“Well behaved women rarely make history.” The same seems to be true for Biblical history as well. Biblical women, starting with Eve, rarely fit the meek and mild definition that patriarchal standards put forth. The Open Table, as part of the Sacred Feminine series, looked at the ways women have subverted patriarchal structures. The Open Table turned to one of its own to moderate. Cecilia Belser-Patton is the Kansas City Champions Organizer for Missouri Jobs With Justice, as well as a veteran educator, community activist and consultant, focusing on the issues of restorative practices, diversity, inclusion & equity. She is also a member of the Open Table antiracism cohort.
She began the discussion highlighting what she called “the hidden rules of shoulds.” Cecilia pointed out that those rules are often made by men for the benefit of men. She also upheld that it is important to create space that dismantles these rules. For her, these rules tend to help perpetuate all the “isms,” all of which are intentionally created. Three major points stood out in the the overall discussion:
1. People move towards the subversive because their very lives depend on it.
2. Everyone is on a journey to dismantle the biases they have learned.
3. To be properly and effectively rebellious or subversive there must be strategic planning.
Cecilia gave several examples of subversive moments and made reference to some books and quoted several subversive individuals. Those examples and some links are included below. If you missed the gathering, listen to the podcast here.
Clarissa Pinkola-Estes: If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.
Dick Gregory: I chose to be an agitator. And there’s one interesting thing about being an agitator – and I tell people – the next time you put your underwear in the washing machine, take the agitator out, and all you’re going to end up with is some dirty, wet drawers.