Gamergate Comes Home

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I am not and never have been a gamer. My interest in various fandoms (I'm a Whovian) and my friendship with progressive feminist women who do identify as gamers has given me a window into the community, but it has always been as an outsider looking in. As I've followed Gamergate and various controversies over sex and gender in video games and in the wider cosplay community, it has always been with a certain feeling of detachment.And now, here I am.My six-year-old daughter hangs with the … [Read more...]

Steve Is a Man: On Minecraft and Gender

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Like just about every American child between the ages five and fifteen, my daughter Sally is a huge Minecraft aficionado. As I've watched her play, I've found myself bothered by gender issues that should be easy to fix but instead seem ubiquitous in our world today.The default Minecraft character is a man named Steve. Mojang recently added a default female-looking character (Alex), but it took them five years to do so. Five years. And even today, the pocket edition of Minecraft---the one pl … [Read more...]

How We Disagree

Calvin and Susie

In a conversation on an earlier post about my comment policy, one reader said this: I think a huge reason for the anger that you can encounter here is that this place is pretty united by going against beliefs that cause harm. So when there's someone who doesn't agree, people get mad because their beliefs are harming others, so fuck them! They're clearly a horrible person, so we don't give a fuck how we treat them!But I used to believe a lot of those things, and while they were horrible … [Read more...]

Why Does Lily Work Two Jobs while Carl is Unemployed?

Single Mother

I recently read a 2014 article titled For white working-class women, it makes sense to stay single mothers. I found the article fascinating. The authors, both law professors, focus on the story of Lily, a working-class woman who became pregnant and subsequently broke up with her boyfriend, Carl. As they explain, Lily was employed while Carl was not, and Lily found Carl a drain on her finances---a liability she could not afford while raising a child. As she puts it: “I can support myself. I al … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades of Evangelical Justifications for Patriarchy

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While researching my previous blog post on Fifty Shades of Grey, I came upon an article by evangelical blogger Owen Strachan titled How “50 Shades of Grey” Harms Women & Jesus Saves Them. I'm going to deconstruct this blog post piece by piece to really dig into the problems with its logic. I should note that Strachan is not a nobody. He's a professor at Boyce College and president of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood.Let's turn to Strachan's article:We commonly hear toda … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades of Disagreement: Evangelicals and Feminists on Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Abuse

I've avoided discussing Fifty Shades of Grey, but I do feel the need to touch on a specific aspect of the controversy that surrounds the book (and now, the film). Namely, I'm fascinated that feminists and evangelical Christians have been the book's most vocal critics. The two would seem unlikely allies! But then, while both groups have tended to condemn Fifty Shades of Grey as toxic, they aren't truly allies in this, because they oppose the books for completely different reasons. Feminists speak … [Read more...]

What I Love about My Feminist Husband

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When I was a teen, my father told me it would take a special kind of man to make me submit. I was headstrong, you see. I was opinionated and bossy. I sometimes envied those quiet, demure girls to whom submission came naturally. That wasn't me.My father couldn't know, then, that the man I would ultimately marry wouldn't expect me to submit to him. I didn't know, then, that I would reject the entire idea of wifely submission before I walked down the aisle. My life changed a lot in the four … [Read more...]


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