Thursday, September 07, 2006

rejecting feminisms

I like to read, and I like to find contemporary authors, progressives, people with views that maybe differ from the established traditions or accepted norms. I am always trying to have a clearer view of things I believe and testing my own thought process and belief system. I am currently in a very conservative branch of Christianity, as a practicing Mennonite, but the church I attend is non-traditional, in that none of the attenders were born into the faith. We don't wear caps or ride in buggies. As you can see, I have a computer, use the phone, watch TV and enjoy modern conveniences as much as I can. If someone insists on taking my washer and dryer they will die standing. That much being said, I recently logged on to to cruise book lists. I checked out a book by an author I used to enjoy very much, Sue Monk Kidd. Her latest is The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. Sue has Southern Baptist roots, which I think have the Mennonites beat for conservative views on home, family and feminine behavior-I'll concede that much. I guess this is her foray away from those roots and into the fruitier parts of the spiritual tree, goddess studies, the female divine, all that. I tried to forgive her last fictional novel for chronicling the midlife "awakening" of the female heroine in which she has sex with a man who is about to take vows to become a monk. Well, I guess it was a loaf of bread, a bottle of blessed wine and thou, wow.

Brother (and I do mean brother), I was so disappointed. Why does an awakening seem to always include a fall from grace? I would have been so much happier if she had just talked to the brother-in-waiting...why couldn't they have become friends? And her gifts of painting awakend from all that horizontal cha-cha-ing, blah, blah, blah. That made me even more upset because that there is MY gift. Don't mess with it. What is it about illicit behavior that it gets continually connected with someone growing up? I think it's more about someone showing off their diapers. What about people who win that struggle? We don't really ever hear about them-not interesting enough, I suppose. And now Ms. Kidd is very anxious to let us follow her journey into ditching male pronouns, of the God the Father variety. Forgive me for wanting to hurl. No, wait, don't.

Can I just make one point perfectly clear? The most liberated male who ever lived was Jesus Christ, God's SON. Not daugher, not wife, not ms. whomever. He liberated this female in a way that no feminist organization could ever accomplish. Am I sorry for the gains women have made in this century in society? No. I have benefitted greatly as a 21st century woman in a developed country. But here's the thing-I like men to be men. I like God to be a Father. I'm really fine with scripture the way it is. I don't think Sue Monk Kidd has read it very carefully. Let's see, Paul instructs men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. That ain't a job for no girly men. Submission was always described as first submission to God, then to Christian brothers and sisters, married or not. And may I say the finest men I have ever known are Mennonites, or Christians honestly determined to live their faith.

Well, all I know is the pastors, leaders, laymen and ordinary guys in the church have often served as my best supports and role models. I don't trust women who have to be the trumpet section in the band all of the time. I like to see couples who practice the mutual submission talked about in scripture and who genuinely respect and love each other. That is the greatest liberating force on the planet. Thanks to the real brothers-your sisters in faith haven't always made it easy, but we need you. Sorry, Sue.


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