12 reasons to be happy

Let’s ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive and take a look at reasons to celebrate.

1. The FCC’s new rules requiring TV commercials to quiet down are now in effect. “This might very well be the only thing Congress did in the entire year of 2011 to improve our lives.”

2. Koran-burning “pastor” Terry Jones vs. The Beatles. No contest. Singing is good in such situations. It works, even if you don’t quite know the words.

3. A follow-up on my favorite pic from marriage equality in Washington State. These guys clean-up pretty good.

4. Frank James owns a pawn shop in Seminole, Fla., where he used to sell a lot of guns. But not anymore.

5. Leah Libresco shares “Three Stories of Forgiveness.”

6. Elizabeth Esther lists “Seven Gifts of Fundamentalism” — things she’s grateful for, despite the “harmful elements” of her religious past. I’ll second No. 2 on her list in particular — an intimate and broad familiarity with the Bible. Esther calls this “biblical literacy.” I think that’s probably overly generous, since literacy entails being able to see the forest and not just the trees, and fundies aren’t even aware that there is a forest. But I am grateful to them for encouraging me to develop an encyclopedic knowledge of the trees.

7. Some much-deserved praise and recognition for Balpreet Khaur and Glenn Stassen. People like them are liable to start giving religion a good name.

8. So are the 260 clergy in Illinois who recently signed a letter calling for marriage equality.

9. Juan Cole shares another encouraging story from the often-discouraging world of religion: “Muslims of Liberated Saraqeb, Syria, put up Christmas Tree for Local Christians.”

10. Some hints of signs of possible indications of good news about a decline in the death penalty in the US, from Amnesty International:

In 2012, death sentences and executions maintained their historically low levels, and only nine states actually carried out an execution. In fact, the majority of U.S. states have not carried out an execution in the last five years.

11. Check out the Mine Kafon, designed by Massoud Hassani based on toys he made as a child in Afghanistan. This wind-powered whatchamacallit can find and safely detonate landmines at a fraction of the usual cost.

12. A researcher has developed a new “cheap, easy and highly accurate paper sensor for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.” Pretty awesome. Oh, and by the way, this researcher, Jack Andraka, is 15 years old.

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  • EllieMurasaki

    SCIENCE FAIR WOOT

  • flat

    Holy shit that boy got brains.

  • Lori

    Plus he has something that’s at least as useful as flat out brains—a family that encourages and normalizes inquiry. Go Team Andraka!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Nice, re: Pancreatic cancer detector :)

    Also, the landmine destroyer sounds like a good device for any group of people who can’t afford a specialized mine-destroyer like the kind used by the US military. (it’s basically a big reinforced metal tank with front feelers to trick mines into exploding against its shell, which withstands the impact)

  • http://twitter.com/Didaktylos Paul Hantusch

    … and it’s an infinite improvement on the standard Third-World low-tech landmine clearance methodology (22 lids and a ball).

  • Nirrti

    The Quran-burning preacher was stupid enough to think he could take his hate to NYC, the most multi-cultural place on earth? He better be glad all he got was a Beatles’ song. If the crowd had been in a different mode, that joker would’ve took inspiration from that other Beatles tune, “Help!”.

    And Re: the two guys in Seattle getting married: Awwwwwwe

  • SisterCoyote

     I think it was Jon Stewart who pointed out once that the whole country loves to rally around 9/11 as a reason to be blindly, ragingly nationalistic, and they’ll go to New York to talk about the heart of America – but in fact, New York is kind of the opposite of their America, The Real America.

  • WalterC

     It almost worked before. I was still living in NYC when a whole bunch of people (mostly, in my experience, people from out of state) swooped in like a plague of locusts to shriek about the “Ground Zero Mosque”. They were repelled, but still, they managed to get a lot of media attention for their mini-Crusade against the Saracens…

  • syfr

     I grew up in NYC, and I still get all ragey about the assholes who called it a Sodom turning around on September 11, 2001, and being all like, “I am in pain!!!11!!”

  • cjmr

    Unfortunately, the amazing 15yo inventor is being told, “It’ll take 10 years to bring this to market.”

    Why?

    Because America has the best medical system in the world!  [/sarcasm]

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah, same thing happened with John Kanzius, who developed a method of treating cancer which had some extremely promising results (100% success rate with only superficial damage to cells immediately near the treatment site and no side-effects otherwise). He made a test model in 2005, was approved for “preliminary research” in 2007, and at last notice the researchers had gotten around to turning the  machine on and looking at it a bit in 2010.

    And he died in 2009. Of cancer.

  • banancat

    I wasn’t a fan of Elizabeth Esther’s list of gifts of fundamentalism. It seems like she still has some sexual hangups and still buys into the myth that people outside of fundamentalism are somehow unwelcoming of life. I also think she and I have far different definitions of hospitality because I don’t think it deserves a back pat when you only do it for your ingroup.

  • Lliira

    Her #4 is something I see as a horrible, vile curse, not a blessing.

    I am deeply thankful for all the sex I had before I got married. I had amazing connections with wonderful men. Also: great sex. The idea that it was something lesser simply because I had it with more than one person is utterly repugnant, nauseating, and vile. Besides being insulting, it is both factually and morally incorrect.

    “Yes, a no-divorce culture had its downsides (ie. women in abusive marriages had a tough time getting out).” Anyone who puts women being trapped in an abusive marriage in parentheses as some kind of side issue needs to seriously re-evaluate their worldview. Because it is wrong, and they are wrong. Deeply, horribly, scarily wrong.

    #6 is deeply insulting. Like Fundamentalists are the only people who value hard work? That’s not a religious, national, racial, or gender trait. That is a trait of any human beings who were not born into wealth. Period.

    #7 is also deeply insulting. And she shows that she’s still prone to believe ridiculous things. First, fundamentalists have no more self-control than anyone else, and I would argue they have significantly less. When you cannot do anything, everything looks the same, and so rape looks the same as masturbation. Plus fundamentalist cultures encourage rape.
     
    #7 is also just plain foolish. I learned time management in college. It does not require religion. It most certainly does not require misogyny, sex-hating, no-divorce, pumping-out-babies, we’re-better-than-everyone bullshit.

    Just… this woman disgusts me. She is a prime example of someone who thinks she deserves backpats for not being as-bad. She does not deserve them. She still needs serious help, and I worry for her children, particularly any female children she has.

    I expected happiness and got slapped in the face by someone who insulted me instead. Thanks a whole lot, Fred.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    Like Fundamentalists are the only people who value hard work?

    And they’re the only ones who value having babies.  And they invented hospitality.  Sheesh!

    Obviously, a sense of perspective isn’t one of the gifts of fundamentalism.  I don’t see how her post is a reason to be happy.  We could have had this instead.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Thanks for the link, Sue. The lion pic in particular cracked me up.

    But at the bottom of the page was an ad for “Christian Mingle”, promising to find God’s match for me (which is apparently a trademarked promise). Judging from the picture, I’m pretty freaked out about the possibility that God’s match for me is a woman who looks like Barbie. So plastic I can’t cope…why God, why?

  • AnonymousSam

    The television commercials are even worse. They make it sound like God really really wants you to find your soul mate, but just can’t make it happen until you visit their website.

    God is computer illiterate, apparently.

  • Isabel C.

    Yep, exactly.
    Also? The first guy I slept with was *exactly* the guy I should have slept with when I was seventeen and a virgin–and in no way the guy I should be sleeping with now. People’s needs, desires, and tastes change with time; while some people marry their high school sweethearts and are happy and monogamous for sixty-five years (my grandparents) (as far as I know) that doesn’t work for a lot of people.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The first guy I slept with was *exactly* the guy I should have slept with when I was seventeen and a virgin–and in no way the guy I should be sleeping with now.

    Exactly my experience. (Though I was 18.) 

    The one regret I have regarding sex with a guy is that I did not have sex with a certain wonderful, gorgeous guy I could have had sex with, because I had yet to get rid of my hang-up about wanting to be in a committed relationship first and I did not want to be in a committed relationship with him. It would have been amazing. 

  • Isabel C.

    I hear you. I was never so much into the committed relationships, but while there’s nobody I regret sleeping with–even the ones who were “meh” make great stories ten years later–there are quite a few guys I regret not fucking when I had the chance, or might have had the chance. Damn my adolescent awkwardness!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Lordy McLord, do I hear you on the reticence thing.

    They say youth is wasted on the young, and there are times when I certainly think mine was. :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    Thank you. I remember feeling…let’s say “excluded” when I read her list as well (although I couldn’t quite vocalize why), and it’s nice to know I’m no the only one.

  • banancat

    Thanks for explaining that more clearly than I did. The whole thing came off as very condescending and seems like she left almost nothing of the lifestyle behind when she left. I tried to be generous and vague it as her meaning that you can get those good traits of hard work and self control in multiple ways and fundamentalism is just how and personally got them, but I really can’t overlook the shut shaming, especially when it is prioritized over stopping abuse.

  • Jim Roberts

    Agreed. #4 is just a deeply flawed argument from conclusion. I’m glad to see that she got #5 – hospitality – from her fundamentalist background, though. I honestly think part of the problem with a lot of right-wing fundamentalism is that hospitality is not taught as a laudable thing. It’s easy to hate an Other you never meet, but when you have a pastor telling you, “bring these people into your home,” it’s difficult to sustain. My local church, which is still pretty conservative, has recently taken a very strong pro-hospitality stance, and it’s been remarkable how few conversations I’ve had about the evil of the Other since that began.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Re number 10–I guess it’s nice that the majority of US states haven’t committed judicial murder in the last 5 years, but it’s kind of a low bar for things to be happy about. Most of my family members haven’t been robbed in the past 5 years which is an improvement, but still…
     
    Texas executed 15 people in 2012, btw, including a man with an IQ of 61 and another who had been brain damaged since before birth due to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. The governor of Texas has no right to call himself pro-life.

    Arizona also executed a man diagnosed with mental retardation this year. In hilarious irony, the state paid for his quintuple bypass operation three months before killing him.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Number 12 is brilliant, though. Thanks for sharing it; I’ve passed it on.

  • ReverendRef

    Re: the Illinois clergy signing that letter — I saw that in the NYT when it came out.  One of the priests quoted, Kara Wagner-Sherer, was in the class ahead of me at seminary.  She’s a good gal with a surprisingly Jon Stewart-ish sense of humor.   She and her family also have the honor of being the only people to get locked INSIDE of their apartment on campus.

    Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute said, “Their views are informed not by careful exegesis, but by personal desire and political convictions.

    Um . . . I could say the same thing about her and the IFI et al.  First, you can’t tell me that all of those christian hate groups are not driven by personal desire to remain the dominant cultural force; nor can you tell me that their agenda is not driven by political convictions to see that their personal desires become/remain the law of the land ensconced through political activism.  (Did all that make sense?)

    Second, and more importantly, how DARE she say that my view/position is not informed by careful exegesis.  When I went to seminary I was decidedly right of center (and the above mentioned Kara Wagner-Sherer wrote an anonymous article about the “last remaining white conservative male at seminary”).  By the time I graduated, I had shifted left.  This was due in no small part to my study of scripture, listening to other interpretations, debating, thinking, writing and having multiple conversations with gay classmates and professors.

    I would wager that the pro-equality clergy of Illinois have done much more exegesis and study than their conservative, anti-equality counterparts.  This is do to one very important point:  If we are going to move to allow SSM after umpteen years of only allowing DSM (Different Sex Marriage), then those of us pushing for the change must do the exegetical work of explaining and upholding the change.

    That is much harder to do than to simply say, “It’s not allowed because we’ve never done it that way before.”

  • Jessica_R

    Yeah instead of the L’eau du Smug of that list, I posit something like this instead, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/25/jack-klugmans-secret-lifesaving-legacy/

  • Michael Pullmann

    Someone should nominate that kid for a Nobel Prize.

  • Jim Roberts

    See, I’m getting absolutely no vibe of, “Only fundamentalism could’ve taught me these things,” from what she’s saying. Nevertheless, they are things that fundamentalism CAN teach, and have been taught to me as well. I do agree that number 4 is exclusionary at best, though. Still, given that I know I’m not done learning, I’m comfortable assuming the same about her.

  • banancat

    She’s not done learning but that’s no excuse for her horrible views. Judging by your username, I assume you are male. And because of this, a lot of her points don’t apply to you as much. You are less likely to be the victim of domestic abuse and you are less likely to face slut shaming. You are unlikely to ever need an abortion and in the hypothetical that you were half of a young het married couple who wanted to delay having children, you would likely face less pressure and judgment about it than your female partner.

    You are less likely to be accused of being unwelcoming of life. You are less likely to be accused of not treating sex as “sacred” and less likely to face shaming when you truly don’t believe that sex is sacred. You are less likely to have a hard time getting out of a marriage where your partner is abusing you.

    I know you’re a thoughtful commenter here and I hope that you will see my comment as something to think about and not just a mean hand-slap. But some of us don’t have the privilege to be so patient with this person. While she is still learning, she’s also contributing to cultural narratives that are harmful to me.

  • Jim Roberts

    Reading what I wrote, I can see how you’d see it as my criticizing people who, as you say, “don’t have the privilege to be so patient with this person.” I get that, and I’m sorry if came across as defending her. I have to be patient for her because to do otherwise would be hypocritical – without people who were patient with me, I’d be vigorously defending her as a courageous free-thinker and not regarding her as someone still seeing through a glass rather darkly.

    There is no one approach that can fix the problem of a church fixated more on appearing righteous than on being righteous. It will take voices within and without, and speaking in different tones, to effect the changes that need to happen. I respect you (and, in case it need be said, Lliira and the rest of the pro-feminist community at Slacktivist) for what you say and do.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The comment I left on the “12 good things about Fundie-dom” article: “Wait, you think that having kids before you’re ready to raise them is a good thing?

    And women having a somewhat easy out of abusive marriages is a bad thing?
    But you didn’t have sex before you got an arbitrary piece of paper, so you’re good morally.
    I don’t even…”

    This lady is either severely twisted or…Or…I don’t know. But she’s NOT a good person to listen to for advice. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    Thank you. Please see my previous comment to Lliira

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    But she’s NOT a good person to listen to for advice.

    Most definitely. Personally, I would stop after “she’s not a good person.”

    She might be someday, but anyone might be someday. Good people can also become bad people. Who knows. Right now, she is still a bad person. She’s self-hating, and she’s making a lot of excuses for things she didn’t choose, and that’s sad, but she gets no points for inspiring pity. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Fred? I was thinking I was going to get happy times from an article you linked promising happy times, and instead I got slut-shamed and degraded. Instead I got someone treating domestic abuse as a side issue.

    This is seriously not okay to do to your readers. I know you want to encourage certain things, and that you have more hope for certain people than I do, and that’s fine. But doing it in a way that is harmful to many of your readers is not okay.

    You have posted in vigorous defense of trigger warnings. I generally go into online links expecting awful stuff. But when someone I trust posts “yay happy!” about a link, I expect yay happy. I was not prepared to be degraded, demeaned, and insulted. What you did was an anti-trigger warning. You said “here be kittens” and instead it was “here be a woman who thinks the same things as those street preachers who scream you’re a slut”. 

    Since you have not acknowledged this, you are giving me two choices. Either I can brace myself for being horribly degraded every time you post any kind of link, including the ones you say are happy, or I stop following any links you post. Which means I no longer trust you. 

  • Liralen

    This issue made me think of a passage from Frank Herbert’s “The Dosadi Experiment”, which is a science fiction where an illegal experiment was conducted that placed millions of people on a very small plot of safe land on a poisonous planet.  Conditions were harsh and the death rate unthinkably huge – only the most ruthless survived.  The passage is as follows:

    “But she did not really consider herself an angel or her weapon a sword.  Her real weapon was an intellect hardened and sharpened by the terrible decisions her planet required.  Emotions were a force to be diverted within the self or to be used against anyone who had failed to learn what Dosadi taught.  She knew her own weakness and hid it carefully:  she’d been taught by loving parents (who’d concealed their love behind exquisite cruelty) that Dosadi’s decisions were indeed terrible.”

    In a later scene, when Jedrik encounters a man from the outside universe (who was a special agent sent to investigate the Dosadi atrocity):

    “He recounted a few of the love stories he knew, fighting all the while to stay awake.  It was difficult to stifle the gaping yawns.  She kept punching his shoulder.”I don’t believe it.  You’re making this up.””No . . . no.  It’s true.””You have women of your own there?””Women of my . . .  Well, it’s not like that, not ownership . . . ahhh, not possession.””What about children?””What about them?””How’re they treated, educated?”He sighed, sketched in some details from his own childhood.After a while she let him go to sleep.  He awakened several times during the night, conscious of the strange room and bed, of Jedrik breathing softly beside him.  Once, he thought he felt her shoulders shaking with repressed sobs.”

  • Jessica_R

    Yup, another voice for the “I’m more ashamed/upset by the times I *didn’t* go for getting laid” crowd. 

  • Launcifer

    Weirdly, I was in a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness a few days ago (fifth or sixth time they’ve been back: I think the poor blighter reckons he can grind me down or something) and, at some point, he asked me what one thing I’d tell teenage me from ten years ago. My response to him was a specific instance of this. The conversation got strange after that.

  • Jim Roberts

    I don’t mean to trigger anyone here, and my apologies if I don’t, but those who say they miss the times they didn’t have sex with other people think that it’s possible for someone to sincerely believe that they have a better relationship with their SO specifically because they didn’t have sex with other people, without judging others? I’m honestly curious because, as a personal fan of my monogamous relationship (not my first, but the only one I have no regrets over), I’ll admit that at times I feel like I’ll be accused of accusing others of being slatterns just by being vocally monogamous.

  • Lori

     

    but those who say they miss the times they didn’t have sex with other
    people think that it’s possible for someone to sincerely believe that
    they have a better relationship with their SO specifically because they
    didn’t have sex with other people, without judging others?   

    I absolutely think it’s possible. IME it isn’t common, but it’s possible. “This is true for me and that has nothing to do with what is or is not true for you” is a tricky position for a lot of people to hold. In fact Id say everyone struggles with it at least some of the time.

    IME those most likely to believe that their relationship is better because they never had sex with anyone else  tend to have more difficulty with it than most, because they’re more likely to be fundamentalists of one sort or another and fundamentalism by definition doesn’t have much room for “to each their own”.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for the last twenty years, in an extremely poly-friendly social environment, so this comes up a lot.

    My usual approach to this is “Yeah, I’m just not that sociable. When I go through insular phases, I barely can manage to be present enough in my relationship to give one partner the attention he deserves; I have no desire to try to split that among several partners.” Which is true, and does a decent job of signaling my lack of moral condemnation.

    This is a special case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

  • Lori

    “Yeah, I’m just not that sociable. When I go through insular phases, I
    barely can manage to be present enough in my relationship to give one partner the attention he deserves; I have no desire to try to split that among several partners.”  

    This is one of several reasons that I am not poly and tend toward scoffing annoyance at those folks who try to prove how sophisticated they are by announcing that deep down everyone is naturally poly and monogamy is strictly the result of the constraints of artificial morality or whatever.

    There is no way I could manage to do decent relationship maintenance with more than one person at a time and I also don’t have the kind of energy needed for having multiple, non-committed relationships. I don’t get out enough or meet enough people for that, for one thing. I know that there are poly introverts, but on a personal level I just don’t get it. I don’t judge it, but I don’t get it.

  • banancat

    It makes me sad to find out that some poly people really think everyone should be poly. I’m not officially poly, but still non-standard. I prefer to have an open relationship with one main partner (possibly two in theory) and a couple of sex partners that I am less close to, sort of parallel to friendships where I have one best friend and several other friends of varying closeness. But I have always considered myself a sexual minority and most of the monogamous people I know are happy with it. But even if monogamy were rare, it’s still perfectly fine to practice it and I would think poly people would be the first to understand how important it is to not pressure others about their sex lives. I guess it just an example of no group being immune from presumptuous people.

  • Lori

     

    But even if monogamy were rare, it’s still perfectly fine to practice it
    and I would think poly people would be the first to understand how
    important it is to not pressure others about their sex lives. I guess it
    just an example of no group being immune from presumptuous people.  

    I think the people I’ve heard say that sort of thing fall into two categories. One group was basically being defensive–“I’m not the unnatural weirdo, you are.” I understand feeling that way, even if I think the response is 100% wrong both factually and on principle. The other group was, as I said, trying to appear More Sophisticated And Worldly Than Thou, which is just pathetic. I find both of those things annoying, but can’t work up more than annoyance over them.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I’ve also run into people who are More Sophisticated And Worldly Than Thou about being bisexual. Claiming they were deeper than monosexual people, and that they were attracted to the ~true person~ and not the ~superficial casing~. Yeah, I understand feeling the need to defend yourself when there are assholes like Dan Savage in the world claiming you don’t exist, but doing it like that isn’t gonna get you anywhere.

    It also occasionally crops up among people into BDSM. No, people who do not like spanking (for instance) do not necessarily have boring sex lives or closed minds. They just do not find spanking a turn-on. It’s basically “I’m rubber and you’re glue”, and while it’s not nearly as prevalent or harmful as people not into BDSM calling those who are abusers and/or abused, it’s still extremely irritating.

  • Lori

    When it comes to people’s reactions BDSM is all too often just a world of FAIL. Vanilla is not synonymous with boring. Consent is a thing and it makes a difference. These should not be difficult concepts and yet they apparently are.

    My list of reasons that the huge popularity of 50 Shades gives me an eye twitch, let me show you it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I would like to direct you to http://archiveofourown.org/collections/yuletide2012/works/608134 “Three Shades of Steele”, a 50 Shades fanfic that fixes it. Canon knowledge not, as long as you’ve heard somebody ranting about the books, required, but it’s eleven thousand words so make sure you’ve got enough time to read before you start.

  • WalterC

    I would like to direct you to http://archiveofourown.org/col… “Three Shades of Steele”,

    Three shades of Steele? How revolting!

  • Beroli

     The heroine of Fifty Shades of Grey is named Anastatia Steele.

    Of all the things to object to about the books…and there are many things to object to about the books…I don’t think that’s a good one. Jerry Jenkins does not own the surname Steele.

  • WalterC

    I don’t have anything against those books, I was just making a little joke about “Left Behind”.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    XD Oh god, how did I miss that unintentional coincidence of last names?

  • Tricksterson

    Clicked on that and was informed that it didn’t exist.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s weird. Go to archiveofourown.org slash collections slash yuletide2012, click the Fandoms link in the left column, click 50 Shades of Grey, it’s the only one there, and it is most definitely there.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Even if we take as read that everyone is polyamorous, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with practicing monogamy. Because there would always be a certain subset of the population who have yet to find a second true love.

  • banancat

    I’m not “officially” poly, but I think it’s possible to be poly but still have one or zero partners. The difference would be how open you are to finding additional relationships.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Or how picky one is about partners and how that maps to the local pool of people looking for partners. Or how much time and energy one has to go looking for partners. Or a bunch of things. (Hello, social anxiety!) Point is, even if we make the (entirely unwarranted) assumption that everyone can have and should have multiple partners, there will be people who don’t, and there is nothing wrong with being one of the people who don’t.

  • vsm

    I’ve always wondered how polygamous people do that. I did some counting and realized I’ve now spent half a decade without getting to know a single person I’d want to be in a romantic relationship with, and I do regularly meet new people.

  • Isabel C.

    I’m a nonmonogamous introvert. I wouldn’t describe myself as poly, per se, because that implies having or being open to multiple romantic relationships, whereas I have or am open to multiple FWB arrangements. Basically, I don’t really pursue new people (I surf OKC sometimes, in the same spirit with which I examine dresses I don’t intend to buy) and I don’t want a boyfriend, but if some cute guy in my circle of friends takes an interest in spending some time together naked, well, cool.

    Which is also not for everyone, of course–almost nothing is.

    As far as being vocally whatever, that–as usual–depends on what you mean by “vocally”. “I never slept with anyone but my husband, and that worked out okay for me,” if it comes up in discussion, cool.* Sniffing loudly in unrelated circumstances about how *you* treat sex as sacred and *you* are “saving yourself” (Lord, I loathe that phrase) is going to make me kinda hate you, Girls At College Parties. 
    If really pressed, I’d say that I *personally* think it’s good for most people to have multiple sexual and romantic partners before settling down, if that’s possible, and keeping in mind that inclination, situation, and luck vary between individuals. By all means, if the first person you feel like sleeping with ends up being the one you want to stay with forever, go to–but I don’t love that as a cultural ideal. 

    *Although I have to say that, if someone thinks that not having had sex with anyone else beforehand makes a significant difference in their relationship, I’m going to be inclined to look askance at either them or their relationship. “It’s nice that we got to explore this together,” is cool, even if not my thing, but more than that does generally get into values that creep me out.

  • Isabel C.

    Goddamn lack of editing feature.

    Also, conflating “sex is sacred” with “wait until marriage” bugs me from a personal level and an anthropological level. I believe that sex can be sacred; I think that sacredness can take the form of marriage, temple prostitution, masked orgies, or bonds between similarly-mystically-minded friends. I also think that having nonsacred sex doesn’t make the sacred kind any less possible, any more than eating the occasional slice of cold pizza means you can’t participate in a Passover seder.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    So long as you’re not saying *I* would have a better relationship with my husband if I hadn’t had sex with other people, then I’m happy you’re happy. I might have a bit of doubt about someone saying they have a better relationship now for not having had sex before, but it is seriously none of my business. Until they make it my business by claiming their way is better than others. 

    I know that I am happier for having had sex with multiple people. I also know that I am happier for being monogamous now. I’m not built for polygamy, and I truly enjoy monogamy. Polygamy would not work for me; monogamy would not work for others; and there are people who have no sex drive whatsoever. I only want sex with one certain man, but I’m not about to tell other people they should want sex with him. 

    I’ll get all up in other people’s business over consent (and honesty, as it is directly tied to consent). Other than that, have at it, or don’t, however you prefer.

  • Lliira

    I’ve been mulling over what to say about your defense of this woman, and it does certainly come across as defense. Here is what it feels like: you pass someone in the street slapping someone else. You say, “good job, you’re not punching them!” The person who was slapped says, “wow, that hurt.” And you say, “oh, they didn’t mean to hurt you. I used to go around punching people too.” That is the best way I can put how this feels.

    Also, you are focusing on the perpetrator’s feelings rather than the victims’ feelings, and that never ends well. Except for the perpetrator.

  • Guest

    Ahhhhh, modern feminism. Where saying: “Sex is a special thing that should be between people who care about each other.” and “I think people should take marriage vows seriously” makes you a bad person. 

    And for extra points- modern victim culture, where reading a link that disagrees with your moral stance makes you the equivalent of someone being assaulted.  

  • EllieMurasaki

    You left a couple bits out. Your two statements? Saying that they are true for you is perfectly fine. Saying that they are true for people who are not you, unless those particular people have asserted that said statements are true for themselves, is NOT FINE AT ALL.
    I don’t even know what your second paragraph is talking about.

    When you come back, do it with an actual handle, mmkay? ‘Guest41583’ or whatever will do, if you want to preserve anonymity, but conversations are much easier to follow when it’s possible to distinguish each party from the next.

  • GuestAgain

    Well, as regards sex, all she says it it was treated extremely respectfully. (with a lot of other blah blah about how much they loved babies and how special they were- she’s stuck up and snotty as hell, don’t get me wrong.) Which is pretty much what I’ve always been taught. Here, lets break down what she said, step by step.

    “A profound, sacred respect for sex and marriage permeated all we did.”

    The fundies thought sex and marriage were things that should be treated as important and treated respectfully. Which….um.  Yeah.  They should be. The sacred is a little stupid, but the gist is- sex is a thing that should be treated with care and respect. Thats not shaming casual hookups. That’s shaming people who treat their sexual partners as unimportant and disposable (IE: disrepectful) there is a difference between a  one night stand and a disrespectful one night stand. 

    ” Sex wasn’t a casual thing. It was reserved for marriage. This is why I was remained a virgin until my wedding day. ”

    These all reference the Fundie culture and there is no implication that her virginal status upon marriage is something she thinks everyone should do, just how she expressed those beliefs at that time in her life. 

     “Yes, a no-divorce culture had its downsides (ie. women in abusive marriages had a tough time getting out). “Acknowledges problems with no-divorce culture. 
    //
    “But a no-divorce culture also had its benefits. We really believed in the vows we made. Marriage truly was for better or worse. ”

    Says that despite serious flaws, one good thing about that culture was that it made people take their wedding vows extremely seriously.  Which is a good thing, unless you think that standing next to someone and swearing that you’re going to be their lover and companion for the rest of your life is something to take lightly. 

    Overall, its a pretentious, holier than thou article. I don’t like her. But to say she’s slut-shaming is ridiculous. She’s saying sex should be treated with respect, and that marriage is a big serious deal. 

    And my second paragraph was referring to Lliira’s ongoing temper tantrum in which she has said, multiple times, that READING AN ARTICLE was like getting slapped in the face, was degrading, destroyed her trust in Fred and on and on and on, and that she is the victim here and so on ad nauseam. A culture in which reading an article that doesn’t cater to your specific beliefs is a degrading assault that destroys your trust in someone who posted it on their blog strikes me as quite the culture of victimhood. 

  • Lori

    And my second paragraph was referring to Lliira’s ongoing temper tantrum
    in which she has said, multiple times, that READING AN ARTICLE was like
    getting slapped in the face, was degrading, destroyed her trust in Fred
    and on and on and on, and that she is the victim here and so on ad
    nauseam. A culture in which reading an article that doesn’t cater to
    your specific beliefs is a degrading assault that destroys your trust in
    someone who posted it on their blog strikes me as quite the culture of
    victimhood.  

    I’m not going to participate in turning this into a debate about Llirra’s reaction, but it does occur to me to wonder how you justify bringing up the (supposed) culture of victimhood because one poster says something with which you disagree?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Ah, another misogynist. Misrepresenting what was said and outright lying to sper his hateful bile. Your douchebaggery will be fun for us to all look at and laugh at when the last of you throwbacks is behind glass in a museum where you belong.

  • Lori

     

    Ahhhhh, modern feminism. Where saying: “Sex is a special thing that
    should be between people who care about each other.” and “I think people
    should take marriage vows seriously” makes you a bad person.     

    Willful misunderstanding of issues like consent and allowing people to make their own decisions. Blaming “feminism” for things that are neither bad nor specific to feminism. Butthurt that people take offense when someone is offensive.

    Is this really how we want to start the year?

  • WalterC

     I think the problem a lot of people have is that they assume that, just because they don’t understand someone’s reaction or emotions, that means that those reactions/emotions are somehow incorrect or even dishonest. That’s probably one of the worst things you can do when talking to someone — just condescendingly dismiss their feelings. It’s bad enough doing it to a stranger on the Internet, but it’s even worse (as in — divorce-causing, custody battle-causing, family-shunning) when you do it to someone you know in your personal life.

    This is way outside of my place to be telling anyone, but please — if you’re ever having an argument with someone you care about even a little bit, don’t dismiss their emotions. You can disagree with the person or argue with them — even heatedly — but don’t try to tell them that they don’t really feel what they say they feel. It never works.

  • banancat

     Why should sex be a special thing that is reserved for people who care about each other?  Nobody has ever given me an explanation about that except for appeals to religion (I’m an atheist), appeals to risk (but it’s less risky than many other moral activities), and weird pseudo-scientific appeal to evolutionary psychology (no, sex doesn’t make me fall in love or get jealous because hormones do not work that way).

    If you can come up with a good reason why sex is some weird magical special activity that is just somehow completely different than everything else, then I will start listening to you.  Until then, your unexamined assumptions are your own problem.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Historical artifact, I think. Part is the perceived need to ensure that all of a woman’s children are the genetic children of her husband. Part is the definite need to ensure that a woman with children has a stable relationship with someone able and willing to do half the child-raising and the family-supporting. (Even if it does seem to mostly shake out to one of those apiece.)

    The first we no longer need, if we ever did which I am not convinced of. The second grows less necessary with the increase in uterus-people’s economic self-supportingness and reproductive freedom: if one is quite confident that one is not going to get pregnant from sexing a random person and that if one does get pregnant then one has easy access to abortion or will have no major roadblocks in the way of raising the baby (according to personal preference and other factors), and one wants to sex the random person (note: one’s personal preference to restrict sex to marriage counts as one not wanting to sex the random person, regardless of one’s attractedness to the random person, though one may of course change one’s mind) and the random person in question wants to sex one, why the hell not?
    (The paragraph changes rather if ‘one’ refers to a penis-person, but historical double standards. Which can go fuck themselves running.)

  • banancat

     But I don’t agree that it’s an historical artifact.  History has not been homogeneous and the set-up of a man an woman raising children alone together has been historically rare.  There’s no reason at all that a woman’s children need to be genetically her husband’s, and there’s no reason at all that a woman needs a husband.  Plenty of cultures work out fine with a women having no husband, or having multiple, or having a main husband and a several lovers who all are considered the father of any resulting child.  Sometimes it strengthens communities to have unclear paternity.  It is also incorrect to believe that a husband or father of a child will be the primary carer or resource-provider of a woman’s child.  Her own parents and siblings are just as likely to provide for the child as the perceived father.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There’s no reason at all that a woman’s children need to be genetically her husband’s

    There is if you’re a man who wants to be sure that all the children you are providing for and all the children who will inherit your property are genetically yours.

    Like I said, we don’t need that.

  • banancat

     Like I said, it has been historically rare for a mother and father alone to provide for their children alone together.  Most men throughout history have provided for children in their community that they knew weren’t genetically theirs, especially nieces and nephews and grandchildren, but also other children of the clan who may have been distantly related at best.  Most societies have been communal so there has rarely been a connection where a man’s work directly went primarily to his own children, even when paternity was known.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    In the early days of missionaries to North American tribes, a certain Jesuit was at his wits’ end because he just could NOT convince the men to beat their wives. He thought he had a real zinger when he pointed out to one of the men that if they didn’t beat their wives, how would they trust the women not to have sex with other men, and if that happened, how would they know the wives’ children were theirs? The man he was talking to responded with (paraphrase), “who cares who the father is? Children belong to the tribe, not to individual men.”

    (I wish I could remember the names of the people involved, or still had the book the letter was in. It was years ago, and for a class.)

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    weird pseudo-scientific appeal to evolutionary psychology (no, sex doesn’t make me fall in love or get jealous because hormones do not work that way)

    I see that EVERYWHERE. Concern trolling about how if a female person has sex, she will fall in love with her partner and let us now commence with the woe and rending of garments. I have to wonder if people who say that have ever known more than one or two female people. Or do those of us who do not work that way not count as real female people?

    My experience is that when I want sex to be a bonding experience, it is. When I just want it to be a fun experience, no bonding, that’s what it is. I tend to like men more when I have sex with them, but it doesn’t make me fall in love or jealous or anything like that. (And that liking can fade awful fast.) It makes me fall more in love when I have expectations of it doing so. Otherwise, it makes me go, “whee, that was fun.” Full stop.

    I don’t know why the fact that sex is different depending on circumstances is such an impossible concept for so many people. Nor do I know why they refuse to understand that having more sexual partners would be an evolutionary advantage for women and the species as a whole. You don’t know which kid has your chromosomes? You help protect and care for ALL the kids. 

    And evolutionary psychologists know bupkis about history and anthropology and sociology. If something were necessary for our evolution, you’d think it would be a human universal, right? But this supposed need to know which kid comes from which sperm is very, very far from a human universal. (Of course, evolutionary psychologists also know bupkis about evolution and psychology.)

  • banancat

     As I said earlier, I sort of view sexual relationships as analogous to friendships.  So to me, sex isn’t much different than any other activity.  I saw The Hobbit with a friend on opening day, and then I saw the same movie again with my mom on Christmas day.  They were both completely different experiences because of the person I was with.  And sex is no different.  Sometimes it’s giggly and funny with maybe a little sarcasm and some wine mixed in.  Sometimes it’s awe-inspiring and super serious.  And those are both great experiences.  I don’t see how having both of them diminishes either and I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

  • Isabel C.

     Gnah, this.

    It’s especially annoying coming from sexual partners, too. I’ve had a couple incidents where a friend and I slept together and then he wigged because he thought I was going to go all Exclusivity and Kids and White Picket Fence on him. Aside from the general feeling of being stung because dude, I thought we were friends, and disappointment because I’d have liked to fool around with him some more, I found that somewhere between insulting and amusing: um, we’ve known each other *how* long? And you still think Generic Stereotyped Womanhood is going to override my personality because we fucked?

    Sheesh.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I’ve had a couple incidents where a friend and I slept together and then he wigged because he thought I was going to go all Exclusivity and Kids and White Picket Fence on him.

    Oh gods, that happened to me in a longish friends-with-benefits relationship. He would periodically feel the need to remind me he didn’t want to marry me. Yes, I didn’t want to marry him either. And he would periodically feel the need to remind me we weren’t exclusive. I felt it would be somewhat rude to  rub in the fact that I was having sex with another guy — he knew, of course, but he seemed to think it didn’t matter. (When the other guy was someone I did get pretty seriously hung up on, but that started with our first conversation, not with sex.)

    Then he told me he loved me. So… in that case, I think he was seriously projecting.

  • GuestAgain

    Hmmm….I apologize. I typed “GuestAgain” in the spot but it didn’t get posted. I will add it as a signature when I post again. 

  • Wednesday

    Guest, she didn’t even just say what you attribute to her.  She said “Sex wasn’t a casual thing. It was reserved for marriage. This is why I was remained a virgin until my wedding day.” There’s no “should be between people who care about each other” there, she’s explicitly saying it was reserved for people who were married.  Which excludes a lot of people who care about each other, and also includes some people who don’t care about each other (thanks to the no-divorce culture).

    She doesn’t say she thinks people should take marriage vows seriously, she says that she takes her marriage vows seriously because of her no-divorce-allowed-not-even-in-case-of-abuse upbringing.

    If it was meaningful for her to refrain from having sex until she formally married, bully for her.  We wouldn’t object. The problem is she’s conflating “waiting for marriage” and “viewing sex as sacred”, which is extremely shortsighted (and for some people, harmful).

  • GuestAgain

     There’s no “should be between people who care about each other” there, she’s explicitly saying it was reserved for people who were married.

    Errr….no. She is not. She says that because of that culture, SHE waited until she was married. And she specifically uses the word “respect” multiple times in regard to sexuality. She also uses other fuzzy-positive terms like “Sacred.”  At no point does she say, “Sex is for married people only.” She talks about that being a cultural value, but does not endorse it. Given that she has rejected the culture, I’d say the implication is that she rejected that value as well. 

      Willful misunderstanding of issues like consent and allowing people to make their own decisions. 
    I honestly do not see what consent and decision making have to do with this article.  The article said, essentially, that sex is a sacred thing that should be done respectfully. I don’t AGREE with the sacred, I think she makes sex into more of a Big Deal than it is, but that’s hardly a reason for some of the comments I’ve seen.

    Also-“modern feminism” was a poor choice of words and I apologize for that. I meant to refer to certain overzealous trends I’ve seen in some areas, but conflating that with a massive, important movement was stupid and i retract it.
    /////

    GuestAgain

  • Lori

    Consent and allowing people to make their own decisions. 

    Sex is a sacred thing that should be done respectfully.

    You really don’t see the connection there?

    If she had said something along the lines of “I think sex is sacred and should be done respectfully and I define respect as being married” we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We might be having a different conversation about it, but we wouldn’t be having this one. That’s not what she said at all, so we are. People have a tendency to take it amiss when some holier than thou PITA shoulds all over them. Funny that.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    You really don’t comprehend the difference between “caters to my specific beliefs” and “slut-shames and treats domestic violence with a hand-wave”, do you?

    That’s really sad. It also shows just how used you are to everything catering to your specific beliefs. Further, I did not say Fred linking the article is what destroyed my trust in him; I said him linking said article and claiming it would be all happiness is what destroyed my trust in him.

    I’m an atheist. I read Fred’s blog. Try again.

    (I don’t actually expect you to engage with me in anything like good faith, mind. But I thought I should clarify in case anyone who would engage with good faith was confused.)

  • Isabel C.

    It’s contextual.

    Saying “sex is sacred and should be for people who care about each other” in the context of a post discussing your abstract feelings about sex, unrelated to a specific culture? Okay, although “should be” would still bug me, personally:  “I only want to have sex with people I care about” would be fine.

    Putting that statement in a post about what you’ve taken from fundamentalism provides much more troubling shades of meaning. It therefore behooves you, if what you’re saying is *not* “wait for marriage, you dirty sluts”, to be very explicit about that. She didn’t. And I’m not going to bend over backwards to excuse her for that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    No-divorce culture – oh, come on.

    A no-divorce culture treats a marriage as though it were a decision arrived at by perfect people – people without flaw.

    That’s not true in real life and everybody knows it.

    People make mistakes. They falter. They change. A decision made in one stage of a person’s life may be wrong at another stage.

    Marriage, unfortunately, is like any other decision in that not all decisions work out for the best, so being able to at least cancel a decision, once made, is a good thing. And this is why we have divorce as an option for a married couple.

  • Lori

    A no-divorce culture treats a marriage as though it were a decision arrived at by perfect people – people without flaw.   

    IME this isn’t exactly what they say. They say that marriage is supposed to be a decision guided by god (never forget the ever-popular God’s Plan For Your Life), who is without flaw. Even if you screw up and pick the wrong person (by ignoring GPFYL) god can fix it and give you a “godly home” if you just do exactly what he says.

    It’s still doesn’t actually work, but that’s what they say.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    True, but the effect of a no-divorce culture is to assume all marriages are fundamentally motivated by correct decision-making, and that anyone who wants out just isn’t trying hard enough.

  • banancat

    I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that both Elizabeth Esther and Guest Again are ok with marital rape, at least in some instances.  And that’s why their view is reprehensible.

  • DorothyD

    I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that both Elizabeth Esther and Guest Again are ok with marital rape, at least in some instances.

    I fail to see how you extrapolated this from anything that either of them said. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Yeah, what the hell? Anti-kitten burning coalitions are everywhere these days.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    While I don’t see the evidence for this particular point of banancat’s, that isn’t a good comparison. Very many people do not think it is possible for a man to rape his wife, and say so often and without shame. Most of these people are Fundamentalists. And if a woman’s husband rapes her, the likelihood of him being charged, let alone convicted, is even tinier than if he were anyone else.

    There are people who burn kittens, but they are incredibly rare, and everyone pretty much agrees that it’s absolutely heinous to burn kittens. Men who rape their wives are not incredibly rare, and there are tons of people who deny that it’s even possible, because tons of people think husbands own their wives sexually.

  • DorothyD

    Lliira, can I ask. In the whole scheme of things, which is more relevant and worthy of attention: 

    A) banancat insinuated that GuestAgain and Ms. Esther likely approve of marital rape, based on no evidence whatsoever

    B) Sgt. Pepper employed an inappropriate metaphor to describe banancat’s infraction

  • Liralen

    “anti-kitten burning” is a meme here, if that’s what you are referring to.  It’s not gonna get a rise out of any of the regulars because it’s kind of like an old joke.

  • DorothyD

    *headdesk*

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I still think my metaphor was fine. It’s fundamentally about making up that someone believes/does something horrible then condemning them for said horrible thing.

    And I wasn’t trying to get a rise out of the regulars, I was trying to make a point. One that I’m finding myself needing to make a lot recently.

  • DorothyD

    I think we’re both trying to make the same point.

    As I understand it, the kitten-burning meme refers to when someone actually burns a kitten and people then somehow feel the need to speak up about how truly awful kitten-burning is, as if it’s really necessary to spell that out for fear of people just assuming you’re all for the burning of kittens if you don’t come right and say that you aren’t.

    So yeah. Maybe you’re onto something. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    The thing is, the belief that sex is only for (heterosexual) marriage is very often comorbid with the belief that once one has said yes to sex with someone, one cannot then say no to sex with that someone. Not always, but very often.

  • DorothyD

    That’s true enough and Lliira is certainly right that marital rape is far more common than kitten burning, and possibly more prevalent within the Fundamentalist community. The thing is, Ms. Esther self-identifies as a recovering Fundamentalist. So why the accusation that she would approve of marital rape, or at least would not be completely disapproving. Why was it necessary to throw even more gasoline on the fire. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Because it’s not only fundamentalists who think marital rape is a contradiction in terms.

  • DorothyD

    That makes no sense whatsoever and you are completely missing my point. How about, in the absence of actual knowledge of someone’s actual opinion on any particular subject, why don’t you assume the best of them instead of the worst based on guilt by association. Or something. 

    Especially when it’s in the context of that person already getting a crapton of barely-deserved criticism. Double especially when that person is not even present to defend themselves. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    It has been my experience that any group that does not explicitly state that they are feminist, anti-racist, queer-friendly, trans-friendly, etc etc etc, is not in fact any of the above. I am weary of giving the benefit of the doubt.

  • DorothyD

    And I weary of this discussion because I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall. 

    We are not talking about a group. We are talking about a specific person. Two people, actually. Who were accused of a thought-crime. For no damn good reason. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, we are talking about a group of people who believe that sex is reserved for marriage and who have not disavowed the often-accompanying belief that marital rape is a contradiction in terms. These two individuals are examples of that group.

  • Liralen

    Here’s a link to one of Fred’s anti-kitten burning coalition posts, which contains a link to a 2008 post:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/02/27/rick-santorum-and-the-anti-kitten-burning-coalition/

    Sorry, should have thought about searching and posting a link last night, but was just too tired to think of it.

  • DorothyD

    Thank you, I’ll go re-read it. It’s been a while. 

  • Daughter

    My experience is that most people who get married take their vows seriously, no matter what their background. One might argue that marriage vows are more serious today, given that, unless you need health insurance benefits in the U.S.  or to stay in a country where you’re a non-citizen, there’s no reason to get married unless you really want to spend your life with that person.

    Furthermore, evangelicals have divorce rates comparable to the general population. I’m not sure how fundamentalists compare, as a subset of evangelicals.  But “sacredness of marriage” is taught pretty strongly in most evangelical churches. The culture doesn’t seem to have prevented divorce.

  • Wednesday

    @ Daughter. Yes, exactly.

    There’s also a difference between taking wedding vows seriously and taking one’s marriage seriously.

    My spouse and I married in a courthouse and had no choice as to what vows we said. (We couldn’t really even find out what they would be in advance.) And then I was too distracted by the judge randomly informing us that marriage was universally about One Man One Woman and a fire alarm going off to memorize the ensuing vows. 

    I know that sounds awful and heartless to some people, especially people for whom making pledges before their deities of choice is important, or who find meaning in making sharp delineations in the timelines of their lives and relationships. But for us, getting married wasn’t about transforming our relationship between us, but instead saying to society that we already had made mutual pledges of love, respect, and support through hardship, and getting society and the law to recognize that.

  • elizabethesther

    Thank you so much for including me! I loved your corrective, too! An encyclopedic knowledge of trees, indeed! :)

  • DorothyD

    These two individuals are examples of that group.

    I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess that that will be news to GuestAgain. 

    No, we are talking about a group of people who believe that sex is reserved for marriage and who have not disavowed the often-accompanying belief that marital rape is a contradiction in terms.  

    And until the individual who is Ms. Esther, who did not even know that she was going to be quoted on this here blog, explicitly denounces marital rape to your satisfaction and apologizes for speaking well of reserving sex for marriage without accompanying that statement with a firm denunciation of marital rape because she should have just known that that would be an issue,  until then she is presumed guilty and is a bad bad person and deserves whatever verbal abuse anyone here cares to fling at her.

    Right. Brick wall.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Reading back, yes, you’re right, I attributed beliefs to GuestAgain that GuestAgain was defending but did not claim to have. Sorry about that. You’re gonna want to cite your sources on the verbal abuse thing, though, ’cause I ain’t seeing any.

  • DorothyD

    It has been my experience that any group that does not explicitly state that they are feminist, anti-racist, queer-friendly, trans-friendly, etc etc etc, is not in fact any of the above. I am weary of giving the benefit of the doubt.

    Why don’t you ask her before you jump to conclusions based on group affiliation.* The individual person named Elizabeth Esther. After all, she did drop in here a ways back to thank Fred for the link. 

    *There’s a word for that. It’s on the tip of my tongue…

  • EllieMurasaki

    You do know there’s a reason why ‘racism’ is defined as ‘prejudice on racial lines backed up by institutional power‘, yes?

    People who want to upset established power structures do not, by definition, have institutional power to back up any prejudices they may have.

  • DorothyD

    Sorry, missed your most recent. 

    Verbal abuse? OK fine I’ll pick through it and cite chapter and verse. Maybe tomorrow. How about I just save myself some time and say that I actually cringed on her behalf when I saw her comment, and half-hoped she didn’t read the comments. 

    Good night, I’m off to bed. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Well, aren’t I surprised to see this tangent dragging on.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that both Elizabeth Esther and Guest Again are ok with marital rape, at least in some instances.  And that’s why their view is reprehensible. [my emphasis]

    First, someone’s view is reprehensible because of the aspect of it I made up? What the hell? Go ahead and argue that something one or both of them actually said is reprehensible and I won’t stop you. But that was ridiculous.And what the hell did Guest Again do? GA said that EE was “stuck-up and snotty as hell”, “I don’t like her”, and that she wrote a “pretentious, holier thou article”. But GA defended an aspect of the article and was rude about another commenter–so taking the “wrong side” in a discussion is sufficient justification to have hideous views attributed to you? We’re really defending that? We would cry unholy shit if, say, a member of the religious right or a conservatroll did something similar to someone we agreed with?I really don’t think the point DorothyD and I are trying to make is all that esoteric. If someone made up shit about what I might believe because they didn’t like what I said in a discussion, I would call bullshit. So would everyone else if it happened to them. If it’s not OK to do to us it’s not OK to do to someone else. It’s as simple as that.

  • EllieMurasaki

    As a matter of interest, how many people have you ever met who believe sex–all sex, not just all sex they personally engage in–should be reserved for marriage, who do not also believe that sex within marriage–all such sex, not just all sex to which the parties are actively at that moment consenting–is consensual?
    This isn’t comparable to saying everyone who supports same-sex marriage supports marrying pets. Might be comparable to saying everyone who supports same-sex marriage supports polyamorous marriage, but since the overlap isn’t actually all that great outside the minds of people who want to slippery-slope from the first to the second, might not be.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    As a matter of interest, how many people have you ever met who believe
    sex–all sex, not just all sex they personally engage in–should be
    reserved for marriage, who do not also believe that sex within
    marriage–all such sex, not just all sex to which the parties are
    actively at that moment consenting–is consensual?

    In real life, not just blowhards on the internet?

    All of them.  I know dozens of people who believe that all sex should be reserved for marriage. Not a single one of them believes that all marital sex is consensual*.

    *(I have not actually asked all of them. Many of them have said things which indicate they believe in the existence of marital rape, which logically should preclude the belief that all marital sex is consensual. Many of them have never said anything one way or the other, which I realize you have pre-defined as being just cause to assume they don’t believe marital rape is possible.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    As a matter of interest, how many people have you ever met who believe sex–all sex, not just all sex they personally engage in–should be reserved for marriage, who do not also believe that sex within marriage–all such sex, not just all sex to which the parties are actively at that moment consenting–is consensual?

    It’s completely unrelated to my point, but as a matter of interest–the vast majority (do not also believe latter). It’s technically possible that everyone I’ve ever met who believes that sex should be reserved for marriage does not also believe that marriage makes sex consensual by definition–since I’ve not personally ever met anyone who has denied the existence and seriousness of marital rape.

    The use of negatives in your question make my answer clumsy, so I’ll rephrase for clarity:

    I know many, many people who believe sex should be reserved for marriage. Of those people, a very large subset have explicitly stated to me that they acknowledge that marital rape is common, that they condemn it utterly, that it’s a sin, and that it’s good that it is now also illegal. I’ve never met anyone who has argued against any of those points, even half-heartedly.

    It’s not just acknowledged, it’s addressed front and centre. I went to Catholic school, I attended Catholic youth groups, I go to Catholic churches. The theology of the body (as it’s called) was addressed in each of these, and every single time the speaker was at pains to emphasise that marriage does not equal universal consent. I remember a priest saying to us “Lots of men go home at night and rape their wives”, and he left us in no uncertain terms that plenty of them considered themselves to be “good practicing Christians”.

    Is that the answer you were expecting?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Considering that the Catechism does not mention marital rape in the list of offenses against marriage, or suggest elsewhere in its discussion of rape or its discussion of marriage that marital rape is a possibility, and given that I grew up Catholic and never once heard anyone express the belief that marital rape is a possibility?

    No, it really wasn’t.

    Since you and Ross both say you know lots of people who believe all sex should be marital but not all marital sex is consensual, clearly I am reasoning from a false premise and I shall therefore retract everything I said based on that premise, with an apology to anyone I hurt with any of that.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I don’t know about the ins and outs of the catechisms and other proclamations on high. I have a friend (who incidently is the best person ever) who knows such things, so I’ll ask about it next time I see her.

    To be clear, I don’t think you’re making people up. I accept that there are people–in some areas, perhaps even a large majority–who believe that sex is reserved for marriage and somehow therefore marital sex is innately consensual. I’ve just never met them, and I know countless people in the opposite category.

    I expect that you and I (and Ross) are accurately describing our own experiences; we just move in very different circles. Which suggests that the common factor in the “denial of marital rape” phenomenon is not religion, nor is it the belief that sex should be reserved for marriage. It’s something else.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Replying to myself to add something I accidently left out: in my diocese if a couple wants to get married in a Catholic church they have to complete a pre-marriage counselling course. Not sure if this is a broader, even universal requirement, but in my diocese it’s mandatory.

    Anyway, these courses include a whole segment on sex. Which, contrary to popular belief, does not focus on what can and can’t be put where but focuses on consent, respect, generosity and stuff like that.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Same in my (Anglican) church. And in my old Baptist one. Marriage-prep courses, focusing largely on loving, respectful, equal relationships, seem to be fairly standard if you want to get married at a church in these parts.

    Also, *raises hand*, I’m another person who knows many, many people who believe sex should be kept for marriage and also believe marital rape is a bad thing. I am in fact one of them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The impression I’ve always had, Deird, is that you don’t object to people having sex that’s not in marriage as long as those people are neither you nor hurting anyone. Which puts you outside the category of people who think all sex should be within marriage, which is the category I [thought I] was concerned with.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    I think, to some extent, we’re approaching this stuff from very different angles.

    Say you have person A, who says “I believe sex should be kept for marriage. So STOP HAVING SEX you horrible sinners!”
    And person B, who says “I believe sex should be kept for marriage. But… your call.”

    I tend to assume, unless I have specific evidence to the contrary, that Random Person Who Believes Sex Is A Marriagey Thing is more likely to be person B than person A.
    And… I get the impression that you would assume, in the absence of evidence, that they’re more likely to be person A.

    Which… yeah. People who get horribly judgey about other people’s sex lives are really annoying and should mind their own business. But when you say “the category of people who think all sex should be within marriage”… that’s a category that also includes me and others like me.
    I think other people’s sex lives aren’t my business. I think they are better judges of themselves than I am. I think their bodies are theirs, not mine, and they should be given respect, courtesy, and a profound lack of judgement from me. But I also think that all sex should be within marriage.*

    (*Or within a marriage-ish relationship, such as living together.)

    You seem to be wanting to talk mostly about people who are in Group A. But the way you’re phrasing it means that you’re also including all the people in Group B. Which is, I think, why there are several Group B-affiliated people lining up to tell you about all the Group B people they know.

  • DorothyD

    If someone made up shit about what I might believe because they didn’t like what I said in a discussion,

    Well, that really gets to the heart of it, doesn’t it. They were out-of-the-blue accused of holding a heinous view whether or not there was a reasonable likelihood that they actually held that view and it was actually relevant to the discussion, but because there was a hate-fest already in progress which needed to be rationalized and justified. By making shit up, because the shit already on hand apparently wasn’t good enough.

  • otrame

    I think you could pull about 20 questions put of that list that are actually a good idea to ask before getting seriously involved with someone. But really it looks like a draft document, someone just throwing ideas out. It’s repetative and seems to sometimes be addressing someone already married.


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