It is Over, It is Just Beginning by Kate Brunner

katebrunnerqueenanneslace“In this nation of thinkers and philosophers, poets and artists, idealists and enthusiasts, the world will recognize nothing but a people of conquerors and destroyers. …we are neither loved nor respected, but only feared. We are deemed capable of every wickedness, and the distrust felt for us grows ever more pronounced….”

These are the private musings of German prince, Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl, — Friedrich III (or apparently “Fritz” to his friends) — on the disturbing nature of the Second Reich under his father, Wilhelm I & the “Iron Chancellor”, Otto von Bismarck. Friedrich wrote these words in his diary roughly a century and a half ago.

It is somewhat disheartening and downright eerie how the words of history echo so familiarly into the present moment sometimes. My children & I read this primary source excerpt together during our homeschooling studies last week and it struck me in the heart.

This week, I began writing my monthly piece in the days leading up to Election Day 2016; a piece that would publish shortly after my state and my nation made a slew of very crucial decisions about our future as a people.

When I thought about those decisions, I didn’t actually mean the official returns. Continue reading “It is Over, It is Just Beginning by Kate Brunner”

Getting It Done: The Buffy-Blodeuwedd Connection by Kate Brunner

Kate Brunner You guys, you’re just men—just the men who did this… to her.  Whoever that girl was before she was the first Slayer.  You violated that girl… made her kill for you because you’re weak… you’re pathetic and you obviously have nothing to show me!

-Buffy Summers in “Get It Done”-

A woman made of flowers and fluff forsakes her marriage vows, manipulates another man into committing premeditated murder and then runs from the scene of her crimes and her sentence. Admittedly, my initial exposure to Blodeuwedd left me more than a little befuddled. While I was confident there had to be something more empowering for me to take away from Her mythology, I realized it was going to take far more work to get at it, to help what I needed emerge from the story. Continue reading “Getting It Done: The Buffy-Blodeuwedd Connection by Kate Brunner”

The Legacy of Original Intentions: The Non Violence of Wonder Woman by Nick Pumphrey

What would a superhero comic be without Pow, wham!, Zap, and even a Boom! (insert your own campy sound bites from Batman).  Oddly enough, when psychologist William Marston created the character of Wonder Woman, he did not intend for her to be a violent character.  When villains shot their mere bullets, she simply would deflect them with her indestructible bracelets.  Instead of stooping to the level of her attackers, she would wield the lasso of truth, capture her foes, and force them to admit their malevolent deeds.  Meanwhile, creator William Marston was actually developing the first polygraph using changes in blood pressure as exemplified in Wonder Woman’s lasso.  Wonder Woman was not the first female superhero; however, she was the first non-violent one.  While other writers like Siegel and Shuster (Superman’s creators) were using their religion as inspiration, Marston drew on the women of his life as example.  He intended to have a peaceful, warrior woman, who was more than equal on grounds of “sex,” and could stop the tyranny created by war and hatred (i.e. men) without having to embrace it.  He wanted an example for young girls to idolize and a way for boys to embrace feminine power.   Continue reading “The Legacy of Original Intentions: The Non Violence of Wonder Woman by Nick Pumphrey”

“It’s About Power”: Reflecting Upon and Pondering About Men in Feminism and Religion By John Erickson

The following is a guest post by John Erickson, doctoral student in Women’s Studies in Religion at Claremont Graduate University.  His research interests involve an interdisciplinary approach and are influenced by his time as the director of a women’s center and active member in the GLBTQ and women’s rights movements.  His work is inspired by the intersectionality of the feminism, queer identity, and religious political and cultural rhetoric.  He is the author of the blog, From Wisconsin, with Love and can be followed on Twitter at @jerickson85.

I must confess I have been struggling with writing this blog entry for a couple of months.  Although I don’t usually find myself at a loss for words, when discussing the role of men in feminism and religion, I must admit, I did not know what to say.

While thinking about my positionality within feminism, both as a man and self-identified feminist, I was continually brought back to the time where I felt as if I didn’t belong.  When my place as both an ally and advocate for gender and sexual equality was challenged not by other men who didn’t understand me but by a group of fellow female students in my first ever graduate class in Women’s Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

The overarching feeling that I can recall from the memory is how scary the prospect of a man in a women’s studies class appears to be.  What place did I have sitting in what has been traditionally defined as a “safe space” and more importantly, how would my presence in the classroom affect the open and empowering nature that women’s studies classes have symbolically represented in both the world of activism and academia?   Continue reading ““It’s About Power”: Reflecting Upon and Pondering About Men in Feminism and Religion By John Erickson”

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