2-in-1 Tales: Tricksters, Trauma, & Transformation (Genesis 37-50)

Monday, March 7, 2022


All credit for this transcript creation goes to the wonderful Heather! Thank you!

Channing: [00:00:00] Hi! I'm Channing.

Elise: And I'm Elise. 

Channing: And this is The Faithful Feminists Podcast. 

Elise: [00:00:12] We focus on feminist interpretations of scriptures and follow the LDS Come Follow Me manual as a guide for study. We understand scriptures can be a tricky endeavor for readers, but we also believe sacred texts contain compelling examples of loving and liberating relationships with The Divine, others, and ourselves. We hope you'll join us in exploring the problems and promises of sacred texts with imagination, critique, and celebration to reveal what we feel is the loving and liberating heart of scripture.

Channing: [00:00:41] While Mormonism, with its iconic floral foyer couches, is our background, we follow our faith and our God on the winding path of spirituality over institution, and connection over condemnation.

[00:00:56] We are fellow wanderers, weavers, and doubters. If you’ve found yourself feeling a little too faithful for some and not enough for others: Welcome. We've saved you a seat on the soft chairs. This podcast is funded by our listeners’ generous donations. If you'd like to support our work, connect with us on Patreon or on our website at www.thefaithfulfeminists.com.

[00:01:23] Hi, friends! Welcome back. In this week's episode we’ll be covering Genesis chapters 38 through 50 for the dates March 7th through the 20th. If that feels like a lot of chapters and a really long time, you are not wrong. In this week's episode, we'll be covering two weeks worth of content because Elise and I are headed on vacation and we are very excited to spend some time together.

[00:01:49] So, in order to ensure that you don't miss out on any content, we've chosen what we feel is the most relevant and meaningful sections of the text for the next two weeks. And that means that in this week's episode, we'll be covering the story of Tamar and Judah, the story of Joseph's enslavement and service inPotiphar's house, his experience of assault with Potiphar's wife and Joseph's imprisonment in Egypt, and eventually his marriage to a woman named Asenath and his reconciliation with his brothers. Before we go any further into this week's episode, we wanted to offer our listeners a content warning for sexual assault and rape. Please take good care of yourself and honor your intuition as you listen to this week's episode and read these chapters. It's a big topic to grapple with so just honor yourself and we love you. 

Elise: [00:02:47] To start things off we're going to take a look at the story of Tamar and Judah. And it's interesting because like the story of Dinah last week, the story of Tamar appears as a singular chapter amidst an already ongoing story, and it feels kind of disruptive and out of place almost.

[00:03:03] And so we're excited to look at Tamar story, because what we see here is Tamar acting as a trickster who takes advantage of sex work to gain what is promised to her and take care of herself when no one else stands up to help her. Now, I also had a lot of notes and research about sex work and prostitution, but we're going to hold back that conversation until later in the podcast season.

[00:03:26] However, if you're interested in these topics, you might consider exploring two feminist perspectives on sex work and prostitution. One camp kind of advocates for abolishing sex work and prostitution because they argue that it positions women as victims who are exploited, most often, by men. Whereas another camp advocates for the decriminalization of sex work and sees sex workers as making active agentic choices about labor, economics, and reclamation of sex and bodies.

[00:03:55] So if that's a topic that's interesting to you, this would be a really lovely space for you to explore sex work and prostitution from a feminist lens and see how it sets the story of Tamar into relief. 

Channing: [00:04:07] Also, it's just really fascinating to me that this text is an ancient text that's, like, situated in a very specific historical time, but you know, like,thousands of years later we're still having conversations about sex work and it's still a relevant topic so I kind of, I love that for us. And I love that for the text, that it still continues to be relevant to the feminist reader often in surprising ways. 

Elise: [00:04:36] To summarize Tamar’s story: Tamar’s first husband Ur dies. And the text says that God kills him because he is wicked. Then it is Judah's responsibility- Judah is Tamar’s father-in-law- it's Judah's responsibility to Tamar to give her a second husband, like, someone from the family, a brother, so that she might be able to bear children and carry on the family line. So Judah does this and Tamar's second husband's name is Onin. However, instead of finishing the act, the text says that he kind of pulls out and “spills his seed onto the earth.”

[00:05:12] Therefore, Tamar doesn't get pregnant. And afterwards Onin the text says gets also killed by God because Onin is not righteous. So both of Tamar's husbands have died and Judah says, you know what? Look, I will promise you my other son, but he's too young. So I need you to, like, go back to your father's house and you will just be this kind of, like, poor weeping widow and I'll give you a call when another younger son is ready for you. Judah doesn't keep his promise. And so Tamar takes things into her own hands. She goes into a big public marketplace and she dresses up as a prostitute. And when she sees Judah come into town, Judah solicits her for sex and Tamar says, “okay, yes, I'll sleep with you but in order to, kind of, ensure the payment, can you give me some of your belongings, like your staff and your bracelet?” And Judah does this, then they sleep together. She becomes present. And when she returns to Judah's house saying that she's pregnant, Judah is like, “How dare you? You prostituted yourself out.” Without Judah knowing that he's the one that slept with her and got her pregnant.

[00:06:17] And it's not until Tamar reveals the objects that Judah had given to her for this exchange that Judah finally says, “okay, nevermind, I'm not going to burn you. You're not going to be put to death. Instead, you're actually more righteous.” So that's a brief summary of Genesis chapter 38. And for the interpretation that we're going to offer here, it's kind of two-fold.

[00:06:41] One, we'll focus on Tamar as a trickster, which this archetype should not be unfamiliar to our listeners at this point and it's also going to continue to carry on in our study of the Hebrew Bible. And the second element that I want to focus on in her story is how her human dignity was violated and how she tries to reclaim that dignity throughout the story.

[00:07:01] Most of these ideas come from a chapter in a book titled “Claiming her Dignity: Female Resistance in the Old Testament” by L. Juliana M. Claassens. 

Channing: [00:07:11] One of the questions that we have about this chapter is: how is human dignity violated in this story? Of this Klassen's answers, “the death of the male providers has a marked effect on the worth of women in a society where women's honor is intrinsically linked to their male relatives. The fact that Tamar’s husbands died before she could conceive any children in effect leaves her in a state of bareness.” This story is different from the other barren wife narratives that we encounter in the Hebrew Bible, because it is not that her body fails, but that the death or the unwilling partner causes her to be unable to conceive.

[00:07:50] We can remember that this is a society structured around a woman's ability to bear children, which means that this forced barrenness affects Tamar’s social standing negatively, and leaves her with very little social status. Claassens writes, “Enforced bareness also compels these women to resort to humiliating and degrading measures in order to survive in a situation of limited resources.” Another way that we see her dignity violated is through the custom of the Levirate marriage law.

[00:08:20] This is a law in Hebrew biblical times when the male relatives of a childless widow were obligated to marry her so as to ensure her future, as well as the legacy of her deceased husband. And in this case, this becomes flawed in the story of Tamar. We see that Onin, Tamar’s second husband, shirks his responsibility by wasting his seed on the ground.

[00:08:44] We also see Judah refuse to comply with the Levirate custom when he fails to give his third son to Tamar. And additionally, we also see that Judah says that he'll give her his son named Shelah when he's old enough, but again, he fails to do so. Another violation to Tamar’s dignity is when she encounters the threat of death.

[00:09:04] When the community finds out that Tamar is pregnant, but they don't know who the father is, Judah commands that she be burned. This harsh punishment was one that was reserved for priest’s daughters who had committed prostitution. And so we see throughout this story, a context of tragedy and injustice that create “the conditions responsible for violating the worth of the female characters. In Tamar’s story, unforeseen circumstances are presented that prevent people from flourishing, from having their basic needs met.

[00:09:36] The story is clear that the dehumanizing conditions in which Tamar finds herself are the result of structural injustice. That is to say, that in the midst of tragedy, there are people who fail to act for the good of others. It is in this mix of tragedy and injustice to which Tamer is left to respond.” And that is from the Claassens since text. 

Elise: [00:09:58] I really appreciate that last quote that you just read, because we can see, kind of, the multitude of ways that Tamar is, kind of, disadvantaged in the story. Yes. There's intense tragedy there. Like, can you imagine how awful it would be to go to sleep with your first husband and your second husband, and then have them both die? And then had that be attributed to God?

[00:10:20] So you have this, like, tragic backstory for Tamar, but then you also have, like Claassens writes, this structural injustice. In this story, there's actually laws to support and protect Tamar, but individuals choose to shirk that responsibility or to actively push her aside and not give her the things that she needs to flourish, survive, and thrive in these times.

[00:10:45] Thus, we see Tamar showing up and acting with resistance. She doesn't merely accept her circumstances as they're given. Instead she fights back. And so she emerges as a classic trickster in this story, a person who is in a situation of social disadvantage, who breaks the laws in order to outwit or outsmart those in power, she uses cunning and deception to gain what is rightly hers and so therefore she's able to change her situation from one of destitution to one of life and security and promise for the future. Claassens writes, “Even at the point when she is most vulnerable, moments before her death, Tamar’s foresight and ingenuity save her from suffering the fate of many women around the world for real or perceived infidelity.”

[00:11:35] And so we also see here a kind of a double standard or hypocrisy show up. Before Judah knows that it's Tamar- the prostitute that he slept with in the past- before he knows that it's her, he is so quick to cast her off and to call for her to be burned to death because of her perceived infidelity and because of her choice to be a prostitute, however, it's only after Tamar, in this beautiful trickster moment, reveals that it was Judah all along who had slept with her and who had helped her be able to conceive these children.

[00:12:11] It's only in that moment that Judah now has to take responsibility for his actions. And in that moment, we have a beautiful line from Judah where he humbly says that Tamar has acted “more righteously.” In Genesis chapter 38, verse 26 it says, “And Judah acknowledges them-” the bracelets and the staff that Tamar holds out for him in the public- and he says, “She has been more righteous than I because that I gave her not to Shelah, my son, and he knew her again no more.” And so we see here, Judah being forced to take responsibility for his inaction and for his perpetuation of injustice towards Tamar. He was the one that was responsible for upholding the Hebrew law and he didn't. And so Tamar uses her wit and her cunningness and says, I need to make a way out of no way. I need to get what I deserve. And this is the way I'm going to do it. And in this way, Tamar refuses to stay in place. She fights to reclaim her dignity and her wellbeing. Even when it's risky, even in the face of death.

Channing: [00:13:20] We came across a really beautiful quote from Rosemary Radford, Reuther. She writes in an article titled “Women and Globalization: Victims, Sites of Resistance and a New Worldview” about the ways that women are disproportionately victims. And when an already awful situation becomes more dire with the destruction of traditional means of survival, it is women who tend to redouble their efforts in order to survive.

[00:13:43] Reuther writes, “If water is polluted and scarce, women walk twice as far to carry it back to their homes on their heads. If the value of the money earned by their husbands fails precipitously women plant gardens to produce foods, to sustain daily life. Women go out to work, to clean the houses of the rich.

[00:14:03] They produce food in their kitchens or create baskets and handicrafts and hawk these goods in the street. If there's rising malnutrition, women create communal kitchens to feed the poorest women and children. If the health care centers are closed down, women recover traditional herbal medicine, growing it in their gardens or gathering it in the forest to heal their families.

[00:14:26] It is they who nurse the sick and dying. If there's no food or nursing staff for patients in hospitals, it is the women that arrive to feed and clean the sick family member. In short, it is women's redoubled work that staves off disaster for the poorest.” 

Elise: [00:14:42] I love this quote and I think it could even be expanded to marginalized people and experiences.Oftentimes people on the margins have to figure out a way for survival and that often looks like doubling down when it seems like there's no way forward. 

Channing: [00:14:58] A motif that we saw in the story of Rebecca is the birth of twins. And the birth of twins is something that is often celebrated in biblical times because it's like, “Bonus baby!” Like, babies are already so hard to conceive and so difficult to have, so having twins is kind of attributed to righteousness or right decision or right living. And so I think it's really relevant that we see at the end of Tamar’s story, that she ends up giving birth to twins. And I think in this way, we can kind of view Tamar, yes, in this trickster role of making a way out of no way and finding a way to provide for herself and make sure that she's taken care of, especially when the law has provisions for her.

[00:15:48] And then not only that, but to kind of see some biblical justice applied to her story with the birth of her twins, I think is significant. So. It's really, I love that we got to cover this story and that we got to read it in the manual. I think it was included by default because the chapter before it is more relevant to the narrative, but I was really excited to see Tamar show up this week.

Elise: [00:16:14] Like we said before, Tamar's story is couched in the middle of basically Joseph's narrative. Joseph's whole story happens and unfolds, and then Tamar's story shows up right in the middle. Starting in chapter 37, verse three, “Israel [who we know in the past as Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age and he made him a coat of many colors. And when Joseph's brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him.” Joseph dreamed of his brother's future deference and respect of him and his brothers hated him even more. One day, Joseph was sent to join his brothers in the field where they were feeding the sheep.

[00:16:58] But then they captured him and they intended to kill him. Reuben ends up convincing his brothers not to kill Joseph. So they put him in a pit and at Judas suggestion, the same Judah that we saw in Tamar’s story, the brothers sell Joseph into slavery. They ended up telling their father, Jacob, that an evil beast killed Joseph and they present him with Joseph's coat of many colors, which they dipped in goat's blood. Jacob is obviously grieving and is so upset for Joseph because he believes that he was dead. When I read the first half of the story, I'm reminded of all of the other strained relationships that we've seen among brothers thus far: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and now Joseph and his brothers.

[00:17:38] And it's interesting to note that while this story is off to a painful, traumatic and betraying beginning, there's hope because what happens is the brothers are reconciled one with another, in a very similar way to the story with Jacob and Esau. Another thing I noticed is that patriarchy does not only pit women against other women, like we've talked about in last week's episode, but it also pits men against men, especially when those men are seen as a threat to one another's power or position.

Channing: [00:18:07] Yeah. I think that's a discussion that we absolutely can have on the podcast, because I think in the story, we see how Jacob, or Israel, loved Joseph more than his other sons. The text says that this is because Joseph was the son of Jacob's old age, but we can also imagine that the other sons felt that there wasn't enough love from Jacob to go around.

[00:18:28] Perhaps they felt Joseph was taking up too much space and attention from their father. We can also wonder if they were threatened or felt threatened by his dreams of him ruling over them. Perhaps Joseph's brothers understood the system in which they lived, one of hierarchy or control and domination. And they knew that if Joseph were to gain power, it would be power over them.

[00:18:52] And it would mean less power and gain for themselves. Another question we could ask is could their feeling of being threatened also be influenced by strained relationships and potential racism. The text notes in chapter 37 verse two, how Joseph is in the fields with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, but then Joseph goes and, “brought unto his father their evil report.” AKA he tattles on them. Is the brother's relationship perhaps strained because they recognize that Joseph is from Israel's chosen free wife, whereas the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah know the stories of rape and abuse of their previously enslaved mothers. In both these possibilities, whether they were threatened by loss of love or threatened by racism.

[00:19:40] We hear an echo of pain that we've heard in other stories about brothers. Why isn't there room for everyone? Why am I always the second choice? And this is a painful story that we see patriarchy tell men over and over again. It's a story that says in order to be loved and accepted, you have to be the best of the best.

[00:20:00] You have to prove yourself to be highly favored. You must be exceptional and remarkable, or you must crush those beneath you in order to make it to the top. We also see the story play out between cisheterosexual men and trans men or gay men. And this way, patriarchy sets up an impossible measuring stick of masculinity that is defined less by who you are and more by what you are not.

[00:20:27] For example, patriarchy says: this is what real men do. This is how real men act. This is how they express themselves. And this is how they identify. To be a real man under patriarchy means to not be feminine, not be gay, not be trans, not be weak, not be emotional, and the list can go on and on. Thus, we see that white cishetero wealthy men viewing other men as threats to both their own masculinity, as if trans men being accepted as real men means that cis men are any less manly, but also threatens their access to power.

[00:21:05] So to be clear, by saying that men suffer under patriarchy too, doesn't necessarily mean that others do not also suffer under patriarchy and other systems of oppression. Another thing that we can notice about this story is the escalation used in the delivery of the narrative. For example, the brothers are less loved and views Joseph, as a threat, Joseph has dreams that his brothers will serve and obey him and the brothers try to leave Joseph behind. But when he catches up, they make a plan to “slay him and cast him into a pit.” However, when this first idea is squashed, they agree to instead sell him into slavery to Potipher, an officer of Pharaoh.

[00:21:47] It's almost as if the brothers kind of say amongst themselves, like, “all right, well, if we can't kill him, then slavery is a pretty good second option.” So in the story of Joseph and his enslavement, we see a death of a different kind. It's death as dehumanization, death as objectified bodies bought and sold for production and death as forced separation from one's family.

[00:22:12] And so in this way, the enslavement of Joseph can be and honestly, really should be read as a tragedy. 

Elise: [00:22:19] Another interpretation of Joseph's story that we've come across, focuses less on a strict on a strictly cisgender and heterosexual interpretation and some queer Bible scholars read Joseph as a gender nonconforming individual. For example, Kittredge Cherry in their article “Joseph and the Queer Biblical Princess Dress” reminds us how queer biblical scholars spend a lot of time focusing on the robe that Joseph wore. And it's usually known in English as the coat of many colors, but it could also be translated as a rainbow colored princess dress.

Channing: [00:22:55] I love that. That is so cool. And I, I like, I'm so glad that you picked this out, because as I was reading, I, I thought about this and I was like, Ooh, I wonder if there's something there. So I'm excited to hear what you found. 

Elise: [00:23:08] About Joseph, Cherry writes, “Even before birth, there was something queer about Joseph. According to ancient commentaries known as midrash, Joseph and his half sister Dinah were miraculously switched in the womb, meaning that they changed gender even before they were born.”

[00:23:24] Additionally, the Hebrew word for Joseph's coat is only used once more in the Bible in second, Samuel chapter 13, when talking about a different Tamar and talking about the clothing that she wore, which is clothing worn by female Virgin daughters of the king. Cherry continues in this article to write, “Traditional Bible scholars found it confusing that Joseph would wear an article of female clothing.

[00:23:51] The meaning is clear enough to today's queer people of faith. Joseph was able to interpret dreams and his rainbow robe also suggests the multicolored garments that are sometimes worn by shamans and magicians.” 

Channing: [00:24:04] Oh my gosh! Like, my genuine excitement. I'm like, of course it's like… actually that totally corresponds and correlates to a lot of the, like, research that I'm doing in my own, like, personal life, about shamanism and individuals who performed magical services to their communities in ancient times.

[00:24:27] And gender nonconforming and transgender and non-binary people were especially revered in those positions because of their perceived ability to move between worlds as if gender binaries can also be viewed as worlds. So I'm, like, feeling super excited and super pumped up that that interpretation came through here. Cause I'm like, heck yeah. That also shows up in totally unrelated communities. So I think that's super cool. Yay!

Elise: [00:24:59] Yeah. Yay! Very yay. And yet I think that this queer interpretation of Joseph's story also sheds a different type of light on the strained relationships between Joseph and Joseph's brothers because now it can also be read as fueled by queerphobia or anti-LGBTQ sentiments and actions. 

Channing: [00:25:21] Yeah, that's true. That's true. There's so many ways to, to like, look at the text and so many different lenses. I think that that's, yeah, also a good way to look at it as well.

Elise: [00:25:28] Yes. And so while our focus today is not going to spend much more time on Joseph's enslavement by his brothers, I think it's worth looking at this story and kind of widening our lens to a systemic level. Instead of an isolated story, about a boy with a fabulous coat and mean brothers. Perhaps we can look at how systems like patriarchy, white supremacy and cisheterosexism shape our values, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

Channing: [00:25:56] As we move from this story of Joseph's enslavement by his brothers, we move and kind of follow his story into Egypt, where he is sold into slavery and ends up being in service in Potiphar's house. In Genesis chapter 39, we see Joseph being purchased by Potiphar to serve in his house. And for anyone who's familiar with the story of Potiphar's house and Potiphar's wife and Joseph, this is exactly where the story is going.

[00:26:27] But for anyone who's not, we're going to give a little bit of background today. We see the story in Genesis chapter 39 verses seven through 20. When Joseph arrives to Potiphar's house, God blesses Joseph, and by extension Potiphar's house too. Seeing this Potiphar “made Joseph overseer in his house and over all that he had. And it came to pass that after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and she said, “Lie with me.” Author Heather Farrell, who wrote the book “Walking with the Women of the Old Testament”, says, “Of course there are many different ways to interpret Bible stories, but I think a close study of the story makes it apparent that Potiphar's wife’s passion for Joseph was built over time. The story suggests that she and Joseph knew each other well.”Joseph refused her advances saying that he did not want to betray Potiphar's trust in him. In verse 10, the text says, “And it came to pass that as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her to lay by her or to be with her.”

[00:27:35] But unfortunately on a day when all the men were out of the house, Potiphar's wife approached Joseph and caught him by his garment saying, “Lie with me. And he left his garment in her hand and fled.” Of this, the Reverence Wil Gafney writes, “The Joseph's story in Genesis is framed as a failed seduction and false accusation of rape rather than as attempted rape but the moment the Egyptian woman grabs his garment, some sort of assault is underway.”. And this is from her book “Womanist Midrash on the Torah.” So with his garment in her hand, Potiphar's wife called to the men of her house saying, “see, he came in, unto me to lie with me and I cried with a loud voice.” She repeated the story to her husband, Potiphar, when he came home. Potiphar was angry with Joseph and put him in prison. So in this story, we encounter Potiphar's wife and we have a couple of questions about her. And the question is, what do we know about her? In the Quran Potiphar's wife is named Zuleikha and Zuleikha is the name that we'll use to refer to her throughout the remaining portions of the episode.

[00:28:46] We also know that Zuleikha was the wife of Potiphar and Potiphar was an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard. So we can imagine that he had a lot of power and privilege. 

Elise: [00:28:57] In talking about Zuleikha and Joseph, we encounter sexual assault. This is not the first time sexual assault and rape have been mentioned in the text as we've discussed this before, but this circumstance is unique in that the perpetrator is a woman and the victim is a man.

[00:29:13] This is striking because it is unusual. We most often see these roles reversed. So we wanted to spend time today with their story. We acknowledge rape is a sensitive and complex topic, one that can't be fully understood in a single podcast episode, let alone one that is working in the context of an ancient holy text.

[00:29:33] While we have tried to be careful and thorough in our preparation for this episode, we want to acknowledge from the get-go that we are not experts on sexual violence, assault and rape. Beyond our own lived experience and personal research on the topic we can't claim academic or professional experience with these heavy issues.

Channing: [00:29:51] I shared before on the podcast, so I'm comfortable sharing here again, that I am a survivor of rape and childhood sexual assault and abuse. So my lived experience and knowledge of these issues are extensive, in-depth, and personal. 

Elise: [00:30:05] Thank you. We believe that because rape is an act which violates the body, the self and the community, it is an issue that is theologically relevant. A sensitivity to and surface level understanding of rape and sexual assault is the bare minimum standard for those who are concerned with moral and spiritual ministry. 

Channing: [00:30:22] So today we'll begin exploring this story by talking about rape generally, and looking at the ways that feminist theorists have attempted to understand rape and sexual assault.

[00:30:34] Next, we will share some statistics about rape. Women are often centered in conversations about rape because they are the primary victims of sexual violence. And this is not by a mere margin, but by a landslide. Most of what we'll be sharing today is informed by the research of Beverly A. McPhail. And we will learn how frontline rape crisis responders are putting feminists theory into practice as they educate and advocate for survivors.

[00:31:01] And then we will apply this five-part framework that McPhail outlines in her research to the story of Zuleikha and Joseph. From the outset we want to acknowledge that rape is a violence which women suffer at significantly higher rates than men. We understand that a conversation about rape is one that will always include women and further, women most often as survivor and men more often as perpetrator, but in conversations about a specific instance of sexual assault, the conversation requires the centering of the survivor, no matter their gender. Today, that means centering Joseph and by extension men who are survivors of rape and sexual assault.

[00:31:42] We will share some statistics regarding this, as well as some of the unique challenges survivors might face in the subsystem of patriarchy. We hope to approach this conversation with care rooted in research. We also hope to illuminate that while rape is often considered a women's issue, and is certainly a central point of focus for feminists, the story of Zuleikha and Joseph reminds us that rape is an everybody issue. Awareness, education, and resources are a shared responsibility because rape is a violence which echoes through a community. Rape is both individual and shared, isolated and widespread, and affects generations forward and backward. Education and compassionate care response which centers survivors is a shared community responsibility which needs to transcend gender, race, class, and sexual orientation in order to be effective.

Elise: [00:32:36] To start, we're going to look at the history of feminist theoretical approaches to understanding rape. We've said elsewhere on the podcast that many believe that rape is about power. This is a statement that has been repeated since the 1970s, when feminists were, kind of, frontline responders to rape crisises and began developing theories around rape. They were seeking to answer questions such as: What motivates rape? What are the risk factors, both for survivors and perpetrators? So what are some of these theoretical understandings of rape? Well, these theories are explored in depth by Beverly MacPhail in an article titled “Feminist Framework Plus: Knitting feminist Theories of Rape Etiology into a Comprehensive Model” for the Journal of Trauma, Violence, and Abuse in July 2016.

[00:33:26] In this article, MacPhail outlines five different approaches or theories to rape. First, rape is motivated by power and control. Next, rape is primarily performed to uphold patriarchy. Another approach states that rape is one way to perform one's masculinity. Another approach shares that rape is an intersectional issue affecting individuals differently based on gender class, race, sexual orientation, and ability.

[00:33:55] And finally, another theoretical approach says that rape is both systemic and individual with layered and complex motivations. And with real consequences for survivors. These are just some of the theories of rape, though. There are many different ways to understand and explore this topic and we won't cover all of them in depth, but we felt that first, because we have used the phrase “rape is about power, not sex” elsewhere on the podcast, we have a responsibility to our listeners to share where that originates from. And secondly, this is not the only way to understand the complex issue of rape. 

Channing: [00:34:32] Secondly, we wanted to move into sharing some statistics of rape in hope that this can illuminate the real lived experience of rape survivors today.

[00:34:42] First, statistics show that the majority of rape survivors are women. McPhail writes, “There is abundant empirical evidence for the theory of rape as a gender based crime. A study of rape victims from 1992 to 2000 found that female victims comprise 94% of all completed rapes, 91% of all attempted rapes, and 89% of all completed and attempted sexual assaults.

[00:35:08] Another study found that nearly one in five women, which is 18.3% compared to one in 71 men, which is less than 2% have been raped at some point in their lives.” We also understand that race is a relevant risk factor to rape. McPhail writes, “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in 2010 found that approximately one in five black and white women, and one in seven Latina women have experienced rape sometime during their lifetimes. The numbers rose to one in four indigenous women, and one in three women who identify as multiracial.” MacPhail also attributes the lower rate for Latina women to many different factors, including a lack of culturally competent survey administration and “cultural values, such as male privilege, female subordination, shame, familism, culturation levels, taboos about talking about sex and rape, and a desire to protect the family.” In highlighting these contributing factors, MacPhail suggest a higher number of Latina rape survivors than the survey accounts for. And the final statistic we wanted to share was one that reflects that gender and sexual orientation are also significant risk factors for rape and sexual violence. McPhail writes, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately one in eight lesbian women, nearly half of bisexual women, and one in six heterosexual women are raped in their lifetimes. Additionally, the 2015 United States Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.” And speaking to intersectionality McPhail also writes, “Finally, a study on women with disabilities found the risk of rape was more than four times greater than that of women without disabilities.”

[00:37:06] So our hope in sharing statistics around rape is to illuminate just how prevalent this issue is and how necessary these conversations are and just how many people in our communities have experienced sexual violence of some kind, including people in our congregations. Like, there's a part of me that thinks, like, statistics are important and they are illuminating but I think sometimes that they can hide in numbers and figures and rates, and we forget that there are real people behind those numbers, 

Elise: [00:37:43] Theories and statistics are really helpful for us on some level, but it's also important for us to look at the, kind of, practical application. So McPhail ends up asking the question, “How are frontline rape crisis responders making sense of these theories in practice?”

[00:37:59] They outlined five different ways. First, they acknowledge that rape is a sexual act done upon and by specific bodies with sexual consequences for the survivor. Second, they acknowledge that rather than there being a single motive, like power and control, the motives for rape can be many, including things like sexual gratification, revenge, recreation, power and control, and the performance of masculinity.

[00:38:27] McPhail writes, “While power and control remain an important component of rape, they may be the motivation, but also the means and/or the result.” Third, they understand that rape is both political and individual. MacPhail writes, “The theory acknowledges rape as a political aggregate act, whereby men as a group dominate and control women as a group, but also a very personal intimate act in which the body of a singular person is violated by another.”

[00:39:02] Fourth, there's an emphasis on intersectionality. McPhail writes, “Social categorical intersections of the victim and perpetrator such as race and class are important at the political, personal and historical levels. The absence of this concept front and center in feminist theory of rape creates the default rape victim as a white cisgender heterosexual upper-class able-bodied woman.” Fifth and finally, responders acknowledged the great harm rape can impose upon a survivor.

[00:39:37] We think this approach to rape can help provide an important framework through which we can approach Potiphar's wife's assault on Joseph. 

Channing: [00:39:45] Yeah. So the question that we can ask about this is how can we apply this framework to Zuleikha and Joseph's story? Well, if we follow the first step, we can acknowledge that rape is a sexual act done upon and by specific bodies with sexual consequences for the survivor.

[00:40:03] And we shared what Wil Gafney said earlier and I think like she really did say it perfectly when she said, “The Joseph's story in Genesis is framed as a failed seduction and false accusation of rape rather than as an attempted rape. But the moment the Egyptian woman grabs his garments, some sort of assault is underway.” 

[00:40:22] In this way, Gaffney names the assault, and in the context of the chapter it was sexual in nature. In this case, the specific body the sexual act was done upon was Joseph's body and he will experience sexual consequences because of it. The text does not name the type of assault. So we will refer to this particular instance of assault through this conversation as Joseph's assault.

[00:40:48] Secondly, we can acknowledge that there are many motivations for assault rather than there being only one. So we can question: what might have motivations been? MacPhail reminds us that, “motivations for any single sexual or violent act are complex multiple and even unconscious.” McPhail names a few reasons which may be relevant to Zuleikha’s history, some of those being sexual gratification or revenge. McPhail also reminds us again, that power and control remain an important component of rape, but may not always be the primary motivation, but can also be the means or the effect. So in this case, we feel that an argument can be made for power and control as one, or maybe both, a motivation and the means by which the assault was accomplished. I think we can argue the latter with a level of certainty because of the disparity in power and class in this story. Zuleikha is in a position of influence and power. She may not face the same consequences with the same severity for the same actions as Joseph.

[00:41:58] She can make choices which are not available to Joseph. Joseph, as an enslaved person, is limited in his ability to provide consent, to revoke his consent, and remove himself from situations which threaten his physical and sexual safety. If we look at the story through the third approach, we understand the assault happens at both the political level and acknowledge the assault affects individual bodies.

[00:42:25] McPhail writes, “Rape is a political aggregate act, but also a very personal intimate one in which the body of a singular person is violated by another.” For us, this understanding requires that we spend time with the survivor. It's one thing to discuss rape generally with a wide lens and it's another to sit with a person who has experienced rape or sexual assault and hold space for their experience with care.

Elise: [00:42:52] Some questions we might ask ourselves about this might be: how can I better prepare myself to hold survivors' stories with compassion and care? How can I advocate for informed response and care within my family, my community, my ward, and my stake? And this is also a good opportunity to talk about how bishops and stake presidents are not adequately qualified to handle rape crisis responses and yet they are some of the first points of contact and disclosure for survivors, especially in majority of LDS communities. Some survivors, of course, get lucky and have a Bishop who is well-informed, but the majority do not get lucky and the majority of bishops are not well-informed. And often the survivor ends up leaving the Bishop's office with shame, blame, and sometimes even punishment.

[00:43:45] We might ask: what educational resources are available in my community? How can I take advantage of them and share them with others? What potentially hurtful and harmful attitudes do I need to unlearn about survivors of sexual assault? How can I support local rape crisis services and responders? Do they need donations, volunteers? And finally, what locally available resources can I become familiar with to refer and connect survivors to? 

Channing: [00:44:14] I think these are really good questions and remind us that we have a and individual responsibility to survivors of sexual assault. If we apply the fourth approach, we can dig deeper and ask questions like: what other social identities and issues are at play in this story of Zuleikha and Joseph? Borrowing from Kimberle Crenshaw's work, MacPhail says, “Social categorical intersections of the victim and perpetrator such as race and class are important at the political, personal and historical levels.”

[00:44:50] MacPhail reminds us that “the absence of this concept of intersectionality being front and center in feminist theory creates the default rape victim as white cisgender heterosexual upper-class able-bodied women.” So as he moved to the story of Zuleikha and Joseph we're reminded that rape affects everyone and not all survivors look or are the same.

[00:45:15] One of the questions we can ask is: what similarities does Joseph sexual assault share with that of women's? In this way we can identify power and control as aspects of Joseph's experience. We also sense that the story of Zuleikha’s assault of Joseph has particular relevance when viewed through the lens of racism, especially when we identify enslavement as a weapon of power in this story. Black women and womanists have connected biblical stories of enslavement and oppression with colonial enslavement of Black and brown bodies.

[00:45:49] And I think that a connection can be made here as well. We also understand that some aspects of sexual assault are genderless, things like fear, intimidation, shame, stigma, disgusts, isolation, and anxiety. These are just some of the similarities that we can notice. 

Elise: [00:46:08] We can also ask ourselves how might Joseph's experience of sexual assault differ from those of women's? What unique challenges might he have faced here? And at first glance, it can seem that Joseph's experience of sexual assault doesn't necessarily require a feminist lens because Joseph is a man in this interpretation. But thanks to the work of Kimberly Crenshaw, we understand that an individual can have some social identities, which are privileged and some that are oppressed. In Joseph's case, he is a man, which would afford him privilege in a patriarchal system, but he's also an immigrant to Egypt and he is enslaved.

[00:46:45] It's also likely that Joseph lacks an adequate support system. Remember he's isolated from family and he holds a position of power as Potiphar has entrusted him within the household so he may not have had many friends or family to rely on or ask for help. In this particular circumstance privilege and social power are central.

[00:47:07] Zuleikha relies on her and Joseph's gendered identities when she accuses Joseph of assault. She knows that it is her word against Joseph. We can imagine that she knows that almost no one will believe a man was assaulted by a woman. In this way, Zuleikha  also relies on her privilege as a free person, a recognized citizen of Egypt, and an enslaver, all of which guarantees Zuleikha will be trusted and believed over anything that Joseph says. Zuleikha relies on both her marginalized and her privileged identities to manipulate the situation in order to benefit her. To bring this into a modern day situation or lens, this story reminds us a lot of Amy Cooper, a white woman who called 911 on Christian Cooper. They're not related. After he asked her to leash her dog in central park in New York City in early 202. I n the video, Amy Cooper can be heard in panic tones telling the operator, “I'm in the ramble and there's a man, African-American, he's got a bicycle helmet. He's recording me and threatening me and my dog. I'm being threatened by a man in the ramble. Please send the cops immediately.” And Christian Cooper, who is recording this entire confrontation, never approaches Amy Cooper. Christian doesn't press charges following the encounter and all charges against Amy were eventually dropped. In this scenario, Amy Cooper relied on systemic attitudes of racism to protect her against what she mistakenly perceived as a threat.

[00:48:42] How asking to put a dog on a leash is a threat is beyond us, but we see her recognizing and understanding how white supremacy will always already place Black folks as perpetrators and criminals. And she uses her identity as a woman to protect herself, putting Christian Cooper in harm's way by calling the police.

[00:49:03] Here, Amy Cooper simultaneously weaponized her privileged identity as a white person and her marginalized identity as a woman to justify an emergency response to a non-emergency situation. And now we're turning back to the text and Zuleikha and Joseph. We understand this as an assault committed by and upon people who knew one another prior to the assault. This is really common in the majority of sexual assaults and rapes. Finally, Joseph sexual assault is unique precisely because of his identity as a man. Because of this identity, it is more likely that Zuleikha’s story of him assaulting her will be believed, Joseph's true experience of assault will be completely ignored and disbelieved, and he will experience severe consequences as an accused perpetrator that women survivors in similar situations would probably not have experienced.

Channing: [00:49:59] Thank you, Elise. That was such a good analysis on the story and really illuminated some of the unique challenges that Joseph probably faced because of his intersecting identities. And so one of the questions that we wanted to explore following up to that, and maybe bringing it more into our modern day context is: how do men's experiences of rape and sexual assault differ from women's? What unique challenges might they face? And in order to demonstrate or illuminate the fact that rape and sexual assault and sexual violence is experienced by men, we wanted to share some findings from the Michigan Resource Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, their article sharing their research states, “Research suggests that sexual violence perpetrated against boys and men is widespread. A majority of studies confirm that an estimated five to 10% of boys and men will be raped in their lifetime. The national violence against women survey found that 3% of men had experienced an attempted or completed rape as a child or as an adult. The human rights campaign also shares that 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner compared to 29% of straight men. Additionally 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21% of straight men.” So what are some of the challenges that these men who are experiencing sexual violence- What are they facing? A couple of different things that they come across, are: First homophobia, and toxic masculinity.

[00:51:44] The Michigan Resource center on Domestic and Sexual Violence states that, “the general invisibility of the rape of boys and men is due in part to widespread homophobia and societal definitions of masculinity and maleness. Systems of dominance, homophobia, and gender rigidity not only perpetuate sexual violence, but these systems of power serve to silence male survivors who may fear appearing powerless, weak and unmasculine.”

[00:52:15] We also see intersecting experiences of marginalization with the same article saying, “Young boys, adolescent men, and men in institutions, as well as men with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to this form of violence.” And finally, we see that isolation and visibility and lack of resources is a significant challenge for men who experienced sexual violence.

[00:52:39] The Michigan Resource Center shares that, “boys and men who are sexually assaulted rarely see their reality reflected in articles, books, or in direct service program and outreach initiatives, which further isolates them and reinforces the devastating myths surrounding male survivors of sexual assault.”

[00:53:00] There seem to be three pretty major myths about this. The first is that perpetrators are only gay men, and this is a myth. This article states, “Contrary to the belief that homosexual men commit male to male sexual violence, research shows that men who identify as heterosexual are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of male sexual assault. Statistics show that heterosexual men commit 96 to 98% of all sexual violence against males and females.”

[00:53:33] Kind of on the coattails right after this is the myth that women can't be perpetrators. But this too is argued against. The same article states, “Females can also be perpetrators studies report that women commit two to 4% of reported sex offenses against children. A bureau of justice statistics study reports that overall 6% of offenders who sexually assaulted juveniles were female compared with just 1% who sexually assaulted adults.”

[00:54:03] And finally, one of the myths that significantly affects men survivors of sexual assault is this belief that because men often experienced an erection during sexual assault, this means that they consented to or enjoyed the assault. And to this, the MacPhail essay shares some research from French feminist theorist Ann Cahill, and she states that “rape is a sexually specific act with sexual consequences for the victim.”

[00:54:33] Cahill notes the sexual paradox of rape that is “the assailant has had sex with the victim, but the victim has not had sex with the assailant. The experience is sexual, but it is not sex itself.” So we hope that in sharing some of the similarities and some of the differences that men who experienced rape and sexual violence maybe share, or don't share, with women's experiences, that we can kind of illuminate just how tricky and complex this topic of rape and sexual violence is and it gets even more sticky when we encounter it in the text. So we hope just by having a conversation and creating space for looking at some of these really heavy and, honestly, really sad circumstances of sexual assault and sexual violence that we can create a greater understanding and education about what survivors are facing.

[00:55:34] And finally, if we use the last and final step, acknowledging the great harm that rape can impose on a survivor. And I feel like this is kind of an understatement or kind of like a restatement of things that we've already covered in the episode. But I think that it acts as an important reminder to recenter the survivor in case we forgot our way. Not just in the moment immediately following the assault, but also following up afterward. Again from the Michigan Resource Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, it says, “Boys and men who are sexually assaulted may experience a wide range of post-traumatic symptoms, including depression, PTSD, and other emotional and physical problems as a result.

[00:56:17] Common reactions of men and boys after an assault can also include fear of appearing unmasculine, societal peer or self questioning of their sexuality, homophobia, sense of shame, and feelings of denial and quote. So in other words, men who experience sexual violence have long-lasting mental, emotional, and physical consequences directly related and attributed to their assault.”

[00:56:44] When we understand that rape has long lasting effects on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of survivors, we are more likely to center the survivors’ wants and needs. We can begin to see that rape is not an event that is isolated to a single act, but one that ripples out into all aspects of the survivors’ experience.

[00:57:04] If we pull further from McPhail’s work, the recognition that “rape functions as an act which upholds systemic oppression,” we can also understand that “compassionate care for survivors is a communal act of resistance. If rape is a tool which builds onto and from oppression, then the conscious, careful, intentional, informed, and empathetic focus on support for the survivor can act as the inverse..

[00:57:30] Care support and solidarity is the undoing of isolation, continued harm and oppression. So in conclusion, the story of Zuleikha and Joseph is one that feels tricky because it asks us to confront rape as an issue which belongs to everyone. It is not just a women's issue. While we can study and discuss rape broadly, we are reminded that rape is both communal and individual.

[00:57:55] It reminds us that in conversations about rape, centering the needs of the survivor requires that we sit in the discomfort and in solidarity with their painful stories. And as we finish up this conversation about Joseph and Zuleikha and rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence, we just wanted to offer a few resources for anyone who may feel like they need access to them.

[00:58:18] For any sexual assault survivors who need help or support, you can contact the national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673. You can do a live confidential chat with trained responders at the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network at rainn.org. You can reach out to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center directory at nsbrc.org.

[00:58:43] And for men in particular, the 1 in 6 organization provides resources and services for men, and you can find them at 1in6.org and for LGBTQ survivors, the Anti-Violence Project at avp.org and The Forge Project provides resources and support for transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming survivors of violence and you can find their work at forge-forward.org

Elise: [00:59:11] We know that these conversations are intense and emotional, so we're really appreciative for all of you who stuck it out and listened along with us. As we transition into the last part of the episode, we're going to focus some time on Asenath who married Joseph. Just a quick summary: Joseph spent an undisclosed amount of time in prison, and we're not really sure how long he was there, but during this imprisonment, he interpreted the dreams of the prisoners, some of whom were in service to the Pharaoh. In chapter 40, we see the king troubled with his dreams and eventually Joseph is asked to interpret them.

[00:59:45] Joseph does, and the king is so pleased that he frees him from prison and gives Joseph a new name, which is Zaphnath-paaneah, and its commonly accepted meaning is “God speaks and lives.” The Pharaoh also makes him a ruler over Egypt and “gives him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.” We don't get a whole lot of information about Asenath in Genesis, but we can piece together her story and pull from other sources.

[01:00:13] We like what Reverend Dr. Wil Gafney said about Asenath. She writes “Asenath is a woman of status; she is among the treasures of Egypt with which Joseph is rewarded for his service and loyalty. Her city On, also known as Heliopolis, was the primary site of the worship of Ra, the sun god. Her father was a high-ranking priest in the god’s service.”

[01:00:38] We also receive a whole bunch of information about her from an apocryphal book titled “Joseph and Asenath.” You can find translations of the full text online, but we're going to share some super short summaries of it today. Basically Asenath fell in love with Joseph at first sight. When he came to the city of own to collect grain upon meeting her, Joseph was nice to her, but didn't really envision her as marriage material because she worshiped another god.

[01:01:06] After this, Asenath was distraught and did not eat for seven days and nights. On day eight, Asenath prayed to God for forgiveness, and an angel appeared to her, giving her a new name, “City of Refuge,” and a promise that she would marry Joseph. She changed into wedding clothes and in a scene of mythical proportions, she experienced a transformation facilitated by bees, angels, and honeycomb.

[01:01:32] When she saw Joseph next, he recognized her transformation and married her. The apocryphal story is fascinating and will be of special interest to anyone who is interested in symbolism specifically for symbols related to the feminine divine. It's a love story with bees, honeycombs, diadems, gems and precious stones and all the markings of a pretty great fairytale.

[01:01:57] Asenath was a matriarch of Israel. Through her, Ephraim and Manasseh were born. And it is striking that a woman who was not born an Israelite is the wife of a celebrated patriarch, especially when we see in other places that marriages outside of the covenant were looked down upon. This was the case with Esau and his wives and part of the story of Dinah and Shechem.

[01:02:19] But things were different with Asenath. We can imagine that her transformation must have been significant. Her personal experience with God changed her. And it changed who she thought she was. It changed the trajectory of her life and the trajectory of her children's lives. We really think that Asenath’s story is an excellent example of the way that God pays attention to our prayers and sacrifices and can provide a way for our desires through miraculous means.

The remainder of the chapters of Genesis chapters 42 through 50 detail Joseph's preparations to keep Egypt surviving during the famine, his invitation of his brothers and father to the land of Egypt and their reconciliation.

[01:03:00] It also covers blessings and chastisements, which are given to some of the brothers. And then later generations are listed. And finally we see Jacob and Joseph embalmed and buried in Egypt. 

Channing: [01:03:12] One of the stories that I most enjoyed about these chapters was seeing the way that Joseph was reconciled with his brothers.

[01:03:20] I like it precisely because it's a pretty messy story. It's not like Joseph's brothers walked into Egypt and Joseph was like, “Yay! Oh my gosh, it's been so long. Good to see you; whatchu been up to?” No, that is not what happened. Can you imagine? That’d be so wild. So when his brothers come to Egypt to buy grain during the famine, Joseph recognizes them.

[01:03:44] He accused them of being spies and had them bring Benjamin, the youngest brother whom Joseph had not yet met, and put Simeon in prison and snuck money and precious items into their bags of grain and accused them of stealing. His brothers feared for their lives through these experiences until Joseph could keep up the facade no longer and revealed himself to them as their brother. There was weeping and greeting and reconciliation, and Joseph brings his family to the land of Goshen to live out the famine.

[01:04:16] The story is striking to me because yes, it is a beautiful tale of forgiveness, but I think the messiness of it is beautiful. So much of our current church teachings around forgiveness focus on quick and immediate forgiveness almost as if it's painless, but in Joseph's story, we see him wrestle with feelings of anger, suspicion, doubt, and mistrust.

[01:04:38] We see him manipulate, trick, lie, intimidate, betray, falsely accuse, and imprison his brothers, even Benjamin, who he'd never met. We see Joseph inflicting the same pain that he experienced onto his brothers. Was it revenge? Was it a reenactment of trauma? We don't know, but what we do see is that eventually Joseph recognizes what he's doing and chooses another way. Because of his choice to forgive what seems unforgivable, we see a family reconciled and the cycle of violence interrupted. We felt that this was important to name because we think it's important to remember in our conversations around forgiveness, that it is rarely a clean and sanitary experience. It can be argued that Joseph was vengeful, spiteful, maybe even petty. He didn't forgive right away. He put his brothers through challenges and yet, do we as LDS readers fault him for that? I don't remember ever sitting through a lesson that did. And yet, how often have I been told to forgive and forget some of the most painful experiences of my life as if I could brush them off, like dust from a painting?

[01:05:50] I appreciate seeing the honesty and the humanity in Joseph's forgiveness process, because it reminds me that it's okay to be angry, to be hurt, to be suspicious and doubtful after painful experiences. Joseph's story reminds me that forgiveness is a messy process and achieving it is never easy.

[01:06:10] Forgiveness is not facilitated with nice quotes from general conference talks or by weaponizing the commandment to forgive everyone if we want to be forgiven. In my experience, forgiveness is facilitated by holding space, acceptance, patience, and compassion for the real feelings of anger and betrayal, resentment and hatred, shame and regret. Forgiveness is facilitated by the ability to witness and hold these feelings as sacred messengers, which teach us our own fragility and deep need for connection and love.

[01:06:46] Forgiveness is not a single act of miraculous grace, but a process which honors the entire spectrum of human emotion and reverences resilience, patience, and small investments and small victories made over a long period of time. In our conversations around Joseph and his story of forgiveness this week, may we remember the complexity of our own humanity, which the text shows us so beautifully.

Elise: [01:07:19] Friends, thank you so much for joining us today for another episode of The Faithful Feminist podcast. We know your time and space is sacred and we are so grateful to have spent ours with you. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd be so happy if you left us a loving rating on iTunes and Spotify so other seekers can find us.

Channing: Financial donations support the many hours of research work and devotion to each episode, as well as the everyday cost of creating and publishing the podcast. You can support us on Patreon or through a simple Venmo donation and help us create a world where creators, artists, activists, and beauty-makers are valued and paid for their labor. Find us on those platforms and on Instagram as The Faithful Feminists. We're deeply grateful for your kindness and encouragement. We love you so much, and we hope to spend more time with you again soon. Bye friends!
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