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Deep Thoughts with My Kids

I’m stalling today. I desperately want to do a dozen things, all of which are distractions from the novel I’m supposed to be working on. I’ve also charged myself with writing a blog post a week that isn’t WIPpet Wednesday or a ROW80 check-in, so at least this particular distraction is legitimate.

I played around with several topics, including throwing in my two cents on the whole Mark Driscoll fiasco that exploded this week. (I’m rejecting that one on the grounds that I have no real dog in that fight and there are much, much better people to listen to on that subject. Here and here are two of my favorites, if you care to find out what I’m talking about.)

I mentioned needing to write a post to a friend in an exchange that went like this:

Me: I need to do a blog post some time. But I need a topic first. LOL!

She: Why open conversations with children are necessary to the betterment of their lives and yours.

I did chuckle a little at that because yesterday, I had one such conversation with my kids over lunch. I had just come back from J’s appointment with his ADHD doctor. At the appointment, I mentioned that the bullying J experienced at school was largely of the “you’re not boy enough” variety. What was sad to me was how unsurprised his doctor was, although I was pleased when he said, “That should bother us on so many levels.”

When we returned home, J brought it up again, and he, S, and I started talking about what makes a person a girl or a boy. It’s interesting to me that people feel we can’t talk to kids about gender identity because they’re “too young to understand.” Let me assure you that my kids have a very good idea about gender identity, and talking with them was not difficult.

We talked about a lot of things, including how girls can often get away with being “tomboys” and wearing their brothers’ clothes but it doesn’t go the other way. I suggested that needs to change, and both kids said, “Yeah! That’s not fair!” We continued talking about the full range of identity and expression, and at no point did either of them act confused or upset.

Throughout the conversation, they were at the helm. I did very little other than answer questions and let them say what they wanted. Interestingly, both of them said they truly feel—inside and out—like a boy and like a girl, respectively. But apparently they already know kids who don’t feel the same.

This is why we need to talk about it. I am one hundred percent happy to talk with my own kids, to reassure them that whoever they are, they are loved by their dad and me. They are free to express themselves any way they choose. But that’s not the only reason to open that conversation. Surely over time, they will have friends who defy what society says is acceptable—not just gender or sexuality but many other things that are part of a person as a whole.

When that happens, I want my kids to be the sort of people who are loving, open, and understanding with all people. I want them to be able to tell their friends that if they don’t feel accepted in other places, they are always welcome in our house. Here, they will find people who don’t merely “tolerate” or even “accept” them but who actively take an interest and care about them.

Having these conversations with our children is absolutely not just about us or our kids. It’s about making a better world for everyone.

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How Should She Be Treated?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since I posted about the “date your daughter” video. While I stand by everything I said, and I don’t believe I need to apologize or clarify anything, I do have some further thoughts.

I am not opposed to parents spending time with their children. I’m not opposed to dressing up in fancy clothes, if that’s what the child wants. I may think it’s weird to play on the playground in prom attire, but let’s face it—was there really any playing going on? That whole video was staged, not a real “date.” I challenged the heteronormativity/two-parent family model, but I also suggested that quality one-on-one time with our kids is a good thing.

After some more thinking, I concluded that one of the things that makes me feel creepy and strange about it is the idea that dads must show their daughters how a man should treat them. This is pure nonsense for several reasons.

1. It assumes dating and marriage, rather than personal growth and development, are the goals.

The assumption is that every girl is going to grow up to become a wife (to a man). I understand that culture too well. When I was in college, there was an unspoken rule that many young women were not there for college degrees but to find mates, or that the degree was secondary. Not every woman wants to get married.

2. It assumes heterosexuality.

By teaching girls how men should treat them, it sends the message that relationships with men are expected. This is awkward at best when a girl is not interested in boys. It’s destructive at worst.

3. It assumes every person the parents call “daughter” is a girl and every person the parents call “son” is a boy.

These daddy-daughter date nights with reinforced gender roles are hurting gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and transgender individuals. That applies to both people presumed boys and people presumed girls.

4. It assumes families configured other than Mom + Dad + Kids are dysfunctional and inadequate.

Some families have a single mother. Some have two mothers. Some are formed in other ways. If there is no man living in a particular household, that is not some automatic death knell for a girl’s future dating life. Plenty of women grow up in households with dads who don’t date them, and they adjust to being wives and partners just fine.

5. It assumes all dads have to do is show up for date night.

If a father is present in his children’s lives in other ways, it isn’t necessary to make up for it by having the occasional night out. The failure to nurture, protect, and teach our kids cannot be overcome with dates. If a father behaves in destructive ways otherwise, date night won’t help. Similarly, living with integrity and showing love to our kids on a daily basis does not need to be supplemented with dates. The primary purpose of one-on-one time should be because it’s enjoyable, not because it’s a teachable moment.

6. It assumes women cannot figure out for themselves what they want in a relationship.

My biggest question is why any woman would need a man to teach her how men should treat her. If she can’t figure out for herself what she wants, she has bigger concerns than can be cured by dating her dad. It makes it sound like girls are too ignorant, unintelligent, weak, foolish, or innocent to have any idea at all what they want in a potential partner. I have never heard of a boy being taken out by his mother in order to “teach” him what he should expect from a date. So why should anyone believe girls are less capable of figuring these things out?

I find the culture of Daddy-Daughter Dating to be highly controlling. It’s yet another way to transition a girl from being under daddy’s care to being under a husband’s care. It is an erasure of her personhood, her autonomy, and her sexuality. Not only that, it erases her mother as an influencing force. If a girl really needs help learning about healthy relationships, why is that not the territory of her mother? Why can’t her mom help her learn “how she should be treated” on a date?

Once again, I have a much better idea. Let’s teach our children how to respect themselves and others. Let’s help them set healthy boundaries for themselves and reinforce that they need to be aware of other people’s boundaries. Let’s help them develop as people first—to discover their interests, passions, hobbies, talents. If we put relationships in the context of helping them become well-rounded, we eliminate the emphasis on “someday, you’ll be appropriately straight-married.” Instead, they discover the kinds of people they want in their lives—whether romantically or in friendship—without the need to “practice” with their parents.

Yes, Your Child May Be Gay

I should know better by now than to read the Internet. Like, ever. Yesterday was a veritable feast of anger-making poo. (Using the word “feast” loosely here; I don’t advise dining on poo.) Let me recap: We had George Will’s stunningly awful rape denial/apologism; the Southern Baptist Convention’s advice on shaming and shunning trans people; and Russel Moore’s jaw-dropping take on how to handle your child coming out to you.

It was not a good day for news and opinion.

Honestly, neither George Will nor the SBC surprised me in the least. I suppose that should say something about both of them. Their beliefs are things I heard regularly in church, so maybe that’s why I’m not shocked. I was more surprised to leave Christian culture and find out that there are people out there who don’t believe those things. I don’t have more to say on either topic at the moment. I need a few days to process.

Instead, I’m concentrating on the sentence in Russell Moore’s piece that stood out to me more than anything else I read yesterday. With regard to a child coming out to a parent he says:

He or she could be saying that this is an identity, from which they refuse to repent.

What. the. hell.

There are two parts to this. First, and let me make this as clear as I can, a person cannot—and should not—repent of his or her identity. Who we are at the center of our being is not up for debate, discussion, or apology. Regardless of whether the child in question intends to live openly or remain celibate (and that has to be their choice), it doesn’t change who they are. This is just another piece of the very foolish belief that we need to entirely empty ourselves of, well, ourselves in order to be “filled with” Jesus/the Holy Spirit/whatever. The end result of such a view is nothing but confusion and turmoil.

Second, there is something implicit in the “refusal to repent” that the parents have a responsibility to force this change. Moore rightly states that parents are not to blame for a child who is gay. But I lived with the persistent belief that it was my responsibility to badger my gay friends and family to turn to Jesus, repent, and no longer live a “sinful lifestyle.” I’ve seen other friends over the years encouraged to shoulder the same burden.

Allow me to offer this piece of advice: If someone—anyone—comes out to you, it is not your job to do anything about it. It’s not necessary to keep talking until they feel convicted of their “sin.” You are not responsible for making them see the light. Your eternal soul is not at risk for not evangelizing hard enough.

Want to know what is your responsibility? Being a friend, a child, a parent, a sibling, a cousin. That’s all. As in, you don’t have to do anything at all.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a particularly nice person. When I hear people whispering about their gay family members and telling their children things like, “We don’t approve of Aunt Jane’s lifestyle” or shaming anyone who loves and supports their gay child, I want to bean those people on the head and shout at them. I want to say, “What are you people thinking?!” And then I want to distance myself from them as far as possible so they can’t have any influence on my kids.

Fortunately, there are people a lot nicer than I am who are willing to be there to help parents when their kids come out to them*. If you want to read a much kinder answer (and several others linked within it), take a look at Ben Moberg’s response. (For real, he’s much nicer than I am and far less sarcastic.) Of course, if you just want someone to give you a swift kick in the pants and tell you to butt out and let your kids be themselves, I’m always available.

As for me, I just hope my own kids know their dad and I are here for them, and they’re surrounded by bunches of people—including at church—who love and support them. And if their friends need help, we’re always here for that, too.

_________________________

*It would be great if we also had resources for kids whose parents come out to them. If anyone has anything to offer, feel free to link up in the comments (one link at a time, or it goes to spam; sorry). I think there’s probably some good stuff out there for siblings and friends, but more would be good. Same for spouses/partners, particularly when they are part of conservative religion. We tend to focus on the parent-child relationship (which is important because they are minors), but that’s not the only relationship that can become strained.

Unrecognizable

What happens on a rainy Tuesday with nowhere to go when a writer is stalling on her edits? Why, reading Facebook, of course. That’s how I came across this article, linked by several friends. It’s photos of people—correction, women—without makeup and then made up so they are unrecognizable. I think most people found it amazing; I was a little disturbed.

The photos on the left in each set look to me like normal, everyday people. They seem like the people I might meet at church or in the grocery store. They are people who might be my friends. They look approachable, women I would talk to without feeling ashamed of the way I’m dressed or have my hair styled or how little/much makeup I’m wearing.

The second set, on the right, all intimidate me. They look unreal, unattainable. I’m quite sure if I had professionals do my hair and makeup I would look like that too. The question is, would I even want to?

No. No, I wouldn’t.

What I didn’t like was the way those women ceased to be themselves. They were made to look ideal, glossy, even photoshopped. The problem I have with that is that it’s the expectation for women. There is so much pressure, starting when girls haven’t even hit puberty, to look exactly right. Don’t be yourself, be someone else’s idea of beautiful. But that’s not the only thing wrong there.

We have those expectations for men, too. Be athletic. Be strong. Have a perfect physique. Be manly (whatever the hell that means; I think it’s probably something like “be the opposite of what we just told women to be”). Or, failing that, then be less manly, but do it in a culturally acceptable way. For example, be a skinny, pale guy in glasses, but make sure you’re into math, science, computers, gaming, comics, or some other pursuit we can mock you for but that’s still considered guy territory.

And heaven forbid a boy or a man wants to try out the same thing those women did in the photos.

I see so much these days about empowering women when it comes to things long considered men’s arenas. Everything from Girl Scout campaigns for girls in math and science to GoldieBlox to women in geek culture has us talking about how wide open the world is for women. Even here in my house, I’ve taken great pains to make sure my daughter knows she doesn’t have to restrict herself because she’s a girl.

Sadly, after seeing the extreme makeup photos, I tend to think we’re not even close as a society to women being more than pretty faces. We’re enthralled with the Ugly Duckling concept, the idea of taking women perceived as “plain” (or photographed in a way that makes them look plain) and turning them into swans. We don’t really have an interest in those women as people.

But what about our boys?

It is still a sign of rampant misogyny that boys who want to break free from social gender-norming are considered less than, weak, unmanly. That’s not about their hobbies or interests—it’s about being perceived as feminine and how terrible it is for a man to not be masculine enough. We don’t care about men as people either.

I would love for men to break that down. You know what? Go do it—go get made up like the women in the photos until you’re not recognizable. What an interesting experiment it would be to see the reactions. I’ll bet a small subset of us would be wowed by it (I personally think men look very nice made up). But the rest? I can only imagine the reactions. I doubt most people would refer to them as “stunning” or “amazing.” I wouldn’t be able to bear the comments on such an article; I’d have to stop at the first violent threat.

How long is it going to be before women and men alike will be allowed to do what we want without the threat of violence hanging over us because we couldn’t complete the Real Man/Real Woman checklists? How long until a woman’s value isn’t tied to her appearance? How long until being a woman is considered to be such a good thing that no one is mocked or threatened for enjoying “feminine” pursuits? How long until no one dies for making her outside match her inside and presenting as a woman?

Lord, I hope it’s not long. I’m desperate for that change.

“I Don’t Care”: Yes, It’s Anti-Gay

I’ve been struggling with how to express exactly why I despise two specific reactions to people coming out (or posting pictures of same-sex couples or sharing something about their same-sex relationship or talking about their identity or posting about issues of sex and gender). The first is “I don’t care! Why are you telling us this?” and the second is “Why do you even need an identity?” (A variant of the second one is “There are too many letters, LGBTQIAxzyzzzzzz…”)

Invariably, I have intense reactions to any of the above. Sometimes I just feel like raging; other times, I’ve ended up spending hours fighting tears. Interestingly, these are the same reactions I have to outright hateful statements as well as milder (but still terrible) reactions from Christians like “It’s not God’s best.” So instead of suppressing my feelings, I’m owning them and making one last ditch effort to explain why it’s not okay to dismiss people.

I’ll start with this. A friend shared Ann Rice’s Facebook status from May 28:

Let’s try to hold down the new anti-gay bigotry of the “I don’t care” crowd. If we post on a person with a gay parent, or a gay person coming out — and you really truly don’t care — then ignore the post. I post on many things every day. It’s easy enough for you to skip what doesn’t interest you. I’m not buying this new anti-gay “I don’t care” bigotry. Not a word of it. What you’re really questioning is that the rest of us care. Or that anyone cares. And that’s really your personal problem. Not ours.

In the comments, she adds:

Over and over the “I don’t care” bigots talk about sex and what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. When we post on gays, gays coming out, gay experience we are NOT talking about what people do in the privacy of their bedroom. We’re talking about gays in society, bias against gays, negative attitudes against gays and how individuals deal with this. If “you don’t care,” move on. We do care! Big time.

First of all, I’m with Ann Rice. I do care! I care about the people who may want to know that they are not alone. I care about the young people who are living in fear that their parents may kick them out or make their lives hell. I care about the kids who already have been rejected by their families. I care about the people who are proud of who they are and want to celebrate that. I care about the people who have spent years figuring things out and now want to share what they’ve discovered about themselves. Let me repeat: I care.

Second, every time a person comes out, it makes it that much easier for the next person and the next person and the one after that. Little by little, it makes us all safer. All you “I don’t care” folks may truly not be interested in anyone else’s life (ha; judging by all the other crap circulated on the Internet, I doubt that, but whatever). But that’s only because you don’t seem to get the very real danger there can be in being out.

Third, think about it this way. You, cis-het people, are, in effect, “coming out” every day too. You post pictures of yourself and your sweetheart. You hold hands in public. You kiss in the airport. You use the restroom assigned to your gender and allow yourself to be sorted that way. You get out of bed and put on the clothes that you like, without having to bind anything or add anything to your body. You live your life completely “out” as a cis-het person. No one questions you on it.

This is not the case for everyone. Coming out isn’t some simple arrangement of taking to social media to announce, “Surprise! I’m not cis-het!” to the universe. Every single time two men hold hands in public or two women kiss goodbye at the airport or a person has to explain in the hospital why their driver’s license doesn’t match their stated identity or correct a relative’s use of the wrong pronouns, they are coming out. Again and again and again.

Fourth, the “I don’t care crowd” has the advantage of not having to care. Great for you that you’re uninterested in someone else’s life, but please try to keep in mind that lots of other people do care, and not in a good way. I could link you up with news report after news report of people who have literally died because of how they identify. I could remind you that while it’s perfectly legal for straight couples to get married, not only is it still not legal in many states for gay couples to marry, it’s not even technically legal for them to have the sex you say you don’t want to know about.

How many more people have to die—by their own hands or at someone else’s—before you stop pretending not to care? How many more teenagers need to end up homeless? Is there a magic number? At what point will you stop posting about how you don’t want to see same-sex PDA (while being content to not comment at all on straight PDA or secretly watching “lesbian” porn)?

Finally, for many of us, the identity isn’t just about who we are. Speaking from personal experience here, sure, that’s part of it. But for me, I needed to know I’m not alone. Whenever I hear “Why do you need an identity?” or “I don’t really care” or “Why are you telling me this?” it makes me feel alone again. Shoved aside, as though some vital aspect of myself as a person is so unimportant that not only do people not comment on it, but they actively have to tell me they don’t care.

Say what you mean, people. You don’t really mean “I don’t care.” You mean “This makes me uncomfortable and I wish you wouldn’t talk about it.” Because if you truly didn’t care, you would leave it alone, the same way you ignore pictures of cats and witty sayings and news articles you don’t find relevant to you.

I’ll admit, I’m not that interested in celebrities coming out. My usual reaction is something like, “Oh, so-and-so is [LGBTQIA]? Ok, cool” followed by scrolling to something I’d really like to read about, such as my friends’ awesome vacations or their kids’ recitals or their promotions at work. But if a friend posts a coming out story? I’m all over it. And not just sexuality/gender coming out, either. I actually baked a cake for my sister that said, “Congratulations, it’s Aspergers” (reminiscent of Ellen’s coming out cake). I screwed it up with a few friends back in my semi-fundie days, and I never intend to do that again.

The people in my life are important to me, therefore the things that are important to them matter to me. If you can’t muster enough love for your friend who made themselves vulnerable—publicly—to at least say, “Hey, friend, I’m here for you if you need anything” or “Hey, friend, I love you and I support you,” then keep your damn mouth shut about it. Just scroll past and look for something else to comment on. And for the love of pete, please do not make a passive-aggressive “I don’t care” post for the world to see. Trust me, your friend who just came out knows it’s about them.

The “policing” of free hate speech

This article popped up in my Facebook feed yesterday because a friend shared it. Before you click the link, be forewarned it may be highly triggering due to the transphobic language. Yes, it’s bad enough to put it in bold, red letters. The summary alone includes quotes which are so offensive that even someone ignorant of trans* issues would recognize them as hateful. I’m not joking. Unless you have an extremely strong constitution, I recommend against listening to the broadcast, which is linked in the article. The extracted quotes are bad enough.

Rochester Radio Hosts Mock Transgender People in Disturbing, Offensive Segment

It speaks for itself. There’s no need for me to say anything about how horrible those comments were. Besides, anyone local to me who has ever heard Kimberly and Beck knows that they are Grade-A Jerks. That is what they do; they’re paid to be awful. I think this one is particularly bad, given the fact that they were responding to trans-friendly local legislation. It’s also frustrating given that I live in a city that, while conservative in some ways, is better than average regarding LGBTQ issues (though there’s always room for growth, of course). But I’m not writing today to call for their heads on a platter, or even their permanent firing.

When I posted this, the responses were interesting. (Side note: Anyone who thinks people under 21 aren’t articulate, intelligent people able to hold their own in a debate does not know my friends.) Naturally, one of the things that got invoked was “free speech.” Dear God, why is that the first thing that’s trotted out in response to assholes spouting off? I mean, I would think that the first response to the article might possibly be, oh, I dunno, “Wow. It sure is crappy that trans* people have to put up with hearing that shit on the radio. Maybe I’ll go check and see if my friend/family member/stranger I interact with on the Internet  is okay and didn’t have a massive anxiety attack triggered by that.”

Besides the obvious lack of compassion, the other thing I don’t understand is why anyone would bother trotting out “free speech” in the first place. My commentary on the article when I posted it to Facebook:

This carries a very heavy TW for incredibly offensive transphobic language and commentary. Read at your own risk. Also? SCREW THEM. I already don’t listen to them (they’re God-awful and annoying as it is). But this makes it a billion times worse. And now I’m telling everyone else to not listen to them.

I never once demanded they be fired or disallowed from broadcasting. I said I didn’t like them, and I said I was going to discourage other people from listening to them. They are entirely free to spout all the garbage they like, and the rest of us have the choice to change the station. Which is exactly what I suggested doing!

Aside from the fact that I never threatened their right to free speech in any way, why are they the ones given that card to play? Do I not have just as much right to the same free speech? Just as they are (technically) free to share their disgusting views with anyone fool enough to listen, I’m also free to tell the world they are ass-hats. I posted on my own Facebook page that I don’t like them. I’m posting it on my own blog. Why? Because they spewed trash and I didn’t like it, and I’m allowed to say so. It’s not a zero-sum game. My freedom to discourage people from tuning in does not curtail their right to broadcast their nonsense.

Even if I were demanding they be fired or sending out a petition for such action, guess what? Still my free speech. Yep. Just because I say it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, and I’m absolutely allowed to say I think they should be dumped. And let’s not get into the fact that “free speech” is not the same as “consequence-free speech.” If  you violate the terms of your employment with your words, then you still get the ax, regardless of whether you had the “right” to say it in a Constitutional sense. (Also, please go educate yourselves on what is, in fact, meant by Constitutional freedom of speech.)

Whenever the “free speech!” argument comes out, I’d like to remind you all that it isn’t just bigoted radio DJs or Westboro Baptist protestors or Michele Bachmann who have the right to say whatever they want. Those of us who don’t like what they are offering also have the right to say so, loudly and often. We have the right to call them on their hate and encourage other people to stop listening to their shows, attending their churches, or voting for them.

Next time someone points to “free speech” as some kind of argument (for what, I’m not exactly sure), point out to them that you, too, have the same right.

A tough week for women

I’ll just say it: This was not a great week for women, particularly in Christian circles.  I was disappointed multiple times over by the ways in which we continue to have our personhood monitored by people who believe we have gender-specific charges to follow.  It saddens me that even in this time and place, we still have white men preaching unironically about the “hate” we may face as Christians because people might think we’re misogynistic or homophobic—while these people continue to demonstrate that the lack of trust isn’t misplaced at all.

These three posts make it clear that we have a long, long way to go.  (No worries, you can safely click every link here without driving up the hit counts on the posts, thanks to DoNotLink.)

Just Say No to Feminism!

First up, we have Certified Douche Matt Walsh to tell us that “feminism is not your friend.”  Oh, okay, Matt, because I was under the impression that feminism was all about making sure that my rights as a woman are equally protected as the rights of men.  Apparently, I was wrong.  Feminism actually exists to make people kill all the babies.  That’s really good to know, because I’ve called myself a feminist since before it was Internet cool.  I’m going to have to find a new term now, because Matt has assured me I’m using the wrong one.  Or I’m aligning myself with the wrong people.  I’m not sure which.

Along with other bizarre claims, Matt thinks feminism is like a seatbelt in a burning car, somehow trapping us in.  I’m really not even sure how to figure that one out.  He also seems to think we attribute feminism as giving us our worth.  Oh, poor Matt, not understanding that we don’t need an outside source or movement to give us human worth and dignity—we have it simply by virtue of being human.  Guess that’s too much for him, though.  Poor guy’s head would explode if he realized that.  Eventually, he sort of makes a point, which is that feminism is Bad and the good it’s done (oh, say, working towards women having the right to vote, for example) doesn’t outweigh the bad.  Here, have a fun video to rinse out the taste of Matt’s post:

Making Church Safe: One Covered Boob at a Time

Next, we have Dannah Gresh’s mess of a post on How Women Can Make Church a Safe Place for Men.  I was just hoping that someone could tell me what to do so that men won’t lust after me.  I can thank Dannah for clearing that up.  It’s good to know that she and her husband talk into the wee hours about his “lust problem.”  Why do I get the feeling that the conversation was mostly driven by Dannah and not her husband’s guilt?

I’m pretty sure my favorite part was where she said that:

In a man this reaction is particularly strong since God created him to be visually stimulated. If he sees a woman walk by wearing revealing clothing, his pulse may increase; his body temperature may rise. Other changes may take place as well.

I admit it, I giggled like a middle schooler.  “Other changes”?  You mean he might get [stage-whispers] an erection?  Apparently, I’m not the only one with middle-school mentality and a lack of knowledge about basic human biology.  Not only can she not bring herself to use proper terms, she really has no clue how either the autonomic nervous system or the sexual response cycle work (never mind her cluelessness about gestalt theory).  That, right there, disqualifies most of the rest of her post.

It’s not that I don’t think there are appropriate choices when it comes to dressing for an occasion.  But this policing of women’s bodies and clothing needs to stop.  Likewise, the policing of men’s minds and penises needs to end.  The way to make church safe for both men and women is to stop shaming everyone for every last damn thing we think or do.  Pretty sure that’s not what Jesus had in mind.

What’s the Opposite of Evening the Score?

Finally, we have The 100 Top Christian Blogs.  While I’m glad to see some of my favorite people on that list, I’m saddened that only 14 spots went to women.  I don’t consider this anywhere near as bad as Matt Walsh’s or Dannah Gresh’s horrible posts, but it is disappointing.  I’m not upset that it’s not a 50/50 split so much as that it highlights that the public face of Christianity is still very much controlled by straight, white men.  The dearth of women on that list isn’t the only thing that troubles me.  I don’t read most of those blogs, so someone else would probably be better off confirming this for me, but even though I see blogs by people who stand up for social justice, I didn’t see any by openly LGBTQ+ people, and the vast majority also seem to be white.  I’m also sickened to see that people like Mark Driscoll, Denny Burk, Doug Wilson, and Al Mohlers made the list, and not down near the bottom, either.

It’s important to note that these people really are not representative of Christianity or Christian blogging as a whole.  We’re a far more diverse and interesting bunch than this limited list would lead people to believe.  It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post with my favorite links, but maybe it’s time I do so again.  Yes, there are some great blogs on that list, but there are so many more you may be missing out on.