Friday, May 12, 2006
What is a woman’s role in society? What is her role in the Church or the family?
Can, or should, women serve in governmental positions in the Church or the State? Can, or should women serve in leadership positions? Can a woman be the head of a household?
This is the first in a series of posts that I will address such questions.
I have asked these several questions, in different terms, since I was in grade school. I remember pondering why only men were pastors since it seemed like women could preach from the pulpit as good as any man. Growing up, I remember my mother expressing her discontentment with how she felt that men were selected over her not only in the workplace, but also in the church. My mother has always felt slighted, as her dream of playing as a professional bassoon player ended by discovering that all the symphonies were only comprised of men. Instead, my mother became a music teacher, as women make great teachers. The discrimination that my mother always felt looming over her head seemed to me like a figment of her imagination.
Despite my mother’s insistence that gender discrimination was a reality, I never encountered it. I often stood alone in my college courses highlighting the tremendous change in a woman’s position in society over the course of history. I have never seen women as victims of society or men as brutish dominators.(Yes, this is a message I heard often at WU.) I’ve never felt like a victim. And if anything, I’ve received preference because of my gender. So, yes, there is discrimination, but in a woman’s favor.
Dr. Alber Mohler’s recent blog entry More on the Mommy Wars discusses Kay S. Hymowitz’s article reviewing Caitlin Flanagan’s book To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife. Hymowitz’s writes, “Flanagan believes that feminism’s doctrine that ‘caring for children and husbands and households constitutes subservience’ is at odds with women’s continued long for domestic satisfactions.”
Society makes it seem as though being a mother isn't enough. Why isn’t motherhood depicted as worthy “occupation”?
My University counselor looked at me with confusion when I said I wanted to be a mom. She said, “Well, it only takes 9 months,” as if being mother is just a couple weeks off from a “real” profession.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Audience, Audience, Audience
I remember very little from what I learned in high school. But if there is one thing I do remember, it is to consider one’s audience when writing. I’m not saying I do it well, I’m saying that I know it is an important if one wants to be an effective communicator.
Since the inception of my blog, I’ve thought about writing a post pondering exactly who my blog's audience is (as part of some intellectual exercise I suppose.) My greatest struggle as a writer has always been to stop writing for myself. The best writing instructor I’ve ever had always emphasized it’s the writer’s duty to help the reader understand not vice versa. Further, if you’re writing is too muddled to understand, don’t expect anyone to read it…or even care.
By definition, we already know what we think, but as writers we must write in a way for others to want to know what we are thinking. So, if I’ve got an opinion, and I want specific audiences to care, I better consider who my audience is carefully.
I also find that I am tempted to use sarcasm or hyperbole frequently when I write. I think its because people respond only when something is offensive verses slightly bothersome...or for that matter, competely agreeable. That explains the Church role in politics for the last 100 years...but that's another entry all together.
Outside of blogland, I never really know what other people think about what I think because I’m to busy talking to listen. I’m the same way when I write, I’m always ready to write what I think, make no apologies, and defend it to absolute absurdity. But that’s not productive, helpful, or appropriate…ever. I'm working on that. (If only I had the patience for myself that God has for me.)
I’ve posted an apology (on the entry) for an outright inappropriate statement in response to a comment a friend made to me about a previous post. (I think there still may be a slight hint of sarcasm in one line, but it is a sincere apology.)
My high school teachers may have been atheists, but they didn’t know something about writing. A lesson I’m still learning. Who is my audience and what are their values…
I’m still wondering who I’m writing to…
Seeing that is late, and I’ve procrastinated long enough, I should finish that paper for Steve.
If there are typos, I'm sorry.