instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

When you've heard one Dominican's opinion,

you've heard one Dominican's opinion.

The post below is not entirely in accord with the Dominican Family's International Commission of Justice, Peace and Care of Creation's recent letter to the Order, about fifteen percent of which was dedicated to the subject of "gender equity as a justice issue." (As a percentage of the letter, the "Issue of Gender Equity" was greater than any other single subject, including "Situation in Iraq" and "Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Someone reading this letter in a thousand years could be excused for thinking 2003 was a golden age of justice, peace, and care of creation.)

Among the commission's recommendations are "make sure that inclusive language is used" on a personal level and "be aware of language in our documents" on a national level.

These recommendations I understand, at least, even if I'm not particularly inclined to follow them. Some of the others, though, are baffling to non-gender-issue-trained outsiders like myself:
On a personal level, the following recommendations were: make sure that inclusive language is used; ensure that tasks are gender balanced; place the issue of gender on agendas for discussion; link gender issues with other issues; listen without prejudice; live differences with equality.

On a national level, share positive experiences; request that formators and others be aware of and provide a forum for discussing the gender issues; include elements of the gender issue at our assemblies and chapters; be aware of language in our documents; encourage dialogue between men and women; include the issue of homosexuality.

On the level of continents: promote gender analysis in congregations, provinces and institutions; make connections between the issue of gender and the preaching promoters; establish a minimum standard for formation in peace and justice; encourage theological formation for all members of the Dominican Family; encourage formation in justice and peace spirituality for formators; create links between gender and culture.

On an intercontinental basis: share experiences across continental lines; make statements about gender equality in ministry.
If anybody can tell me what it means to recommend that I "link gender issues with other issues" and "live differences with equality," I'd be much obliged. (And what does it mean to the commission to "include the issue of homosexuality" on a national level when dealing with gender equity as a justice issue? Maybe I don't want to know.)