

What Betty Friedan Did and Didn’t Do

Dear Kimberly, You and I are so much on the same wave length and such good friends that I can’t recall our ever disagreeing, even...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Feminine Mystique–Revisited

Hi Letha, I appreciated so much your discussion of the many forms of violence–especially verbal violence. I know a lot of women (and men) have...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Verbal Violence Is No Joke!

Dear Kimberly, I had many thoughts as I read your last letter about the fraternity hazing at Yale that required new pledges to march through...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Connections Between Feminism, Religion, and the Greek System

Dear Letha, I hope you are enjoying the festivities of the holidays. I finished up a rather grueling semester (120 pages written just the last...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Stepping over Boundaries and Finding New Metaphors

Dear Kimberly, Since you’re inundated with your Yale studies and deadlines for papers at this busy time of year, I’m happy to help out by...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

“Paradigm Lost” and Slippery Slope Panic

Dear Kimberly, After reading your September 14 post, I purchased Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity. I didn’t want to discuss something that I hadn’t even read! As you...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

More Thoughts on the Writings of Elisabeth Elliot

Hi Letha, As you know, I’ve just returned to school, after spending a summer working in the Pacific Northwest. It feels good to be back...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Relationships: Complementing and Complimenting

Dear Kim, It was wonderful to see you at the EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Gathering in Indianapolis a few weeks ago and to continue these intergenerational conversations before...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Experiments with Pedagogy: More Thoughts on Approaches to Learning

Collaborating well across the disciplines thus also requires a kind interpersonal agility, a skill which is connected to self-knowledge. If we don’t know ourselves well, we won’t have an awareness of our patterns of relating to the other. Knowledge of interpersonal styles of relating, though, does not seem to be a primary point of concern in many forms of higher education.
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Think Critically, Question Constantly, Learn Continuously, See Connections

Dear Kimberly, I was moved by your March 30 post as you continued our discussion of empathy and othering.  Our conversation seems especially timely in...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

More Thoughts on Othering and Empathy

Letha, Your last post, in which you illustrated so well the harm of “othering,” named a topic that is more and more becoming a core...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Empathy: An Antidote to “Othering”

Dear Kimberly, I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately, and it ties in with something you referred to in your December 1 letter --...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Normative Restrictions: From 19th Century Victorian “Ideals” to Twilight

Dear Letha, I appreciated how in your last letter you nuanced the different patterns through which cultures control women. In this letter, I’d like to...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Dreams without Boundaries

Dear Kimberly, Last weekend, the film discussion group that I attend regularly viewed an advance screening of Amelia, the story of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

What is the Role of Religious Feminists?

Dear Letha, In your last letter, you discussed the sad reality that the oppression of women has been intimately interwoven with religious dogma. I would like...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Religion, Women’s Status, and Self-image

Dear Kimberly, As you pointed out so well in your last letter, girls and women have had access to education for a relatively short time...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Women, Education, and Expectations

Hi Letha, Thanks so much for your last letter about “great and not so great expectations” for women.” Right now, I am thinking about how...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Great and Not-So-Great Expectations

When Steven Goldberg's controversial book, The Inevitability of Patriarchy was published in the 1970s, he argued for the existence of a "biologically-based male superiority" that equips the male sex for dominance and achievements. He claimed that "there is not a single woman whose genius has approached that of any number of men in philosophy, mathematics, composing, theorizing of any kind, or even painting."
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

From Images of Women in Western Pop Culture to the State of Girls in...

Dear Letha, I loved your last letter, especially how you juxtaposed the situation in Swat Valley, Pakistan with the situation of Susan Boyle in the...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Dreaming a Dream, Lighting a Light

Dear Kimberly, Your further thoughts about pride, lookism, racism, and anti-feminist religious teachings were right on the mark! I want to pick up on that...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

More Thoughts on Women and Pride, also the Interplay of Lookism and Racism

Dear Letha, Now it is my turn to apologize for my slow reply to your last letter! As you know, this past month has been...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

More about “Lookism,” also Are Sins “Gender-specific”?

Dear Kimberly, So many things in the news have recently reminded me of your last letter about how women are judged by their appearance, causing...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

The 1968 Beauty Pageant, Women’s History, and “Lookism”

Dear Letha, Now it’s my turn to apologize for a late response to your last letter! As you know, my life has been rather busy...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

They Didn’t Burn Their Bras!

Dear Kimberly, I apologize for taking so long to respond to your November 22 letter; but as you know, I had some health issues come...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Feminism Has an Image Problem

Letha, I really appreciated what you touched on in your last letter, especially your explanation of the typology Yates uses to understand second-wave feminism. The “women...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Some Thoughts on Fundamentalism and Feminism

Dear Kimberly, I appreciated your honest sharing in your last letter.  Your struggles during your teenage and college years are struggles that many of us...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Faith, Rebellion, and a Larger Story

As a college sophomore I went into the office of my professor of Christian Doctrine, breaking down in tears and telling him why I was going to give up my faith. I could not submit to these expectations of submission and subservience placed on my femininity within the church circles I knew, and I could only assume there was therefore no place for me within Christianity. I was either committed to women’s rights or I was a “Bible-believing” Christian. I could not, surely, be both. (It seems that my black- and-white, either/or thinking, so trained in me by fundamentalism itself, was even at work in my recanting!)
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Why Should Difference Make Any Difference

I knew the Bible verses some of my teachers were using to teach these things, but it did not make sense to me, though I said nothing at the time. It just didn't sound at all like something that the God I loved and served would do! Why would God create females with brains and talents and abilities and yearnings to serve and advance the good news of the gospel and then say, "No thanks, I don't need or want your service"? It is painful to have one's wings clipped. I tried to follow the gender hierarchy that I was taught, but down deep the seeds of what would later be called Christian feminism were taking root.
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

P.S. Women, Politics, and a Day of Remembering

Hi Letha, I know this is sort of unusual for our exchange of letters, but I realized that I wanted to let you and our...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Remembering, Grieving, and the Pursuit of Wholeness

Hi Letha, I just finished watching the trailers of the movies you mentioned in your last letter, and I look forward to watching the actual...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

When Gender Roles Become Straitjackets

Dear Kimberly, I've been concerned that some of our recent conversations might strike our readers as irrelevant during this current economic crisis.  It's one thing...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

More on Mothers…But Where are the Dads?

Dear Letha, Two things strike me after listening to the NPR segment you mentioned between Alice and Nina Rossi, as well as the humorous song...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Being a Feminist, Being a Mom (or Not!)

Dear Kimberly, In this letter and my next one, I'd like to comment on two topics you brought up in your Sept. 24 letter. One...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Developing Wholeness in Both Men and Women

Dear Letha, When I go back and read our letters these past few weeks about parenting and gender roles, I realize again how difficult these...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

More about Gender-Based Division of Labor in the Home

Dear Kimberly, It was great reading your personal "observational study" of fathers and children delighting in their time together!   And thank you for sharing your...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Who Can Nurture? More Thoughts on Parenting

Dear Letha, It is a very curious thing for me to sit back and try to look with a “beginner's mind” at all these notions...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Work-Family Balance: 1950s and Now

Dear Kimberly, In my post last week, I promised to tell more of my own story and continue where I left off on July 30...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Election Woes

Letha, I know this is a new direction from our letters this past week, but I need to talk to you about the election! Specifically,...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

"Nothing New Under the Sun"

Dear Kimberly, It's hard to know where to begin in responding to your last letter -- and especially the link to the video in which...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Quakers, Gender Roles, and “Chickified Men”

Dear Letha, As I sit down to write this letter, I find myself sipping tea, listening to Rachmaninoff, and surrounded by many piles of books...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Why Is Feminism Resisted?

Dear Kimberly, I loved your "Mr. and Mrs. Christian" wordplay on the "Mr. and Mrs. Human" heading that I used as part of my previous...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Christian and Mrs. Christian

Dear Letha, Thanks for recommending the essays of Dorothy Sayers. I have not yet read them, but it’s time! I love the distinction her editor...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Human Being, Being Human

Dear Kimberly, I thought I'd continue our dialogue about our respective readings of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique as we became familiar with it during two different...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

“The Feminine Mystique”– Then and Now, Part 2

Dear Letha, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what your world was like when you first held The Feminine Mystique in your hands. You are right...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

The “Feminine Mystique”–Then and Now, Part 1

Since you've set the stage with the story of how we met and began corresponding, Kimberly, I'd like to begin our dialogue with an...
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

How It All Began

What began that night of first “meeting” was a series of emails, letters, and phone calls, in which Letha and I have become friends and learned from one another as we discuss life, faith, and feminism.