America’s Next Bill Clinton!


The sexism of Southern Baptists …

You know, I am all for people pursuing their religious beliefs, and practicing their beliefs and living  life as they see fit, but things like these piss the hell out of me.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1203/p20s01-ussc.html?page=2

It’s an article about a Texas university that’s offering classes on “being a good homemaker,” as part of sociology classes – although a Bible college, it’s still pretty disturbing – especially the quote below.

“Feminists are right to be concerned about how this agenda plays out among nominal Southern Baptists,” says Dr. Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia. “But this model works quite well for traditional religious couples. Conservative, Protestant, churchgoing women are happier than other wives, generally, and their work around the home is more appreciated than that of women who are not married to churchgoing, Protestant men.” 

In short, what this class is teaching are the “roles” in which women must have  in the homes – that husbands are the bread winners, and wives are supposed their roles and “submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” At this divinity college, women are learning to be homemakers, and the majority of the staff members are men. It’s also a theological college, but as the patriarchy would have it, none of the women are allowed to pursuit those divinity degrees. Why? Because God said so. Essentially, these people are saying at men and women have different roles, and it’s not interchangeable – that they’re equal under the eyes of God, but the women must submit to their husbands, and be “discreet, chaste homemakers.”What the fuck? Doesn’t that sound eerily like “separate, but equal?” As we all know, separate but equal isn’t.

 I support religion, and I believe that in the end, people are responsible for their own search of the truth …but when said beliefs and “truths,” are used to push women back into the private sphere, while men are still the movers and shakers of the world, I have a problem with that. I have a problem with treating women like servants, as if they’re not intelligent or capable enough to do the jobs that men have been “assigned” to be the public spheres.

More importantly, it gives men an excuse to not share the division of labor that women endure in the private sphere. Let’s face it – cleaning the toilet, doing laundry and accomplishing the mundane bullshit of life aren’t exactly exciting for most people. Somehow, to claim that women naturally enjoy cleaning toilets is just an insult to them.  

At the end of the day, these Southern Baptists can claim religion as an excuse for their practice, but in truth, I’ll call it what it is: sexist, discriminatory, archaic and misogynistic.Women aren’t objects. They’re people – the same people as men, and should be afforded every opportunity to do what they want, instead of what the patriarchal, religious and sexist institution wants them to do. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sexist and probably an idiot … 

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Feminism is my religion

In my circle of intellectual friends, be it at a cocktail lounge or progressive coffee shop, the question of, “What is your religion?” always seems to come up – and rightfully so. Understanding a person’s religion allows us a glimpse into their personal lives and values and convictions.

Often times, my answer – although I am a Unitarian Universalist, is that “love is my religion” – in short, that I believe in fairness, justice and equality. It’s a short way to explain what is sure to be quite a complex (yet simple) religion.

Lately, though, I’ve also told people I am a feminist because feminism also incorporates that values of UU-ism into its beliefs. I do wonder, though, which came first – am I a UU because I am a feminist, or am I a feminist because I am a UU?

This much I know: feminism, for me, is a religion. It is my religion not only because my political ideals are shaped by it, but also because I am required to, as a matter of the personal vs. the political, “act like a feminist,” and behave in ways that are feministic, and not a misrepresentation of feminism.

Just as Christians are judged based on the behaviors of a few bad apples, feminists can also be judged in such a way. Because of that, I feel the obligation to, at all times, act as “holy” as possible in a feministic ways. Although, because our beliefs are feminists might vary, it’s also a struggle to correctly represent all of feminism so that people do not misunderstand us, or fail to understand that ours is a just and right cause.

At least Christians have the Bible – and a code of ethics by which they must follow. What do we  have as feminists? Nothing. It seems aside from a big circle of support for one another, we rarely have anything to turn to as we navigate and wade through the complexities of what it means to be a feminist in our personal lives.

Is it wrong to buy clothes without knowing if they were made in a sweatshop? What about ownership of an animal (as been discussed over at feministing.com)? If and when we choose to get married, is it okay to have a traditional wedding, and let ourselves dream away of the perfect day?

As for gender roles, how much do we reject, and how much do we embrace, as to still be a part of a normal society? Is violence acceptable as a means to further our cause? Can “rough sex” be feministic? What if we enjoy music with misogynistic lyrics? As feminists, are we supposed to be vegetarians? What of preaching as feminists? Do we go door to door, or do we just live our lives and set good examples? Can a feminist, much like a Christian, be feminist in name only? How do we find out the answers to all these questions? To whom do we turn for answers? How do we know it’s the right answer? How can we deal live normal lives without compromising our values as feminists? How do we go on being feminists without, in the eyes of many, being annoying?

Sometimes, I wish there were a feminist Bible. Our lives would be much easier. But by no means am I bitching – nor do I have the right to. While it’s a challenge to have to question each and everyone of my own actions, I know that I am doing so from a privileged standpoint. There are millions of women who are living through the plight of being oppressed everyday.

But this, I believe, can start a good discussion on how we ought to act as feminists. The personal, after all, is political.



Scientists: only human females can get pregnant

It’s my intention that on Fridays, blogs will be light-hearted, yet still dealing with feminist issues. This here, then, is the first light-hearted post. It’s an article I wrote a few months back while in the shower. 

 NORFOLK. Va. – A 10-year study on human sexuality and reproduction showed that in the human species, 100 percent of those who get pregnant are women, while the percentage of pregnant men remains at zero, scientists from the National Organization for Scientific and Health Institute Technology announced Thursday.

Although the result of the study had always been widely speculated and believed by the majority of the population, NOSHIT leading scientist, Dr. Henry Anderson said the organization set out to do the study to prove conclusively that pregnancy is an ability inherently connected with the female gender, and  males have very little to do with the carrying and birthing of the fetus.

“While there were certainly no disagreements in the scientific community that this was how human sexuality and reproduction worked, there were many organizations that showed characteristics of resisting such a belief,” Anderson said. “So we set out to prove it once and for all.”

The result came from a 10-year study, spanning across five continents that consisted of both field and clinical studies of more than a million couples of child-bearing age. In every case, regardless of whether the pregnancies were planned or a surprise, the pregnancy was carried out by the female half of the couple.

While the results won’t change any contemporary findings in the scientific community, both the religious and political communities are reacting with passionate responses.

“This proves that we’ve always tried to tell the world – that the responsibility and privileges of pregnancy belong to women,” said National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy. “Because of that, the choice of whether to carry out or terminate the pregnancy also belongs to women.”

Gandy went on to point out that while 100 percent of those getting pregnant will always be women, legislatures who make laws regarding a woman’s ability to make decisions about her own body are mostly men.

“Even with the current Congress, 77 percent of those making decisions about reproduction are men,” she said. “There’s a discrepancy, and we hope to change that.”

Armed with the new scientific findings, Gandy said she hopes to work with legislatures and local communities to ensure the reproductive choices of women remain in the hands of those to whom they matter most – women.

Not everyone, however, reacted to the findings with opened arms. Long-time science-denier and televangelist Pat Robertson, speaking at a prayer breakfast in front of a group of Biblical Science students at Regent University, said he is still skeptical about the study.

“Science has done many great things for the world,” Robertson said. “But it’s also created the atomic bomb, gas chambers and tanks and other weapons, all of which have caused pain and sufferings to God’s children.

“I see this finding as being similar to the creation of those weapons. It’s using something that is inherently good to do evil – by that I mean the mass murders of millions of God’s children each year.”

 “To make such a bold proclaimation is to mean that rather than being humbled as we ought to be, we’re being prideful stating we know how God works, and that we know more than God. That leads to a society’s downfall.”

Along with Robertson and other religious organizations, the Christian Wives of America has also spoken regarding the findings.

“I don’t see what it proves,” said CWA president Bertha Green. “The fact of the matter is that we marry through the grace of God, and become one; so because of that, my body is my husband’s body, thus he will always have a say over what I do with my body and the choices I make.”

The mentality of those sharing Green’s belief, said Marc Lloyed, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance of ODU’s, is the reason the battles for women’s rights continued to be take a step backward.

“It’s not a matter of politics, and it’s not a matter of religion,” Lloyed said. “It’s matter of what’s logical – the logic here is this: you can’t make decisions on what doesn’t belong to you.

“It astounds me how some women are still letting the men in their lives make decisions about their bodies. It makes about as much sense as letting a stranger decide who you’re going to marry or what you’re going to name your kid.”

What concerns him even more, the long-time ally in the women’s rights movement said, is that there are men who, despite the study, still think it’s their rights to make decisions about women’s reproductive choices.

“That line of thinking is as silly as going into another country, taking down its government and telling its people what kind of government they really want,” he continued. “Perhaps we also need to do a study that will find that Americans aren’t Iraqis and don’t know what Iraqis think.”

The findings are expected to bring about months of fighting between the left and right, and although it probably won’t settle anything permanently, will restart the debate between America’s pro-choice and-life.

“We’re ready,” Robertson said. “The feminist movement is the lifeblood of the AntiChrist. We’ve always had God on our side, and this time it won’t be any different. Science may be to answer certain questions, but it’ll never be able to answer how God came about. For my money – and I have lots of it, I’ll always pick God over science.”