Last year, CBE hosted our first ever popular writing contest and it was a huge success! We’re holding the contest again this year because we’re determined to give those passionate about biblical gender equality/egalitarian theology/Christian feminism an opportunity to share their stories and insights.
We’ve also got more great prizes this year: winners can get published with us; win a $20 Amazon gift card and a copy of Kathy Khang’s new book: Raise Your Voice; and get a free CBE subscription!
We want to hear from you on one of these seven topics. Each broad topic includes a series of bullet point prompts to help you understand the intent of the prompt and to provoke ideas. You can mix and match the prompts we’ve provided or answer multiple prompts under the same broad topic in a single piece. Or you can write on something else, provided it still fits with the broad topic and conforms to CBE’s values and mission.
1. Gender Roles, Toxic Theology, and Purity Culture
- Did you grow up in a church that promoted traditional gender roles, authoritarian theology, and/or purity culture? How did that experience shape or harm you and your faith? How have your faith and your beliefs changed?
- How do you process past traumas related to these topics? If you’ve found freedom or healing, tell us about your journey.
2. Dating and Singleness
- Do you think dating as an egalitarian or Christian feminist is difficult? What makes it such a challenging process? What are the hurdles that come with a countercultural approach to dating? How have you or did you overcome the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles (lead and pursue/submit and receive) in dating?
- How does the church treat singles and how has that impacted you? What are some of the church’s harmful messages about dating and singleness (gendered messages especially)?
- Are you a man who doesn’t fit the church’s prescription for masculinity? Tell us your story.
- Talk to us about why you think Christian men feel so invested in clearly defining “masculinity” and “manhood”? Is it a necessary emphasis or would men be better off focusing on being good humans in male bodies?
- What do you think is bad (or good) about how society understands and portrays masculinity? What role does media play?
- Tell us about the men you consider positive examples of masculinity and why? Who do you look to for guidance on how to be a good man?
4. Body Agency, Consent, Body Positivity, and Healthy Sexuality
- How can we begin a conversation around healthy sexuality and body positivity in the church? Are our bodies merely vessels or are they more than that? As egalitarians/Christian feminists, how should we think about our bodies and does it differ from how the church has traditionally understood the human body? Is there a difference between valuing and affirming the body and elevating it too much? What does it mean to honor our bodies?
- How can we go deeper in our discussions regarding healthy sexuality in marriage and as individuals? What value is there in talking about these two issues in our youth groups and congregations?
- Let’s talk about women’s bodies. Whose are they? What are they for? Why does it matter? How do we as a society and as a church discourage women’s bodily agency and autonomy? What does it look like to honor women’s bodily autonomy?
- How can we as Christians teach and model consent in our communities and relationships? Why is this a tricky issue for some Christians? What does religious teaching and theology have to do with consent? Why have youth groups and churches rarely talked about consent when teaching on sexuality? Why is consent a biblical principle?
5. Women in Ministry
- When did you know you wanted to be in ministry? Did you have a role model who inspired you to pursue your ministry calling?
- What opposition have you faced and how have you overcome it? How have people surprised you in relation to your calling? How have they not?
- Do you ever feel lonely? What do you wish was different for women and women of color in ministry?
- What have you learned as a woman and/or woman of color in ministry? What would you tell young girls who may follow you down the ministry/pastoral path?
6. Spiritual Abuse
- What is spiritual abuse? How can we recognize it in the church? What can we do to encourage others to take spiritual abuse as seriously as physical and sexual abuse? Can spiritual abuse be a form of violence?
- Tell us about your own experiences with spiritual abuse in the church or your family. Was it difficult for you to recognize this as abuse? Did the church take your trauma seriously? What care exists for those who are traumatized by bad church practice, toxic theology, and authoritarian spiritual leadership?
7. Everyday Feminism
- If you’re married, how do you and your spouse split up housework? How do you make decisions when you disagree (provide a practical, workable model)? How do responsibilities shift season to season and how do you close ranks as a team to handle whatever that season brings? How do you deal with conflict in your marriage, especially related to responsibilities and gender?
- How do you address the assumptions of others: someone assumes the husband/father is in charge; that mom is the primary caregiver; that dad is the more natural disciplinarian, etc.? Husbands, how do you stand up for your wives when people express sexist assumptions about housework/parenting/work versus stay at home?
- Do you ever feel tempted to objectify your spouse? How do you avoid doing so? In what ways does the rhetoric of the church sometimes encourage husbands to objectify their wives?
- How do you and your spouse avoid undermining each other's authority with kids and present as a unified team? How do you address your children’s misbehavior? How do you address it when your kids pick up sexist stereotypes or beliefs from other people?
Note: Please feel free to consider each topic with attention to intersectionality (the intersection of gender with other social justice issues like race or class).
The top 15 winners will:
- Have their submissions published with CBE
- Win a $20 Amazon gift card
- Win a copy of Kathy Khang’s awesome new book on finding our voices and using them: Raise Your Voice
- Get a free year-long subscription to CBE’s award-winning publication: Mutuality magazine
But what if my submission isn’t chosen as one of the top 15 winners? Good question!
All submissions will be considered for publication on CBE’s platform. So, if your piece is fantastic but isn’t one of the top 15 winners for some reason, we may still want to get it out there!
How and What to Submit:
Please submit your popular (non-academic) entry on one of the seven topics above as a typed, single-spaced Microsoft Word document attachment in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 31, 2018.
In the email to which you attach your entry/ies, please:
- Include your full name, an (50 words or less) author biography, and a high quality JPEG profile image
- Provide the total word count of your submission (not including your title)
- Indicate which of the seven topics you’ve chosen
- Save and submit the document using your last name as the document name
The Fine Print:
- All submissions must be between 700-1800 words, must honor CBE’s core values, and should be tailored to the CBE mission: CBE exists to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world.
- Submissions should be a typed single-spaced Microsoft Word document. (Paragraphs don’t need to be indented, but we aren’t too picky).
- You may submit more than one entry for consideration. We may publish more than one submission per person, but only one submission per person will be a Top 15 winner.
- We will not accept late submissions for the contest, but we will still consider late submissions for publication.
- All content should be original and not published elsewhere, unless you host a personal blog that has a small audience. Please indicate if this is the case.
- All submissions should have correct spelling and grammar, and include some form of citation or link for any outside sources. However, in a popular article, citations (if included) should be minimal.
- Your article will be edited by CBE’s communications team prior to publication and titles may be changed.
- Questions for CBE’s communications team about the contest can be directed to email@example.com.
Help Us Share!
If you want to promote this contest on your social media platform or your blog, feel free to use the graphic below or contact the communications team for more info.