Gender Justice Concerns | CBE International

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Gender Justice Concerns

tim+anne evans
We recently saw the movie Selma. In the comfort of our theater seats we observed what we can only imagine African Americans endured—and in many ways continue to endure. As followers of Christ who believe in the egalitarian[i] principle of full functional equality for men and women, we watched Selma and noticed similarities between many churches view of functional equality for women, and the treatment of African Americans before they were considered equals. Review history, for centuries church leaders interpreted literally and absolutized a handful of Bible passages they believed fully supported slavery. For example; “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything…”[ii] “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear…just as you would obey... Read more
It's Hard Out There for a Woman of Color I recently confronted a friend about the toys her daughter plays with. Her daughter, a beautiful 6-year-old girl, is obsessed with dolls. As my friend and I talked, her daughter laid out her dolls and played with them. I looked at the row of dolls and saw that not a single one had her beautiful brown skin, her playful curly hair, or her facial features. Instead, she spends her days playing with blond, blue-eyed, white dolls that look nothing like her. I raised my concern with my friend. Her response was what I expected. "Where do you expect me to get a doll that looks like us? I go to the store and all I see is shelves and shelves of white dolls. The closest thing I can find is usually a brown or black Bratz doll, and they always look... Read more
“To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.” These words were written by a poet named Ella Wilcox around the Civil War. In America today we have this idea that the Civil War ended slavery. That, however, is not true. In fact, there has not been a single day in the history of The United States of America that slavery has not existed. Human trafficking is the coercion or persuasion of women or men into modern day slavery (most often sex slavery), or more plainly, the sale of human beings.  We hear about human trafficking in terms of, “this isn’t really here, it’s overseas,” but there is no better way to get away with a crime than when you think it doesn’t exist in your neighborhood. Many people know what human tra... Read more
Kati Brandt
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” —William Wilberforce This is the final post in this series. Some of the things we’ve learned may be shocking and hard to comprehend. But they are real. And I thought the best way to finish would be to talk about realistic ways that each of us can be an abolitionist. Because for as horrific and overwhelming as the fight against slavery can be there are incredible stories of freedom and amazing people working to see a real end to the abuse of human life. Once we know that it’s a problem we are responsible for that knowledge. Not everyone can drop their lives and spend their days freeing people from sla... Read more
Earlier this week we remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. and in his honor I re-read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” King’s prophetic words ignited the brushfire of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, but still smolder in the hearts of Americans living with unrest in Ferguson and New York City. I was only a baby when King wrote this letter. As a white girl growing up in Tennessee and Indiana, I can’t remember witnessing any overtly racist situation. But because of King’s words (and even movies like The Help, The Butler, and Selma) I’ve learned to read our nation’s history with a broader perspective than my own limited experience would allow. My perspective today includes experience with and reflection on the injustice often faced by women in ministr... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This is the third post in Kati's series on human trafficking for our January theme of the devaluation of women. Her first post can be found here, her second here, and her fourth here.] Last week we focused on women in sex trafficking. This week we tackle labor trafficking. To be honest, sex slavery is a pretty easy thing to be against. It’s shocking and horrifying and once you know that it exists it’s morally easy to see the problem. Labor trafficking is a different story. It’s not as organized as international prostitution rings. It’s messy and harder to detect and it affects every single human being on the planet.  Do you buy clothing, shoes, accessories? You might be part of the problem. Labor trafficking is not talk... Read more
"South African Christians--which train will your generation stop?" asked Jim Wallis throughout this week in Johannesburg. Jim Wallis, President and editor-in-chief of Sojourners, visited South Africa recently. In Johannesburg, I attended three events where he spoke out boldly against gender inequality and its devastating consequences. At Rhema Bible Church, he addressed four thousand young adults at a Wednesday night meeting. Later that week at the University of Johannesburg, he challenged a group of three hundred students to ask hard questions about gender inequality. Finally, back at Rhema Church on Sunday, he preached to approximately eleven thousand people about doing away with patriarchy--the abusive system that perpetuates the systemic abuse, marginalizati... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This is the second post in Kati's series on sex trafficking for our January theme of the devaluation of women. Her first post can be found here.] This week we are talking specifically about sex trafficking. When someone says “sex trafficking” what do you think of? Southeast Asia? Amsterdam? What if I told you that sex trafficking affects every single country in the world? Women, men and children are being bought and sold at unbelievable rates everywhere from Cambodia to Minnesota. The Super Bowl, for instance, has a lot more than football and beer. There are huge prostitution rings at the Super Bowl each year because there are an equally large number of men looking for sex. For the purpose of this blog, and so this post doesn’t end up being more... Read more
“More girls are killed in this routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.” —William Petrocelli [1] What is gendercide? Gendercide is the silent elimination of females, young and old, through sex-selective abortion, infanticide, gross neglect, and for older women, lack of access to food and shelter.[2] In countries like India and China the birth of a baby girl is rarely celebrated with much joy. In India sons are preferred above daughters as a son can provide for the family and can carry on the family name. In China, the one child policy instituted by the legal system dictates that Chinese families are legally only allowed to have one child. The Chinese culture like the Indian cultur... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This January our theme as an organization is the devaluation of women, which will include topics like abuse and human trafficking. These are often uncomfortable things to talk about but they may be the most important issues we face in terms of gender justice. They certainly have the most grave of consequences. I've asked my good friend Kati Brandt, who is a near-expert in all things human trafficking to write a 4-post series about the topic. We will be publishing a post every week on Monday for the month of January. This is her first post.]   “The term trafficking in persons can be misleading: it places emphasis on the transaction aspects of a crime that is more accurately described as enslavement. Exploitation of people, day after day. For yea... Read more