biography · thoughts · why not woman · woman story · woman writers

what is the female angle on an equilateral triangle

Lord Peter Wimsey quote
Lord Peter Wimsey’s quote

Was she a feminist? Was she ahead of her time in history? Or was she a mere writer of mysteries? In 1915 Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) became one of the first women to graduate from Oxford University. In 1912, Sayers won a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford where she studied modern languages and medieval literature. She finished with first-class honours in 1915. Women could not be awarded degrees at that time, but Sayers was among the first to receive a degree when the position changed a few years later; in 1920 she graduated as an MA.

Her first major work was “Whose Body?”(1923), in which she created the detective Lord Peter Wimsey, a witty gentleman-scholar who would be featured in later short stories. After the 1930s she focused on theological dramas and books, radio plays and scholarly translations, notably of Dante’s”The Divine Comedy”.

She was primarily known as a crime writer, Dorothy Sayers was not limited to that genre. She was a translator of Dante, playwright, a Christian apologist, and a founder of the classical education movement. She had a passion for careful reasoning and logic, which can be like a cold drink on a hot day to today’s confused post-modern reader. Though her writing is not extremely accessible, it is rewarding, clever, witty and quite funny. She had a way of saying old orthodox truths in fresh ways. She shared a friendship with C.S. Lewis and even attended some meetings of the Socratic Club in Oxford, of which Lewis was the chairman. Her most well known Christian apologetic work is “The Mind of the Maker. Though the language and writing are thick, it is a good read and worth the wading.

Dorothy L Sayers’ great lay contemporaries in the Church of England were T. S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, but none of them wrote a book quite like The Mind of the Maker”. In this crisp, elegant exercise in theology, Sayers illuminates the doctrine of the Trinity by relating it to the process of writing fiction, a process about which she could speak with complete authority. She illustrates her thesis with many examples drawn from her own books, and even illuminates the Christian heresies by analysing certain failures of creation which regularly occur in literature. This marvellous classic describes the creative process in terms of the arts and shows that literature can cast light on theology and vice versa.

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“I am occasionally desired by congenital imbeciles and the editors of magazines to say something about the writing of detective fiction “from the woman’s point of view.” To such demands, one can only say “Go away and don’t be silly. You might as well ask what is the female angle on an equilateral triangle.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. “Well,” said the man, “I shouldn’t have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing.” I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“In reaction against the age-old slogan, “woman is the weaker vessel,” or the still more offensive, “woman is a divine creature,” we have, I think, allowed ourselves to drift into asserting that “a woman is as good as a man,” without always pausing to think what exactly we mean by that. What, I feel, we ought to mean is something so obvious that it is apt to escape attention altogether, viz: (…) that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“Why do you want a letter from me? Why don’t you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don’t you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular ‘experts’ who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don’t you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from?
Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity – God the three in One – yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression “God ordains” is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, “Science demands” is taken as an objective statement of fact?
You would be ashamed to know as little about internal combustion as you know about Christian beliefs.
I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar.
Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I’m giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Don’t bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers
tags: christian-apologetics

(above are quoted from the internet resources)

dorothy L Sayers

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Bible promises · Bible verses · biography · Chrisitan woman · daughter of God · faith walk · family · testimony · why not woman · woman of faith · woman story · woman writers · writing

the richest woman in the world

queen EII
Queen Elizabeth II and her dad King George VI in 1942

Queen E youngShe remains a well-beloved woman of many. The mark of ages has not affected her. A woman of worth with consistency in almost a century of changes and uncertainty.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reflects on Jesus’ central role in her life in a new book ahead of her 90th birthday, calling Christ “the King she serves” in the title.

“I have been — and remain — very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love,” the British monarch writes in the foreword to The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, which is released in April.

“I have indeed seen His faithfulness,” she adds.

Thousands of churches will reportedly be giving away copies of the book, which is being published by HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, according to the Church of England.

“As I’ve been writing this book and talking about it to friends, to family who don’t know Jesus, to my Jewish barber, I’ve been struck how very interested they are to discover more about the Queen’s faith,” said Mark Greene, executive director of LICC, who is the co-author of the book.

“The Queen has served us all her adult life, with amazing consistency of character, concern for others and a clear dependence on Christ. The more I’ve read what she’s written and talked to people who know her, the clearer that is,” he added.

The Star Tribune noted that besides her faith, the queen also talks about the ongoing mass persecution of Christians in the Middle East in her book, which is a subject she has touched upon on a number of occasions.

She highlighted the persecution of Christians in her Christmas address of 2015, which Church observers called the “most Christian message yet” of her 60-plus year reign as monarch.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said at the time that “if people in this country gave greater heed to what the queen says about the importance of Christianity in our personal as well as our national life, then we would be in a better place to confront it.”

He noted that “the queen will also be aware that Christians and others have faced unprecedented persecution over the last year in parts of the Middle East, and could even face extinction.”

HOPE’s Executive Director Roy Crowne said that the book on Elizabeth’s birthday, which is on April 21, will be a chance for Christians “to say thank you to God and to the Queen for her life and example as a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Paul Woolley, deputy chief executive at the Bible Society, added: “In drawing attention to the central role of the Queen’s faith in her life and reign, The Servant Queen will be a unique 90th birthday publication. The book will inform, surprise, entertain and challenge, all at the same time.”

“So to have a monarch who talks openly about Jesus in a very relaxed and natural way, we find that a huge encouragement and hope that Christians across the country will take a leaf out of the queen’s book and learn to talk about Jesus in a natural way with friends, relatives and colleagues so people can discover more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus,” co-author Catherine Butcher, from HOPE, told premier.org.

The Queen writes of her enduring Christian faith and shares a treasured memory of the moment George VI prayed for the nation during the Second World War. The following is an excerpt about the incident:

“At first when war was declared nothing much happened, but within a few months France and Belgium fell to the Germans. The only port from which to evacuate the British Army was Dunkirk where they were trapped against the sea. Our troops were encircled and the German Army was proceeding to their annihilation. The position was so serious it was estimated that perhaps only 20,000 men might be rescued. The whole root, core and brains of the British Army was about to perish. There was no human solution to this crisis; the end of the British way of life had come-or so it appeared.

When it became clear how serious the situation was King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on 26th May. In a national broadcast he instructed the people of the UK to plead for Divine Intervention. Together with members of the Cabinet, the King attended Westminster Abbey whilst literally
millions of people across the British Isles flocked to churches to join in prayer seeking deliverance. Nothing like it had ever been seen before in our country, or indeed in any country, with people queuing to get into churches pleading for help.

What happened next was the most miraculous and timely deliverance ever to occur in the history of our nation with two great phenomena following this National Day of Prayer. The first was a great storm which broke out over the area on the 28th May hindering the murderous work of the German airforce and the second was the great calm which settled on the English Channel the likes of which hadn’t been seen for decades. This calm enabled an armada of boats to rescue no less than 335,000 men! Four years later of course, this deliverance further meant that Britain was able to provide a “launch pad” for the liberation of Europe . If the British Army had been destroyed at Dunkirk the UK would then have been occupied and the liberation of Europe would never have happened.

The violent storm and Channel calm immediately following this Day of Prayer made possible what people began to call “the miracle of Dunkirk”. Sunday 9th June
was appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. There had been no human solution to this national crisis; it had been solved by Divine Intervention alone. There were so many other instances of Divine Assistance at crucial moments in the war that in October 1942 Churchill was moved to comment:

“I sometimes have a feeling of interference. I want to stress that. I have a feeling sometimes that some Guiding Hand has interfered. I have a feeling that we have a Guardian because we have a great Cause and we shall have that Guardian so long as we serve that Cause faithfully”:(quoted from:http://www.ensignmessage.com/shouldremember.html)

A Bible passage about Queen Esther
Esther 4:13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.[a]

Footnotes:

Esther 4:17 Septuagint adds a prayer of Mordecai here.

Bible promises · thoughts · why not woman · woman writers · women writers

woman’s half is beautiful

fifty percent
fifty percent

Why I name this blog fifty percent? From a man’s perspective it means the male population. From a woman’s perspective it means the female population. Similarly, the husband views his half s important, whereas the wife focuses on her half of the marriage relationship. Perhaps it’s not exactly equal half for each to hold. Nonetheless none can claim wholeness without the other in any relationship. Jesus said the two shall become one. A top-heavy situation cannot last. It topples. Likewise, I consider that a healthy, practical, sustainable intimate relationship between two persons only manifests where there is true equality. This means mutual acceptance and respect in words and in deeds. This calls for an acknowledgement of the validity of the other fifty percent and giving her/him an equal value in the equilibrium of life together. This blog aims to take the perspective of the often neglected and demoted fifty percent. Giving the many voiceless a voice. A rightful positioning as God has given to each of His children. Hence, this blog is named “A woman-the Fifty Percent’s Perspective“. I believe this the Creator’s original design for the human race.

Galatians 3:27-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

daughter of God · poetry · thoughts · why not woman · woman writers · women · writing

So, let our lives Be full of dreams

bingxinA few poems quoted at random from Spring Water (published 1923) by Bingxin (Chinese: “Pure in Heart”), a woman poet from China.

Spring Water

1

Water in spring,

It is another year,

And you are still running after the breeze.

May I have a look at

My reflection again?

Water replies gently with thanks:

“My friend,

I have never kept a reflection,

Not even yours.”

2

The four seasons slowly pass by-

Hundreds of flowers whisper to each other:

“We are the small and weak!

So, let our lives

Be full of dreams

And our drinking cups

Sentimental,

For God has already arranged all these!”

3

Young People!

You should be

As still and sober as mountains, if

You can’t float with winds,

The flowing wind-like career

Only belongs to the lives of poets.

6

Poets!

Do not grieve nature.

The picture of “beauty”

Needs to be painted lightly.

52

In the slightly tiring

Deep thought,

The pigeon whistles

Carried on the wind,

Pierce the air for poems.

58

Ice is as quiet as a mountain,

But a mountain is as vivid as flowing water.

How can the poet

Manipulate them like this?

~~~~~~~~

Biography of Bing Xin (1900 – 1999)

Bing Xin was one of the most outstanding modern female writers in China. Originally named Xie Wanying; born in Changle, Fujian Province. Bing Xin was the pioneer of the canon of children’s literature in modern China. Her parents encouraged her to study and write. In 1919, when she was studying in a girl college in Beijing, the event May 4th Movement by the students in Beijing changed her life. and she was in charge of the publicity in the student union. She wrote many related poems, articles, and stories.

In 1919, she published her first piece Two Families under the pen name “Bing Xin”. In 1921, she joined the Literary Research Society. In 1923, she amazed the literary circle with her short poems when they were published in two separate collections, Myriad Stars and Spring Water. In the same year, She went to America to study literature and focused her attention on literary research. She recounted her travels and experiences of her stay abroad in a series of essays, and published them in newspapers in China. These essays caused a national sensation and were later collected and published under the title of Letters to My Little Readers.

In 1926, Bing returned to China after receiving her M.A. degree. She taught at Yanjing University, later at Tsinghua University, and Beijing Women’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 1946, she went to Japan with her husband Wu Wenzao and taught at Tokyo University. She went back to China in 1951. Upon her return, she published a collection of poems, Ode to Cherry Blossoms, and a collection of essays, The Second Batch of Letters to My Little Readers. Apart from writing, Bing Xin also translated a number of foreign literary works. With the reputation “the grandmother of the literary circle” earned through her longevity, she passed away in 1999 at the age of 99.

Love Life

Her love story with Wu Wenzao, a famous sociologist and ethnologist, started in 1923 on a ship that sailed from Shanghai. The ship was bound for the United States, and Bing met Wu when she was searching for the brother of one of her classmates.

In 1929, the two got married while studying in the United States. Together, they became an internationally well-known couple in intellectual circles all over the world, mingling with other literary luminaries such as Virginia Woolf.

Their story was one of those love stories that have captured the hearts and imaginations of the Chinese public for decades. Many of them have been adapted for the big screen as well as for television. In a world where buildings fall, relationships end and economies collapse almost overnight, their tales remind us of the endurance of real love.

(the above are quoted and excerpted from various internet sources)