Beyonce Studies 2014

Jessica Valenti called Beyoncé’s recent self-titled release “the album that is going to launch a thousand women’s studies papers.”  I don’t know how many papers have been written so far, but I do know that the timing couldn’t have been better for my teaching theory in gender and women’s studies this spring.  There’s even an [Read More…]

Trusting Women

Last night, I delivered the following as part of a series of “Big Tent” speeches at an event hosted by the Morgan County Democratic Central Committee here in Illinois.  It was a fundraiser and a meet-and-greet event featuring the Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, with whom I am pictured below. It’s about trusting women. [Read More…]

This Week in Religious Freedom & Healthcare

This picture of me shouldn’t be revolutionary.  And yet … Here is a great 90 second summary of what is at stake this week when lawyers for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood will argue before the Supreme Court that your boss should get to determine what preventative health care you receive: Here is a round-up [Read More…]

Women, Race, & Ministry: Streams Run Uphill

“I wonder if people in the church have any idea how much pain we inflict upon people who are guilty of nothing other than answering God’s call to ministry?” This musing from Marvin McMickle’s foreword to Streams Run Uphill could be applied to so many situations today including the ordained ministry of women as well [Read More…]

Jesus Feminist: Beyond Patriarchy & Proof-texting

Sarah Bessey drew me into her book Jesus Feminist with a first page promise of conversation over good red wine around a fire-pit on the beach.  I’m in. I really decided to take it seriously after she said on page 14 that “Patriarchy is not God’s dream for humanity.”  Yes.  Let’s talk about that. And [Read More…]

Of Course Barbie

Of course Barbie is in the 50th anniversary of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and on a promotional cover wrap. Let’s just stop pretending that the male gaze cares at all for the flesh and blood women with brains, hearts, and ambitions it regularly features. They gave up on actually featuring swimsuits years ago. The voyeurs [Read More…]

Dear Feminism, Let’s Talk About Religion

Gloria Steinem is right.  We have to talk about religion more.  When asked at the MAKERS Conference this week “What do you think the biggest problem with feminism today is?” she responded: Anti-feminism [laughs]. The work that women do is given no economic value whatsoever. We could go on about that. But we all know [Read More…]

Moving Justice Forward: VDay 2014?

Rehearsals for The Vagina Monologues have begun on my campus again this year and I have a lot of jumbled thoughts and reactions to taking the stage with students once again.  Things I want the students to know, things I want the world to know, things I want to remember. When the brave first group [Read More…]

“Our Mother …”

Many arguments for male-exclusive language for God insist that use of female images and names for God is a modern radical feminist plot to overthrow the church.  To the contrary, scripture and the Christian tradition are full of such images that have simply been crowded out by the dominance of patriarchal views of God. Rev. [Read More…]

“Listen to Those of Us Fighting”

My Women in Islam class meets tonight for the first time this semester.  It’s a class I teach regularly, as a way to bring more students into deeper contact with and understanding of a major world religion that most in my classroom don’t encounter often.  Using the lens of gender analysis helps me find one [Read More…]


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