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Gina Messina-Dysert
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Gina Messina, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Religion and Gender Studies at Ursuline College and Co-founder of She earned her doctorate degree at Claremont Graduate University in women's studies and religion and is the author of Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence (Routledge, 2014) and co-editor of Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2014) and the highly acclaimed Faithfully Feminist (White Cloud, 2015). Gina is a widely sought after speaker and has presented across the U.S. at universities, organizations, conferences, and in the national news circuit including appearances on Tavis Smiley and MSNBC. She took to the TEDx Stage to deliver her talk "The New Feminist Revolution in Religion" and has also spoken at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations to discuss matters impacting the lives women around the globe. Gina can be followed on Twitter @FemTheologian and her website can be accessed at

Entries by Gina Messina-Dysert

What's at Stake for College Women in the Upcoming Election

(3) Comments | Posted May 20, 2016 | 12:21 PM


There is much at stake in this year's election for Americans and the global community. We are living in a time where US citizens are feeling particularly vulnerable and have a strong distrust of government. With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the...

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Trumpery in America

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2016 | 9:19 PM


Trump stood in front of an audience in West Palm Beach, Florida following his Super Saturday victories justifying his penis size and boasting about what a "winner" he is. When asked a serious policy question on same sex marriage, Trump refused...

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Kasich Cuts Women

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 4:08 PM


Kasich is cutting women from Ohio's budget. In an attempt to prove himself a conservative and worthy of the title of POTUS, he has taken a step towards joining the ranks of Trump and Cruz using fear and misogyny as primary tactics.


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An Open Letter to Pope Francis

(4) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 10:48 PM


Dear Pope Francis,

As a Cradle Catholic and feminist theologian, the most impactful moment in my faith was the day you were elected pope. I was touched by your humility and commitment to social justice. And although I have struggled with my feminist...

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The Politics of Being a Woman in a "Christian Nation"

(40) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 6:25 PM

The far right is pitting God against women. Mike Huckabee's support for the decision to deny a 10-year-old rape victim an abortion is just another example in a long history that continues this election season.

At Fox News' Republican Presidential debate in Cleveland, Jeb Bush boasted that,...

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Nuns Thrown Under the Bus

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 11:46 PM


Many believed Pope Francis would reverse criticism of U.S. nuns for behavior deemed conflicting with Church teaching; instead however, he reaffirmed the Vatican's reprimand of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and US nuns were "thrown under the bus."


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Radical Grace: U.S. Nuns Honor Vow by Challenging the Vatican

(1) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 11:08 PM

Although the Vatican attempted to rein in American nuns for pushing "radical feminist themes," its efforts have been less than successful.

Recognizing that God works in mysterious ways, Sr. Simone Campbell, Sr. Chris Schenk, and Sr. Jean Hughes saw this "New Inquisition" as an opportunity to highlight the true mission of the Catholic faith. The brilliant and courageous documentary Radical Grace, produced by Rebecca Parrish and Nicole Bernardi-Reis, chronicles their journeys to uphold their vows rather than break under the patriarchal pressure of the Church because "love is blind; but obedience shouldn't be."

Well known for her Democratic National Convention speech and position at NETWORK, Sr. Simone Campbell is front and center in this film. While she states that her pride was hurt by the Vatican's statement, Sr. Simone explains that her pain doesn't come close to the distress endured by the millions suffering in poverty. "How can I let my pride stand in the way of that?  This is about them; this isn't about me." Capitalizing on the newfound notoriety of US Sisters, Sr. Simone seized the opportunity to launch Nuns on the Bus and openly challenge the Paul Ryan budget for its assault on the impoverished.

According to Sr. Jean Hughes, it was her experience in the Dominican Republic that allowed her to hear "the political cries of the poor." Her commitment to working with incarcerated men and women and response to a personal call to "stand up to the Vatican" are featured in Radical Grace. Sr. Jean explains that the Vatican's reprimand excites her because "the things that are important to me are being challenged and people are being asked to respond out loud."  Although she is unsure what that response will be, Sr. Jean welcomes this opportunity for dialogue.

Sr. Chris Schenk, founder of FutureChurch, is highlighted in the documentary for her focus on helping the Church to evolve into a more inclusive institution. She describes being inspired by Caesar Chavez to organize and gives particular attention to the exclusion of women from the priesthood.  According to Sr. Chris, "Our human dignity as females is being violated by our own Church...this is a time to act."

Also making an appearance in this film are Kate Conmy and Erin Saiz Hannah of the Women's Ordination Conference (WOC); both work closely with Sr. Chris in her efforts to expand women's roles in the Church. In response to the Vatican's statement against the LCWR, Conmy's brainchild, The Nun Justice Project, was launched by WOC. Fearless, Kate and Erin work tirelessly to shatter the stained-glass ceiling and boldly speak out calling for nun justice and women's ordination.  

According to Sr. Simone, "the Holy Spirit makes mischief!" and that mischief can be witnessed in this film. Set to be released later this year, Radical Grace is a must...

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Why We Still Need a Feminist Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 4:33 PM

Conservative columnist Phyllis Schlafly's recent anti-feminist comments offer yet another example of the ongoing gendered discrimination perpetrated in our society. While Schlafly argues that the pay gap is a "fallacy," and that it is women's poor choices that account for low wages, she bases her thoughts on sexist...

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