I don’t want to know that I’m pretty. I just want to know that it doesn’t matter.
We are failing to care for the most marginalized and helpless among us, be they unborn children or women whose desperation sent them to Gosnell’s clinic. And we won’t be able to promote a “culture of life” until we are willing to advocate on behalf of both.
On Periods: Let’s put this shit to bed right now: Women don’t lose their minds when they have period-related irritability. It doesn’t lower their ability to reason; it lowers their patience and, hence, tolerance for bullshit. If an issue comes up a lot during “that time of the month,” that doesn’t mean she only cares about it once a month; it means she’s bothered by it all the time and lacks the capacity, once a month, to shove it down and bury it beneath six gulps of willful silence.
A long time ago, when you were a wee thing, you learned something, some way to cope, something that, if you did it, would help you survive. It wasn’t the healthiest thing, it wasn’t gonna get you free, but it was gonna keep you alive. You learned it, at five or six, and it worked, it *did* help you survive. You carried it with you all your life, used it whenever you needed it. It got you out—out of your assbackwards town, away from an abuser, out of range of your mother’s un-love. Or whatever. It worked for you. You’re still here now partly because of this thing that you learned. The thing is, though, at some point you stopped needing it. At some point, you got far enough away, surrounded yourself with people who love you. You survived. And because you survived, you now had a shot at more than just staying alive. You had a shot now at getting free. But that thing that you learned when you were five was not then and is not now designed to help you be free. It is designed only to help you survive. And, in fact, it keeps you from being free. You need to figure out what this thing is and work your ass off to un-learn it. Because the things we learn to do to survive at all costs are not the things that will help us get FREE. Getting free is a whole different journey altogether.
Imagine if schools of criminal justice allowed you to major in sexual assault prevention and prosecution. Imagine these programs were incredibly well run, so you’d learn both how to shoot a gun and run a sting, and how to get survivors the services they need. I’m sure more women would sign up. Imagine that all kinds of female officers with degrees in this, and excellent physical training, were embedded in military units, hanging out at bars, talking their way into fraternity parties, and jogging alone.
Imagine an officer, dressed in a sparkly top, gets onto a car with a real nice guy. Sometimes, this will go just fine. The FTA hasn’t wasted its time when its agents ride on a plane and no terrorists strike. That’s fine! That’s a day’s work well done.
But sometimes, something will happen. And of course the officer is wearing a wire, so we’ll have it on tape when she expresses a clear lack of consent and some guy makes his move. And maybe she’s packing a gun, or maybe she sends a signal that brings in backup. Cops swarm the car and the guy is all like, “This was a setup!” And society is like, “Yes! A setup for catching rapists before they strike!”
The value of stings is also, of course, their deterrent effect. Imagine a world in which a potential rapist first has to worry about whether you might be a cop. Rapists would be constantly looking over their shoulders. Because they’re the ones who should be.
Law enforcement should set up Stings to catch rapists the way they do for other crimes
Why We Need More Women In Ministry | Relevant Magazine
First of all, we can respect women’s education, experience and career obligations, instead of expecting them to fill traditionally female roles. If the CEO of the local bank loves making cupcakes for the Women’s Banquet, fine, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to ask her to chair the finance board. And don’t grumble about the oncologist not taking her turn in the nursery rotation. Humility is great, and every church needs people to make the coffee, dust the pews and staff the nursery, but if you’re constantly tapping women for kitchen work while passing them over for roles that might be a better fit, don’t be surprised if they feel undervalued.
Second, male leaders can intentionally seek out female input. Women have an incredible wealth of wisdom, insight and parallel perspectives to offer the Church and the world—as men do. Imagine what the Church could look like if it paired the contributions of both together. And pastors, many of the women in your congregation are just waiting to be asked. Be intentional about including women among your advisors, and prodding for female attendees’ perspectives.
Last but not least, churches can hire women. About half of the students in seminary nowadays are women, which makes a powerful statement about women’s desire to bring their whole heart, mind and strength to Christ’s service in the Church. Even churches that are big on male leadership should be able to see the benefit of having called, gifted and theologically educated women on staff to minister to other women. There are some things women simply don’t want to talk about with a male pastor, and that a man will not be able to speak to like a woman can.
It is not good for man to be alone, and that holds just as true in the church board room as it does in the family. Let’s work on building a church that isn’t just hushing one side to hear the other, but where both men and women are encouraged to bring their whole selves to the table, using every gift God has given them for the sake of the Kingdom to the glory of God.
I began to ask questions like, So what if I can’t cook? So what if I’m expressive in my relationships with men? Does that make me less desirable as a spouse? Is this what the church is teaching people these days? Does every Christian man feel this way?
As it turned out, a lot of them did.
I remember sitting across the dinner table from a male friend talking about gender roles and how I believed that submission ought to be a mutual thing, and I remember him raising his eyebrows and saying, “Wow, nobody’s ever gonna want to date you if that’s what you believe.” I remember another friend telling me, joking-but-serious, that I was in his “danger zone.” I remember the looks I got for something as simple as wearing red lipstick. (I just really like red lipstick, ok?!) And most of all, I remember two years of trying to make it work with Mr. Darcy that ended with him telling me that I just wasn’t pretty enough, and if I were prettier he would be more motivated to stay with me, but he needed to marry somebody extra pretty so that later on he wouldn’t cheat on his wife.
I don’t care how good your theology is in theory—if this is what it’s yielding in practice, something is desperately wrong.
As generations have shifted, gender-based ministries have failed to keep pace with changing preferences and needs. By nature, traditional gender-based ministries hold narrow views of men’s and women’s lifestyles. In current culture, both men and women fill diverse roles and follow unique daily rhythms. We no longer hold as much in common within our sex as many churches would like to believe. Our lifestyles, preferences and attitudes contrast sharply. Not all women enjoy baking; not all men enjoy sports. We don’t all have children; we’re not all married, single, engaged or divorced. In fact, male and female professional accountants may have more in common than two 35-year-old women.
I’ve been told I’m smart for a girl, funny for a girl, good at math for a girl, handy for a girl, easy to talk to for a girl. Until people started lining up to tell me all the things I was good at doing, you know, for a girl, I didn’t realize people thought that those were things girls weren’t good at doing in the first place.
And I guess that right there is what makes me a feminist because I recognize that many of my friends, when they heard words like that, listened more to the subtext of girls aren’t supposed to be good at that than the compliment itself. Many of my childhood friends acted more and more like what they believed girls should be as the years went by, whereas I started asking louder and louder, “Why shouldn’t girls be good at math or be handy with tools or be funny?” I knew intrinsically that any compliment designed to cut me down said more about the person giving the compliment than it did about me, and I didn’t see any point in trying to fix someone else’s hangup by adjusting my behavior.
The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make you unloveable or undesirable or undeserving of care. It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human. Everyone struggles. Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart. During these times, we aren’t always easy to be around — and that’s okay. No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time. Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult. And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad. But those things aren’t all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.