The Holiday Season

So we have arrived, once again, in Christmas Month. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant December. In all seriousness, I love Christmas, but honestly, our attempt to include Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as though that somehow makes the holiday season equal opportunity often feels rather hollow to me. Take a look around—Christmas reigns supreme. Christmas is a Christian holiday. It is often marketed as a secular holiday, but it can’t be entirely divorced from its longtime religious roots. Read more

In Which Sally Goes to School

As many of you know, Sally started kindergarten this fall. I’ve blogged before about my school phobia and some fears surrounding sending my daughter to public school after being homeschooled from kindergarten through high school myself, but most of those hangups dissipated before the time came for me to actually put her on the school bus and send her off to school. Mostly I was just excited for her—and boy was she excited herself! I watched her as she boarded the bus, turning back with excitement to smile and wave. Read more

Male Sexual Entitlement, Again

I have found most of the messages I received about gender and relationships during my conservative evangelical upbringing echoed in mainstream culture. This is likely because both evangelicalism and mainstream culture incorporate older patriarchal assumptions. Sometimes, though, it is extremely disheartening. I had thought that I was leaving these ideas behind for good when I left my evangelical upbringing, but I wasn’t. They’re out here in mainstream culture too. Read more

“He’ll never by the cow when he can get the milk for free”

And of course, there’s also the fact that marriage is no longer a purchase transaction. Marriage is not about a man purchasing a woman. It is about a couple choosing to be life partners. That’s a big difference. A life partnership is not built on the foundation of one person wanting sex and the other holding out until a marriage license is signed. Read more

Help Support the Coalition for Responsible Home Education

The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is holding a fund drive for the month of December. I highly recommend making a donation, if you are able. All donations are tax deductible, and the organization is offering a variety of incentives. Read more

How Not to Teach Children Critical Thinking

It is one thing for a parent to say they are going to teach their children critical thinking and encouraging them to learn about a variety of different ideas, and another thing entirely for them to actually do that. When I hear atheist parents talk about teaching their children critical thinking, I worry that they may unintentionally repeat my parents’ problematic pattern. My parents, after all, talked a good deal about teaching their children to be critical thinkers—it’s just that they had only one possible end point in mind. I would urge other atheist parents not to repeat that mistake. Read more

I Will Not Apologize for Growing Up

This isn’t some sort of equal thing where we both messed up. My parents messed up. Full stop. And yes, I get that people do mess up, and there are a lot of things I’ve let go of as I’ve moved on. I’m not even usually angry with my parents anymore—though anger can be legitimate. I’ve reached a point where I’m mostly just sad. But this isn’t some sort of thing where we both need to admit our faults and forgive each other. I didn’t do anything wrong. I know that sometimes people claim that to get out of responsibility for their actions, but that’s not what I’m doing here. If I had fault here I would admit it, but I don’t. Read more

Memories of My Father

Some of my readers have noticed that I rarely refer to being spanked by my father. To be honest, I actually cannot definitively remember being spanked by my father. As I’ve written before, my father and I were very close up to the point where my beliefs diverged from his. I was his golden girl, is special firstborn daughter. But he had this idea of what I was supposed to be like so firmly in his mind he couldn’t handle it when I started diverging from that. At some point during my college years my relationship with my father ended. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced, but the reason it was so painful was because of everything that had come before. Read more

“I Don’t Want a Girl Shovel!”

I wish the father at the sandbox had at least tried to explain to his son that there is nothing wrong with using a “girl” shovel. His son is getting those messages somewhere, and they need active counteracting, but so far as I saw no such counteracting took place. His father, seeing the shock apparently evident on my face, simply apologized with a “what can I do” kind of shrug. Because, apparently, boys will be boys. Read more

Homeschooling and Race

But enough about me. I’m writing this post to call attention to a Homeschoolers Anonymous series on homeschooling and race. Read more

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