Friday Feminist – Ann Loades on Nelle Morton

[Nelle Morton] describes in one of her essays a sculpture in wood outside a church building, a sculpture on the theme of vocation taken from 1 Corinthians 10:31, ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ The sculpture shows thirty individual forms representing nineteen different kinds of work. Only seven of the thirty figures are women, represented as nursing a baby, on knees scrubbing a floor, serving a man seated at table, assisting a male doctor, feeding chickens, pounding a typewriter, and teaching children. All these figures represent tasks that need doing, but it is absurd to associate that necessity with women alone, and absurd to exclude them from connection with the other twenty-three figures representing nineteen kinds of work. It needs little imagination to think out the likely roles of the male figures in the sculpture.

Ann Loades, “Introduction” in Ann Loades (ed), Feminist Theology: A Reader, SPCK, 1990

Commenting on Nelle Morton, The Journey is Home, Boston: Beacon, 1985

Try as I might, I have been unable to track down a copy of Nelle Morton’s book, or of the original essay which she included in her book. If I am able to find it at some stage, I will try to post an extract in this Friday Feminist series.


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