Talking Taboo

Young American Christian Women speak the unspeakable and explore the taboos that still remain in 21st-century churches.
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Steve Scholl
Writing
Ashland, Oregon
United States
4 Team Members

TALKING TABOO: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith

What happens when young, American women speak the unspeakable about our experiences of faith? This collection of essays unearths the taboos.

OUR STORY: We are Erin Lane and Enuma Okoro, and we are ridiculously excited to be working on a new anthology for the I Speak For Myself series. Our book is called Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith and is set to publish in October of 2013 from White Cloud Press. The essays in this collection are bold and fiery enough to start a movement of women getting frank about faith.

As Miley Cyrus (or her SNL impersonator) says, "It's pretty cool."

Our fundraising goal is to raise $14,700 - the equivalent of 1,000 pre-sale copies of the book - in order to get people Talking Taboo all over the country and even the globe. However, if we exceeded this goal, we could provide more interactive opportunities to talk taboo with one another.We could host Talking Taboo regional conferences, make a documentary featuring the voices of our contributors and readers, or launch an oral history project of American Women of faith talking about taboos akin to StoryCorps.

Last year, we were approached by author/editor Zahra Suratwala and CNN Producer Maria Ebrahimji from I Speak For Myself, Inc. about co-editing a collection of essays from 40 American Christian women under the age of 40. Both Zahra and Maria had edited and contributed to the first volume in the series from young, American Muslim women, but their plan was to create women and men's collections for the three main Abrahamic religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Our hope was that these books wouldn't be just books but catalysts for grassroot movements toward increased honesty and humility between people of faith in America. 

We knew a book on the experiences of Christian American women would need to address an area of faith life that hadn't already been covered in the mainstream media. After all, Christians continue to make up three-quarters of the U.S. population, a majority that is reflected in the number of Christian books crowding the shelves of bookstores across America. Our answer became clear: Why don't we just ask the women themselves what experiences of their faith, identity, and gender are still, kind-of, sort-of, or majorly unspeakable?

You won't believe some of the answers we got - like the one on the usefulness  of menstrual blood. Others, you will believe easily - like the one on what happens when the pastor has breasts. 

One of the most rewarding parts of this project was engaging with young women with different affiliations - Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Evangelical, Mennonite, Baptist, Unitarian Universalist and Christian Agnostic, young women with different ethnicities - Mexican, Korean, Italian, Chinese, African, and Anglo, and young women with different perspectives on their gender - both egalitarian and complimentarian, both "straight" and "queer." We sought and selected writers, educators, advocates, artists, pastors, professors, and students, all with a story to share. Sure we have some "big names" who contributed but we also have people who are being published in this collection for the very first time.

But perhaps the coolest part of this book - this whole series, really - is that you get to hear women speak for themselves. This takes the pressure off having to agree with them or even “tolerate” them, and instead you get to bear witness to the people who are living in your neighborhoods, communities, churches, and home. Pour a cup of tea. Pull up a chair. Get to know us. Maybe you'll get to know something of God a little better, too, in the process. 

Other Ways You Can Help

We know that not everyone can contribute money, but that doesn’t mean you can't be a part of our efforts.

Please help us by spreading the word out and making some noise about the Talking Taboo campaign. Send your friends to this page!!

Thanks so much.
Erin and Enuma
Find This Campaign On
$5,204USD
raised by 123 people in 1 month
35% funded
No time left
$14,700 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 15, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $7USD
    Sneak Peak

    Did you know 7 is a divine number in the Bible? While we can't promise divine favor, we can give you a SNEAK PREVIEW of the book on the White Cloud Press website. We'll also send you an email with our gratitude for your kindness.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $20USD
    What the Frank?

    You are like a virtual mid-wife. We would like to reward you with a COPY OF THE BOOK as soon as it comes off the press and a downloadable "WHAT THE FRANK?" badge you can feature on you blog or website as a sign of your commitment to talk (and write) taboo. The more visible the badge the more our movement grows. You will also receive the benefits from the level above.

    80 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $58USD
    Three Pack Book Level!

    You must have the influence of Esther, that stunning woman of faith who started a movement of her own and saved her people! In return for your generosity, you will receive not one, not two, but THREE COPIES OF THE BOOK to pass around to those closest to you. You will also receive the benefits from the level above.

    15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $99USD
    We salute you!

    Isn't 99 about how crazy-old our biblical matriarch Sarah was when she gave birth? You deserve some respect. We want to ACKNOWLEDGE YOU IN THE BOOK as part of the cloud of witnesses that goes before us. You will also receive the benefits from the level above.

    13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $175USD
    Pay It Forward!

    You must have the commitment of Ruth. Thank you for believing in our project. We want to pay your generosity forward by DONATING FIVE COPIES OF THE BOOK to a church, public library, prison, or women's center of your choice. You will also receive the benefits from the level above.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $499USD
    Let's Talk Taboo Live!

    Do we want to talk taboo with you! At this level, Erin and Enuma will participate in a 45 minute INTERACTIVE VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL with you, your church, community, or book group where we'll answer your questions about the anthology and offer strategies for talking taboo in your neighborhood. You will also be acknowledged in the book and receive one autographed pre-release copy.

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $999USD
    Come to the Launch Party!

    In the spirit of Wisdom (or Sophia), you have chosen well. We are so floored by your support that we must meet you in person. In addition to "all of the above" benefits, you are invited to a SPECIAL LAUNCH EVENT IN DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA FOR THE BOOK RELEASE. You cover the transportation and we'll cover housing, food, and event fees. Be there when our Talking Taboo movement officially lifts off. You will also be acknowledged in the book and receive one autographed pre-release copy.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $1,999USD
    Meet the Authors

    You are a modern day saint. We must meet. In awe and gratitude, Erin and Enuma will travel to you for AN IN-PERSON, DAY-LONG CONVERSATION on how to make safe space for sacred conversations. Transportation not included. Limited to one donor, on a first come, first serve basis. You will also be acknowledged in the book and receive one autographed pre-release copy.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
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