An Open Letter to Women Readers

An Open Letter to Women Readers November 29, 2012

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a challenging and inspiring day for me. I had no idea that the question I posted would elicit such a passionate response. I’m glad it did. My primary feeling this morning is gratitude that so many of you responded with such heartfelt passion.

Some of your answers were hurtful. I was told that I am reminiscent of an abuser; my intellect was challenged; I was psychoanalyzed; and I was repeatedly called defensive. I don’t begrudge your right to post what you think of me. In fact, I am happy that you felt that you could be honest. If nothing else, I hope this blog is a place of honesty, both from me and from readers.

Other answers were affirming — women who read every day but don’t comment took the post as an opportunity to speak up about why they don’t. I am glad that post provided a space for your voices. And I hope those will be the first of many comments from you.

Almost all of the comments were helpful to me. I have read and re-read them (and they continue to come in today — in fact, I hope that you will keep commenting there). In fact, last night, Courtney helped me unplug for a couple hours. She had read all of the comments, too, and we spent some time talking about the post and the responses.

Several of you have corresponded with me privately — including women who wrote challenging comments — in support. I deeply appreciate that.

I think it would be premature for me list the ways that I will change my blogging as a result of your comments. But I think that I cannot help but change.

Among the themes that are emerging, one is that many women find my tone overly aggressive. This, of course, is not news to me. For the past 15 years, my “brand” has been about provocation and theological and cultural argumentation. If and how I should ameliorate my tone in order to welcome more readers without forsaking my current readers is something that I will consider — and continue to talk to Courtney about.

Another theme was, I hope, heard loud and clear by many of the men who regularly comment here: when a comment thread devolves into a pissing match, many women lose interest. We all want the conversation to be robust, but we also need to be aware of our pitch as we go forward.

Thanks again for all your comments. I will continue to read them and to consider them.

Your Friend,


P.S., I hope that some of you will contribute to the latest #progGOD Challenge. I tend to think that women’s voices are particularly important when considering the doctrine of the incarnation.

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