Practice What You Preach by Corinna Guerrero

The underlying principle that links a feminist critique to every other critical lens since the rise of feminist discourse is the “hermeneutic of suspicion.” Essentially,  a hermeneutic of suspicion identifies the disconnect between rhetoric and a lived reality. The lived lives of women are different than the pontifications espoused directly and indirectly by the traditionally patriarchal social, political, cultural, religious, and educational structures in which individuals participate.

I like to think that I live my life bucking these structures whenever possible because the roles a woman plays in her own life should: 1) be determined by her; and 2) if she negotiates more “traditional practices” (e.g. marriage, motherhood, etc.) then these practices do not limit her to traditionalist practices (e.g. staying at home, spousal servitude, etc.). Granted, I used the two most generic examples of traditional and traditionalist practices, but the point is still valid. When I go to holidays with my extended family there are very few questions or comments about my PhD program, but many comments about the fact that I do not make a plate of food  for my husband.  

My hermeneutic of suspicion was triggered at a Bible Study last week. I will refrain from listing the denominational affiliation of the Christian church, the ethno-racial configuration of the participants, and the economic background of the community. In this way, the Bible Study does not represent our denominational, ethno-racial, or classist prejudices (and we all have them). It represents a common scenario faced by women and men every day who are hopeful and eager for better religious education.

When the pastor walked into the room he greeted everyone. The room was predominantly female with roughly a 7:1 sex-based ratio of attendees. I was pleased to hear  the pastor celebrate the commitment of the women in the room and their commitment to biblical education. His exuberance was invigorating after a long day of work. He advocated that the women celebrate their power in the church by rising up and asserting their voice, which has often been undercut by misguided interpretations about the “biblical” role of women.

I was excited to see where things were headed that evening. I felt like I had walked into the “right” kind of Bible Study environment. (It’s not easy to attend a Bible Study as a participant when most of your day is spent writing and lecturing on the Bible.) What I experienced in that room was nothing short of a disappointment. A Bible Study should be an opportunity for a group of people–self-defined by sex, gender, theme, liturgical calendar, miscellaneous, etc.–to learn more about the Bible. This Bible Study did nothing of the sort. The passage that were read (Gen 9:18-28) served as a launch pad for a larger discussion on the theme of Race, Racism, and the Bible. Although a theme was in place, there was no attempt on the part of the pastor to direct the conversation toward greater awareness of the Bible. Instead, the pastor spent 75 minutes of 90 minutes lecturing (badly!) on the relationship between the passage and assigned reading (I didn’t previously mention the assigned reading because the announcement of the Bible Study at the previous Sunday service only mentioned that this was a new Bible Study and that all were invited. Using assigned readings that are hypertextual in nature seems to fly directly in the face of an “all are invited” invitation.).

One question was posed to the attendees the entire evening: What do you think racism is? This is a good question. It was appropriate for the theme of the Bible Study. It is problematic when: this is the only question asked; when this was the majority of attendee participation; it only lasted about 7 minutes or so; and it does not give the attendees an opportunity to comment, reflect or inquire about the Bible.

I congratulate the pastor for attempting a topic so large and charged at a church Bible Study. I applaud him for encouraging the female attendees to take an active role in their church. I am grossly disappointed that by the end of the Bible Study the encouragement of women felt like lip service. Participants had to be very aggressive to have their questions even heard by the pastor because he monopolized what should have been a more balanced discussion of views. Because the Bible Study had about 22 people and 3 of them were men, statistically more women’s questions went unanswered or ignored by a ratio of approximately 4:1.

With regard to fairness, every good hermeneutic of suspicion should be tethered at some point to a hermeneutic of generosity. There are a number of reasons why a pastor might not answer questions during a Bible Study: trying to cover a lot of information; answered several questions already; doesn’t know the answer to a given question; has already answered that question earlier in the session, or possibly thinks the answer might derail the conversation (if there is a conversation taking place).

What cannot be looked past with a hermeneutic of generosity is the fact that any male leader that goes out of his way to commend women on their commitment to further study and encourages women to rise up in their denomination should also be aware that if he does not give a proper education on the subject matter, then he is still participating in a system of subjugation. Just because Pastor may have exclaimed that women should take a stronger role in their church community does not necessarily mean that Pastor creates opportunities for women to develop themselves accordingly.

bell hooks in her work Teaching to Transgress talks about how education is liberation. If this is true (as an educator I do believe that it is true), to take a horizontal, collaborative and dialogic educational environment like a Bible Study and make it a top-down, vertical, monologic, predominantly single-speaking voice lecture is a crime and an abuse of power. If you want to empower women to have an active voice/role, there MUST be an opportunity to hear women speak!

 Corinna Guerrero is a 5th year doctoral student at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Biblical Studies with specializations in Hebrew Bible and Literary Theory. She will be proposing her dissertation on Adoni-bezek and Characterization Theory in the near future. In addition to her studies Ms. Guerrero is currently a Newhall Teaching Fellow at the GTU and an Adjunct Instructor at the American Baptist Seminary of the West. In her personal life Ms. Guerrero is also a wife and mother of a 3 year old daughter named Eva.

25 thoughts on “Practice What You Preach by Corinna Guerrero”

  1. I simply don’t understand why there are women interested in studying these decaying religions in the first place – let alone in a group led by a male pastor. The ‘Religions of the Book’ have little or nothing to offer women in the contemporary world. They are not accidentally but structurally misogynist: their misogyny cannot be reformed without the whole thing falling apart. Nothing of worth for women can any longer flow from the idea of a single, authoritarian, male deity. It’s phallus worship. If there was once a time when these religions offered something to women, that is a matter of historical debate. But we live in the now: you are talking about the day to day realities of your own life in the 21st century.
    The question is, what will we teach our daughters? Blind obedience to a woman-loathing male deity ? That the issues of women clergy, or the right to sexual self-determination for women, are even any longer a matter of debate in Christianity, Judaism and Islam tells us all we need to know about how tenaciously backward they remain. Moreover, their influence on the wider community is profoundly dangerous for all women, affecting as it does every women’s rights to basic sexual, social and political freedoms.
    This is what got me started on these posts! Why are we even discussing (unless within a wholly historical enquiry) those obscene ideas about women and sin and Eve? And why are strong,educated, women still going to bible class ? Anybody’s bible class?
    All Blessings, June


  2. iune courage, I like your name! My sentiments exactly. Why are women going to bible classes and listening to male pastors lecture 70 out of the 90 minutes? It is a tactic of patriarchal men to condescendingly thank “the ladies” for showing up. But it’s all about the male centric structure of the bible itself, the idea that 1:7 male/female ratios in class recreate the same old male supremacy over and over and over again. I would never sit and listen to a man lecture about anything, I’d walk out immediately.

    What fascinates me is how all the women — the clear majority of the class— did not raise voices and shut this man down and take over the class? Why the passivity? What gives here? Are we doomed to feminism 101 until we all die?

    Go to most churches and women are the majority of the congregants while the male lectures from on high. Go to any State Farm Insurance agency, and you’ll see three or four young women supporting the male agent– a kind of modern day business harem. Same at the dentist’s office–it’s fascinating to see male domination just about everywhere. So common in fact, that most women just sit and listen…no rebellion, women expect something different…we’ll be waiting till the cow jumps over the moon. And still 2012 is the same as 1998 is the same as 1977.

    If we can’t walk out, or take over a class that is so outrageously male dominated— timing the number of minutes men speak vs. the number of minutes women speak is a very good policy–it reveals all.

    Not a surprise that family members are more interested in making you serve your husband a plate of food than in your PhD program….Corinna…. I get that all the time in heteronormative family gatherings… it’s as if as intellectual women, and in my case a radical lesbian feminist, are completely invisible in our passionate lives, and erased by the tyranny of the patriarchal family.
    It’s a contageon everywhere, and we are fools to believe things are going to change as long as we sit in those chairs, and put up with blathering male pastors in a bible class, or any other class for that matter. Clever tactic of patriarchy… throw a few tokens to the “girls” make them believe a male cares about their opinions, and then dominate the class for 70 minutes. It’s a tactic.


    1. I most definitely agree with you why werent some of these women within the bible study raising their voice and getting themselves heard. I do not necessarily mean that that they had to take over and disregard the pastor but they could have questioned his method. These women obviously had the capacity to speak for themselves and the capability to be active agents within the group. In a sense this shows for me that many of us become bystanders and let others lead the way when we obviously know it is not the correct way to go especially, when we are aware that something should be said to change it. Speaking up can be a hard thing to do and even harder to directly challenge another person but if you do not try to change what you think is not correct then what else is there to do–sit there and watch?


  3. The reason I question why ‘educated’ women should want to go to Bible class is because I believe they (we all) have better things to do with their time. In this context, ‘educated’ will mean biblical scholars, thealogians, historians of religion and so on.
    As Turtle Woman points out, we really don’t want any more men telling us how we should think, feel, and believe. Men have been imposing their faith on women for 2,000 years and more, and I am not alone in believing that women need to return to an earlier, more feminised spirituality if they are to find again their ancient, sacred understanding. Now, whatever the good and bad sides of pagan civilisations, the one thing they did offer was spiritual variety. And the Goddess.
    Contemporary Goddess spirituality means that women are free to create their own space for prayer and worship in their own way. They have their own thealogy, their own iconography, and articulate their own spiritual power without let or hinderence by men.
    So it seems to me that what we ask from our (feminist) scholars is dicussion of and enquiry into these feminised forms of thought and belief.
    We need historians who will help us understand how Goddess religions worked in the past, including how they related to Judaism/early Christianity/emegernt Islam. We need philologists who can explain how language functions to determine the ways people in the past have thought about belief and sex and gender and the rest. We need art historians to analyse the iconography.We need archeologists and paleographers and anthropologists and specialists of all kinds. And we need contemporary thealogians to create and realise the kinds of language in which we will rearticulate our newest/most ancient faith.
    But we don’t need any more bible classes – especially not bible classes led by men. Enough Already !!!
    Best Blessing June


    1. June Courage, I definitely agree that we don’t need any more bible classes, but there are many women that still want them. This idea of segregating men and women because men don’t always say the right thing seems a little off. Men need to be there, men need to help teach just as much as women do to also learn about “feminised spirituality”. If women had to learn all about the men in the bible and what men have done, then men need to learn about what women have done.We live in an integrated world and excluding the men from female practices would just make things worse. Saying that men can’t teach to women about women is unfair. If a white teacher wants to teach about black history, she should have the right to do so without unfair criticism because of our past. So yes, I would definitely say that the Goddess religions and that past needs to be explored, but not only by women in a no men allowed setting.


      1. Berlyn, thank you for your response. If you read the replies I posted to Mona Adem and Sarai Virgen, below, you will see that I have addressed these
        points, and that I’m not arguing for segregation.
        However, I’m unsure how far the comparisan between teaching history and preaching gospel can be taken: history, by its very nature, has a degree of objectivity (the better the historian the greater the objectivity) and can be verified (or falsified) against established facts. It is, for example, a fact, that women have not been allowed to serve as priests in the religions of the Book because they are considered unclean. Whether a particular woman feels herself called to such ministry, or thinks that she is or is not unclean, is something of a wholly different order.
        Similarly, the history of slavery in the USA could be taught by any competent and qualified teacher. But the psychological effects of that history will be different for peoples of differing ancestry, and surely no one group would have any right to tell another how they should feel about it
        I believe the imagination is our most powerful and most human faculty. And through the imagination we can and do come to understand all kinds of things which are beyond the limits of our actual experience. But very few men have taken the trouble to try and imagine how women feel about the way the established religions have treated them.
        I don’t think its our concern, as women, to fret about how men will find their place within the new spirituality women are creating for themselves. Nor do I have any problem with men and women developing separate spiritualities. The ancient world recognised men’s as well as women’s mysteries, and I see no need for us all to offer at the same altar. Even so, the Goddess loves every one of her her children alike, sons as well as daughters, and I rejoice with those brothers in spirit who honour her.
        All good Blessings for Brothers as well as Sisters !!


  4. june courage, thanks for your insights. I think we perhaps have a whole new generation of women who are still listening to men. I often wonder how they can stand it. Religion as we know it has been so horrifying to women, and I find spiritual expression in the places women claim as our own.
    My anger at male supremacy is rage, and my spiritual way of doing it is in thinking of Kali the destroyer goddess. Or I think of women in armor literally doing battle with patriarchy itself.

    If women are ever to fully comprehend the incideous nature of male supremacy and literally flee from the room rather than listen to one more man lecture on the bible, we have our work cut out for ourselves. Mary Daly walked out, and I still think of that act as the most inspiring, the most powerful, the most lesbian moment of the 1970s! I so love her integrity for doing that.

    I find my most powerful spiritual insights in the company of lesbians, in spiritual groups led by lay leaders or presenters. This will not go well here, but there really is something terribly off putting about all this biblical scholarship, this academic focus, when I see women as so powerful in our own communities, discovering the goddess, honoring lesbian rage at the man-chine, providing a context to do battle with patriarchy, and heteronormative oppression in all its forms.

    A friend of mine gave me a little gift recently. It was a picture of a woman in armor. I loved it.

    A long time ago, I heard from a lesbian who was a pastor of an MCC church. Privately, she said she’d rather have goddess groups, and she didn’t have much interest in the bible or even in christianity, but she needed the income and the job. She felt she could do more for gay and lesbian worlds within that context. But I felt sad at this loss of talent, and wondered if all the bible study mania within “feminism” was really just about jobs, tenure etc.

    It’s why I have faith in lay led women’s groups, and always get so much more out of them.

    Lately, I seem to be running into a lot of old lesbian feminists–Jewish, powerful, seasoned activists of the Great War against male domination that occured in the late 60s through the 70s. A couple of these women used to be Marxists, and I found their atheism invigorating, powerful, and their brilliant minds a delight to be around. It was just the four of us in a Mexican restaurant, but seeing the old lesbian warhorses and their clarity of purpose and insights into the present was sacred to me. We had won something clearly, and although our politics were varied, it was the lesbian nation writ small that was this moment of power. It made me realize that the powerful intellect has always been a delight to me, my kind of spiritual power expression in a womanhating world.

    june thanks for your courage in speaking up. We need a whole new generation to walk out on the men! We’ll be doing this for a long time, and I encourage all women to stand up, be counted, and never sit passively while a man talks on and on. Just refusing to stay and listen is a step. Take it, feel powerful!


  5. Quite honestly I don’t believe there is anything wrong with women still attending these bible study sessions especially when they are lead by men. I do understand though that religion has been extremely unfair to women, but I also believe that it is a work in progress. The Pastor was in the wrong for “not directing the topic to greater awareness of the Bible,” as the author said, and for not allowing more time for comments and thoughts on the topic. The women should have been more vocal, and like the title of this article says ‘practice what you preach’. This goes both ways for the Pastor, because although he did commend the women for being there but he didn’t really let express themselves, and for the women that are feminists because they didn’t do anything about what was happening.


    1. The problem with women attending bible classes ‘especially’ [?!] when they are led by men, is that women have been attending such classes for the best part of 2,000 years and learnt nothing from them except that they (women) are the cause of sin; and of the fall; and that they should obey their husbands; and that they have no right to decide for themselves if and when they may have children; and that they are unfit to serve as priests; and that menstruation and childbirth makes them unclean; and that they should be silent in church – and so on and so on and so on ad nauseum.
      And the Bible (the Old Testament together with much of the acts and epistles) is given as chapter and verse for all this nonsense. (The New Testament is another matter entirely, see my posts re Eve and childbirth)
      There never has yet been a Bible class run by a male pastor which has empowered women’s spirituality, because if such a pastor existed he would have preached himself straight out of a job.
      Men have their religion sorted, and they have a very clear idea of where women fit into it (underneath, if you will forgive the pun). Priests and popes and mullahs and rabbis are looking for disciples, not brothers and sisters in spirit. Which is just fine if you are cut out to accept second best all your life, but nothing like good enough if you want something more for yourself and your daughters.
      And sons, too, if they want: and brothers and lovers and all the rest. But that’s up to the men. They’ve got plenty of religion of their own, so they don’t really need ours. They have made the churches and synagogues and mosques and temples their personal property: they have said how women must dress before they can enter; they have laid down which door they can use, and into which part of the building they can go, and at what time of the month. There is no aspect of women’s spiritual practice within the ‘religions of the Book’ which is free of male inteference.
      Even so,let me asssure any man reading this, that should he return to his Mother, the Goddess, her devotees will show him nothing but respect and honour for the choice he has made. Which is all women ever wanted in the first place. But which they are extremely unlikely to find in a Bible class led by a male pastor.

      Best Blessings, June


  6. I thought this article and following comments were interesting to read. I personally don’;t believe in religion nor in God, but have nothing but the most respect for those who do. As I read these post, I can understand why some feel that an educated women should not attend a bible group because for reasons already stated in some of the comments which are very much valid. However, we all follow our spirituality differently and I don’t see a problem with someone attending those kind of bible studies. Furthermore, I don’t think all pastors have uses the same of teaching style as the one in the article just as I don’t believe that all men in this world believe in male supremacy or that all whites are racists. I mean; how can we ever have change the world for the better if we are going to act just like those whom we are “fighting” against when it comes to women equality, racism, classim, homophobia or whatever inequality we have in this world. How can we have a dialogue or create a better future for our children if we decided to separate ourselves with those who we feel are our “enemies”. We women need to be more active, need to make our voice heard by change the church or other institution that are oppressing us and using the right set of tools, I believe changes can be made.


    1. Women can answer their own spiritual needs and create their own spiritual space without having to make it a ‘them or us’ situation.
      Many men worship the Goddess (including, famously, Robert Graves, whom some women look upon as one of the founders of modern Goddess practice)
      My argument is not that we should find ourselves in contention (except, of course, by default) with existing male religions. But I do believe that such religions are irredeemably misogynistic and we are better of spending our energies creating new structures than trying to reform the old.
      While there are women who want a sacred space where men are prohibited, there are plenty more ready to share their faith with anyone who wants to join in. But most men seem to prefer a male god, and what is wrong with that? There’s lots of gods and plenty of room for all if we just stop trying to compete (see my response to Ivory).
      Its not a ‘one size has to fit all’ situation. If my faith is right for me, it doesn;t mean it’s better than yours. BUT, I will continue to be disturbed to see women promote a faith which demeans them as people.

      Blessings, June


  7. When I saw the title of this post and instantly had to read it and then was so happy to see that bell hooks was mentioned. I am a WGSS senior and have found this topic comes up atleast once every semester! A friend of mine and fellow major even coined a term called the “feminist olymics”, as in who is the better feminist because of their “activist actions” or even their “political speech” in the classroom and during events on campus. What annoyed us and made this discussion arise again last semester was that their is this feeling amongst us that some of us are never good enough. We never meet up to the criteria of what makes us a “gold star feminist”. We asked what exactly would that entail or what would one have to do or say in order to be apart of this “in crowd” who is usually the queer radical feminists at our school. A problem for me with this is that I do not believe that there is or should be a certain type of feminist at all. We are all unqiuely different and may or may not always agree on the same values or theories even as fellow feminist. This is something I like about being one. We also do not all have the time to be “active on the field”, and to be honest some of us just are not that damn motivated or “radical”. It does NOT mean however, that the said, non radical feminist or even someone who doesn’t want to call themselves feminist but agree with some of the beliefs are not as good as the “Others”. This issue of “Othering” amongst us has got to end people!

    For me this briings up an even bigger issue of us (the wgss department) having this false sense of “sisterhood” in the classroom and then not practicing what we preach outside. Since the majority of our department our self identified females we end performing or practicing women on women hate in many ways. So, the very thing we are all working on to fight against and for, we end up turning around and blatatly or not so blatatly, doing to each other. Our “sisterhood” be it religous, in education, or any other type of institution gets judged, and labeled and shun apond enough as it is by the people who are not an insider to our causes, so why are we doing it to ourselves? And don’t give me the agruemnet that “we are taught and socialized at an early age to compete and not speak up…” nonsense, I know that this is true but as grown folks and educated people I would hope we would move past that and prove that it does not have to be that way. And to comment on the “If you want to empower women to have an active voice/role, there MUST be an opportunity to hear women speak!”, line, yes thank you very much! Do not be my theory teacher and tell us that women need to stand up and not afraid to speak up or ask for that raise or debate this or that, but then when one of your students (not me) does this, you turn around and condensend them, or belittle them, or make them feel like what they shared was invalid or not valueable! Isn’t that what you just preached to us to not do to each other?


    1. I’m guessing this post comes from the USA, and perhaps my American friends will forgive me if I suggest that part of the problem here may, just may, be the intensly competitive nature of North American society.
      That spirit of competition is what makes the USA so successful, but it also engenders an ‘I have to be best at all costs’ attitude which is (ironically) radically counter to the individualism Americans value so deeply. How can you be a real individual if you are always measuring your progress against someone else – someone with whom you are in competition ?
      Of course, competition is as ancient as human culture, but is does seems to me that the bar is set very high indeed in the States and the pressure on everyone, but especially on young women (who must ‘have it all’ or see themselves as failures) is bound to neuroticize social relationships to some extent.

      Trying to chill, June.


      1. june courage!
        You are correct in your guess that my post came from the States, California to be exact. :) You are very right about how competitive we are over here. It is sad. The “need” to compete is as you say human nature, I believe only to an extent. I think we have the choice to compete or not and we don’t always have to be mean or dirty in our competetion. Being a performing artists of many forms I to believe that it can be healthy and helpful and inspiring or motivating to get change started. Thank you so much for your repsonse.


  8. Ivory, I definitely agree with your point and the creation of the “other” among women probably does more damage than the patriarchal society we have and still live in. Your post reminds me of an article I read once by Audre Lorde called ‘Age, Race, Class and Sex; Women redefining difference. The main reason I began to reflect over this article was because she stated that we have been programmed to respond to the human difference between us by simply refusing to recognize it and this in many ways has created a “a pretense to a homogeneity of experience covered by the word sisterhood that does not in fact exist”. So I do believe that when we try to create this notion of one “feminist” or one type of “woman” we create the “otherness”, someone who is not as good or subordinate to oneself and the work one is doing.
    The problem that I have with a society where competition is almost a must to succeed (however one defines success) is the very fact that we forget other people that around us; it crease this kind of environment where really no one else matter but yourself and your success and if that means that someone else have to suffer or be ignored in your path of success, then that’s fine… Indeed, the very nature of competition is actually what has created the inhuman world we live in today where we should not care or blinded walk away from the idea that other people are struggling, suffering, dying etc. so some people can be become “successful.


    1. Mona thank you for your repsonse! I love me some Audre Lorde. :) Have you read bell hooks or Kimberely Crenshaw Williams? Neither that I have encountered thus far speak soley about religion but do talk a lot of womens subordinatin and Kim especially of intersectionality (she termed the phrase I think…) of gender, class, race, etc. I totally agree with you on how we help to create our “Otherness” and a lot of the time we don’t want to take resposnibility, we rather fall on “victiumhood” or agrue for “rights” and things we believe we own. I feel a lot of our problems comes from our language and the ways we each indivudually define things, like you said successes and loses and other words. We place impotrance on some of the most mundane of things or feel we are owed or should get things automantically for whatever reason. Its a American cultural sickness!


  9. I believe the real issue here to be one of balance, which is why religious institutions are still of debatable structure to this present day. I believe that scripture can be quoted to the effect of ‘make the truth your own’. Because religion is faulted (like the pastors that teach and preach it), it is up to students of the Bible to say something. My mother is a doctor and found fault with a pastor who preached that doctors, to an effect, considered themselves God, instead of God Him or Herself. I will always admire that she had faith enough in herself and in her spirituality to do so in a respectful manner. In turn, the pastor considered her concern and offense, and corrected himself. Not all situations turn out in such a way, but as another saying tends to go, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.


  10. It is interesting to think that we create groups where there are “gold star feminists” insiders, outsiders… etc. Ideally, the “can’t we all just get along” standard is fine, but I do believe that feminism has a set of principles, that could easily be applied and used in real life.

    Equality and egalitarian conversation spaces, sharing power, being aware that conversations have to be two, three or ten way streets. How we do speech, how we do classroom space… who talks who is forced listen or systemically silent… all of this is well known feminist knowledge that could be shared an enacted.

    We could be clearer as to what our feminist base is, or what our bottom line feminist ideal is.
    I know many people get annoyed at labels, but I actually like them. A label makes sense, or it can educate all of us on where the feminist is coming from. Sometimes, I just like it when women make it clear just what branch of feminism they most identify with. That helps!

    Some actions or ways of being aren’t feminist, even though we have this silly trend now, that says any choice a woman makes is feminist. Well no, not all actions are feminist, and we need to be clear about some boundaries.

    We also need to be clear that we have lived in a patriarchal system all our lives, so that getting out of it, and finding exhilarating freedom is essential. The kind of excitement of liberation is there for each one of us to find. We have a hard time even preserving women’s herstory, and keeping it from getting erased. You might think something as dramatic as a feminist groundbreaking book would be part of the canon of women, and yet, when I read these blogs, I learn that women have never heard of a lot of the books that are foundational.

    The clarity of the different kinds of feminism and what created each kind, and how each kind functions for individual women–collectively, and intuitively would open up a lot. It’s sad that cliches would trap us, or that we couldn’t be honest as to why a particular branch of feminism works for some women, but not for all would be useful. We can be clear about where we were born on the patriarchal social hierachy, be aware of our advantages and disadvantages. bell hooks and others open up this to all of us.

    But we can also be clear that some things are NOT feminist, and that just because women say an act or idea is does not make it true. That’s what we could work on more.


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