Re women and girls

Three blogs from this week that you should read today, on women and girls:

“When girls bully girls and women bully women” – Eugene Cho

  • Did you know that a girl is bullied every 7 minutes in America?
  • Almost 1/3 of girls are directly involved in bullying – and on a regular basis. About 77% of students have been verbally bullied in some way.
  • 43% of girls fear harassment in school bathrooms.

And the numbers go on.

“Violence Against Women Doesn’t Discriminate” – Sandi Villareal

When you hold a woman’s trembling hand as a nurse collects evidence from her brutal rape, it doesn’t much matter her sexual preference, ethnicity or legal status. When you sit behind a desk in Washington, D.C., apparently it does.

The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday a version of the Violence Against Women Act that would limit protections to immigrant, LGBT and American Indian abuse victims. House Republicans argue that Democrats are politicizing a non-issue, but stating fact is not partisan politics.

“Enough: Or, why we should all be laughing hysterically in the magazine aisle” – Rachel Held Evans

The brave women of Scripture—from Ruth to Deborah to Mary Magdalene to Mary of Bethany—remind me that there’s no one right way to be a woman, and that these images of perfection with which we are confronted every day are laughable to those of us who are in on the big secret: We are already enough.

And a favorite, often-referenced, quote to round it off:

Perhaps it is no wonder that women were first at the cradle and last at the cross. They had never known a man like this man. There never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made sick jokes about women; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took women’s questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out a certain sphere for women; who never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took women as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its point or pungency from female perversity. Nobody could get from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything funny or inferior about women.

– Dorothy Sayers, Are Women Human?

More Deadly Viper wrap-ups

This is not the end; this is just the beginning. May we continue building up the Body of Christ in a way that honors the God we serve and follow as well as our brothers and sisters:

  • Eugene Cho: “reconciliation and unity need to be steadfast and intentional pursuits.”
  • Ed Gilbreath: “This is a wonderful start, but it will not be easy.”
  • Soong-Chan Rah: “There is one less expression of a stereotype and cultural insensitivity out there that you will have to deal with. There are many others, but at least there is one less.”
  • Ken Fong: “I believe it is paramount that a book about that topic should not in any way, shape, or form exclude female Christian leaders from the conversation.”
  • Helen Lee: “we can never really know what another person ’s life experience is or has been. That, however, does not mean that we shouldn’t strive to understand.”
  • A joint letter to Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite, the authors, and Zondervan: “May this be just the beginning of all our continued efforts to deepen our understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of God’s people.”

The Conclusion of Deadly Viper

The Deadly Viper site is down and Zondervan, the publishers, issued the following letter:

November 19, 2009

Zondervan Statement Regarding Concerns Voiced About "Deadly Viper: Character Assassins"

From Moe Girkins, President and CEO

Hello and thanks for your patience.

On behalf of Zondervan, I apologize for publishing Deadly Viper: Character Assassins. It is our mission to offer products that glorify Jesus Christ. This book’s characterizations and visual representations are offensive to many people despite its otherwise solid message.

There is no need for debate on this subject. We are pulling the book and the curriculum in their current forms from stores permanently.

We have taken the criticism and advice we have received to heart. In order to avoid similar episodes in the future, last week I named Stan Gundry as our Editor-in-Chief of all Zondervan products. He will be responsible for making the necessary changes at Zondervan to prevent editorial mistakes like this going forward. We already have begun a dialogue with Christian colleagues in the Asian-American community to deepen our cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Zondervan is committed to publishing Christian content and resources that uplift God and see humanity in its proper perspective in relation to God. We take seriously our call to provide resources that encourage spiritual growth. And, we know there is more to learn by always listening to our critics as well as our advocates.

It would be unfair to take these actions without expressing our love and support for the authors of this book, Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite. Both gentlemen are gifted writers and passionate about their ministry. We do believe their message is valuable and plan to work with the authors to come up with a better presentation of that message. We will jointly ensure we do our due diligence on the appropriateness of the creative side. This will include reaching out to a broad spectrum of cultural experts.

Finally, I want to personally thank Professor Rah, Ken Fong, Eugene Cho and Kathy Khang for their input and prayers during this discussion. We appreciate everyone’s concern and effort and look forward to working together for God’s kingdom.

Warmly,

Moe

Wow … thanks to Zondervan and the authors for their humility and graciousness as well as their apology, and also to Soong-Chan Rah, Eugene Cho, Ken Fong and Kathy Khang for their advocacy and eloquence in representation. Way to go, Church! (Although, reading some of the comments on those blogs, I’m struck by how much more work needs to happen within the Church …)

Check out more coverage–actually, a lot of it’s the same–on the aforementioned’s blogs, as well as on Angry Asian Man.