Joan Chittister: “Job’s Daughters: Women and Power”
Job is a story of power gone awry; the Accuser, the friends, the society all claim that Job is Job’s problem, that Job is inherently inadequate and deserving of his state, that in Job’s nature itself lies the fault of his own suffering, that Job is deficient, morally deformed, spiritually inadequate, that Job deserves what Job is getting, that God has ordained it so and that salvation for Job depends on humble acquiescence.
Job’s story is, indeed, the story of any woman in the world today who suffers the arbitrary judgment of femaleness, who bears oppression in her own body, who is faithful to God and is told that God is the reason for her suffering, who has known what it is to have people blame the victim, who asks questions and is called heretic for the asking and whose future is in her daughters as well as in her sons.
Sarah Moon: “The privilege of purity”
The purity movement helps maintain multiple hierarchies — white women under white men. People of color under white people.
According to the primarily white leaders of the Evangelical purity movement, purity is a “privilege” reserved for white woman. This “privilege” is used to dehumanize and control us, just as the absence of this “privilege” is used to dehumanize and oppress women of color in other ways.
Purity is not about sex. It’s really about how human a woman gets to be, what rights she gets to have, how she gets to be treated by men and by churches and by society. It’s about limiting white women and oppressing women of color.
It didn’t matter that I hated my body. It didn’t matter why I hated my body. And sometimes, I was encouraged to hate my body, because fat people absolutely cannot have a relationship with their body that doesn’t involve self-loathing and the perpetual impetus to hide as much of their body as possible.
In the past few years, I have noticed a growing abolitionist movement within the Christian Community. While our pursuit of justice is noble, necessary, and exciting to see, my experience has led me to unearth some concerns that I feel need to be addressed by those committed to (and serving within) this movement. If we are truly interested in seeing those we serve heal and find freedom, we are going to have to rethink a few things. As an industry veteran, survivor and service provider, I believe there are things that must be discussed.