Richard Dawkins and Rape Rape

Frankly, Dawkins doesn’t sound like he knows much more about rape than Todd Akin or any of the other Republican men who commented disastrously on rape in the last election cycle. Instead of pontificating on rape, men like these need to listen to women who have experienced rape, to therapists who work with rape victims, and to activists working to prevent rape and help survivors. This way they might actually learn something rather than putting their feet in their mouth making ignorant and harmful statements on the subject. Read more

Both Children and Parents Are Demanding

Sometimes, when we are on a road trip to visit relatives, we stop at a drive through on the way. Last week was one of those times. Then comes the flurry of passing out fries and figuring out whose shake is whose and everything that goes along with that—straws, napkins, ketchup, the works. Sean was driving and I was passing things every which way, the children and Sean simultaneously putting in bids for their food. I was on sensory overload and feeling frazzled and finally, in exasperation, I called for a ceasefire. Read more

What If My Children Adopted My Parents’ Beliefs?

I suppose that for me, when I talk about tolerance or acceptance, what I’m really talking about the ability to maintain a healthy relationship with someone in spite of differences in belief or life choices. Having a healthy relationship doesn’t mean never disagreeing with someone, or never telling someone when you are concerned for them, but it does mean not treating someone badly or resorting to guilt trips or manipulation when there are disagreements. Read more

“And How Many Daddies?”

I love Sally’s youthful openness and honesty, I truly do. She encounters these things without prior preconceptions and without priorities. She soaks up new information without judgment and integrates it into her understanding of the world. She still has plenty to learn—she didn’t used the correct pronouns for the transgender woman, for instance—but she is open to and interested in learning. Read more

Strong-Willed Child: Where Children Test Limits, Egads!

By Victoria. Yeesh. Um, yes, children test limits. Absolutely. But, newsflash! – it’s not all about you when they do so. Children are natural experimenters. They pull the cat’s tail to see what will happen. They combine milk and Kool-Aid to see what it tastes like. They unroll the toilet paper to see how it works. Limits set by parents simply fall under that experimentation. They aren’t seeing how tough you are, they usually just want to know what will happen. Geez… Read more

Different Choices—Not a Betrayal

Is it normal for people to assume that children will replicate their parents’ life choices? Why can’t we see children as individuals who grow up to make their own choices, some of which may be very different from those of their parents? When people raise children, they are not raising clones. They’re raising little people, individual little people with their own interests and desires. Read more

CTBHHM: It Is Acceptable to God

This is the last of Michael Pearl’s section of Debi’s book. In this section, remember, Debi’s husband Michael is explaining, from the Bible, when there are exceptions from wifely obedience—and when there are not. This section is called “Enduring Suffering Wrongfully,” and it’s really, really bad. Read more

Premarital Sex and Marital Problems

I’ve written a lot about my parents decision to have us children court rather than date. From time to time I’ve seen readers express confusion as to why parents would reject for their children a process that worked for them. The truth is that my parents turned to courtship for my siblings and I because they believed that dating hadn’t worked for them. Read more

Bullying Prevention

The Parent Trap is on Netflix, so I watched it with Sally a few days ago. I enjoy showing her movies I remember watching as a kid myself. As we came to the part where Annie and Haley vandalize each other’s cabins at camp in an escalating cycle of retribution, Sally rendered her judgement. “That’s bullying,” she said. Read more

The Children in the Sandbox

Over the holidays I read a novel by Jodi Picoult. I enjoyed the book, but there was one passage that bugged me. In it a mother acts as narrator, and explains that we’re all supposed to say there is no real difference between boys and girls, but that that is a polite fiction. She says all you have to do is look into any sandbox at any park, and you’ll see the girls preparing food and the boys smashing things with trucks. Except that this is not in fact my experience. Read more

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