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  1. January 30, 2013 7:00 am

    Hi Victoria,
    I don’t object so much, or at all, to the f-bomb lobbed by this one friar, or is he in this case the f? Of course I laughed, which is some the thing that Mr. Aric Clark seems to be after, isn’t it? There’s imagery that’s humorously disturbing (rap-like) by design: i.e., “Rachel Held Evans, is a tornado in your house of cards, / Knocking it down with hermeneutical performance art.” What I find not particularly constructive or even positively deconstructive is that Clark seems really ever after himself, not so much after righting wrongs: “So I thought, what could I say that no one else would ever say?” Both in his/their post “Biblical Masculinity: Buried Under Disclaimers” (again “humorous” but again self-absorbed and self-attentive) and in his rap (that pushes to be a unique voice among the reviews of Rachel Held Evans’s book) there’s this implicit tone of “we are men and women are not”: “The way we Christians treat women is an ethical disaster” [as if Christians are men, and yes I get that this is just ostensible hyperbole and wannabe poetry, perhaps, but still…]

    Really, we all might hear Elizabeth Cady Stanton saying, “Man cannot speak for her.” There was a reason she objected, initially, to allowing men to sign the Declarations of Sentiments.

  2. January 30, 2013 8:50 am

    @Kurk, I didn’t read the push for a unique contribution as self-absorbed, but rather as a reasonable desire to contribute something to the conversation if one is going to say anything at all. Having been to my share of committee meetings that went on and on because everyone needed to have their voice heard even if they were only making the same point over and over again, I can appreciate that! 🙂

    As to your other points, It’s true the one weakness I noticed was the absence of actual women in the video. But I also realize that there are some statements that can be best made by allies to their peers, and I figured this was one such. For me, the novelty of having a man in a collar express sentiments such as these was worth a lot. Overall I felt it was a piece of pointedly snarky criticism well worth snarking.

  3. January 30, 2013 10:05 am

    Thanks for sharing my rap!

    @JK – Sorry it comes across as narcissistic. I just feel like if I’m going to bother putting something on the internet and asking people to watch/listen then I might as well try to say something original or say it in an original way. The lack of women in the video also bothered me. I tried to correct that slightly with the pictures, but it came down to the fact that this was put together over a weekend and none of my female friends/peers were eager to be in a video on the internet. None of my male friends either, for that matter. Hence I am the sole performer on screen.

    I definitely *do not* intend to imply that women are not Christian. In fact, the line “the way we christians treat women” is intentionally aware that there are plenty of women who perpetuate the mistreatment of their own gender. You’re right though that a man can’t really “speak for” women. Since I am lauding a book by a woman here, I feel I’m offering support to a woman’s voice, not just shouting to be heard.

    I welcome your criticism. I think I make some valid points in a hopefully clever way, but I understand not everyone will like it. Maybe, they’ll pick up Rachel Held Evan’s book though. 😀

  4. January 30, 2013 10:06 am

    Victoria, Thank you for your wonderful reply to my negative comment. The best thing about your BLT post is that you’re hearing, appreciating, a “woman-affirming chorus.” And now you call these three men “allies” “reasonable” “because everyone needed to have their voice heard” — which frames rather well a positive tolerance for what I’m characterizing as a rather male-centric, ego-centric voice; that you do that is helpful.

    (I usually have a hard time with separationist/separist rhetoric, whether it’s a sexist or even ironically a feminist or an ally who uses it. Conversely, it’s much more effective and beneficial, I believe, when even a sexist refuses to engage the sort of “we Christians vs. women” binary or dualism that comes through Clark’s rap and his mock interview. Nancy Mairs, for example, talks about how important and valuable it is not only to valorize women but also to deconstruct the binary (from her book Voice Lessons: On Becoming a (Woman) Writer); here she notes how, although a sexist, Michel de Montaigne offered rhetorical space to women, and men, rhetorical space that refused to Other either sex:

    Like the French feminists, I [Mairs] subscribe to the premise that the world we experience is itself an immense text that in spite of its apparent complexity has been made in Western thought to rest on a too-simple structural principle opposing reason to emotion, activity to passivity, and so on, every pair reflecting the most basic dichotomy—“male” and “female.” Like them, I seek to disrupt the binary structure of this text, or Logos, through l’écriture féminine, …. Preference for relation over opposition, plurality over dichotomy, embodiment over cerebration: Montaigne’s begins to sound like a feminist project. Which is not to say that Montaigne was a feminist. (“You are too noble-spirited,” he was able to write to the Comtesse de Gurson when she was expecting her first child, “to begin otherwise than with a male.”)


  5. January 30, 2013 10:13 am


    Oh dear. I was responding to my co-blogger Victoria just as you were writing here too. So sorry for this cross talk. And please understand that I don’t know you and much less can or ought to judge your intentions. Yes yes yes, what you are doing is not intended, as you put it, “to imply that women are not Christian.” And quite right: you say, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her fellow women: “a man can’t really ‘speak for’ women.” I hope I wasn’t too accusing or condemning sounding of you at all. Please know that is not my intention! Rather, as noted to Vicky, it’s a caution of Nancy Mairs, of Helene Cixous, that we all not rest too easily on a “a too-simple structural principle” of “male” separate from “female.”

  6. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    January 30, 2013 10:49 am

    Just wanted to say that I enjoyed it! Thanks, Aric.

  7. January 30, 2013 11:11 am

    @Aric, thanks for stopping by! Regarding your point about supporting Evans’ voice, I must add that I greatly appreciated the closing line of text on the video, “You should totally read her book though.” 🙂

    @Kurk, after reflecting further on our differing responses, I realized that for me, the opening line of the rap,

    Sometimes I’m embarassed, to call myself a pastor

    functioned to frame everything that followed, especially the immediately following line which you mention, as an indictment of the structural sin of misogyny that plagues the church. Thus it transmuted a phrase that I too would normally have heard as “we christian (men)” vs “(those) women” into a reference to that structural sin in which we Christians, by virtue of our membership in the structure of Christianity, are all to a greater or lesser extent involved.

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