A Blog of Our Own

Fellow Patheos writer Tony Jones recently issued an “Invitation to Christian Feminists” to submit posts for his widely read blog.  That it comes on the heels of his “I’m Tired of Being Called a Racist” post in response to this piece by Dr. Christena Cleveland over at her blog certainly affects the response I’m having.  (As does the fact that I’ve known Christena since we spent a month at a Gender & Christianity seminar in Seattle three years ago.)  I’ll let you read all about that series of events from Political Jesus in this piece on “Whiteness & Emergence Christianity.”  At the end of his piece on why he isn’t racist, Jones blithely suggests he’ll soon write about why he’s tired of being called a misogynist.

So … is opening up your blog to Christian feminists and womanists for a week part of a forthcoming “I’m Not a Misogynist!” argument?

I’m trying to sort out my cynical reaction to this “invitation.”  Because in part, one thing that persons in privileged locations (the intersection of things like whiteness, straightness, and tenure in my own case) should do is share space, invite others in, use the platform you have so that more voices can be heard.  I’ve tried to do this here on this blog, in my classroom, and in other places where I’ve had the privilege of people listening to what I say, reading what I write, reading what I assign.  So maybe this is what Jones sees himself to be doing.

Here’s one part that hits me the wrong way, though:

“For those who have validly wondered if this blog is a safe space for female voices, I will not be actively moderating the comments. Nor will I be commenting. I will be reading, and listening.”

I wondered to my tweeps whether or not I was being too cynical to see that as a bit voyeuristic.  Like, “Here, come on into my house.  Make yourself at home, I won’t bother you, you won’t even see or hear me, but I’ll see and hear everything that you do.”


Other tweeps suggested this was simply self-serving, a joke, lazy, or an empty gesture.

I don’t think we need space on Tony Jones’ blog.

We need a blog of our own.

Blogs of our own.

Oh wait, some of us already have them!

SO READ THEM.  Give us the pageviews, the blog stats, the visibility, the credibility that we are working hard to earn.

Here are a few links to religious feminist and womanist voices online.  Comments are wide open for you all to post links to the many more that are out there.  I’ll do a follow-up post with a fuller blogroll if I can:

Faith & Feminism

Are Women Human?

Sarah Over The Moon


Feminism & Religion


Christena Cleveland

Beautiful Mind

You can also head on over to Dianna Anderson’s blogroll, or this Muslim feminist blogroll, or do your own quick searches for the religion or nonreligion of your choice, and get busy reading.  Do the work.  It’s more than worth it.

I think this is one instance where I’m totally with Audre Lorde (okay, not the only one…):

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference — those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older — know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”

There are so many other spaces and sources of support for Christian feminist and womanist writers.  We need to continue to “make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish.”

With a blog(roll) of our own.

(Image via MemeGenerator)


About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.