Posts tagged praxis
Practical Praxis: Reprogramming Ourselves

The thing is, our cultural conditioning surrounding gender is so ingrained, so built into us that it is a daily, continual task to fight that conditioning in ourselves. And with small children, we often impart that conditioning in any number of unconscious, unrealized ways. But a feminist, Christian praxis means we need to be aware of that conditioning in every little thing we do – how we react to and perceive varying responses and actions.

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Practical Praxis: The Terrible Bargain of Kindness

But revolution does not discriminate with regards to kindness. All too often, “kindness” is used as shorthand for nice, polite, and inoffensive. And all too often, a lack of this politeness is used as a method of dismissal for very valid critiques – it is often invoked as a reason for banning, blocking, or ignoring. And this perpetuates a world in which only those people of the marginalized group who are willing to fit into the ideals of their oppressors, who are willing to act whatever way is most non-threatening, are the ones who are listened to.

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Practical Praxis: Choosing Your Battles

Lots of supposed allies to the feminist movement think that there is something to be gained from engaging our ideological opponents at every opportunity – if we don’t spend our time arguing with them over this, how can we possibly affect change? And that’s a legitimate argument in some respects – ideology enacted in isolated groups is quite dangerous, cultish behavior. But it’s also an argument that frequently comes with an unwieldy burden on marginalized persons – this is how educating our oppressors about our oppression becomes A Thing. It forces us to justify our existence to people who don’t give a rat’s ass about it one way or the other.

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Practical Praxis: the Need for Action

Praxis, as an ally, involves much listening and waiting and taking our cues from the marginalized. But that doesn’t mean we never act – indeed, this is a point where a loud response from both allies and marginalized alike can help create change. This is where the action part of our praxis comes into play – we must not simply stand by and say, “Not all Christians believe this.” We must actively dismantle and protest against people who assume they speak for Christianity. We must protest against hate speech by actively calling it out as bigotry and violence.

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Practical Praxis: Consensually Aware

In American culture, we think nothing of a handshake or a pat on the back – indeed, these are often social cues of acceptance. In churches, we “stand and greet one another,” which can mean anything from a hug to a high five or a handshake. It wasn’t until I’d become involved in victim advocacy that I realized how incredibly hard such moments can be for survivors. It’s utterly terrifying to walk into a church on a Sunday morning and have to steel yourself for a potential panic attack because someone decided to hug you without your consent.

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