Friday, November 22, 2019
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Kol Isha from a Whisper to a Song: The Voice of...

Our tradition encourages, even requires, us to examine things from different angles, to question, and to make sense of ideas in the context of our own time and place.

“The Wife” and “The Female Persuasion” by Meg Wolitzer

"Although the method and messenger change, there is a continuity of essence that makes its way from one generation to the next, the core reality of feminism always being in some form or another, persuasive. "

Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World

Clergy or laity, Christian or otherwise, all of us carry a vital responsibility of providing hope for our rapidly changing world. Intercultural Ministry will help every reader discern diversities that had previously seemed invisible. And it will provide incentive and techniques to transcend those challenges. What a brave undertaking!

Sweden: World’s First Feminist Government?

March  27, 2017 "'The first feminist government in the world' - that is how the Swedish government describes itself. So how is that feminist agenda...

Report from the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women...

It was empowering to connect with women and men from around the world who are doing vital work for women’s economic empowerment inextricably linked to our overall empowerment.

McKenzie Brown’s Reflection on Protest— How We Prevail

I don’t want to have to protest again. I don’t want to be in a position where I must exercise my civic responsibility to stand and defend other human beings from a political leadership who would oppress them. That said, as an individual who has inherited the freedoms and privileges of American citizenship, it is a responsibility I cannot choose to ignore right now.

Dan Wilkinson’s Reflection on the 2017 Women’s March — “Dissent is...

Throughout the day waves of emotion moved through me. It felt so right to stand for justice and be a part of a fantastic movement that said, “We won’t let our country go backward. We will rise up; we will work together to ensure justice for all—not only for a select few.”

Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton’s Reflection on the 2017 Women’s March — “Changing...

"The amazingly diverse crowd, estimated at 50,000, moved slowly along, some in wheelchairs and some in baby strollers. There were people of various ages, genders, races, gender identities, religions, abilities, political parties. Even dogs joined the march and were as polite as the people!"

The Women’s March in Pictures

January 23, 2017 On Saturday, January 21, millions of people gathered on all seven continents to demonstrate their support for women's rights and other social...

Christian Feminism for the 21st Century

I’m grateful that in today’s world, we can “have it all”; we can have careers and families—but this also worries me. Are we as feminists not simply buying into another of our culture’s lies, the promise of ever-more, of consumption and waste, of degradation and disposal?"

Hebrews (Wisdom Commentary Series; Volume 54)

In successfully engaging a more difficult text, this commentary demonstrates a powerful and persuasive methodology that will undoubtedly excite readers about the delightful insights that future volumes are certain to provide.

Dear Princess Grace, Dear Betty: The Memoir of a Romantic Feminist

Alida invites us to join her on her journey from romantic fantasy to romantic feminism. She offers no clues as to what part religion, scripture, or spirituality have played in the conclusions she reaches, and her telling of her story bounces around between chronological and topical presentations, which occasionally left me wondering exactly how or when various events unfolded.

Disconnected Generations:  #NotHereForTheBoys

Clinton, Steinem, and Albright have devoted their lives to public causes and progress for women, and the thought that none of them may live to see—or in Clinton’s instance, be—the first female president when we are so close to the dream must be a hard pill to swallow.

Islamic Feminism Clarifies the Tasks of Christian Feminists

Barlas points out the irony that out of a collection of 70,000 Islamic sayings, only about six can reliably be called misogynistic. But it is always “these six that men trot out when they want to argue against sexual equality” (p. 46). The parallel to using the Bible against homosexuals is obvious, but so is the parallel to male supremacist theories in the Jewish and Christian traditions. We Christian feminists need to lift up such ironies, repeatedly and without apology.

Christian Feminism and LGBT Advocacy: Let’s Move Away from Slippery Slope...

"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"

The “Dirty F-Word” and Its Consequences in My Life

That empowerment of choice allowed me to let go of the resentment I had towards what are traditionally considered domestic tasks or “women’s work,” to support women’s engagement in them when it was their choice, not a role imposed on them, and to seek to learn to love those who did not act in love towards me—even those who refused to accept the “dirty f- word.”

A Christian Feminist Remembers Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)

"During those years, I purchased every book Elisabeth Elliot wrote, and each time I looked forward to the next one. Like many women of my generation, I considered her a role model, an example of what a strong, intelligent, confident, courageous Christian woman could be. "

Faith & Feminism: Ecumenical Essays

The common connection is that each of the authors originally presented the content of these essays at the Phyllis Trible Lecture Series at Wake Forest University School of Divinity between 2003 and 2013. Another commonality is that they all identify themselves as feminists.

Shades of Gray: Toward Real-Life Christian Sexual Ethics

From a Christian perspective, sexual ethics can be extremely difficult to discuss in any kind of nuanced manner, particularly in the Catholic setting with which I am most familiar, because the Church’s sexual teachings are so rigid and narrow. They offer no shades of gray to accommodate the many and varied situations that real life presents. Church teachings are seen as obsolete, irrelevant to the 21st century, and seldom factor in to sexual decision-making by people of any age. Thus movies and other media messages readily fill the void.

It’s Time for Transnational Feminism

Today there’s a term: transnational feminism. As Alena Amato Ruggerio reminded us in her keynote speech at the 2012 EEWC-CFT gathering, once you have a word for a feeling or a problem, you have means to tackle it. The issue becomes widely recognized.

Artist Shawna Khalily and the Strength of the Feminine

That to me is Her strength, the strength of God. It's not the strength required to shock or kill, manipulate or destroy, but rather the strength required to contain Her creation and the Light of Love for millennia, despite our efforts to usurp and degrade the meaning of All That Is.

I’ve never been discriminated against as a woman – why all...

Learn why feminism is still relevant now that there is less blatant discrimination than in the past.

How Can a Feminist Be a Christian?

Learn about the many distortions which have misled feminists into thinking they cannot embrace the Christian faith.

How can feminists stay in a religion that is so patriarchal...

Learn why Christianity is not as patriarchal and male-focused as many people have been led to believe.

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."

mending broken: a personal journey through the stages of trauma +...

She writes delicious paragraphs about how yoga changed her relationship with her own body—paragraphs that would make even the most cynical reader want to sign up for a class. Pasquale also derives healing from her work as a trauma therapist.

Is There a Litmus Test for Christian Feminists? Should There Be?

Else we come to a place where feminism demands autonomy in all things, so that when I want to blow cigarette smoke in a random child’s face, that’s my choice; and when I want to make poor dietary choices, thereby making myself sick and putting extra burdens on the health care system, that's my choice...

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 Strange Stirring: “The Feminine Mystique” and American Women at the...

Women who stayed home and raised their families and yet did not feel the corresponding presumed bliss were grateful to Friedan for enabling them to see beyond their self-imposed guilt and their anxieties that 'something was wrong' with them.

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960...

After detailing the cultural milieu of 1960 America, Collins provides a compelling story of the women’s movement, sometimes unwinding the narrative decade by decade, and sometimes year by year.

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.

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."

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?

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.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

I was personally impacted by Nickel and Dimed, because Ehrenreich, in part, was telling my story! For the past four years, I have been a sales associate in a large department store; and in many respects, Ehrenreich's experience parallels mine.

My Life So Far

Finally, I love the way Fonda describes her conversion to Christianity and her hesitation once she comes up against “certain literal, patriarchal aspects of Christian orthodoxy.” She is reticent enough to avoid glibness, but outspoken enough to make clear her commitment to Christian feminism.

A Third Wave Feminist Speaks Out

My first conference was one of the only times I have felt positive, inspirational feminist community. Should this privilege be reserved for the few women who discover an EEWC poster and tentatively attend? Should we not be more "out there" with our God-filled organization? Women of EEWC, I ask you to reach out to my generation with your message.

My Advice to Newly-Minted Feminists/Womanists/Mujeristas

Androcentric women and men are projecting their addiction to the domination model onto the work of gender-justice makers everywhere. I know we hate to repeat ourselves, but we will have to do a lot of repeating until society begins to act on the premise that all people are created equal.

God’s Grrrl — Biblical Feminism and the Secular Third Wave

But where is God in the third wave? Most of the first-person accounts in these young women's volumes ignore religion, citing it as neither a barrier against liberation nor a potential source of it.

Feminism in Peril: Contending with the F-Word

Instead of drawing them into the public sphere, I need to be leading by example right where I am: showing others what it means to be a Christian feminist through how I live my life, how I teach my classes, how I relate to others.

Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality

This is a compelling, swift-reading collection of the voices of the women who are leading movements of change in their mosques, synagogues, and churches. Taking Back God provides a meaningful view of religious feminism from the macro level.

Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America

Years after her death, Helga has become a role model for tough, independent-thinking, risk-taking women everywhere. We would all do well to learn from her, and from Linda Lawrence Hunt who gave her story back to us.

Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism

Aronowitz and Bernstein encounter a number of young women who have already denied a feminist identity, either because the word seems connotatively loaded, or because they find the word too exclusive—a term unable to fully capture the complexity of human nature.

“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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl

Campbell’s style romps happily from formal where needed to down-home whenever possible: “Dead people look like wax candles that have lost their wicks.” A “fundamentalist is an evangelical who is pissed off about something.” The attraction of fundamentalism is that it offers “a definite yes or no when you’re not comfortable with the maybes."

Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse

This quilt of text and music is not a warm, cozy listening experience... It is very challenging music and painful text, richly expressing the anger, despair, and, ultimately, courageous healing and hope of survivors of child sexual abuse.

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...

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...

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.

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...

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,...

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...

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...

“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...

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...

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Rev. Courtney Pace, Ph.D., Interview

"Opposing systemic racism, sexism, and classism are moral issues, and it is appropriate and good for people of faith to participate in liberation movements. It is also appropriate and good for people of faith to share their concerns about contemporary moral issues within their communities of faith."