Defending the Frat Boys of Old Dominion: Boys Will Be Boys, Silencing, and Donald Trump

Okay. I admit it. I have rape culture fatigue. I saw this story this week and I thought, “Ugh. Disgusting piggery.” But that was about it. I thought about reposting the story, but then I was just so tired of having to talk about it. So I didn’t. After all, I just posted this story last week…”Florida frat suspended after member caught on video saying ‘let’s rape some b*tches’“. I mean, surely people agree that these types of things are wrong, misogynistic and definitively stupid. Right? Right?!? [Please tell me I’m right.]

But then, this morning happened. I had just dropped my kids off at school and I flipped the radio over to hear the morning news as is my custom. Just as they were going to the news they teased that they would be taking calls about the Old Dominion story after the news break. I decided to stay tuned in and hear what people thought. Part of me is very, very sorry I did. By the time I got home (a 15 min drive) I had heard such analysis as:

  • Boys will be boys.
  • Clearly this was just meant to be funny. People need to lighten up.
  • If this was the 50s or 60s no one would have batted an eye.
  • Political correctness is ruining America
  • If we have to be subjected to Pride parades, I don’t see why this is a big deal.
  • I would give the kids a pass, this was just a joke. Who among us didn’t do something stupid in college?
  • If we have raised our girls well, we won’t need to worry. They will steer clear of frat houses like these.

These sentiments were expressed by both men and women. There were 2 callers I heard who disagreed and thought that this was unacceptable, caused a hostile environment and was cause for disciplinary action. One was a man and one was a woman. Additionally, although the host said in the days of Animal House this would have been seen as just kids having fun, he also noted that is not the current climate and kids should know by now that this kind of behavior will be punished.

There are many points I could make about the above statements, but I will limit myself to just a couple. The first point I would like to make has to do with political correctness and calls for the people who are calling this what it is to “lighten up”. In my experience being told to “lighten up” is a form of silencing. Silencing refers to techniques used to stop discourse when people complain about sexism or other issues. Silencing techniques include harassment, intimidation, shaming and humiliation intended to discourage people from speaking out or punishing them for having spoken out.

Secondly, “If we have raised our girls well, we won’t need to worry. They will steer clear of frat houses like these.” Really? So, if we raise our girls properly they don’t need to worry about rape? Or boys who try to take advantage of them? You mean like the girl’s at St. Paul’s Prep? Here’s a better question, why is it the girls who need to be raised properly to avoid predatory boys? Why are we not more concerned about properly raising boys who are not predators? Oh, I forgot, “boys will be boys”. SIGH.

I’m sorry. Boys will be boys is a lie from the pit of hell. The men I know are so much more than that sad, narrow definition of what it means to be male. If I was a man, I would be offended that people think I am no more than the sum total of my hormones and sexual urges. Men and boys can and should be able to control themselves and we do them a grave disservice when we disrespect them by excusing this type of behavior and chalking it up to the fact that they are incapable of anything else.

The type of behavior the callers want us to chalk up to a foolish youthful prank is the very type of thing that left unchecked leads to the story I linked to out of Florida, behaviors like those at St. Paul’s Prep and to the unfortunate statistics found in The Department of Justice report from December of 2014 titled Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013.

You know what else this type of thinking leads to? A man like Donald Trump being the GOP frontrunner.

When Should I Talk to My Kids About Sex? (Abstaining from abstinence-only education)

Chalk drawing - Do it now

Chalk drawing – Do it now

Now.

Now is the answer.

Now is when you should talk to your kids about sex.

But what if they are 3? Is it too early?
Now.

But what if they are 18? Is it too late?
No. You should talk to them now.

But what if it is awkward?
It will be. Do it now anyway.

What if they haven’t asked yet?
Who cares? Now is the time!

What if I suspect they are already sexually active?
What are you waiting for? Sit down to talk now!

What if I don’t know what to say?
Now there is a great question.

Many of us, because of the way we were brought up, aren’t sure we even have everything straight. If that is you or if you just want some awesome resources to get you started. Here you go!

American Medical Association Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Teen

Grades 4-7: Learn about these important topics and more: * Puberty and what kinds of physical and emotional changes you can expect-from your developing body to your feelings about boys * The importance of eating the right foods and taking care of your body * Your reproductive system inside and out * Starting your period-what it means and how to handle it * Thinking about relationships and dealing with new feelings

American Medical Association Boy’s Guide to Becoming a Teen

Grades 4-7: Learn about these important topics and more: * Puberty and what kinds of physical and emotional changes you can expect-from your developing body to your feelings about girls * The importance of eating the right foods and taking care of your body * Pimples, acne, and how to properly care for your skin * Your reproductive system-inside and out * Thinking about relationships and dealing with new feelings

Our Whole Lives

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality.

Our Whole Lives Offers…

  • Accurate information presented in developmentally appropriate ways
  • Affective and emotional learning
  • Guiding values and principles
  • Activities that help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
  • A safe and supportive peer group
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • A social justice approach to inclusive sexuality education
  • Step-by-step instructions for program promotion, implementation, and facilitation
  • Parent orientation that affirms parents as their children’s primary sexuality educators
  • Facilitator trainings and continuing education to increase knowledge, skills, confidence
  • Expert user support from OWL Program Associate (UUA) and OWL Program Coordinator (UCC)
  • Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious supplement for use in Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.

Our Whole Lives Values…

While Our Whole Lives is secular, it is not value-free. The program gives clear messages about the following key sexuality issues:

  • self worth
  • sexual health
  • responsibility
  • justice and inclusivity

Our Whole Lives recognizes and respects the diversity of participants with respect to biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and disability status. The activities and language used throughout the program have been carefully chosen to be as inclusive as possible of this human diversity.

Additionally, here is a great article which quotes my friend  Laurie Watson, licensed marriage, family and sex therapist and clinical director of Awakenings Center for Intimacy and Sexuality in Raleigh, NC: Talking about Sex With Kids: Take the Fright Out of ‘the Talk’ . In the article, Laurie gives tips on how to talk with kids who are at various ages and stages.

You may be wondering, what brought this on? What has gotten Michelle’s panties in a twist this time? Well lovelies, I read this article today: Why Grown-Ups Need Sex Ed Too: Exposing the Long Term harm of Abstinence-Only Teachings which was a guest post by Amber Barnhill on my FB friend Neil Carter’s Patheos site, Godless in Dixie.

[Disclaimer: I do not always agree with Neil. Just because I link to someone does not mean I agree with everything they say. I do however enjoy reading his blog from time to time and I think it is healthy to challenge yourself with sources that do not always agree with you.]

Anywho, in today’s guest post, Ms. Barnhill, who grew up in a fundamentalist home, lamented her own abstinence-only education and illustrated how these programs and the way they are taught leads to sexual dysfunction in adult life. On that point, I completely agree with her. The way in which much of the church talks to kids about sex (if they talk to them about it at all) has caused immeasurable sexual dysfunction within marriage, and it takes years to overcome. I propose that we cease and desist with this nonsense, abstain from abstinence-only education and start actually educating ourselves and our children about the realities of human sexuality. We must talk to them openly and honestly NOW.

Now is the right time.

No, it cannot wait.

Top 10 Pick-up Lines of the GOP Candidates.

debate drunk So I’ve seen this meme floating around the last couple days and it got me to thinking. What if the Republican candidates were guys at a party trying to get you drunk enough to vote for them? I wonder what their pick up lines would be?

Let’s go at this David Letterman “Top 10 List Style”.

Top 10 Pick-up Lines of the GOP candidates.

#10 – “Did you just fall from heaven? Because you look like an angel donor.” – Dr. Ben Carson

#9 – “Are you from Florida? Because you’re so hot you make my poll numbers rise.”  – Marco Rubio

#8 – “Are you religious? Because I am the answer to all your prayers.” – Mike Huckabee

#7 – “I’m a Republican. I love a good Bush.”  – Rick Perry

#6 – “Are you in the military? Because you even bring me to a full salute.” – Rand Paul

#5 – The Koch brothers bet me a million dollarsI couldn’t strike up a conversation with the most beautiful girl here. Wanna buy some votes with their money?” – Ted Cruz

#4 – “Are you from a swing state? Because I’d love for you to swing my way.” – Jeb Bush

#3 – “Are you from a polling organization? Because I’d love to show you my hard numbers.” – Scott Walker

#2 – “I may not be Bruce Springsteen, but I can still Rock your Vote! – Chris Christie

And the number one pickup line by Republican Presidential candidates trying to get you drunk enough to vote for them…

#1 -“Drunk women are disgusting. By the way, I am going to win the drunk woman vote.” – Donald Trump

This message not approved by the Republican National Committee or any of the candidates for the Republican nomination. 

Dammit! I care more (about the right things) than you do.

Cecil_the_lion_in__3388298b1It seems lately I am “not allowed” to care about anything without someone saying I care about the wrong thing or that I must also make it clear that I care about something else more.

I am not allowed to care about the death of Cecil the lion unless I have already made it clear that I care more about aborted babies or police brutality or the death penalty.

Some don’t want me to say that #blacklivesmatter unless I also say #alllivesmatter.

We are not supposed to celebrate Caitlyn Jenner’s courage because soldiers (or someone else) are more courageous.

Etc., etc., ad nauseam.

How is it that all of a sudden compassion, caring and courage have all become competitive sports? Something to be won at the expense of others? Has it come to this? Are all our best qualities now just another thing to use against one another? Is empathy about the “right” things, people and situations now just a way to say “I WIN!”. How sad.

Perhaps, just perhaps, courage, empathy, compassion and the rest of our virtues are not a competition at all. Perhaps, like love, they are not an apple pie with only so many slices to go around. Perhaps, as we voice our care and concern, our admiration and respect, these things do not diminish but rather multiply. Maybe we could all try to recognize that just because someone says one thing is tragic (for example, the death of a beloved lion) does not mean that they do not also believe that other things are just as and sometimes much more tragic; that just because we believe one person exhibits courage, does not mean others have not and do not exhibit courage and sometimes in greater measure.

What if instead, we mourn every death? Celebrate every act of courage? Call out every injustice? Recognize every act of altruism? What if we actually believed that humanity’s best qualities could multiply with use and worst qualities would necessarily and absolutely atrophy in the presence of love?

What kind of world would that be?

A better one I think.

“Cover your precious minerals” or some-such nonsense.

11659290_944298798945885_7960805857886270010_nYesterday this showed up in my news feed along with the following story.
(I copied and pasted it “as is” so please forgive the spelling and grammatical errors).

Two young ladies arrived a Meeting wearing clothes that were quite revealing their body parts. Here is what the Chairman told them: He took a good look at them and made them sit. Then he said something that, they might never forget in their life. He looked at them straight in the eyes and said; “ladies, everything that God made valuable in this world is well covered and hardly to see, find or get.

1. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected.

2. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell.

3. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers of rock and to get them, you have to work hard & dig deep down to get them.

He looked at them with serious eyes and said;
“Your body is sacred & unique” You are far more precious than gold, diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”So he added that, if you keep your treasured mineral just like gold, diamond and pearls, deeply covered up, a reputable mining organization with the requisite machinery will fly down and conduct years of extensive exploration.
First, they will contact your government (family), sign professional contracts (wedding) and mine you professionally( legal marriage).But if you leave your precious minerals uncovered on the surface of the earth, you always attract a lot of illegal miners to come and mine you illegally. Everybody will just pick up their crude instruments and just have a dig on you just freely like that. Keep your bodies deeply covered so that it invite professional miners to chase you.
Let us all encourage our wives, friends and daughters to dress well and decent!

There is so much wrong with this post I am not sure where to begin. Let’s just start here and see where it goes…

1. Humans decided gold, diamonds, and pearls were valuable. As far as I know God did not hand out a book of valuable minerals text in the garden of Eden.

2. Women and girls are not objects to be possessed or “mined”.

3. I am not my daughter’s “government” here to be contacted for permission to “professionally mine” her. She is not my property to give to whom I please. She is an autonomous human being who is able to choose for herself whom she wants to share herself with when that time comes.

4. Weddings are no longer considered a transfer of property (at least not in my household) or a license to “mine” a woman “professionally” (whatever that means).

5. If my daughter (or any other woman) “leaves her minerals uncovered on the face of the earth” (read: wears revealing clothing) she is not giving permission to be “mined illegally” (again, whatever that means).

5. He then says the most egregious thing in the story.

Everybody will just pick up their crude instruments and just have a dig on you just freely like that.

So, let me get this straight, if a woman doesn’t cover herself to this man (or any other man’s) standard, she should not be surprised if they “pick up their instruments and just have a dig on you freely”?!? WTF? Seriously? No. No. NO! This is wrong and a very dangerous thing to teach to both women and men.

After all these years, I don’t know why things like this surprise me anymore. Honestly it should surprise no one that stories like this are applauded and taught to our sons and daughters when much of the church espouses a theology where women are less than men, bear a greater responsibility for “sins of the flesh”, and are considered to be more easily deceived.

Oh yes, I almost forgot…

What is up with that picture? Let’s see, you don’t want women to wear revealing clothing, but you use a picture of a woman in revealing clothing to illustrate your point. Hmmm. Maybe all of this says more about you than it does the women you are trying so desperately to control

Ken Paxton’s George Wallace Moment

quote-at-some-point-in-our-lifetime-gay-marriage-won-t-be-an-issue-and-everyone-who-stood-george-clooney-37-44-46
As my friend Elliot said this morning,

BREAKING: Texas AG supports the right of Baptist firefighters to refuse to put out a fire at a Catholic Church on the grounds of religious liberty.

Like it or not that is the logical conclusion of the statement released by AG Paxton’s office yesterday.

County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

According to the Texas Association of Counties, the County Clerk (I have added my commentary in bold):

[S]erves as clerk of the court for all misdemeanor county, criminal and civil courts including commissioners’ court and probate court; maintaining the official records of the courts they serve. The county clerk records the acts and proceedings of each of these courts, entering all judgments, recording all executions issued and the returns issued on the executions as applicable,(Unless they have a fundamental religious disagreement with those judgements) and administers trust accounts for minors and registry accounts (Unless they have a fundamental religious disagreement with the way trust account funds are spent); additionally, the clerk must keep an index of the parties to all suits filed in the court, and make reference to any judgment made in each case.  As clerk of the county courts, the county clerk collects and is responsible for money paid in court costs, fines and fees and for the payment of juror fees. (Unless they have a fundamental religious disagreement with those fines and fees)

The clerk is the custodian of all county records including birth, death, cattle brands, hospital liens, deeds, deeds of trust, liens, Certificates of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD 214), and a variety of other important records both public and non-public. The county clerk also issues and maintains marriage licenses and records assumed name certificates. (Unless they have a fundamental religious disagreement with who is listed as parents, who is discharged from the military, whether someone should be allowed to change their name and of course who gets a marriage certificate!)

As with all elected county officials, both the county clerk and the district clerk have ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the authority to hire and fire  personnel (People who agree with their particular fundamental religious beliefs and to exclude atheists, Catholics, Muslims and anyone else they deem to hold the wrong religious views) and direct their daily activities. Both the county clerk and district clerk also have authority to determine how to use all other resources allocated to the office during the budget process. (They can, of course, use their fundamentally held religious beliefs to decide what budget items should and should not be funded.)

Seriously Mr. Paxton? The George Wallace route seemed like the best option to you? I assure you, your tantrum will end in the same way his did. It is time to face the facts. The issue has been decided. Liberty won. Love won. Your side lost. It was appealed to the highest court in the land. If your side had won you would be calling for everyone to abide by the Court’s decision. It is now time to get on with life. Uphold the laws of our great nation as you have promised to do.
One more thing lovelies (and this is for those who claim to be followers of Jesus), I wrote a post way back in September of 2012 called, Render Unto God that which is Caesar’s? in which I said:

They in effect want the United States to be a theocracy. They would like to effectively take away the religious freedom our founders fought for from people whose beliefs differ from theirs. The problem with people of faith making laws based on what they believe to be sinful or permissible is three fold: First you must decide whose religious tenets you are going to make law (i.e. Will we allow drinking? What about dancing? Will all women have to wear skirts and long hair?); Second, you must go against God’s design by denying people the liberty and freedom of will to choose how best to follow God. God gives humans free will, forcing people by law not to “sin” as you define it does not change hearts. Paul actually discusses this in Colossians.

Lastly, when you enact laws based on preferences or even deeply held religious beliefs rather than on “liberty and justice for all” (even when the majority of the people happen to agree with you) you run the risk of someday having laws enacted based on someone else’s religious beliefs. (They  are fine with someone else’s beliefs being trampled but don’t realize their own could be next.) Jesus expects more of us than that. He says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” with no qualifier. That includes your Muslim neighbor, your gay neighbor, your Democrat neighbor, your Jewish neighbor and your Palestinian neighbor. You MUST love them as yourself in order to follow Jesus.

People in Jesus’ time looked for him to be a political or military savior. He was neither. When asked point blank he said give to Caesar that which is his and God that which is his. Jesus was not concerned that his name be on the money or that the Jewish people were being required to pay taxes to Caesar (who the Roman’s regarded as divine). Once again, HE DIDN’T CARE. I think we often spend our time as American Christians fighting battles Jesus would be unconcerned about such as prayer in school, gay marriage and having his name on the money when we should be loving our neighbors, caring for the “least of these” and reconciling people to the lover of their souls. Everything already belongs to God (“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” Psalm 24:1). Giving tribute to Caesar or taxes to the US government that they in turn spend on things you may or may not agree with cannot change that.

God will not be erased from existence because we don’t have specific time set aside for praying in the school day, his purpose will not be thwarted nor his cause advanced depending on whether his name is on our currency. His love cannot be stopped because of who we elect as President of the United States or even whether or not the government recognizes same sex marriages. God is not American nor is he partisan. God belongs to all nations and peoples and is at work everywhere in every culture. He is much MUCH bigger than our politics or even our religious beliefs (none of us has everything right, just ask a Pharisee).
Jesus, It seems, is much more concerned with whether his name is written on our heart than on our money.

It. Is. So. Ordered.

kennedy_2.png.CROP.promo-mediumlarge

And with those 4 words marriage equality became the law of the land.

Today is an historic day. I am so happy and proud to have played even a small part in the tide having finally turned. We, as a nation, will look back on this day as a turning point for the cause of true equality and equal protection under the law. Is our work here done? Not by a long shot. But I do believe change is in the air. Justice has rolled down like a river. Let’s stop just for today and dance.

I encourage you, one and all to do something special to commemorate this day. To show your support and to celebrate today’s victory of love over hate and equality over bigotry.

Some of my friends are lucky enough to live close enough to be headed to SCOTUS right now to celebrate. Others of us will gather at a pub with our faith community (me) and raise a glass together. Today is a day for celebration.

It. Is. So. Ordered.


http://wordofawoman.com/2012/04/16/homosexuality-and-god-conclusion/

http://wordofawoman.com/2015/04/03/popularity-contest-gays-vs-evangelicals/

http://wordofawoman.com/2013/09/30/no-longer-praying-out-the-gay/

http://wordofawoman.com/2012/07/24/sally-ride-doma-chicken-sandwiches-military-pride-and-the-gay-lifestyle/

http://wordofawoman.com/2015/04/04/it-isnt-power-its-fear/

http://wordofawoman.com/2015/03/30/of-rfra-laws-lunch-counters-and-turning-tides/

http://wordofawoman.com/2012/05/04/one-of-the-best-talks-i-have-heard-on-the-subject-of-the-bible-and-homosexuality/