I, as a woman, am tired.
I’m tired of being told I’m second rate in a thousand subtle ways, I’m tired of being told that fighting for equal pay makes me militant or ungrateful, I’m tired of living under double standards and I’m tired of my worth to many being judged by my reproductive choices.
I, as a Christian, am tired.
I’m tired of the myth of homogeneity, I’m tired of having to defend my faith with a tone of shame in my voice as I sip beer or watch Sex and the City and I’m tired of having to figure out how evangelical any friend is before I can be vulnerable about things.
Today I am especially tired that we – as a religious system – keep seem to fighting the wrong fights.
The most recent installment of “Things Which Make Kristen’s Blood Boil” is the bru-ha-ha over the use of the word “vagina” in a new book by Rachel Held Evans. She explains the whole thing on her excellent blog and it is worth a read. But for those who want the Reader’s Digest version, here it is. In a book about womanhood and its relationship to Christianity, Rachel’s publishers are telling her to eliminate the word “vagina” because Christian bookstores (Family and Lifeway in particular I assume) will not carry it if its in there.
<Insert my best Amy Poehler impression>
Really, Christian booksellers? Really? These are the lines you’re choosing to draw? And even if Rachel’s editors are being overly cautious and booksellers still would sell the book… REALLY? Because the thing is I have yet to speak to anyone familiar with this world who isn’t surprised.
I don’t want this to turn into a vitriolic rant against the Christian publishing industry; what I really want to question is this: It is the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve and we’re still uncomfortable with using words speaking about female anatomy? So much so that we would possibly deny an important voice to be distributed? We have no problem with selling all manner of violations of the separation between church and state or works which perpertuate the health & wealth gospel which seems to be so very popular in my beloved country at this point. The problem we have is with the word “vagina.”
I think we’re having the wrong conversations.
I think we should be wrestling with an appropriate response to capitalism, human rights violations, and the state of the American education system. We should be working the best we can at every moment to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love the Lord our God with all our being. We should be trying to be gracious and kind, loving and hospitable. We should be figuring out how to deal with theological and orthopraxic realities regarding homosexuality. We should be fixing the foster care system.
Because here is the deal, love crumpets. If you believe God created the whole world, then He created vaginas. And I’m fairly sure He’s comfortable with the word.