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The Patriarch and the Police Officer.  Kitchanga, DR Congo, 2010.

“Analysis of women’s experience is replete with the realization that within patriarchal systems women’s primordial temptation is not to pride and self-assertion, but rather to the lack of it, to diffuseness of personal center, over-dependence on others for self-identity, drifting, and fear of recognizing one’s own competence. According to cultural myth Sleeping Beauty lies in a hundred-year sleep waiting for the kiss of the prince to awaken her, while he is off maturing on the challenge of the quest. In this situation grace comes to the sleeper not as the call to loss of self but as empowerment toward discovery of self and affirmation of one’s strength, giftedness, and responsibility. Such is women’s present experience of the perennial call to conversion. It involves a turning away from demeaning female identity toward new ownership of the female self as God’s good gift. This is a deeply religious event, the coming into being of suppressed selves.”

— Elizabeth Johnson, feminist, theologian

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