Father & Mother God

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God’s female side depicted via. whygodisawoman.com

I’ve been pondering a theological thought lately about why God is not pictured in any form as a woman. I understand that a lot of this comes from the patriarchal structure of the post-Renaissance church where the degradation of women took root in most Christian churches, but what evidence is there that God doesn’t have a feminine side, or even parts that could be considered a “mother”. If men and women were both created in the likeness of God, then there must be feministic value to the persona of God itself. For women do not come from man, but man comes from woman. Being a Christian myself, I wonder why the God of my churches is not female in any way. One of the reasons that churches deter me is because of the lack of female presence within the elders and other positions important to the church. If I, as a woman, was created in the image of God, then women must be a part of God as well.

Continue reading “Father & Mother God”

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Tactics to Overcome the Violence of the English Language

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Words with accents on a wall in an empty room

By Olivia Comstock 

Post Structuralism theory became prominent with theorists and philosophers beginning in the 60s and continues to influence academics today. Part of this theory is that language shapes the way people view the world. It shapes the world, it shapes human interactions, and it shapes who people are and how they view themselves. The whole human experience is constructed and viewed through the lens of language because this is the only tool available to describe interactions with the world. Experiences and feelings outside of language are not only seen as less valid, but they also seem less real because people have no way to communicate them to others or to themselves. Instead, language is used in order to try to capture those inklings. The English language is, however, an inherently a violent language. This is true through words, their meanings, the grammar of the language, and the common vernacular and way of structuring speech.

English lends itself to placing blame and judgment on others and oneself without understanding the feelings and needs behind those harsh statements. When this is taking place in a communicatory setting, that is meant to be positive, (such as a relationship, friendship, or workplace environment,) it can leave participants feeling annoyed, hurt, and alone. Non-violent communication attempts to consciously overcome this language violence through consciousness of reflecting and processing. There will still have situations of blame and judgment, but people are better equipped to handle them using non-violent communication. It is a strategy of communication based on the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. Several books have been written on this topic and there are certified practitioners on college campuses and as counselors all across America. I was introduced to this through a small group here at University of Idaho, and I think that it is a great strategy for those who wish to work on their mindfulness and for anyone who wishes to communicate more successfully.

It is especially important for women and feminists of all genders because it focuses on the expression of feelings and the importance of good communication, which are values that are subdued by our patriarchal system. Continue reading “Tactics to Overcome the Violence of the English Language”