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‘glory be!’. We continue to feature the thoughts of Gloria Bertrand in this series of reflections by retired housewife, married for 65 years and long-time CTCT ‘pots and pans’ theologian.

Woman is the most labeled creature in the universe, she is Virgin, Whore, Seductress,

sexy,pretty, ugly, Bitch, wife, mother,
If she is smart, she is trying to be a man.
If she is successful, she is too aggressive.
If she is outspoken, she is a problem.
If she is organized, something is wrong.
If she loves to dance, she trying to attract men
If she has too many drinks, she is a drunks, she cries, she is too emotional,
She is not logical enough, unable to make decisions
The list is long and not always very complementary
The woman’s body is a constant talking point, even by women.

If a man is a so and so, blame the mother
If a man is a cheat, blame the wife, she not meeting his needs.
If a priest leave the church, a woman tempt him
If a man abuse a girl she look for it, she too promiscuous,
If a man not taking care of his mother, the wife spending all the money
The story of Adam and Eve is alive

As a Woman, I have been observing how we are socialized,
Thankfully I was brought up by a woman who refused to accept the norms. She was an independent thinker,
Some of her advice was a bit too extreme, but I was able to find a good balance, I too have an independent mind, which oftentimes led me into deep waters, especially in the church, and with other women who bought into what was expected of them. they were afraid of the labels.
Most women are afraid of the labels, they are afraid to rock the boat.

Me? I am always rocking the boat.
From my choice in marriage, I rocked the boat.

Coming from black and white and other mixtures, I was expected to upgrade the blend, guess what? I rocked the boat.
My mother, who was so open still had some hidden areas of prejudice.

When I told her that Harold had proposed and I accepted, she said to me:
“I take you out from that and you going back!”

I said to her “Mother, I am not an investment. I will marry whom I choose.”

Somehow that response brought her to her better self and she welcomed Harold lovingly. She confessed after that he reminded her of her father, whom she loved and respected.

Maybe theology is the art of rocking the boat, maybe that is part of the reason for the labels and convincing the woman that she must not dare to rock the boat, the cradle yes, the Boat is made for the Man to steer, he is the Captain.
If you could rock the Cradle, boat is no problem. you just. have to learn how.

You have to learn from the Woman who dared to rock the Cradle of the Lord.
The seat of Wisdom, Cause of our Joy. You have to ponder and wait and give Life while you rock cradle or boat.

Women all over the World are rocking Cradles and boats of all sizes, some are young and not so young, some are using great skills some are too brash, they have not learned the Art, the patience, the wisdom.

Theology in my mind can give us a method to rock while ensuring the people in the cradle or boat safe.

by Gloria Bertrand