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When Desiree Washington charged that Mike Tyson had raped her, some Christians retorted that it was her fault for getting herself into the situation. To my horror, the Bible study group at our church was divided on the issue, and paradoxically most of the women support Mike Tyson (I later learned that one of the few women who remained silent was a rape victim herself). I was further horrified that some of the more vocal leaders in our denomination (the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A.) reiterated the same views; although some of us spoke out on behalf of Ms. Washington, it was those who favored Mr. Tyson who garnered the publicity. Read more
As a woman preparing to seek ordination to the pastoral office in the Presbyterian Church (USA) I find myself encountering skepticism — a skepticism about my real identity. In light of my gender and career objective, some people immediately assume that I am a radical feminist. Others are not sure, so they conduct a stakeout, patiently waiting to see what I’ll say or do. It seems as if people are listening to every nuance of what I say, trying to uncover a feminist agenda. I feel scrutinized. Read more
Some years ago I listened to a group of five-year-old children being interviewed on CBC radio. The interviewer was asking them what they appreciated about their mothers. Their answers were revealing. “I like my mother because she lets me have two cookies before breakfast.” “I like my mother because she serves me breakfast in bed.” All the answers were self-centered. They were all related to what the mother did to serve her child. None of the children expressed appreciation for mother as a person. Read more
Such is the determination of a small but growing number of women in Latin America, including El Salvador. It is no accident that the imagery in this statement is both biblical and revolutionary, for those dimensions encompass the nature of the history of El Salvador. To understand the situation in which Baptist women in El Salvador find themselves today, let us first briefly consider their historical backdrop, particularly as it relates to women. Read more
The use of inclusive language in contemporary hymn texts has gained fairly wide acceptance in recent years. However, the selecting and editing of existing texts for inclusiveness have been far more controversial: should we insist on unequivocally neutral pronouns and titles to refer to God, the people of God, or both? How do we make judicious changes to meet poetical, legal, and aesthetic requirements while still maintaining (and, in some cases, possibly enhancing) the intelligibility and integrity of the original text? Read more
My golfing partner and I sucked in the crisp morning air while we limbered up on the first tee. “Sure beats work,” we laughed, getting into high gear for the day, when suddenly appeared — a woman! — obviously prepared to join us for the round. We struggled to keep our inner groans from any outward expression while we exchanged brief pleasantries. But in one devastating moment our chauvinism dissolved as quickly as her drive first exploded and then descended into the luscious fairway turf some 200 yards away. Read more
Feminism is supposed to be good news for women; but does that mean it is automatically bad news for men? Many people assume that it is. What is given to women must necessarily be taken away from men. This is the old “slice of the pie” or “limited good” theory. There are only so many pieces in a pie and therefore a limited number of people may be served. And when people believe that theory, battle lines are drawn. In this case, if women are to get more of whatever share of the pie men have traditionally been given, men will lose something. Read more
I've never heard a sermon on Jesus saying, "Follow me," that was addressed to men only. Yet, my analysis of the meditation is that I've apparently heard a few too many messages in the Church that have, intentionally or not, excluded me. Read more
Why, over the years, haven't women produced more in the arts—specifically in literature? At the turn of the century, Virginia Woolf began the answer to that important question by saying a woman could and would write given a "room of her own." This is the leisure, privacy, and financial support needed to encourage creativity that has traditionally been withheld from women either intentionally or because of the demands of other roles. Read more
Kari Torjesen Malcolm
For years I've loved the story about the Velveteen Rabbit who was preoccupied with her identity -whether she was real or not! Sitting among the toys in a child's room, she asks the skin horse about it, and gets the profound reply, "You are real when you are loved. When I was cuddled so much that I began to lose my skin, then I knew that I was real."   Read more

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