Interdependent Web: Unfairly wounded, calling all Amazons, a question of voice

Interdependent Web: Unfairly wounded, calling all Amazons, a question of voice

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


Unfairly wounded

The Rev. Theresa Novak’s God is not untouched by suffering.

They say that we are made
In the image of the Divine
I believe that
Most of the time. . . .

But when I hurt
When the pain of living
Makes it hard to face
Another sunrise
Then I don’t have to believe.
I know. (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, November 30)

Liz James writes that a fighting off a bedbug infestation prepared her for the Trump presidency.

That feeling of living day in day out with a thousand little wounds under your skin. . . . That feeling of WE MUST BE VIGILANT EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY and that feeling of oh, so, freaking exhausted. . . .

And it’s the exhaustion that leads us to try to figure out who is right and who is wrong. Which never works, because when we try to draw the line between legitimate concerns and granolier-than-thou-ing, we are not going to be able to figure out who is attacker and who is unfairly wounded.

Because we’re all unfairly wounded. (Liz James Writes, November 29)

Calling all Amazons

The Rev. Vanessa Southern writes that this moment is an opportunity for strong women to change the balance of power.

I’m aware the Amazons are mythological. And also that I am feeling a need to resurrect their ranks from the pages of books. Something about female flesh being fierce, intimidating, and dangerous feels appropriate and necessary and appealing right now. And necessary to balance the power that has hurt so many with so few repercussions. . . . until now. Maybe now. (Facebook, November 30)

Responding to a well-known male blogger, the Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern objects to his suggestion that women just need to work harder to get ahead in a man’s world.

You . . . could help by focusing more on addressing the injustice and less on telling us to grow the talents we already possess. This post tells the virtuoso on stage "Just play louder!" instead of telling the chainsaw operator backstage to turn the thing off. (Twitter, November 28)

A question of voice

For the Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long, the question of women finding their voices is more than a metaphorical one.

So, this is apparently a news flash for some, but policing the very *voices* of others is oppressive. It’s physically and physiologically repressive. It’s relationally repressive. And if you’re doing it to women, which statistics indicate you almost certainly are, it’s agency for patriarchy, even if you yourself happen to BE a woman. (Facebook, November 27)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein takes a different approach—arguing that it’s important for preachers, both women and men, to treat their voice as a professional tool that needs to be honed.

Voices are not as organic and “natural” as some argue. “He just talks that way” is far less accurate than “he learned young to lower his force his vocal register unnaturally low for his age and size to compensate for insecurity about being sufficiently masculine in a household full of macho men” or “she learned in childhood to hold back her breath and diminish her volume so as not to anger her exhausted mother.” We learn; we can unlearn, or strengthen, or change aspects of our vocal production in order to be more effective communicators. (Beauty Tips for Ministers, November 28)

Rape culture

The Rev. Dan Schatz shares what he has learned about sexual abuse from his work as a minister.

When a beloved or respected figure commits sexual misconduct, it is incredibly divisive to the entire community. Many will leap to defend the actions of this figure, explain them away, blame the person who has been harassed or abused, or accuse the whistleblower of ulterior motives, particularly if such actions seem at odds with the figure’s public statements, positions and actions. It is hard to believe something that seems so incongruous on the surface of it. That doesn’t make it any less true. (Facebook, November 25)

The Rev. Dennis McCarty acknowledges the complexity of combating rape culture.

We might begin by being honest with ourselves. We’ll never put patriarchy or rape culture behind us unless we’re willing to look at them as an interconnected whole. And unless each of us is willing to look honestly at ourselves. In part, that means me owning the full spectrum of ways in which I’ve objectified, and thereby harmed, women, indirectly as well as directly. (Dennis McCarty, November 23)

A path to reconciliation

The Rev. James Ford compares two parables of lost sons, one from the Christian tradition, and one from the Buddhist tradition.

In the Christian version, we are invited to a magical moment where someone surrenders his burden, is immediately reconciled, and with that is welcomed to a feast.

Of course, there continue to be consequences for past actions, but the most important point is a calling into presence, into connection.

In the Buddhist version we are invited to a path of acknowledgment, where there is a profound connection, maybe even the same profound connection as in the other story, but, where the good teacher offers a path to reconciliation. (Monkey Mind, November 27)