“Don’t call us ladies”

My mother raised me to address
with respect,
honoring dignity,
“Lady,” indicating recognition
mature, articulate, confident

Mother, Grandmother, Sister
Graduate educations
Professional mentors
Community leaders

They heard, I suppose,
deference born of superiority,
denying equality,
suggesting weakness,
implying frailty and delicacy.

I could not hear why
they could not hear why
I did not hear
as they desired to be heard.

What if I had stayed, waited
Anxious, vulnerable, uncertain
Curious, open, receptive?
What if I had asked to hear?
Teach me to listen.

I never knew what I didn’t know,
a different language –
vocabulary and structure.

Reference frames shift
as shadows with the passing sun
or is it the turning earth?

Can symbols be redeemed? Perhaps.
But not without hearing the pain
Witnessing the wounds
Bearing the crosses.

Only then may there be
Grace and mercy enough
For rolling away the stones.

© KenGCrawford, 2012

Wondering about Evangelical Feminism?

As I embark on this Fall 2012 semester journey into Feminist, Womanist and Mujerista Theologies, (@ SMU|Perkins ) I am wondering about the conversation between evangelicalism (in its own diversity) and feminist theories (with their diversity). I consider myself evangelical, in that I believe that the message of the Gospel is Good News for all people and that we are called to proclaim that message in word and deed. My theology is more open and progressive than that professed by mainstream evangelicalism. I also am very interested in the voices of feminist theologies. So, I am curious about the conversation within and between evangelicalism and feminism as traditionally understood. A partial reading list under consideration follows. I have tried to choose a sample representative of various voices in the conversation between Evangelicalism and Feminism. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. And of course, if you have thoughts on the conversation itself, I’d love to engage those as well. I don’t really have any of my own formulated yet.

Evangelical Feminism: A HistoryPamela D.H. Cochran

Women Called To Witness: Evangelical FeminismNancy A. Hardesty

God Gave Us The Right: Conservative Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Orthodox Jewish Women Grapple with FeminismChristel Manning

Becoming God’s True WomanNancy Leigh DeMoss -(Editor)

Living on the Boundaries: Evangelical Women, Feminism and the Theological AcademyNicola Hoggard Creegan (Author), Christine D. Pohl (Author)


Broken Women

Broken women

Can’t stand up
Don’t know how
Won’t take the chance
“Too much to lose”
All my life
I’ve done
What others needed
What they asked
“Too much to lose”
Who am I
If receiving
Replaces serving
Taking more than giving
“Too much to lose”
Meet labor
Otherwise slavery
Becomes identity
“Too much to lose”
What calling
Being, becoming
Vocation as living
My only contribution
“Too much to lose”
Will you stand
Beside me
Or before me
Beckoning or blocking
“Too much to lose”
Are you now
My advocate
Or my adversary
Proclaiming or prohibiting
“Too much to lose”

I can not stand
To live this way
What choice existed
Has been decided
“Too much to lose”
Who to become
How to become
I am pro choice
Each one chooses
 “Too much to lose”
Who made you
Arbiter of my life
Decider of me
Potter of my clay
“Too much to lose”
When you touch
Be gentle
I’m so fragile
Beginning and ending
“Too much to lose”
Broken body
Ripped and torn
Dogs and vultures
Shred my bloody carcass
“Too much to lose”
Here I lie
Waiting, longing
No help or hope
Completely alone
“Too much to lose”
You tell me
How to live
How to survive
To not go insane
“Too much to lose”

Time is passing
Can’t stand still
New voice calling
Be not afraid
“Too much to lose”
Loved ones cling
Gripping clawing
Kicking screaming
Heals dragging
“Too much to lose”
What they see
Don’t perceive
What they hear
Don’t understand
“Too much to lose”
Can’t stand
Can’t walk
Can’t reach
Can’t talk
“Too much to lose”
Will you help
Standing Walking
Reaching Talking
Loan me your strength
“Too much to lose”
Confusion now
Settling in
Becoming a fixture
Shade and texture
“Too much to lose”
What if
Became New
In Me, In You
“Much to lose”
Losing myself
Losing you
Losing them
To gain life
“Nothing left to lose”