(Warning: NSFW due to language.)

 

Bitch.  Cunt.  Pussy.  Sissy. Douchebag.  Twat.  Boob.  Slut.  Whore.  Skank.  Slag.  Tramp.  Prude.  Frigid.  Lesbo.  Diva.  Feminazi.

In just those few words, I could be insulted for being a jerk, weak, stupid, a person who likes to have a lot of sex, a person who doesn't like to have sex, a lesbian, dramatic, or a passionate feminist.  Five of those are insults based on feminine body parts.  The others are based on just being a woman.  At least five of those (pussy, sissy, douchebag, twat, boob) are also used to insult men.

Compare that to gendered insults based specifically on the masculine:

Dick.  Prick.  Bonehead.

The list is significantly shorter and based on just one male body part.  They are used in place of jerk and stupid.  There aren't really any insults for men who like to have sex; in fact, most cultures celebrate men who have many sexual partners at the very same time they are denigrating the women with whom the men are having all this sex.

In "The Harmless Sounding Phrase That is Terrible for All Women," Karen Rinaldi writes:

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about another friend’s husband who had called his wife a “stupid bitch” in front of their daughters in a moment of anger. He later apologized to the family. He’d had a hard day at the office. He didn’t really mean what he’d said, and he’d humbled himself in front of his wife and kids. We knew that he was basically a good guy. Basically a good guy. 

And that’s the phrase that kept swirling in my head. It occurred to me that the common refrain, “He is basically a good guy,” confirms one of our most pervasive biases. A colleague who made a sexist remark in a meeting? Well, we think, he didn’t mean it. He’s basically a good guy. The young man who insulted his date in front of his friends? He didn’t think she would take it so personally. He’s really a good guy...

When has anyone ever heard, as a pardon for a woman’s bad behavior, “She is basically a good woman?” Never. Because as frequently as we hear, “He’s basically a good guy,” we also hear, “She’s such a bitch.” Women are not so readily forgiven for their transgressions, no matter how small. The woman who refuses to accept blame at work for something she didn’t do? The woman who disagreed with her date in front of his friends? The wife who got too drunk at the neighborhood party?

A woman in a position of power in the workplace is called "Bossy;" her male counterpart is  called a "Leader."

Wives and girlfriends"Nag" their partners about things that need to be done; husbands and boyfriends "Remind" their partners of the same things.

A woman who forgets a few things is called "blonde" or "ditzy" or "airhead;"  a man who forgets a few things has a "momentary memory lapse."

Calling out a man for misogyny is usually reserved for blatant acts of physical and/or emotional abuse or assault.  We're really quick to call a man who physically abuses his wife or girlfriend a wife beater.  But what about the man who jokingly calls his partner a bitch or slut?  What about the men who catcall the girl walking down the street minding her own  business?  What about the father who calls his son a sissy because he cries when he's upset?  Or what about the baseball coach who tells the boys on his team that they throw like girls?  How about the teacher that claims boys do better in math than girls?

Misogyny isn't just about being outspoken in your hatred of women.  It's in the little things like jokingly calling a woman a bitch or slut because she did something that offended you or had any sexual partners before you.  Like catcalling a girl as if she is public property because she's walking down a public street.  Like calling your son a sissy for crying or telling a boy he throws like a girl, as if women are inherently lesser than men and telling a boy he's acting like a girl is the ultimate insult.

Misogyny is all about men who believe that women are weaker than them, not as smart as them, not allowed as many privileges as them, more emotional than them, and generally just not as good as them.

Men > women.

Language is powerful.  I'm super tired of misogyny and I'm super tired of the language it creates.  I'm tired of being told women are weak and that I'm weak because I'm a woman.

#Resist #NeverthelessShePersisted

 

 

 

 

 

"A new commandment I give to you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another."  (John 13:34-35)

Please bear with me.  I have stuff to say, but it's not going to be flowing or terribly coherent.

I have a tattoo on my left wrist that says "love one another."  Originally, I was going to get all of verse 34 (above) on my wrist, but decided that those three words were enough and it would be a succinct reminder of the rest of those two verses.

I hope that those three words are written in my mind and on my heart so that I remember them in everything I say or do.  In reality, I know I still need to work on how I talk and act.  Having those three words written on my wrist is a visual reminder when my heart is too hurt or my mind too angry to stop me from doing or saying something stupid and unkind.

I'm not telling you this to convince you that I'm perfect and loving all the time.  Far from it.  But I don't understand hatred.  There are some people I strongly dislike in this world, but I deal with it by not thinking about them at all instead of stewing about how strongly I dislike them.  I don't understand utter loathing and stewing about it.  I try to remember that love isn't always a feeling; in fact, love is usually a way we act.  I use the definition of love from 1 Cor. 13:4-7 as my guide so that even if I'm not feeling loving towards someone, I can still act loving by being patient, kind, trusting, and hopeful (among other things).  The kindest thing we can do is forgive people who hurt us.  Failing that, the kindest thing we can do is to not think about certain people at all. It's better to not think about them than to stew in your hatred.

So I don't understand why people are so horrible to other people.  I don't understand how you can hate someone because of the way they look, the color of their skin, who they're attracted to, who they love, or who they worship or don't worship.  I don't understand wanting to harm someone because they're different from me.  I don't understand wishing a whole group of people would die because of the way they've chosen to live their lives (if those choices don't hurt anyone else).  There are some ways people choose to live their lives that I don't understand and would never do myself, but if what they're doing isn't hurting themselves or anyone else, then why is it any of my business?

So I don't understand why the individuals who have committed acts of terrorism in the United States over the last several years have done so.

I don't understand how someone can hate the members of a whole community because of one thing.  Because they're gay.  Because they're transgender.  Because they're African-American or Chinese or Indian or Latino or Jewish.  Because they're Muslim or atheist or pagan or another Christian denomination.  Because they wear turbans or burqas or all black or dresses.  Because they're women.

What kind of hatred must you have in your heart that the sight of two men kissing incites you to pick up a gun and kill people at a gay club?

This upsets me on two levels.  On a general level, I wonder how someone can have that much hatred for any individual and that much more hatred for a whole community.  On a more personal level it upsets me because I've lost a sibling to cancer  and my very best friend in the whole world, who is practically my sister, is a member of the LGBTQ community.

How many people lost siblings yesterday at The Pulse, and what if it had been this woman I love as a sister?

As a person who has lost a sibling and a person who loves someone in the LGBTQ community, this is just a nightmare.  And it didn't even happen to me.

Tonight there are people grieving because some guy hated homosexuals.  Tonight there are people, like my sister-friend, who are living in fear because other people, who also hate homosexuals, are calling the shootings yesterday "God's will."

And I don't understand because the God I worship loves everyone so much that He sent His only Son to earth.  And I don't understand because that Son, Jesus, told us to love God and love our neighbor.  And this Jesus told us to love one another.  And I don't understand how people can think that this same God hates certain people when the Bible says He loves everyone so fiercely.

I don't understand and my heart is broken for all the parents weeping for children they lost and all the siblings who are in shock because their brother or sister isn't ever coming home and for all the people living in fear because they're gay, transgender, African-American, Muslim, Jewish, a girl, or anything else that might make them the victim of bigotry and violence.

I asked my sister-friend yesterday what I could do to help her besides pray.  She said "Keep speaking up and standing out."

So this is me speaking out.  Condemning the hatred and violence in this world.  Encouraging others to remember that God wants us to love one another and not hate.

And it starts here, with me, and this little reminder I have on my left wrist that simply says, "love one another."

This is what a feminist looks like. (Via Strange Politics)

I am a feminist.

Why?  Because I support women being completely equal to men in all aspects of life.

This is also what a feminist looks like.

 

I have believed this all of my life, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I would actually call myself a feminist.  I would tell you for sure that I believed women and men should be equal, but the term "feminist" had (and still does, to some extent) such negative connotations:

Feminists want women to be greater than men.

Feminists hate men.

Feminism is redundant because women already have the same rights and privileges as men.

Etc.

None of this is true, of course.  There are some women who think women should be greater than men or who hate men.  By definition, they are not feminists.  People who think women already have the same rights and privileges as men forget that it's easier for a man to get a prescription for Viagra than it is for a woman to get a prescription for contraception, even though contraception has been around longer than Viagra.  Or forget that a woman still only earns about 80 cents for the same work as a man who makes $1 for that work.

Sally Ride, Astronaut and Physicist.

Feminists come in all genders, races, belief systems, occupations, levels of education, etc.

I've been a Christian since I was sixteen.  Jesus stands up for women.  He loves the women that mortal men look down on, He doesn't condemn the women that mortal men would condemn, and women are as much a part of His ministry as men.  I have never, ever believed that Jesus thinks women are lesser beings than men, and if the Savior thinks that women and men are equal, then shouldn't we all think the same thing?

But when I was younger, I was more conservative than I am now, and what was--and is--expected of conservative Christian women is to support patriarchy.

Because the Bible says that women shouldn't be in positions of leadership in the church.

Because the Bible says that women should submit to men, especially their husbands.

Because the Bible says that women are unclean once a month or after childbirth.

Because a woman was created from a man's rib bone.

But people forget about Deborah, who was one of the Judges of Ancient Israel.  Or Rahab, a prostitute, who protected two of Joshua's spies as they enterd Canaan.  Or Esther, who saved the Israelites from bloodthirsty Haman because she was married to (and held influence with) King Xerxes.  Or Junia, (Romans 16:7) who was an apostle.  Or the four unmarried daughters of Phillip who were prophetesses (Acts 21:9).  Or Euodia, Syntyche, and Phoebe (Phil. 4:2-3; Romans 16:1-2) who were ministers in the Churches in Phillipi and Cenchrea.  Or Priscilla, who along with her husband Aquila, were church leaders in Ephesus and taught Apollos the way of God more accurately (Acts 18:24-26).

People forget that when Paul says that women should submit to their husbands, he gives an even stronger command to men: Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for it (Eph. 5:25)  In other words, men, if you want a wife to submit to you, you have to be willing to sacrifice and die for her.

Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist. (Courtesy sarahbessey.com)

So with all of these things, why is it so difficult for some people to understand that women are equal to men?

Do they think women are weak? Why?  Is it because our muscles are smaller, our bone structure is generally smaller, we bleed once a month, and carry the next generation in our wombs?

Those things don't make us weaker than men.  They make us strong.  We can exercise and weight lift to build up our muscles and bones.  Our bodies are created to prepare for pregnancy and nurture life.  In those times when we are not pregnant, we bleed and cramp and are sometimes miserable.  When we are pregnant and in labor we are sick from hormones and sore from a growing child and then in pain as we wait to welcome that child into the world.

And if we choose to not ever become pregnant (which is a totally valid choice for women, by the way, so quit asking when she's going to have a kid), we still get to bleed and cramp once a month until we're over the age of 40.

Do they think women are just lesser than men? We can do science (Marie Curie, Shirley Ann Jackson, Mae Carol Jemison), literature (J.K. Rowling, Louise Fitzhugh, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan), and math (Hypatia, Marjorie Lee Browne, Raman Parimala) just as well as any man.

 

Shirley Ann Jackson, Theoretical Physicist and President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 

Marjorie Lee Browne, PhD. in Mathematics and Math educator.

Maybe it's because women just aren't as good as men, that anything feminine is lesser, weaker, ickier, and worse than anything that is masculine.  Think about it: when was the last time you used a gendered insult like, "bitch," "douchebag," "cunt," "pussy," or "whore" when what you really meant was "asshole," "weak," or "promiscuous?"

When was the last time you heard someone put down a man because he was displaying typically-feminine traits?

When was the last time you heard someone trash talk a transgender woman?

Stef Sanjati, Transgender Activist

Or a fat woman?  Or a skinny woman?

Jes Baker, Body Positivity Activist, Blogger (themilitantbaker.com), and Author of "Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls."

Women, you're not weak.  You deserve the same right and privileges that men have.

Men, stand up for us.  We're your mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, aunts, nieces, cousins, and friends.  We're not just placeholders and the people who do the housework.  We deserve to be treated as equals because we do equal (and sometimes more) work and we do it just as well as you do.

This is Women's History Month, and today, March 8, is International Women's Day.  Stand up for equality, and be the best and most badass feminist you can be.

 

 

 

If you live outside the US or you've been hiding under a rock, then you might not have known that last night was the State of the Union Address.  (side note: if you have been living under a rock and didn't know this, don't feel badly.  I didn't know the #SOTU was last night until yesterday morning when our son told us he had to watch some of it for homework.)

I don't want to talk about the whole address, because that would be excruciatingly boring for both of us.  However, I want to touch on one part of President Obama's speech.  One of his points regarding health care in the US was that we have made huge strides in moving towards eliminating several diseases, and he finally said, "Let's make America the country that cures cancer once and for all."

I'm all for that.  My world was turned upside down last April when my brother died after an eight month fight with colon cancer.  He was only 38.  Yesterday, a dear friend lost her aunt to a four year battle with cancer.  This morning, my cousin found out that a friend's five-year-old daughter has terminal brain cancer.  A year ago, I and a whole community of friends lost a dear woman to her second round of breast cancer.

I can't think of a single person I know who hasn't had a friend or family member lose a battle to cancer.  This is an ugly disease, and it leaves grieving, broken people in its wake.

Who wouldn't want America to be the country that cures cancer once and for all?

So back to the #SOTU address.  When President Obama announced that he wanted America to be the country that cures cancer, almost all of the Democrats stood up to applaud, but a very large section of the Congressional Republicans remained seated and didn't applaud (at least that I could tell).

Who doesn't applaud for something like this?  Who doesn't want to cheer and scream and shout and support this idea one thousand percent?  If you know anyone in your family or circle of friends who has battled cancer, especially if cancer killed that person, would you not make curing cancer your rallying cry?

Apparently a whole section of Congressional Republicans at the 2016 State of the Union Address, that's who.

To those people who didn't applaud and support the President's call for a cure for cancer: why?  Do you not want to see a cure for cancer?

Or are you not supporting it because a Democrat suggested we should make it happen?

Is partisan politics that important to you?

If so, you make me sad.