It Starts at Five

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Sally is five years old and will be heading off to kindergarten in the fall. She climbs trees and looks for worms in the dirt and gets bruises on her shins. She's an active and perfectly normal little girl. On a recent visit to my parents' house, Sally showed off a new dress to my mother. This dress, which has a slit up to the knee on one side, has become one of Sally's favorites. Why? Because she says it makes her look like Elsa from the movie Frozen, of course! "Grandma, look at my dress!" … [Read more...]

“Modest Is Hottest” and Girls’ Self-Confidence

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By now, you've probably heard "modest is hottest" thrown around like a mantra. There are "modest is hottest" fashion shows and "modest is hottest" conferences for girls. It's about time I weighed in. Frankly, I'm conflicted. When I was a teen striving to dress modestly, I struggled with body image. I covered my body in baggy clothing. I felt unattractive, and that affected how I carried and viewed myself. So I like the idea that in many churches girls like I was are now being encouraged to … [Read more...]

The Female Body, a Source of Contamination

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I recently came upon a blog post titled "How the Modesty Police Are Hurting My Son," in which blogger Ami writes about trying to teach her son that he is responsible for his own actions even as those around her tell him that girls are responsible for covering up so as to "protect" him. As I looked through the mostly positive comments on her post, I was struck by this one: I think it’s great that you teach your child all these things---and I think it’s great that parents teach their children … [Read more...]

What’s it take to get kicked out of homeschool prom?

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I'm sure you've already read about this, but my friend Hannah Ettinger's sister Clare was recently kicked out of her homeschool prom this past weekend even though her dress met the dress code requirements. Why was she kicked out? Because the homeschool fathers stationed on a balcony above the dance floor determined that her dress would make their sons lust after her and therefore asked the organizers to make her leave. When Hannah posted her sister's story as a guest post Sunday, I doubt … [Read more...]

The Politics of Middle School Leggings Activism

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Somehow I missed Amanda Hess's recent article, Middle-School Girls Picket for the Right to Wear Leggings. It may seem a little thing, but the little things are often also the most achievable. Today Amanda followed up on the issue with another article, Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty. Interviewee Sophie Hastings has only just hit her teens, but I found her amazingly perceptive. First, Sophie explains how she got involved in leggings activism---and why leggings became a … [Read more...]

When “Respect” Involves “Disgust”

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Growing up in a conservative evangelical home, I believed that we were the ones who truly respected women. I believed that our young men---the young men in my homeschooling community---were being raised to treat the women around them, of whatever age, with respect. I was wrong, very, very wrong. A reader recently pointed me to an article on World Net Daily that presents a fictional scenario where an "normal" girl, Jane, is ordered by a judge to leave her public school and be educated in a … [Read more...]

Testosterone: Biblical Patriarchy’s Kryptonite

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Several weeks ago, I talked to my mom about Doug Phillips' affair and the closing of Vision Forum Ministries. My mom talked about how sad that was, and how bad she felt for Doug's wife and children, all of which I'd been expecting. But she didn't stop there, and I hadn't expected her to. "Well," she concluded, shaking her head, "he's male." And she clearly felt that explained it. But I was not content to let that go. "Actually mom, most guys manage to not cheat on their wives," I told … [Read more...]


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