Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Exceptional and Exceptionalism: Recovery from Sexism Yet to Do

I'm back on this blog today for two reasons.  First and foremost, it seems we must all be aware of our ever-needed recovery from sexism, and so you'll pardon me if I point out the perpetual and present problem.  Second, I'd like to respond briefly to an honor bestowed on this blog.

First, then.

You may have read that César A. Hidalgo has led M.I.T. in research that "reveals the world's most influential people, born before 1950, using data from all language editions of Wikipedia." Hidalgo declares: "It shows you how the world perceives your own national culture. It's a socio-cultural mirror."

What the research ostensibly has shown is that those who have most exceptionally influenced us and our culture are exclusively men.  Here are the "people," the men only, who comprise "the Top 20" (as posted by reporter and elsewhere by reporter Kerry Mcdermott):

1. Jesus Christ: Prophet and central figure of Christianity
2. Confucius: Chinese philosopher
3. Sir Isaac Newton: British physicist
4. Gandhi: Indian politician and activist
5. Albert Einstein: German physicist
6. Aristotle: Greek philosopher
7. Vasco da Gama: Portuguese explorer
8. Leonardo da Vinci: Italian artist
9. Plato: Greek philosopher
10. Archimedes: Greek philosopher
11. Mao Zedong: Chinese communist revolutionary
12. William Shakespeare: English playwright
13. Socrates: Greek philosopher
14. Karl Marx: German philosopher and socialist
15. Michaelangelo: Italian sculptor
16. Gautama Buddha: Nepalese spiritual teacher
17. Nelson Mandela: South African politician
18. Galileo Galilei: Italian physicist
19. Julius Caesar: Roman emperor
20. Joseph Stalin: Soviet leader

So all men.  No women.  This is what the "research into how culture 'assembles itself'" has shown us.  So what does that say about us? And which of these top 20 "people" men are egalitarians, anti-sexists, feminist allies, or outright feminists?

And which of these men have influenced our world and our places to leave women and females and girls out? Which of these 20 most influential men of all time have put girls down in positions under men and males and boys? Which of these men have silenced the influence of women around them? At this blog, I've tried to show that Aristotle has been a huge early and everlasting influencer in this regard.

So, second.

This blog has shown up again on a list where women have regularly (and thankfully more so in the past) been excluded. I'm talking about "The Biblioblog Top 50." My friend Rod at Political Jesus has joined with others to call for change, for a move to make more room for women in this exceptional (but too often exceptionalistic group of mostly men); see his post: Can The Subaltern Blog? Part 2: Theology Studio, Gender, And The Rhetoric of “Dialogue” And at BLT where I've been blogging, there was the saracastic note of “The End of Men” in the Biblical Studies Carnival, since sometimes even women join men in putting females down.

Today, this blog received an honor, another distinction.  It speaks to influence perhaps, to coming alongside others in the world of blogging to try to recover the creative and created gendered equality that Genesis 1:27 and that Galatians 3:28 speak about.

I want to thank those giving out the badges to be posted for recognizing the purposes of Aristotle's Feminist Subject.  And I more want to show that the honor goes not just to men but to women also!   For example, in the Exceptional List there are these noted websites that are clearly authored by women:

Art by Stacy Lee

A Christian Worldview of Fiction

Christian Mom Book Review

Reading to Know

Alise…Write!

Susan J Reinhardt

Her.meneutics

Jeannie’s Daily Bible Verse Blog

BLT (where my co-blogger's Suzanne and Victoria also blog with Theophrastus and Craig Smith and me )

Stray Thoughts

girltalkhome

The Christian Woman

Black, White, and Gray (where Margarita Mooney and sometimes Becky Hsu and Amy Reynolds also blog with a few others)

Tentmaker (where Gary and Michelle Amirault and friends write)

The Forbidden Gospels (where April DeConick, author of Holy Misogyny: Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter, blogs and has written much there about the exceptional exclusion of women from lists of bible blogging)


Fifteen of the One Hundred in the list are clearly women-authored sites. It's an honor, then, to have this blog be awarded with these.

Christian Theology


This blog has been a way to interact with some of you around "subjects" that Aristotle has taught too many of us in the West, even today, to disparage: females, rhetoric, and translation. Much recovery yet to do.

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