Friday, December 21, 2007

What I learned about gender

Just when I'd finished blogging for the year, just when I knew I wouldn't learn another thing, I read "What I learned about gender while excavating at Tell Qarqur (Part Three)" at Ancient Hebrew Poetry.


It's learned (and difficult) comment by a very well-read John F. Hobbins, co-pastor of a Waldensian Church with Paola Benecchi.

If you dare, you'll watch gender constructed right before your very eyes: one "imp" becomes "a woman" and the other becomes a different kind of man. Ancient Hebrew poetry becomes English. The "gender-blind" domains of "three K’s (Kinder, Kuche, und Kirche: children, the kitchen, and church)" give way "to a reasonable hermeneutics of suspicion" by which "what passes for feminism in our world is ideological cover for market forces, or little more than impotent and reactionary resistance thereto." Karl Marx and Adam Smith become strange bedfellows. Hobbins himself becomes a qualified disciple of Luce Irigaray. Jewish culture and Christian culture are re-imagined as "positively gendered" with "families characterized by all manner of strains and stresses, but also, by mutuality in the giving and receiving of honor and respect."

And if you stay with it, you'll get a positively gendered invocation. Watch it, should you (and I) change.

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