Monday, November 01, 2010

Hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore

Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

I was writing about Mary Kassian presentation, "You've come a long way Baby!" from the '08 True Women's Conference.  Part Four I am going to breeze through quickly.

Part One , Part Two, Part Three

She used a good example of what Consciousness raising was.  That is where she left off the last time.

Consciousness-raising was actually a political technique used by the revolutionary army of Mao Tse-tung. His slogan was, “Speak bitterness to recall bitterness. Speak pain to recall pain.” To promote discord and instability in a village, his political revolutionaries would call the townswomen together and get them to talk about their hurts. “Come tell me about the hurts that you've experienced.”

So the women were encouraged to speak bitterness and pain, and the initial reluctance gave way to collective anger as woman after woman told stories of being raped by landlords, being sold as concubines, or physical abuse. As women vented their bitterness, they experienced a newfound strength and resolve that empowered them to corporate action.

For example, in one village, a peasant man was physically pummeled to a pulp and attacked by an entire group of women because he hadn't been treating his wife well. Together, the women found the strength to act and to confront their situation and the resolve to be active in forcing change, and that is how Mao Tse-tung got his revolution.
The man in the story about getting plummeled by a group of women made headlines.  Being raped by landlords, sold as concubines, or being physically abuse doesn't.   

Yes this makes the point of how things were very one-sided very well I thought.

The one-sided entitlements were also spoken about here with Consciousness-raising groups, and just like the army of Mao Tse-tung were aware of this circumstance (why else would he use it) it was also brought to light here.  Its very true it grew like wildfire just like the Faberge commercial.  "And she told two friends...and she told two friends...and so on and so on and so on".  Men, Women and Children started to talk about why things were so one sided, and what Mary Kassian doesn't seem to speak about is how everyone KNEW it as well.

The shift in mindset—the feminist movement began to shift in mindset at this time. Women began to see themselves as a sex class and as a distinct class of people that needed liberation, that needed freedom, and that needed freedom from oppression. The first phase of the movement viewed women's differences as weaknesses. The second phase viewed their differences as a source of pride and confidence. The shift in mindset was epitomized by the song we played when I first came up to the stage. I remember that song. I sang it as a young girl.

I am strong.
I am invincible.
I am woman.
Hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.

Women turned their attention at that time from naming themselves to naming the world. History was just arbitrary. It was all the rules and all the ideas that men had made. It was his-story, and it was time for that to change. So woman took it into her own hands to change that from economics to politics, psychology, linguistics, relationships, religion. Women needed to change that which had been construed for male advantage.
I will admit some of the lengths some feminist went to at the time were pretty OUT THERE!  That isn't all that unusual if you look at different changes in history.  That didn't change the fact that women were able to do and experience things like they never had before.

Let go back to one of the first paragraphs:

So the women were encouraged to speak bitterness and pain, and the initial reluctance gave way to collective anger as woman after woman told stories of being raped by landlords, being sold as concubines, or physical abuse. As women vented their bitterness, they experienced a newfound strength and resolve that empowered them to corporate action.

Just like in the women's movement there was reluctance.  Then you find out that you are not alone with the disrespect towards women at that time, and prior to that time.  You see Mary Kassian can't take away that part of the truth. The Civil Rights movement bubbled up due to oppression as well.

When you keep the disrespect hidden or isolated in certain ways, or if you discourage people to speak of it due to threat of punishment?  It tends to blow up in your face when the light of truth is shown.

Yes Consciousness Raising was a tool to open up dialog, and did show parts of women's lifes that were disrespected and neglected.  It was hidden by silence.  What changed?  You talked about it, and things began to change. 

If you look at that paragraph above again?  WHY were they not encouraged to do something about being raped, or sold, or physical abused?  WHO encourage them to be silence?  Society.

Even if you look at famous biblical scholars of the past when they spoke of women?  It wasn't benevolent.  It wasn't loving.  It wasn't the definition of the bible we all read.  The disrespect of others - men, women, or children - from a small population that made all the rules were not the benevolent leaders they claim that represent us today.  The biblical scholars may have done great works in other areas, but attitudes towards women in general wasn't what certain faith circles claim they represent.

You can't change history! Yet when you hear people rant about feminism they never bring that up.  It seems like they wish to bring the 'one sided' portion back, and play like the rest wasn't reality.  That would be rather impossible today.

The treatment of the 'powerless' from the 'powerful' is what brought change.  It may not all be good, but there were enough men and women that felt that change did need to begin.

The domination needed to end, because for far to long that control had been abused.

We are learning more and more about women's health due to this movement (one example), because it truly wasn't on top of the 'to do' list prior.  It was the same in educational, mental health, etc.  The minorities were not to different either.

Mary Kassian goes on to speak of how some did start to question faith.

The feminist metaphysic teaches that each woman contains divinity within her own being. New Age philosophy, Wicca, goddess worship are all expressions of this feminist spirituality. Have you ever wondered how and why advertisers named their new women's shaver after a goddess and market their product as being able to provide stubble-free legs worthy of the goddess in you?

The fundamental premise of feminism is that women need and can trust no other authority than our own personal truth, and that was a really quick fly-over of just where we've come from in the last 40, 50 years.

It was a philosophical quake that shook underground, and like a tsunami—the waves of the implications of that have come back over society in wave after wave after wave, and the carnage is unbelievable. The carnage in young women's lives, in older women's lives, the carnage is unbelievable. We are so broken.

We have been taught that we ought not to bow and submit to any external power, but that's not the message of the Bible. God created us. He created us male and female, and that's not inconsequential. That means something.
As far as I know there is no 'official' God of the feminists.  All kinds of crazy things happened in that period, and believe me it wasn't just the feminist playing that song.

Her quick fly over of the last 40 or 50 years didn't show both sides, and if you wish people to make a 'solid' choice you must do just that.   If you wish to claim you speak for the 'truth' then you need to show all of it.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

What I see happening is fear of that truth, and they place a nostalgic view of the past - and leave all the poop out.

What seemed to be questioned that was never 'questioned' prior to that is what 'external' power are we bowing and submitting to!

They no longer wished to submit to the 'man only' rules that had been in place forever.  That is NOT a slam against God and the bible.  It was a slam against those that wish to keep the new empowered people group down where they were, and stay there.   The small minority of people in power wanted to keep their place.

I also realize some left the faith, and went to new ways of thinking.  As we see today people receive the wrong message of the bible when they apply legalistic rules of the church, or use the image of the abusive father.  When churches don't stand up to child molesters, wife abusers, and rest of those ugly sins.  They leave the faith because they refuse to 'submit' to those that wish to silence those acts.

Some refuse to leave the faith, and speak out against those things.  You noticed how they are received most of the time?

Some of the goals of feminist theology (that stayed in the faith) include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining the place of women place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts.  These things were not looked at in the same way prior.

Christian feminism is a branch of feminist theology which seeks to reinterpret and understand Christianity in light of the equality of women and men. While there is no standard set of beliefs among Christian feminists, most agree that God does not discriminate on the basis of biologically determined characteristics such as sex. Their major issues are the ordination of women, male dominance in Christian marriage, and claims of moral deficiency and inferiority of abilities compared to men. They also are concerned with the balance of parenting between mothers and fathers, and the overall treatment of women in the church.

YES the number are to large to ignore!  There is a reason for that, and basically telling a partial true about the past is lying.  You don't leave little tidbits out that don't make your view of feminism weaker I guess.  That is why people approach with caution.

"The Father Rule" was around for thousands of years, but can't ignore the pure domination, oppression, cruelty, and just out right abuse of that rule.  People will claim that 'not all' men were like that.  I don't think anyone questions this.  There were good people always - men and women.

You don't use the 'good ones' as an excuse not to deal with the 'bad ones', and pretend it didn't happen.  Minimizing it by saying 'it wasn't that bad', etc.

Just as you can't label all men 'cruel' you can't label all women that stand up against the evils perpetrated against them as 'man haters' either.

We as people of faith should be standing up to evil!  That is also something that is not inconsequential, and 'means' something in the eyes of God.

I will say one thing about her presentation so far!  She tends to present things as they did in the past.  They use the most extreme cases and present them as the 'norm' if you don't follow their way of thinking.  They leave out the ugly parts, and present most households as 'The Beavers'.  You leave out key points like the civil rights movement standing up to the same shameful attitude of society at that time.   You never mention the turmoil of the time, the war, and the rebellion of the youth MENTIONING why they are rebelling.

When you look at the overall circumstance?  They were rebelling against a select few that decided long ago they would make the rules, and they were the ruling class.  They would present life as they wanted it presented, and leave out key factors they felt may 'work' against it.  It wasn't just 'women' of the time that were standing up and say, "HEY! What a minute!"

We must learn to grow and cultivate relationships without the threat of punishment, and the dynamic of dominion and control.  Those things are in the past.  We must learn to use concepts such as: Love, Honor, and Respect.  If that is possible we will learn to deal with how people should learn to interact.  Instead of recognizing the broader base of power and freedom, and how it is no longer controlled by a small group that dealt with others with a LOT of disrespect?  That empowerment shouldn't be a threat.  It won't change WHOM you are.  It doesn't stop you from honoring your husband, or loving your wife.

The numbers are to big to ignore!  They are treated as enemies.  The use of deceptive presentations, fear mongering, and creating this 'us against them' is not something that is based in Christianity.  God's world is very clear on how to deal with enemies, and calling them names, telling they can't grasp Christian concepts for families, distorting the truth of history so you can lay the blame on a certain group?

Did we not learn something from past?  Those things don't work.  The truth always comes out.  There were reasons why the minority groups, and the women stood up and said NO MORE!  Fear is what is holding people back from accepting it.  You will always have those that resist it, take hold of the power they have left, and others learn to adapt in the new world of the newly empowered people.

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