Friday, 6 March 2015

Feminism Can Sometimes Discriminate

I’m not going to be able to post anything on Sunday (International Women's Day) - I’ll Be busy doing a church weekend, and then travelling to the south ready for meetings the next day. So I’m posting it today. (It also means I've not applied my usual strict checking process and filter - it may come across as a bit angry - sorry)

I love that we have International Women's Day, but I generally dislike how it all plays out across social media. There's a load of back slapping, quite a bit of venom and just a small amount of education. The women who work tirelessly in different situations across the world, often unknown, are left unknown and unpraised. 

I love our unsung heroines. The ones who clean our churches, who do our youth and children's work, who do the stuff that no one notices. Let praise them and pray for them.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to a blog about how the feminist movement lets down those women who are disabled. I didn’t agree with all of the blog, but there were sections that I thought were spot on - take a look at it here and see what you think.

Last year I wrote this blog on a similar line - if you think there is discrimination against women…. try being a disabled woman - especially outside of Europe.

But what I want to say is this (As my title implies!): Some forms of Christian feminism are discriminatory.

I’m a bit of a closet feminist. I believe women can preach and lead. But I am much more adamant about the situations of my fellow women in all parts of the world where they can’t fight for themselves - where their voice has been effectively silenced.

I don’t believe there are any feminists out there who would disagree with me on that - even giving me a hearty amen.

BUT, when it comes to expressing my own thoughts on certain peripheral subjects, on the edge of feminism, where I have my own strongly held and valid beliefs - my fellow tweeting/facebooking feminists would jump on me, calling me all sort of names if I dared to write these views down…… effectively silencing my voice. 
I've seen it done to others, and I'm not talking robust discussion here - I'm talking the whole "You must be stupid/be a bigot to believe that" type of response.

Does this sound familiar to you? 

Like my fellow women outside of Europe - I have chosen to keep my mouth firmly shut for fear of the backlash.

When I speak out about about women and disability I often get the feeling of not being taken seriously. A bit of  a “Who cares” deafening silence. 

When I ask about accessibility of conferences I get a similar reaction - many of them aren't, on many levels, including financially (For example: If you have a conference in London, transport is expensive as you often need taxis, and there are incredibly few reasonably priced accessible hotels to stay in, meaning even more taxis during the conference)

When the greater part of feminism is about giving women a voice - why is it I feel as though mine is being silenced?

So let me try speaking out again - don't forget that life is bad for many women in our world, but disability has an even greater impact.

And if you're the organiser of a women's conference/meeting of any sort, can you make sure it's accessible - and I don't just mean wheelchair access.

And finally - allow me to have my own opinions and beliefs when it comes to theology, including the space to express them. I'm happy for discussion - I'm not happy to be called a bigot.




Saturday, 28 February 2015

Speaking Kind Words

Proverbs 16:2 (ERV)
Kind words are like honey; they are easy to accept and good for your health.

Colossians 4:6(ERV)
When you talk, you should always be kind and wise. Then you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.

Proverbs 25:11(ERV)
Saying the right thing at the right time is like a golden apple in a silver setting.

A quick search of the bible can bring up a lot of advice on how to speak kindly. Words often ignored in the name of whatever 'crusade we' are embarking on.

Harsh words often upset me, even if they weren't meant to be harsh, but just came across that way. I'm very sensitive!

But at the same time, I'm aware that my words can sometime come across as quite harsh too. If they have been received as harsh by any of my readers - I apologise - sincerely.

The problem is, the written word cannot convey the gentleness and concern in my eyes that a face to face conversation would show. In other words - what was spoken can often carry a totally different meaning to those exact same words written in an email, tweet or facebook post (Or sometimes said in a phone conversation).

Most of the time I will take great care in crafting what I want to write. I re-read things checking for things that could be misunderstood, or misconstrued as antagonistic.

But sometimes in my extreme busyness or tiredness, I will hit send hoping the recipient/social media friends will 'get' what I'm trying to say, only to find that maybe a few extra seconds to check my wording would have been wiser.

It's difficult isn't it?

I look at others who do campaigning tweets and updates and draw in a sharp breath.... do I come across like that? Sadly I probably do.

But here's the problem - there are things I want to campaign about in a Godly and wise way. There are times I want to gently correct unthinking behaviour - for the benefit of others. But I find, on social media in particular, my voice can come across as harsh and abrasive. In can be the same in emails too.

This in turn makes me want to stop speaking up - I desperately don't want to hurt or offend people. I really am a hypersensitive gentle soul! But if I don't speak up, who will? Will the things I'm speaking up about change if I don't?

On Thursday I put out a status update that said:
"I'm reticent to keep on about disability awareness - 'cos I'm passionate about so many more things. But when I do it's usually NOT about me."

My friends were kind and referred to me as a "Prophetic Voice", encouraging me to keep speaking out - Thankyou!

But I want to be accountable - If I come across as unnecessarily abrasive, then (gently!) call me out.
Help me to speak out against pain and injustice with a clear but Godly voice.
And if you can - join me in speaking out with that same Godly voice.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

If God Calls You - You Can Do It.

Two blogs in a day! Wow!

But this is the blog I actually intended to write today. It fits with the previous one…. sort of.

This one comes out of a Facebook update I wrote, and the many comments I received after posting it. You can see it here.

The actual update read: 
“A lady at church said because of my disability, I should retire & stop running around the country... 
#SillyLady #Only49 #FitForWork #LoveMyJob #VeryCrossKay

Remembering the Holocaust

As people around the world remember the holocaust, we have been shocked at newly released film footage from the concentration camps.

The documentaries showing this footage spoke a little of how those with disabilities were also targeted - either killed instantly in their euthanasia programmes, or experimented on in grotesque ways.

They were killed because they were deemed to be "damaging to the common good" by the Nazi party.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Empowering or Humiliating?

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m normally a happy, placid and contented person. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers!

But over the last couple of days I have managed to get my feathers ruffled…. a lot. 

And what has caused this amazing ruffling of feathers?

A holiday booking. (And if you read on... a worship event too)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Dreams

Last week I read Sheridan Voysey's book 'Ressurection Year'.

I wanted to read it for a couple of reasons:

Monday, 18 August 2014

Returning to Blogging.... In One Place

It's been a while since the last post hasn't it?!
Life has been rather chaotic with lots of different writing projects, conferences, assemblies, camps and Children Worldwide stuff. Sadly, when life gets so busy, the first thing that has to go is the blogging!