The Answer To Sexual Shame is Not MORE Sexual Shame, Carson T. Clark

[Content Note: Sexual and Spiritual Abuse] When I was 16, I dated an abuser who was constantly coercing me into having sex with him. I had been raised in fundamentalist purity culture, so I thought of sex as something gross and scary. My boyfriend at the time tried to combat those feelings by sending me on guilt trips and by holding me to his manipulative, subjective standards of "responsibility." He'd say things like, "You hugging me turned me on. You're a horrible person if you turn a … [Read more...]

#PlanetCCM: Relient K And Using CCM To Sell Sexism

This the cover of the book "The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind," designed by Margaret Pesek, with photo by Dave Johnson. Found at Christianbook.com

Content Note: Victim Blaming, Body Shaming Dianna E. Anderson is hosting a synchroblog this week about contemporary Christian music (CCM) and how it affected the lives of those who grew up with it. I've already written one post on the subject explaining that, because of my ultra conservative upbringing, I wasn't the world's largest CCM fan. Relient K was one of only two Christian bands that I ever ended up liking (Five Iron Frenzy being the other). I have a special place in my heart for … [Read more...]

The Magical Marriage Switch

This is a picture from Abe and my wedding. I took it.

[Content Note: Marital Sexual Coercion] Purity culture Christians like to think of marriage as  something almost magical. It's like flipping a magical switch where all the rules, standards, and beliefs about reality change. It's as if saying "I do" plummets you into an entirely new universe. Looking at how things change after the flipping of the magical marriage switch reveals some gaping holes in purity culture thinking. One of the most integral moments in my decision to say "screw … [Read more...]

Once Upon a Cheap Hotel Room

Content Note: Brief Mentions of Rape/Sexual Abuse [Disclaimer: This is a story of my personal experience, not a universal prescription for how people should react to sex. Obviously others have different experiences and what not. Those other experiences are valid, but so is mine]  I didn't wait until marriage to have sex. If I'd heard someone admit that when I was younger, I might have gasped. I might have thought, "You didn't wait until marriage? What's wrong with you? How did you ever … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Is Rape Just Another “Sexual Sin?”

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating books Content Note: rape, sexual assault, victim blaming This is the LAST post on the findings of my series on rape and sexual assault in Christian dating books (Dateable, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Real Marriage, andWhen God Writes Your Love Story). I may have a wrap-up post or two after this, but we're coming near to the end! If you are behind and … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Unmarried Women Belong to Their Parents

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating books Trigger Warning for rape, sexual assault Note: this research mainly focused on female rape. Though it is not the focus of my project, male rape is a huge problem as well–1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. I wanted to make it clear that, despite the focus of my study, it is not only women (and definitely not only cisgender women) who face sexual … [Read more...]

I don’t know, why do you tell your daughters to dress modestly?

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Trigger Warning for Modesty Culture B.S. and Benevolent Sexism. Also, I used more swear words than usually because I just can't even. When I read the piece on Christianity Today's women's blog entitled "Why I Tell My Daughters to Dress Modestly," my first response was "Because of benevolent sexism?" I've been talking about benevolent vs. hostile sexism on my blog a lot lately, and how often, people who adhere to benevolent sexist mindsets don't think of themselves as sexists. They look … [Read more...]

From the archives: On privilege and taking the stairs

This post was originally published on February 13, 2013 Many people think we shouldn't talk about privilege. Usually, those people who say we shouldn't talk about privilege have quite a lot of it. But (speaking even as a relatively privileged person), speaking about privilege is important, and I think the concept of privilege is often misunderstood. So, I want to share an illustration that helped me understand the concept a little better. I've based this illustration off of an example of … [Read more...]

Guidelines for a holistic sexual ethic, part 3

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If you haven't read my other two posts on sexual ethics, I suggest you do so to get the full context. The first post can be found here, and the second here. As a reminder, I've been talking about a few basic guidelines that can help people form a holistic sexual ethic. I'm doing this to combat the idea that purity-culture and/or wait-til-marriage Christians have a monopoly on ethical sex, and the idea that waiting until marriage is in itself a holistic sexual ethic. In my last post on this … [Read more...]

Guidelines for a holistic sexual ethic, part 2

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The other day, I talked about how I've noticed over the past few months many Christians talking about "sexual ethics." I mentioned that, even Christians trying to move away from shaming and purity culture often fall into this dichotomy of "marital sex as ethical" vs. "premarital sex as dangerous, objectifying, and trying to avoid consequences." I think sexual ethics are important. I also think they look a little different from person to person. And Idefinitelythink that views which … [Read more...]