when the poet prophet @sarahbessey made me a feminist (#femfest day three)

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Welcome to Day 3 of the Feminisms Fest synchroblog on the topic “What You Learned.” Link up below on my blog,seeprestonblog.com, considering these questions: What surprised you this week? What did you take away from the discussion? What blog posts did you find particularly helpful? What questions do you still have?

Feminism was handed to me in whisper-shout by a poet prophet, and I was converted, like the first conversion, by love not an argument.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of the women I admire deeply, Sarah Bessey, and it was appropriate to confide in her something I've otherwise not quite made known.

Sarah, I said, we need your voice. Because I wasn't convinced by Rachel Held Evans, by Dianna Anderson, by any of these women we call friends. They made arguments, but you just kept on living. You kept on setting tables. You kept on inviting me over. That's what convinced me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I find Rachel Held Evans and Dianna Anderson invaluable and their minds in argumentation needed; but, in my journey, which is the only journey I have the authority to speak to, it was Sarah's poetic voice that drew me in.

The logic, the arguments, the careful exegesis, was the catechism that followed my belief, but my belief started in the fields where Sarah bangs together pots and pans and sings freedom songs.

Since then, I've done a bit more homework.

I know the arguments. I make them myself. I try and lend a hand in refining those arguments, helping keep them salient, pointed, focused.

But I also keep baking, because in the back of my mind, I haven't forgotten what brought me over in the first place: the wild field belief of a Canadian mama who dreamed big of her big God.

So what strikes me, looking back over these days of Feminisms Fest, considering what I learned, is that what sticks with me, still, are the posts in which I learned other's stories, when their whys were rooted in their who I ams, because this vagabond poet heart hears first that way.

Of course, not everyone does, so I celebrate and promote and commend to you Dianna and Rachel, because they do a freedom song their own way, to the same end. But if you ask me how I got here, I'll give a nod Sarah's way. (And Lauren Winner's.)

So when Antonia writes that a woman should hold forth the Body and Blood because a woman held the Body and Blood, I weep over the beauty.

When Emily takes on the whole of being a feminist, bra burning and laughter and read lines and story singing, I shout, Woman of valour!

When Nicki Minaj all but preaches against sexism, but has to still end it by asking that the clip not be used because she'll "sound stupid," I shake my head in sorrow. [Language warning.]

When a woman reclaims her personhood and worth, when a woman loves big for her son, when a woman weighs children when her world is turned upside down, I'm feeling the stir within me, the big-full-shouting-Holy-Ghost-God-is-with-us, stir.

So those of you who argue and argue well, women and men of valour! Please keep on! Please keep going! We need you!

But for those of you who argue through stories, through life lived, through baked goods and hung laundry, be encouraged. What I learned this week was how much I needed those stories, how much they still form me, how much they keep me going, how much they make me remember why St. Paul calls this whole life resisting systemic sin a fight.

Who knows, you may just be someone's Sarah Bessey.

There are worse things.

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This post is part of a series J.R. Goudeau, Danielle Vermeer, and I are thrilled to be hosting: a three-day synchroblog devoted to exploring feminism and its importance---and we're inviting you to join in!

When you're tweeting, use the hashtag #femfest.

Prompts and links:

  • {Day 1} Feminism and Me: On Tuesday, February 26, link up at J.R. Goudeau's blog, loveiswhatyoudo.com
  • {Day 2} Why It Matters: On Wednesday, February 27, link up at Danielle Vermeer's blog, fromtwotoone.com
  • {Day 3} What You Learned: On Thursday, February 28, link up at with me

Ready to join in? Link up below!