by Kelly Pelton (written 12 Apr 2021)

The objectification of women
underlies pornography addiction
and churches's female subordination;
this common root seems stranger than fiction,

fed by the soil of subtle mother-wounds,
strong with desire to regulate and use
that gender which hurt you. You're unaware
of the pain that drives you, that makes you choose

to keep your Christian sisters at arm's length
or to trust only the silent serving
seductresses on the internet who
never harm you; you're surely deserving

of power to never be hurt again,
of having the upper hand in your duel,
seeing us as slightly less than human,
dodging us uneasily as you rule.

Oh that God would till the soil with gentle
fingers, turning up memories tender,
shining light, blowing Holy Spirit wind,
healing suspicion of female gender.

Once you view yourself and us more clearly,
freed from false perceptions and conclusions,
you'll cease competing and subjugating;
you'll be healed, secure, free of delusions.

(With gratitude to Amy Orr-Ewing, whose 2017 Richard Johnson lecture, "Is Christianity Bad News for Women?" can be found from CPX on Vimeo.)