By Dr. Preston Sprinkle – The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender
I’m going to do two things that I thought I’d never do: blog about gender and allow for comments. Don’t get me wrong. I love getting feedback, especially critical feedback. But as you might know, the comment section on blogs can be a dumping ground for dehumanizing rhetoric, and the topic of gender seems to especially attract the stench.
So, here’s my contract with you. I’ll do my best to write in an honest, thoughtful, and humanizing manner, and all I ask is that you to do the same. I would love it if you would pushback, play devil’s advocate, point out holes in my thoughts or research. That’s precisely why I’m opening up the comment section. But if I see any comment that’s dehumanizing, belittling, condescending, or rude—it’s gonzo, gone with the wind, erased from all the world to see (you’re welcome, world). Some trolls, though, make such outrageous statements that they become entertaining. I might not delete these. Some trolls I keep as pets.[i]
Let me preface the following posts with two points.
First, the following series of posts are exploratory, not definitive. I believe it was Donald Miller who used to say, “before it’s a book, it’s a blog.” And that’s the approach I’ve taken for most of my writing career. One of the most dangerous things a writer can do, besides drinking too much Scotch while editing, is to email her thoughts directly from her computer to the publisher without airing them out for others to critique. That’s what I hope to do here. I’ve spent a few years wading through scholarly and popular literature on all things gender-related, and I’ve interacted extensively with trans people all along the way.[ii] So now I want to step back, collect my thoughts, and air-out some ideas, and I truly would love your thoughtful and humanizing feedback.