The Common Good

Gender

'You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock!': The Daughters of South Africa Speak Out

soj1108The lost art of reading might be in danger, but I'm happy to report that the desire to write remains strong, at least with Amazw'Entombi ("Voices of the Girls").

This creative writing club in Gugulethu, a township 10 miles outside Cape Town, South Africa, drew together nearly two dozen expressive girls, ages 13 through 20, each week for a year. With the help of a prompt -- a phrase or a short piece of writing to get started -- together the girls and I wrote. Like athletes in training, we built up from an initial three minutes of writing to, eventually, 20 minutes and sometimes longer when they asked for more time. Then we would go around the circle where we sat and read aloud what each of us wrote.

One week, the girls collectively wrote their manifesto (below), and staged a reading when the Flip camera came out. Then Sharon added her own contribution, "Proudly South African" (to hear her read, click here). She's now enrolled in her first year studying psychology at the University of Cape Town. I'm secretly hoping she switches to journalism.

+Continue Reading

What's in a Name?

Our current practice in the U.S. actually reflects the earlier legal reality of coverture: In the process of the "two becoming one flesh," the wife lost her rights to property, legal representation in court, and even her public identity as her husband became the sole representative for the family. This combination of identities (or, rather, the wife becoming lost in her husband's identity) led to wives taking their husbands' last names. For me, losing my surname would have represented silent assent to this oppressive practice.

+Continue Reading

Why Afghan Women Need to be Part of the Peace Process

What is wrong with the typical photo of world leaders making decisions for their countries? The general absence of women -- at the table, in the room, and, as a result, from the agenda.

+Continue Reading

Michelle Obama and the Women of South Africa

Places and spaces become holy because they are locations where the human and the divine meet.
+Continue Reading

Black Men and 'Jumping the Broom'

In one of my last blog posts on God's Politics, I had some pretty strong opinions on the negative comments made by Bernard Hopkins about Donovan McNabb implying that McN
+Continue Reading

Thank God That I am a Man and Not a Woman

It's likely that some of you will take offense at the title of this post. But if you read through the post, it'll certainly make more sense in the larger context.
+Continue Reading

The Most Interesting Woman in the World

Have you seen the Dos Equis commercials starring actor Jonathan Goldsmith as "the most interesting man in the world"?
+Continue Reading

What Men and Women Lose Under Complementarianism

Any discussion of shared authority and responsibility between men and women must start with the importance Jesus placed on unity among his followers.
+Continue Reading

Unveiling the Walls that Divide Us

I find it discomforting that the Lord instructs someone to wage war and therefore reasoning that God-sanctioned war is justifiable even though as Christians we are called to be peacemakers in the w
+Continue Reading

Zero Tolerance: Trump, Schwarzenegger, and Strauss-Kahn

It's a constant storyline in the media involving powerful men in politics, sports, business, and even religion: Men behave with utter disregard for the dignity and humanity of women -- using and ab
+Continue Reading