Words Per Minute
Last Friday night, I had the opportunity to speak on the topic of sex to a group of students from Fresno State University and Fresno City College. The goal was to articulate God’s creative vision for sex from Genesis 1 and 2.
One of the things that struck me from the experience was how engaged students were. They were with me the entire talk. I find this every time I speak on gender, sexuality and other similar topics. To me this reflects a hunger in students to talk about things that are important, and it also exposes the historic (and tragic) silence about topics like these in our families and in our faith communities.
I started the talk with a warning. I said, “you’re going to have to get used to me saying the word ‘sex’ often tonight. It may seem like I’m getting paid a quarter each time I use it, but I assure you I’m not.”
As I walked off the stage, one student held up his iPhone. He had spent the 35 minutes I was speaking tallying the number. Any guesses?
If you picked 123, you win a prize!
Awesome! I guessed correctly! What’s my prize?
Ha! Your prize is a lifetime subscription to Challenging Tertullian! Thanks for reading!
” To me this reflects a hunger in students to talk about things that are important, and it also exposes the historic (and tragic) silence about topics like these in our families and in our faith communities.”
This statement on the hunger to talk on important topics and the silence of families and faith communities resonated with me. I’ve been struggling to bring the topic of gender inequality and male privilege (along with a few other privilege/inequality issues) into conversations at church, and while a few people (usually men) are (sometimes) willing to discuss (or debate) it with me, most people aren’t. It’s incredibly frustrating to not be able to talk about these things. It even more frustrating that the people who should want to talk about it (women) would rather stay talk about pretty trivial small-talk types of topics. With women, that translates into me having to listen to them talk about their kids, their busy schedule, etc. While I can relate–I have kids myself–I’m bored and frustrated and leave church still hungry for deep conversations.
Hi Laura. I share your frustration here, and thanks for putting words to it. I wonder if we can conceive of helpful ways to broker conversations in church settings. Might need to be an upcoming blog post!