Monthly Archives: November 2014

What Feminism Cost Me

What feminism cost me.

(It has come at a price, and I’ve paid dearly.)

It cost me:
-abusive theologies
-abusive ecclesiastical structures
-abusive relationships
-a sense of place (as in, now I’m always out of place, out of order, and improper)
-a sense of propriety (in the sense of property: that culture or church or man owns me)
-willful naivety
-easy answers
-the respect of some family and friends (you know who you are)
-an education (as I had to unlearn much of what I’d been taught)
-fairy tales
-notions of perfection
-a future

What feminism has given me.

(And it has been generous with its gifts.)

Feminism has given me:

-life-giving theologies
-life-giving ecclesiologies
-life-giving relationships
-nomadic perspectives (against the parochial)
-ownership and responsibility for the persons, places and things by which I’m surrounded
-perpetual self critique
-the desire to be rubbed raw by the truth
-an anticipation of change
-the respect of some family and friends (you know who you are)
-an education
-oral traditions
-a deep love and delight in humanity and all its flaws
-a vocation
-a future.

If, in your mind, I appear to be all elbows…
I appear to be flailing…
I appear to not know the proper way to behave
or the right way to be…

Remember it is the bars of your cage I’m bloodying myself against.
I will not sit quietly by and allow the perch upon which you
(or the church, or society)
have been placed,
to be the parameters of my world.

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On Rugby and Grace

My seatmate on the CTA this evening was a gentleman from Sierra Leone. We got to talking and laughing about the horribly lopsided score of the NZ All Blacks vs. US Eagles match on Saturday. He asked me how much I paid for tickets and I felt a little evasive. I answered by saying how much the face-value of the tickets were, then said I’d paid a bit more than that. He then added up the cost of parking and the food and guessed how much the afternoon cost me.

I grew horribly uncomfortable and a bit embarrassed by the extravagance. He realized that and said “But lady, some times things are once-in-a-life-time events, and worth every penny. Five years ago I insisted that my wife and I take our kids home to Sierra Leone to meet my family there. It was very costly and we debated whether we should. I finally told her to stop worrying and let’s just do it. Now, my children are older and might remember more and appreciate the trip more… but look at the world. With ebola like it is and the travel restrictions, and how many are sick and getting sick… we will likely never go again. So many in my family are dying, we’ll likely never see them again. It was good and opportune that we went when we did. I wanted my mama and papa to know my children. And they got to meet them. Some of my family is in the village… we can’t even phone and find out if they are still alive.”

It brought tears to my eyes. He reached out and held my hand for a moment, then dropped it and wiped tears from his.

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