Category Archives: feminism

Evolutionary Psych’s Double Standard

The double standard.

The double standard.

Evolutionary psychology says the sexual double standard dwells within our genes: men are naturally polygamous and women are naturally monogamous.

It can’t be helped.

Unfortunately, the theory harms women’s sexuality. And unnecessarily, because the theory has some problems. Read the rest of this entry

I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Bruce Jenner’s Ok

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner is the most high-profile transgender person to come out of the closet.

And people seem fairly accepting of the transition so far. But transgender folk face hate crimes at astonishing rates, says Nick Kristof at the New York Times. He points out:

So far this year at least three transgender people have been reported murdered in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign issued a report the other day listing 13 transgender women murdered in 2014: They were shot, strangled, burned and beaten.

Bullies project their own shame onto others. And then they beat the crap out of what they hate inside themselves. Sometimes verbally, and sometimes physically.

What is it about transgendered-ness that cues insecurity? Read the rest of this entry

Women’s Lower Sex Drive Isn’t A Problem?

headacheResearch consistently shows that women have a lower sex drive than men.

But maybe it’s not a problem?

While 44% of US women report sexual problems, most commonly low desire, only 12% are bothered by it.

If you don’t care, what’s the problem? Read the rest of this entry

Women Crave Sex Less Than Men?

Do women crave sex less than men?

Do women crave sex less than men?

Is it sexist to say that women crave sex less than men?

Some think so. Like this woman:

Why do people still believe this crap? It makes you feel abnormal if you are a woman with a high sex drive or a man with a lower one.

She’s got a point: some women do have a higher sex drive than some men.

But crunch the numbers and men are generally more interested: Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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