Pulling the Victoria’s Secret Dance

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Fundamentalist and conservative evangelical Christianity is weird. Women are taught to dress modestly in public, to stay away from pornography or premarital sex, etc. Prostitutes and strippers are derided, along with everyone who dresses "like a whore" (i.e. less modestly than they're supposed to). But in private, within marriage? Women are expected to perform. They have to somehow go from reserved modesty to being, well, a man's personal supermodel.Take this blog comment, for instance: I … [Read more...]

The Homosexual Deathstyle; or, A Fixation on Gay Sex

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A couple years back, I watched a documentary called For the Bible Tells Me So, which looks at five Christian families with gay or lesbian children. Something one of the mothers said really struck me. She said that after her daughter first came out, and introduced her girlfriend, all she could think about was her daughter and her girlfriend having sex, and how disgusting that was. She said that over time, she was able to make a sort of peace with her daughter because she began to see more than … [Read more...]

Dear Sister: On Your Thirteenth Birthday

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I can't believe you are almost thirteen. I remember holding you in my arms when you were a baby. I remember rocking you, smiling at you, cooing to you. I remember your tiny fingers and your dark, soft hair. I remember dressing you, bathing you, cuddling you close. I was always the first to jump up and volunteer to get you up when that sweet plaintive wail came from your cradle.Thirteen. Wow. You've grown so big, so tall and clever. I know what thirteen means. Dad will take you out to dinner a … [Read more...]

“Displayed in a Partially Unwrapped Condition”

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I recently came upon this from an article by Michael Pearl from a few years back: Most “Christian” young people are “damaged goods.” Church youth groups are hotbeds of immorality. And I am not limiting my evaluation just to those that have copulated. Would you buy a candy bar that had not been eaten, but the wrapper had been partially removed? What if it had not been handled, just displayed in a partially unwrapped condition? Would you buy the candy bar if it had not been eaten, but just licked? … [Read more...]

The Lesson of the 2013 MTV VMAs: Being Sexual While Female Is Worse Than Being Rapey or Racist

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So. Miley Cyrus. It seems she sang a song at the 2013 MTV VMAs.Mostly I've just been watching the multiple conversations going on about Miley's performance. But since the discussion hasn't shown any signs of letting up yet, I thought I'd dip my toe in. But since so much has been said already, I want to do so by highlighting some of the work of others, and also by opening the floor for commenters to post additional articles they thought were particularly thought-provoking---or particularly … [Read more...]

My Brothers Too: Purity Culture and Double Standards

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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...]

Rachel Held Evans: Missing the Mark on Sexual Ethics

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Rachel Held Evans has been a big critic of what I call the "purity culture"---and I think that's great!---but today she's written a post on why people should still wait for marriage to have sex. The problem with the evangelical purity culture, as I see it, isn’t that it teaches saving sex for marriage, but that it equates virginity with sexual wholeness and therefore as something that can be lost or given or taken away in a single moment. Perhaps instead of virginity…or even purity (which ca … [Read more...]


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