A World Before Male Dominance 

Early, more egalitarian societies had goddesses

Early, more egalitarian societies had goddesses

Think the world has always been male-dominated? It hasn’t.

The earliest societies worshiped the great mother goddess. In some early Middle Eastern cultures women’s graves were central and richly decorated. New Guinea’s Arapesh and Tchambuli, ancient Crete, the !Kung of Africa and many American Indian tribes all tell us that patriarchy is not inevitable.

Take, for instance, the Iroquois of North America. We know of them from the French Jesuit missionaries who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries, along with some later observers.  Read the rest of this entry

Modesty Objectifies Me

modesty

Her body is all about sex.

You’re not going out dressed like that!

With those words, parents seek to protect their daughters from objectification: being seen as one-dimensional “things” that exist to titillate men.

But the attitude could help to create objectification.

A conservative Christian who calls herself Sierra says that a preoccupation with modesty had once objectified her.  Read the rest of this entry

Pleasure + Wound vs Pleasure + Love

Painful relationshipsI’m in a relationship with a long-term partner who wants a threesome — he says it would just be fun and wouldn’t mean anything. I laughed it off and said I wasn’t into it because I’m a monogamous person.

But we went camping and all I heard about were the hot bodies around us — and joking about getting into someone else’s pants while I’m at work, just to see if fantasy lives up to reality.

I don’t know what to do. Honestly, I’ve never found anyone else attractive. Plus, the true love bit [insert violin music here].

I’m getting worried that he doesn’t love me anymore and wants something better. This worries me because although I may not be the one for him he is definitely the one for me… Its like my soul loves him as much as my heart does.

I don’t know what to do.

Read the rest of this entry

Should Businesses Have More Rights than Gays, Women and Blacks?

Business rights v human rights.

Business rights v human rights.

Should businesses have more rights than people? In particular, people who are gay, female or black?

Because the US has a history of privileging businesses over historically underprivileged people.

And it’s getting worse. As Harvard’s Kennedy School observes: Read the rest of this entry

You Don’t Have to Give It All Away

Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat

Some guys think girls flaunt skin to gain power and superiority over men.

But most do it because “hotness” so often measures a woman’s worth. And a girl likes to feel good about herself.

So plenty of young women feel pressed to put on the act, even if it feels awkward and overexposed.

I’ve created a string of thoughts that come from my women students, Colbie Caillat’s “Try” and Ashley Judd’s response to chiding over her “puffy” face:

* * *

An old boyfriend told me that I wasn’t as attractive as other girls. I asked him why he didn’t think so. He said,

I don’t know. You’re always all covered up. Maybe you’d look more attractive in a cocktail dress. You don’t open your clothes and let men in.

Read the rest of this entry

Men, Women & Domination Fantasies

50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Grey

How similar are men and women’s sex fantasies when it comes to sexual domination?

I’ve already looked at gendered similarities and differences in romantic fantasies, sex with strangers and multiple partners. But what about fantasy when it comes to dominance and submission?

I used University of Montréal research, which had looked at how common different sorts of fantasies were, to make a sex comparison. Read the rest of this entry

Jesus Was a Feminist 

Jesus, a feminist

Jesus, a feminist

Looking at mainstream Christianity today, few would guess that Jesus was a feminist.

Jesus’ life story is found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And there is no sexism in any of them.

Instead, Jesus recognized the worth and dignity of everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or class (feminism is concerned with all of these). Read the rest of this entry

Girls Can Be Tomboys, Boys Can’t Be Sissies

No sissies. Just tough guise.

No sissies. Just tough guise.

Every quarter I ask my women students if any of them had been tomboys when they were little. Many hands enthusiastically shoot into the air. The women often have fond memories of their time climbing trees and digging in the dirt.

Then I ask the men students if any of them had been sissies. The class bursts out laughing. One hand might sheepishly creep up.

One man claimed the question was unfair since the word “sissy” is stigmatized but “tomboy” is not.

Actually, there isn’t a non-stigmatizing word for a boy who acts like a girl. And there’s a reason for that.  Read the rest of this entry

Should Women Give Men The Porn Star Experience?

The porn star experience?

The porn star experience?

A lot of guys have come to expect P.S.E. [the “Porn-Star Experience”] … and plenty of women are more than happy to oblige. A few might enjoy it, but for most it’s harrowing. I think there’s a fear that if they can’t make it happen, their boyfriend will retreat online.

Read the rest of this entry

What Abusers and “Pro-Family” Conservatives Have in Common

"The pill"

“The pill”

Birth control sabotage is a common form of partner abuse. In a report released by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 25 percent of women callers to the hot line, who voluntarily answered questions about birth control and pressure to get pregnant in their relationships, reported some form of reproductive coercion.

The callers said their partners hid birth control pills or flushed them down the toilet. Some refused to wear condoms or poked holes in them. One woman’s partner became furious when she got her period. Read the rest of this entry

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