I Am A New Woman

Saturday, April 1st, 2006 · 26 Comments »

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Yesterday I was over at a certain Christian-feminist guy’s blog (I’ll call him Harvey), wondering how he could reconcile his feminism with being all buddy-buddy with a bunch of misogynist trolls and MRAs. He’s even friends with this one MRA guy who has actually dedicated himself to making it harder for rape victims to be believed. So I looked up Harvey’s latest statement on the whole issue, and it basically boils down to how he’s a born-again Christian first and a feminist second, and God has filled him with veal to befriend the misguided, though it’s not at all clear to me how having a belly full of beef helps. Anyway, I thought to myself – and I’m ashamed to admit this now, but if I’m going to tell the story I’ve got to be honest – I thought to myself that if people would just stop personifying the voices in their head as God talking to them, we’d have a lot less problems in the world.

I was just about to write a post on that when the phone rang and it was Naomi Wolf. “Violet,” she said, “I love your blog, but you need to lighten up on the Christian-bashing.”

“But Naomi,” I said, “Christianity is no friend to women! It’s just that same old androcentric bullshit. For heaven’s sake, Christians have spent 2000 years using God to justify treating women like inferior beings. And what about that whole virgin birth thing? What about Corinthians and Timothy? What about–”

She cut me off. “Listen, Violet. I used to worry about that stuff too, but then I found Jesus. Jesus is wonderful! I had a vision of him while I was in my therapist’s office: he was the most perfect, flawless human being imaginable. You just could not imagine a more perfect man. Beautiful, serene, divine. And he radiated this incredible sense of warmth and intelligence and caring. His face, his eyes, were just amazing.”

“Hey, I’ve had that vision, too!” I said excitedly. “It’s Johnny Depp!”

“No, it’s not Johnny Depp,” she said, but I couldn’t make out the rest of her sentence over the background music on her end. She had Slow Train Coming on the stereo with the volume cranked up really loud.

“Naomi, could you turn the music down a little?” I asked.

“Sorry!” she shouted into the phone. “I have to run anyway. I was just saying that I think you need to open yourself up to what God is telling you. Talk to Jane Fonda. Gotta go!”

I dialed Jane’s number but got the machine. Oh, right, I said to myself, she’s on her book tour. So I googled “Jane Fonda and Jesus” to see what she’d said about finding God. As it happened, that was the perfect search string to use, because the very interview I was looking for came right up:

…and from that time forward, I became aware of, I call them coincidences. I just became very aware that the absolute right person would come into my life at the moment that I needed to know something. The exact right book would come into my hands. Oftentimes by people I didn’t know. They were like sign posts! And I thought, “Has this been going on all along and I just didn’t notice?”

And along about that time, I heard Bill Moyers say, “Coincidences are God’s way of manifesting,” and that lodged in me.

Hmm, I thought. But how can we know that they’re not just…well, coincidences? And can we really balance feminism with a Christian belief in God?

At that moment the most amazing, incredible thing happened, and just writing about it now still gives me chills. I was sitting there reading the interview with Jane Fonda, thinking about coincidences, wondering about females and the Christian God, and in walked my dog. Of course I don’t need to tell you what dog spelled backwards is, but what you may not realize is that my dog is female. Is that incredible? I’m thinking about God and females, and right at that moment my female dog walks into the room. Pretty freaky.

But that’s not all.

She didn’t walk in empty-mouthed. She was carrying her ball, and what do you do with a ball? You balance it on your nose! Balancing. God, females, balancing Christianity and feminism: it was just so clear. The entire string of events – Harvey’s blog, Naomi’s call, the perfect Google search, the interview with Jane – had all been leading up to this ineluctable moment when I looked at my dog and suddenly understood. God was talking to me – to me! — and telling me that I could be a Christian and a feminist! But still my heart wavered: could I trust this? Was it all in my head?

I shut my eyes and visualized Johnny Depp. “Johnny,” I prayed, “please be real.”

“I am real, babe,” he said in the most perfect voice imaginable, low and kind of husky. He was smoking a hand-rolled cigarette and sipping a glass of Cheval Blanc. “You know I’m real, and you know I love you. I’m always here for you, sweetie.”

“I mean are you really Jesus?” I asked. “And is it true that I can be a Christian like Naomi and Jane and still be a feminist?”

“Yes, just as long as you always remember to put your Christianity first. Like Harvey.”

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Are you really real or am I just imagining you?”

“Why don’t you do an experiment to be sure?” Johnny/Jesus suggested.

An experiment! Of course! Instantly I saw what I needed to do. It was almost as if God had just plopped the idea right into my mind, fully formed. I went to my bookshelves and got down my old copy of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. That seemed like an appropriate choice to represent the “god as psychological fantasy” school of thought. Man oh man, was Jaynes smoking the good shit at Princeton or what? Then I looked for a volume of similar size and color to stand for the Christian point of view — and in yet another almost unbelievable “coincidence,” the perfect match turned out to be She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse. I chuckled to myself as I laid the books on the floor. God was almost making this too easy.

I looked around for my dog. She was slumped in the hallway with her ball, quietly licking the baseboard and waiting for her nightly game.

“Molly!” I said. “Come see the books Mommy has!”

Sweet dog, so cooperative – she got right up and lumbered into my study. She glanced at the two books at my feet as I held my breath to see which she would choose. Then that blessed dog plowed her little nose straight into the spine of She Who Is! It was all true! My whole being was flooded with a wonderful feeling of reverence and joy. Thank you, Johnny/Jesus!

So now I know. Jesus is real, and he looks like Johnny Depp. You can be a Christian and a feminist, just as long as you always put Christianity first. Most importantly, if you just open yourself up to God, you’ll discover that He’s talking to you all the time. Odd coincidences? Stray thoughts? Repressed desires? Nope. That’s God talking. Just open yourself to God’s message and let Him show you the way.

My priorities are different now, too. As a Christian feminist blogger – I still feel giddy typing that — I understand that my Christianity has to come first. I’ve been re-reading Harvey’s blog prayerfully, and I feel bad about criticizing him before. I realize now that the important thing is to stay in dialogue with people no matter what. If someone comes to your blog and argues that most rape victims are lying, or that funding should be cut for battered women’s shelters, or that women’s rights have gone too far and need to be reversed, the correct Christian-feminist response is to ignore those remarks and shift the conversation to something you have in common. Focus on what you like about the person! If you can make a little joke or say something flattering, all the better.

So, today inaugurates a new regime here at Reclusive Leftist: I won’t be forcing my Christianity on anybody, but I’m definitely a new woman with a new outlook. From here on out, I’m not going to be turning away anti-feminists or banning people’s IPs. Instead, I’m going to do everything in my power to be friendly. I’ve even changed the colors on the blog a bit and put up a new picture so people will sense that this is a welcoming, Christian place. Of course I’ve still got some cleanup to do — so many of my old posts are just embarrassing now! — but I’ll be working on that over the next few days. I’m excited about this, and I hope you will all stay with me as we embark on this wonderful new journey into Christian feminism.

Blessings!

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26 Responses to “I Am A New Woman”

  1. gordo says:

    Something’s in the water today. I wandered over to Townhall, and suddenly the things they were saying started making a lot of sense.

    And it looks like the Liberal Avenger has also found Jesus.

  2. Chris says:

    Meanwhile, at my place, I have a local youth mocking my appearance. Can you pull some strings and have a bear sent down from the hills to devour him?

  3. gordo says:

    Chris–

    What do you mean, a Yellowstone-type bear, or a San Francisco-type “bear”?

    And are there any wingnut blogs that have gotten into the early April spirit? Besides Jeff Goldstein’s, I mean?

  4. will says:

    Brilliant.

  5. Dr Marco says:

    If you want to make Christians better people, make them learn their own history, you are good at that. Make them tolerant. Make them realize that they have to avoid the cruelty of their history. Make them realize also that the stories about the “virginity of Mary” are inventions of councils of human beings

  6. appletree » Blog Archive » April 1 News says:

    [...] Also, former feminist Violent Socks finds Jesus at Reclusive Leftist. [...]

  7. Alon Levy says:

    Okay, it took me a second to realize what day it is, your time. Unfortunately I didn’t play pranks on anyone today – on the contrary, I had a few very deep and serious discussions.

  8. will says:

    I heard that VS is really a bible thumper doing a satire of a non-bible thumper. She is a Virginian, after all.

  9. maupassant says:

    Despite noticing the April 1stness of the whole thing before starting to read, I still feel a little nauseous. I think maybe you triggered an acid flashback.

  10. Timothy Shortell says:

    Well, sure. If I had a vision of Johnny Depp, I would become a Christian too.

    I tried the two book thing, but my cat just walked out of the room. I think that means I should become a Buddhist.

  11. txfeminist says:

    This was a truly frightening experience. I think I need to go lie down and recover.

  12. Steve says:

    loved it.

    you are one cool babe socks…and brilliant satirist

    Now, could you write one where Susan Sarandon comes to me and makes me a christian using tantric sex?

  13. Violet says:

    I’m so glad that you all enjoyed reading about my conversion experience. Except, of course, for those of you who found it nauseating, for which I can only apologize.

    The impact of the piece is somewhat blunted by the fact that I opted not to include the relevant links to Harvey’s blog. I sacrificed my art for the sake of congeniality, which I think is an excellent sign that I really have been saved.

  14. maupassant says:

    The sickening part is the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” aspect. Donald Sutherland pointing at Brooke Adams at the end, and screaming. Her only hold-out ally had been taken over and betrayed her.

  15. Violet says:

    Coincidentally, I have entertained friends with my startling impression of Donald Sutherland in that final scene!

  16. larkspur says:

    Oh, praise dog (and/or Depp), I have just found the meaning of 4-1-06! It’s YOU, Dr. Socks. I have stumbled through the easy ones (Google Romance, Animated Tattoos utilizing Programmable Subcutaneous Visible Implant technology, etc.) as well as the more confusing ones, such as Purblind Jism (which was not in itself confusing, but ooh, the comments, they are hard to sort and classify and you’re always afraid to respond and maybe set yourself up for one of norbizness’s rwah-rwah-rwaaah muted trumpet awards), but in the end, I got to Reclusive Leftist.

    I like it here. I know that it is not always lacy, pink, and decorated with violet hearts (only on April 1), but I am in favor of socks.

  17. Violet says:

    Thank you so much, larkspur. And you should have been here on April 1 — the place was pink and had bibles and crucifixes! I kind of miss it now.

  18. gordo says:

    I’m a bit disappointed that the picture of you gazing longingly at the crucifix didn’t become a permanent feature.

  19. Janeen says:

    I go out of town for a couple of days, and look what happens! Violet finds the baby jeebus, and Chris Clarke leaves a comment as just “Chris”. It was bad enough having the kidlet try and fool me all day long, but this is too much. Except the Johnny Depp part. We like that.

  20. Violet says:

    Janeen:

    He’s not Chris anymore; he’s Mr. Hotty McNaturepants.

  21. Kimberly says:

    I missed your big day of conversion, too. Not sure whether I would’ve been among the nauseated or the amused, but it would’ve been fun to see.

    I was just being my usual shrill lefty self on April 1… you know, because I have no sense of humor.

    Oh, and Hotty McNaturepants really is all that.

  22. sybil says:

    what a woman!

  23. Hugo says:

    Okay, this was hysterical. Brava!

    (And no worries, I won’t even send my trolls over!)

  24. Violet says:

    You’re a good sport.

  25. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » The AP Reporter and the Elephant says:

    [...] The AP Reporter and the Elephant I’d barely emerged from my 24-hour Christian fugue state when I was gobsmacked this morning by a singularly clueless article on the Winkler murder from AP reporter Woody Baird. Mr. Baird’s ruminations are being reprinted all over the newspapers of the planet, seeing as how he’s an AP reporter and thus enjoys a premium subscription to The Truth. [...]

  26. Kaitlyn says:

    Wait… this was satire?

    Jesus doesn’t look like Johnny Depp?

    Oh I am so disillusioned.

    My female dog is pacing around right now – she either wants to go out, or wants me to clear her a spot on the couch.

    God wants to go outside and pee.

    No Johnny yet, though.

    (10 minuts later)

    Still no Johnny and god just sniffed the books and hopped on the couch!

    I’m starting to think this whole thing is a scam…

    Hmm…

    The male dog is saying scratch my head.

    Now that is a message anyone can understand!