I have, after another 7 months, finally come up with the post topic that has kicked my butt into writing again. It’s time for me to reclaim my feminist self. I spent so much of my younger life standing on my soapbox for women and feminism and LGBTQ rights, for separation of church and state, and, of course, for women in religion. For god’s sake, I have an MA in religion with an emphasis in feminist theology! I have a Certificate from USC in Gender Studies! To say nothing of the actual PhD in Social Ethics. What the hell happened? Life happened, kids happened, but primarily, I think that fear happened. And as I sit at my desk and think about what it is that I want to focus on with all the information in my brain and the passion in my heart, the topic that rises to the top is feminism–in all its manifestations.
I first became involved with the feminist movement 35 years ago, and you would really think that our country (and world) would be far more enlightened than this. But, alas, I am wrong, as I have been about so many things lately, and watching us make Trump-sized steps backward into the darkness has been so disheartening.
And so, with a fire in my breast that I truly haven’t felt in over a decade (since I got the PhD maybe?), I feel like I am back and powerful and need to add my voice to the feminist community, and to the community in general. Of course my particular area is religion and ethics, so specifically, I want to help give a voice to anyone who has been put down by religion and who believes that their choices are somehow less than spiritual or unsanctioned by God (or whoever), or in some other way wrong for them because that is what they have been taught.
Social ethics is about how we make our choices. The overarching question that ethicists ask is “what ought I to do” and from this question is naturally derived the question of “on what do I base my choices?” Ethics is about drawing from our moral base, whatever that may be, and applying what we believe to how we live our lives. Ethics is not about God or religion. It is about working in community and treating each other (and ourselves) with the respect that we deserve. Whether you believe that we are all creatures of God, or don’t believe in a god at all, we all deserve respect just because we live on this planet, and the space we occupy is a place of dignity simply because we are in it.
This is a difficult idea for people to hear and accept sometimes, especially people who grew up in a religious tradition that puts them down for who they are (different, woman, queer, single, whatever) rather than boosting them up because we are all inherently divine, whatever we believe. I’m climbing back on my soapbox.
So call me woman, call me queer, call me ethicist, call me crazy, call me feminist. I will answer.