Day of the Girl + Theology at the Movies

Today, I am celebrating. Truth is, I celebrate something most every day – a perfect cup of dark roast, an epic lecture, a shared story, a great hair day or hitting nothing but green lights. When we live life fully engaged there’s always reason to celebrate.

But today I’m celebrating International #dayofthegirl.

What is #dayofthegirl, you ask? Glad you asked because I didn’t know either until I read through my twitter feed on this October 11 day. Day of the Girl is, as they articulate, “a youth-led movement fighting for gender justice and youth rights.”

O hell yes, Day of the Girl. Fist bump.

I am a woman in theology, an auntie to loads of nieces, a professor to some outrageously valiant female students and a perpetual dreamer with hopes ranging from birthing/adopting babes – to writing a book – to climbing mountains – to engaging a gaggle of kiddos via Love Does –  to making a giant farmhouse table around which countless friends can gather – to encouraging and empowering women around the globe.

How could I not give a shout out to Day of the Girl?! It’s a courageous act to stand up against the beast of patriarchy.

And when I say beast, I’m not dipping my toes in the pool of hyperbole (although I am rather fond of said toe-dipping). Curious about this insidious system? Here are some ways in which the beast raises its ugly head…

Patriarchy declared women are only capable of fully imaging God when married to a man. Patriarchy demanded women be silent and ask only clarifying questions. Under the oppression of patriarchy the value of women is directly related to the size of her bust, waist and hips, to whether or not she can birth children, bake, clean and dynamically serve in the bedroom. Patriarchy points its crooked finger and accuses, your dress is too short, your jeans are too tight, you’re too emotional to lead, you’re too quite, you’re too loud, you wear too much make-up, your hair is distracting, you’re not guarding your brother’s heart, you belong in the kitchen not in the pulpit, you can teach but you can’t preach, you’re too vulnerable, you emasculate men, you’re too sensitive, you asked for it.

O hell no, patriarchy. We women are raising our drooping hands and strengthening our weak knees, as the author of Hebrews so eloquently puts it (did you know, patriarchy, that many scholars posit Priscilla as the author? Hands raised. Knees strong. Boom, baby).

So. no. Not today. I’ve got sisters, nieces, students and future daughters to fight for.

I have zero interest in burning my bras or shoving men to the side. We need our brothers from other mothers because together we re-present the Kingdom more faithfully. But the prophet in me has got to highlight the fact that for generations we haven’t been allowed to stand side-by-side. Because of that, I am crazy interested in helping equalize the communion table that Jesus came to establish. (Besides, my bras are too pretty to burn.)

To my squad of sisters from near and far, listen up.

You have a place at the table and I’m here to cheer you on. Grab your plate and pile it high, honey.  Take a serving of wanderlust, work, academia, motherhood, laughter, love, passion, dreams, valor, courage, perseverance, wisdom, resiliency, strength, grace, beauty, fearlessness.

The communion table is big and God has invited you to feast.

May you receive the invitation with confidence.

Let that lionheart of yours roar.

C’mon, girls. Patriarchy, mistakes, insecurities, failure; all the stuff that is this wonderfully messy life has the potential to defeat you. I’ve known that all too well. But woman, you are stronger. I know you are. Let these Disney clips set a fire in your belly. Stand tall, speak up, walk on. You were born into a trajectory of triumph, joy, perseverance and overall bad-assery.


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