January 3, 2013

2012-13 is the Winter of the Pants. Will you join the party? On December 16, 2012, Mormon feminists declared Wear Pants to Church Day, inviting participants to, well, wear pants to church, ‘in solidarity with those of us who seek gender equality everywhere, including the LDS church. And when somebody asks you why you are dressed a little differently, take a moment to tell them. This is our opportunity to make it known: “We are here! We are here! We are here!… Read more

January 2, 2013

I grew up wearing “holiness.” I’ll wait for a moment so you can finish making jokes. You know you want to. Usually associated with Pentecostals, “holiness” dress has several elements: Long skirts and dresses, usually floor length No close-fitting or “stretch” clothing unless it’s oversized Uncut hair (no trimming allowed in my church) No makeup Minimal jewelry The reasoning behind this uniform is that clothing should express your personality and your commitment to modesty (and by extension, your commitment to God… Read more

December 22, 2012

A moment of clarification: If you read my previous post and thought I was issuing a call to arms against the Christian religion, please be aware of this distinction. The Christian Patriarchy movement is a subculture that developed in the 1980s as part of the Moral Majority conservative movement, and now espouses a number of beliefs and practices that are not inherent in Christianity. These include: -The “headship and submission” model of marriage -Women as exclusively homemakers (no careers or… Read more

December 20, 2012

Americans have come to expect certain conversations after public shooting incidents. It’s a stain on our national discourse that we have such a thing as a “generic” response to mass murder, but we all know what it is. Gun control and mental health are both invoked and then made to duel it out in the media, as if it’s about a fight for the One True Cause of gun massacres. But the conversation is changing. Since the December 14th shooting… Read more

December 18, 2012

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve found engagement rings totally perplexing. The part about them being symbols of love and commitment made sense. I got the commercial appeal, too – after all, I was a child of the nineties. I had enough merchandise from every TV or book series I liked to learn the important consumerist message that when you really love something, you buy a souvenir. What I didn’t get was why men didn’t get them. And… Read more

December 16, 2012

A question occurred to me as I proofread my last post about how my father’s violence and gun ownership gave him unnatural power in the household: Why didn’t guns make me feel safer? After all, I was a pretty good shot. I knew how to load, unload and clean the guns properly. I knew where they were kept. My father had even instructed me on how to defend myself: Never point a gun at someone if you aren’t going to use… Read more

December 14, 2012

This morning, a deranged attacker opened fire in a Connecticut school, killing tens of children and adults. Little else is known right now about this particular shooting, although it’s another episode of a drama Americans know well. The Aurora shooting happened just this year, along with three other shootings in schools. VA Tech suffered a major shooting in 2007. Looming large in the nation’s consciousness, too, is always Columbine. The Columbine massacre defined evangelical culture at the turn of the millennium. I remember… Read more

November 6, 2012

Growing up fundamentalist, I was reminded on a near monthly basis that I shouldn’t be allowed to vote. It was inescapable. Central to the Message of the Hour theology was a set of seven prophecies by William Branham that were supposed to usher in the end of the world. My church vigilantly watched, alongside its sister churches, for an earthquake to topple Los Angeles and for a Roman Catholic takeover of the US economy. Amidst all this doomsdaying was a… Read more

October 27, 2012

“You’ll save him. You always do,” says Amelia Pond to the Doctor. “Not always,” he replied, barely able to look at her as she hovers over the pile of ash that used to be her husband. “Then what,” she responds icily, “is the point of you?” It’s one of the most painful lines in the latest incarnation (since 2005) of Doctor Who. It’s the first unavoidable sign that there’s something amiss in Amy’s relationship with the Doctor, the first sign… Read more

October 24, 2012

The following is an installment of the Religious Fundamentalism and Sexuality Project. Read the previous installment here. You are also invited to join the project. Sex Education and the Body Q. 2: How did your parents and/or church respond to your questions (if any)? How did they (and you) understand and react to puberty? Calulu My parents could not be approached for any questions involving sex I learned around the time I turned eight. One day I innocently asked what a certain… Read more

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