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October 20, 2005

Comments

Hugo

Aw geez, I realize I made Cait's comment into a bit of a straw man to knock down. She never said a feminist couldn't be a Christian, I realize -- just made it clear why for her, living a Christian life seemed to render moot the use of the term "feminist."

Caitriona

Hugo, I'm glad I gave you a jumping-off point to go further into your thoughts and feelings on the subject. :-) I've only got this one portion upon which I'll respond at the moment:

despite these differences, all who call themselves by this name share a public and passionate commitment to justice and equality for women.


I'm not nearly so worried about justice and equality for women as I am about justice and equality, period. I'll use our home as an example. Ours is a blended family, 3 of our children from my husband's previous marriages, one from my previous marriage, one for whom we had guardianship until he turned 18, and exchange students both past and present.

With this blending and all the different past hurts and emotional baggage, as well as pleasures and strengths, it can be very difficult to keep things balanced and "equal." My husband and I each have to watch for places where we overlook or just plain don't see something our bio-children do, then scold our step/guardianship for doing. We have to make sure that our exchange students get the same rules and not *too* much more patience with rule-bending than do our children who've been with us for years. If something happens where I feel my husband has scolded one of the children too harshly or unfairly or has given what I might feel at the time is unfair favor to one of the children and excluded others, I have to police myself so that I don't "balance it out" by doing the same with the other children.

It is this same dicotomy I see in the broader community. We all have a tendency to notice more what is going on with those who are more like ourselves. We overlook things happening with people who are vastly different than we are. We don't always see the inequalities that take place outside our own little sphere.

Why do good people from Mexico brave the deserts (and now the self-agrandizing "militia") to come to the US illegally? Why do they risk death? Because they have been exploited in Mexico (many times by US-based corporations, by Mexican politicos backed by those corporations, or by drug-runners feeding US obsessions) and come here in desperation, seeking ways to support their families. How can we, in our own homes, change things *we* do so that we contribute less to these problems? What can we do to help alleviate the problems that already exist?

People in our own rural communities are doing without because there is very little work, and the work to be had pays very little. They are losing their homes because developers are buying the farmland for more than it's worth and turning it into subdivisions, inflating the property values, and making it so that those with lower incomes can no longer afford to pay the taxes on the homes they've lived in for years, sometimes generations. In addition, we lose more and more farmland, forcing ourselves to rely more and more on foods from other nations, reducing the nutritional value of the food we eat due to early harvest and loss of nutrients due to greater and greater times from harvest to table.

These are only a few of the ways in which we each contribute to the inequalities around us. It is SO much more than just a feminist issue. Equality is a humanity issue. And yet we all wear blinders to keep us from seeing the greater part of the destruction. There is only so much each of us can focus on and work to improve.

For me, it's working with families, it's providing nutritional food, it's teaching youth to think critically about their own life-decisions.

For you, it's teaching gender studies and helping people learn more about the past so that they can change the future.

Caitriona

BTW, Hugo, 1 Cor 7:4 allows me to quite easily nix any idea my husband may have of going back to bull-riding, trying bronc-busting, or riding a motorcycle. ;-)

Rachel

I really like the paragraphs where you describe who is beneath the "Christian" tent and who beneath the "feminist" tent. It's easy to forget how broad those labels (most labels?) really are, or ought to be if we're defining them right.

The Gonzman

At the same time, Hugo, while I may share my tent with the Borgias, the Torquemadas, and the like - I denounce them, and refuse them anything but scorn.

westcoast2

My feminism informs my faith, just as my faith has taken my feminism from the superficial shell it once was and made it an integral part of who I am. I do not expect all feminists to be Christians, or all Christians to be feminists, but I do reject the notion that to be one means one cannot be the other.

The example here by Eleanor=> Three Challenges to Christianity

Is somewhat thought provoking wrt Christianity/Feminism.

From the example above and some of the ideas you have expressed, one could say "My Feminism allows me to remain consistent with my whatever value/ideal etc... I need it to "

Feminism, seems to have multiple definitions, Christianity, multiple interpretations.

So how could anyone argue with the first part of what you have said above?

be well,

west


Hugo

West, thanks for the link. Eleanor's experience of our faith saddens me; she has seen one aspect of Christianity and clearly been wounded by it. Certainly, what she writes is true of some churches, some of the time, and some theology. But, to put it mildly - and perhaps theologically literally -- she has truly thrown the baby out with the bathwater!

Yes, we all have separate feminisms, just as we all have a separate relationship with the God who loves us. But that doesn't mean we don't have unifying truths that bind us together, at least some of the time. My argument for "big tent" feminism and "big tent" Christianity does have some limits, though fewer than some would like.

sophonisba

I'm not scared off from the name "feminist" by those who also use that label but do not share my views. And I am saddened that so many of my sisters are.

And your brothers? I happen to agree with much of what you say about anti-feminist women, but do you think that anti-feminist men are less numerous, or are less prone to ignoring their ethical obligation to think seriously about justice? (If you answer, no, but that's another issue- why is it not the same issue?)

Hugo

Sophonisba, I agree that many men are scared off as well. I used sisters because the original post was only about why young women reject the label, not men.

fp

Frosty Piss! I like frosty piss. Frosty piss is cool.

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