Daily Archives: June 4, 2010

Rita Leistner: Pictures of the Day

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Two photographs featured at the recent “Crucified Woman Reborn” conference at Emmanuel College, May 14th and 15th

Women do not have equal rights to pray in either the Orthodox Islamic or the Orthodox Jewish centres in Jerusalem and Diyarbakir.

April 4th, 2003, Diyarbakir, Turkey.  In the photo above taken by me, a woman begs outside the great Ulu Mosque in eastern Turkey. Eastern Turkey is more religious than the more secular west, hence the gap between men’s and women’s rights and privileges is more pronounced. Women are not permitted to pray in the main mosque.

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Februrary 15, 2010, Jerusalem, Israel.  In this photo taken by Tara Todras-Whitehill, Ultra Orthodox Jewish women protest against a group of Jewish women who call themselves the “Women of the Wall.” The Women of the Wall are fighting for the right to pray aloud at the wailing wall — one of the holiest sites in Judaism — a privilege only permitted men.

10,000 Visitors in May

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We’re coming up on our first anniversary in a couple of months, and we seem to be doing pretty well.  We’ve just surpassed 700 posts, and, much more tellingly, we drew more than 10,000 visitors during the month of May alone.

So we’d like to extend an open invitation to those visitors: we are always looking for Guest Bloggers.  If you’d like to submit a post, just drop us a line at fryeblog@gmail.com  Remember also that we’ve got a journal, so if you have a paper that hasn’t yet found a home, let us know.  We publish both peer-reviewed scholarship and articles of interest.

Frye and Apocalyptic Feminism

On this date in 1913, militant suffragette Emily Davison was struck by King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby.  She died four days later.  She ran out onto the track (as you can see from the footage above) with a suffragette flag, which she evidently intended to attach to the king’s horse.

One of Frye’s entries in notebook 44 consists of this single sentence: “I don’t think it’s coincidence or accident that feminism and ecology should become central issues at the same time” (CW 5, 206).

A modified version of the phrase appears again in chapter six of Words with Power, “Second Variation: The Garden”:

Here we are concerned with the oasis-paradise of gardens and fountains that derives from the Biblical Eden and the Song of Songs.  It may be an impossibly idealized vision of a very tame aspect of nature, especially when in Isaiah it extends to a world in which the lion lies down with the lamb (11:6 ff.).  But it is the beginning of a sense that exploiting nature nature is quite as evil as exploiting other human beings.  Admittedly, the Bible itself has done a good deal to promote the conception of nature as something to be dominated by human arrogance, for historical reasons we have glanced at.  Contact with some allegedly primitive societies in more modern times, with their intense care for the earth that sustains them, has helped to give us some notion of how skewed many aspects of our traditional ideology are on this point.  But even in the Bible the bride-garden metaphor works in the opposite direction by associating nature and love, and I doubt if it is an accident that feminism and ecology have moved into the foreground of social issues at roughly the same time.  (WP 225)

As a matter of myth manifesting primary concern, the equalization of the sexes is implicit in biblical typology.  As a social and historical development, of course, it is all too often an ugly business typical of issues pertaining to power.  But the equalization of the sexes also has an apocalyptic dimension, as Frye’s rendering it in chapter six of Words with Power suggests.

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