Merry Christmas from The Junia Project! Today our gift to you is this thoughtful and poignant reflection about what women truly want for Christmas. May it be more so in 2017! “While in line at a downtown grocery store, a magazine headline caught my eye, “What Women Long For this Christmas.” The subtitle implied the article would be a resource for gift options or tips on how to relieve women of the hustle and bustle of their inevitable Christmas furry. I rolled my eyes at yet another sentimental and incomplete interpretation of the wants of women. Beyond our shopping lists and our frenzied schedule of the holiday season, what women long for this Christmas is as provocative as it is revolutionary.”
When I was looking at the worship life of the American church, I noticed that lament, and something like the book of Lamentations, was absent in so much of our worship life…Why is it that in our typical American churches we don’t want to engage in a very important spiritual practice that we find throughout […]
“Are there really that many hurting women in the Church?” I was a freshman at a Christian college when one of my professors posed this question to our class. Yes, I replied, women were still second-class citizens in many congregations; yet he was unconvinced. According to him, the women in his church seemed happy and fulfilled. We’ve come a long way. Women have the right to vote and work outside the home. Why make an issue out of nothing?
I wish I could tell you that I attended college in an era of widespread, Mad Men-type sexism but, alas, I graduated in the early 2000s. I’ve reflected on his disbelief since then, still saddened by his ignorance. His question taught me something valuable, though.
As young Christian feminists you join a company of women and men dedicated to the cause of moving beyond the Curse and its dark shadow cast upon Eve’s daughters. We are very glad you are here.
I feel compelled to share with you a few things I have had on my heart for a long while. First, I want to let you know how deeply I admire your strength and determination to fulfill your calling in spite of closed doors and restrictions placed on women by the church. Some of you I know personally. Others I have come to know by reading your books, and/or blogs, and following you on Twitter.
To be honest, I am not sure my younger self would have had the fortitude you have shown in the midst of bullies on social media and Internet trolls. In spite of these obstacles you keep moving forward. And, it is not just your fortitude I admire. In the face of public shaming, and even threats of bodily harm, you have shown remarkable grace.
Speaking of public shaming and threats of bodily harm, I am sorry things are not better by now. Sometime back in the 1970’s, when my generation began our own journey toward liberation, we naively believed that by now things would be settled. As children of the modern era, we were schooled in the myth of progress. We became convinced, that just as the Berlin Wall had fallen, the barriers against full inclusion of women in society and the church would one day crumble. Women would soon take their birthright as priests and joint heirs with Christ.
In the words of Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty, we would become All We Are Meant to Be.
In today’s post, Tim Fall shares some fascinating history about women’s equal access to the post office and draws some interesting parallels to the church.
Angela Serratore’s 2012 article on 19th Century women and the rise of modern postal service sheds light on a world foreign to people who use modern electronic communications with ease and from the privacy of their own smartphone.
As she notes in Post Secrets, in the mid-1800s New York City established its first post office, causing public concern over the implications for women.
For the first time, women who had formerly relied on parents, husbands, or even servants to retrieve their personal mail could now retrieve it themselves.
Suddenly, wide swaths of women had access to two dangerous things—the mail and the post office. Anthony Trollope’s 1852 invention of the pillar-box had given British girls a chance to subvert the authority of their scandalized parents by mailing letters in secret, but their New York counterparts who visited the post office could both send and receive mail almost entirely unmonitored by those who might want to regulate their epistolary lives.”
Ladies’ Windows were common, with some offices even having separate entrances for women where they would not rub shoulders with men at all.
I just spent six weeks with a group of 21 other Air Force chaplains. All 21 were male. I’m a female chaplain in the Air Force Reserves (which means I serve a minimum of about 30 days per year at my base) and the six weeks were spent at a training assignment fulfilling educational requirements. […]
Recently the U.S. military announced it was in the final stages of opening all combat positions to women and the question of whether or not women should register for involuntary service was raised in a presidential debate.* These developments were met with loud opposition from some on the evangelical right who declared that “any man who would ask his wife […]
“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Let them call you incorrigible. Let them call you defiant.
Don’t let them talk you out of being angry, of demanding justice, of speaking truth to power.
They will call you angry, as if it were a curse word. As if it proves you can’t be trusted. As if it were some kind of magic that makes what you have to say irrational.
They will call you emotional—as if emotions were not part of a healthy human experience, the opposite of logic, rather than it’s necessary companion. As if you were supposed to accept inequity cold.
They will call you combative, as if you weren’t made for a fight, as if it were wrong to challenge iniquitous structures, as if you were supposed to smile upon receiving crumbs from the table.
Certain passages in 1 Peter are sometimes used to support the idea of hierarchy in Christian marriage, but a closer look reveals that this letter is one of the strongest biblical commentaries on the injustice of such a model. In today’s post, Heather Celoria lays out a convincing argument that “In the same way” that all believers are being urged to submit to governmental authority, wives are being encouraged to suffer in an unjust hierarchical institution for the sake of Christ.
Are you a man who is discontent with just believing women should be treated fairly? Are you ready to do something? Here are ten practical ways to address sexism at work, church, or in every day contexts. Whether you are an egalitarian, a feminist, or simply want to be more inclusive and challenge the status […]
In this personal and moving post, guest author Hannah Helms makes the case that the Church needs a better theology to address the grief and pain of unrealized motherhood…
My husband, Ben, and I were living in my parents’ guest bedroom at the time, in the middle of our first year of marriage. We were both in-between jobs and graduate school and not having any idea what we were doing. However, the prospect of a baby-to-be was so grounding – in the midst of our uncertainty was the promise of new life and a goal for us to focus on. We waited until I was all of eight weeks along before we made the announcement to my entire extended family on the first day of our annual camp out-reunion at the Jedidiah Smith State Redwood Park.
The day after the announcement I woke up with a tiny spot of blood in my underwear. I ignored it, refused to give in to the worry that sat at the edges of my mind. I mentally reviewed all the normal pregnancy symptoms that I could think of. Spotting is normal. Nothing to worry about here.
At the beginning of March one of our readers wrote in and asked this question:
“I recently watched a video regarding The Gospel Coalition’s stance on their complementarian view. In it, John Piper begins to explain that we must be able to answer children’s questions as to what it means for a boy to grow up and be a man, or for a girl to grow up into God’s model for womanhood. He states that egalitarians have never been able to answer his question. I would love to hear your response.”
This video had been making the rounds on social media, so I was familiar with what she was talking about. You see, John Piper seems to have fallen into the cultural narrative that manhood must be earned. For Piper, manhood isn’t something you simply grow into with age according to your biology. Instead, it is something you work to achieve…
Until recently, if I were to be asked if I was a feminist, my reply would have been a noncommittal, “Not really.”
Of course, being a woman, I was never opposed to women’s rights, nor did I doubt my ability to be as capable as men in most situations. Claiming to be a Christian feminist however, still seemed extreme; as though one of the main requirements was to hate men, or at least regard them as the weaker sex.
Recent events, articles, videos, and social networking posts have both inspired and troubled me enough to reclaim the word feminism for what it is: providing help to women who are being stripped of their basic rights or humanity.
From the editor: We had so many wonderful submissions that we’ve extended our series of personal stories of Christian women who identify as feminists. Up today, a post by Kim Hunt, Communications Manager for The Micah Challenge, a movement of Christians inspired by Scripture to undertake effective advocacy, passionate prayer, and lifestyles of justice to see an end of extreme poverty.
“My adventure to becoming a Feminist was kind of like one of those silly love stories you read where people say they were halfway there before they even knew they had begun. My mum is a Feminist, though she hardly ever uttered the actual word.”
Today the average Christian looks like a poor Nigerian woman rather than a European well-educated male as in the past.
In 2050, 72 percent of the world’s Christians will live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and a sizable share of the remainder will be immigrants from one or more of those continents.  Because of this, the Western church must be honest with the reality that Christianity is now a globalized religion, and its Euro-American roots have ceased to be the solely relevant voices.