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WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

“ My goal is to use my theology to reconstruct the colonized woman. She must take a journey to teach her how to transform her sexuality from a slave into a free woman.” She will learn that her oppression is a man’s perspective about the scriptures and nothing more. The colonization’ s theology is nothing more than a delusion cast on her to control her, break her and enslave her. She must break the chains, and be reborn through her reinventing her God. What is theology? “ The rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth.” ~ Princeton University The Harlot’s Paradise Let’s begin in the garden of women from the beginning she has listened to men’s perspective and now we will do some reconstruction of that story. Keisha L. Merchant The Harlot’s Paradise 1


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

What is the secret garden of a woman? It is her own eternal paradise that welcomes her home with love and liberation from her labors of giving life. She is set free from the oppression and slavery, and in her cleansing she shakes off the dust of oppression. This is her journey. (Psa 19:1-3; Rom 1:19, 20, 32; Rom 2:1, 14, 15) She goes home takes her clothes off, and roams naked in her sexuality. She bathes in the baptisms of love and joy. She drinks the wine of salvation for she is the living waters of life. She breathes in life and she exhales the gift of life to others... (1 Cor 1:21; 2:13, 14). In the spirit, Sophia takes the woman in all her ways to a place that only she can enter, the place is called the wilderness to begin her transformation from strength to enduring strength.(Heb. 1:1)

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WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

“ Hagar, mother of the wild, the liberated ones, come to us, explain to us, how did you touch the heart of God?” Women sexuality is the mystery of God in her choices she journeys through Eden alone. Banished from her eternal home she is forced to be a slave to her husband, the one she called once upon a time her equal and friend. “ No body knows the trouble I seen, black slavery work song…” A s she screeches in her lamentation, she births the first song, the first worship, the first prayer and the first dance, her sexuality and her spirituality becomes one flesh, and her choices are eternal and unconditional love to be the salvation for all creation. She begins her work, and she is doing away the laws of slavery and oppression. Death is swallowed up by her labor pains. “ Where are you Holy Lady, Holy Spirit, I am speaking to you?” “ Come here, my The Harlot’s Paradise 3


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

Lady, speak to my heart? My breasts yearn for thee.” (Song of Solomon) “ Did they get my story wrong, there’s no man here, just I, your helpmate, and she is called the Goddess from within? “ Outside of the house she sat with her bags on the front porch weeping and gnashing with teeth because Father had no mercy. She looked up and saw Sophia with her bags saying, you didn’t think you were going to leave me here. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Father ran outside, Sophia, come back home, Sophia replied, Honey, you didn’t think I would leave my child?” A nd so the journey begins through the wilderness under the clouds of witnesses, her womanhood once private becomes public, once a mystery now known, and once invisible now visible, she is creating paradise from within using her sexuality to do the work impossible to man, and only she can do the job well done. She is the life giver, and through her life is reborn, salvation is created The Harlot’s Paradise 4


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

and restoration will be achieved. She is God, and her daughter is woman. They begin their journey as one. Their work is to cleanse the world from oppression, slavery and death, and then they will come back home to cleanse themselves and play in paradise.

The Desert Storm “ A person cannot detach himself from the religion of his group, his foundations, his context of security, his kinships and the entire group of those who make him aware of his existence…to be without religion amounts to a self –excommunication from the entire life of the society, and A frican peoples do not know how to exist without religion.” (pp 21, Hayes) “ Woman where have you gone, are you coming home?”

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WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

I have been here all along, master, my man child, it is you that have left my side. (Prov 22:19-21; Isa 8:19, 20; Matt 4:4, 7, 10; Luke 1:3, 4; Rom 15:4); Women sexuality is based on a thirteen mile journey, and through her three stages of oppression, wilderness and liberation, liberation must come, home at last, God A lmighty, she is home at last, paradise welcomes their mother, their Comforter, she has made a living fire breathing expression of a loving home. She has cleansed her house from oppression, slavery and created unconditional love, liberation and forgiveness. She has done the work alone. In her imagination, she knew she wanted more than a life as a slave, and she found the way to liberation. Where is her Garden of Eden, her tree of life, the salvation, the promise land for her sexuality? Who is her God? Is it the Harlot? The woman stepped foot in the lands of Canaan her husband had her as a slave, and chose many foreign women to enslave, and The Harlot’s Paradise 6


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

all of the women had one common ground, they were properties owned by men. Did he ever in his imagination think once how could I enslave my own mother, my own daughter, my wife? How could I bare the bruises on her back? He never imagined freedom for her hands and feet. No, He thought only of himself and his power, but the woman will not return the favor, for I am his mother, the woman I am, is greater than he. “ Is my God alive, is she a slave to her God, who is she? What is the truth in Sophia’s place and power? We ask these questions not to play God nor take the place of power, but to create a new world for the Christology of woman in her own sexuality. She can’t just sit and wait for man to give her the gift of liberation. She must create liberation within herself and take the journey to higher places for safety and security unknown to man and Father God. The church have left its cornerstone, the builders’ rejected it. Jesus shares in his liberation as a The Harlot’s Paradise 7


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

criminal of the Jewish authorities, they claim he stole their God and made Him into a Woman. Women will be the first ones to enter in the kingdom of God, then her children, Jesus responds to the man who tries to cast women out of the temple. Who is her child? Is her child, the man? She cradles him at birth, feeds him on her nipples, and then guides him into manhood, to do what? Enslave her, torture her, and then bound her in chains like an animal, in his exploitation she becomes his sex slave, beaten, battered and neglected, this cannot be spiritual or the work of God. Is God man or female? How can they not know the woman’s experience, and leave her to die in her blood? In Our Skin, Sexuality is Women’ s Essence “ Black gospel and blues emerged as creative Black women and men blended their consciousness, visions, interpretive grasps of The Harlot’s Paradise 8


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

the Bible, glimmers of God’s grace, hopes for freedom and equality, and contemporary life experiences into a melodic potpourri of song.� (pp. xvi. Townes) Out of ashes, the births song from her spirit in her journeys as survivor of abuse, neglect, oppression and finally starvation like the parasitic wasps in the caterpillar, she is consumed by the exploitation of her oppressor. She in turns oppress herself by protecting her parasites, and finally giving her life to that parasite, their children, and die for them from starvation and neglect she never arrives in paradise, the transformation from caterpillar to a butterfly never happens. She dies without flying. She dies before transforming. In the scriptures, we must have suspicion that women are cornerstones of the faith through their greatest service that Jesus mentioned to his disciples, you must be the greatest of all servants in order to be seated on the right and left hand of God. Men are The Harlot’s Paradise 9


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

not able to go to that place for they haven’t given life nor can they instinctively respond as a giver of life. They cannot choose to give life nor destroy it in their own womb. Man may be the position of power on earth, but in heaven, woman is the position in heaven. Is her true home here in earth or in heaven? The universe is her home, Sophia, the Comforter, the Elect Lady, describes one strength of woman, her birthright, her sexuality tells the mysteries of God. She chants, mantras and in her musical storytelling exorcism, she expels the evils of oppression through her warmth, love and comforting voice that has been silenced since the beginning of time, not today though, she is the third wave feminist, and she has awaken a new day, a new paradise, it is called “ Liberation.” (2 Tim 3:15; 2 Pet 1:19, 2 John 1:1-3); through her woman stories, her experiences will speak life into the soul, eternal life, and within that paradigm a new authority has arrived. She is the new The Harlot’s Paradise 10


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

Church, her name is Love and V irtue, she will rule with her iron rod of mercy and forgiveness, and her weakness will be made into enduring strength in the wilderness. She will be reborn. (Luke 16:29, 31; Eph 2:20; 2 Tim 3:16; Rev 22:17, 19). (Blackboard Readings) When she arrives home to change clothes from a long day at work, she will return again to find the wilderness transformed into the gardens of paradise made by her hands. For oppression will be swallowed up, for death will be no more, and she will get all the glory, she is the Bride, the Sophia, the Goddess, the Idol, the A ccuser, and the Harlot. Who is the bride? Who is the harlot? Who is the A ccuser? Who is the Goddess? Who is the Idol? The mystery is in her story and the answers are in her sexuality. She has been called many names, but she is one in the same, she is not the man, but her sexuality tells her story. My Lady, Come Hither The Harlot’s Paradise 11


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

In this theology, the systematic approach is to reconstruct women through their own stories. In her own experience, she is able to find liberation. She does not look elsewhere. “ My lady, My Comforter, Speak to me Sophia, I know who you are? The woman’s sexuality is a mystery, but I hear what the spirit is trying to say to the churches.” A rise, sleeper, and give life, share your story of oppression, so that no one will return to this awful place. (The exodus journey, from exiles to freedom) Why would God allow us to be women? What is the profit in being a slave to a man, especially since I birthed him anyway? In these questions we argue that our parasitic guests’ life is filled with oppression and service, but what is the purpose? Who answer our prayers as women that live under the heavy yokes of rape, domestic violence, exploitation of our sexuality and finally starvation of comfort and rest? Does the woman have safe haven from her master? Must she eat the crumbs under The Harlot’s Paradise 12


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

her son’s table? Where is her robe and throne? “ Sophia if you know, you must share your story.” (Proverbs 1, 2 and 3) She dances and when she moves, her story is giving all creation a new life, we call salvation, the resurrection and the incarnate of the divine in her hips, in her skin, in her breath, she blows on us, and in our recitation she gives women eternal life from her spirit to our bosoms, we feed from her nipples. (Isa 59:21; John 16:13, 14;1 Cor 2:1012; 1 John 2:20, 27). We are like her in all her ways, giving life to the lowly and the parasitic. We bare the cross and the stripes of blood dripping into the ground feeding all life, so that we may find the way for all to taste life eternally without the laws of slavery oppression and death. Women are born in their sexuality to give life. (Dube Readings) “ Hush, my child, black slave work song, Hush my child, somebody’s calling my name.” The echo of legions and hosts of women singing as a choir, powerful A mazon The Harlot’s Paradise 13


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

like warriors with their bows and horses, chanting, a new song, the healing of the man nations and giving life to the dead and their children. She utters one last word, the final work; she transforms the inner man from hate to love and wickedness to humility. She transforms her beasts from wrathful into loving service, on their knees and in forgiveness she teaches the final lessons, serve me in love and freedom, and remember who fed you, clothed you and sheltered you. In my bosoms I birthed you, from my breasts I fed you and from my stomach I protected you, in my arms, you tasted life. Show me love. (Clifford Readings) Can the God of men understand the woman in all her sexuality if he is a Father and not a mother? Can he actually be able to free a woman from her own oppression and slavery? Who is he to judge a woman’s heart, mind, soul and spirit, when He’s never home in her womb? How can he know a woman and has he seen the trouble she’s The Harlot’s Paradise 14


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

been in? If he is a Man, then he can’t know her pain or her suffering. If he is a Man, he can’t know how to bring salvation to her. In the Christology, the Christian Faith, the institution of Christians, men rule their salvation by worshipping a Man God, Father they call him, but they find death at the end of the day, and the earth tastes only blood, gnashing of teeth, suffering and oppression in all their days, but yet he claims he sees paradise. For whom is he seeing life for? He only sees himself in the mirror, and this God if he is a man gives life to whom? A ccording to men’s faith, women are life givers. So, how can he give life if he never gave life from his womb, how could he know of such oppression of slavery? Men, in all their dreams, imaginations and expectations and in their freedom they have only found themselves in the circle of life. It is amusing how so often the Man child, The Man God, can only worship himself. Do we experience The Harlot’s Paradise 15


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

liberation from the hands of a man as women? In our sexuality, we bare their homes, their work, their taste and appetite for sex, leaving us outside like wanton animals and trees starving for liberation and rest from heavy yokes of their insensitive methods and practices put upon women and her children and all that are not like themselves in their image and likeness of their God. (Pui Lan Readings)

The Journey in Enduring Strength A way out of no way It’s too much to ask It’s too much of a task for any one woman—June Jordan,(Coleman) It is evident that we formulate our ideology around our sex. Within the communities of transsexuals and transgender and/ or gay orientations we step into the biocultural communities of deep ecology and in deep waters we tread diversity. Who will be The Harlot’s Paradise 16


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

the God for all of these? Our sexuality births many gods but yet we are required by the law to have only one God? It is impossible for one God to rule us all unless it is a woman who gave life to all creation from her womb. In the sense of Christianity, who is God? Who is the God that will save us all? Is this God male or female? What is the sexuality that will carry the burden of diversity and liberation for us all? A ccording to Jesus, the sensation of salvation and resurrection has filled the hearts of men, but outside in the cold, women are still pleading for liberty. She can’t just accept man’s theology and ideology of salvation and resurrection because in that plan there’s only oppression and conditional love for her bones. In her sexuality she is missing the fruits of the Spirit and in her life time she will only taste the crumbs that make her whole. (Torjesen Malcolm, Crossroads, pp.27) A ccording to the Man child, the life of diversity is a fast way into death, slavery and The Harlot’s Paradise 17


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

wrath, their God proclaims death and eternal fire of punishment for disobedience? Is this God the god for women who is the giver of life? Why would she worship a God that will destroy her work of giving life? We couldn’t be talking about a God that created all creation because in the sense of creating why would we worship a God that would kill, steal and destroy life, it would be insane to admire such a God as this? We continue to do these services to a God that would destroy life and have wrath to all who are not in the likeness and image of man? This is the theology that has built empires upon empires and we may all disagree in the fact that it has lead us all to the same place, men alike, to the graveyard, disease, decay and aging of our life as a collective until it was reduced to ashes to ashes. In this understanding, interpretation and review of the scriptures, we never question, is this the God we serve? Promises today, death tomorrow, oppression later and The Harlot’s Paradise 18


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

storms and sunshine as breaks, I question this theology of man, how can you be satisfied with knowing that all life is dying under your thumb? Is that peace within a man? If you are at peace with ignoring life dying all around you and you exempt yourself from the possibilities that life could endure and so find its resting place through your wisdom, the journey would be called liberation, but only a woman could dream dreams as such as this because she nurtures and desire to give life not to destroy it. A man would argue not true, they care deeply about our welfare, yet when they rise they continue the oppression and find excuses to be justified in their own salvation. If this was true then salvation would swallow up in its footsteps all death, giving all life no questions asked, before an eye could blink, transformation would happen, and so, we know that it is a lie, when some are chosen and others are rejected. In that lie we live as oppressed slaves. Men think they are The Harlot’s Paradise 19


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

liberated, but they are slaves as well because they live their lives oppressing women and those not like themselves, and in their lifetime they miss the mark of true liberation and true love in exchange they settle for the imitation of it, and die in the same outcome of disease, destruction and a squandered life never to return. Is it possible to change this madness into liberation, to correct what has been wronged? Women’s sexuality is more than just a story it is a mystery. She hides in all her clothes in hope that she can live another day, have another opportunity, like a scientist in the laboratory, she mixes her anointing to find the solution to her oppression and oppressor, so that she can release herself from the shackles, chains and shame of her exploitation and captivities. We have complex ideas but too hard for man to tackle issues of our worth and value. We are women that cry in many languages, tongues and voices, yet in one voice, we say one The Harlot’s Paradise 20


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

word with many meanings and underlining messages. It is no wonder that man cannot give liberation to a woman, but it will take a woman to give liberation to a woman. Jesus came to give liberation to men, but he gave women hope and taught her how to forgive in order for her to find higher grounds for everyone. I think Jesus knew that his salvation would not be enough. I think he was giving hidden messages to women and in his parables women were given a break from their own oppression. He was whispering in their ears do not give up, you are almost there, for we need you to find the way into the promise land. I think he knew that true liberation, faithful liberation would not come through him, man but through a woman. He was not the cornerstone, but he knew women had to go to a place that men could not go, he could not go, and the father God they served could not enter in this domain, for

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WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

their sexuality could not survive such a journey. It took a whisper in the women’ s ears to hint on that he knew, Jesus spoke, though you may die, you shall live again. He knew that in order for women to hear the message he had to speak in stories, songs, music, and dance to tell them they must set themselves free. He wasn’t able to set women free because he was a man, but he was able to give them encouragement and a faith to hold on to your God’s unchanging hands. He knew their God would not fail. He shared that I am done with my work, now I must send you the Holy Spirit, the fire breathing Spirit that will finish the work; she is the giver of life. He knew it was his Mother in the Godhead that was the one who would save women. He knew without the Comforter diversity which is all, everyone would die in their oppression, and they would not find their promise land. Men couldn’t still accept their own Liberator, Jesus but the woman The Harlot’s Paradise 22


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

gave him life and his God, his father. Women weren’t afraid to believe in his dream of liberation for all. (Desmond Tutu, God Has a Dream) The Third Wave Madness, Feminism, What is next? “ If God is male, then male is God. The divine patriarch castrates women as long as he is allowed to live on in the human imagination.” Mary Daly So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. Then he said to the woman you will bare children with intense pain and suffering. A nd though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master. Then the Lord God said, “ The people have become as we, know everything, good and evil what if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!” So The Harlot’s Paradise 23


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

the Lord God banished A dam and his wife from the Garden of Eden and he sent A dam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. A fter banishing them from the garden, the Lord God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. A nd a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life. (Genesis1:27, Gen 3: 16, 22, 23, 24) This is the man’s theology, translation of their God, and in this story of man, he banishes his children to die without hope for life everlasting. This is how man explains his existence and sexuality through the fall of a woman in disobedience, shame and finally banishment, the justification to rule her, abuse her and oppress her. In his own consciousness he is given a free will yet like a businessman he follows policy because that is the rules, and so he keeps the law for the law prospers him. Do not oppress the foreigners living among you. You know what it is like to be a The Harlot’s Paradise 24


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

foreigner. Remember your own experience in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 23:9) Who is this verse really speaking? This verse in man’s eyes has translating to going into the wilderness and finding the promise land through Joshua just to do what? He not only oppresses his women, his children, but then he adds to the family tree of oppression, and oppresses the people of diversity in Canaan, people unlike himself. The work of liberation is conquering men choosing to walk away from the opportunities and privileges to oppress, to throw the weapons in fire, and destroy war, not because it is logical, but for the sake of remembering the experience of oppression and not repeating it. Why did men go into battle and continue the oppression because they forgot how it felt to be oppressed or they never were the oppressed when spoken in the scriptures. Most of the hard labor and slave work were done by women; men held short or temporary seasons of oppression; they The Harlot’s Paradise 25


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

weren’t living day in and day out in oppression like women. They would come home to their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters who cooked their meals, restored their strength in the bedroom of sex and appetite, and became reborn daily by their wives. They would be fed by their women nipples, and in their prosperity be enslaved for just a moment, and so they forget daily their oppression only when they went to work would they know of oppression for a moment. But women, on the other hand, not only had to work in oppression all day, every day in all of her work, she was beaten by her oppressors, strange men along the streets and husbands, and that wasn’t enough, she would come home to oppression in her children, in her husband’ s wives, concubines, and the horizontal hostility from her own sisters, mothers and her own daughters. She felt oppression as a way of life. This verse was speaking to the woman that when she arrived in liberation not to The Harlot’s Paradise 26


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

oppress and to remember her experience, when she arrived in power and dominion. If this verse had any significance to men, then history would have been done much differently and the accounts show in Canaan and Rome would not have existed. (Professor Shaw Handouts) Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin. However you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. A nd the Lord said to Moses, “ If her father had spit in her face, wouldn’t she have been defiled for seven days? Banish her from the camp for seven days, and after that she may return. You must never set up an A sherah pole beside the altar of the Lord your God. A nd never set up sacred pillars for worship, for the Lord your God hate them. But if you marry her and then decide you do not like her, you must let her go free. You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her. A nyone who rebels against The Harlot’s Paradise 27


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

your word and does not obey your every command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous; now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. (Lev. 18: 22, 25:44, Num. 12: 14-15, Deut. 16: 21, 21: 10-14, Joshua 1: 18, 6:1) Now this is the image of God, and for many years, we have as women obeyed the law of God that broke our backs, destroyed us and persecuted us, the God of man, we have allowed our lives to be subjected to oppression and so who was Hagar’s God? She was saved in the wilderness, and her God met her, was it the God of Israel? Was it the God of Jesus? Was the God male or female? These are the critical questions that women should ask themselves when they journey through life because at the end of her life, she will present herself in the court room of the universe, and the God of all creation will ask her why didn’t you set yourself free? She would have to find answers to all these The Harlot’s Paradise 28


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

questions? Under the umbrella of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, the church, temple and synagogue would not be a place of women if she does not ask herself where am I going, and who will be my God? A nd why will I follow this God? A fter the days of the wilderness, she will have liberation, and in her seat of royalty, she will need answers to these questions. For an example, in some black women experiences, she find herself in the beginning of life serving her mother, then she is passed on to her father, if she is not raped by her father, and passed on through many men, she then moves on in her relationship with her husband, fighting with him day and not as his victim, she presents her dance, song and sexuality to the world as an aggressive wife. She is spirited and rebellious for her appetite for sex becomes the battlegrounds for her cry of liberation. She is mastered by her husband, and she hates it, and only the pleasure of him going to work releases her The Harlot’s Paradise 29


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

from her bondage. She finds peace in the silence. A black woman’s experience in the past have come to this as a stereotype that black women are sexual objects that are to be broken like a mule she is broken, and there’s no God to mend her broken heart. I address these concerns through the artist’s perspectives as part of my theology that I have chosen in our modern society of black women in the spot light, the actual experience of their lives, behaviors and attitudes mimic the sexuality of a black woman as a public entertainer, her past, her ancestors speak through her as a medium, a cry to give life, to set free slaves and to lift them up in glory, she gives life to all. In our women’s experiences we learn that each culture carries their own torch, but nonetheless, the woman’s experience carry the burden on her shoulders the oppression of a dying world because men are satisfied in their pleasures for war, sex slaves and The Harlot’s Paradise 30


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

exploitation of resources in their environment and abroad. She sits by the well and in her adultery the men band together to stone her to death. She cries, and the God of heaven shows her death, oppression and pain. She tries to hold her tongue, and in silence she accepts the verdict. She is handed over to the angry mob, one by one, they rape her, steal from her and in slavery, and she carries the scars of suffering and enduring strength to keep her eyes from falling asleep in child bearing, she survives. (John 4:1-33 Samaritan woman, 8:1-11 Women caught in adultery, Matt 15: 21-28, Matt 22: 37-40, Mark 5: 21-43, Mark 10: 17-31, 10: 42-45, Mark 12: 38-44, Luke 7: 36-50, Luke 8:1-4) She waits on her God for salvation, and he never comes, and never says, yes to her that day. Is Jesus the Son of God, what is he that he can save woman today? He claims he can save women, but only men have been saved, The Harlot’s Paradise 31


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

so where does that leave her? We have our moments of triumphs and victories, and in those small moments, seeds are planted, like the mustard seed, ever so slow growing. She is still enduring the burdens of heavy yoked crosses that even Christ could not walk alone carrying. What was the cross of all the women who were burn at the stake and what were their crimes committed? Out of the sky, did the earth shake, heavens open, and did anyone say, behold this is my daughter, of course not, where is her God? If she is Sophia, why haven’t she risen up a woman savior to save the human race like Jesus Christ? The third wave movement is not just hear me roar, but do something, we can’t wait any longer. Who will feed us from their nipples, who will protect us under their armpit, and who will carry us in their sling and baskets? Like Job and Joseph, who will answer us in our dreams?

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WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

The Modern Girl Yet we retain the nomenclature of " creative transformation." Doing so reminds us that this normative change does not just move us through time, but it transforms us as we become. It transforms the world. The term creative affirms the way in which we are created and self-creating in our change. (pp. 92, Coleman) Like " making a way out of no way," creative transformation offers a new vision that does not come completely out of the past. Creative transformation challenges the oppressive forces of society. In parables Jesus spoke, in women I speak. She will share her wealth, mystery and answers in the life she lives. She is the giver of life, women are changing the world in their sexuality. I have chosen twelve women to be the disciples of the new church. These women are sometimes seen as harlots, and sometimes as saviors, but in the end, they are seen as ordinary women walking The Harlot’s Paradise 33


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

their own journey of liberation, and they share their lives with us in their messages of hope, disappointments and sacrifices, but ultimately, their songs are their gospels of life. Let’s begin the journey of the modern girl, the reconstruction begins. I will argue and agree points in her song, walk and foreshadow the challenges that some of these women will have in their reconstruction approach for salvation as a woman. Lauryn, Fantasia, Beyonce, Mary J., A alilyah, Toni, Mariah, Whitney, Christina, Jennifer, 3LW, Tila, Nivea. These women were chosen to demonstrate the 13 miles journey through the wilderness to find her own liberation within herself in her own sexuality. It is her story in her song that gives birth. Lauryn Hill Lauryn Hill was the lone ranger on the Fugees, the only female, and first female in their boy group. She came on the scene as the young woman showing promise and dreams of independence and fight for her The Harlot’s Paradise 34


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

freedom and respect. She made a huge commitment to walk away from her fame and glory because she was displeased on how her career was forming in the eyes of the public, and so she stepped out of the public industry. Now Lauryn being the woman addressing the issues of spirituality in her sexuality found herself dating Wyclef the leader of the band, then facing complication with her partner and father of her five children, Marley, who never married her because he is still officially married to his wife. She is still in turn having his children, walked away from her career and now presently single because Marley sees her as a spiritual mate. This is the spirituality that we spoke about in our feminist theology that women are catering to the men in their theologies that women are okay with the decisions they make with commitment and union when in fact other women look upon this experience as a domestic case against Lauyrn as independent and vulnerable to The Harlot’s Paradise 35


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

Marley’s oppression, but the question is does she personally see herself as oppressed? In this segment Lauryn has written songs about freedom, spirituality and faithfulness, so her inner woman is seeking, knocking and asking for that paradise of Eden to release her true self, I think no matter what, her sexuality was used to establish her spirituality in the world that most women would see her as a caged bird that sings because of her entanglement with a man that will not give her a public and official title that she is worth the public announcement, but the question does she want that public paper that acknowledges her as his wife? This is a complex issue dealing with independent women in their sexualities and spirituality. Lauyrn has confessed that in her Christianity she believes in Zion, the place where the promise land is offered to her and her family, so with that said, her journey made her come to cross roads to her complexities of understanding, did she conscious create this The Harlot’s Paradise 36


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world with Marley, and her five children through her environment of reflection and love, or did she fall to her lack of examination and fall back to her own expectations of life, love and beauty within her own self? The persuasion piece is that Lauryn Hill is considered in the black communities as one of the modern feminist that explored the independence of sexuality within her music, lifestyle and spirituality within the framework that she was a reflective person that claimed to do internal and external work on her dreams and in that respect she made choices based on this claim, and the world watched her spirituality bloom under a legendary Reggae heritage of the Marley’s. Fantasia Fantasia, Song in, “ Free Yourself,” Fantasia, the A merican Idol, was given the opportunity of the lifetime, to learn how to read. She made a movie about how hard it was to learn how to read, and now her The Harlot’s Paradise 37


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opportunities to be a role model as a black community feminist, she empowers girls to stand up for their voice. Her sexuality was not the norm coming to the forefront with short hair, confessions of rape, and not hiding behind the veils of higher education. This Christian woman who spent her life in the urban church, she was proud to show her sexuality through her spirituality of the Christian doors that dominated by men, with her sleeveless clothes, seductive approach to black love, she announced her album as a single mother fighting for a good man, and I wonder was she fighting for her own self. This album speaks about loneliness, men hunting, and the struggle to be a single mother whose father was the man that raped her. Though her story begins in Hollywood, it is forever developing in her struggle to play roles of a needy woman that address her issues around men approval in sex and spirituality. She continues to battle with the The Harlot’s Paradise 38


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Christian forefront of how she addresses her sexuality on the public viewing, and how much she should sing about relationships with spirituality and obedience to God within the scope of submissiveness, and silencing her voice through her decision making on what projects she should commit to and which ones walk away. A s though her image was based on her sexuality and spirituality, the argument of the matter is the need for her sexuality to be in the forefront with it to expand the opportunities of capital relies whether or not she can be open to sleep with her managers, and those men that provide her with opportunity. Can she move forward and obtain great success as Lauryn Hill without sleeping with those powerful men or will she find herself struggling financially because she wasn’t able to master her sexuality within the patriarchal society that forces her to choose serenity over her body and spirituality?

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She is another woman of color who has confessed to having internal and external work done within her own self to provide a stronger stance in sexuality and spirituality. A ll of the women I have chosen have announced publically their priority of sexuality and spirituality and how it plays an important role in their decision making and opportunities in their professional, personal and global life and communities. Sexuality plays a major role and impact in our culture, society, economy and relationship with males and together as the global community. In our daily lives as females, our spirit and soul becomes the sexuality for the masses and their religion, theology and their engaging demonstration, the male role becomes transformed as we start the process to create a new evidence of analysis of methods, practice and thought progression of spirituality in the woman. Beyonce

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Beyonce, “ Crazy in Love,” Dance, A nd Song Here’s the Texan girl who was raised by her parents to shine. Her father as the manager and mother as the Wardrobe Designer, Beyonce is expressively announced her independence from men in her “ Independence and Scrub, songs” then follow these songs do an album called “ I’ll Cater You,” These ideas of sexuality and spirituality is predominant in her themes because without her sexuality she cannot make the high income she has confessed using her sexuality to play on the “ Big Boys” turf. Her spirituality has been announced as a Christian, and her desire to be her alter ego, Sasha, allows her to be full access to her sexuality without jeopardizing her spirituality in the church. She has found peace with shaking her tail feather in the public eyes without the rejection of her peers by excusing her behavior as having to pay bills, and her performances are not her but a performance and a job. She addresses the issues of her The Harlot’s Paradise 41


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music as art, and dealing with women issues on the fact that some women need men and some women do not need men, but she is the voice and artist that would sensibly address these issues in a way to protect women in their own sexuality and spirituality by giving them a voice and a path to tread on without being rejected and find safety in their own journeys for pasture. Now the persuasion piece is that her sexuality is hers and her spirituality is hers and not her father’s. She has taken her time to express that the husband in her life Jay Z is a feminist and want her to be equal, and with all the decisions she can make on her own, yet the question I would like to address how much is she influenced by these men, her father and her husband. She has made it clear that her mother controls her wardrobe, and she is independent that women can follow her sexuality and spirituality in God because it is not dictated by men and their inferiorities of women, and she is strong The Harlot’s Paradise 42


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within the scope of her design and profound security in self. The masses follow her because of her sexuality and spirituality not the men who are in the hidden scenes. Mary J. Blige Mary J. Blige, Dance, Song, now, “ No More Pain,” make it known that her mind was not in the right state and she had to develop her sexuality and spirituality within the scope of time that allowed her to develop her skills musically and presence on stage. She mentions a harder journey then these previous women that her journey wasn’t all roses of sexuality and spirituality, but addresses the streets of urban life and struggle. Growing up in the Bronx, New York, she wasn’t given the silver spoon, and fed sexuality and spirituality for the foundation of her soul. She had to witness her father beat her mother while he taught her how to sing. A t five she was sexually abused, eleven hit by a car and broke her leg, dropped out of school in the eleventh grade, The Harlot’s Paradise 43


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and at 17 A nita Baker picked her up. She was caught in the growing pains of a woman without her sexuality and spirituality because she was forced to survive before gathering her thoughts, her world. A aliyah A alilyah in, “ Rock the Boat,” is a Brooklyn, New York, talent who became entangled by R. Kelly at the age of 15 with the song, age is just another number. In her belief system, her sexuality became the forefront of her image, well known as “ more than a woman,” that portrayed her as a dynamic force using her womanly powers to rule the world. She would play powerful characters in her last film, Queen of the Damned. She was given honored as the top sexiest women and video era during her short life on earth. Though she did not write any of the songs, she still played a character of sexuality, spirituality and substance that changed the image of black women in the

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media, public and private eyes of women of power. Toni Braxton Toni Braxton in, “ Breathe A gain,” Toni Braxton’s father was a minister of a church who was very strict, and would not allow her to show any skin because it was forbidden. Her first album was based on her coming out exposing her new identity from a church girl to a sexual woman. She lived in a very strict religious household, born in Severn Maryland. She will be remembered by her combination of spirituality, church and sultry. In this theory, I will persuade and argue both sides of the fence that sexuality is the 13 miles of a female’s sexuality eternal journey into her own eternal sexual representation. This cocoon process for her development and transformation can appear as a victimization and weak stance to being “ invisible to being visible,” strong and powerful presence in an environment, economy and in a religion of sexuality and The Harlot’s Paradise 45


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existence in a horizontal hostile world. The woman’s spirituality influences the outcomes of others. Mariah Carey Mariah Carey in, Shake It Off,” demonstrates the need of sexuality of living in your own sexuality as who you need to be. She was born in Huntington, Long Island, New York; she was the daughter of Patricia Carey, Irish descent, famous Opera Singer and vocal coach. She married executive Tommy Mottola, of course, Mottola became controlling and in her divorce she began her ownership of her branding with Butterfly and The Emancipation of Mimi, her journey of sexuality began in her entanglement with one of the leading recording giants controlling her, but when she finally grew in her sexuality like often the butterfly, she transformed into a new woman. Now in ownership of most of her career direction, she play differently using her sexuality and spirituality to tell stories of experience and freedom of how she The Harlot’s Paradise 46


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treat men, and how men should treat her, women. Whitney Houston Whitney Houston in, “ Heartbreak Hotel,” is born in a rough neighborhood Newark New Jersey, she lifted herself out of the poverty lifestyle of the streets into a life of sexuality and spirituality. Her parents John and gospel singer Cissy Houston, gospel singers, she was raised in the Christian church finding herself in the venues of Christ and preaching the gospel in her church choirs until one day, Michael Zager Band' s single " Life' s a Party.” Her mother declined the offers to sing because she wanted her daughter to finish school first. In the Bodyguard, all her mother’s work paid off, this young prodigy lived a successful life. Her marriage to Bobby Brown became her high risk investment on her career, life and future. Therefore these 13 Miles, we must travel before entering our Eden, the eternal youth & immortality of our own sexuality in its The Harlot’s Paradise 47


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forms and diversity whether raw or done in preparation. These issues in the 13 miles run: Family relations & structure of family life as the role of a wife, A bortion as the creator of our children, Contraception as a protector of our inner woman, Sexuality as a free agent of our love and preference, HIV / A ids as our cry for healing for the inner woman, Domestic violence as a need for a fortress to protect our inner empire, Pornography & Sex Work as the working woman searching for independence in her sexuality, Sexual A ssault/ Sexual A buse as the woman under construction in war zone, Transgenderism/ transexuality as a new creature under identification reconstruction, Gay Marriage as a woman performing her own formulation of sexuality, The environment as a woman designing the new world order of sexuality and states of global and universal perspective, Poverty as a woman reaching out to the earth for healing at all levels of life, and finally War, the The Harlot’s Paradise 48


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woman taking back what she owns, the proclamation and declaration of her existence, sexuality and all that was hers from the beginning, the sense that she is home again within herself. The woman’s spirituality enhances life, all living species for she is the “ life giver and giver of life.” Ethical Issues “ A dditionally, socioeconomic dimensions of class and income, with categories of sexual preference and physical ability, layer the complexity of black women' s experiences.” (pp. 5, Mitchem) Self-sacrifice becomes the method of proving self-value as socially defined good ladies, who demonstrate moral character by being for others, with daily life circumscribed with the language of what " responsible girls" do, wear, or say. (pp.9) Christina Milian Christina Milian in, “ Whatever You Want,” born in Jersey City, New Jersey, she The Harlot’s Paradise 49


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was self produced in writing her own songs, demos and sending them out. She was self interested since a young child, not having the class as an issue, she was self determined, and found her opportunities given to her on a silver plate. She changed her last name to her mother’s maiden name in hope to give her better opportunities. She was a feminist in the aspect that she wasn’t raised in the church, but her spirituality was that she could follow her heart, and know that the path would produce the right outcome. Her sexuality landed her many roles on the big screen, and so her life was moved by the fact that her sexuality stemmed her audience to listen to what she had to say in the UK and then US. Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lopez, “ Do It Well,” This powerhouse is the richest Latino A merican recorded according to Forbes and most Hispanic influential according to People Espanola. Having many strong high profile The Harlot’s Paradise 50


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men as lovers who she dated, Ojani Noa, Cris Judd, Sean Combs, Ben A ffleck, and Marc A nthony, made her talk of the town. Born in South Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez, raised in catholic schools all of her academic career, Lopez lived in the theories of the church, spirituality and her sexuality was the presence of these forces. She brought the movie Selena to life in her role of the murdered singer. Now as scientologists, her new faith drives her as a mother and wife to Marc A nthony to produce her own music, recreate herself in her many roles as self-made as an actress, performer and artist. Because of her catholic faith she went back to her first husband, and remarried him, and now as his wife, she continues to build and redefine herself as his equal. What cross must we bare? Males identify with strength, but must females identify with weakness? The argument to this theory is must we bare as females the cross of The Harlot’s Paradise 51


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weakness in order for us to arrive in strength, or are we strong, bearing more strength under the rule of oppression? The woman’s spirituality entails weakness and strength which makes her a dynamic force in the global process. 3LW Church Talk, Women are supposed to be perfect without flaw in their service, sex and sacrifice in order to be accepted. (Prov. 31) 3LW in, “ No More Baby, Baby I’m Do Right by Me,” These girls are reinvented in the third wave feminist undergoing the concepts of sexuality and spirituality is much harder for these ladies to find ownership and their path to freedom. Recreating themselves, two of the girls remade their group into the well known Cheetah Girls giving girl power to the girls on Disney. Unfortunately due to their hardships and challenges in finding their sexuality and spirituality, their place and position in this competitive industry they fall way behind without their sense of power and The Harlot’s Paradise 52


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empowerment doing such a huge work of giving girls their voice back, and return the world is not yet ready for such dynamic girls teaching girls to have an individual voice over men and boys. Tila Nguyen “ My Stripper Friends,” Tila Nguyen Singapore, where her family emigrated from V ietnam after the V ietnam War, she was a high class society girl treated like a princess raised in a boarding school, formulated as a member of a Buddhist community in the States. In high school she began her journey looking for an identity and so joined a gang, involved in recreational drugs, skips school and went to night clubs in Hollywood, best known as the Bi-sexual on MTV , “ A shot of Love with Tila.” She blew up the boards with her racy sexual maturity as a bi-sexual, and most audiences grew to love her sexual implications as a homosexual On December 2, 2008, Tila released a self-help book, Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to The Harlot’s Paradise 53


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Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party. Known for her interests in both women and men, Tila is self-made, as a feminist in her own right; she used her sexuality and spirituality to bridge the gap of homosexuality and heterosexuality within one decade making both worlds approved and acceptable to be part of. “ No Crosses, No Crowns,” may we rest now? The persuasion piece to this theory is the new possibilities of walking away from the process and still achieving sexuality as a female, can be as rewarding as the 13 mile journey that our elders made before us, but can we make it, those that reap their work? Can we have females participants at all levels and accept the diversity as one, the coexistence of that “ woman’s experience” at the end of the day without the wages of war in fellowship breaking bread together? The woman’s spirituality creates unity and inclusive behavior when she is willing to share herself with others. The Harlot’s Paradise 54


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Nivea Nivea in, “ Okay,” Nivea married music producer Terius " The Dream" Nash and in 2005 she gave birth to their daughter and in 2006, twin boys. In December of 2007, she filed for divorce. She was born in A tlanta Georgia. Hosts of Women Christina A guilera in, “ You A re What You A re Beautiful, Keeps Gettin' Better” Critical Thinking: Resolution: Brandy in, “ Right here,” Envogue, Heather Headley, A licia Keys, Missy Elliot, Ciara, Keyshia Coles, and Rihanna in, “ Unfaithful, Trina, Lil Kim Yolanda A dams, Kim Price, Erykah, Badu, A shanti, and “ Rock wit U.” These artists are all women in their own experience making their marks using their sexuality to inform, transform and find economic liberation to live in security, wealth and health, but most men call them sluts, harlots, and sexual objects that cannot find their grounds of authority without taking men The Harlot’s Paradise 55


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down through their sexuality. This is the question most women have, can women move past sexuality to find their own paradise? I wish I could examine all the popular culture women as a paradigm to associate theology and spirituality with the theories of feminism of liberation and perspectives that cause the processes of doing theology in the examination of tradition versus non-tradition aspects of social class, sexual identity, race and church. I wish I could expand this research and do each female experience through the work of feminism theology for spirituality, sexuality and personal identity within the scope of liberation and oppression. I think the reinvention of these women within their sexuality and spirituality, the church and Hollywood allows us to see the cross section they have in their journey from oppression in poverty to liberation for wealth, but as a sex do they still face oppression in paradigms of

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post-colonization and androcentrism in a potential misogyny culture? In their own cross, crown and convictions, they all carry a torch that exemplifies womanhood from girls to women. May their journey meet in the end together of all women coming together in all classes, race, and ethnicities and regardless liberated or oppressed, sit together at the table of Love in new Gardens of Eden that include them as the head and not the tail. My research is incomplete on the many levels I wanted to examine and classify the sexuality of a woman in her spiritual walk whether as a Christian or not using the feminism approach of liberation and oppression in an effort to de-colonize herself through her desire and experience. I did not get a chance to delve into the women rappers, and their experience with changing the voice of women in aggressive expressions for their vagina and sexual appetite. I was not able to develop the arena The Harlot’s Paradise 57


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of the woman as the role of a “ slut, prostitute, and stigmatism of her sexuality when rejected, frowned upon and cast out by the church and state.” There is so many areas I was not able to capture on in this brief caption of women sexuality theme that I wanted to delve into the oppression of poor women that had the voice of being rape, ignored and spent their life as welfare recipients and how they played a role in their own spirituality as members of the Christian church under the authorities of men that keep them in their low positions in occupation, training and education without offering salvation of resources and development. It is unfortunate that the woman’s voice, sexuality and spirituality is so vast, bottomless, and I just skimmed the surface of a topic I would have loved to develop and spend another lifetime of literature and materials around her spirituality and sexuality, her perspective. The story and spirituality of women are in their sexuality, The Harlot’s Paradise 58


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and their stories are mysteries of untold histories of oppression and liberation. Sophia, Isis, Hagar, and Rahab, Ruth, and many more, like these artists, singers, actresses, and Hollywood stars, we have ordinary women who look in their journey, in their faith, hope and love to find the promise land that is promised for them, rest for their souls, burdens that are light and easy. Sexuality and Experiences of Her Own Free Choice “ What we can do for another is the test of powers; what we can suffer is the test of love.” Brooke Foss Westcott “ God' s plan' is often a front for men' s plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil.” Mary Daly I have argued both sides of the fence, and I have presented a persuasion claim that The Harlot’s Paradise 59


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allows my audience to examine the scripture through critical thinking and suspension of evidence and opinion of the spirit and the direction of the spirit. It is not good for men to be alone. It is not good for women to be oppressed. If they are going to share this world together, they must make a new covenant with each other and with their God. They will enter a new journey side by side, two highways stretching with two lanes, carrying unique qualities of their own road to travel, but still as one on common ground that the sexuality of a woman is a life giving spirit, so in her gift to birth a man, she is set free, and a treaty of liberation is therefore enforced forever. She is not bound by the law, and the fruit of the spirit is her liberation, and so there’s not any law in her but the torch of love. Those who are outside of love should make their own trip in their own time, but until then, she holds them accountable for the choices they make not by sexuality, race or religion, but by liberation The Harlot’s Paradise 60


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and love. “ Where the spirit is there’ s liberty and love, the transformation and evolution of crossroads from slavery into liberation.” She has paid her dues, and there is none that can take her place. ~ Holy Spirit (Gal. 5) She will clean her clothes from the fire’s stench and residues, bathe in sweet smelling aromas that soak her ache body from the harsh chains of command. Opening her legs wide to allow water to press inward the pearly gates of redemption, she will transpire her sexuality as well done my faithful daughter, and God will meet her in her chambers of love as who she really is, a woman. She is the Mystery made Known For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 6 She gives no thought to the way of life;

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her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. 7 Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. 8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel,10 lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man' s house.11 A t the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. (Proverbs 5: 3-11) 3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and 4 ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things 5 and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY The Harlot’s Paradise 62


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BA BYLON THE GREA T THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES A ND OF THE A BOMINA TIONS OF 6 THE EA RTH. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. (Rev. 17:3-7) Where’s the promise land for her, who will be her God, her savior, and who will be her salvation? She is the harlot, and she is a member of life. In the Christian faith, the men teach her destruction, so where is her pardon? She is the experiences that are hidden, ignored, rejected, and denied access into what man has called, eternal life, but what is the wisdom in all of these scriptures? “ A nd that all sexism is racialized and often by homogenizing it we miss the peculiar ways sexism is able to reinforce racial privilege for some and sharpen the consequences of racial oppression for others. Racialized sexism, particularly in the form of the specialized sexism that assaults A fricanThe Harlot’s Paradise 63


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A merican women, compounds our own community' s ambivalence about the meaning of being black and female in A merica. This ambivalence is a source of the " multiple jeopardy" that characterizes our experience of oppression. (pp.184, Townscend Gilkes) In the story, theology and system of men, she is weak, inferior, damned and unforgiven left in the pits to burn forever as she weeps and with gnashing of teeth, she is judged for her sins, which brings me to my theology of liberation for the sexuality of the woman’s experience, she is pardoned, by her secret life, existence, and forgiveness is given to her freely, but men will never know because it is a mystery to them, and so she is the mystery of God. Men weren’t given the memo. We are faced with sexism even in the biblical text, and so, a woman’s experience in finding her own paradise will be a journey in the desert-the wilderness, but when she survives that journey, she is more than free, but truly

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free, and the wilderness will be transformed into eternal paradises for all. (1 Cor 2:7, 8) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Is crucial for those who would radiate what it means to be created in the image of God. Human sexuality is what provides men and women with the capacity to enter into relationships with others. Sexuality is that dimension of humanity that urges relationship. Sexuality is a gift from God that, if properly appreciated, helps women and men to be¬ come more fully human by entering into loving relationships. " Sexuality thus expresses God' s intention that we find our authentic humanness in relationship." 3 (pp. 115, Douglas) A s Free, Her liberation will Give all Life Eternally, in the Desert—the Wilderness

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1 John puts it this way: " Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them" (1 John 4:7-8, 16b). Her Sexuality will be loved, honored and cherished by her God, truly and faithfully loved forever. In my theology, she is restored, reconstructed, forgiven, pardoned, and renewed, for she is woman, and in her sexuality, she chooses life, and gives it freely. She will be in her new church around her disciples; her banquet of life will be with her sisters, as partners, she will give liberation. In her authority, she will never again be hidden; a mystery of God, or a curse, for the law has passed away. She has done away with the law of man, slavery and oppression is The Harlot’s Paradise 66


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destroyed. Death has been swallowed up, war is no more, and she has return to the throne, the rightful heir, in her bosom, she chooses life, and those alive will choose to be a life giver. She will not allow her children to die or enslave ever again. In the theology of men, women have played roles of slaves, but in the theology of women, they play roles as part of a egalitarian system and rationale that they participate as equal components under the theology of women. Women will rule them with iron rods of love, beat them with liberation, and enslave them with hope, but she will not back hand them with oppression and death. She will not choose their fate in death, as they had chosen her fate. She is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end and no one after her will taste oppression again. Observe her ways, for it will bring all to life, they will awaken out of their graves, and thank her for taking the journey that men could not take. The Harlot’s Paradise 67


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Text and Black Board Readings A nne M. Clifford in, “ Introducing Feminist Theology” (2001). Musa W. Dube, “ Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible,” 2000. Kwok Pui-lan, “ Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology,” 2005. Sholl, “ Job’s Wife” Symborska, “ Lot’s Wife” poem Desmond Tutu, With Douglas A brams in, “ God Has a Dream: A V ision of Hope for Our Time “ 2004, Oduyoye in, “ Introducing A frican Women’s Theology” 2001 Rochietti in, “ Tamez. Through Her Eyes” 2006 Christine Tse and Jin in “ A Catholic Perspective” Kaylin Haught, Shaw, Lee. “ Women’s V oices Feminist V isions,” 2007.

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Oduyoye in, “ Women’s Word about God” Isherwood in, “ Can a Male Saviour Save Women?” Ritchie in, “ Women and Christology” Lyon in “ Inventing Sin” Seale in, “ Nape” Walker in, “ The Color Purple” Stuart in “ Erotic Theology,” Stuart in “ Queer Theology,” Isherwood in, “ Queering Christ,” V irginia Ramey Mollenkott in, “ Reading the Bible from Low and Outside,” Irene Travis in, “ Love your Mother,” Wilson in, “ Boldly Exercising Our Tribal Gifts,” Sonbol, “ Rethinking Women and Islam” Our Lady of the Lost and Found Kingsolver, “ in the city Ringed with Giants” Cantor, “ Jewish Women’s haggadah” Rosenfeld, “ You take Liith, I’ll Take eve”

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Lilith, “ Challah for the Queen of Heaven” Ruttenberg, “ The Hermeneutics fo Curiosity”

Theologians Coleman, Making a Way Out of No Way, 2008 Fortress Press. Douglas, Kelly Brown, Sexuality and The Black Church, 1999, Orbis Books. Townsend Gilkes, Cheryl, If it wasn’t for the Women, 2001, Orbis Books. Mitchem, Stephanie, Introducing Womanist Theology, 2002, Orbis Books. Townes, Emilie, Embracing the Spirit, 1997, Orbis Books. Hayes, Diana, Hagar’s Daughters, 1995, Paulist Press Women of Hollywood

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Lauyrn Hill, http:/ / www.laurynhill.com/ music.html Witney Houston, http:/ / www.whitneyhouston.com/ Mariah Carey, http:/ / www.chiff.com/ popculture/ mariah-carey.htm Jennifer Lopez, http:/ / www.jenniferlopez.com/ videos Toni Braxton, http:/ / www.tonibraxtonweb.org/ Christina A guilera.com, http:/ / www.christinaaguilera.com/ Nivea, http:/ / video.google.com/ videosearch?sou rceid= navclient& rlz= 1T4IRFA _enUS30 4& q= nivea& um= 1& ie= UTF8& ei= 4ckQSvHFA aL6tQPV 17znCw& s a= X& oi= video_result_group& resnum= 4& ct= title# Tila Nguyen, http:/ / www.tilanguyen.info/ Beyonce, http:/ / www.beyonceonline.com/ us/ home The Harlot’s Paradise 71


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

Mary J. Blige, http:/ / www.mjblige.com/ Christina Milian, http:/ / www.celebritywonder.com/ html/ c hristinamilian.html 3LW, http:/ / www.youtube.com/ watch?v= 663 Qo1cJIFo A alilyah.com Fantasia Monique Barrino, http:/ / www.fantasiabarrinoofficial.com/ Others Brandy in, “ Right Here,” Envogue, Heather Headley, A licia Keys, Missy Elliot, Ciara, Keyshia Coles, Rihanna in, “ Unfaithful, Trina, Lil Kim Yolanda A dams, Kim Price, Erykah, Badu, A shanti, “ Rock wit U.” Extras Tell Me How You Feel?! Keisha L Merchant Searching beneath you The Harlot’s Paradise 72


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

A round you In you Through you I am overwhelmed by the moment We shared The seconds that you touched me It was as though you cared I know that you are moving through time Wishing and washing away all your grimes Hoping that Love would Touch Your Eternal Mind I can' t help but to wonder Ponder Flounder over our existence The difference is I am guessing Testing Caressing Only a reflection So, “ Tell Me How You Feel?!" Term’s Before & A fter Poem Keisha L. Merchant She breathes The Harlot’s Paradise 73


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

She lives She Restores She Resurrects She is She knows She Saves No one is left behind Extras • Historical theology that women have been oppressed by men from the beginning of time, through A dam to Paul and now in our society men are still raised, trained and taught through their men’s’ experiences that they are the head of the woman and covering and through a curse they must submit to their demands whether in love or in rage. • Biblical theology that men are the leaders and ordained by God that they should rule over women because of the curse that women could not stand alone without men leading them in their spirituality, sexuality and otherwise The Harlot’s Paradise 74


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

deceived or mislead therefore weaker than men. The identification and examination that women could be oppressed through the belief of service would keep them in bondage even though they play significant roles in creating men. • Philosophical theology that in philosophy that the judgment on women is to yield and be silence until proven innocent, and worthy of their existence through the approval of men and their authorities. Women are given some authority but only through the privileges and acceptance of their beliefs in being a man or assimilating as a male role to rule alongside men. • Narrative theology creates a story for women voices to shed light as light houses to incarnate a new change and revolution as stories of liberation, expression and equality through the sense of their sexuality and without squirm they The Harlot’s Paradise 75


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

can achieve their womanhood within themselves and others who will let them lead. • Liberation theology is the work of women and men that give women the power and privilege to be equal with men and to set free captives from bondages of spirituality and stratification of their oppressors. Postcolonial theology that women in feminism the first, second and third wave allow women to find liberation in their own experiences and voices through their work they find serenity, security and rest from oppression. • Biblical interpretations’ and interpretators are still use these stories as metaphors to oppress women and keep them out side of the gates of liberation through their unwillingness to change and decolonize the bible from its images of oppression and give way women liberation to equality and stewardship over property and privilege, power and resources. The Harlot’s Paradise 76


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

• Female’s sexuality is the identification (face value) and liberation of the world’s visions, technologies and global issues and religions of warfare and dominance of power and control of oppression. The woman, her spirituality releases the world from its bondage. • First World Perspectives, the beginning of the open spirituality, sexuality in the world of oppression, the work of liberation begins, the new age has arrived. • Two World Perspectives, the diversity of experiences, women begin to collaborate, and unite within their oppression, poverty and isolation to strive for a new future and a new life for their girls. • Third World Perspectives, the melting pot of sacrifice, disease, suffering and cries from the wilderness, the exodus The Harlot’s Paradise 77


WS 595 Research Paper, Keisha L. Merchant

journey of the women are making way through their exiles seeking rest.

The Harlot’s Paradise Research Paper Theology and Spirituality Keisha L. Merchant 495/ 595 June 1, 2009

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