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Feminism, like faith, is not monolithic.
Over the last few weeks a group of feminist on Twitter found each other and began dreaming. We are holy-resisters and hope-filled dreamers of faith. We are diverse in all the ways one could possibly hope for diversity. Some of us are evangelical, some liberal, and some radical. We all want to talk about feminism and faith. What began as a simple idea of a week of five blogs hoping to nuance faith and feminism conversations has turned into a hashtag movement #FaithFeminisms. Someone generously made a website for us www.faithfeminisms.com that not only amplifies our blogs, but people are able to add their faith and feminist blog to the conversation, too. This movement has caught the attention of Rachel Held Evans when she blogged this week “We need feminism…” Suey Park, activist who caught the medias attention this year, is also participating in the conversation (stay tuned for her post today and Friday). Voices of all sorts of feminists are making their thoughts known this week in what we are referring to as a flash mob movement on the internet. My spouse has given us one of his platforms that he created called “Thirty Seconds or Less” where we are all able to offer our actual voice to the conversation in a 30 second podcast. Everyday this week four to five podcasts are broadcast. Instead of just sharing about the project, let me share some of the voices.
From RCA minister, Reverend Adriene Thorne, listen to her 30 seconds:
“As the great granddaughter of a slave woman who loved God and believed in abundant life for all people, faith and feminism are intertwined for me.
With a mama and play mamas spoon feeding me faith like the grits and gravy I grew up on, I have to preach abundant life for women and girls in particular. God’s nurture is in women’s bodies around kitchen tables. God’s power is in women’s bodies around communion tables.
I thank God for Sarah, Hagar and Rebecca, for Eva, Hilda and Marilyn and their legacy of faith and feminism for my daughter.”
Listen to 30 seconds from scholar Krista Dalton“
“You invite me to the table.
You extend your hand and make space for me.
You tell me you understand my feminine experience.
You show me all the ways you’ve advocated for me.
You forget or just don’t recognize
that when we both come to the table, we are not equal.
The table has worked for you in ways it hasn’t for me.
The table has always been yours.
As long as you have the power to invite me to the table, the table has no room for me.”
“I look at Anna bouncing, reading, singing, and vibrating with an odd vitality and joy and beauty. My mother cooking, cleaning, buzzing around the house with endless energy. Both are bookends to my life, pulling and pushing me to work towards a world of love and justice.
Already I see the seemingly inconsequential coming after Anna, her voice, her body, her worth, and value. These insidious microaggressions need concise words to bring truth to light.
Being a feminist, Jesus or Christian or whatever, means joining in the work of something bigger than yourself, your blog, twitter, or social media, and sometimes that just means you need to get out of the way.“
#FaithFeminisms has been the slowest conversion of my life. There was no flipping of a switch, no church service revelation, no falling to my knees in wonder. It was borne slowly, tumbling and kicking inside, peeking out to see if it’s safe, grasping and begging for air. The midwives of friends, authors, sisterhoods, mentors and preachers it has taken to help her live would form quite an extensive list- crisscrossing the country, reaching from heaven to earth.
It almost never was. There was too much of “Eve is the reason sin entered the world” and “Ham’s curse is the reason Africans were enslaved.” What is a girl to do knowing she begins curses with one hand and embodies them with the other? There was nothing redeeming about my womanhood or my race in Scripture. Eurocentric depictions of the Divine didn’t help either. Sunday school Bibles, archeological documentaries, feature length films all created a white, male God. (Read more at the blog called “Loving Eve and Loving Ham”)
I encourage you to head over to www.faithfeminisms.com and listen in on the conversation. Perhaps you identify as a feminist and have a piece that you would like included, please add your voice! Perhaps you are curious about our understanding of how feminist and faith could be connected, this conversation is for you! If you are on Twitter, check out #FaithFeminisms and glean the collective wisdom and stories.