A theologian tells what happens when the “war on women” meets social media.

January 15, 2013

“The ‘war on women’ meets social media”
In an “On Faith” essay for the Washington Post, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite once again applies her theological and biblical insights to current events. This time she talks about the failure of the U.S.House of Representatives to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, the insensitive and cruel comments of politicians about rape during the last election season, and the recent protests over the gang rape and subsequent death of the medical student in India. Thistlethwaite draws upon Phyllis Trible’s Texts of Terror to highlight the biblical account of the rape of Tamar, which “reveals a power struggle where women’s voicelessness and powerlessness in a society makes them vulnerable to male violence.” Thistlethwaite points out that“Tamar is speechless for [the] first 11 verses of this biblical passage about her rape.” But, says Thistlethwaite, “Women, in the 21st century, will not be Tamar any more. Through social media they are finding effective ways not only to raise their voices, but also exact a political price for this moral callousness. Those who will not recognize that women’s health and safety should be priorities are shown not only to be ethically foolish, but they are shown to be more and more politically foolish.”

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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