Bad blogger! Bad! Way too long since I've posted.
I finished reading Sue Monk Kidd's "Dance of the Dissident Daughter" Saturday. I loved it! Kidd does a wonderful job of showing you her journey, in lyrical prose, without sounding either whiny or overly mystical. She leads you with her on her journey, showing you very clearly how she came to believe what she believes, simply and undogmatically--and without insisting that you have to believe, too. Kidd was a "good" Baptist wife and mother, who came to realize that there was a wound in all women. She began to explore what that meant, especially spiritually, because she was a writer of "inspirational" literature. She started to really see how established Christianity has ignored and marginalized the feminine, making Mary, for example, a meek and mild passive figure, the good mother and no more. And she explores what it means to women to be told--not in so many words, but by church policies, dogma, and theology--that women do not measure up, can never measure up, and had better not try. She sees it in so many things--the churches that don't ordain women, of course, but in our God-language, in our images of God, in how we relate to God, what women do in church (very similar to what is expected of them at home, as it turns out). And as she journeys along, she uses Jungian psychology and the power of myth to help her elucidate what it is she is feeling. Kidd doesn't ignore the impact of her journey on her family, either--on her husband, for example, who was also freed, as she was freed--he left the chaplaincy and began a career in counseling.
Reading "Dissident Daughter" has inspired me to begin reading "Women Who Run with the Wolves," by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I had tried it at one point, and never got beyond the second or third chapter. Apparently I wasn't ready for it, because now I'm just gulping it down! One thing I appreciate about Estes--she doesn't assume heterosexuality! It's a small point, but just as women have felt marginalized when all the pronouns are "he," "his," and "him," so too have I (and my GLBT brothers and sisters) felt marginalized when the assumption is that you are in an opposite-sex relationship. "When, as a woman, you begin a journey like this, you hope your husband will follow you." Assuming you are interested in men, that you are married to one and that you are a woman married to a man...
I've gone through Estes' bibliography and pulled out a few books I want to read. Some of them I don't expect to agree with, others I've meant to read and I hope this will give me the push I need to actually read them! I'm hoping to do this systematically (hah!)...
Allen, Paula Gunn. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions.
Anzaldua, Gloria, and Cherrie Moraga, eds. This Bridge Called My Back.
De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex.
Bolen, Jean Shinoda. Goddesses in Everywoman.
Chicago, Judy. The Dinner Party.
Christ, Carol. Diving Deep and Surfacing: Women Writers in Spiritual Quest.
Craighead, Meinrad. The Mother’s Songs: Images of God the Mother.
Curb, Rosemary, and Nancy Manahan, eds. Lesbian Nuns.
Daly, Mary. Gyn/ecology.
Doniger, Wendy. Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts.
Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade.
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine.
Foucalt, Michel. Madness and Civilization.
____________, History of Sexuality.
Fox, Matthew. Original Blessing.
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.
Heilbrun, Carolyn G. Writing a Woman’s Life.
Iglehart, Hallie. Womanspirit: A Guide to Women’s Wisdom.
Kolbenschlag, Madonna. Kiss Sleeping Beauty Goodbye: Breaking the Spell of Feminine Myths and Models.
Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches.
Mead, Margaret. Blackberry Winter.
Miller, Alice. For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Childrearing and the Roots of Violence.
_________, The Drama of the Gifted Child.
Orbach, Susie. Fat is a Feminist Issue.
Rich, Adrienne. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution.
Shange, Ntozake. For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem.
Sheey, Gail. Passages.
Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman.
Walker, Barbara. The Woman’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets.
_____________, The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects.
Now I'm off to the local library's website to check the catalog for any of these.
When I ran the spellcheck on this post, the suggestion for replacing the unfamiliar (to the dictionary) "Everywoman" was "Everyman." However, for "womanspirit" the suggestion was "emancipate!