Monday, May 30, 2005

'Cause I'm a wooooooooman

Why can't we be smart?
Why is our passion mistrusted?
Why is our judgement questioned?
Why is our speaking out judged?

Why do we have to be nicer?
Why do we have to be more sentimental?
Why do we have to accept less?
Why aren't we allowed to be angry?
Why can't we call it as we see it?

Why do we have to like children?
Why can't we prefer science?
Or hiking?
Or a career?
Or a debate?

Why aren't men ever called bitchy?
Or feminazis?
Why does expressing your opinon make you a traitor to your gender?

Why do people say the name of my blog with disdain?
Why do people roll their eyes when they hear we have a women's concerns committee?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not because you're woman; I hope that's facetious. The answer to why is "Sin", which may take the form of sexism. Do good work.
JB

LutheranChik said...

Dittos to the above comment.

Keep the faith, sister!:-)

twocents said...

When more women speak up about these things, more women feel free to. I've found that in a lot of Christian circles women who experience sexism feel alone and have been invalidated enough to not want to risk challenging things anymore.(I've been there, done that...less afraid of the "bitch" label now.)

Having been in a small seminary class where I was the lone woman among 15 men, I realized how critical it is for women to make their voices heard in theological education. There are so many theological issues that completely fly under the radar when theological discussion (or other discussions, for that matter) only happens among men. Much of what passes for contempt in response to your website name, etc. is probably fear...which means you're challenging some things that need to be!

Phil said...

You are so right. When will things change and women be allowed to be themselves, to be the way God created them? I believe that the Holy Spirit is so grieved by this oppression. Keep shouting! Stay passionate! Don't give up!

Jen said...

Prophets never get to take it easy, do they? Just keep standing in the doorway of the temple and preach on!

B-W said...

"(Why aren't men ever called) feminazis?"

Well, I suppose the word would have to be something like "mascu-nazis" or some such, which doesn't roll off the tongue as well....

But more seriously, of course there is a deep inequity here. Folks like Rush Limbaugh (who I believe coined the term "feminazi," and claims that it doesn't refer to all feminists, but only to the most miltant of them. Which really is to say any feminists who actually fight for change....) don't really have a clue what it is they're talking about.

I'm reminded of a response to such conservatives who complain that life was better back in the 1950s, before "things started going downhill with all those liberals in the 1960s" -- Yes, life was better in the 1950s, for those who it was better for. This means that if you were a white, rich, protestant, male (and probably a few more adjectives besides), you may well have had it easier in the 1950s than today. But if you were black, or poor, or a woman, or a non-protestant, there's really very little question what choice you'd make if you were given the choice between living in 1950 and today. The world's not perfect today, by any means. But to suggest that it was "better" in some "golden age" means turning on the blinders to the things that were bad about that age.

The only way things will change is through people fighting for change. There will be opposition from those who's power is threatened, but if the change is worthwhile, then those who feel deeply about it must be wiling to fight for it.

Paul Wilczynski said...

I believe I've read all of the interchanges between Feminarian and Anonymous, and, frankly, I don't see what the uproar is all about. What we've got are two intelligent women both of whom have strong, legitimate, and differing viewpoints.

There's no reason for either one (or anyone else, for that matter) to engage in put-downs or "go away we don't want you here"'s. Civil discourse implies careful consideration of each others' viewpoints; that's obviously not occurring here. And, frankly, I think Feminarian is too quick to take an "I don't like you" stance vs a "I've respectfully considered what you've said and disagree with it because ..." stance.

Ultimately, it's Feminarian's blog, of course. If she doesn't require rational discourse in areas in which she disagrees, she doesn't have to.

(btw ... I enjoy the blog :))

The Feminarian said...

Hey, Paul,

I see where you are coming from - you came to the same conclusion that my husband did, in fact.

But the thing you can't see is that Anon first commented on dozens and dozens of my other posts before getting to the "rational" debate here. Her posts ranged from simple disagreement to outright insulting.

Because blogger sends me an email every time someone comments anywhere on the blog, I came home one day to about 40 emails from this person attacking everything I've said for the last several months.

I'm sure you can imagine the state of mind that would put one into. It would have taken me hours to rationally respond to all of the comments, many of which were on topics so old I barely remember why I wrote them in the first place. And many of her comments did not invite debate, they simply stated that I was a whiner or dumb or had worthless thoughts and opinions.

The comments were not only arrogant they were sometimes openly hostile. To find them all you'd have to reread just about everything I've written. Even I don't want to do that. But Anon apparently has a lot of free time.

So that is why, by the time she got to commenting on this section of the blog, I was a little tired of hearing from her. Also this post was not typical of me, and was in reponse to one incident, but she took it to be my manifesto or something.

I wish I could agree that Anon was trying to engage in real debate, but from what I received, it looks more like she was seeking a forum for her own issues. That is why I recommended she build her own site and stop cluttering mine.

The Feminarian said...

You know, let me clarify further, just so future visitors don't also jump to the incorrect conclusion (innocently, I might add).

As I stated, Paul came to the same conclusion that my husband came to about the debate. While I respect Paul's opinion, obviously I take J's even more to heart. So I asked him to read everything that the Anonymous person had written (which takes many hours). He read most of it, and in the end he agreed that she was acting really crazy - like she had a vendetta against me. He said I didn't help the situation (I should have ignored her), but that she definitely was out of line. Since I can always count on him to be brutally honest with me (he will always take a counter-position to anything I put forth), I breathed a sigh of relief.

My only excuse for my reaction (and it's not a good one I will admit) is that it was 10:00 p.m. after a long hard day and I opened my email and found 30 or 40 hostile comments about things I'd written. It just made me feel horrible (and I was already not having a great week, which you probably know since you read the blog). I tried to engage her but her comments were coming fast and furious (about another 30 or so over the next half hour) and every time I'd finish another would pop into my mailbox, more accusing and longer than the last. The breaking point was when she started going off on me for deleting her posts, which I was not doing. That's when I started to feel like maybe she had some issues. She started saying things like "Feminarian hides from debate! Feminarian deletes posts! Feminarian is the anti-Christ" (that last one may have been in my head)

I'm all up for debate but she was writing monologues. And again, about things from which I have moved on. Even this post which caused so much fury on her part is something that was part of that day's journey but I would see differently today. I had experienced a bout of sexism (a little one, but legit), and rather than go to court, I chose to blog about my feelings. I personally feel that's a more constructive and definitely more Christian way to handle the matter. It was just me writing about the crap that does come up, despite the hard fights fought by our foremothers. I wish with all my heart that they didn't come up and I was just whining about nothing. But it really isn't perfect yet. This fallen world simply won't be.

Now I'm veering off tangent so I'm going to give it a rest. Cheers.