Friday, August 26, 2011

living on the boundary, part one: the feminist/Mormon paradox

I've been thinking about boundaries a lot in the last several years: interstitial spaces where meaning is suspended, liminal spaces where meaning is not yet realized, broken and fragmented spaces where meaning is renegotiated.  Because boundaries are so much on my mind, I'm expecting I'll be blogging about them more in the future as I try to sort certain ideas out in my brain.  That's why I'm calling this post "part one".  There's more to come.

I'm currently reading a rather radical feminist theology by Mary Daly called Beyond God the Father, and while I'm not entirely convinced of all of her ideas, I do appreciate the point she makes of living on the boundary.  She's referring to feminism and patriarchal, hierarchical, and sexist religious traditions, and about the choices we have as feminists to continue practicing these religions.  She suggests the possibility of living on the boundary of a patriarchal organization by "weighing such factors as the positive merits that the institution may have in spite of its sexism, and judging how strong are the possibilities of changing and/or using it without losing a disproportionate amount of creative energy in the effort."  I believe this is what most Mormon feminists are doing, or what we must do in the end.  Some decide it costs too much creative energy and give up looking for the positive merits of the institution.  Some decide to live perpetually on the border "transferring the center of activity to our new space on the edge of such patriarchal space."  I like the visual image this offers.  The center of our activity is on the edge, and so we move around that center, in and out of the patriarchal institution.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the walk of life

Ok, enough of this not blogging.  It's been two months and if I let it go any longer I'll never blog again.  As most summers go, I allowed my brain to shut down almost completely in June.  I stopped reading, writing, speaking coherently, and thinking academically.   Maybe not entirely, but for the first weeks back from London I was certainly in a haze, and I'm pretty sure I spent most of my time staring blankly at a wall.

Yes, I am back from London.  And not only am I returned, I've also moved to Kentucky.  Isn't that weird? It feels weird.  I spent exactly one month in Utah, from July 15 to August 15, and I didn't particularly want to leave it again.  How can I go from London to my home, and then move on to Louisville, Kentucky?  A place I've never seen, where every one is a stranger, and now I suddenly have to live there for four years?  It's very weird.