Interdependent Web: Body of proof, nightmare of patriarchy, grieving a brother

Interdependent Web: Body of proof, nightmare of patriarchy, grieving a brother

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.

Heather Christensen


Our body of proof

Tina Porter tells a painful truth—that so many women bear in their bodies the proof of the crimes committed against us.

Mitch McConnell says “I believe the women,” and I hate that I feel my body relax, when my brain is yelling, “about f@cking time!”

But the body, she knows. She is the proof that men say they want, but don’t see because they are looking only at parts and not the whole; looking with scientific tools that shine light on rips in the flesh, but not in the soul, where trust once lived. (Ugly Pies, November 15)

The nightmare of patriarchy

Doug Muder writes that one aspect of the story about Roy Moore’s attraction to underage girls is that “ the religious divide is bigger than you think.”

In general, American Christians tend to picture extreme Christians as like themselves, only moreso: They attend church more often, take the Bible more literally, are more offended by sinful behavior, and so forth. But the Moore controversy is uncovering a conservative Christian subculture that is totally outside the mainstream.

In particular, the claim that there’s nothing wrong with 30-something men pursuing just-out-of-puberty girls is related to a “traditional” view of marriage that most American Christians would find repellent: A 14-year-old girl isn’t going to be an equal partner with a 32-year-old man; but if a wife’s only purpose is to obey her husband and have a lot of babies, she can do that as well an adult woman. Maybe better. (The Weekly Sift, November 13)

A few years ago, the Rev. Jake Morrill flew on the same plane as Louis C.K., and considered writing him a note expressing his admiration.

I wanted to thank him for presenting an image of a man whose humility allowed his humanity. But it turns out that’s all it ever was: an image. I hope repentance gives way to restoration and reconciliation—this is my hope even for people frantically denying the truth today, like Roy Moore. But, even more, I hope for healing for those traumatized by his actions. And most of all, for a world where men aren’t dangerous to others, onscreen or off, and where we can all laugh our heads off, freely, with each other. (Facebook, November 11)

Chris Crass starts a conversation about resources for men who want to participate in dismantling patriarchy.

So with that, what organizations, efforts, individuals, do you know of currently and historically to help educate, organize, mobilize men for feminism, for gender justice, to end the nightmare of patriarchy?

Feminist men, in solidarity and alignment with people of all genders, must fight for the hearts, minds and futures of men and boys away from this death culture and towards feminist values, commitments and actions. (Facebook, November 14)

Justin Almeida wants more for his child than the broken systems he inherited.

My example to my child will not be “how to be a strong man” but “how to be a better human.” That to have power and privilege means being a servant leader. That to live simply and with happiness means giving a damn about others and not just themselves. That what matters isn’t the color of skin but the content of character. That listening is better than talking. That the greatest rule is to treat others as they would like to be treated. That if they are not part of the solution they are part of the problem. (What’s My Age Again, November 13)

Grieving a brother

After her brother’s recent death, the Rev. Krista Taves implores would-be comforters to avoid certain unhelpful platitudes, such as “treasure the memories.”

When someone dies in their prime, the death is very much experienced as a profound violation, both of the person you've lost, the people who loved them, and your own self. It is an insult. It is cruel. It is a theft.

At this time, my mind is so filled with memories it is deafening. And yes, I treasure them, but they do not bring me any comfort. Their fierceness is like an assault of the senses. (Facebook, November 12)

A prayer for enough

The Rev. Vanessa Southern offers a “prayer for enough.”

The world won’t stop spinning on her axis if you don’t rise to all occasions today.
Love won’t cease to flow in your direction,
your heart won’t stop beating,
all hope won’t be lost.
You are part of the plan for this world’s salvation,
of that I have no doubt.
The world needs its oceans of people striving to be good,
to carry us to the shores of hope and wash fear from the beach heads
and cleanse all wounds so they can heal.
But oceans are big and I am sure there are parts that don’t feel up to the task of the whole some days. (Medium, November 11)

Among fishermen and cooks

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford celebrates the camaraderie that springs up between strangers who share a common passion and skill.

Among fishermen and cooks, there is a requirement of respect to the activity. We have our little questions we ask, or our comments that we offer, -- our shibboleths -- that let the other person know that we treat fishing or cooking with honor. And we listen to each other, to show our respect for the other person's wisdom.

And once that is established, there are no strangers. (Facebook, November 13)