Thank you for reading and responding to this first year of AffirmingGender. I published 100 posts this year. Want to know which made the top ten? Herewith the most visited/read issues in 2017, and plans for 2018.
Bear in mind that the earlier the post in the year, the more heavily weighted, since it has had more time to garner page-views. This may account for why my very first post, I saw it begin at Yale in 1980…, describing the beginning of the breakdown of the gender binary, came in at #6. But keeping that in mind, here were the so-weighted winners. Did you miss any?
The most visited pages, in the thousands, are the main Issue/Book/Speaker pages, of course as they are the hub of the site. After that, two of the most visited posts were two involving Theology of the Body teacher, Christopher West: my introduction of him, #1-Why (in some things) Protestants Need a Catholic Attitude, and his post, #4-The Enfleshment of Ultimate Meaning. I think that is because Christopher has an established following and he directed them to these pieces, maybe during his classes. I am glad for this as I am happy to support his teaching ministry. He really is good.
Setting these aside, the top ten posts, were as follows. I was happy that one of the exegetical pieces was read enough to make it onto the list at #10-In the Old Testament, Are Women Inferior to Men?. Maybe people still do care about what the Bible has to say.
The personal history post, #8-Go Jump In a Lake, was a surprise hit. I guess people could identify with a guy getting rejected. And I think #7-Grudging or Celebrating? Reply to Aimee Byrd, Part I probably made it big because of the number of people who follow the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. I noticed that googling “Andreades enGendered” brings up ACE and the Gospel Coalition reviews of the book right away.
Not surprisingly, movie reviews also populated the top list. The popularity of these posts show the need we all have to engage the rapidly moving culture. At #9-Should You Take Your Children to See Disney’s New Beauty and the Beast? testifies to the dilemma in which many parents now find themselves. At #5, Gender Lack in La La Land, testifies simply to the popularity of that movie, I think. And at #2-The Real Message of the Movie, ‘I am Michael,’ a review of the anti-ex-gay polemical film, for some reason, struck a nerve.
#3 was the rare policy commentary: How SOGI laws are About to Change Your Life. Yes, it is a big issue.
And the big winner was…Transgenderism: #4-Alternative Trans-Stories and #1-Transgender Regret Stories and Where to Hear Them. This gender trouble is what is on a lot of your minds, isn’t it?
As for 2018, what can you expect?
First, as far as The Issue, let me invite you to help define the discussion. I can respond to the popularity of the posts in what I publish but if you have a gender question or topic you’d like to see addressed, don’t hesitate to write and let me know. The point of this site is to serve you.
This year, my personal AffirmingGender goal is more ministry to gender-strugglers. I would like to be available to folks needing pastoral care, or their loved ones, especially in the area of gender dysphoria, cross-dressing, or transgenderism in general. I want to help folks who feel this alienation. To that end, I will be updating the website to give a fourth option, a pathway to people seeking help. My prayer is that AffirmingGender.com can become a place of finding ministry as well as discussion.
On The Speaker front, I will also be speaking at some more conferences and venues this year, so stay tuned. There are two on the calendar so far. You can also expect more guest posts, as we continue to listen to different voices on gender issues and foster community among those addressing it. Finally, God willing, I plan to form a non-profit organization, which will allow the expansion of the ministry through charitable contributions.
Thanks for Affirming with me the reality of, and greatness of, this mysterious thing we call gender!
Any immediate thoughts on what you’d like to see discussed here?
I enjoyed the look back over the posts from 2017. My favorite was “Go Jump in a Lake”. It was fun to see a glimpse of you in your younger days, but also to see some of the same traits in you now. In response to your willingness to entertain questions, here is something I have wondered about. You have talked about what it means for us to be made in God’s image, and that our being made male and female is an important part of that. Yet being male and female isn’t unique to humans, but is found throughout creation, including in plants and flowers. My initial thoughts are that God’s relationship within Himself could also be reflected in other parts of what He has made, and that the human gift of gender goes far beyond just maleness and femaleness, but I would like to know your thoughts.
Happy New Years, Linda! And thank you for your thoughts. Maybe I should go jump in a lake again since people liked it the first time so much. (Actually sometimes I feel like I am jumping in a lake.)
You ask a great question, that touches on a number of points of theology. I’ll answer more fully in an upcoming post, but I would agree with your intuitions about it.