What makes a feminist?

What makes a feminist?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So much in the past few weeks

With the Supreme Court's decision ruling that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, I've been seeing a whole lot of love and happiness in the air.

And also a whole lotta ugly from opponents of marriage equality.  From Sarah Palin calling for certain Supreme Court judges to be impeached (hint: it doesn't work that way) to FRC leaders claiming that same-sex marriage will lead to more babies born out of wedlock (I don't understand his logic either), the backlash has made me weep for humanity.

Marriage equality is not designed to be an attack on religion.  It is intended to promote the dignity of LGBT persons by allowing them to have their partnerships recognized by law and their families recognized as legitimate--by law.  What churches choose to do is up to them.

Churches have never lost the right to decide who can and cannot be married in their church.
-Protestant couple thinks the local Catholic cathedral would be simply gorgeous to hold their ceremony in?  Not happening if the priest says no.
-Black members of a predominantly white church?  Yeah, you might need to find a different location for your wedding.  And yes, that is still perfectly legal, albeit appalling.
-Dress not church appropriate? Not getting married today.
To say nothing of the various requirements to get married in an LDS temple...

If you feel like marriage equality is an attack on your faith, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate your faith.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Things the Pope says

A week ago, the Pope announced the women "don't have to breed like rabbits".  I'm probably taking this out of context, as much of the U.S. media did.

And yes, he's technically right.  In North America at least, there are means a woman can obtain to space out her pregnancies or avoid it altogether.  The RCC only endorses one means of avoiding conception, and NFP requires a degree of self-control.  It requires that women have not only the desire but also the ability to tell their partners/husbands "no, I cannot have sex tonight" and for their husbands to respect that (for those who weren't sure, marital rape is a crime in all 50 states).

The Pope will not endorse artificial contraception.  Most people may not understand why, but it's important to understand that the Catholic definition of marriage is not necessarily the same as the secular definition.  The secular world defines marriage as a joining of two non-related persons, the reasons for their choosing marriage are open to individual interpretation.  Catholics (and many Protestants) view it as specifically designed for a cisgendered man and woman, open to the intent of reproduction and raising their family in the church.  Is the secular definition any better/worse than the Christian one?  Personally I do not think so, and feel that at the very least, civil/secular marriage should be subject only to laws regarding incest and consent--that is to say, the couple entering into the union should not already be blood relations and should be entering into the agreement of their own volition.  Gender and sex are irrelevant to the secular union.  The religious institution, however, predates the modern secular world.  Houses of worship should be free to restrict who they wish to perform a ceremony for, provided they are abiding by laws that are intended to protect the well being of citizen.  No church should be able to FORCE matrimony on an unwilling woman (I should say individual but it tends to be the female who has less say in her future than the male in many religious communities).

Some religious groups follow a "Quiverfull" philosophy.  A famous example of this would be Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of "19 Kids and Counting".  Sex, in a QF marriage, is not something a wife is allowed to deny her husband.  They are brainwashed from a young age to serve their husband in all things and the marriage bed is one of them.  The concept of marital rape is not one that exists in these circles--consent is considered automatically granted when the ring is placed on the finger.

Because these groups tend to have large families, it's assumed that in Catholicism the rules are the same.  NFP, however, requires a respect for avoiding sexual intercourse for the sake of the dignity of the wife.  This is not something found in Quiverfull circles.

The Pope is not saying "disobey the Church's stance on contraception".  He's saying "it's okay to use NFP or periodic abstinence to space out pregnancy for the sake of your health."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


-because I was still a minor and he was my stepfather's employee.
-because I had been convinced that since I was no longer a virgin, no one else would want me.
-because if I broke up with him, I'd face even worse abuse at the hands of my stepfather than I already had.
-because he still swore up and down that he loved me and wanted to marry me as soon as I was old enough.

Someday a longer post will follow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Christian culture in film-or, why someone felt the need to respond to "50 Shades"

I'll start by saying that I did not read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.  Well, not in full anyways.  I'm not morally opposed to BDSM, but I read enough to know that what was being portrayed was not in any way healthy or representative of people who have those inclinations.  So when I heard that a movie was coming out, I was indifferent.

And then I heard that a "clean" version of 50SoG was coming out: "Old Fashioned".  I think a more accurate description would be "love story that has nothing to do with BDSM but we're going to premier it the same weekend to offer a nice, wholesome alternative".  I might go see it anyways, even though I wouldn't pay full price.

I've watched other films that are typically seen only in evangelical circles.  Pamela's Prayer is the story of a young woman who struggles with staying pure until marriage.  Only by 'pure', we mean 'never even been kissed until her wedding day'.  It's hailed in ultra-conservative circles as this amazing love story and it's absolutely horrible.  Strong beliefs are all well and good, but for the love of deity they should be expressed by passably good actors.

I tried to watch Fireproof.  I couldn't make it all the way through.  Kirk Cameron will never have a career in the secular movie industry and I'm surprised he still has one at all.

October Baby was passably good and even enjoyable in parts.  The main character is a young woman who discovers that she was the survivor of an abortion attempt.  Religious or not, I think any person would feel disturbed by that news.  Perhaps I was biased since it was also billed as a pro-life movie, but the religious aspects were more subtle.

So...these might not be the best examples.  But they have one thing in common: they aren't going to appeal to much out of a non-mainstream audience.  Other films have been criticized as racist (Alone But Not Alone), but I think a large part of the problem is (aside from limited budgets) that films labeling themselves "Christian" are just not of interest to non-evangelicals.

The characters and situations are not believable.  Maybe some of you are reading this thinking "but everyone I know waited until marriage for sex/kissing/starting a family!".  It's called confirmation bias.  Most people I know...didn't wait until marriage for anything except maybe having children.  Or if they did wait, they didn't announce it Jessica Simpson-style but regarded it as their own private business.  And statistically speaking, most people are not virgins when they marry for the first time.  Is it unfortunate?  Depends on your perspective.  I don't have much of an opinion one way or the other, as long as people are making that decision for themselves and aren't judging others for making different choices.  And that's where the problem lies.  The Good Christian Girl (TM) at my high school was not disliked for being a Christian, she was disliked for being a slut-shaming, homophobic snot.  I'm reasonably certain that Jesus wouldn't have called the pregnant students dirty sluts or defaced the posters for the Gay-Straight Alliance club.  And we all knew she was a Christian, not by her deeds but by the fact that every offensive thing that came out of her mouth was prefaced with "Well, I'm a Christian so...".

Want to make a Christian film that mainstream audiences will also like?  Don't push the religious angle.  Just show good people being good to each other.  Perhaps they have flaws.  Maybe they made mistakes.  Show us Christians who are also into the Goth lifestyle.  Create a GLBT Christian character who DOESN'T convert to being heterosexual but finds a loving and supportive church who accepts them for who they are.  Let's see Christian single moms.  Christians who had premarital sex-maybe they regretted it, maybe they didn't.  A barefoot pro-life hippie Christian who openly protests the Iraq war.

There can be such a thing as a Christian movie that doesn't suck.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I know it's been awhile since I've written anything

I guess you could say the writing bug comes and goes.  Sometimes I can think of a million things to write about (but never have the time!), other times the inspiration just isn't there.

I was sent a link to this Buzzfeed article today: Woman reveals why she decided to film her abortion.  For those who want to watch, it's not graphic at all--the camera stays focused on the woman's face.

I felt ill watching it.  I know the author wanted to create a positive face/spin on abortion and all I could think was "you're part of the problem!".

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Poverty is not an accident.  Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings."

RIP Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Supreme Court decisions

If today's SC ruling on voter rights is any indication, I'm not holding out much hope that they'll overturn DOMA tomorrow.

I just...I cried a little when I heard the news.  It was not THAT long ago that states had the power to disenfranchise minority voters, despite the Constitution granting them the right to vote.

I'm concerned about what happens next.

And if you think we don't need this because racism is no longer a problem...well, I want what you're smoking.