Protest, Resist and Pray

I am tired.  I am tired of old white men making decisions about women’s health care when there are no women in the room.  I am tired of politicians trying to control women’s sexual behavior by limiting their access to reproductive choices and birth control. I am tired of old white men trying to govern my uterus. I am tired of a political system that marginalizes women by limiting access to affordable child care. I am tired of old white men protecting their own, hiring their own and lying for each other.  

I am tired of protesting, writing letters, and calling my legislators (who are old white men). I want to hang up my Handmaid’s Tale garb and my clerical collar and take a break from it all.  And I think that is exactly what old white men are hoping; they want us to get tired and go away.  I, for one, refuse to do that. 

I will keep writing my blog as a way of encouraging my sisters.  I will keep donning my Handmaid’s Tale garb or my clerical collar and attending every protest I can.  I will write and call until I am blue in the face.  I will, with countless other women who are also sick and tired of it all, vote on November 6th.  If the old white men want to grab us by the pussy, let’s grab them by the midterms.  Every vote counts. 

Sure, I know what it is like to face sexism.  I am a woman in a historically all-male profession.  I have been told that I was a “good woman minister,” “a good preacher, for a woman.” I have been asked “when I was going to have a baby,” and “why I wasn’t married.” 

What I don’t know is what it is like to be a woman of color and face these same issues.  I do not know what it is like to face all the issues of sexism and the hatred and confusion foisted on a woman who was born in the wrong body.  I do not know what it is like to live into society’s sexism and be sent to conversion camp where they try to “beat the gay away,” simply because someone cannot face the fact that some women love women.

We live in a patriarchal society but we are also live in a racist and cisgender society.  What is hard for me is harder for my sisters of color and my non-binary sisters.

I am a white woman of privilege.  I am educated, have access to resources and a role that is respected in society.  I choose to use my privilege for a good greater than my own.     

We need to be in this for the long haul.  We have to stick together and care for each other.  We might take a lesson from migrating geese.  They fly in a “V” formation and take turns in the lead position, breaking the wind for the ones who fly behind them.  As the “V” unfolds each one breaks the wind for the one behind them. The ones with the greatest fatigue are in the back where the wind break is greatest.  They work as a team and care for each other.  They take turns out front according to their energy and strength.   

As one who is also fed by the richness of the Judeo Christian tradition, I also find sustenance in the words of the prophets like Jeremiah who said “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)  Words from Isaiah remind me of the work that is mine to do: “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then I said, Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)  “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn.” (Isaiah 51:1)

These words are not sentimental thoughts from an ancient book of poetry. They are marching orders for people of faith in every age.  They are words of direction and encouragement when it would be easier to hang up the Handmaid’s Tale garb and ditch the clerical collar for a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt and sit in front of the TV watching reruns.

In the real world problems are not solved in 46 minutes.  They are solved by every woman doing the work that is hers to do.  Together we can change the world for the women in the next generations.  “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings of eagles.  They will run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)   

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