Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Relief Projekt

My good friend has just published her report on Swiss and German medical relief organizations. She spent 18 months putting it together, doing research in Germany and Switzerland and doing medical relief work herself in Mexico and Africa. The perspective is challenging and I encourage all of you to read it. The site also includes some really fantastic photos that she took on her adventures.


Monday, January 23, 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth

I got my pictures from my trip to Disneyworld earlier this month. I had never been so I found it to be quite magical! This pic was my favorite.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Little Quiz

Yesterday was my first day teaching women's history... it was a blast! I have a sharp group of students and the gentlemen in the class who were not aware they signed up for women's history promised to have an open mind. I asked them these questions as an icebreaker to see what their preconceived notions hold. See what yours are. (Click on comments to see the answers)

True or False:

1. Most American women did not work prior to World War II.

2. Historically, the Deep South is a bi-racial society (black and white).

3. The March on Washington was initially proposed by a woman.

4. Women did not get the right to vote until 1920 in the U. S.

5. All feminists are bra-burning leftists.

6. The women’s rights movement began in the 1970s.

7. Women were not allowed in the military until the Vietnam War.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Women in the Emerging Church

My article, "Women in the Emerging Church", came out last month in Reformation and Revival Journal. It's in the December, 2005 issue, 14:3. I meant to post this sooner, but here it is now. You can get a subscription to the journal for a good price, or you can just buy the individual copy. Go to their website and check it out... the name of the journal is being changed to Act III Review, but for now go to Reformation and Revival.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why I'm a Feminist, Part Five: The Future

I could continue talking about this forever (and I will). But I’ll wrap up this series with a discussion about what I would love to see the future entail for feminism:

~ An increased consciousness of women’s experience around the globe. American feminism is so focused on the U. S. that it misses the work and trials of our sisters/neighbors abroad.

~ A greater respect for faith. Faith-based and faith-supported feminist groups are on the rise, but the feminist community in general invalidates these causes because of their religious bases.

~ The involvement of younger women. Many teenagers and twenty-somethings are particularly ignorant today of feminist issues. Empowering and educating these young women will prove integral to the survival and breadth of the cause.

~ A broader definition of feminism. For example, in my opinion, abstinence, stay at home mom-ing, adoption instead of abortion, and dedication to a life of faith should all be seen as feminist choices.

~ Continue to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Many feminist organizations speak up for children, victims of abuse, and victims of many forms of marginalization. This should increase.

~ A unity of women and men across class, race, and religious lines. The American feminist movement has struggled for years to develop commonality across these signifiers and I think everyone will benefit from sharing the struggle with understanding and love.

Some of this is very idealistic, but no one would be anywhere without ideals. Today we are living in the hope of someone who went before us with the help of the divine hand that led us to new heights. Susan B. Anthony, who toiled for women's suffrage over 50 years and never herself had the privilege of the ballot, put it this way,

"Failure is impossible."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Why I'm a Feminist, Part Four: The Term

For those of you who agree that men and women are of equal worth and who work for and practice egalitarianism may have never thought of yourselves as a feminist. (This summer one of my friends was excited when I told him men could be feminists and he proudly sported the label). It might have never occurred to you that when you are okay working for a woman or when you don’t buy into misogyny that you are, indeed, practicing feminism.

You may not want to be a feminist. You may think the term has too many derogatory connotations, that it is too liberal and too weird, that it enables women to bash men and do whatever they want to do without any boundaries whatsoever. The label might imply that you are not a person of faith.

So here is why I use the term.

First, I do believe that men and women are of equal worth. I believe all the definitions I talked about in Part One.

Second, using the term connects me with a broader movement. I can work alongside others fighting for women’s rights in a wider context.

Third, it signifies a big part of my goals. True, my first goal is to know God and make God known (okay that’s two goals). But feminism does carry a big part of what I am attempting to communicate and achieve in our world.

Fourth, I don’t see an issue with defining myself as a feminist. Missionaries identify themselves as human rights or medical relief workers, for example. The term carries a lot of meaning but it does not exclude me from my faith.

Finally, the term “feminist” is, in and of itself, empowering. Women cite their choices as feminist from little changes like dying their hair to huge changes like becoming a CEO. Calling yourself a feminist can give you more meaning and confidence.

Happy new year to all!