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...]

Quran, Gender, Equality: A Twitterview with Amina Wadud


Earlier this week I wrote about Scott Kugle’s book Homosexuality in Islam, and how it was the work of Amina Wadud that prompted questions leading me and my students to that book.  Here is the Twitter exchange I had with Wadud earlier last month in which she answers the question about whether heteronormativity is established [Read More...]

A Paradox of Religion & Tradition: Homosexuality in Islam


“So, what about gay and lesbian Muslims?” The last time I taught my course on Women in Islam, we were working through Amina Wadud’s argument in Quran and Woman that equality has both cosmological and eschatological grounding in the Quran and in Islam when a student asked this question.  It was in response to Wadud’s [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...]

Who Are You? On Quizzes, Divergence, & Vocation


I finished reading Veronica Roth’s dystopian young adult novel Divergent in time for the film’s release later this month, at a time when it seems that those BuzzFeed and Zimbio quizzes are reaching a fevered pitch on my social media feeds:  Which Downton Abbey character are you? Which state should you live in?  What decade [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...]

Honorable Mention: Real Spirituality for Real Life

RSRL LOGO 3 diff

Several people who I know and like a lot are collaborating on a new project called Real Spirituality for Real Life.  Here’s how they describe it: We have experience as leaders in church ministries and teaching in colleges, universities and seminaries.  We love what we do.  We are committed to sharing a faith and makes [Read More...]

Religious Freedom … For Bosses Only?

Religious Freedom

On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear two cases in which the argument will be made that your boss’s beliefs should determine your access to healthcare. Sounds preposterous, right? And yet, that’s what the lawyers for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood will argue.  That a boss’ religious freedom trumps an employee’s religious freedom.  That [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...]