“Men Are Strong” and “Women Are Weak”

Boy in Front of Girl

Tennessee Republican Congressman John Duncan explains why he doesn't think his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act is a bad thing: "Every bill is given a motherhood-and-apple-pie title," Duncan said outside the House chamber. "But if you voted [based] on the title, you'd vote for every bill up here. If we'd all done that, the country would have crashed a long time ago."So this is another bill with a motherhood-and-apple-pie title," he added.Passed in 1994 and renewed twice without … [Read more...]

Teenage Boys and Pedophilia: Evangelical Purity Teachings Blur the Line

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Last week I briefly mentioned Debi Pearl's suggestion that working mothers should worry that the babysitters they hire to watch their kids might have their boyfriends over for sex on the job. I pointed out that if you're worried that your babysitter isn't trustworthy, you should find another, and that there are plenty of responsible teenage girls out there. One reader responded with this comment: Geneder essentialism alert! Boys can babysit as well. Yes, yes they can, but not in Debi's world, … [Read more...]

Sometimes People Change Their Minds

Change-your-mind

It's a funny thing that happens, when an atheist says she was once a Christian and then Christians jump up and down saying "no you weren't! you never truly understood Christianity!" I've seen it happen the other way, too, when a Christian says he was once an atheist and then atheists assert that he must not have ever really been an atheist. And it happens with a myriad of other issues too, including abortion, creationism, and feminism.But here's the thing. I believe that people can and do c … [Read more...]

Who Deserves Our Attention? On Outrage Blogging

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Fellow Patheos blogger Chris recently had an interesting post about blogging, the internet, and outrage. A few days ago I stumbled across an article by David Wong titled “5 Ways to Spot a B.S. Political Story in Under 5 Seconds.” One item in particular was uncomfortably familiar: “The Headline Is About a ‘Lawmaker’ Saying Something Stupid”: A low-level politician with no power said something incredibly stupid, and the opposing party is trumpeting it from the mountaintops to make everyone in the … [Read more...]

What about Sex Ed for Younger Children?

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Yesterday I posted a roundup of advice on sex for teenagers, and ideas about how to help teenagers learn about and navigate their sexuality. But as a number of readers pointed out, sex education starts long before the teen years.One reader, AfricaTurtle, posted a comment: I posted a question elsewhere just this week concerning sexuality and younger children (my oldest is 7). Do you have any practical advice/links in this category? I feel really lost because we are always told that this is a … [Read more...]

Let Them Play Sports!

girls-soccer

I am angry. And this is confusing, because I am not usually angry, or at least, not used to being angry at the people I'm angry at and defensive of the people I'm feeling defensive of. It's this. The Virginia Senate Education Committee has narrowly rejected a bill that would allow home-schooled students to play sports at public schools. ... When one home-school advocate complained about not having access to public school sports paid for by his taxes, Sen. Richard Saslaw retorted, "You pay tax … [Read more...]

Who Wants to Talk about Downton Abbey?

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I don't usually do this, but the season 3 finale of Downton Abbey came out last night and everyone seems to be talking about it right now. It's a fascinating show from a historical standpoint, but there's also a lot there to analyze from a gender or class standpoint. There's also a good deal to think about from a religious standpoint (especially Sybil's take on religion and the conflict over whether Tom and Sybil's daughter should be Anglican or Catholic). Since it's one of my favorite shows, … [Read more...]


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