The Christian Feminism Today (CFT) Gathering continues to energize and inspire me. One of the fascinating people I met there in St. Louis this summer was Abigail Pope. We talked about her call to ministry, and she asked me to recommend some progressive seminaries.
This was Abigail’s first time at a Gathering, and I asked her how she found out about CFT. She told me that she’d googled “feminist theology” and “Christian feminism,” and that one of the first names that popped up was “Letha Dawson Scanzoni,” a co-founder of Evangelical Women’s Caucus, which later became Evangelical & Ecumenical Women’s Caucus-Christian Feminism Today (EEWC-CFT). Abigail then found the Christian Feminism Today website and news of the Gathering in St. Louis.
Many people, including women, still misunderstand what feminism’s all about. Popular culture and the church continue to scare people away with negative definitions of “feminism.” Abigail reflects on her experience of the CFT Gathering, and in this article she gives one of the best definitions of “feminism” that I’ve seen.
This is What Feminism’s All About
by Abigail Pope
From the moment I arrived at the registration table for the 2014 Christian Feminism Today Gathering, I knew I was in a good place with good people. I was made to feel so welcome and important. I mean the word important in a sense that the capitalist patriarchy doesn’t teach us about. I didn’t feel like I was better than anyone, or deserved special treatment. No, what I mean is, I felt like I was treated as if just being human made me valued and respectable, and none of the specifics of my status and identity could take that away. It’s how people should be treated, and it made me breathe easy, feel relaxed and free, for one of the few times in my life.
This is what feminism is all about, and it is so important to me to have found a group of people, “the sisters of summer,” who can bring that principle into the real world.
I’m new to EEWC-CFT, and I hope I’m not too forward in saying I really do feel like the people I met during the gathering; they are part of my family now. I didn’t want the weekend to be over, but now that it’s over, I can’t wait until the next one. I’m hoping everything will work out so I can go back again!
As much as I love meeting new people, making friends, and building a new family for myself, I have to admit I can sometimes be a bit of an introvert, and along with that, a big old bookworm. I have to gush about the books available at the gathering. I wanted to buy all of them! Every single one. I tried to limit myself to four, but, of course, I cheated and bought five. Each one was worth it! I haven’t read many feminist books, so finding a whole bunch on this new (and now, favorite) subject was like finding the gold at the end of a rainbow. Can you tell I’m just feeling really gleeful about owning all these new books?
Special thanks to all the authors for creating such excellent books, especially Susan Campbell, who gave a brilliant talk on Friday night, and who signed my copy of her book Dating Jesus; and Dr. Paula Trimble-Familetti, whose book Prostitutes, Virgins, and Mothers discusses a subject that I thought a lot about during my own feminist awakening.
Originally published on Christian Feminism Today: http://www.eewc.com/Conferences/2014#abe Reposted with permission.