The Harlot v. the Godly Woman

How to dress like a ...

I just ran upon this image on facebook. It is from the website Dan's Pulpit, and compares the "Harlot" to the "Godly Woman." Have a look:I was going to get all in depth examining all of the implications and issues involved here, but then I found myself short on time and thought instead I'd hand it over to you all to dissect. So, what do you think? What all is going on with this sort of contrast? If you spent time as an evangelical or fundamentalist, how have you seen this contrast … [Read more...]

My Brothers Too: Purity Culture and Double Standards


Every time purity culture issues come up---purity rings, purity balls, saving your first kiss for the wedding---someone inevitably makes an argument about double standards. Sometimes these commenters are absolutely right---modesty discussions almost without fail involve a double standard---but other times, well, it's not so simple.In the conservative evangelical homeschool circles I ran in as a teen and young adult, boys didn't get a pass on not having sex before marriage. Guys were expected … [Read more...]

“So What Do You Do?”

mother and kids

Several weeks ago I introduced myself to the mother of one of the children at Sally’s preschool. “So what do you do?” I asked her after we exchanged names. We went on to talk about our respective careers, but this exchange brought my mind back to an exchange I had years ago when my mother tried to explain why retirement was being so hard for my grandfather.“The first question men ask after they meet each other is ‘what do you do?’” she told me. “And once they’ve retired, that’s gone.” For women … [Read more...]

Ticking Time Bombs of Atomic Hormones


I've written a lot about my experiences being raised in what I call "the purity culture"---evangelicalism's obsession with the virginity and sexual ignorance of its young, an obsession that manifests itself in purity rings, purity balls, modesty teachings, and the rejection of dating. Some readers have asked what it's like for males growing up in the purity culture, and I've had to say that while I could guess, I honestly didn't know. Most of those speaking out against the purity culture have … [Read more...]

A Mommy and a Daddy: Evangelicals, Antifeminism, and Marriage Equality

two mommies 2

This may sound odd, but I don't think you can fully understand evangelicals' opposition to marriage equality without also understanding their antifeminism.Evangelicals believe that women are inherently more nurturing while men are inherently more aggressive. They believe that God intended the wife to be the heart of the family and home life and the husband to be the protector, provider, and the family's interface with the public sphere. And of course, evangelicals belief that fathers and … [Read more...]

“That Just Means He Likes You”


This image cropped up in my facebook feed today. The issues it discusses are things I've thought about quite a bit, and I think this little story brings together the threads in a fairly powerful way. First the image, and then some discussion.I was reminded of a viral blog post I ran across a year ago, posted on a mommy blog and provocatively called "You Didn't Thank Me for Punching You in the Face." I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child,  coming home and telling their … [Read more...]

“Boys Are Wonderful and Wild and Dirty”—And So Is Sally

11 girl in field

I just came upon this sentence in a comment on a blog post on some other blog out in the blogosphere: Boys are wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and love their mamas and want to be like their daddies. Here's the thing: Sally is wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and loves her mama and wants to be like her daddy.A couple months ago I was at a wedding, and an older woman stopped by me to admire my small son Bobby, who had just started furniture creeping. He had a bruise on his … [Read more...]