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[livejournal.com profile] erinya commented on my last post and got me thinking. Bennett is discovering male and female. Erinya liked that I asked if he wanted to be a woman when he shook his head no when I told him he was going to be a man. I realize that gender is something we're not supposed to play around with. I mean, I know this in grown up life. If you're gender-queer or a cross-dresser or transgender or just plain don't conform then you're in Big Trouble. But for kids gender continues to be Serious Business. Of course there's the whole pink/blue nonsense and I would probably die of a brain aneurysm if I had to watch children's advertising. But how is it bold to suggest to my toddler that he could be a woman? We play pretend all the time. Kids pretend to be fire trucks, dogs, lions, ghosts, monsters, etc and we don't bat an eye. But to let a boy play girl or a girl play boy... well, that's radical.

I suppose the radical part is that I seriously believe my son can be anything he wants to be. And if he grows up to be a woman, so be it. I admit that my heart would break (and heal up) if he felt so disembodied that he needed to surgically and hormonally alter it - since I love every pore on his little body, every hair and curve and crease. I have had a loved one go through that before and it was deeply difficult. But, ultimately, I want my son to be happy. I don't care if he's male or female, gay or straight or bi or poly or monogamous or asexual. I just want him to not be a jackass and to be happy with healthy relationships.

So far, he seems very boyish: trucks, cars, ka-pow, hitting, wands, and penises (which we call penne). But whatever.
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Bennett knows the word 'man.' He'll see a picture of one or a man on the street and say 'man!' This morning while getting dressed he was saying the word and listing some of his favorite characters. I said 'Sokka is a man. Papa is a man. Mama is a woman. And Bennett is a boy, who will become a man.' He shook his head. I said 'You don't want to be a man?' He shook his head. 'Do you want to be a woman?' He nodded his head vigorously.

Let the gender games begin!
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This article on the Vatican, excommunication and 9 yr old pregnant girls is devastating. Were I not fighting dizzy to function at work today I would write something articulate and scathing.

Pope Ratzinger/Benedict is a horrible man for sticking by policy. Black and white rules do not help those in grey situations.

I would rant but really I want to weep for the child. Not the children terminated, they never knew what hit them, and it's doubtful at four months that they even had consciousness. I mourn for the girl, who lives in a world where for choosing her own health, mental and physical, she is excommunicated from her faith community, where her rapist is still allowed to be a communing member of her faith community, where those in power think her life and body are merely vessels and contain no worth in and of itself, where rape at all exists.

This world is fucked up beyond measure. The Vatican is morally corrupt.

It is heartbreaking. I'm too tired to rail today, so instead I mourn.

Gun play

Feb. 9th, 2009 04:41 pm
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This is a post for all those born male and for mothers of males.

If you are a male, did you play with guns? Did you turn non-gun items into imaginary guns? Do you think this is something innate in males? If not, where did you learn this behaviour from? As an adult male now do you have any parenting perspectives on this, or advice for the new mama of a male?

For mothers of males, do your sons play with guns or have gun play? If so, at what age did this start? Does this bother you? If so, how do you discourage this? Any thoughts for a new mama?

A new year

Dec. 21st, 2008 03:34 pm
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Before Bennett, we hosted Thanksgiving, threw a Solstice party, and celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve by wandering around San Francisco, going out to eat and catching a carol service. The next day was spent in jammies, lounging about eating Adam's homemade cinnamon rolls.

The new year feels like it is starting now, with the solstice. The wind down to this holiday, for me, usually starts at Thanksgiving. This year's Thanksgiving was amazing but came during a very difficult period. Last night was a Feast Bay and it was such a great way to spend the evening. Adam's parents were here for 24 hrs and so we had gift opening this morning, over strong coffee and oatmeal cooked in coconut milk. We will modify our Christmas Eve plans by taking Bennett and going in the afternoon, ending with dinner, so we can start our baby bed time routine at the normal hour. Christmas morning we will still have cinnamon rolls, but we might go for a long walk and find a morning carol service. New Year's involves making a collage of the year to come. This year I'll be in Australia for that. I really love Christmas/Solstice/New Year.

This year we are adding a special occasion: our trip to Chez Panisse on the 26th. Thankfully we have found a babysitter. A trial run with Ansel, the guy were are probably hiring as our nanny. It is very very weird to say that we will have a nanny. The word brings to mind privilege, people not interested in parenting, high powered careers, mousy 20-something women. All images not necessarily true. We have Ansel, the 20-something, vegan, gamelan playing, wants to be a farmer, possibly gay male, two days a week so I can go to work.

What new things will 2009 hold? I feel a little bit like our trip to Australia is a buffer between this long year past and the new one to come. I have some decisions to make and I hope the time abroad refreshes and revives me, allowing me some rest to recharge with the clarity and strength to keep setting fire to my life.
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Two nicely written blog posts about Sarah Palin:

Scroll down to the second half of Savage Love.

A religious feminist's point of view on Palin.
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Hey Ladies-

An author is writing a book about women's relationships and "mean-girls." Go give your two cents, you know you want to!

Click here
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This article in today's NYT drives me nuts. While I do think that having kids, particularly infants, makes a woman have to work harder at getting things done, it is not insurmountable. The discussion of whether Palin is ready to be VP based on her having 5 kids, one of which has special needs and is an infant, drives me crazy. This discussion would never come up for a male candidate. Ever. I assume Sarah Palin has help. Either her husband or a nanny or a house keeper or some one is helping with family and home tasks. Men have help - their wives. But since Palin IS a wife, crap - who does she have to help? She should be taking care of everything! When does she find time to govern??

"...many women, citing their own difficulties with less demanding jobs, said it would be impossible for Ms. Palin to succeed both at motherhood and in the nation’s second-highest elected position at once."

But no one has ever said that about a male candidate have they? That because of the difficult task of raising a family and having a career it would be hard for a man to keep being a good father and do his job responsibly. Obama has two kids, we haven't heard this one yet, have we?

It IS hard having an infant. But we don't know if Palin is breast feeding. Probably not, is my guess, and that makes things easier for her. I'm sure Palin has help, because being a parent IS demanding work. But she's clearly getting it done, isn't she? Why would voters turn against her because they themselves can't imagine running a country? If the average mom had a house keeper and a nanny I bet she'd be able to get a lot more done.

This article is nonsense. The NYT loves to raise the "mommy wars," in fact they may have coined the term. And I hate it. It pits women against one another. I'm not sure the mommy wars even exist.
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The NY Times had this to say about women and summer films.

Yup. I've been complaining for a long time about the dearth of women in the movies. While I LOVED No Country for Old Men, 300 and several of the other recent all male movies, it's disturbing that women are taking such a back seat in film. Do film makers think women just don't go to the theatre? That we have no money? That we don't EXIST? Sadly, when we're portrayed up on screen we look just as invested in the status quo as the men - looking like sexbots, muttering inane dialogue, shopping (whee!), being princesses, or, like Pepper Potts in Iron Man, being the Faithful Woman Who Stands by Her Man (and is also The Brains Behind the Brawn).

OR - women get to be bad asses, but only in a way that is both "masculine" (read: violent) enough for male viewers to take them seriously AND ALSO "sexy" enough for men to want to pay money to look at them. Barf. That's all the intellectual sobriety I can give to that faux girl-power nonsense.
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Today was the day I went in to two of my friend D's 10th grade theology classes at an all boys' Catholic high school and talked about abortion in a social justice context. I was nervous. It's been years since I've been in the classroom, I haven't been sleeping well, I just wasn't as prepared as I normally would like to be, and well... it's a Catholic high school.

My friend D: we met at grad school, his undergrad is in Latin and Greek, his master's is in Patristics (early Church fathers), he's an Eastern Orthodox convert, and he's goofy and brilliant too! I am very honored that he asked me to come in and talk to his students. Before I go into what I said (I know some of you will be very interested, others not so much), I want to say that I was soimpressed with the school and the students. Who knew that a classroom of 15 yr old boys could be engaged and respectful in such a discussion?? They never once mocked each other for their opinions or ideas. Of course, not everyone seemed enthused or contributed - I mean, they are 15. But in comparison to my two years spent working primarily with 15 yr old boys in a public school, I was beyond impressed.

Personally, I have some issues with private school. But over the course of the morning I found myself thinking, "Wow, I would totally send my son here!" The grounds are nice, the faculty I met were open and friendly, the school's motto is "A De la Salle graduate is a man of faith, integrity and scholarship" - character traits I can get behind. The Catholic order that runs the school focuses on social justice. Catholicism, while not my favorite partly because of their strong adherence to dogma, is a very broad denomination. Some orders, like the Jesuits, focus on teaching, some on serving the poor, some on priestly duties; there is a whole array of emphases and attitudes in the Catholic Church. D had told me a little about this particular school and that the 10th grade theology curriculum was all focused around social justice. I think this is unbelievably cool. So while the official Catholic Church stance on abortion is unequivocally "NO, and no birth control either!" the curriculum for this unit encourages broader discussion about the issue. I can only dream that public schools would allow this sort of discussion around the topic!

So what did I talk about? )

Overall, it was a really successful and enjoyable day. I'm going back next Thursday to speak to D's third theology class. I look forward to it.
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I am watching Oprah's show featuring the man who is having a baby. Yes, you read that right. He's a FTM (transgendered man) and he's pregnant. So far, it's been a great show and the couple is very articulate. I have some bioethical concerns about messing with the human reproductive system. But I also believe in the human dignity of every person and their inalienable rights to express their personhood. And this Oprah show has the double interest for me of transgendered and pregnancy issues.
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10,000 BC. I saw it. Last night, with Adam, [livejournal.com profile] alizarin71 and our upstairs neighbor. It was a fun outing. But SUCH a stupid movie. It is possible that my extreme tiredness made me prone to the severe crankiness I experienced upon leaving the theatre. Besides being a ridiculous hodgepodge of culture, archeological, geographical and historical elements and being pretty dull in plot, the film also triggered one of my major pet peeves: a movie made by men all about men, featuring nothing but men (I'm sorry, two women characters don't count).

Yet when I enumerate the good things about this film I wonder why I'm so annoyed. Here are the good things about the movie:
+Beautifully shot, great art design, nice music
+Features hardly any white people!! *(BUT...)
+The love interest saves herself at the end *
+Great values - loyalty, keeping your word, being brave, stepping up to responsibility, affection between men, banding together in unity makes great things possible *
+Very well done special effects
+No sex or nudity or swearing (how rare is that in a grown up movie??)

I want to add silly escapist fun to that list, but honestly the movie was kind of boring. Very formulaic. We know what's going to happen. Let's get to those Buts:
-There were hardly any white people, or at least plain white faces. However, the two whitest faces were the main man and woman. Perhaps I'm just picking a fight on this point, but I don't think so. There was some legend about a blue eyed woman, blah blah blah, so the main girl wore these horrible blue contacts, making her look vapid since her pupils never changed in size. Not something we think about normally, but try reading a face whose pupils never alter. Weird.

-The love interest/main woman (Evolet) does indeed save herself when she is taken by one of the baddies in the end. Which was great. And she does show strength of character and resourcefulness throughout the film. But the movie isn't about her, even though she's the reason D'let (main guy) goes on this journey. Evolet is a woman to whom things happen. In that regard she is a completely passive woman. Her lines, which are few, consist mainly of "You came back for me" "You left me behind" etc. Pah! The other woman is the main tribal elder, the seer-woman. But she also doesn't DO anything. Again, she is a passive woman to whom visions come. I AM SO BORED WITH THIS FEMALE TROPE.

-The values of the film are great. I wholly support them - for men or for women. Yet repeatedly these values are only demonstrated by men and discussed in male terms. There is a great set of lines where Tik'tik, D'let's mentor and tribal chief, tells D'let that "Every man draws a circle around himself. For most men that involves himself, his woman and his children. Some men draw a larger circle that encompasses his larger family and maybe his tribe. But some men draw an even bigger circle that encompasses even more people." (paraphrased, emphasis mine) I guess women don't need to think about their own boundaries since we're just objects to be won and bred with. Where are the movies showing women acting valiantly, with strength and honor and dedication to a higher cause? Oh, I'm sure they're out there, but let's also clarify this: where are those movies with women embodying those values without being martyrs or at the expense of their male counterparts?

I also think that so many of modern middle class films employ the "band together and rise up against injustice/usurpers!" motif and I am continually confused by this. Do we like this and relate because it reminds us of our early American history? Because we sure as hell ain't banding together to overthrow injustice, tyranny or theocracy today. In the film, the tribal people band together to free their people from slavery at the hands of the greedy, religiously insane proto-Egyptians building their pyramidical symbols of power and largesse. So we root for these tribes - they are in the right! Down with tyranny! But do we connect this kind of injustice with sweat shop labor? Or migrant produce pickers? Or sex trafficking? Or even religious hegemony in our own modern politics? Of course we don't. Do we just live vicariously through these characters? That's my guess. Better to support honor and loyalty and bravery in the face of injustice in fictional characters than have to be those things ourselves.

Ok, I may be taking a silly movie out of context. Sure. Each movie on it's own is fine, but when we have the vast majority of films with this sort of structure, and CERTAINLY the vast majority of films made by men about men for men, I do not think I'm overreacting. [This is where I get shit for loving 300. I do see the irony, the hypocrisy. I still maintain that 300 is camp. I also still have no problem with people liking individual films. Hell, if I hated every misogynist, patriarchal film I'd never like anything. By the way, no comments on 300. I'm looking at you Alizarin!]

As an experiment, I decided to reorder my netflix queue to reflect movies about women (for example, Fellini films about women don't count) or by women - 22 out of 170. I've decided that I need a break from all this maleness. So for some undefined period of time I will only listen to music by women, watch films about women and/or by women, and read books by and/or about women. Depending how long I decide to do this I may have to make an exception in June for the first opera in Wagner's Ring Cycle at the SF Opera. And of course, there's the new Batman film coming out this summer AND the Ironman movie (both movies made by men about men, superheroes no less) starring the immeasurably wonderful Robert Downy Jr. But those I can catch on DVD if need be.

It's not that I hate men, it's that I loathe the patriarchy.
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I've not been reading much or following the primaries as closely as usual, since I've been taking a big ol' break from all things intellectual lately.

However, I have been thinking that Obama is going to get the Democratic nod, for several reasons. First, he is a breath of fresh air (at least on the surface) for a party that is getting stale. Second, he has a wide reach, involving youth and younger voters and the Democrats would have to be downright stupid to alienate this block of potential party loyalists. Third, he's a man. Yep. There it is. I'm not 100% convinced that Hillary is better than Obama. But I do know that while racism runs deep in this country, sexism runs deeper. I would not be surprised if we had a black male president long before we had a white female president.

I look at the basic history of voting rights. Only 5 years after slavery was abolished (1865) Congress passed the 15th amendment (1870) establishing that no one (man) can be denied a vote based on race. It took 50 years before women of ANY color were granted the right to vote. The 19th amendment was passed in 1920. It took hardly any time at all for people to grasp that black men were capable of self-determination and rational thought, where before black people were only useful as property and bipedal work horses. But fifty years had to pass before women were given any credit for their abilities to cast a vote.

Of course, if you follow the feminist blogs you'll see that there is a rift between the feminist establishment (Hillary all the way) and younger feminists (who prefer Obama). Obama supporters are accused of selling out the dream. My personal mindset is much more post-feminist than the world's, but I do not believe we live in a post-feminist world in the slightest. Because of this, I do struggle with the thought that maybe I should be behind Hillary more than I am. As I stand, I'm really ambivalent about the two.

What I'd like to see, if I had my way, is Hillary as president and Obama as VP. I'd like to see women break the ultimate glass ceiling. Their policies aren't that different. They are fighting for mostly the same things. I do think that Clinton has more experience, and as veep Obama would get more upclose exposure, as well as be an excellent face for diplomacy abroad. Since the veep doesn't have a very powerful role, Obama could create one that uses his charm and relationship building skills.

Honestly, any configuration of Clinton/Obama will be historic - if they can only they can get over their pride and agree to work together. Worse than 4 more years of red/blue vitriol would be 4 years of intraparty squabbling on the part of the Democrats. Especially when history will be made either way the party decides on this ticket.
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In this month's issue of Vogue two female governors are profiled: Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kansas) and Sarah Palin (R-AK). It's a good article profiling two strong and competent women in government. I think it's cool that Vogue decided to profile them. Occasionally Vogue has a great article... good thing I knew to watch for this, otherwise I'd have missed it seeing as how I'm not a Vogue reader. I think it's interesting that Palin is not photographed upclose or in her traditional hair-up-and-glasses look. She's quite an attractive woman, however you dress her.

Also, this AP article lists Sarah Palin as a possible Republican VP pick. I think that would be cool. She's the only Republican woman on the list of potentials. Sebelius is also listed as a possible VP pick, but for the Dems.
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After a night of horrible anxiety dreams (deformed babies, grief, etc) we went to The Ultrasound this morning. Took over an hour. The little baby is nestled deep into my pelvic bowl. The part where I'm large? Inconsequential. The technician had to cram that wand into my right hip bone and pubic bone to get at the babe. But all parts are a-okay! Healthy, squirmy, stubborn. That's my kid.

And what kind of parts? BOY parts. Very obviously a boy. I was deeply attached to a girl - felt girl, had strong feelings for a girl name.... so of course I came home and cried my eyes out. I'm disappointed. To my guy friends: it's not you, it's me. I'll get over this. In the end it doesn't matter at all. He'll be cute and wonderful and thank god moms get flooded with hormones that make us think our kids are the greatest things since cheese.

What I'm really nervous about is, my family - both immediate and extended - only come in pairs. Whatever the first was, the second was. Adam is one of two boys. His mother is one of four girls in a row before the boy. I would bet good money on the fact that I am now going to have a boy filled family. I wish I didn't feel resigned in that, but I do. At least my father now has the boy he always wanted.

As for names, Adam's leaning toward Beckett William. He'll have Adam's last name (since the girls would've/will get mine). I have no real opinions. Perhaps this will change.
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I made the mistake of watching the cell phone video of the stoning to death of a 17 year old Iraqi girl. It was an "honor killing." As Twisty Faster posted:

The Daily Mail and other reports title the story more or less like this: “Teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy.” Implying that the girl, however much sympathy we have for her, nevertheless brought the savagery on herself.

I knew better than to watch it. I think there are more than one? I've gotten emails, seen various posts, but finally went back and clicked on one. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I did not need to see a mostly dead girl, with her skirt up around her waist, bloodied, surrounded by a circle of men yelling and picking up huge rocks and hurling them on her.

Do I cry? Do I throw up?

Men are scary. How can women thrive, much less live, in a place where making a personal choice violates some other man's claim to property and he can, with a little help from his friends, kill you? In broad daylight. And no one will stop them.

And people roll their eyes when I talk about feminism and patriarchy.
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I have been reading Patristic texts about gender. More specifically, I have been reading what the Eastern Church Fathers (great thinkers of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the early centuries of AD) have to say about gender and how it fits into God's plan. That means a great deal of parsing Genesis 1:26-27, with a little extra input from the second creation story in Genesis 2 and one or two verses from Paul in the New Testament. I kid you not when I say that the religious justification of women's subordination comes from a mere handful of verses, barely a paragraph's worth.

It is infuriating at times to realize that there was a long debate over whether or not woman could be redeemed, whether woman is made in the imago Dei, and what her relation to man is. Never was there debate on whether or not woman was to be subordinate to man, for that was taken as a given. Some thinkers took that as merely a social construct, but one that should be upheld for the healthy order of society nonetheless. Some thinkers actually applied a moral and spiritual value to woman's subordination. With some thinkers I can see past the influence of time and place - one cannot apply feminist expectations to men (or women) living 18 centuries ago - and get to the core of their words. Other thinkers are misogynist and awful in any time or place. Reading all of this can be awfully depressing. Especially when I realize that so very little has changed. Women continue to be thought of as less than men. This is institutionalized in many cultures, but it is clear in our own: just look at any magazine cover, the debates over abortion, rape statistics, etc. (If you are not convinced that women are still evaluated on their sexual "merits" - their pussy power and uterus utilization, if you will - please read this wonderful blog, written by Twisty Faster, Spinster Aunt.)

However, there are a few consolations to be found in reading the Patristics. First, they put in perspective many issues of today. Why men and women are divided has been a concern for a long time. Secondly, these Christians were not afraid to use the wealth of knowledge available to them at the time, unlike certain very belligerent Christian strains these days which run from science as if it were an STD. These thinkers adapted Hellenistic modes of discourse and sought to incorporate what science they had, flawed though we know it to be today. They embraced new knowledge, not necessarily as a way to bolster their arguments, but because science was one way of learning more about God.

Still. I wonder if women will ever quit getting blamed for the Fall of the world. When will women quit being seen as pussies, tits, and wombs? When will our bodies stop being commodities for men to broker? When will we have status beyond how we uphold the patriarchal status quo? The deep divisions between men and women go back at least 3,000 years. It is written into the fabric of the Western creation myth. I am not encouraged. I am inspired to fight the good fight, but sometimes I wonder why and what for.
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I am not surprised that I scored quite masculine given the few questions on assertiveness. Highly gendered questions. Now, if they had asked questions about cooking, chores, entertaining, etc I would have scored feminine for sure.

Anyway. I hope everyone out there had a great holiday. I threw a Yule party. I have been told it was a success but I wasn't very present for it. My head was fuzzy and I was so tired. However, I accomplished a major feat: I made a successful Christmas pudding and sauce. It was my first time (I think) making this traditional UK/Australian dessert. I was so excited that it turned out that I wanted to immediately call my mother in Australia and be all child-like, "Look Mumma! Look what I made!" I restrained myself.
Christmas itself was a calm, peaceful event. The lack of obligation or pressure from family made the holiday truly relaxing and gave me plenty of time to think about what the holiday actually means to me.

Now we are rolling into the new year. I have been thinking about new year's resolutions. Normally I eschew them. I never go out on new year's eve (drunken crowds, expensive drinks, and drunk drivers, no thank you). But this year.... this year deserves a drunken going out. It's also been an autumn of winnowing and re-evaulation. My new year's resolutions are to get more excersize (I am getting a bike!) and to get my finances in order. The last one will be the real challenge. I pay a lot in student loans; without them I'd be doing quite nicely! I want to start saving. I want to be able to travel more. It is absurd to me that I don't travel - ever. I go to Australia every so many years on my parents' dime. I haven't been Home in a year and a half, and who knows when I will? I owe several people visits. It's time. I just gotta figure out how to make it happen. Someday, oh say about the summer of 2007, I'll need/want to leave Oakland. Where will I go? Seattle? Vancouver? Juneau? Wales? And how will I (we) get there?
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I am all for sex and I am equally all for abstinence, assuming that the individual making the choice is informed, under no coercion, and is making the choice for his/herself. In our messed up sexual culture you (particularly women) are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Although the media would still have us beleive that if you have a flat stomach you should be out having mind-blowing sex most nights of the week. As a feminist, I don't want to participate in sex based on an attitude of "well, if the men can do, why can't I?" becuase really, just because men are doing something (like playing around, emotionally disconnected sex, and objectifying others) doesn't mean it's worth doing. As a feminist I think women should or should not ahve sex as they choose and form mutual healthy and satisfying relationships.

Which brings me to this dumb article. I should've known better: it comes from USA Today. Still, I thought a feminist take on abstinence would be good to read. Instead, it is neo-conservative/Christian abstinence rhetoric without god-language. So disappointing. There needs to be feminist dialogue around abstinence. Unfortunately, only the Right makes claim to it and the positive outcomes abstinence can have; the Right turns it into a choice made out fear and defensiveness. This article, written by a 32 year-old woman, says sex outside of marriage creates false intimacy. Does she not know that it can be false and completely un-intimate within the bonds of marriage too? She also demeans men. She thinks any man at a bar that expresses interest in her or thinks she's pretty wants to have sex with her, and if they do it's only because she's hot and not because she's interesting. Some guys are like that, some guys want to have sex AND a conversation. What I find especially demeaning to men is this excerpt:

Regardless of why the relationship died, you are now one of many women whom he could point out on the street. "See her?" he can tell his buddies. "She's cute, huh? Yeah, I had her." I never want to be "her."

Couldn't she say the same thing? She could. Does she really think that after a break up men console themselves by bragging "Well at least I had her." If it was a meaningful relationship with a healthy sex life chances are he's even more hurt over the breakup and a lot less likely to consider the woman an item to be "had." These arguments discredit the many reasons people choose not to have sex, whether that's only for a time or until they get married (or relational equivalent). By calling herself a neo-feminist and using such stereotyping arguments, the author discredits feminism. I wonder if this article wasn't written with exactly that kind of propaganda in mind, the editors thinking that by putting "neo-feminist" in the title they'll reach women that the Right wouldn't normally and will gain some kind of cache of coolness. I hope feminists will see right past this pretence.
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This news story makes me sad and angry, and leaves me shaking my head. How can people assume that proximity to a homosexual relationship will warp children? How can we still be caught up on "sexual roles"? The poor daughters who now must live without their mother. I look forward to raising children in a home that doesn't care about gender or sex roles and is completely comfortable with things queer. I want my future daughters to know, like I told my neice once, that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up - they don't even have to be a girl. (Sons, likewise.)

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