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Why do you stay?” It is a common question women are asked in relation to their faith. These are not women who buy into Candace Cameron’s biblically submissive theory; rather, these are women who claim a feminist identity, have membership in a particular religious tradition, and practice their faith in spite of gendered challenges.
In Faithfully Feminist 15 Christian, 15 Jewish, and 15 Muslim women share their stories of struggle and faith.
In a world where women’s issues are political issues, women are judged for their positions in relation to their claimed identities. Feminists argue that you cannot be a true” feminist if you are a practicing Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Likewise, religious practitioners claim that you cannot be a true” Christian, Muslim, or Jew if you support feminist values. Nevertheless, women who practice these religious traditions and hold feminist values are not uncommon, and the question Why do you stay?” is one that is frequently asked of them.
Faithfully Feminist is the sharing of stories, encouraging other women, and acknowledging that being feminist doesn’t mean giving up on your faith.
Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D., is the dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College. Gina is also a cofounder of Feminism and Religion, the global online project. She is the author of Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence and lives in Pepper Pike, OH.
Jennifer Zobair is a feminist, convert to Islam, lawyer, and the author of the novel Painted Hands. She has also written essays on Muslim women, feminism, and stereotypes for The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, The Lascaux Review, and on websites like Love InshAllah and Feminism and Religion. She lives in Boston.
Amy Levin is a Jewish feminist thinker, blogger, community organizer, and activist. Levin writes on the intersection of American religion, liberalism, and feminism. Her written work has been published on multiple platforms including The Revealer, Feminism and Religion, and Religious Freedom USA. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.