Exploring the feminine and masculine impulses of Godde
review of Elizabeth Johnson's 'SHE WHO IS'
She Who Is: 8 Feminist Assessment of Sexism as a Paradigm for other Oppressions
Feminist critique of sexism interlinks with the work of other liberation theologies and their appraisal of prejudices based on racism, social class, or cultural imperialism. Such biases derail intelligence and wreck the common good. The fundamental sin is exploitation, whether that is expressed as domination of male over female, white over black, rich over poor, armed over unarmed. The patterns interlink because they are based on the principle of an elite insisting on its own superiority and right to exercise dominative power over others considered subordinate.
Some argue persuasively that the social subjugation of women is a fundamental expression of the oppressor-oppressed relationship: a paradigm for male 'power-over' in other arenas. The self-image of ruling-class men assumes a right to autonomy based on qualities they possess - whereas women are projected as the 'other', the repository for attributes that men cannot or will not integrate into their own self-image, and therefore the antithesis over against which they define themselves.
This pattern of thinking becomes a model for other kinds of prejudice, where 'others' are attributed with the negative characteristics that a ruling group fears or wants to disassociate itself from. By identifying other groups as different, subordinate and in some ways deficient, ruling men seek to exploit and suppress, and retain power and autonomy without a guilty conscience.
The interconnection of these patterns of domination deepens the feminist theological agenda. Addressing the question of the subordination of women brings into view and into question the entire structure of what may commonly be claimed to be 'reality'. What is being looked for - whether by feminist theologians or others - is not simply the solution to one problem, but an entire shift of world view... away from patterns of dominance and hierarchy... towards mutually enhancing relationships.
This may include the exploration of a far less hierarchical, far more relational Godde.
Links to my summary pages on 'She Who Is':