The mutual problem of Christians and feminists is this: Everyone judges them by their fringe elements. For example, many non-Christians think of hatred of non-Christians as a hallmark of Christianity. And many men and women think that man-hating is pretty much all there is to feminism.

Now, in both cases, there is some truth to this. There are vehemently intolerant, hateful Christians who won't miss any chance to tell you that you're going to hell. And there are extremely reactionary feminists who believe that all men are evil and all sex is rape.

But these are the EXTREMES. Most Christians would be distressed by the man who stands on a street corner on my campus and screams at passersby. They might even tell you he's not really Christian by their own definition, which might include radical concepts such as love thy neighbor. And most feminists are irritated by the ranting women who constantly vilify men for no reason.

Now, in both cases, it seems likely that a lot of these extremists are simply people with unbalanced personalities, who have chosen religion or women's issues as their outlet for their own problems. They are not representatives of their movements. Why does everyone think they are?

Because it's better TV to talk about Bob Jones University than the other end of the spectrum, a Gnostic priest who believes in God the Mother, and especially better than the middle of the spectrum: the woman next door who rescues kittens and champions free speech and goes to church every Sunday. Who wants to hear about that? And we'd much rather hear about women who say English is an enslavement tool of verbal rape-bound men, than the woman who thinks men and women should learn from each other, or the man who thinks women should get equal pay. Yawn.

So you'll only see the colorful, the outrageous, the extreme; when there is really a huge spectrum with most feminists and Christians (and gay people, Muslims, black power advocates, on and on) falling in the MIDDLE.

The point of this is to remember that members of other controversial groups don't want to be judged by their most extreme members any more than you do.