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May 18, 2006

Comments

Kathy

Wow. I think this is symptomatic of the dualism most of us live by, and the failure to recognize that feminisism exists along a continuum of convictions and within a context of life experiences and circumstances--it's similar to faith, in that way. I am INFJ so I'm always trying to discern where people can come together in relationship and find common ground based on truth. We have to get past the all-or-nothing fallacies if we are ever going to be whole.

It's interesting to me that your wife chose to take your name, but people aren't legitimizing her power and autonomy in making that choice. It's like mutual submission. Mutual submission stems from a base of trust and shared power. I think you're right in interpreting her choice to take your name as a sign of her trust in the mutuality of your marriage.

Jendi

Hugo, your blog feels to me like a model of Christian community, where you and your readers are accountable to one another and remain part of a shared enterprise despite deep differences. The name change debate got me thinking again about your post from a few months ago, where you were dismayed that some of your female students didn't want to identify as "feminists". If, as we seem to have concluded in the comments on name changes, not all choices are feminist choices even if made freely by women, maybe we just have to accept that feminism has ideological boundaries and be happy for the women who've found contentment with non-feminist values, instead of trying to bring everyone under one big tent. Just as the church works best, I think, when it does not water down its beliefs but still offers welcoming fellowship to non-Christians. Anyhow...I wish I lived in California so I could take your "dysfunctional family class" - what a cool idea.

Barbara Preuninger

It's quite possible that if my personal experience had been one where no-one second-guessed my choice, I would have not had the same reaction to what you said, Hugo. Which I suppose is hardly fair to you on a personal level (since *you* never second-guessed me), but it's in reaction to the effect your words may have on others.

Intuitively, I knew that what I wrote would sting you (not that I was the only person who expressed disappointment, but still). It wasn't my intent to hurt, and they were my honest feelings, but I still feel sad about any pain I may have caused you.

The above posters talked about the importance of finding common ground, and that your web site is a great place for this. I agree with this wholeheartedly, even if I'm feeling grumpy at the moment.

And for the record, I don't doubt that you're a good person, your marriage is a good one, and that generally speaking, your wife could easily be "more feminist" than I am! :o)

Bilbo

Hugo you butthead...the "ism" on "feminism" denotes a belief system. Feminism and Jesus meet at some levels, but are incredibly divergent at others. They can't be reconciled. You are holding this "ism" up before God who, by the way, is called "He" for a reason.

If you're going to embrace a biblically based system, embrace "Capitalism", which is founded on Mosaic and New Testament contract and reasonableness.

'nuff said.

Hugo

Bilbo, when Wall Street and big business embrace the Old Testament notion of Jubilee and total debt forgiveness every seven (or even forty-nine) years, I'll become a fervent capitalist.

The Gonzman

And when Academe, MArxists, et al, embrace the New Testament concept of Voluntaryism, and stop taking from me at the point of a gun, I'll become a fervent socialist.

Or wait - I guess I already am - I just do my charity as a personal obligation, to those who I discern deserve it, rather than based on some identity politics groupthink.

The Happy Feminist

We still love you, Hugo!

mythago

he New Testament concept of Voluntaryism

That would be the concept whereby you voluntarily give away all your stuff and follow God, right?

The Gonzman

No, but thanks for the straw man. It's where you do it as the result of a moral imperative, and don't steal from people at gunpoint (or gunpoint by proxy) to fund your pet causes; all the while professing to be all about "freedom."

Hugo

Meanwhile, back on topic... let's cut the threaddrift.

DK

Back on topic:-

...not all choices are feminist choices even if made freely by women, maybe we just have to accept that feminism has ideological boundaries and be happy for the women who've found contentment with non-feminist values, instead of trying to bring everyone under one big tent. Just as the church works best, I think, when it does not water down its beliefs but still offers welcoming fellowship to non-Christians. Anyhow...I wish I lived in California so I could take your "dysfunctional family class" - what a cool idea.

Excellent post Jendi. I think tolerance of other people's views means not censoring it, or deriding it, or belittling it, or preventing right of reply. The way to argue against an opposing view is to disprove it, or if that's a case of 'proving a negative', prove your own view. Sometimes it's hard to prove a point of view, because it's all purely subjective. In that case, it's even more important for BOTH SIDES to respect a difference of opinion, because we are all individuals and no matter how much we want it, we're never going to convince everybody to our own point of view. We have to realise it's not only possible, but inevitable that people will think differently to ourselves.

What do you think Hugo?

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