Some Issues Are Always “Women’s Issues”

Svets on the streets of UkraineI haven’t been asked why the Women’s Center is arranging the upcoming visit with Bob Gamble of This Child Here, which we are awaiting with great anticipation and joy.  I am not sure what this means, and I don’t know if this absence of questioning is something I should be more happy or more unhappy about.

It might seem obvious to people that the Women’s Center would be interested in mission with children who live under the streets of Ukraine because women are always interested in children.  Whenever an issue involves children, we — whoever “we” are — may expect women to be involved, because children are women’s area of primary responsibility.  And this might be true, and even potentially unobjectionable, except to the extent that it reflects a thinking that only some, specialized people really need to be concerned about and involved with children, while people (regular people, norm-al people) are unaware of children.   If this is why it makes perfect sense that the Women’s Center is bringing the work of Rev. Bob Gamble to a wider audience, it would seem to reflect some negative patterns, practices and structures that the Women’s Center’s mission is to shake up.  The Women’s Center has not embraced the mission of This Child Here because the welfare of children is, in some special and segregated sense, women’s job.

But we have embraced this mission — precisely because the welfare of children is a central human imperative, a human issue, which makes it a women’s issue.

That means that all of us, women and men, are on the hook for being concerned about the welfare of children. 

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