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
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.
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:
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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.
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
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
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.
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
• Piece of tail
• Piece of ass
• Piece of “that”
That’s how a sexually attractive woman might be described.
Well, “attractive woman” is an overstatement. Attractive body part, maybe.
The whole woman isn’t wanted. Just a piece of her. Read the rest of this entry
My mother, Colleen Crangle, was the first woman to take a sex discrimination case to trial against Stanford University.
In 1995, after receiving a Ph.D. at Stanford in Logic and The Philosophy of Science and Language she joined the university’s academic staff and was soon recruited to a bioinformatics research group. The American Medical Informatics Association presented her with a prestigious award, and an article in The Biochemist recognized that she had quickly established a reputation for excellence.
Sounds picture perfect. But it was not. Read the rest of this entry
Meanwhile, we do a very good job of dismissing relationships as unimportant in American culture, even though most guys value them very much. These expressions below need to go the way of the dodo. And yes, some of these could be applied directly to men by women or have easy parallels. Those expressions need to go away too. Read the rest of this entry