Wednesday, August 31, 2005


when my father was on a rampage against secular humanism back in the day, one of the things he railed against was new age thinking. back then, the closest i ever got to new age anything was The Wave, a radio station that played kenny g and manheim steamroller. i never really paid all that much attention to it.

one bible study of my father's once mentioned that meditation was dangerous because 'when you empty your mind the devil can step in.' i never quite understood that, either. it seemed equally irrational.

to me, never giving your mind a rest seemed like a recipe for a nervous breakdown.

things like yoga and meditation, though the mental/health benefits of them are well-documented, aren't a part of the good baptist girl's upbringing, i guess. idle hands, empty minds, flexible limbs...all these are the devil's playground.

well, not anymore.

(my office is starting a weekly yoga class in the fall and i've signed up. i'm 35 and the stiffness in my joints is starting to piss me off. the devil be damned.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

kirk cameron: where is he now?

now you know.

(i know. i shouldn't laugh. really. i shouldn't. bad ding. really bad ding! but I CAN'T HELP IT!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I was going through some of my archives last night – couldn’t sleep again – and wow – I was feisty and the writing wasn’t bad, either. Lately, I’ve come to realize that my postings are a little uneven; they’re a mixture of ‘hey, my butt!’ and ‘grr, the latest moves against women’s rights’ and ‘look, shoes!’ Work has been hectic (not complaining) and our fundraising season is heating up and will most likely stay there until October.

But I’m sad the writing has been so choppy lately and that some things I've really wanted to write about haven't happened yet. My bad.

So, I’m taking a little break. Just for a couple of weeks. To regroup my writing and get thoughtful again instead of merely reactionary. See y'all soon.

it's called LABOR for a reason, pt 2: a guy's view

Daddy Types, the weblog for new dads: Get Out Of The Delivery Room With A Note From The NYT's Doctor

he's succinct and gets it:

Apparently, women are expected to accept the multiple functions of a penis without any complaints or diagnosable hangups, but if it might be problematic someday, it's better for a man not to have to contemplate the multiple roles of a vagina?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

shut up, pat robertson

you're making us look like nutjobs.

there are some days you want to believe that some people have immense mental issues that could just be solved with a steady dose of lithium.

and then there are other days when you think, sadly, no they really believe the shite they're peddling.

(brief background for those who can't understand why we have a jones for venezuela. chavez opposes the oppressive elites in his country; guess who we support?)

it's called LABOR for a reason

A Perilous Journey From Delivery Room to Bedroom - New York Times

over at Bitch, Phd elise points to one of the most ridiculous articles i've ever seen: giving birth is traumatic for men. there are so many things wrong with this piece my brain is sputtering.

here's a nugget:

"I mean," he went on, "how are you supposed to go from seeing that to wanting to be with ... ?" He stopped, but his eyes kept asking the question.

"Right," I said. "It gets easier with time, for just about everyone."

Although no one seems to talk publicly about the problem, Josh is only one of dozens of men who have confided to me that witnessing the births of their children has made it difficult for them to be attracted to their wives, at least in the short run.

They seem to have trouble seeing them as sexual beings after seeing them make babies, trouble reverting to a mind-set in which their wives' sexual anatomy is just that - not associated with images of new life emerging through the birth canal."

is it just me or are we, as a culture, utterly incapable of thinking about women in ways other than sexualized?

Monday, August 22, 2005

latoyia figueroa: found, sadly - Pregnant woman's remains found near Philadelphia� - Aug 20, 2005

after about a month, she was found murdered and her boyfriend has been arrested as a primary suspect. taken alone her murder is a tragedy for her family and community; taken as a part of something larger, it's unfortunately common and will probably sink from view.

the leading cause of death for pregnant women in this nation is homicide and, most likely, homicide at the hands of an intimate. this finding leads me to place latoyia's death firmly in the context of gender. i mean, her death is part of a larger trend of violence against women, not merely an individual taking another's life. (notice i said 'not merely.')

her boyfriend will be pathologized as another violent black man and gender violence will disappear from public discourse.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


has been heating up so much that my father left a voicemail on my cell phone and said, if you don't return my call i will get on a plane and fly out to chicago to check up on you.

so, of course, i returned his call.

but all this is to say that i'm working hard at this social do-gooding thing and loving every single minute of it. (it also helps to work for two really great women.) i passed my 90-day review with flying colors; i believe the words 'glowing performance' were actually used.

i don't usually gloat over things like this but i have to admit that this fits. what i'm doing right now feels right to me (and it feels so good i barely feel the 15k paycut i took.)

if only there was a boy that makes me feel like

in other news, i am the newest member on the Board of Directors for a non-profit whose work on women and employment is really good and valuable. i had been recommended by a woman doing consulting work for us and after a few meetings with a current board member and a couple of staffers, they invited me and i accepted. my schedule is about to become less free, but it's worth it. in deaconship, i'm on a couple of committees and our sessions are about to ramp up. soon, i'll be too busy to think about boys.

(this period of my life reminds me of the time in grad school when i was leading the union, building the dept's new interdepartmental composition curricula, writing my dissertation, teaching and drinking every night at the pub. everything is the same except the drinking every night. my body can't take that anymore.)

and i finished writing another chapter of the Worst Romance Novel Ever.

thank you, Lord, for this period of productivity and opprotunity in my life.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I Married the Pastor

no, not me.
she did.

and i have to say i'm sorta drawn to her blog; i like a woman who blogs during her husband's sermons, draws attention to her shoes and openly admits missing regular mani/pedi appointments.

i hear you, sister. i hear you.

(when mom wouldn't let us read anymore nancy drew stories during sermons, and then caught on that i was only reading the bible for the 'good parts' and to look for the word 'fart', my sister and i waited for mistakes during my dad's famously long sermons. we took notes and saved every malaprop for the drive home afterward. thus was born my present habit of listening for critical breakdowns.)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

feminism can save your life

Murder rate is cut by women who walk away - Sunday Times - Times Online

'In addition, women have become economically better off and so, in increasing numbers, they can afford to walk out.'

the economic empowerment of women is a basic tenet of feminism. when a woman has economic autonomy her quality of life improves. in this case (albeit a british context, though i think we could also argue for american women) it also gives her enough of a net to escape domestic violence.

virginia woolf called it 'a room of one's own' and i'd like to see more of us with one.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

the bridge called a woman's back

Reformer Without Results - New York Times

it's funny, isn't it, what happens when we export our brand of democracy, one that includes religious freedom. in a middle east context, or perhaps just this iraq context, religious freedom will allow for the increased persecution and repression of women's freedom. but we still think we're 'liberating' them. interesting.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

fool me twice

there are four books on my bedside table. actually, they're stacked in bed with me, but that's just a testament to the cluttered nature of my bedside table. two are awful chick lit books; it's summertime, i felt the urge to read something other than mclaren (still haven't finished it, it's so boring) and 'what's the matter with kansas?' so when you're avoiding politics and religion, you go with...chick lit.

mistake! the opening 10 pages made me yawn in each of them so i started reading this fun little book by tim downs. his quirky forensic entomologist sleuth was the perfect companion for the weekend and i also learned more than i ever needed about maggots and blowflies. but somewhere in the middle of the book i had a mormon/jane austen moment: is this...? could this be a christian mystery?

no, i said to myself. no one went to church, no one prayed and no one made any attempts to witness to anyone. no one refused glasses of wine, no one refrained from kissing the girl and no one made any reference to the rapture, jesus or the holy spirit. what made this thought pop into my head?

so i shrugged to myself and kept reading. when i finished it, i liked it so much, i even went on amazon to see if his third had been published. and this is what i found:
'He laudably knows how to show rather than tell—a rarity for Christian fiction.
[snip] ... thought provoking instead of preachy. Downs's flair for the
unusual—and his notable improvement over his already strong first effort—make
him a writer to watch in the faith fiction market.'

it's like i have a sixth sense about these things...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

a closer look: the lord's prayer

i didn't come from a very liturgical church. i mean, we were baptists. we stood up to sing a hymn, we sat down to listen to the preaching. that was it. after the first hymn, though (in black churches, you gotta have at least 3 rocking songs to have a successful service), we usually recited psalm 100 together. but again, that was the only element we had that resembled 'liturgy.'

where i am now, the liturgy of the service carries me from the beginning of the brass toccata to the closing benediction. somewhere between the sermon and the offering, we recite the lord's prayer. i remember memorizing this when i first attended st. andrews in ann arbor. i was a little snobby about it: 'huh, we recite instead of praying our own. lame.'

i thought the rote elements of liturgy was a way of shunning concentration on God. that it was lazy. and perhaps it is for some; on sundays perhaps there are some who just float on the familiar words and rites we say and practice every week. but there is something to repetition. there is a meditation in it; a reaffirming power, a vow.

over at Jesus Creed he has a little lesson on the lord's prayer - what's in it, how it relates to christian community.

go visit.

Threat to Divest Is Church Tool in Israeli Fight - New York Times

Threat to Divest Is Church Tool in Israeli Fight - New York Times

wonder what communion is going to be like on sunday...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

KtB - Slut for Faith: brilliant

this is a good (if too long) rant from a jewish woman who got married in vegas because she believed too much in God.

counterintuitive? not so much.

my favorite part:

A wedding is a business arrangement.

Or it's a covenant before God. Which one are you shooting for?

You should figure it out before you order the invitations, because if you're trying to pull off a pretend covenant before God -- if you think he won't notice that you're lying, reading your prayers from a cheat sheet, renting a church you've never set foot it [sic] to fake out Grandma -- you've picked the wrong man to fool. No matter how pretty you look in your Vera Wang.

What's At Stake: Demand Justice for Linda

When I hear from someone that feminism is meaningless, pointless, anti-male, godless, and pass̩, I think of stories like this one. He brutalized her because he could get away with it Рhe was wealthy, privileged and male in a society that recognizes his privilege while ignoring her own legal subjectivity.

Hers is not an isolated incident; all over the world women are victimized because they are women and, as such, are politically disenfranchised. This legal and institutional blank that women are is what feminism seeks to fill in, redress.

She is why feminism exists.

[via bitch]

(edited for clarity)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

effing brilliant: banning birth control

Minnesota Daily : Protecting women's reproductive rights on college campuses

i thought we had at least a few years until the right started going after birth control with wild abandon, but this was faster than expected: banning the dispensing of birth control at a university hospital.

what. the. hell.
'birth control leads to promiscuity'?

these are adult women who can make up their own minds and don't need a legislature telling them they're not supposed to have sex (and if they do, tough shit.)

so let's keep a running tally of the conservative wish list for women:

no rape counseling
no information about contraception
no emergency contraception
no regular contraception
no access to abortion, should pregnancy occur
no pregnancy counseling, should someone decide to go with it

what's more likely to happen: women stop having sex or women start getting pregnant and catching diseases? women stop having sex or women drop out of college because they're pregnant and can't deal? women stop having sex or...what?

what?! i SO don't get it!

[via bitch]