I married into your strange cadence
A drumbeat that never felt natural
All consuming was your intention
But I protected pieces of myself from your designs
And more pieces retrieved me
As you showed me your true colors..
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I married into your strange cadence
Love does not create powerful empires or concentrations of wealth or military might. Love is not what fuels the tanks of commerce or political clout or financial success. Many would say that love slows things down, mires us in complication. Love is not the way the successful and the effective move–it’s not fast enough, it’s not ruthless enough, it’s not excellent enough.
It’s no coincidence that women have often been seen as the carriers of love–the mothers of how we are loved and how we wish to be loved. The domain of women has been traditionally seen as “behind the scenes.” Women are the nurturers, the familiar narrative goes. Women are the ones who provide a soft landing after a hard day, an understanding ear for all the stresses of the world “out there.”
The extended narrative is that women will have to become masculinized to “play the game” of public life. Women will have to learn to be “like men” in order to compete, in order to win, in order to make an impact. Underneath these narratives of nurture and impact are the contours of power in patriarchy. Imprinting women with the responsibility to love in a context where love is secondary or even tertiary to things like aggression and competition, means women will often relegate themselves to the margins of public power. Not because we think we should be powerless, but because that’s where we often feel the most at home. And sometimes ceding public power can feel like the price women pay to truly love–to love ourselves, to love who we love, and to love the world around us. The contours of power in patriarchy can distort not just women’s lives, but everyone’s lives in ways that carry the weight of this distortion of love. (read full post)
With Black History Month fast approaching, it is fitting to investigate the latest call to get rid of it. This investigation may seem futile to some feminists/womanists since we know denials of racism are part of life in white supremacy patriarchy. As a feminist theologian, however, I’ve got nothing in my tool kit if I lose my hope for redemption and transformation. The following is my attempt to not give up on the possibility that white supremacy culture can be dismantled. White patriarchy has all kinds of messengers of its narrative—not just white men of privilege, but anyone who has … Read the full post
I am a contributor to the Feminism and Religion blog. Here is an excerpt of my most recent post. Thus, when enemies or friends Are seen to act improperly, Be calm and call to mind That everything arises from conditions. -Shantideva, Bodhicharyāvatāra The early Indian teacher, Shantideva, calls humanity to a deeper exploration of the people and situations we encounter. While it may sound simple, his invitation can be very difficult for American mentalities. He is asking us to look at something more complicated than the individual who acts; he is pointing us toward the causes and conditions that give … Read the full post
And excerpt of my latest post on the Feminism and Religion website:
Feeling safe again is often the healing and elusive aspiration of a person like me.
I have been living with the deep and cellular residuum of sexual trauma for most of my life—over thirty of my going-on forty-six years.
For many years, the grief and shame of losing my innocence cultivated an intense orientation to life’s doing. Safety for me back then was activity, noise, frenetic schedules, and a constant soundtrack to my life that meant I never had to be quiet with myself. Safety was in the predictable metrics of success that I could use to measure my self worth. I never had to stop and admit that I didn’t feel safe, ever. (Read full post)
This post originally appeared on the Feminism and Religion Blog on July 29. I am reposting it here as a part of my “Touchdowns for Jesus Play Book” series because it engages my chapter on gender, “Man Up,” in Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports (Cascade Books, 2014). Do sports depend on gender stereotypes that prop up particular expressions of masculinity?” This question is just one of the defining quandaries of my new book, Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports, just released from Cascade Books (an imprint … Read the full post
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Michigan voter-determined ban on Affirmative Action in college admissions decisions is just the latest example of how white obliviousness suppresses America’s collective capacity to heal from the wounds of racism. This obliviousness (a dynamic well described in Mary McClintock Fulkerson’s Places of Redemption) often manifests itself with pronounced potency among those who understand themselves as the well-informed stewards of fairness in our society. The Court’s decision in the Michigan case is a bewildering example of the self-perpetuating nature of obliviousness. When the ethos of a society is fed regularly with the pabulum of … Read the full post
I am a quarterly blogger on the Feminism and Religion website. My post up this week is on how race and privilege affected the NCAA investigation of the football program at University of North Carolina. If you enjoyed the Calling Audibles series, you will want to check out this post. If you are interested in issues of white privilege and race, you will want to read it, too. And if you are just curious about how in the world feminism and football could possibly have anything to say to each other, then I hope you’ll read on and let me know what you think. Here are the first couple of paragraphs.
I am a quarterly contributor to the Feminism and Religion Blog. My post this time around asks the same question Pilate asked Jesus: “What is truth?” I hope you’ll read the post and join the conversation. I welcome your insights. I can’t think of many more important questions for us to ponder together these days…. Peace, Marcia