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...]

What if God cares more about sexism than about how much you masturbate?

This is an image from the Jack Chick tract, "This Was Your Life" (h/t Nathan Redfield)

  "You may think your sins don't hurt anyone...but it hurts GOD." If you grew up in an evangelical or fundamentalist church, there's a good chance you heard this phrase growing up. I know I did. This was the phrase that pastors liked to whip out to counter this "liberal" idea that a sin is something that does harm in the world and hurts other people. In fact, these "don't harm anyone but GOD" sins are the ones evangelical Christians always seemed most concerned with (note: I … [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:” Wrapping Things Up

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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 We've come to the last post in my series about rape and sexual assault in evangelical Christian dating books. Yup, that's right... ...It's time to kiss dating books goodbye.  To sum up, there were four significant findings related to rape and sexual assault in these books: These books create … [Read more...]

Rape Culture: It’s Not Just For Christian Dating Books!

Content Note: Rape Culture As I wrote my You Are Not Your Own series over the past few months, one of the most frequent response I got was, "[Insert thing that is not a Christian dating book here] does this too!" This is true. Rape culture, benevolent sexism, dehumanization, etc. come from sources, often even from sources that aren't explicitly Christian. Because my series was based on a research project I did, it was very focused on one specific thing, and that one specific thing was … [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:” When Metaphors For Sex Sound A Lot Like Like Rape

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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, violent imagery, discussion of colonialism/imperialism We're getting toward the end of my series on rape and sexual assault in evangelical Christian dating books (Dateable, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Real Marriage, and When God Writes Your Love Story). If you need to catch up, you can find older posts here. Here … [Read more...]

A little more on the “selfish wives” that say no.

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I firmly believe in a person's right to say no to marital sex.  Marriage is not a contract that binds a person to sex on-demand. I've made this clear in posts elsewhere (like here and here), and I've discussed this in other settings outside of my blog. Oddly, some people really don't seem to like this idea. In fact, almost every time I suggest that a person has a right to say no to sex, even to their spouse, I get similar responses: "Well if a couple NEVER has sex that's a bad … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Only Selfish Wives Say No

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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, coercion  Note 1: Some of you have noticed that I always link adorable bunnies to Mark Driscoll's name in my blogs. Thought I would remind people that credit for that idea goes to this tumblr conversation! Enjoy the bunnies!  Moving right along on my series on rape and sexual assault in Christian … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” People Belong To Their Partners

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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...]