UUA candidates Hallman, Morales about changing patterns of patriarchy

The following question was asked at the International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women in Houston, Texas on February 28, 2009. This was transcribed by myself, Martin Voelker (corrections welcome). The video has just been made available

here: http://portal.icuuw.com/icuuw/video/video3.cfm
DVDs from the ICUUW have been announced check http://portal.icuuw.com/icuuw/store.cfm for availability. The remainder of the questions will follow as I get to it, the opening statements last because these ‘stump speeches’ do not vary much between events. UUA Moderator Gini Courter also spoke and answered questions at this event.

I would not normally post out of sequence but someone started circulating a vague and leading summary of what was supposedly said when no one had access to what was actually said. The very reason why this site exists is to make factual information available and leave it to the reader to interpret it.
Weaving Global Partnerships To Enrich Women's Lives

Weaving Global Partnerships To Enrich Women's Lives, ICUUW, Houston, TX Feb.28, 2009 (Photo: Dea Brayden)

Moderator Margot Adler: [of NPR and Wicca fame]

I want to follow this up because there was a very serious question in the envelope that I got that related to the same thing and I know that Peter did talk about some of the problems of ministers being mostly male but here’s a question that we received in this envelope which I think is pretty pointed, it says:

“Rosemary Mattson is quoted in the Convo [??] Newsletter in this way:
“We don’t want a piece of the pie – it’s still a patriarchal pie. We want to change the recipe”.
In what ways does the UUA still persist as a patriarchal pie, and how would you propose to change the recipe?”

We’ll start with Laurel.

Laurel Hallman:

Thank you, Rosemary! [laughter]

It’s changed so much since I was first in the ministry that it may be for younger people to say what needs to be changed in this next chapter but for me still the centrality of male images is still present even though it’s more open that it has ever been before. The ideas of theology which are rational and linear and intellectual will open, break open and be more holistic in time; that’s still part of the recipe that needs to be changed.

We’ve gone a long, long way and I want to acknowledge Rebecca Parker’s part in that in helping us understand the pain and the woundedness that still remains from a patriarchal structure and continues to this day and is replicated in our time.

The recipe – the recipe is for a faith that is whole, that encompasses the body, spirit, as well as the mind. The recipe is authentic, there is no high fructose corn syrup in that recipe [laughter], it’s authentic and real and powerful.

Moderator: The recipe! [laughter]

Peter Morales:

I don’t know how many of you have actually been to 25 Beacon Street but it reeks of privilege and hierarchy – just walking the building, the photographs one sees, so that’s really like the iconography one sees.

I want to expand this question because it’s about power and relationship actually a little bit beyond gender. Because I think as we look particularly in our own ministry and the roles of women, we made amazing progress in some parts of that. But the real work, I think now, is more around issues of privilege, and class, and gender is only a piece of that.

You know, certainly, if you will, women of color, Latina women, I mean just here in Houston – I mean the situation of women who are Black and Latina is very different from the position of women from  the dominant culture. So I think we need to, as we analyze the recipe if you will, if we focus only on gender, we will miss powerful dynamics of inequality that need to be addressed.


2 Responses to UUA candidates Hallman, Morales about changing patterns of patriarchy

  1. David Keppel says:

    In a courageous statement, the Board of the UU Women’s Federation unanimously endorsed Peter Morales for UUA President. “The Board feels that his ideas for revitalizing the movement through engagement based on living out our UU principles reflect our own principles and objectives.

    “As women living and working in the 21st century we share Peter’s focus on a radical hospitality that is inclusive and welcoming, especially to people who have not traditionally felt comfortable within our doors; we share his desire for UUism to be “a more powerful force for compassion, justice, peace and environmental stewardship” and we share his understanding that feminist emphasis on the relational has been a transformative force in congregational life and in our view of power (“power with” rather than “power over.”) Interview in The Communicator: uuwf.org

    See: http://moralesforuuapresident.org/pageUUWF.html

  2. radicalhapa says:

    Morales expresses a more nuanced, realistic understanding of patriarchy that will benefit liberation and social justice efforts. He also acknowledges the linkage of oppressions.

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