I’ve said before that I want to be positive towards all human life. There are all sorts of ethical and scientific arguments to be made about when a foetus becomes a person, and much of the abortion debate has centred on this issue. We hear a great deal about the rights of the unborn versus women’s rights, and whether these are equal in significance. My sense is that where we are unsure about medical ethics, we ought to err on the side of caution. But none of these discussions take into account that our society is inhospitable to women, those who carry and bear children. I want to ask what it would look like if we were hospitable towards all human life. Read more
Posts tagged ‘feminism’
Last week the daughter of Alice Walker wrote an article about how radical feminism has failed women. It was reposted on my Facebook timeline several times with comments like, ‘Feminism has had some very damaging effects’ and ‘Right on’. I’ve written before about how I’m frustrated when people (especially Christians) fail to engage thoughtfully with feminism and so I thought I’d add my voice to the discussion of this article with the following comments. Read more
A quick heads up: I’m heaps excited to let you know that Tamie has an article in the latest issue of Tyndale Bulletin.
This paper argues that literary context, commonly used by evangelicals, and intertextuality, often championed by feminist scholars, are complementary tools for understanding the story of Jephthah and his daughter in Judges 11:29-40. The lack of comment from the narrator on the morality of the story has perplexed many readers but, when viewed together, these approaches build a compelling case for Jephthah’s condemnation. The literary context gives warrant to the feminist horror at the events of Judges 11:29-40. Intertextual contrast relating to gender can alert the reader to other differences between the stories which then present Jephthah as an inversion of Abraham: unfaithful and abhorrent to YHWH.
The contention of the ‘Why men hate going to church’ movement is that church has become feminised. From David Murrow’s website:
With the dawning of the industrial revolution, large numbers of men sought work in mines, mills and factories, far from home and familiar parish. Women stayed behind, and began remaking the church in their image. The Victorian era saw the rise of church nurseries, Sunday schools, lay choirs, quilting circles, ladies’ teas, soup kitchens, girls’ societies, potluck dinners, etc.
Modern day church activities are ‘an emotional hothouse’ and focus on being ‘verbal, studious or sensitive’, none of which are ‘natural for men‘. You’d hardly call this science – even social science is a stretch – but much of it seems to resonate with men and so Murrow gives some suggestions for manly church. Laying on hands during prayer is a no-go: men need their space. And you need songs which are about ‘doing’ rather than about intimacy.
Here’s the thing though: neither physical contact nor intimacy are ‘feminine’ in all cultures. For example, Tanzanian men LOVE physical contact, including with other men. (Actually, so did western men not too long ago!) Also, they spontaneously sing, including love songs to Jesus, not just in church but even walking along the street!
Are Tanzanian men just less riddled with testosterone? Or are these propositions about men in church more cultural than innate? Read more
Jezebel ran an article the other day called There is no such thing as a ‘pro-life feminist’. Tracie’s article is written into an American context where the discussion around abortion is much more heated and political than here in Australia. Even so, abortion is a big issue for women who claim to be both feminist and Christian (like, say, me!) and it’s worth addressing.
I imagine this will be an important issue for us in Tanzania as well. It was last time we were there. Some people felt it was good and normal to have many children (>8). Others felt that it was irresponsible and it was better to just have 1 or 2 and give them a better life and access to education.
Here are 7 points that outline my thinking on the issue: Read more
I’ve written before about the three waves of feminism. But is there a fourth?
To recap (and simplify):
- First wave – women advocating for the vote (turn of the 20th century)
- Second wave – ‘women’s liberation’ movement, including equal pay in the workplace and sexual independence (60s and 70s)
- Third wave – a backlash against the rigidity of the second wave; expressing ‘my sort of femininity’, whether it be hyper-sexualised behaviour, blurring gender distinctions and/or the return of the Stay At Home Mum. (90s and noughties)
The first and second waves were organised and had specific goals. The third is more individualised, personal and portable. The fourth wave is the third wave in public space – often online. It takes the personal choices of the third wave and advocates for them. Think of it as Third Wave, with an agenda. Read more