Blog Template Theology of the Body: A Retrospect: "now now dearie, use your feminine pronouns"

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Retrospect: "now now dearie, use your feminine pronouns"

... because I am dashing off for this year's First Day of School.

I've about had it. The next time a White European Male professor with fewer degrees than I've got tells me that I cannot refer in my extensive writing to "mankind" or the masculine pronoun "he" or "his" for the human being, or the Fatherhood of God, or the Sonship of Christ, etc. I am going to throw a royal fit.

... actually, no time like the present.

Feminists, God bless them, have exploited the rhetoric of The Oppressed! to revise the way we speak about one another. They have thus distorted the beauty of the English language and the dignity of a woman's right to self-expression in the academy. - We have to refer to "humanity," never use the masculine pronoun (though we can use FEMININE pronouns, which is hilarious when one is speaking about historically male-dominated cultures), and above all, God must be "Mother" and "Nurturer" and "Sustainer," etc. etc. Which makes things very difficult when once wishes to refer to Christ's robust language of His Father. Which makes things difficult when one is perpetually sick of being patronized for (her) refusal to be a feminist.

Even with references to our predominately male-behaving God aside, I prefer to use masculine pronouns. Why?

1. Because I am a Christian. As such, I believe that all of humanity- and especially we baptized- are categorically and really identified by this MAN, Christ the Lord. We are capitulated by this male. We believe that we are from Him, through Him, in Him. We believe that in some sense, every person ever created is from Him, through Him, in Him, even for Him. He is before all persons, and by Him all things consist. We hope, in the end, to be regarded as "in" Him, under His juridical and ontological headship and hence constituted by His merits and safe under His protection from judgment. Thus- from His masculinity- it becomes perfectly rational to refer to persons in general with the masculine pronoun.

2. Because I am my father's daughter. Like it or not, my life has in a very precious way been lived "through" this amazing man who lays his life down to promote the women in his life. He was instrumental in my creation. He protected me and trained me and made sure that I had every opportunity that he and I could imagine. He inspires me. He interrupts his meetings to take my calls. He takes me around the world and insists that I never neglect a single dream. Someday, God willing, I will similarly live my life "through" and "in" my husband. In as much as my whole life is characterized by the gifts, love, and leadership of such men, it makes sense that I would employ... masculine pronouns.

With this in mind, I recall that language is supposed to be an instrument for honoring the other. Language, with its grammatical order and normative clarity, was (and should be) a means of the charity to which we are called in every moment. When this woman refers to the masculine pronoun, I freely honor the men in my life. (If the men in my life were to become so besotted with me that they insisted on always using femminine pronouns in my particular honor, well then, more power to 'em). As a woman who is willing to use masculine pronouns, I honor all men as fundamentally other than myself, and with whom I stand in loving solidarity as persons nonetheless. It's all about charity, people.

All this to say: I am a traditional, conservative, Catholic Christian girl who regards herself in the man Christ Jesus, and who honors her Dad among men, and I am thus become a voice of the marginalized.

Off to overthrow the oppressors.