Sexism

Christian Piatt 9-03-2012
Mount Rushmore, fstockfoto / Shutterstock.com

Mount Rushmore, fstockfoto / Shutterstock.com

The Wild Goose Festival was awesome as expected this weekend in Corvalis, Ore. About 1,000 folks gathered for the first-ever west coast version of the event started in North Carolina. There were artists, theologians, pastors, hippies, activists, poets, and any number of other curious observers, navigating the landscape to better understand where this movement might be headed.

I offered a workshop on Saturday with Brian Ammons and Bruce Reyes Chow on masculinity and male identity. Folks gathered in the small animal arena on the fairgrounds where the event was held to hear about, and respond to, male identity from three fairly distinct perspectives. It was a rich conversation and pretty fun, at least until one question came toward the end, from a guy in the back row.

I suppose we should have seen it coming, but we had gotten a little too comfortable. The following is a paraphrase of what he said, but the essence is the same.

Brian E. Konkol 8-16-2012
Declaration of Independence language, Frank Chang / Shutterstock.com

Declaration of Independence language, Frank Chang / Shutterstock.com

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)."

These words are some of the most familiar and beloved in the English language, as they offer a moral vision for humanity, and a standard to which the United States of America should strive. 

While such expressions of freedom should indeed be cherished, we often forget the harsh reality that many contributors of the Declaration of Independence were also active participants in the brutal act of slavery. As the English abolitionist Thomas Day wrote in 1776: “If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.” 

In addition to racial inequality, while Abigail Adams reminded her husband John to “remember the ladies” during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, her warnings were mostly disregarded, and as a result, women were also marginalized, and they were relegated as dependents of men, without the power to own property, make contracts, or vote. In other words, John Adams’ reply to Abigail’s challenge was far from considerate: “As to your extraordinary code of laws, I cannot but laugh …”

Julie Polter 6-15-2012

NPR reports that Michigan state representative Lisa Brown was not allowed speak on other legislation yesterday after she made a speech against a bill restricting abortion in which she used the word "vagina." A Republican spokesperson said Brown had violated the "decorum of the House."

"Brown called a press conference, today," the Detroit Free Press reports. "She defended her use of the word "vagina," saying it is the "anatomically medically correct term."

"If they are going to legislate my anatomy, I see no reason why I cannot mention it," she said according to the Free Press.

"Regardless of their reasoning, this is a violation of my First Amendment rights and directly impedes my ability to serve the people who elected me into office," Brown added in a statement released by her office.

Read more here

Christian Piatt 4-16-2012
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

New York premiere of HBO's 'Girls' at the School of Visual Arts Theater on April 4. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Two things leap off the screen while watching the debut of “Mad Men;” first, everyone drinks and smokes. All the time. Second, women are treated like so much property, and though they seem complicit in their subjugate role, they also have a racket of their own going, using their feminine wiles to work their way up alongside the mean of greatest means and power to enjoy both by association.

It’s hard to believe only two generations ago that an executive was within his purview to suggest to his secretary that she hike up the hem of her skirt a bit and fetch him some fresh ice for cocktails with the boys.

Or is it?

Carrie Adams 12-21-2011
My Cleaning Trolley. Labeled "Girls Only" on the box.

My Cleaning Trolley. Labeled "Girls Only" on the box.

Everyone out there, let’s try giving our girls something positive this Christmas.

One gift at a time, we can foster their intellect.

One gift at a time, we can affirm their worth as contributors and not just bystanders.

We can give them value beyond their curls and big brown eyes, which are beautiful, yes, but what about giving them a book that doesn’t have a princess as the main character?

What about that science kit that you were looking at for your nephew? Would your niece like it too?

Jim Wallis 5-26-2011
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
Julie Clawson 3-30-2011
When I was in high school as part of my participation in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, I had to write what was called an "extended essay" -- basically an essay of the (then) extreme
Julie Clawson 1-18-2011
My daughter came home from school recently with a worksheet that described life before and after Martin Luther King Jr.
Kimberly B. George 6-10-2010
I won't forget the day the 15-year-old Korean exchange student I tutored informed me she needed surgery to "correct" her eyes. I stopped my grammar lesson and had her teach me about racism.

Ruth Hawley-Lowry 5-07-2010
Mother's Day is a challenge. While advertisements evoke misty eyed memories and quaint appreciation for mothers, the truth is that Mother's Day began as a call to action by Julia Ward Howe.
Kathy Khang 11-19-2009
In the eight years I worked specifically with Christian Asian American college students, I knew that my gender would get in the way.
Eugene Cho 11-18-2009

Sarah Palin is all over the news -- just like she wants. And before you criticize her, she and her team have a strategy and they're implementing it well to ensure that her persona is before the American public until the next Presidential election. Like her or not, get used to seeing and hearing much about Palin.

Ryan Rodrick Beiler 11-09-2009
People who do diversity work run the risk of setting impossible goals for themselves: The Beloved Community. The Kingdom of God.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor's approval as a U.S.
"What do you mean by 'just one'? I'm not choosing just one!" I told my wife on the phone.
Mimi Haddad 2-24-2009

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Julie Clawson 2-23-2009
At the end of January in Mangalore, India, a group of right-wing extremists, the Sri Rama Sena, entered a bar and assaulted the women there.

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