Don’t Write Off Men Just Yet

With women making far-reaching gains, there’s a larger question. Are women simply better-suited than men to today’s jobs? The Atlantic raised this issue provocatively in this month’s issue with a cover story by Hanna Rosin bluntly entitled, “The End of Men.”

via Op-Ed Columnist – Don’t Write Off Men Just Yet – NYTimes.com.

I’ve been thinking a lot about men lately. How I like them and love them. How I want to participate in the world with them. And trying to reconcile betrayal, mistreatment and objectification by the very men that I love.

This article is a lovely vision of the mutual benefit that can exist when we embrace our individual strengths, regardless of gender,  and honor others for theirs.

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Witness

I saw an attempted assault yesterday. I heard a woman cry out indignant and afraid so I turned to see. A guy was grabbing at her clothes, she was backing away looking for escape. Another guy stepped in and pushed the attackers hands down and then held him back with his whole body. The attacker struggled and strained nearly escaping his grasp, reaching for the woman.

I was in a taxi, driving by, I watched as long as I could. It seems she was OK for the moment, they were on a busy street, but does she know the implications of this? Does she know she needs to get somewhere safe now? Is she able to leave this guy at all? Does she have a resource for hiding safely if she needs it? How will she live with the fear? Does she know she doesn’t deserve that treatment?

I am writing about my abuse, a heavy subject. The same day I saw the attempted assault we had been at a large palace museum that is famous for it’s harem. It has all sort of congealed into a seething anger. I posted about it on Facebook and people’s responses were fearful. I had to post again to explain I am not fearful, I am angry!

I am angry that women are the property of men.* I am angry that “good” women are protected and “bad” women get what they deserve. I am angry that domestic violence is extremely common. I am angry that women are deprived of opportunities and stuck at home. I am angry that men think they have the right to oogle my body just because it is there. I am angry that men think it is cute to ask if they can “have” one of my daughters.

I am also sad at the loss of love and trust between men and women. I like men. My husband is my best friend. I love my fathers, brothers, uncles. There cannot be genuine love and respect when women exist only for men’s domestic and sexual pleasure.

*Note: I live outside the US where these attitudes are common, whatever the official laws say.

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Nate Phelps Story

At the age of 7, I could recite all 66 books of the Bible in 19 seconds.  My father insisted on this because he was frustrated at waiting as his children flipped back and forth trying to find the verses he was preaching from. Afterwards, if one of us took too long my father would stop in the middle of his preaching, cast a gimlet eye on the offender and demand that,  “Somebody smack that kid!”

via Nate Phelps. **trigger warning**

I resonated so much with Nate Phelps story. The journey he describes of extricating himself from toxic christianity is so familiar to me. I am not as far down the path, I am at the point where I really struggle with what my kids are learning at church and am nervous that they will be attending a christian school this year. Sigh. Thankfully, my husband and I are on the same page regarding fundamentalism and we have open communication about it as a family. This article makes me wonder where is my journey going? What choices do I have to make in these following years and what will be the outcome?

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The original “Quiverfull” movement

A troop of kids with Saint’s names–such as the 11 children of Senator Robert F. Kennedy [before his untimely death] gleamed their teeth and freckles at us from the pages of Life and Look magazines. Happy, healthy active–and just as deceptive as the Duggars and other such families today.

via Hopewell Takes On LIFE!: Quivering Daughters, Reading Notes Part II: Comparisons with the original “Quiverfull” movement–the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church.

Ironically, my father grew up in one of those Catholic families.

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5 Organizations Helping Women Get Ahead in Tech

The ratio of women trained in computer science education is even lower now than it was in the 1930s.

via 5 Organizations Helping Women Get Ahead in Tech.

Women and technology is one of my new passions as a reformed technophobe. I think I might be a geek at heart!

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just.stop.talking.

**Please note: this post is intense and contains information that is painful to read.

Dr. Dobson’s Dare to Discipline brings back some painful memories for me, not because of anything directly related to it though. We had and still have a very loving family. My mom quit her job to stay home with us, we moved to the country. My dad was hardworking, but often took time out to spend with us, reading Bible stories or a family movie night. They are loving parents, they truly wanted the very best. And yet, as we all do their foundation had cracks. Mom grew up with two working parents, left home and married very young. Dad grew up in an image conscious, physically abusive home.

Further, my dad, a Vietnam vet was not a healthy person himself. It is hard to see these things about your parents, even with pretty clear evidence. My Dad’s lack of health is evidenced in that he molested me several times between the ages of 9 and 12 and continued to violate proper sexual boundaries between father and daughter until I was in my early 20’s.

It is hard for me to see these things and even harder to say them. Yet, perhaps because of denial, it was not hard to bear. I loved him, he asked forgiveness, I gave it , every time. When I first heard about Stockholm Syndrome I totally understood it. The hard part to deal with was his daily lectures. I wished he would just give us the reasonable  spankings described in Dare to Discipline.

My mom was a yeller but there was something entirely different between my mothers anger and my fathers. When my mom yelled it was an understandable response to frustration. She was venting her feelings. When mom yelled I felt guilty and motivated to “hop to it”. There was no fear.

Dads, lectures on the other hand, twisted my gut into knots. I felt pressured, pushed and threatened. I wanted to please him but he never was. I felt guilty and ashamed. I wished he would just. stop. talking. There was no release from judgment, no punishment to atone for it, no action I could choose to rectify it. I hadn’t done wrong (even if I had) I was wrong.

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Quivering Daughters: 5 Stars

Hillary isn’t talking about how “some” daughters are abused, but the reality that being part of the system itself IS the abuse!

via Quivering Daughters: 5 Stars.

I am so happy for creation of this book. Sometimes how I feel about the way I grew up is hard to explain to people because they can’t see how it would be harmful. They say, “I wish my parents had protected me more, be grateful.”. Teaching girls that they have no purpose beyond the home, that they have no ownership over their own lives and depriving them of the self-knowledge that comes through experience is an atrocity against their soul!

Thank you thatmom and Hillary for speaking out!!

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