Rachel Held Evans Is Causing a Pussy Riot of Limericks!

Time to announce the winners of the Limerick Challenge to win a copy of Rachel Held Evans’s new book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood.

You can see all of the entries here. There are some great ones that didn’t make the Top Ten. Basically, I picked the ones that made me laugh out loud. Beware of salty language — but, we’re all adults. And hey, we are talking about vaginas here.

(Also, you can see the last contest, where winners got the new book by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo.)

And now, the winners:

Joel:

They said Rachel’s new book was trouble
For Christians who live in a bubble
And are never exposed
To such raunchy prose
About places where women have stubble!

Danielle:

A biblical life–Rachel tried it.
But her attempt caused a huge pussy riot!
The fundies felt strife,
Said, “If you were my wife,
Your vagina would know to keep quiet!”

JoeyS:

As her treatise on womanhood ‘rose,
“Vaginagate,” brought on the woes.
She eschewed an edit,
No cause to regret it,
For pride over profits she chose.

That Guy:

The publishers took an affront
At Rachel’s publicity stunt
“Just a word in my book
not some pics that I took.
It’s the medical term for my [deleted].”

Erick:

There once was a word never written,
‘Cause LifeWay said, “This is forbidden.”
Then Rachel remarked,
“They’re my ladyparts.”
And LifeWay said, “Oh no she didn’t!”

Dave Burkum:

It’s housework, and silence, and beauty,
Submission, perfection, and duty,
You even go camping
the week you are cramping–
The Bible sure kicks a girls booty.

Becky Bonham:

There once was a woman gone tenting
Which set many others to venting
Instead of reviewing
They continued pooh-poohing
And yet she remains unrelenting.

Franz Bibfeldt:

When a woman of valor said ‘vaginas’,
Then blood-sucking Lifeway glossinas,
Tried to silence her book,
Which gave her the hook,
To stir them like piña coladas.

Amanda:

“Bible gals are a big ampersand;
let’s read closely” one blogger demands.
But the Orthodox cluck
“Honey, don’t push your luck,
and what’s that, a tent peg, in your hand?”

And Simon, with a double, for the win:

[Apology] Ode to a Pastor’s Wife, by Mark Driscoll

Okay, I’ll take one for the team, and
for this pastor’s gay sex, there’s a reason.
His wife ought to know
that she’s let herself go.
For Christ’s sake, just be sexy to please him.

Crushing response from Rachel Held Evans.

Ms. Evans returns to the Bible.
“To say God demands good looks is libel.”
It’s especially true,
Where the husband’s gay too.
Could it be, Mark’s erected an idol?

For Rachel Held Evan’s comments on Mark’s (now retracted) clarion call for pastors’ wives to bring sexy back look here.
http://bit.ly/WG6T9H

 

  • Patrick

    Well I’ll be damned. Screwed again. Even though Franz’s didn’t rhyme…

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Don’t give up!

      • Patrick

        I’ve used up my book budget for the year, Tony! I need free books! ;)

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      And Franz’s *almost* rhymed.

  • Ray Bannister

    Most impressive – a real class act.

    How juvenile can you get – ooh, aren’t we BOLD, using words that might offend Aunt Edna!

    You’re also borderline illiterate. None of these lame “limericks” fit the actual meter and rhyme of a limerick.

    You people are pathetic.

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Keep it classy, Ray.

    • Erica Billings

      Why did you read this post Ray? Or why do you read this blog?

  • http://achurchlessfaith.blogspot.com Chris

    Dang it. I thought I might be in with a chance. Too many good limericists. Thanks for the competition.

  • http://www.bookmeal.blogspot.com Becky Bonham

    Thanks for the book, Tony! Much obliged :-)

  • Carla

    Really Tony? Cunt? You know I’m no prude, but seriously, that word is nearly always used as a way of degrade and demean women. It’s been used as a way of dehumanizing women for a very long time and it’s not even close to being a word that men should somehow throw around as though they can reclaim it or take the sting out of it. I’m surprised you would include That Guy’s limerick in your list of shout-outs. You wouldn’t run a limerick with the n-word, would you?

    • Erica Billings

      I agree with Tony that it seemed as though That Guy was trying “to make a point about words and euphemisms for vagina.” I took the line from That Guy’s limerick to be
      saying, “Ok Fundies, would you have preferred the book to use the word ‘cunt’ as opposed to the medical, biological, and anatomically correct word ‘vagina’ you’ve decided to outlaw?”

      I think men and women both can help the other sex reclaim and take the sting out of whatever painful issue the other sex has been confronted with; it all depends on the spirit in which it is done.

  • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

    You make a good point, Carla. I think the limerickisist was attempting to make a point about words and euphemisms for vagina. Nevertheless, I’ve edited it.

    • That guy

      Hey Tony. Thanks for the nod. And thanks for editing the poem — it kinda made my whole point.

      I knew ‘the c-word’ wasn’t going to win many fans, owing to its long history as a vulgarity — hence the nom de guerre. Rudeness and anonymity aside there’s a number of good reasons to include such a word in a poem like this.

      First, the post asked for limericks. If you’ve ever had the pleasure to peruse a collection of limericks, or if you know the culture and tradition of limericks (try wikipedia), you’d know that limericks are about pushing the boundaries of good taste. It’s amazing just how many ways people have twisted language around the same naughty themes — but hey, limericks are not exactly poet laureate material. They are a quick and funny play on words, typically with a ribald twist. Mine is certainly not perfect (I might need to trim a beat) but this is the internet. The c-word is a punchline, the conclusion, and the twist that makes the point. Maybe the word is there because I’m childish. Fair enough.

      It just so happens that Rachel’s situation is limerick gold, since the entire controversy is the question of a women talking about her own body as if somehow that’s too crude, or a boundary that just shouldn’t be crossed. I wouldn’t write a limerick about Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo’s new book, mostly because I don’t see much point. I would’t write a haiku about it either, as the book lacks the transcendent qualities of nature I so dream of.

      Second, there’s the matter of the word ‘cunt’ in the first place. I’m not an expert on feminism any more than I’m an authority on poetry, but I do have a number of feminist friends who take issue with our culture’s choice of ‘cunt’ as the-rudest-word-in-the-English-language. Would you have edited asshole? Cock? You didn’t edit ‘pussy’ in your title — why did that word make the grade? Plenty of other limericks were rude in ways that mine was not. So joking about a woman’s body parts is OK just so long as we don’t use any rude words. We crossed somebody’s line way before we got to the dreaded c-word.

      The question of how men talk about women’s bodies, and how women talk about their own bodies is complex. Why that word, among others, is rude says something about our culture’s attitude towards women. Many words we now use were once considered rude, and vice versa. The list is long. We live in a culture with a habit of language that casually debases human beings, and women especially. I know I’m in hazardous territory.

      The poem quotes a woman describing her own body — not an accident. The word isn’t used as a slur or in a derogatory way (and btw, used in such a context I would say the word is essentially misogynistic and offensive). In the right context we can read and appreciate all kinds of words, via Twain, Shakespeare, or Song of Solomon. Artists are free to use any words in the dictionary and to make up words when they can (and you may not think my limerick good art, but I’ll always argue that it’s art). Unless this is a family show, I don’t see the need to censor.

      For me, and many others, suggesting that a word for a person’s reproductive organs is inherently offensive is in its own way offensive. Isn’t that at least partly Rachel’s point? Am I just mischievously equivocating? Maybe a little (mischief is in my blood).

      If you think I’m just playing, I’d say this conversation, is as important as ever. Just last week Tina Fey said: “[a]nd if I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m going to lose my mind.” Who gets to say what is offensive about these words?

      And so, a blog post about a word that some publishers wanted to edit (to appeal to a certain sensibility), commissioned naughty poems about that word. And when one of the synonyms for that word was too naughty, the blogger edited the poem and [deleted] the word (to appeal to a certain sensibility).

      Maybe I’m just goof’n off. Maybe I’m a puerile clown with a potty mouth.
      Or maybe I’m dead serious about this stuff.

      • Carla

        I appreciate your response. I know it was an intentional use of the word and I get what you were up to. Really, I do. But cunt is not just another word for a vagina. It’s a powerful slur used against women as people. It’s meant to debase and dehumanize. Asshole is not, at least not anymore. Maybe there will come a day when women reclaim it, and maybe some women have. But for now, the weight it carries has to be taken seriously. When it’s most common usage is a misogynistic one, then I think anyone using it needs to think twice and probably a third time about trying to use it in a less-offensive way.

        • That guy

          Hi Carla, thank for the reply.

          I’m pretty sure I’ve thought about this more than many, and I certainly seemed to have blathered on about it.

          Yes, that word can be a powerful slur, and it can be used to debase and dehumanize but it doesn’t have to, and it wasn’t used as such by me. I didn’t say cunt was just another word for a vagina — I said it was a vulgar one. Vulgar language is earthy and crude and carnal. Vulgarity might offend our taste, but it isn’t dehumanizing unless it’s used as such. It might even be powerfully humanizing in ways that our refined tastes and sanitized lifestyles can’t accommodate. In a culture that buys its meat in plastic wrap on styrofoam trays, it’s not a bad thing for us to visit a butcher shop now and then.

          I’ve heard “proper language” used in mean and ugly and dehumanizing ways, and I’ve heard the word ‘cunt’ used with fondness and good humour. Some of the most polite and proper people I’ve met were the meanest, and others have blessed me to overflowing with their “trucker mouth.” If the misogynists claim a word for themselves, and we let them have it, then so much the worse for all of us. I’ll make no claim to be a “reclaimer” of lost words. I’m just a dog worrying a bone.

          We need to be careful utterers, and we need to be thoughtful hearers and readers. We need to listen for the nuance and the meaning of these words before we cordon them off and delete them. Sometimes we humanize others by hearing them as best we can.

          much peace

  • Erica Billings

    Such a good post! Thanks for making me laugh Everyone! I think you all did a great job!

  • http://christopherjdowdy.tumblr.com Chris Dowdy

    I sort of hate myself for doing this, because I am about to post a link to my own blog. So you people can find me on twitter and shame me later. But I talked to a couple of feminist colleagues, a theologian and an ethicist, about critiques of this contest, and some of you–particularly That Guy and of course Tony, might enjoy reading it and want to argue about it some more. Here is the link:

    http://christopherjdowdy.tumblr.com/post/34852892446/deconstructingvaginagate

    I feel spammy and vile! But it is in the interest of dialogue. Forgive me.

    • That guy

      Chris, in the interest of dialogue you should encourage the conversation here — I didn’t see a comments section on your blog.

      Tony, they’re calling you out on this; maybe you should extend the invitation. There’s great potential for discussion here.


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