Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had the chance to celebrate Pi Day yesterday by sharing some pie with friends and family. I know I did. We ate chocolate Oreo pie with homemade whipped cream. Mmmmm….
Anyway, here are some of my favorite posts this week.
1. On teaching men not to rape
I thought I’d start with this fantastic post by Zerlina Maxwell. Since this week was just full of “What about teh menz”-types crying foul over the use of the phrase “teach men not to rape” (and plenty who thought that it wouldn’t do any good anyway), here’s a look at what we can do and why it matters. Zerlina says,
When I said that “We can prevent rape by telling men not to commit it,” I wasn’t expressing some simplistic, fantastical worldview. There are organizations like Men Can Stop Rape and Men Stopping Violence that are already doing the work to train men from a young age to understand and challenge rape culture. Interestingly enough, many who disagreed with my argument chose to send me rape threats, insults, and dismissive remarks that in many ways proved my point.
2. On Joel Osteen
Fellow writer/blogger Chad Jones hits the nail on the head regarding the platitudes of people like Osteen. No, it’s not a “nice” sentiment; but neither is it nice to tell people they need to pray more or believe harder when life sucks. Many thanks to Chad for saying what a lot of us were thinking.
It seems to me, Joel, that their [people of faith in the Bible] hope was not in having the best life now, but in having a blessed life now.
Which meant walking with God, and trusting him, through hard things. Not being delivered from those hard things, but rather being delivered through them.
3. On church abuse
Gotta love John Shore. His approach reminds me a lot of how Jesus dealt with people in the Bible–he’s always gentle with the hurting, but you’d better watch out if you’re the one doing the harm. (Don’t believe me? Go back and read Matthew. Several times. Then come back and we’ll talk.) A few days ago, John posted this piece about Pastor Marc Monte. Yesterday, he posted this follow-up. Pastor Monte’s attitude is one of the reasons that people a) don’t go to the church for help and b) don’t return to church when they’ve been abused. Yes, I’ve seen this kind of thing happen. “Forgiveness” is often used as a weapon against the hurting. I hope my dear ones know that if they are hurting from abuse, especially when it’s happened in a spiritual context, that I love you and I stand by you no matter what. And screw this particular version of “forgiveness.”
Throw in other recent Monte tweets around this (sort of) debate, which include such enjoinders as, “Radically generous forgiveness is a good preventive medicine for mental illness,” “Dwelling on offenses is poison to the soul,” and “Practice the forgiveness of Christ and be set free today,” and you have a fairly comprehensive expression of a philosophy of forgiveness that today is very common, and which every day is not unlike a candy-festooned gingerbread house: it appears magical and wonderful—right up until you try ingesting it, at which point you realize that its hollow sweetness can only make you, Christian or not, ill.
4. On problems only the privileged have
This post on xoJane, which was retweeted by some of the people I follow, is a good example of “Please just shut the hell up now.” When it comes to patriarchy and misogyny, I am among the first to stand up against abuses. But women taking their husbands last names making anyone “die a little on the inside”? Well. You know what makes me die a little on the inside? Rape. Child porn. Sex trafficking. Slave labor. Yeah, I don’t honestly care whether a woman takes her husband’s last name (as I did), keeps her “own” (you know it’s probably her father’s and his father’s and his father’s, right?), hyphenates it, or makes up another one by pointing at random letters. Just. Not. My. Concern. Here’s a gem from the post:
And I find it especially upsetting that most of the excuses women give for changing their name are, well…not very convincing. At least be honest if you wanted to avoid conflict with friends and family members. I can respect that. [Good to know my own reasons are unacceptable to her and that she thinks my real reason was just to avoid conflict. Silly me, thinking I was happy with my choice and why I made it.]
5. On something other than feminism or religion
Yes, I am a New York Yankees fan. Shut up, haters. I have loved baseball since I was a kid, but growing up in a household with parents who didn’t care for the sport, I didn’t know one team from another. When I met my husband, I found out that he was an oddity–a Bostonian (more or less) and a lifelong Yankees fan. When we were dating, he would sometimes flip the radio on to listen to the games. Until we had kids, watching the Yankees play or listening to them on the radio was just part of our routine. For our fourth anniversary, we took a trip to New York to watch them play. Let me tell you, it was FANTASTIC. It happened to be Old Timers’ Day, which meant we got to see an exhibition game played by famous Yankees past. Even with my largely baseball-less childhood, I knew who they all were.
Anyway, fast-forward to 2013. I am sad to say that my all-time favorite Yankee is retiring at the end of the season. With him goes the famous number 42, as he is the last player who will ever wear Jackie Robinson’s number. So long, Mariano. It’s been a good run.
Mariano Rivera’s decision to retire after the 2013 season represents the end of an era for several reasons. The major leagues’ career leader in saves, he has been a cornerstone of the Yankees since winning his first championship ring with them, in 1996, and given his remarkable consistency and distinct lack of histrionics, he will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace.
Have a great weekend, folks. See you on Monday for the next episode in the continuing saga of “Amy Really, Really Hates 50 Shades.”