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Here’s to the women. The brave ones, who speak truth with conviction, with brilliance, with footnotes

To the women who do not back down, who do not cower, who do not double-back when fragility tweets, blogs, comments, accuses, belittles. 

To the women who have created something new. A book. A pilgrimage. A newsletter. An Instagram ministry. A conference. An article. A business. A podcast. A movement. Who created what did not exist before. Like God in whose image she was formed.

To the women who have claimed a space of their own. Who are not malleable. Who don’t adapt to some else’s demand for comfort. Who make the rules, define the norms, who don’t shape-shift for the ones who never had to earn the power they wield like a weapon.

To the women who aren’t sorry. Not for their bodies. Not for their stories. Not for their talents. Not for their strength. Not for their prayers. Not for their volume. Not for their rage.

To the women who realize that they were wrong. They were complicit. They were afraid. The ones who come to see that they’ve been lied to, manipulated, kept underfoot. Who are learning a new way. Who are showing up, making amends, tuning in, thinking again. Who are angry, who are alive.

To the ones who were told they should be softer, quieter, cuter, smaller, lighter, whiter, less. To the ones who grew instead.

Here’s to the women who, very early in the day, came to the tomb. Who saw it empty, who were very afraid. And who raised their voice anyway. Because of you, we know the truth. And it has set us free.

Here’s to the women. 

Photo by Aman Ravi on Unsplash

Kate Kooyman

Rev. Kate Kooyman is a minister of the Reformed Church in America who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


  • mstair says:

    Amen! Jesus’ treatment of women during His ministry gave undeniable evidence that in The Kingdom of God, the oppressive treatment of women had ended. He clearly treated women and men as equals.

  • Daniel J Meeter says:

    I’ve been reading the history of the Women’s Board for Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church in America, from 1875 to 1925, and it is inspiring. What these women did for women in China, India, and Arabia, despite all the Western cultural assumptions that went with their service, is incredible and even thrilling. And they did it for converts to Christianity and no less for those who remained in their indigenous faiths. Here’s to he women who were missionaries, and the women in the US who supported them. And they did what they did often against the decisions of the General Synod’s Board, which was, of course, all men. When the men’s Board said “No, we can’t,” the Women’s Board decided, “Yes, we will do it any way.” Time and again. Even if they had to wait a few years to do it. And they went places men could not go. Here’s to the women.

  • Marty Wondaal says:

    Women are great. Really great. Just fantastic. The best. Those other genders? Not so good. Total disasters. Everyone agrees. Believe me.

    Now…. would you be willing to raise your strong voice on the current migrant situation on the border?

    • Emily Helder says:

      I think you missed the point of this article

      • Henny Vroege says:

        Yes, indeed.

      • Marty Wondaal says:

        Ok, you’re probably right. I’m sorry. As a cis-gendered male who identifies as a cis-gendered male, sometimes I live up to the stereotype of not listening to women.

        Of course, stereotyping is wrong, so I also apologize for that, too.

        And, please don’t think I am apologizing to you because I am stereotyping you as a cis-gendered female who identifies as a cis-gendered female who doesn’t tolerate being disagreed with. That’s a pernicious stereotype. So I apologize for that, too.

        So, in summation, I’m sorry. Really, really sorry. I should just stop here…

        But, well, it’s just that I can’t get over the fact that there are LITERALLY thousands of KIDS IN CAGES on the border. Not too long ago that was a Bad Thing. Rev. Kooyman, I believe, was an expert on this issue. I would like to hear from her now that the situation is even worse than when That Man was president.

        My goal is for Rev. Kooyman to admit she was wrong. Her gender in no way precludes her from accomplishing this.

    • Kathy says:

      You mean the crisis that has been there for years? When men were president?

    • Marty Sytsema says:

      Hi, Marty Wondaal. Hope you’re doing well. “Tall Marty” 🙂

  • RLG says:

    Hear, Hear, Kate!

  • Arlyn Bossenbrook says:

    And it was the women who were also at the cross.

  • Helen P says:

    I wish my sister Barb could have read this.

    In the business world and in churches I’ve sometimes felt like a voice “crying in the wilderness” when it comes to inclusive language, equality and just being heard and, more importantly, LISTENED to.

    You go girl!

  • Gloria says:

    Fabulous essay!

  • Alicia Mannes says:


  • Jeanne Engelhard says:

    Thank you!

  • Carol Sybenga says:

    I wish my sister Jeanet could have read this. Amen to this article Kate. Thank you.

  • Emily Jane VandenBos Style says:

    Thank you & onward!

  • Henny Vroege says:

    Yes! and thank you!

  • Travis West says:

    Amen, Kate. Amen.

  • Karl J Westerhof says:

    It’s a poem!

  • Shannon Jammal-Hollemans says:

    Well said, my friend.

  • Diana Walker says:

    Thank you, Kate. Years ago I wrote an article entitled “To The Marys”… as a tribute to the Marys who are still present today. Everywhere.
    We are good at being incredible. And thrilling.
    It’s who we are and what we do.
    Thanks, again.

  • KC says:

    Here’s to the women, who are pillars of our church, who are the foundation of families, who do so much with out much thanks or appreciation…..and are law abiding gun owners!

  • Ronald Dykstra says:

    Some of us who somehow dare to peek into the world of religious scholars featured on this website sometimes wonder at the “scholarly leaps” that are made and applauded. Sorry, but the life-changing, world- shaking “news” of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ did not solely depend on those women, special as they were.

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