Feminism

How We Are All Connected

interconnectedness
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As an Asian-American activist, I must constantly negotiate what it means to be a woman faith leader – all while challenging misconceptions of the “model minority myth” and the “otherization” of my identity in a dominant culture that often sees anything other than whiteness as foreign, exotic, or suspect. And yet, I know that my experiences do not pale in comparison to the hardships of those experienced within the greater sisterhood.

Dismantling Gender Bias

Illustration by Jon Krause
Illustration by Jon Krause

AS WE APPROACH A PRESIDENTIAL election in which each candidate’s gender is sure to be discussed, it’s worth evaluating the automatic assumptions we—yes, all of us—make when it comes to women, men, and the meaning we attribute to gender. These assumptions include everything from outright sexism to subtler forms of gender bias, such as the knee-jerk association of men with “competence” and “gravitas,” women with “incompetence” and “emotion.”

“The battle for women to be treated like human beings with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of involvement in cultural and political arenas continues, and it is sometimes a pretty grim battle,” writes Rebecca Solnit in the title chapter of Men Explain Things to Me, a 2014 collection of essays that helped coin the term “mansplain.” “This is a struggle that takes place in war-torn nations, but also in the bedroom, the dining room, the classroom, the workplace, and the streets.”

I would add, of course, that this battle also takes place in the church, our spiritual homes. After all, for women this is a struggle that’s older than feminism, perhaps as old as our faith traditions themselves. So how, exactly, can we end the battle?

The answer, it seems, lies in understanding the difference between explicit and implicit bias, the former resulting from deliberate stereotypes, the latter a growing topic in social science that doesn’t absolve us of guilt but helps us understand how biases of all kinds have been so difficult to identify, name, and change.

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The Power Dynamics of Skittles and M&Ms

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Today the whole internet is talking about Donald Trump Jr.’s recent tweet comparing refugees to poisoned Skittles.

When I first saw the tweet, I was sickened by Trump Jr.'s — and by extension our country’s — inability to see refugees as human beings in need of help. But I also was reminded of a similar tweet with a vastly different response two years ago.

From the Archives: Summer 1972

NATALIA61 / Shutterstock
NATALIA61 / Shutterstock

Jesus was a feminist, that is, a person who promotes the equality of women with men, who treats women primarily as human persons and willingly contravenes social customs in so acting. The gospels give no evidence of Jesus ever treating women as inferior to men. When the restricted state of women in the Palestinian Judaism of that time is recalled, even this mere absence of a male superiority attitude is extraordinary. ...

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bell hooks' Guide to Living With Love

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It wasn’t until recently, with the advent of modern capitalism, that people have retreated to the private sphere. This means we now believe that people can live secluded lives, only interacting with our most intimate connections — whether that be our nuclear family, romantic partner, or just with a pet. Hannah Arendt, another philosopher, offers a similar critique on people's retreat from the community and into the private sphere, naming it as a byproduct of capitalism.

Mallory Ortberg: The Bible Teaches Little Girls They Can Drive Spikes Into the Heads of Generals

Image via Rachel Marie Stone.

"Look, say what you will about Christianity, but the Bible teaches little girls that they can grow up to drive spikes into the heads of Canaanite generals, and there’s huge value in that. Cause there’s sometimes that really goofy straightforward talk about what you can do, or not, “because the Bible and women.” And I really like kind of playing with that and going “Fine, then the lesson I got from this is that you can drive spikes in people’s heads.”

I don’t remember who it was now who wrote this, but I loved how someone talked about how, for an hour and a half, the entire church was Mary Magdalene. In between when she goes to the tomb and has to go find the disciples, she is the entire church. And I love that. I love that for an hour and a half, a woman was the church."

Video Flips The Script On The Ridiculous Reasons Women ‘Should Not Be Pastors’

 

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