mercredi, janvier 12, 2005

It's a little too late...

So, I'm reading The Da Vinci Code finally. (I like to wait until the entire world has gotten over a bestseller and THEN pick it up. That way, my ability to discuss the damn thing is so timely.) Anyhoo, the book (as if you don't know) keeps rattling on about "the sacred feminine"- most specifically, the concept that Jesus was more mortal than the church has let on and was in fact in love with, married to and had a child with, Mary Magdalene. The book raises the spectre of misogyny throughout the church's history (umm, I'd argue if I could- and hey, anybody want an apple? It's yummy!) and suggests that women should have a much more important role in church leadership and in spiritual leadership in general.

So, I'm thinking about all of this and I ask myself: Self, would it be so bad if a person who was both human and deity, lived a very full human existence? I mean, if Jesus was tempted like we are and was no stranger to our suffering, doesn't participation in his culture by being married make sense? (And no, I'm not making some bad joke about marriage being suffering.) And does that get in the way of something in particular? I mean would my theology be rooooooned if Jesus had been making passionate love to the missus? Do we need Jesus to be a never-even-masturbating-virgin? Do these questions make you more comfortable or less? I'm just thinking about it.

This also reminds me that I am not a crazy ass feminist, HOWEVER I am keenly aware of gender biases wherever they occur and am also somewhat vocal about such disparities. I am not stupid about it- I adore men also, so I'm not willing to alienate them. I know women can be real jerks, too. Seen it with my own eyes, I tell you. But I am perfectly willing and able to discuss what's going on when things are pretty patently uneven.

One of my sisters took a class in college on some form of feminism or other and she brought home a book she was supposed to read. She read parts of it aloud to me (the oldest) and our other sister and we laughed so hard we almost pissed ourselves. Picture if you will, three young women cackling in absolute derision at the notion that all women are naturally lesbians but sometimes choose to "make a loving genital commitment" to a man. Okay. Whatever you say. (This book was not arguing, by the way, that all people are naturally bi- or pansexual.) I think the bond between women was called "gynaffection" which we changed to "gyninfection". Yes, we were terribly mature about the whole thing.

I can't help it- radical feminists want more than anything to stop RESPONDING to the masculine and yet they are engaged in playing a big huge game of ring around the phallus as far as I can see. Smack my paw- but I can't help it. Their position isn't really all that logically sustainable. I do realize, of course, that feminism is a reaction to men behaving badly (and frankly, to women reinforcing and sustaining a system of men behaving badly as well.) It is a necessary struggle at certain points. And I guess I do believe in a version of feminism- it's idiotic that women still make on average 70 cents for every dollar that men in the same jobs make, for example. I could go on and on...

A few years back a good friend of mine told me about a book he thought I'd want to read. It was on the subject of male chauvenism in language. And sure, it's there. But the book was advocating massive overhaul of my playthings (words) and I just wasn't that interested. This shocked him. Which in turn, shocked me. I didn't realize I'd been coming across as such a feminist. I mean we hung out in a group of friends who talked, ate, drank and went dancing together. (Okay, some people stood around watching the others dancing, but I'm a dancer, not a watcher. And I don't drink and dance, either. I don't need a confidence boost and I don't need something interfering with my rhythm, either. Drinks are for talking. Dancing demands rehydration- water and whatnot. And now you know.) But I was talking about books and feminism, wasn't I? Digression, thy name is bennyjo! Yes, well, whatever. I've given you some things to think about, haven't I.