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I was recently perusing the comments on a blog post by complementarian Tim Bayly. Two female commenters were sparring over feminism’s simultaneous assertions of female strength and female subordination through socialization. The women went back and forth on the supposed contradiction of asserting that women are, by nature, capable of “standing up for themselves” and at the same time, arguing that many women don’t have the tools to do so as a result of patriarchal socialization. The complementarian commenter felt that feminists contradict themselves by saying that women are strong, but arguing at the same time that they are still victimized by patriarchy. I was sad to see this argument leveled like a feminist Catch-22—like it is the trivia question that egalita... Read more
It is undeniable that women are negatively impacted by patriarchy. I can go round after round on how patriarchy teaches women that they are peripheral and secondary in the grand story of God’s relationship with humanity. I can argue for days that gender roles and sexism limit and oppress women. I can write about femicide and gender-based violence, rape culture, female identity, female giftedness, mutuality in relationships, and the consequences of purity/modesty culture on women. When I write about these topics, I can speak from my own experiences and the experiences of those who share my womanhood in other contexts. As a woman, I have carried a part of this burden. I’ve felt some of these wounds. I know this story. And because of that, I have often argued disproportionately... Read more
How many of us have shaped our lives around the message that when we go out to proclaim the reign of God we must “take nothing for the journey” (Luke 9:3)? We are called to be free on our journey of discipleship. We aren’t meant be burdened by clutter or excess. Perhaps you, like I, have made peace with such simplicity. You feel as if your lifestyle is modest enough to be neither burden, nor distraction, and you are constantly reevaluating whether or not your possessions impede your discipleship. But perhaps, like me, you are still not free. What I have carried with me is not lucre, but worry and shame. As I grew into my relationships with God, others, and self, I shed some of the adolescent self-loathing that followed me through my twenties, while constantly battli... Read more