Month: July 2013

Weekly round-up 4

How to raise up women leaders – Jenny Baker for IDEA magazine

Ask women in your church what they need to grow in leadership and what their aspirations are. What’s stopping them being leaders at the moment? Identify women who you feel have an aptitude for leadership. Team them up with more experienced women who can mentor them, even if you have to look outside your congregation. Create opportunities for them to take on small projects with support and feedback, and build on that.

Porn: the shocking truth – TES magazine

The effect that mass exposure to pornography is having on teens’ emotional well-being and self-esteem will take time to gauge properly as it is an unprecedented phenomenon happening in real time. However, the impact it is having on the way they view their bodies and the bodies of the opposite sex is already very evident.

The Jane Austen banknote victory shows young women are packing a punch – Zoe Williams

Two things are unarguable about this century; the first is that it is more sexist than the end of the last, raunch and postmodernism having converged to normalise the presentation of women as meat; the second is that the internet has had profound consequences for privacy and, inevitably, personal freedom. But pause to consider the vivacity of the feminist fourth wave, its energy and victories, the way it has honed and deployed the power of social media rather than surrendered to the misogynist tropes it throws up. It is fearless and pugnacious and alive with a sense of possibility.

Danielle at From Two to One is running a Q&A on Christian feminism as a series of blog posts. She can also be found at SheLoves magazine writing on The difference between sex and gender roles in marriage.

Although I’m sure she’s heard it all, I skirted around the specifics with my pastor-friend, blushing while explaining that, “Um, well. In some parts of our marriage, it is quite clear who is female and who is male.” I was not only stating the obvious, but also was referring to something more mysterious, more sacred.

FAQs: Feminism, sexism and intersectionality – The Quail Pipe

So, what is intersectional feminism? Well, quite simply, it’s feminism taking other causes of oppression into account and including all women, whether they are trans*, non-Caucasian, disabled, working class, middle class, upper class. Essentially it’s the recognition that other people’s experiences are different to our own, but equally and sometimes more valid. We can have feminism without intersectionality, but as I said, this is not good feminism. If the only oppression you face is due to gender inequality, then you are extremely privileged and need to understand that this is not the same for other women.

Restored’s In Churches Too campaign, about domestic abuse in Christian relationships, is now up and running – watch the video below.

 

 

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Weekly round-up #3

It’s Boudicca v Bank of England in the battle of the banknotes – Guardian

On Friday Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler, dressed as a Franklin, said: “This is part of a wider pattern of cultural femicide, where women are simply missing, across the arts, painting, music, in business, across every platform. But also,” she added, a bit later, “we’ve got to ask whether they follow the Equality Act. What was the process by which this decision was reached? Where are the minutes? Who was in the meeting?”

As a Catholic priest in Britain I have to drag couples down the aisle – Catholic Herald (published in May, but an interesting read).

One thing I do mention is that the custom of “giving away the bride” and the bride entering on her father’s, or some other male relative’s, arm, is not part of the wedding ceremony per se, and can easily be substituted by something else. The couple can enter together, for example. There is silence in the liturgical books about this. But whenever I say this, brides look at me with barely disguised horror, and not a single one has ever taken up my proposal. They all have to enter on their father’s arm, it seems, and he has to give them away. Whatever happened to feminism?

 Ellen Page: ‘Why are people so reluctant to say they’re feminists?’ – Guardian

“I think if you’re not from America you read this stuff and you’re like, ‘What?’ But I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?” she asks in her quiet voice that belies the firm opinions it is often expressing. “Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement – good. It should be. A lot of what the radical feminists [in the 1970s] were saying, I don’t disagree with it.”

Bounty Mutiny – A Mumnset Campaign – Salt and Caramel

Mumsnet launched a campaign #bountymutiny to protest against the legions of women who go around labour wards, giving gifts to new mothers. Sounds innocuous, when put like that, doesn’t it? The reality is that the Bounty Ladies hand out the gift bag, then persuade women to hand over their personal details, which the company then sells on to third parties. Some women have reported that they felt pressured into giving their details, that they were approached when they were tired, vulnerable or just plain confused at the actual status of the enquirer.

In Churches Too – Restored

In Churches Too is a new campaign from Restored highlighting the issue of domestic abuse and that this happens in churches too. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness on the issue of domestic abuse, dispel some of the myths surrounding abuse, and how we can take positive action to bring abuse to an end. 

Are Christian Feminists hurting their cause? – Mike Duran

I realize this is completely anecdotal. Subjective. Deciding what is Scriptural can’t be left to responses on one blog post or one’s experience with the representatives of any given position. Just because a Christian feminist is rude — or a Calvinist, Universalist,  Atheist, whoever! — does not mean their position is wrong. Bad manners and blog misconduct don’t invalidate someone’s position. Nor does grace and diplomacy validate one’s position.

Why we changed our names – Lulastic and the Hippyshake

I am surprised at how little the name-changing tradition is challenged in my generation. I literally know ONE person who has kept their name and NONE who went for a shared new name with their husband. It’s interesting as the majority of my friends and family are ALL strong women and feministy men.

Loads of people think the married name thing is trivial. Sure, equal pay, rape and the rights of women in developing countries probably should take precedence but I’m not one to think that issues need prioritising all the time.  It’s not like we can to tick them off before we move onto the next one – it’s all tangled up.

Weekly round-up #2

If God invented sex, how come it’s so complicated? – El Edwards at Threads

“We were taught how difficult it can be if you’re having sex when you’re not married. At Friday night youth meetings in church it would be drilled into us how messy and complicated and heartbreaking sex before marriage is.

What no one ever told us is how complicated sex can be when you are married.”

Reform appoints Susie Leafe as its first Director – Reform

“Susie Leafe is a member of the General Synod and played a prominent role in the debate on women bishops. Organising a campaign under the banner ‘Proper Provision’, Mrs Leafe gave voice to over 2000 female lay members of the Church of England who believed that the now failed legislative proposals on women bishops did not make adequate provision for those who had theological objections to this development.”

Feminists still have to do stunts to be heard – Barbara Ellen

“I’m not telling anyone to sit down, shut up, or put their tops back on. There is a place in this world for the audacious guerilla-feminist. I’m just wondering if sometimes this approach plays into enemy hands, in a way that is counterproductive. Is there room for a debate about the tipping point where intention is trumped by perception. After all, feminism isn’t supposed to be some ideological pop-up shop, on an endless recurring cycle of suddenly appearing and (just as suddenly) disappearing.”

Wendy Davis channels anger of millions as new Texas makes itself heard – Guardian

“The day’s dramatic events that captivated people across the country – the 11-hour filibuster, the dramatic fight over arcane Senate rules, and the decisive 15 minutes of ear-splitting whooping and hollering from the gallery – were the result of political tensions building in Texas for years.

There’s a saying: ‘Texas is paradise for men and dogs, but hell for women and horses.’ That’s a little outdated and not completely accurate: in fact, horses are treated pretty well here. Women in Texas have had a difficult time.”

What armchair commentators say about your feminism doesn’t matter – Karen Pickering

“Your feminism needn’t be immune to new ideas that will challenge and strengthen it. But crucially, it’s yours. It’s yours to work on and work through and it takes energy and thought every day. It may thrive if you harness your energies alongside other likeminded people and organise collectively, but it will still be valuable if you perform it by having mind-changing conversations at your kitchen table, back fence, church or union meeting.”

Modern feminism – Woman’s Hour

“Jenni Murray meets the young activists getting involved in feminist campaigns. What the issues which are uniting feminists? What subjects divide them? Is feminism too white, too exclusive, too middle class or are new voices being attracted to the cause? Why are feminist groups making the headlines now and what can they learn from the earlier waves of activists?”

Sun’s Page 3 photos of topless women will stay, says new editor – Guardian

“Speaking on the radio station LBC 97.3 on Wednesday morning, Dinsmore said that Page 3 would remain in the paper despite growing criticism from campaigners.

 He compared Page 3 to a new exhibition of erotic Japanese paintings at the British Museum in London and said: ‘This stuff at the British Museum is far more explicit and raunchy.’ “

The Patriarchy: is the concept still relevant to feminism? – The Quail Pipe

“So, viewing The Patriarchy as the enemy is no longer crucial to the feminist agenda. A trans women isn’t going to have equal protection from the authorities until there’s no transphobia. A black woman isn’t going to have equal job opportunities until there’s no racism. If feminism is all about women being equal to men, then intersectionality is essential. By focussing too heavily on the patriarchy there is a risk of ignoring intersectionality and fighting for middle-class straight white women’s rights while larger issues go unaddressed and many women benefit much less from the achievements of feminism.”

A review of Nefarious: another misguided approach to sex trafficking – From Two To One

“We all need to come to terms with the why of human trafficking. For the makers and proponents of the message behind Nefarious, the why may be the battle between good and evil in the world. From a Christian perspective, sin and the subsequent brokenness of our world is absolutely the root of this evil. But saying that human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, exists because our sinful nature — it being a spiritual and moral issue primarily — is not the most precise answer, nor is it the most actionable.”