Category Archives: feminism

courtship, a controlled twitter rant

I got to talking about my experiences with purity culture and courtship on twitter, and decided to storify it and share here. Hope it comes through alright, never done this before 🙂

My experience in purity culture

In which i talk about my no-touch courtship and the friendship days, and all the stress of trying to keep my ’emotional virginity’

  1. @noshamemov oh Brio was way too liberal. They talked about DATING. I started my own pro courtship (among other things) Christian teen mag.
  2. .@noshamemov related story, when we started the mag, our parents got together, unbeknownst to us, to agree that we could get married. Weird.
  3. .@noshamemov spending time together collaborating was apparently close to dating?
  4. We were both writers and got along well. So when we started working together apparently this meant we would likely get married some day.
  5. So story time, continuing from the last few tweets. Luke and I were friends who started a small Christian magazine together.
  6. Our parents even had a meeting to agree that it would be okay with both of them if the magazine thing led to marriage.
  7. My inlaws fell in love while working on a magazine or something like that.
  8. It’s scary how much of my future apparently hung on that meeting between parents.
  9. If they hadn’t wanted me to marry Luke, I wouldn’t have been allowed to do the mag with him.
  10. We emailed a lot for the mag, and friendship crept into it, too. I had to email from mom’s account so she could read it all.
  11. Still mom read my emails to L, from co editor, to best friends, to courtship, to engagement. It complicated some already complicated times.
  12. In retrospect, this was ridiculously controlling. I was 17 at the time, I hadn’t mentioned that yet. And very trustworthy and obedient.
  13. Once Luke and I were close friends I got a lot of lectures from my parents about how dangerous this was for my emotional purity.
  14. after all those concerned lectures, i felt like if I married anyone else, I’d be damaged goods, emotionally.
  15. And if Luke had married anyone else, I would have been heartbroken. In that world, heartbreak is the end of the world.
  16. Sometimes I feel like we almost had an arranged marriage. A manipulated marriage at any rate.
  17. @peacefultaru I was way too obedient. I never snuck or rebelled. Now once 19 year old me sent an email from my school account.
  18. @peacefultaru when we were going to be married in 2 months. My mom was part of a major problem we needed to talk about…
  19. @danileekelley I was so stressed all the time worrying Luke didn’t really want to marry me and I could never be fit to marry anyone else.
  20. I sincerely believed I was too ‘used’ to marry anyone else, had there been anyone else. Because I was best friends with a guy.
  21. This is what the purity movement does though, taken to it’s most logical extremes. You can’t have opposite sex friends.
  22. Purity is above everything and for a woman it is easily ‘lost’
  23. In the end of course, I did marry Luke. He didnt break my heart and marry that one bitch in high heels that flirted with him at school.
  24. But the road there was full of messy stressful issues.
  25. Did you know we had a no touch courtship? My parents said it was our choice, but they wouldn’t have let us be alone ever had we held hands.
  26. Not that we were alone much anyways. Too much risk we’d do something inappropriate and ruin our whole marriage forever.
  27. I really was taught that sex before marriage, even with the future spouse, would wreck your married life.
  28. So we didn’t so much as held hands. My mom said all that stuff was on the road to sex and it would mess us up to get on the road then stop.
  29. I also wasn’t allowed to go to church with Luke, except on rare occasions, because that should be saved for marriage.
  30. I think some of my problems fitting in at b first baptist were because I never went until we married.
  31. My parents thought courtship should involve a man going out of his way to be with the woman and her family. But not vice versa
  32. The visiting I did to the hobbses was begrudgedly allowed. Luke could never visit us enough.
  33. Wow, courtship. Everyone had different expectations and parents were all over the place & in the middle of our relationship. No boundaries.
  34. I think if marriage is supposed to be one man and one woman, engagement probably works better that way, too.
  35. Some parental involvement is probably healthy. Parental control of an adults love life? Not so much.
  36. But then, I was never considered an adult. I was still a stay at home daughter. I did go to college though.
  37. I never really rebelled either. I feel delayed, like I’m emotionally fifteen. Except with a husband & two kids. Trying to figure myself out.
  38. I believe that courtship/ purity culture and patriarchy infantilizes daughters, and keeps them afraid of growing up.
  39. So all that said to say, my family was controlling, courtship is sticky, and authoritarian parenting sucks.
  40. And no touch courtships? Really suck. Would never, ever, EVER do it again. Ever.
  41. This has been Lana ranting about courtship and stuff. Tune in next time for ‘Luke’s cousin makes awesome turkey’.
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modesty – a roundup of posts and thoughts

It’s summer time. Time for the big swimsuit question.
As a woman who used to swim in athletic shirts and an athletic top to ensure proper modesty, i know what the modesty teachings are. However, I don’t agree with them anymore.
I feel that modesty culture demeans and harms both men and women, promotes unhealthy thoughts, and operates based on stereotypes and misunderstandings.
I’m posting links to some posts on the subject, along with highlights, and my thoughts will follow.

There’s been this post about modesty and The Bikini Question making the rounds, (it’s down right now, cached page here)and it feels very rape culturey. Defeating the Dragons explains how it promotes rape culture, as well as how futile it is for a women to try to dress in a way that certain men won’t objectify her.

But, this article, like every other article I’ve read on modesty, emphasizes that it a woman’s obligation to help protect men from our bodies. It’s our duty to make sure that we make it possible for men to forget that we’re a woman– which is, frankly, impossible. I don’t care how loose your clothes are– if you have T&A, there’s no getting rid of it, there’s no hiding it.

emily joy allison talks modesty and purity culture in her new post about How To Be a Lady:

LET’S GO AHEAD AND TIE A WOMAN’S CHARACTER DIRECTLY TO HER CLOTHING WHY DON’T WE. Yeah. That seems like a good idea. Also let’s shame women who’ve been disrespected or mistreated by men by making them think it must have been their fault somehow for wearing the “wrong” clothes and attracting the “wrong” kind of men. And to top it all off let’s pretend like Christian men do (and should) actually treat women better who “appropriately cover themselves.”

Another good post about the problems for both men and women inherent in modesty teachings: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2012/12/modesty-body-policing-and-rape-culture-connecting-the-dots/

Shaney Irene has this post about Why The Modesty Survey was a Bad Idea (for the record, Shaney, I forgive you 😀 i’m thankful that you are writing against it now.)

In offering a platform to over 1600 guys, many of whom shouldn’t have been given it, we lent legitimacy to some very dangerous ideas.

Many guys admitted to losing respect for girls who didn’t live up to their ideas of modesty, feeling “disgusted” or “angered” by these same girls, and even going so far as to say, “…she loses her right to ask guys to stop looking at her like something to be had…you are asking to have guys stare at you.” The word “cause” in relation to guys’ lust also made a frequent appearance.

and now for my thoughts:

I feel like the biggest problem with the modesty culture is the confusion between lust and attraction. i never once have heard anyone make a distinction. It’s as though it’s a sin for a man to notice a woman is attractive.
Look, people. i’m visual. And the dude who plays Thor is attractive. I noticed. That’s not cheating on my husband. that’s not me wanting to rape the actor. That’s just me, noticing a very attractive guy is attractive. I’ve seen men that were so attractive, it makes me blush. For real. It doesn’t mean i’m lusting. I am not fantasizing. I wouldn’t ‘do’ anything with him.
But there’s nothing wrong with me or the guy, if i notice he’s attractive. If I start having sexual fantasies, that’d be objectifying and mentally unhealthy.
Here’s big secret: women can be visual, too. I’m more visually oriented than Luke. And there are a lot of guys objectively more attractive (and by that I mean, with really ripped abs) than him. it’s okay. i still find him breathtakingly handsome and i love him more than anybody. He’s the only dude i intend to ever [expletive deleted] with. But I’m gonna notice Batman’s biceps. And it is okay. And anything beyond that is my responsibility to deal with.

The flipside of that is, if a guy sees me in a bikini and notices i’m attractive, or more likely, notices i am very curvy, there is nothing wrong with that. I AM very curvy. No suit is gonna hide that.
If he ogles me – and I have been ogled while dressed modestly before and my young and frightened response was to dress rather more frumpily and blame it on my ‘accidental immodesty’ – that is all on him. It’s not my job to try my hardest to dress in such a way that people will treat me with respect; and as noted in many of the blogs above, it DOES NOT WORK; oglers are pretty much oglers. As far as keeping a man from sinning – him noticing I am a woman isn’t going to ‘make’ him sin.

And if a woman judges me as a slut because i’m a curvy woman in a bikini, that’s all on her too.

So much for my opinions on modesty culture in general, now for the chocolate cake analogy in the post, which many people think is wonderful. I found it a problematic analogy. It made me angry that a woman enjoying herself at the beach – happening to bare a midriff rather than not (perhaps because she can’t find a well fitting one piece or tankini, perhaps because she likes how she looks, who knows) is considered the same as following a dieter around with something tempting.
I am a person, dressing for me. It would be more like if i ate a cake at a cafe and you walked up and shoved your face into it and ate it all up, and blamed me for you stealing it, because i should be tempting you with my cake in public.
Unless I am deliberately and provocatively and obviously flirting with someone, he has no reason to think my clothing is an invitation to him. (and even then he STILL wouldn’t have any right to touch me without a clear verbal invitation or permission).

I am planning to go to the lake this summer, and i will be wearing my bikini. partially in protest, but mostly because it’s flattering, comfortable, stays in place better than any suit i have, and will allow my body to get some sun, and there’s really no reason for me not to, if i’m comfortable in it.
Dianna Anderson is joining the bikini club too. (For the record, i have another suit i’ll be wearing when we go to the inlaws to swim, out of courtesy to their beliefs and because i would be the only one in a bikini, and i’m not comfortable with that.)

comment section: am I missing any good posts in my links? did you read the bikini article? do you have a cute new swimsuit you’re excited to wear? i got a polka dotted tankini for everydays, and a black bikini, with full cups and gathers in the fabric, for the lake.

(edit: Sarah over the Moon wrote a post about modesty today too, responding to another post about modesty from a bit of a different angle than the first, but the points about the problems and inequity of translating clothing into ‘messages’ still stand. worth a read)
(Another edit: here’s a post from one of my favorite bloggers, Libby Anne, about the problematic chocolate cake analogy, focusing on chocolate cake’s inability to consent, and the lack of clarity as to what the anologue to eating the cake is: attraction? Lust? Rape?)

Love

Sometimes, I’m not sure I actually know what love is.

Luke and I have been married five years and sometimes i’m afraid i’m not loved or loving.

In the early days of marriage, I suspected my husband didn’t truly love me at all, because even though I knew I wasn’t perfect, he NEVER once sat me down with a list of things I was doing badly and encouraged me to do better and repent. Not a single time did he shout at me for selfishness.
I was truly disturbed at his refusal to be a godly leader who spoke the truth in love to me -(by giving me verbal lists of how badly i was doing). I figured he was just bottling up all that anger inside. (as a matter of fact, he does have a tendency to bottle up anger, but also he really just doesn’t get angry that often).
I sincerely believed love meant, in part, picking someone else apart, judging their motives, and encouraging them towards godliness by letting very little slide by unmentioned – because that wouldn’t be kind, and it wouldn’t be rejoicing in truth. Hate what is evil.

i was also under the impression that as an underling (daughter then wife) for ME to love meant to stay fairly silent. Love covers a multitude of wrongs, you see.
That love was unselfish and that I should therefore not even mention what I want unless asked.
That being a good wife meant belonging, body and soul, to my husband – always sexually available, a great housekeeper and general ‘helpmeet’ jumping at his whim, but actually trying to guess his whims ahead if time and fulfill his wishes before he asks if possible – otherwise i wouldn’t be a loving wife but a reluctant servant. Being a pretty wife, so he won’t leave (and it would be all my fault). He never asked for any of this from me, he only wanted me to be my own person but for years it didn’t matter. I tried to just merge the two – be me while subjugating every part of me to what i thought would make him happy, in the name of biblical womanhood and love. but eventually you lose track of who you are and find yourself just trying to earn love. Forever insecure and forever trying to earn something that is best just given.

And now…. now i don’t feel like I know what love is anymore.

I’m pretty sure love doesn’t mean picking people apart to make sure they never make god angry. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean losing all your boundaries to the people you love. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t look like burnout or codependency or denial of feelings.

So what is love? and do i love luke, actually? or am i really incapable of loving and being loved?
Here is where i should probably insert 1 Corinthians 13 on love. But you see, that’s been coopted, reapplied, to mean specific things in my mind I’m now doubting. It won’t be very helpful.

So…. To the Dictionary!

love

[luhv] Show IPA noun, verb, loved, lov·ing.
noun

1.

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
well, i suppose so. does that mean i like him a lot, more than anybody else (that’d be profound), and (generally) have a soft heart to him? then check!
2.

a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
Is this different from the first? Well, i like luke and i really like to be around him. i’m happy to have fun with him, or to work with him. so, check!
3.

sexual passion or desire.
check! (when his teeth are brushed.)
4.

a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
well, this isn’t about having love like the above, but about a person who is loved. I do call luke ‘love’ sometimes.
5.

(used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie,love?
see above. also calling people ‘love’ sounds even better in a cockney accent.
6.

a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
we’ve done that. check!
7.

sexual intercourse; copulation.
ahem. check.
8.

( initial capital letter ) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
huh? N/A.
9.

affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.
well i want luke to be well, also to be successful. Although that’s self interested. I really want to be the editor for a brilliant writer 😉 also he’s more fun to live with when he’s healthy, he’s a grumpy sick person. True Story. anyways, check!
10.

strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
i’m enthusiastic about books! … wait, this is getting off topic.
11.

the object or thing so liked: The theater was her great love.
luke isn’t an object, so, N/A. although i could objectify him, but that would be rude.
12.

the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
interesting that God gets his own entry in the definition of love. Well, i guess this is a N/A
13.

Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.
if we played tennis, that would probably be the score i got.
14.

a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.
hey, i used to be able to speak in Alpha Bravo Charlie! i can’t remember it now though.
now for the verbs, which are a bit more useful for discovering how honest it is to say ‘I love you’.

verb (used with object)

15.

to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.

 

Well, this points us to the nouns, which had a bunch of checks. So i would say, yes. I do have love/affection for.
16.

to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
well yep i got that too. (seriously, dictionaries ARE redundant). Check!

 

17.

to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
check! I seriously enjoy being with luke. (when he’s not grouchy. i’m not a freaking saint)

 

18.

to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.
Check!

 

19.

to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.

Check!

 

 

The dictionary has spoken, Luke.

I guess I do love you.

Although i still find it more meaningful to say “I like you”
“I like cleaning the kitchen with you (I like sitting on the floor while you clean the kitchen)”,
“I like discussing books with you”,
“I think you’re really attractive”,
“i enjoy being around you”,
“I need you; you make me happy”
“I demand a date night this week”
“I want to help you when you’re sad”,
“you’re my favorite person”.

Happy Anniversary, my Luke. I have a strong liking for you.

I have two scars in the center of

I have two scars in the center of my forehead. I only remember getting one of them. I was a Brownie scout that year, and I ran in the house because I had just sold my first box of Girl Scout Cookies, to the next door neighbors, which was no testament to my selling abilities — the sweet elderly couple would have bought anything from me. Still, I was excited to tell my family, and in my excitement I disregarded the no-running rule and ran into the kitchen, and I managed to fall headfirst into the dishwasher.
For years, my parents jokingly complained — much to my embarrassment — that I had dented the new dishwasher.

I also had dented my head. The bleeding frightened me, cuts on the head bleed profusely.  Mom fixed it up with butterfly stitches and bandaids.

I didn’t die of a head wound, despite how glamorous a death that would have seemed to my Brownie self. I only got a small scar. Eventually another scar joined it, or perhaps it was there first; i was a clumsy child and remember the details of very few scars.

My mom once pointed out that the two scars in such close proximity looked like a minus sign and a one.

Negative one. Hahahaha.

But that was me, wasn’t it? I thought it to myself many times.
The only daughter in a family of boys, the one so who was so good (but did wrong so often). The one who was so smart (but frequently appeared to be missing common sense).

Do you know, I didn’t know until I was a teenager that women had ‘private parts’. I simply knew that boys and men had weewees, and girls had none (whenever i thought about it, i was truly baffled that we somehow managed to urinate).

I was in college and married before I finally learned the names of all the lady parts.
My whole life until then, all I really knew was girls were missing things boys had.

So girls had to be prettier, and eat more neatly, because that one special difference somehow made it acceptable for boys to be rougher and dirtier. Also boys could pee outside, which is something I secretly envied during swimming season when we had our own backyard pool.
The difference between girls and boys also meant that, while in theory I could do anything I wanted when I grew up, I would be very happiest if I had a bunch of children and spent as much time with them as possible. Later, as my family began reading Nancy Campbell’s magazine and the Pearls’ books, I realized it meant my body would always belong to someone with a dick, and I could only purposely limit the number of children I bore if I wanted to risk sinning against god.

It meant that no matter how gifted with prophecy and teaching my dad said I was (he once figured those were my spiritual gifts), it would never be appropriate for me to speak to mixed groups.

My brothers occasionally joked about my minus-one scar. But I knew what it meant. It meant I was worth less. That god, in his love, wanted me to be worth less than men because he said so, and because he was god and therefore I had to accept my less-than status happily, that somehow because it was god’s desire, being less than actually meant being more than.

I also figured that my marking was a sign of what a sinful and rebellious person I was, that I would be always incapable of living up to the high calling Christ wanted for me.

When I started wearing makeup, I had mixed feelings about covering up that scar. It had become in my mind not two separate scars but a single symbol. On the one hand, I wouldn’t risk being teased and my face would look more attractive, but on the other, I would possibly be dishonest, by trying to hide the fact that I was clearly marked as a negative one.

….

A few months ago I mentioned a vivid and obvious scar on my arm. My mother suggested I try putting Vitamin E oil on it, and put on a dab, saying it might help. I intended to get some oil of my own to apply regularly, but never did.
More recently, I was looking for a DIY cellulite wrap, because I am caving to societal expectations and frankly it is one of the most emotionally healthy things I have done in awhile.
So I found one that looked simple, which required cellulite cream and Vitamin E oil.

A few days later, after a shopping trip, I slathered myself in creams and then wrapped myself in cling wrap. I didn’t look in the mirror, because I was terrified. I squeaked to my robe and covered up before leaving the bathroom to watch Merlin and sweat away the inches.

I caught my reflection in the mirror as I went out the door. I looked back down at the small bottle of oil and gulped. Those scars on my forehead had been marking me as a negative one for a decade and a half, and I had believed them to be a sign, for a decade and a half. Did I even dare touch the scar now?

Oh, but I do dare. I cut off my long hair and I wear shirts that accentuate my breasts and I form my own opinions on the world, and I do not have to believe in signs that are marking me to make me remember my place anymore.

I’m twenty-five years old, so far away from being a Brownie Scout. There is almost no chance the oil will have any effect on the old scars on my forehead.

I held my breath, then I carefully poured the oil into my hands. I spread it gently over the scar in a cross pattern, as if I were anointing myself.
I recognize the pain and beauty in my soul, and I tell myself, you are not ‘less than.’ You are not a negative one.
It’s time to let myself heal, even if it’s too late for the scars.

Then I sighed a deep sigh of resolve and the plastic squeaked, and I laughed and hobbled off to the couch to watch Morgana discover she’s actually magical. It’s hard to be serious for long when you’re wrapped in stretchy plastic.

Humor, satire, sexism, and women

This week Prodigal posted an article – it was intended to be humorous  – by a christian comedian John Crist. It was directed toward women (‘girls’ and ‘ladies’ actually) and although it was titled ‘my dating manifesto’ the gist of it was ‘why you don’t have a boyfriend’. (a manifesto is generally a personal/group declaration of policy and aims. Something for yourself and your group, not prescriptive for a different group.)

If it hadn’t come across as so sexist and condescending, if he had written it differently, it could have been an interesting piece on dating in the digital age. The first part was in fact poked fun at a digital relationship he’d been in, and it made me laugh.
When we got to his list about ‘girls’ (I think the word he is looking for is woman; i believe he’s too old to date a minor), well, that’s when it went south.
After reactions, Prodigal removed the article from their site, but you can view a cached version of the page here
People started tweeting both support and accusations of sexism at Jon Crist. He defended his article by saying people are mad he was writing the truth, and that it was satire – implying both it is wrong to be mad at humor, and that he is being persecuted.
I think the biggest problem was that the target of his humor was a part if our culture he doesn’t understand very well. If he had been talking to men, the potential for humor would have been greater. Not to mention it could have been an actual manifesto. He does briefly address men, but mostly he talks about why women’s – er, girls – online presences do frequently make them look undatable – as though twitter or Instagram – and life in general – should be more about prospective suitors than communicating with friends. The article included the line ‘Ladies, you’re never going to make it to a true life relationship if you keep screwing up false life.’
By ‘screwing up’ he apparently means things like duck-faced pictures, pictures of manicures, and lots of abbreviations – basically general ‘girl stuff’.

It wasn’t really funny, to me. He seemed serious about what the ladies are doing wrong to get his attention. Although if he were trying to write satirically, he could have pushed this a little further and had a good satire piece about how people mock innocuous stuff and ridiculing culture pressure on women to walk a fine line between sexy/fun and modest/holy. There’s no indication that’s what he was going for, though. Instead, he used satire to mock women.

Rachel Held Evans wrote an excellent piece about satire, and I think it partly explains why John Crist’s piece came across as so offensive to many readers (men and women, actually):

Satire only works when its most stinging indictments are directed toward the powerful. This is why attempts at satire fall on their face when they make the weak their target.  For example, the writers at The Onion are usually great at satire, but they blew it with the Quvenzhané Wallis tweet, because it just doesn’t work when the subject of a c-word joke is a nine-year-old girl. Same goes for Daniel Tosh, who is a funny guy and all, but who probably should avoid making jokes about rape.

The rule of thumb: Pick on someone your own size, or bigger…never on someone smaller. And don’t take cheap shots. 

And we should be eager to share the good news that, in the Kingdom that lasts, the guy on the donkey is Lord. 

For him to pick on women – who aren’t even allowed to speak in front of mixed groups in most churches – is for him to direct his ‘wit’ at people who have less of a voice than he does. Furthermore, he is imposing his arbitrary values about what women should be like in order to be respected on to women – men are the norm and women are the ‘other’ that should conform. although i am rather unskilled as a feminist apologist, it’s easy for me to see that this is sexist. And anyone who got mad about this on twitter was called a ‘man basher’.

I don’t think this kind of satire does anything to help anyone. It does nothing but put more expectations on women and assert men’s view over women.

This isn’t a subject where a man should poke fun at a woman, it’s a place where a man should listen.
It’s hard being a woman in christianity ya’ll. When I dress, I have to worry, will I look too ‘frumpy/too modest’, or will I look like a ‘slut/inviting men to lust’? I used to throw away clothes that flattered my figured because i had read and heard enough to know that if i got raped, it would be blamed on me. I thought if I looked plain enough, I would be safe from rape and from drawing attention (and therefore maybe accidentally ‘inviting’ rape) by looking too homeschoolery. Men, in general, cannot know first hand what that is like, and unless they listen carefully when women try to tell them, they will never has a clue.
Unfortunately men seem to view that kind of thing disdainfully, as feminist propaganda.

As a woman, people expect I will be emotional and therefore irrational (false dichotomy between rational and emotional, btw) because of my femaleness. Therefore, in a conversation with men, I have to be more even-toned, more logical, and more factually informed than them. Any tone indicating I am upset, and i am an ‘irrational female’. My brothers would pick on me, get in my face, and call me a retard, and when i got mad they would ask ‘are you on your period?’ – that’s irrelevant, I was mad because they were being assholes! but because I am an ‘irrational girl’, they can disregard their own part in riling me up. “Lana just cries a lot” my dad warned my husband. Because girls cry. He was the sensible one, my brothers were the standard for normal behavior, and i was the girl – the ‘Other’.

Men can get mad without it being attributed to their gender.  If women call men sexist, the men frequently say ‘No i’m not, i’m telling the truth, and you’re a man-basher’.   (I DID see some men defending women on twitter, and I saw another man who started out agreeing with John Crist, but who took the time to understand WHY women were upset and then I think he understood. I appreciated that. Not all men are like the men I am describing.)

These are some of the things (straight, white, cisgendered) men do not even have to think about, because culture accepts the straight white male as the norm, the objective and rational.
I’m sure ya’ll dudes have your problems too, and I am willing to listen to them. In fact, I hear a lot of them already just as the normal ‘problems with life’. but i can listen more. But, please, listen to women, listen to the people you consider ‘other’. We have experiences you do not understand, and by not taking the time or having the compassion to listen and try to understand, you can perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes and hurt a lot of women, and never even know you are doing it. And when someone says, ‘that’s sexist’ (or racist, or homophobic, or whatever – this goes for all the ‘Others’), please consider that there are things you don’t understand, and cannot understand until you put aside your ideas that you are more right than everyone, and just listen to the people that christian society has marginalized.