“Be a Good Obeying Girl”

When I was a child and my mother would leave me at a friend’s house or with a sitter, there was one thing she always said right before she left. “Be a good obeying girl.”  Of every virtue a child could have, the one my mother prized above all else was obedience. My mother was influenced by Michael Pearl’s book, To Train Up a Child, which stipulated that obedience should be immediate and without question—and with a smile. Partly I... Read more

CTBHHM: From Thievery to Tax Fraud

Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 267—269 Are you ready for another super-confusing section where Debi tries once again to paint a line between when you can disobey your husband and when you must obey, but only succeeds in making things more confusing? Well buckle up, because that’s where we’re headed! Thievery Dear Mrs. Pearl, I have tried very hard to obey God and my husband, but I am afraid I will end up in jail if I keep... Read more

Why I Never Even Considered Becoming an Engineer

A reader named David recently left a number of comments on my post on explaining sexism to my five-year-old daughter Sally. He started out with this comment: If the lack of female achievement in science is due to sexism, and not inborn genetic differences in cognition and preferences, then answer me one question: If the majority of college students in the US are female (60%), then why are the vast majority of mathematics, engineering, and computer science students male? This seems inexplicable... Read more

In Which Sally Learns about Sexism

This year’s Fields Medal went to Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician at Stanford. The Fields Medal is the mathematics equivalent of a Nobel Prize, and this is the first time in its history that it has been awarded to a woman. Someone sent me a link to this story, and told me I should show it to my daughter Sally, with her interest in science. There’s only one problem—Sally doesn’t know that women have yet to achieve equality in the maths... Read more

Educating My White Privilege

I started this post some time ago, but recent events have made me feel that now is the time to finish and post it. Several days ago black teenager Mike Brown was gunned down by police. He was unarmed and had his hands in the air, and still the police officer shot him again, and again, and then left him for dead. I have a lot of privilege. I am white. I was raised in an upper middle class family. I am cisgendered... Read more

The Limits of Science

I love science. I love its potential to improve the world through innovation, and I love using it to learn more about the world around me. The physical world we live in is truly fascinating. But science alone does not give us values or ethical systems. First are the things we value in or find meaningful. Science can tell us the fail rate of various birth control methods, and how STDs are spread and best avoided. It can also tell us the function sex... Read more

There Is More to Christianity than Penal Substitutionary Atonement

I object to the idea that Jesus needed to die on a cross to pay for my sins. For one thing, I object to the way individual sin is conceptualized. Yes, people do unkind and hateful things, but the entire framework of “sin” (and what counts as sin) and the penalty for sin (eternal torture) is fatally flawed. There are much better—and less traumatizing—ways of approaching humanity. For another thing, I object to the idea that an innocent man’s death can in... Read more

Katlyn River, Loved and Grieved: A Story of Late-Term Abortion

A Guest Post The author writes at On the Road to Crunchy Mama I’ve wanted a baby for as long as I can remember. My mom says as a toddler in daycare, when kids’ parents showed up, I’d be the one getting them in their jackets and chivvying them to the door. I started working in the nursery at church with my mom long before I was officially old enough to do so, and had my first babysitting job at 12.... Read more

Strong-Willed Child: Your Child Is a Defective Grocery Store Cart

By Victoria Originally posted on Saving Victoria Strong The Strong-Willed Child, chapter 1, pp. 19-25 We start off this section with a rarity – agreeing with something Dobson says: “I have been watching infants and toddlers during recent years, and have become absolutely convinced that at the moment of birth there exists in children an inborn temperament which will play a role throughout life.” This is true, and since 1978 when this book was published, numerous studies have backed this assertion... Read more

Guest Post: I Am Not Planning on Being a Stay-at-Home Mom (part II)

Originally posted at I Turn and Burn Read part I here In my last post, I left off talking about the decision I made during high school not to have children, even though I knew my decision would be frowned upon by others in my Christian community. When I was in high school, I believed that public school damaged children in irreversible ways. I imagined students having sex and performing drug deals right there in the classrooms with the teachers... Read more
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