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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Misogyny Stinks!

Defence of Wardour castle by Lady Arundel, 1643

No matter where you turn, it seems, women are under siege and fire.

Much ado has been made about Hillary Clinton's "humorless" and "frustrated" replies to queries from reporters in Nairobi, Kenya and the Congo.

First, Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor, 39, a former city councilor in Nakuru, a city in southern Kenya, restated the offer he first made to President Bill Clinton in 2000. This time, he reiterated his offer to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, of a 20-cow and 40-goat dowry to woo Chelsea Clinton.

Secretary Clinton was asked about the proposal by a CNN reporter at a Nairobi Town Hall session Thursday. "If you think about the current global economic climate, in which asset value has gone's not a bad offer," the reporter said.

Though the audience laughed, Clinton's response was humorless,"She (Chelsea) is very independent, so I will convey this very kind offer."

Humorless? Gimme a break! What on earth is funny about treating your daughter like chattel?

The word to describe Hillary's response is this: Appropriate.

So, we probably shouldn't be surprised that, when a translator incorrectly relayed the query from a Congolese university student about what her husband (instead of President Obama)thought about an international financial matter , Hillary bristled.

"My husband is not secretary of state, I am," she snapped. "I am not going to be channeling my husband."

Well, and haven't the media been all over this story.

Oh, for Pete's sake! Again, she responded appropriately to the question she was given. The translator was the one at fault. Not the student. And certainly, not Hillary.

I honestly don't know how she stands it. The noxious fumes of world-wide misogyny only rise higher and get pretty strong at that level.

Even so, no matter the level, misogyny still stinks.

Approximately 800 Roman Catholic Religious Women, known as Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for 95 percent of the women religious of America are gathering, even as we speak, for a three-day conference in Louisiana where they are 'under investigation' by the Vatican.

The National Catholic Reporter interviewed over two dozen of the women as the conference was beginning. You can read the remarks there, but this one caught my eye.

"Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Mary Daniel Turner, long respected for her scholarship and thoughtful perspectives on religious life, said tensions between the Vatican and the women religious of America date back at least to the 1950s “when we [the congregations] began to see we shared a common vision. “At the heart it is hard for Rome to understand us as moral agents in our own right.”

She added that the issues behind the Vatican investigations “are wider than women religious. The issues are those of the whole church. I hate to see this reduced to just religious life. It is deeper than that. It is a difference between the church of Rome and the U.S. church. I think we, the women religious, are asking what the laity is also asking. ‘Who are we as Catholics in a pluralistic society?'"

Gee, does that have a familiar ring to anyone?

If the Boyz at the Vatican think that they can bring these women under fire because, well, women are 'the weaker sex', they obviously don't know anything about the Nuns I grew up with. And, most of these women are the nuns I grew up with.

But wait! There's more!

Down in the heart of Texas, the Board of Education wants to change history. The Religious Dispatches is reporting that
Rev. Peter Marshall (one of their appointed academic experts), for example, wants to restore America, according to the Web site of his Massachusetts-based ministry, “to its Bible-based foundations through preaching, teaching, and writing on America’s Christian heritage and on Christian discipleship and revival.” He also believes that Hurricane Katrina, Watergate, and the Vietnam War are the result of divine wrath.

As part of his curriculum review for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills process, Marshall issued an assessment of a Grade 5 history section in which students are asked to “describe the accomplishments of significant colonial leaders such as Anne Hutchinson, William Penn, John Smith, and Roger Williams.”

Marshall, along with his fellow reviewer David Barton, did not believe that students in the public education system should learn about Hutchinson:

Anne Hutchinson does not belong in the company of these eminent gentlemen. She was certainly not a significant colonial leader, and didn’t accomplish anything except getting herself exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for making trouble. (emphasis added)

Making trouble. Right. Don't want that in our history books. I mean, what kind of role model would that be for young girls?

Problem is, Texas is the second largest purchaser of textbooks in the country. If conservative Christians on the Texas Board of Ed panel prevail in their wish to leave Ann Hutchinson (trouble maker!), Cesar Chavez, and Thurgood Marshall out of the social studies curriculum, all US schools could be affected.

I know. I know. I've been saying that patriarchy is in it's last gasps of life. This looks far from a death bed scene, doesn't it?

Ms. Conroy, Hospice nurse extraordinaire, can tell you that it ain't called a 'death grip' for nothing.

Power never gives up power without a power struggle.

And, misogyny is the 'original sin' of the Garden of Eden.

No matter where it comes from or where it's directed, misogyny is still a toxic waste substance. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it stinks.

I have become convinced that it kills brain cells - male and female.

There's an ancient Chinese proverb which ends, "Women hold up half the sky."

Something tells me that, in these waning days of patriarchy, women are going to be doing more of the heavy lifting.

Good thing we can.


Anonymous said...

Another stellar post! Thanks again.

it's margaret said...

"Anne Hutchinson does not belong in the company of these eminent gentlemen."

Damn straight. She was too good for any of 'em --and a very creative religious thinker who organized other women to meet and think and talk about the bible in her home....

(A.H. is my many greats-ago grandmother. Guess it's a family thang?)

Enjoy your time away m'dear.

Jim said...

Texas influence over textbooks is well documented and pernicious. I wont even go to the apparent sexual frustration of the celibates.


A great post thanks for it.


June Butler said...

No matter where it comes from or where it's directed, misogyny is still a toxic waste substance. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it stinks.

And that's the truth.

And my word verification is "feekin".

Feekin misogyny!

Margaret, I am impressed by your eminent ancestor.

IT said...

Oh, how right you are. I'm listening to the media go on and on about hilary, and I'm thinking "how ELSE could she answer that?"

Of course I have just realized that I carry a significant burden of %^&* jobs at work that, funny thing, my male colleagues do not (I am the only female of top rank). Wanna bet I'm paid less?

Just when you think you've made progress....

Erp said...

Women do tend to get short shrift in history. Margaret Fell (later Fox) was another strong woman of that century though in England not America. It is due to her that Quaker women have tended from the beginning to have a strong voice.

I suspect Texas would have no problem with Betsy Ross (even though her contributions to the flag may be myth) since she stuck to a supporting role and use female skills.

(BTW I think that it is Lady Arundell (two l's not one) defending Wardour castle. The Earls of Arundel (one l) were a different family. Appropriately for your article, she was Catholic)

David@Montreal said...

'No matter where it comes from or where it's directed, misogyny is still a toxic waste substance.'

An insult to both Gode and Her creation; misogyny is a hetrosexist conceit life can no longer afford to tolerate or support in any form.

'Something tells me that, in these waning days of patriarchy, women are going to be doing more of the heavy lifting.'

Blessed with the advantage of being born gay, it has always been my sense that it is only the long-suffering of the oppressed which repeatedly offers the oppressor the gift of personal and societal transformation. Our sisters have been holding things together; doing the real work of being human since time immorial- waiting for their hetrosexist counterparts to get over themselves.

but then mine coulld be a minority opinion LOL

thank-you Elizabeth for another post telling truth to the illusion of power.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Margaret, I am not worthy to be in the company of one with such blue blood ;~D. How wonderful!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...


I think religious misogyny is probably the most dangerous of all. This is an example of how something local can 'go viral' and infect our entire educational system. Makes the heart sad.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mimi and whiteycat - always enjoy your visits. I write the truth as I perceive it, which requires 'telling a secret or two'. I'm grateful for down time so I can have time to read and then write.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

IT - I can't prove it, but one day I will - I am convinced that clergy women make SIGNIFICANTLY less than our male counterparts. I'm sure the same principle applies to you job in academia or the male and female students down the road at the 711.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hey, David. Thanks for stopping by. Please know that I have your prayer list in my heart.

Unknown said...

There is evidence that the exclusion of women from roles of religious authority is an obstacle to the *integral human development of both men and women*. Consider the following report:

Link to the current version 1.7 of the survey:

You are cordially invited to participate.

In Christ,

Luis T. Gutierrez, PhD
Editor, PelicanWeb Journal of Sustainable Development ~
A monthly, free subscription, open access e-journal.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...
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Riley said...
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