Saturday, January 08, 2011

Rethinking Christian Sexual Ethics: Human Agency Under Capitalism

Once again, it's the fault of The New Inquiry and their damn syllabus. Anwyn Crawford's essay on the intersection of capitalism, feminism, and sexuality has made me realize that this subject, a theme with which I've played on and off over the life of my time writing on the internet, has been far too abstract, far too naive, far too blind to the realities that shape our understanding of being human, being engendered, being sexual beings. Before we can be clear about how it might be possible to be Christian - that is, fully human, free for the sake of freedom in service to others - we should be clear about the intersecting systems that limit our ability even to make that choice.

Ms. Crawford's essay has made me realize I have much more to learn, much more to think through. The essay itself, covering everything from anorexia to porn to riot grrrl from a radical feminist perspective, is well worth the read in and for itself. It has also made me see that unpacking the ways the world seeks to define us, and to do so without our consent and prior to our ability to grasp that we are being defined and limited, is part and parcel of what it means to do Christian ethics. Unless the scales fall from our eyes, no matter how well-intentioned, no matter how thorough we may sound to ourselves, we are being unfaithful to the calling to work out what it means to be Christian, living in free community for the sake of the world.

Virtual Tin Cup

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