For some reason, it seems almost sacrilegious to be snarky and critical the day before Thanksgiving, so—despite my best impulses—I’m going to write a different kind of post: one focused on Thanksgiving. There will be more snark, trust me; in the coming weeks, we promise posts on breast augmentation, women in sports, and girls’ toys, just in time for Christmas. But I thought I’d do the clichéd Thanksgiving post, keeping with our blog theme by focusing on the people who have shaped my ideas about faith and the church, about women and vocation, about being created in God’s image and what that means for me.
And so, in no particular order:
·I’m thankful for my parents, who—while following fairly traditional gender roles—allowed me to play football and baseball; encouraged my interest in higher education; celebrated both my marriage and vocation; and helped me to stay sane as a working mother.
·I’m thankful for my immediate family: for my husband, who doesn’t expect me to be submissive, or a great homemaker or cook, and who has constantly cheered me in my career; my sons, who have made being a mom a fabulous job, and haven’t (yet) expected me to be June Cleaver; and my stepchildren and son-in-law, who have been kind and generous in sharing their family with me, and who have made me grandma, long before my time.
·I’m thankful for mentors throughout my life, generally strong women—but an occasional man, too—who challenged me to pursue my vocation, to balance work and family, to speak out when something seems unjust.
·I’m thankful for friends, including the communities of which I’m now a part: at work, at church, in Dundee. I appreciate their strength, their honesty, their humor, their willingness to share their lives with me, showing me that radical womanhood takes many, many forms (and not those espoused by the Harris brothers).
·I’m thankful for the cool women at Christian Feminism Today who I’m slowly learning to know, but who model for me the kind of faithful feminist journey I also want to take.
·I’m thankful for my blog collaborator, Kendra, for our friendship, and for the ways Kendra has shaped my worldview over the last almost-decade. I’m excited about what the next year holds for our research and writing.
·And (to make this post truly cliché) I’m thankful for people who read our blog, and respond, and who are helping to shape the narrative we’re writing about the church, popular culture, and the ways images of women in evangelicalism can be so problematic.
Okay. Enough Thanksgiving. We’ll be back with more critical posts, after the holiday break!