I suspect you've known it for awhile.
I've been giving those charismatic speeches. I touch your arm just so, in that way that doesn't assume too much but which lets you know that I care about you. I look deep into your eyes in ways which insinuate that I, only I, can truly understand you. I started wearing a certain kind of Nike shoes and then told you all to wear them, along with the black sweatsuits. I referred to that spaceship that would soon be visiting. And then I offered you that kool-aid.
The truth, my friends, my followers, my disciples, has come out.
I am a cult leader.
Or at least this is what one of my male students has accused me of being. Or rather, he believes that he is "gettin [sic] somewhat of a sexest [sic] cult vibe from this class." And since I teach this college class, this college class in feminist theology, I assume I must be the cult leader.
I shouldn't take his critique too seriously I suppose, because I am really gettin somewhat of a vibe that he's sort of uncertain of what feminist theology entails. And, he also sleeps through a bulk of my lectures.
But, there is still that niggling voice within me. A voice that says, "Maybe you're not a good teacher. Maybe you're not being fair. Maybe you're too strident. Maybe you're too aggressive. Maybe you're offensive."
And this student ends up, then, representing the very patriarchy I speak against. The patriarchy which insists that when women speak their truth, their theological truth, that they are deemed "cultish," that when women work at empowering themselves they are called "sexist." How well I have swallowed the lessons of the patriarchy, even as I teach my students to question it. How quickly I allow one young privileged white male to batter me back into place with his (misspelled) words.
And how do I raise a son, a white privileged son, to not take his position for granted? How do I teach him to listen to women, to listen to his gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, to listen to those of different colors, and to those of different classes?
I don't want my anger at misogyny to ever be laid at his feet. And I don't want him to be raised, ever, as the enemy. And I don't want my cause to ever be his responsibility.
The truth comes out. And the truth is this: we still live in a world where sexism exists. And our world will be a better place, and our children will be healthier children, if we name it and attempt to deconstruct it. And there is no better time than now.
Now, come here and drink this kool-aid.