Monday, May 30, 2011

The Single Story and Big Hearted Men

The beauty of big hearted men is that they DON'T reduce their women down to the Single Story or work to take away their voices.

Big hearted men create a place where a woman can speak freely from her heart of pain and bitterness and not be chided for not holding to the Single Story that CBMW and Patriarchy has written for her.

A good example of this, of course, is Lewis Wells and his drive to set the daughters of Patriarchy free from the Single Story that Patriarchy has written for them. He sees the need to give them space to heal and be delivered from the oppression of that Single Story.

Here is a link to a particularly good post from him on healing those wounded and destroyed by Patriarchy. In it, he emphasized the need for young women to find out who they are and to be given the freedom to say or not say what the want, when they want to, because they have never has that right before and don't even know how to walk in it.

Lewis doesn't use terms like "Single Story" or phrases like "Find their voice". But the road he recommends for healing will help women to break from the Single Story and find their own, authentic voice.

In contrast, Tina Anderson's pastor, Chuck Phelps, did what he could to control and squash Tina's authentic voice. He reassigned her a fake voice and gave her a Single Story concerning what happened to her. Instead of the true and many stories of betrayal, broken trust, the strong oppressing the vulnerable, etc. he gave her the story of 'temptress', 'strange woman', and needing to be held responsible for her share of the blame. He held her responsible for things she couldn't control and decided that Tina was not a wounded and exploited lamb. Rather, he assigned her the position of scapegoat, bearing the brunt of the guilt and sending her away from the camp to bear her shame with strangers. Then those strangers forced Tina to write a letter of apology to the wife of her alleged rapist for betraying her.

I am glad, after all these years, that Tina has found her voice and has the chance to bring to light more stories concerning her life and the dark times she was forced to walk in by others.


Mara Reid said...


I wrote Blog post before Tina won her court case against her rapist.

Congratulations, Tina.

I guess if the Church won't let women be anything more that the single story assigned, then women can tell their stories and gain their voices back in the court rooms.

Sad, sad testimony for any church to have.

Anonymous said...

Thanking God for the verdict in Tina's case.

More generally, I believe women (the ones who are uncomfortable with the church's Single Story of them) are going to have to take their voices back in the "secular" media, if the church won't make a place for them.

I am working to make a place in my local church, as God leads me to. But it's getting harder and harder to reconcile optimism with clear thinking. With His help I will keep going, until He makes it clear that so many hearts have been hardened that for all intents and purposes, women with multiple stories have been disfellowshipped.

Mara Reid said...


Sounds awful.
I might be scared if it weren't for the fact that Jesus and the disciples were disfellowshipped from their places of worship for telling new stories of hope and libery.

Sometimes the old wineskins of tradition-bound churches simply cannot hold the new wine of freedom and deliverance that God calls us to.

You do as you feel the Lord leading you.

But don't let the word, 'disfellowship' scare you.
It's just another tool of control used to bind people up to the Single Story that make the authors of that story feel more comfortable and in control.