What’s a Single Christian Girl to Do?

Make the rest of us want to vomit, apparently. Here’s the premise: Single Christian Girl goes to college, is wildly disillusioned because even at her good Christian school the kids are sleeping around and doing drugs. She comes home, regretting ever have left Daddy’s domicile in the first place. Back at home, she realizes that her big mistake was letting anyone other than her father or her husband rule over her. She gets married, realizes what a silly mistake her autonomy was, and now gives her advice to the other Christian ladies. (As a sidenote Single Christian Girl is now editor of Ladies Against Feminism). Prepare yourselves.

Unfortunately, too many modern Christians look everywhere else for answers before turning to the Word (just look at all the “Christian” psychology and counseling books in Christian bookstores). This problem is particularly acute with Christian women, since feminism has slowly but surely crept into the church and stolen our hearts while we were not feeding them with God’s precepts and commands. So many families believe that a young woman, like a young man, is “free and independent” at age 18 or age 21 and should leave home to strike out on her own. This is in total opposition to God’s teachings.

Ya hear that? Women are not free and independent.

By the time I graduated, I was disillusioned and thoroughly brainwashed into thinking I was going to have to fend for myself in the world.

Brainwashed into thinking that she might have to fend for herself? The horror!

His Word is true and pure, and we cannot go wrong if we follow Him! Starting in the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy), we see that God made woman for man. As much as the feminists hate the idea, it is true. Conversely, man was made to protect, cherish and nourish the woman. Men who are not doing that and are not loving their wives as Christ loved the church are covenant-breakers. Women who refuse to stay home and obey their fathers or husbands are also covenant-breakers. They are inverting God’s created order, which is God-Man-Woman-Animals.

Emphasis, obviously, is mine.

Moving on to the books of the law, we see in the case laws (these are the laws which tell us how to live the ten commandments) that God puts a daughter under her father’s protection. He is to help her to remain pure until marriage. He is to guard her from all the “Mr. Wrongs” in the world while she waits for Mr. Right.

The idea, then, is that your hymen gets passed from Dad to Hubby. A nice exchange of goods. How romantic.

Your father is your covenantal head. He is your covering. Christ is over him, and you are under both. My husband, in the same manner, is my covering. I am protected as long as I remain under his authority. Modern women chafe at the command that wives “obey their husbands,” because they want to maintain their own autonomy. This is incompatible with the Christian worldview. “He who would be greatest among you must be servant of all!” When we step out from under our coverings and try to do things “independently,” we deserve whatever happens to us (financial struggles, family arguments, failed marriages, disobedient children, etc.).

Autonomy is incompatible with the Christian worldview. Wow. I wonder what Mother Teresa would have said to that? She seemed fairly autonomous and all…

When the woman is out of her place, particularly if she is loud and strident about it, she is harming the name of the Lord. This should cause us to think seriously about what we do as daughters and wives.

I must really make the Baby Jesus cry.

So what does the single girl do? Scripture tells us that sons leave, but daughters are given. Daughters do not go out into the world to seek their place in it. They are to serve at home and sit in discipleship at the feet of older women and their own parents. Only older, “true” widows who have lived godly lives are given authority to maintain their own households, but younger widows are to return to their father’s house until they marry again (if ever—see Leviticus 22:13). Unmarried girls are to remain virtuous and to serve their father’s household.

Uh huh…

Daughters need to be taught how to add to the riches of their father’s household as a preparation for enriching their own future homes. If a daughter is not called to marry (the Lord gives her no desire to do so), she should serve in her parents’ home or help other Christian families in theirs (like the servant girls in Proverbs 31 or like Dorcas). She should never venture out from under her father’s authority and protection.

So if you can’t be a servant to your husband, be a servant to your father or another family.

A single woman belongs in a home, under a godly authority. As “medieval” or backward as it may sound, she should not go away to college for an education (or leave her God-given authorities for any reason except the few outlined in the Bible).

Stay at home, be illiterate and give up all personal autonomy to whatever man is in your life. Sounds heavenly.

Young women who are widowed are not to support themselves, but are to return home (Lev. 22:12), remarry (I Tim. 5:14) or receive their support from the church (I Tim. 5:16; James 1:27). There is never, ever a situation where a young, single woman will have to support herself if she is part of a God-honoring family or church. If she finds no support, it is a judgment on the family and the church, and she needs to seek help from godly brothers and sisters in Christ.

Right. So if your husband dies and leaves you destitute, and no one is around to support your ass, it’s the church’s fault. Don’t get a job, don’t try and be self-sufficient, don’t try and pick yourself up — go beg your brothers and sisters in Christ to feed you. And what of all the other homeless people sleeping on the Church’s steps?

In an article I recently read about these same issues, I found a statement that stood out glaringly to me. The author wrote, “I am not saying all women should avoid college. What I am saying is, for the vast majority, God has called women to serve in the home.” I disagree strongly. God does not rule by majority. He does not say, “teach most of the younger women to be keepers at home….” His standards are absolute, and to depart from them is to invite disaster (not that He is waiting to hit us with bolts of lightning or wrathful fire and brimstone—don’t misunderstand me—but when we depart from His ordained path, we can expect to pay the natural consequences). Women who go out into the workforce are “open game” and always lose—they are either defeated and subdued by the men with whom they compete, or their femininity is destroyed by their competition with other men and they are “consolidated” into the world of the working male.

Working women “always lose”? I dunno… not to be judgmental here, but it’s someone else who’s sounding like the big loser to me.

Let me just add in here that this shouldn’t be interpreted as me thinking that all (or even most) Christians think this way, or that choosing to be a stay-at-home mom is a sign of surrender to patriarchal authority. What irritates me about this article isn’t the choices that this woman makes, but the fact that she feels to need to say that everyone else has to make these same choices, lest they be a great big burnin-in-Hell sinner. I’m willing to bet that most women who choose to stay home don’t do it because they’re eager to submit to their husbands; I’ll also bet that they still consider themselves autonomous, independent human beings who make the best choices for themselves. I’m simply not a big fan of any argument that goes, “All women should…” and then dictates a particular, narrow lifestyle choice.

via Marian, who I do hope will get back to blogging sometime soon!


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78 comments for “What’s a Single Christian Girl to Do?

  1. October 14, 2005 at 12:06 pm

    Well, she’s looking in the right place for lessons on how to resolve her particular crisis. In Biblical times, there was a lot of controversy about young women going off to Philistia U. and Ammon State.

  2. October 14, 2005 at 12:19 pm

    Ahhh, somewhere to go now that Dawn Eden is on hiatus.

  3. October 14, 2005 at 12:26 pm

    At my Christian school, there weren’t a lot of people sleeping around and doing drugs.

    Dammit.

  4. randomliberal/Robert
    October 14, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    Umm…what she clearly doesn’t realize is that the books of the Pentateuch are the books of the law, making it rather hard to move from the Pentateuch to the books of the law, since we’re already there.

    Also, the use of the book of James in this argument is incredibly, erm, stupid. Even without the context of the surrounding passages, the verse in no way helps her point. James 1:27 reads “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,” (NIV, not my favorite translation). What that seems to mean to me is that people should care for one another in times of great need–and the death of family members would be such a time–, and that we should not be corrupted by what the world says we should do. Now for context: The verses preceding verse 27 talk about being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, and then talks about not only hearing the Word, but acting on it. Clearly, James’ intent with this passage was not keeping women in their place, but telling people to act on their faith. And no, Jennie, staying at home your entire life (until you get married off) does not constitue acting on your faith.

    [/theological rant]

  5. evil_fizz
    October 14, 2005 at 12:31 pm

    In an article I recently read about these same issues, I found a statement that stood out glaringly to me. The author wrote, “I am not saying all women should avoid college. What I am saying is, for the vast majority, God has called women to serve in the home.” I disagree strongly. God does not rule by majority. He does not say, “teach most of the younger women to be keepers at home….”

    So women are never supposed to have any kind of higher education. To me, that’s even more excruciating than being told to be a servant. Remain ignorant, codependent, and helpless all the days of your life. What a lovely message.

  6. Michael
    October 14, 2005 at 12:43 pm

    “[W]e see that God made woman for man. […] Conversely, man was made to protect, cherish and nourish the woman.” Clearly, she’s still influenced by that evil feminist thought. Looking at Genesis 2, I see that man was created to be a servant of God, not to protect, cherish and nourish some not-yet-existent woman. Sounds like she just wants to have her cake and eat it, too.

  7. October 14, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Via me…who, for the record, does NOT agree with the article, despite my blog title. Just had to pop in and redeem myself. :)

  8. October 14, 2005 at 12:51 pm

    Wow, when I first started reading your post I totally thought it was about “I Am Charlotte Simmons” and how Tom Wolfe is a douchebag. I’m serious. I mean, yeah.

  9. zuzu
    October 14, 2005 at 12:58 pm

    I wonder what Mother Teresa would have said to that? She seemed fairly autonomous and all…

    Oh, come now. She’s burning in hell now, the Papist.

  10. piny
    October 14, 2005 at 12:58 pm

    I must really make the Baby Jesus cry.

    Like a…never mind.

  11. October 14, 2005 at 1:01 pm

    They are inverting God’s created order, which is God-Man-Woman-Animals.

    What BULLSHIT!

    Everyone knows it’s Man-God-Woman-Animals.

  12. October 14, 2005 at 1:02 pm

    No kidding! That letter has “sour puss” written all over it.

  13. October 14, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    To folk holding this particular set of belief, nuns or similar female religious would fall under the classification of having passed from the father’s cover to that of Jesus himself. They’re not autonomous; they’re serving the church instead of a temporal family.

  14. Kyra
    October 14, 2005 at 1:25 pm

    See, this is why I am no longer a Christian.

    To the author: I am going to college. I am enjoying it. I am staying there, long enought to get two or three doctorates at least. I have opinions and I voice them loudly. The first man to try to tell me what to do, will be introduced to the door (if he’s lucky, it will be open), and so will every man after that. The fact that I do not have a dick is irrelevent. I am autonomous and free and that is my right, and my gender is irrelevent to that.

    I did not have a voice in making this Covenant you’re talking about. I reject it. Yes, I break it! Fuck you, lady, fuck your Scriptures and the misogynists who wrote and translated and interpreted them, and fuck your sick excuse for a god.

    (This author is getting added to Robertson, Falwell and Santorum under the category of “I suspect that they’re part of a plot to make “Christian” synonymous with “asshole.”)

    Oh, by the way, remember “If a daughter is not called to marry (the Lord gives her no desire to do so)?” I am not called to be subservient—the Lord gives me a desire for autonomy and freedom. To all Christian women: there’s your excuse.

    Thank Goddess for the Unitarian Universalists. And the United Church of Christ. And any other churches that have gotten over this shit.

    I think if I ever get rich, I’ll endow a scholarship for young women in honor of the opposite of the sentiments expressed by this bitch. Speaking of this bitch, her name isn’t mentioned anywhere here. How fitting, huh?

  15. B Moe
    October 14, 2005 at 1:48 pm

    They are inverting God’s created order, which is God-Man-Woman-Animals.

    What BULLSHIT!

    Everyone knows it’s Man-God-Woman-Animals.

    Where does a Love Doll fit it there?

    On a tangent, sorta, but do you think I would get more dates if I wore one of these:

    http://www.skortman.com/

  16. October 14, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    Dang, I love skirts. It sucks that men have to get stuck wearing shorts, the most universally unflattering piece of clothing ever, when it’s hot out.

    Skorts, though, are a different breed that I simply cannot support.

  17. Dan
    October 14, 2005 at 1:57 pm

    Kyra:

    You say that “this is why I am no longer a Christian.” This is an extremely poor reason to not be a Christian. The woman who wrote this article, whoever she is, does not correctly state Christian teaching insofar as it concerns feminist issues. Consider, for example, some of the things Pope John Paul II wrote in this regard:

    In transforming the culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a ‘new feminism’ which rejects the temptation of imitating models of ‘male domination’, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation. — Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, par. 99 (1997).

    and

    In the second creation narrative, through the symbolism of the woman’s creation from the man’s rib, Scripture shows that humanity is not complete until woman is created (cf Gen 2:18-24). . . . . “Created together, man and woman are willed by God one for the other” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 371). Woman’s presentation as a “help similar to him” (Gen 2:18) does not mean that woman is man’s servant — “help” does not equal “servant”; the Psalmist says to God: “You are my help” (Ps 70:6; cf 115:9-11; 118:7; 146:5). Rather, the expression means that woman is worthy of collaborating with man because she is his perfect correspondence. Woman is another type of “I” in a common humanity, constituted in perfect equality of dignity by man and woman. — Pope John Paul II, General Audience, “Woman as Masterpiece of God’s Creation,” November 24, 1999

  18. October 14, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    As a sidenote Single Christian Girl is now editor of Ladies Against Feminism

    A little depressing historical footnote here. Way, way back in the 1980s, there was a group of leftist culture jammers in Berkeley – though the term “culture jammer,” like the mp3, was not yet invented – known as the Plutonium Players. They included my pal Dave Lippman and a few other clever folks.

    The Players’ schtick was satirizing the right, by pretending to be rightwingers in such an over-the-top manner that the ridiculousness of the right’s positions would be made manifest to all watching. Dave still does that kind of thing, as you will see from the mention on his website of his character “George Shrub, the Singing CIA Agent.” The notion was to take a rightwing trope, then apply some of the old reductio ad absurdum to it, and then dial the reductio up to eleven.

    One of the Plutonium Players’ recurring jokes, performed in the spirit of taking conservative ideas and inflating them past the point where even conservatives would say “that’s completely ridiculous,” was an alleged group of over-the-top female anti-feminists called “Ladies Against Women.”

    Here is Ladies Against Women’s platform. It was funny then because it was less true.

    As far as I can tell, the next step is for Tony Blair to actually start eating Irish Babies.

  19. oh yeah, her
    October 14, 2005 at 2:00 pm

    Leaving aside the perhaps juicier bits to that letter, this:

    Women who refuse to stay home and obey their fathers or husbands are also covenant-breakers.

    –has always puzzled me, for I’m sure Jennie does not advocate women proposing marriage to men; what, then, does she suggest a “single Christian woman” do if she is unmarried and her father no longer wishes to support her? Starve for Jesus?

  20. oh yeah, her
    October 14, 2005 at 2:05 pm

    As for the insistence of some Christian women on making careers of telling other Christian women not to pursue careers, I’m damn tired of the hypocrisy there, too.

    “I was empty and bitter. But now that I’ve heard God’s Word in its purest form, and have done as He commanded by working tirelessly to convince my sisters not to work, I feel so much better.”

    Good for you, cupcake. Nothing cures the blues like trivializing someone else’s, hmm?

  21. October 14, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    “””By the time I graduated, I was disillusioned and thoroughly brainwashed into thinking I was going to have to fend for myself in the world.”””

    Sounds like she is really brainwashed now, it makes me sick that there are people like her in the world, and that they try to tell me how to live. Death to tyrants.

  22. October 14, 2005 at 2:10 pm

    Sounds to me like she’s using (misrepresenting) the Bible to justify her agoraphobia, or all the other fears that she has. THIS is what is really meant by “eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” — Rationalization and Justification of one’s wacked-out ideas and actions…

  23. October 14, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    I’m sure Jennie does not advocate women proposing marriage to men; what, then, does she suggest a “single Christian woman” do if she is unmarried and her father no longer wishes to support her? Starve for Jesus?

    I’m not sure I understand your question. How can a woman get that old without being married, unless something is seriously wrong with her?

    I mean, I’m assuming that any such spinsters are frumpy, or lesbians, or possess independent minds.* As such, they do not fall under God’s Plan and are thus irrelevant.

    * or all three, in which case they are invited to coffee at my place.

  24. Caja
    October 14, 2005 at 2:20 pm

    It occurs to me that perhaps this (formerly) Single Christian Girl is really into the whole submissive thing, and her way of exploring that is through her religion, because, being a Good Christian Girl, she’s avoided learning about other ways to explore that particular kink. (Written with tongue almost planted in cheek.)

    B Moe: I am all in favor of men wearing skirt-like garments, especially Utilikilts. I think they are quite sexy (ditto long straight skirts. Yum.) But, dude! The skorts? No! And especially not with the matching ankle socks! That’s a fashion travesty if ever there was one.

  25. October 14, 2005 at 2:26 pm

    Yeah, sorry Marian for not making it more clear that you weren’t in agreement!

  26. oh yeah, her
    October 14, 2005 at 2:32 pm

    * or all three, in which case they are invited to coffee at my place.

    Whew! Thank goodness! For a minute there, I thought they’d all just have to found Homeless 4 God or something. But now that I see they’re all irredeemable heathen, the Lord’s plan is much clearer in this regard. Thank you, Sister Clarke.

  27. October 14, 2005 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you, Sister Clarke.

    Nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day. However, honesty compels me to confess that I have a Y chromosome. (And, um, an appreciation for accuracy compels me to amend that to say that I actually have somewhere between 75 and 100 billion Y chromosomes.)

  28. October 14, 2005 at 2:42 pm

    B Moe: Loincloths. I’m serious. Loincloths. Low-riding loincloths and low-rider jeans.

    Yum.

  29. October 14, 2005 at 2:56 pm

    B Moe: Loincloths. I’m serious. Loincloths. Low-riding loincloths and low-rider jeans.

    Sheelzebub, not sure where you live, but if you’re ever in New York, check out the east side of Washington Square Park around 9am. There’s a fantastic man who walks around in — I kid you not — a make-shift loincloth which he has crafted out of a pair of jeans. It’s like the best of both worlds (unless it’s windy). I’m not entirely sure how he did it (I try not to stare), but it’s amazing.

  30. October 14, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    OK, Chris has established that I’m not the only one here who remembers Ladies Against Women. (But I bet I’m the only one here who has their tracemark powder-blue kerchief: “59 cents is too much! It’s not ladylike to work for money!” etc.) But I’d bet a beer this is another one of the same. C’mon. “Ladies Against Feminism”? A truly submissive daughter-in-Christ would never be so presumptuous. “Mere-Women-And-Proud-of-It Against Feminism” followed by three paragraphs of scriptural excuses for “Proud” would be more like it.

    Or “Beloved Women AgainstHer Having Anything He Alleges His Appointed Heritage.”

    Sheelzebub, surely you mean “low-riding loincloths OR low-rider jeans”? Just visualizin’.

  31. B Moe
    October 14, 2005 at 3:02 pm

    Loincloths. I’m serious. Loincloths. Low-riding loincloths and low-rider jeans

    hmmmmm……
    might need to work on my tan first.

  32. October 14, 2005 at 3:09 pm

    See, this is why I am no longer a Christian.

    Interesting logic.

    See…this brainwashed girl is the exact reason why I still call myself a Christian, so that people can realize that all Christians do not subscribe to this kind of shitty theology.

    Hopefully one day people will realize that this is not what Christianity is about, nor is it what the Bible is about.

    And I would love to wear a skirt…if my wife allowed me to! But I would never wear a skort – those are just scary!

  33. oh yeah, her
    October 14, 2005 at 3:09 pm

    My bad, Chris. Sorry about that.

  34. nemohee
    October 14, 2005 at 3:15 pm

    Hrm….sounds like some one is using Bible quotes to justify not having to think for herself. She probably was terrified of college, not because of the drinking and drugs, but because it challenged her to think. So many women at the school I attend have not had to think for themselves, ever . When they get to college, and realize that they have to rub two brain cells together to make a C, they run screaming for the the hills. Although, working at the school has made me realize that this happens to men, too, but I see it more often in the women.

  35. oh yeah, her
    October 14, 2005 at 3:19 pm

    But I’d bet a beer this is another one of the same,

    I don’t know–have you seen the blog by one of LAF’s members, “Lady Lydia?” It’s too boring to be parody.

  36. October 14, 2005 at 3:26 pm

    My bad, Chris. Sorry about that.

    I’m not one of those guys who thinks having my words be mistaken for a woman’s is a thing to be avoided. When I write about sexism, I find it a huge compliment.

  37. kate
    October 14, 2005 at 3:48 pm

    There are many schools of Christian thought and theory, but my favorite Biblical quote has always been “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Gal. 3:28. I don’t know a ton about 1st century social history, but it seems like it would have been pretty radical to say that women did have innate worth other than chattels. Not to mention that women were among Jesus’ most active, dedicated and important supporters. It’s sad that many Christians are now aligned with a radical antifeminism and misogyny that is not found in the Gospels.

  38. October 14, 2005 at 3:56 pm

    Aha! I think we’ve finally found a wife for VBen Shapiro! I’m sure she doesn’t watch porn or participate in raunch culture.

  39. Kyra
    October 14, 2005 at 4:13 pm

    To clarify:

    “This is why I am no longer a Christian.” Not this incident specifically, which is more of a symptom of the reason, but the numerous aspects of Christianity that make it possible/probable/easy to justify sexism the way the author of this page did, and the numerous aspects of Christianity that are sexist on their own. No offense to anyone who accepts them, glosses over them, is Christian while ignoring them, but that WAS sufficient reason for me to leave, and now I’ve found things that I WON’T leave, if I ever considered going back.

    Thing is, when one changes religions, one often carries over a few beliefs that one is comfortable with or fond of. My new faith encourages this, and I have kept a few—but not enough that much of anyone would still call me a Christian, and not enough that I call myself one.

    I did not mean to insult anyone’s beliefs except those of the author. I also didn’t mean to imply that Christianity and sexism are so intertwined that it’s impossible to be one and not the other. Most Christians, yes, manage to separate the two, and that is admirable. I don’t know how you do it; I don’t know how you tolerate the fact that the two tend to go together often. Maybe some of you don’t even notice it (I notice that both of the people who told me sexism wasn’t a good reason to switch religions were male), or some accept it. I do not deal well with sexism, and I went and found something new, and it works for me. And I don’t go back because the bits of Christianity I brought along are enough for me, but Christianity itself is not. I have what I need where I am. Don’t try to tell me it was a stupid choice.

    Dave–Thanks for pointing out your objection a little more politely than Dan.

    Dave and Dan–hope this clarifies things a bit.

    Dan–Don’t try to judge my reaction to something you’ve never really experienced.

  40. zuzu
    October 14, 2005 at 4:24 pm

    B Moe,

    Think kilts.

    And go regimental.

  41. October 14, 2005 at 4:51 pm

    You did a good job of eliding the exculpatory portions of the letters. Your law school training is coming along nicely.

  42. October 14, 2005 at 5:38 pm

    God-Man-Woman-Animals

    At least we still get to boss animals around.

  43. B Moe
    October 14, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    God-Man-Woman-Animals

    At least we still get to boss animals around.

    That is the Catch 22:

    Men are pigs.
    Pigs are animals.
    Woman>animals.

    God just ain’t gonna come out and say it, being all-knowing and all.

  44. October 14, 2005 at 6:41 pm

    Obviously a church with a Sunday school class called “Women and the Bible” would solve this problem.

  45. October 14, 2005 at 8:01 pm

    Every time I see “Ladies Against Feminism” I think it’s “Ladies Against Women”. Kind of hard to tell them apart, really.

    I’ve noticed that when Christian women, whether brought up or converted, have a problems in the big wide world out there, they say they were “brainwashed” by popular culture … or the school system or whatever.

    Makes me glad to be a Jew.

  46. October 14, 2005 at 8:09 pm

    You did a good job of eliding the exculpatory portions of the letters.

    The parts of the essay that Jill left out give it an entirely different, more feminist-friendly meaning? You don’t say!

    Jill is such a manipulative little vixen.

  47. piny
    October 14, 2005 at 8:15 pm

    You did a good job of eliding the exculpatory portions of the letters.

    He’s right. I didn’t see, “Ha ha! GOTCHA! Suckers!” anywhere in the quoted passages.

  48. October 14, 2005 at 8:22 pm

    This writer’s self-abnegation borders on the psychotic. I recommend counseling for her, pronto. God-Man-Woman-Animals? Damn.

    Honestly, while there was plenty of low-level, garden-variety misogyny (usually cloaked under the heading “ladylike behavior”) at my old church, this kind of extremism still would have made people uncomfortable. Even most conservative parents want their daughters to go to college, and retain some vestige of their own personality. Maybe because to actually have your daughter grovel and kiss your ass and refuse to think for herself is embarrassing to the average parent.

  49. October 14, 2005 at 9:31 pm

    Dang, I love skirts. It sucks that men have to get stuck wearing shorts, the most universally unflattering piece of clothing ever, when it’s hot out.

    Totally depends on the shorts. Some men wear the straight-legged knee-length kind quite well. And I have a pair of short shorts–not hot pants, but pretty short–that I think and cute as hell.

    Zuzu, I’m thinking I like “go regimental” better than “go commando.”

  50. October 14, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    And I just realized the comment tag made it sound like I’m saying I like skirts. I do, in fact, like skirts. It’s easier to look like a rock star in a skirt. That’s a scientific fact.

  51. October 14, 2005 at 9:43 pm

    Amanda, you make excellent points. I am a fan of the booty shorts with tall baseball socks. That’s hot. I also support the skinny-shorts-to-the-knees look, worn with pumps or wedges. Problem is, I have short legs and can never wear any of this. Perhaps that’s why I’m bitter and hate shorts so much (but really, denim shorts are incredibly uncomfortable, they ride up your crotch, and the make everyone’s legs look short and their ass look flat. Really.). You’re right, though, about the short-shorts.

    I also stand by my assertion that men’s shorts are never a good thing, unless they are boxer shorts and we’re talking about an attractive man in my bedroom.

    But that’s another issue completely.

  52. October 14, 2005 at 9:45 pm

    Ok, so Jill doesn’t like men in shorts. Check.

    Man sandals repel her. Check.

    If she says anything about back hair, I’m gonna have to forget sending her that boudoir photo.

  53. October 14, 2005 at 9:51 pm

    Flip flops are ok! Just not sandals.

    And I think my issue with shorts comes from two places: (1) growing up in Seattle, where some folks (Hi there, Dad) inexplicably think it’s appropriate to wear ill-fitting khaki shorts with Tevas and socks; and (2) going to law school with former frat boys who inexplicably think it’s acceptable to wear cargo shorts and Abercrombie t-shirts to class every day.

    And back hair is fine if you wax it off…

  54. night shift
    October 14, 2005 at 9:52 pm

    After reading that, I feel like I need a shower. Can you imagine how her boys are going to treat women when they grow up?

  55. October 14, 2005 at 9:56 pm

    Oh, and before I make anyone feel bad, let me be clear that I tend to like men who fall into the “gay-vague” category. That is, my men exfoliate and use expensive shampoo. They’re somewhat rare, and most men shouldn’t have to worry about wearing mandals or ugly shorts or having hairy backs. Unless you’re dating someone ridiculous like me, it’s probably not an issue.

  56. October 14, 2005 at 10:00 pm

    Actually, now that you mention it, everyone I’ve ever dated has been vigilant that men shouldn’t wear sandals. I don’t care so much, but good luck taking them off at my house with Doug and his sharp teeth around.

  57. October 14, 2005 at 10:08 pm

    Don’t be shy about the short legs, Jill. I too foolishly and unfairly think I have short, fat legs and I wear the booty shorts. Not with socks, though. Clogs are the key–makes you look like your legs are 10 miles long.

    But yeah, for the shorts thing, I tend (probably not a good thing) to go for the manly punk rock dudes who wear the longer shorts. Mrow. Sort of the adult version of the skater look. And, fellas, back hair does not bother me. Fluffy is fine. I’m still banking on the idea that more body hair=more testosterone=tiger in the bedroom. After I have collected the sufficient data, I will turn in my report.

  58. October 14, 2005 at 10:11 pm

    ill-fitting khaki shorts with Tevas and socks;

    I do the shorts and Tevas – great for hiking in the desert – but the socks are just wrong.

  59. October 14, 2005 at 10:12 pm

    You’re right-ish about the denim shorts, for sure. Nonetheless, I have *just enough* redneck in me that my habit of taking holey, gross 501s and turning them into cut-offs will never be stopped. And yes, I will continue to do housework and garden in the despicable cutoffs while wearing ancient wife-beater shirts and my hair tied in a scarf. I do not care.

    Sophistication and me parted ways the first time I shot a beer can off a tree stump.

  60. October 14, 2005 at 10:17 pm

    Sophistication and me parted ways the first time I shot a beer can off a tree stump.

    Hahaha… that’s amazing. I’ve never even touched a firearm, but that sounds fun!

  61. October 14, 2005 at 10:24 pm

    I’ll admit. I always miss. :( I probably couldn’t hit a target point blank.

  62. October 14, 2005 at 10:45 pm

    And yes, I will continue to do housework and garden in the despicable cutoffs while wearing ancient wife-beater shirts and my hair tied in a scarf. I do not care.

    Amanda, you do not have to make fun of me online. How do you know what I’m wearing? Is the webcam on?

  63. October 14, 2005 at 11:51 pm

    Did someone forget to let Lauren know about http://www.acrossthestreetfromlauren.net?

  64. Marksman2000
    October 15, 2005 at 12:06 am

    Booty shorts.

    I’ll have to Google–I mean the search engine, of course.

  65. October 15, 2005 at 4:22 am

    Chris! Jesus! I just had time to anonymize my name out of the whois info before she went and checked it…I was trying to save that $20/year anonymity fee, too.

  66. SimoneDB
    October 15, 2005 at 1:08 pm

    In the early 1990s, when I was a grad student, there was a wonderful group called Ladies Against Women that staged great political protests, much like Billionaires for Bush.

    Ladies Against Feminism veers so close to parody that at first I thought it was a revival of Ladies Against Women.

  67. jrochest
    October 18, 2005 at 7:59 pm

    I don’t know–have you seen the blog by one of LAF’s members, “Lady Lydia?” It’s too boring to be parody.

    Lady Lydia is much, much sadder than Jessie: the letter-writer has a fairly extensive on-line business as a seamstress, while Lady Lydia spends most of her time writing about how hard it is to be alone in an empty house for 10 hours a day.

    And saddest of all, there’s a POSITIVE review of a Barbarar Cartland Romance on the Lady Lydia website.

    The isolation is obviously causing brain damage.

  68. Kristjan Wager
    October 19, 2005 at 10:57 am

    Well, Barbara Cartland is excape reading, and I guess such a woman would need any means of escape she can get.

  69. KnifeGhost
    October 19, 2005 at 11:22 pm

    Amanda, if you’re ever in Montreal, gimme a call. *innocent look*

  70. October 20, 2005 at 7:11 am

    I love how this discussion has move on from the stuff we all agee on to the really important stuff.

    Chris, Yes it’s a good thing to appear gender ambiguous when writing about sexism. I’m wondering if I’m frumpy enough to be invited for coffee.

  71. craig
    October 20, 2005 at 11:14 am

    blech.

  72. WookieMonster
    October 20, 2005 at 1:16 pm

    Amanda, I’m with you on the, “Sophistication and me parted ways the first time I shot a beer can off a tree stump.” Except my beer can was on a mound of dirt, not a tree stump. See, tree stumps are reasons to abuse 4 wheel drive and yank the sucker out (or even more fun, douse it with something flammable and burn it out). Can’t let an opportunity like that pass, now can we?

    I have a nice little .22 that I can plunk a can with from a fair distance.

  73. Linnaeus
    October 20, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    I’m still banking on the idea that more body hair=more testosterone=tiger in the bedroom. After I have collected the sufficient data, I will turn in my report.

    As one who tends toward the less body-haired, I will gladly volunteer to ensure you have a sufficent research sample. ;)

  74. Harry Bach
    October 20, 2005 at 2:22 pm

    Actually, now that you mention it, everyone I’ve ever dated has been vigilant that men shouldn’t wear sandals. I don’t care so much, but good luck taking them off at my house with Doug and his sharp teeth around.

    Lauren, hon. You need to get your husband to stop biting your dates when you bring them home.

  75. October 20, 2005 at 2:40 pm

    I’m wondering if I’m frumpy enough to be invited for coffee.

    ::Checks Mary Ann’s blog photo::

    Nope. Too gorgeous. Sorry.

  76. October 21, 2005 at 1:05 am

    Absolutely brilliant piece! It is heart-rendingly sad that women can collude in their own oppression in this way, brainwashing themselves. Many years ago, I used to be a born-again Christian myself, extricating myself from the fundamentalist circle I had become embedded in with great difficulty and much anguish. It was the inability to deny any longer the double standards applied to women that afforded me the avenue of liberation (although I did not encounter feminism per se until considerably later). Now, of course, I have “seen the light”, am an atheist and view all religion in a Durkheimian manner. To me, religion and feminism are incompatible, the former consigning women to the category of moral and spiritual defectives, their inferiority pre-ordained by God, unalterable, inescapable, the latter removing the need for tutelage, encouraging autonomy and the unfolding of women’s full potential. Religion justifies the subordinate role women have been assigned to for centuries, to question it is to commit blasphemy. This is why I cannot in all conscience link to Hugo’s blog, as so many feminists do. There is simply no room for a delusion of a guiding divinity which merely distracts from tackling earthly sufferings. When I finally tackle the subject of Christianity versus atheism I will certainly link to this excellent post, for which again thanks!

  77. alsis39
    October 21, 2005 at 4:40 am

    Hey, I look fabulous in shorts. Men’s shorts. Deal with it, heretics.

    Also, fie on whomever dissed that culinary wonder, the cupcake, by associating it with Miss Christian Bubblehead. For shame.

  78. Kelley
    October 21, 2005 at 11:45 am

    ZuZu!! Thank you for the link to the kilt photos. There is nothing sexier than a man in a kilt!!!!

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