A FemFaith Farewell
"But yet, it’s not really an end. Those of you who are just now discovering the FemFaith discussions can be assured its archives will remain, and the topics of our posts are as relevant today as when we wrote them."
It’s Not All About Millennials!
"As I witness all this hand-wringing about the millennials and their place in the church, the explanations and apologies and deconstructions, I can’t help but wonder why we assume that middle-aged folks attend church for the inauthentic worship experiences, seeking only an artifice to carry them through Sunday morning. And that the elderly are more intrigued by style than by substance."
The Female Breast: Our Culture’s Obsession and Ambivalence
"It seems we humans can’t make up our minds about whether to think of women’s breasts as natural physical structures designed to provide nourishment for infants, or as distracting and exciting erotic appendages, or as just something else about the human body to be ashamed of—or dissatisfied with."
Fearing the Feminine or Embracing Our Mother
"Multiplied over the course of a lifetime, it is easy to see how our culture reinforces male preference at the same time it methodically undermines any sense of well-being and confidence a woman works to cultivate. Our exclusive language continues to make women invisible and in some cases our derogatory language aimed at women reinforces an insidious sexism that is more difficult to expunge than the more easily located, explicit variety."
A Christian at the “Final Feminist Frontier”—Housework
"As a Christian, a spouse, and a mother who longs for her family to be happy, healthy, and comfortable, I suppose I should see the house tasks I complete as a servant’s work, part of the way I express love to those I care about most. "
“Having it all” or “Being it all”?
"Much of the media buzz about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, 'Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,' has focused less on what I consider the book’s intended message and more on the unending debates about whether women can combine marriage and children with pursuing a career outside the home..."
A Message to the Boy Scouts
"On the other hand, the values described on the BSA website as undergirding the organization clearly call for inclusiveness, perhaps a blind spot for those who have never felt themselves to be on the outside."
Christian Feminists Weigh Pros and Cons of Women in Combat
"Last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ruled that women can now serve in combat roles with the United States military. I reacted to this decree with decided ambivalence, as the ruling challenges two ideologies I hold closest to my heart, along with my Christian faith.
Christians, Contraception, and the Affordable Care Act
"Among evangelical Protestants at least, it seemed to be taken for granted that every couple would somehow find their own way and could feel free to decide for themselves what to do about contraception, how many children to have and when to have them, and even whether or not to have any children at all.
When Women Are Companions—Not Objects To Be Consumed or Feared
"It took me several years to question these assumptions and even longer to believe it might be possible to have professional relationships with men, to trust that they might not see me as dangerous or even to think we might be able to work together in effective and respectful ways."
The War on Christmas: Or, Why Some Christians Really Bother Me This Time of...
I am wearied by this manufactured battle to make everyone recognize the reason for the season; by the attempt to make corporations, interested only in their bottom line, profess some kind of fidelity to Christ; by the idea that Christians are a persecuted population in our country; and, most significantly, by the belief that more than any other faiths, Christians should be free to display their religious symbols in government buildings."
What Kind of Man Would Want to Marry a Feminist?
The kind of man who would marry a feminist is a man who believes in social justice and “playing fair.” If the woman he loves supports and encourages his interests and career, he realizes that he is just as responsible to support and encourage her interests and career.
The Food Network: A Challenge to Gender Equality?
Perhaps I am being too critical of the Food Network, it is, after all, only entertainment, not intended as serious fare. But it does seem to me an illustration of the pervasive challenge to equality embedded in all aspects of our culture. And, while seemingly identifying the problem themselves, it is clear executives had little awareness about how to address this inequity on a sustained basis...”
Appreciating the Richness of Diverse Relationships
The goal of Mix It Up Day or any similar effort is to bring together people whose background is different from ours in some way--racially, ethnically, religiously, in sexual orientation, or any other way. Getting to know each other can be one of the richest experiences imaginable.
Why Have Religions Feared Women’s Brain Power?
"Women who think, women who question, women who are educated are a threat to those men who think power is theirs by right—simply by having been born male. And so in many times and places, now and in the past, education for girls has been discouraged, opposed, made difficult, or actually forbidden —in spite of the impoverishment experienced by nations that hold such attitudes."
Modeling Christian Feminism, Mentoring Christian Feminists
"Women who refused to accept traditional categories of theology enabled me to examine my beliefs, to re-visit ideas I’d earlier decided to share with no one. Their willingness to challenge the church gave me courage to do so as well. Because of courageous women who reached out to me, I am more confident in my identity as feminist and as Christian."
Creating Learned Helplessness, One Potluck at a Time
It seems, in my experience (and by what I’ve observed) that most church potlucks are still initiated, organized, and managed by women. Why is that? Why are women the ones who stay long after everyone else is gone, cleaning the kitchen (while a few men linger to stack chairs)?
When Evangelicals Were Open to Differing Views on Abortion
"There was a time in the not too distant past when the majority of Protestant Christians, including those who called themselves evangelical, did not consider the point at which a fertilized ovum or developing embryo or fetus becomes a human being to be clearly defined, indisputable, and settled for all time."
Is The Bible a Divine Revelation or Human Book—or Both?
. . . taking the humanity of the Bible seriously in no way undercuts it message, nor should it result in fear that the Bible will lose its power or meaning if we recognize that people wrote it in specific times and places with specific points of view. Of course. But, this has been and continues to be the dividing line among contemporary Christians.
Celebrating Women’s Athleticism? Or Cultural Beauty Ideals?
But honestly, when I read about the denigration of female athletes who don’t meet our cultural standard of beauty; when I witness the pervasive misogyny in our country’s sports fans; when media images remind me that female Olympians continue to be prized as sex symbols first, and athletes later, it’s harder for me to embrace the idea that beauty = strength, or to feel that I am also created in God’s image.
Understanding Opposition to Feminism and What We Can Do about It
I think before we can dialogue with anti-feminists, we first need to try to determine which category they are in. Are they “warriors against feminism” who hate the very idea of gender equality? Or are they “worriers about feminism” who recognize the value in gender equality but are afraid to embrace it because of the falsehoods they have heard?
Fear, Fairness, and Feminism: Does It Have to Be So Lonely?
Over time I became convinced! Jesus did not condone treating any group of people as secondary and in fact demonstrated how going against societal norms was often necessary to extend grace, love, and genuine hospitality especially to the least and the last. And yet, living in this boundary where only a small number of people have chosen to put down roots at the intersection of feminism and Christianity can be lonesome.
Standing Firm in My Convictions (Maybe. . .)
Sometimes, when I don’t respond to what I consider an offensive comment, when I let claims about “how women should be” go unchallenged, even when I bypass a teachable moment (as with my student), I wonder if I am merely a coward, unwilling or unable to put myself out there not only for myself, and my feminist identity, but also for my sisters and brothers who are oppressed, if only by the church’s expectations about what it means to be a woman, or a man.