Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Future of Feminism: A Girl God

For the younger set of spiritual feminists, there’s Trista Hendren’s forthcoming children’s book The Girl God. Raising her children in both Islamic and Christian traditions, Hendren realized that her daughter was being “fundamentally excluded from both religions in a way that was damaging to her”:

When I asked her if she believed God lived within her, she said she did not. But when I asked if perhaps she had a Girl God living within her, she awakened to spirituality in a way she never had before.

So Hendren wrote The Girl God, with illustrations by Norwegian artist Elisabeth Slettnes, to inspire children in spiritual households to envision a world in which God is not always implicitly male. In addition to helping girls relate to religion, she also hopes to prompt them to question patriarchy:

What I wanted to do with The Girl God was to relate spirituality back to my daughter in a way that she could understand and to begin to expose her to feminist thought … I don’t understand why we wait to teach Women’s Studies to our girls until they are in college. This is too late. The damage has already been done.

Other organizations like The YIN Project, The Goddess Collective, and the online course Key to Feminine Power provide various spiritual paths for women. And, as always, I depend on you, readers, to list your own suggestions of resources for spiritually minded feminists in the comments!

Part Twenty-four in a Women’s History Month series celebrating organizations and ideas that represent the future of feminism.

by Aviva Dove-Viebahn

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