‘You have something worth saying’ — Bonfire blegging

Sarah Sentilles has a remarkable essay in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin on “Sexist responses to women writing about religion.”

Sentilles writes:

Part of the challenge of writing is the struggle to believe you have something worth saying. More than half the battle is making your way to the page, cutting through self-doubt and shame and questions about whether or not your project matters. I imagine this is a universal struggle, part of what it means to be an artist. But how might this struggle be exacerbated by a culture that devalues women’s words? How much creative energy has been lost in the effort required to overcome sexist and racist and classist and heterosexist views of women’s writing? How many resources are wasted in the attempt to rise above the sense that women don’t have the right to speak? And what role do religious traditions play in this silencing?

This is a long essay, and it can be hard going, since the content runs about 9-to-1 infuriating-to-inspiring. But I think the inspiring bits might still outweigh the infuriating litany of examples — and point to a productive way of channeling the anger those many, many examples of “sexist responses to women writing” ought to provoke.

But if the length seems daunting, scroll to the bottom and don’t miss Sentilles’ final paragraph offering “three suggestions for writers who are women.”

Here I have only one suggestion — which is really more of a request. I’ve been steadily adding to the Bonfire, a big giant list o’ Christian women bloggers. There were 167 blogs in the list I posted earlier. Now it’s closer to 300.

But I know there are still many, many more blogs and bloggers and voices to be added.

So I’m looking for shameless self-promotion here — asking for it. If your blog belongs on that list, please let me know.

“Part of the challenge of writing is the struggle to believe you have something worth saying,” Sentilles wrote.

Let’s shorten that: Believe you have something worth saying. You have something worth saying.

And if you know of anyone else that belongs on that list, please let me know about them too, either here in comments or email slacktivist at hotmail dot com. Thanks.

(Also too, here’s Kathleen Geier on “Sexism at the New York Times Magazine.”)

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  • Erp

    My list of Christian Women Bloggers who aren’t on your list of 167 (couldn’t find your list of 300)

    Wounded Bird – http://thewoundedbird.blogspot.com/
    Telling Secrets – http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/
    Leave it lay where Jesus flang it – http://leaveitlay.blogspot.com/
    RevRuth’s Rantings  – http://revruth.wordpress.com/
    BabyBlueOnline – http://babybluecafe.blogspot.com/
    Group blog – Feminist Mormon Housewives – http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/

    Feminist Mormon Housewives is a very interesting mixed group with active discussion in the comments. 

  • A friend

    I’m not sure how prolific your minimum threshold is, but I’ve found quite a few very thought-provoking entries here, and she’s definitely a Christian Woman Blogger:
    I’ve suggested she read your entries often enough, it seems only fair to point in the other direction since you’re asking.

  • SisterCoyote

    Not my own blog, but http://hot-dogma.com/ is run partly by a woman blogger. And the entries by both of them are worth reading.

  • “Part of the challenge of writing is the struggle to believe you have something worth saying,”

    Love the quote. I stopped believing that a long time ago.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    We’re at last having a big public debate about sexism in Australia (one that after 3 days one side has tried to shut down by complaining about women playing “the gender card”). It has also feauted the time-honoured tradition of claiming that labelling bigotry is far more offense than being a bigot. For example, I learned this weekend that calling someone a misogynist is “a vile slur” (thanks, Julie Bishop!)

    A well-known journalist wrote this article today: http://thehoopla.com.au/dear-misogynist/

    So many people tried to read it that the server crashed. All fixed now, though.

    This is also good: http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/opinion/cartoons/cathy-wilcox-20090909-fhd6.html

  • Hmm. My denomination has (officially) encouraged women in ministry and authority since the nineteenth century. We currently have a woman in our most senior position internationally. I’ve got a heap of suggestions.

    Oh, wait. For some reason I can think of only one woman blogger in my tribe. Plenty of pastors and administrators, not to mention social workers and counsellors. But only one blogger. And I don’t even subscribe to her feed. I’m sure there are more, but there are questions to be asked.

    Anyway, here she is:


  • Off topic because I am not a Christian woman and so my blog is unrelated to the topic, feel free to skip this.

    “Part of the challenge of writing is the struggle to believe you have something worth saying,”

    Love the quote. I stopped believing that a long time ago.

    In a lot places I still struggle with this, but for my blog not as much anywhere else.  If I have something to say I can say it there and if it turns out to be meaningless drivel that drives away all my readers for its worthlessness, well I expected to find myself alone talking to empty space a long time ago.  Abject failure is the expected outcome, and that takes some of the pressure off.  “What if nothing I say matters?”  “Well I never thought it did in the first place, so what’s new?”

  • (But my writing so sporadic, a real blogger would have at least a weekly post)

    (But i don’t always write about religion, and my recent posts are just images of silly artwork, not writing at all)

    (My blog doesn’t belong on a list like this)

    Said the woman with two theology degrees.


  • I want to redefine what it means to be a woman–both for the Church and in our world. I know I can’t do it alone–but my blog is where I am starting http://redefiningfemale.wordpress.com/

  • Nick
  • Welp, since you asked for shameless self-promotion, I’m a longtime lurker and I write about fat acceptance, depression, and faith at http://adiposerex.wordpress.com. 

  • Kate Fields

    Hi– thanks so much for doing this! This is very beautiful! I write about various faith topics– right now, I’m in the middle of series called “Our Emptying Church” in which I am writing about why millions of Millennials are leaving the church. Not always a popular topic, but very important.
    Blog: http://www.katemusingsoflate.blogspot.com     Twitter: @SojournerKate

  • I’ve been blogging about faith and theology for many years. Don’t have much of a following, but I still feel compelled to write. In many ways it has become a spiritual practice and it helps me sort out my thoughts about God, the church, relationships, etc. I’m not a theologian by degree, but I’ve embraced my ordinariness and claimed my place in the priesthood of all believers. Here’s the link: http://www.simplyshalom.com/

  • shameless self promotion, good way to begin the week!

  • LL

    Probably obvious to people here, but apparently not obvious to everyone out there (RE women’s writing being perceived as inferior because it’s created by women), this attitude prevails still (at least a little) about everything. Even here in the U.S.

    Like the current political crap going on, every time they refer to “women’s issues.” Which could be more accurately described as “people’s issues.” Because they do affect everyone. Childcare, health, those womany things, affect everybody. How they are addressed affects everyone. I really wish people would stop referring to them as “women’s” issues. It encourages the mistaken belief that what affects women affects ONLY women. 

    “Feh, women. Always caring about woman things like health and the care of children. Women should care about more important things, like sports and who won the debate.”

  • Thanks for opportunity to join my voice with other women bloggers. My thoughts are found at my blog 
    kristadalton.comThank you!

  • Lunch Meat

    I really feel like I don’t belong on such a list, because I don’t write often and don’t have many readers, but I do write about faith and politics and feminism, and since you really, really are asking for it: hatehurtsusall.blogspot.com

  • Danielle

    Thanks for asking us, Fred! My blog is http://www.danielleshroyer.com. I write about theology and church and culture and sometimes things related to motherhood. I’ll enjoy scrolling through the other blogs you list!

  • lovecomesfromlife

    I only recently started blogging but I am a woman as well as your friendly neighborhood ex-christian.  So maybe it’s not a christian blog per se, but it is about faith and religion.  You can find me at:

  • Ooo, ooo! Add me, please! I blog about religion at The Upside Down World. (www.theupsidedownworld.com) I’d appreciate it very much.

  • Cal

    Thanks for the link. I’m only sporadically connected to the news. It’s pretty much just whatever segment on RN I happen to hear on my car radio, so I hadn’t seen that. A great article, and what an astonishing comment section, that breaks the “don’t read the comments” rule with just the one or two dickheads showing up. I do agree with the criticism of “pygmy” and “small dick” used as insults, but the rest of the article was wonderful.

  • And that the phrase “affects ONLY women” has any meaning. Anyone saying “only” with a straight face about half the population has a severe problem.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I can say ‘erectile dysfunction can only affect half the population’ with a straight face. The problem here isn’t the straight-faced-ness of the comment. It’s that erectile dysfunction is considered a problem serious enough to warrant the treatment being covered by health insurance no questions asked, while the many and varied issues treated with the Pill are not so considered.

  • I think it’s also that the “ONLY”, especially in all caps, conveys a sort of sneering tone, and suggests that “only” in this case is used in the sense that means “just” or “mere”.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Ooh, another Radio National fan :) Pleased to meet you.

  • Me please! I blog about religion, but I also blog about introversion and pop culture (movies and theater especially). 

  • I’m a Christian woman, but my blog rarely addresses faith directly. I write about how to live in a converted school bus.