Thursday, June 29, 2006

Five things that made me happy today.

1. Quoting song lyrics to my friend and not even missing a beat in the conversation because she knew what I was saying.
2. Apply #1 to "Anchorman" lines.
3. Mexican style totino's pizza.
4. The old man that came in the store today and answered my greeting with "better now that I'm with you." Creepy, but satisfying.
5. How, after I sat on the other side of the couch, Roxy had to come lay under my arm.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Rebuttals Begin.

Laura has replied and so it seems fitting to post my counter-argument since it is on her blog. So here goes:

"Much like how you take attacks on Christianity personally, I take attacks on feminism personally. It is difficult not to take it personally when someone has so disastrously interpreted it. You seem to think I don’t have a good understanding of Christianity, doesn’t that frustrate you – it seems like it does. Imagine how I felt when I read your complete misunderstanding.
It is great that you were able to use the information from an abstinence program. Too bad that isn’t the case for more people. “According to Columbia University researchers, virginity pledge programs increase pledge-takers’ risk for STIs and pregnancy. The study concluded that 88 percent of pledge-takers initiated sex prior to marriage even though some delayed sex for a while. Rates of STIs among pledge-takers and non-pledgers were similar, even though pledge-takers initiated sex later. Pledge-takers were less likely to seek STI testing and less likely to use contraception when they did have sex.” ( – this web site cites several reputable, peer reviewed journal articles)

As for your daycare comment, that seems like you’re attacking working mothers that put their children in daycare. Those that can afford expensive cars tend to put their children in preschool (an educational setting) as opposed to daycare. For you information, a psychologist, Mary Main, has found that day care provides children with valuable lessons in independence and social interaction. Preschool, and even daycare, can be beneficial for a child. And the reason these children cry when their mothers leave is a natural progression of how attachment develops. Maybe read a child development book – Piaget and Boulby are good places to begin.

The problem with the differences perspective is that people overgeneralize the difference. Oftentimes differences other than physiological types are minute, but are blown out of proportion (see Janet Hyde’s 2005 meta-analysis). You wrote: “Women may generally be weaker physically, so what?” My thoughts exactly. As for your example of the woman being beat to an inch of her life – aren’t there many male police officers assaulted and killed too? How can you say that if it were a man he wouldn’t have been beaten as badly too?

There are several hypothetical situations I could supply for ways women do not have the power of no. Furthermore, the mainstream culture degrades women and definitely socializes our women and girls into objects. You seem to think that it’s so easy to just say no. Even Nancy Regan has rethought that campaign. I suppose you couldn’t interject any personal experience here. Personal experience isn’t really a sample large enough to infer anything about a population anyway.

Again, you ramble on without any credible sources. If you think Christianity is misunderstood at least quote some scripture. I admit that I am not as familiar with Christianity as you may be, but maybe you can enlighten me. You still haven’t cited any empirical evidence from what I’ve read so far. How can you make such claims without anything backing it up? For now I suppose we’ll agree to disagree. I’m guessing this debate has ended. (Oh, and thanks for replying to me directly on my blog. Jude doesn’t understand all the ramblings you put on his blog.)"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A friendly debate

Miss Laura has had a not-so-friendly debate with my friend, Sam, this of course caused me to browse her blog. It has turned into a spot where I try to "get in touch" with a christian conservative view. It is a perplexing view, but interesting and frustrating to read. During her debate with Sam instead of responding to Sam directly, she responded on Sam's son's blog - infuriating to say the least.
Laura recently wrote an entry about feminism. This caused me to try to respond to her again. I tried to respond once before, but my comments were erased. So, breaking in my new blog I'll post my response since I'm sure it will be erased again.

"I don't have a toddler's blog, so I'll have to respond to this post. Every so often I read this blog – just to see how some christian conservatives think. I do not dislike conservatives – or christians. However, opinions without research are difficult to take seriously. I have replied to this blog before with simple questions (without any derogatory language or personal attacks), but they were deleted. I would guess that this will be erased as well. However, it is important to me to respond to unsupported and outlandish claims.
Like any philosophy, feminism is divided into many movements, but radical feminists are spotlighted – much like the extremist Muslims. Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all feminists are radical. Dr. Hirshman doesn’t represent all feminists (maybe refer back to the Newsweek article where the interviewer inferred she was using feminism).
Laura claims that self-esteem has become an issue over the past 30 years and she attributes that to feminists. Self-esteem has become an issue over the last 60 years because the concept of self-esteem has been spotlighted through the self-help movement. Furthermore, self-esteem is strongly related to media images and peer interaction.
Obviously, parents do impact their children’s development. Laura infers feminists do not care about children, nor do “career women.” Mothers that work aren’t given enough credit. According to Huston and Aronson (2005) from the University of Texas, Austin, mother-child time is “necessary for children’s cognitive activity, language, and positive social interactions.” With that being noted, the same study concluded that time spent with children must be attentive and sensitive. Furthermore, they concluded that employed women compensated by lost time during the week by increasing time during the weekend – by decreasing leisure time. Finally, employed mothers spent more time in quality activities (e.g. playing, talking, and holding their children). There was no conclusion that mothers’ time working interfered with the quality of their relationship with their children. Yes dear, it seems women can work and have a family too. Feminists weren’t so far off when they imagined this world. You do remember that
Laura clearly has no idea what “feminism has done.” Feminism has made a choice available to women. This so called divide between stay-at-home moms and working women has been perpetuated by the media; much like the Newsweek article in the 80’s that claimed women over 40 were more likely to get shot by a terrorist that be married (this was retracted and overwhelming evidence refutes this claim). People that resent feminism blow “Mommy Wars” out of proportion.
Really? The divorce rate can be attributed to feminism? Again, the choice that was offered to women is a result of the feminist movement and cultural shifts. So, women and men that are unhappy have to stay in a marriage? As Laura has so eloquently put it “women are the same as men and that men should have no more leadership in the relationship than the woman.” There is an undeniable difference in the physiology of men and women, so that should be magically overcome right? Women can’t be in the military or physically demanding jobs because of this difference? We are not as cognitively competent? In my marriage, it is a partnership between my husband and I. Watch out – an egalitarian relationship? I thank the women before me that worked so diligently for this cultural shift.
As for abortion, we could debate this for years. Ending a pregnancy can be the best choice for the woman and fetus. Let us address the children that result from unwanted pregnancies. A study done by David et al. in 1998 followed children from unwanted pregnancies and wanted pregnancies. By adulthood, unwanted children were more likely to abuse drugs, have legal issues and have overall psychological difficulties – this list is not exhaustive. Women that go through with unwanted pregnancies are also unhappy and report that they treat their children poorly throughout development.
Just a few statistics I have for you: before Roe v. Wade, an estimated 200,000 to 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed each year and about 10,000 women died from them. Women used crude and harmful ways to induce abortions. A woman is 25 times more likely to die as a result of childbirth than of a legal abortion. (Matlin, 1998).
I have worked in a group home for cognitively disabled and unwanted children. Have you met children that have been in and out of foster care and that are unwanted by everyone - only having revolving staff to look up to? It is heartbreaking. However, our friends in the government cut funding to social services and this group of people is forgotten.
We’re not going to stop people from having sex. Instead, our president has promoted an abstinence only policy – these people aren’t even getting the education they need to protect themselves against disease and unwanted pregnancies. Educated individuals are less likely to have children at a young age and to practice safe sex. Abstinence only policies don’t work. Not everyone is a christian – nor does everyone want to be a christian. Even people that identify themselves as some type of christian have premarital sex.
Laura is misguided by what feminism stands for. Many feminists work for HUMAN rights. For example, boys are trailing significantly in school and it is the feminist psychologists that are working towards understanding this trend.
Before making such wild claims, please Laura, do your homework. You write as though you know feminists, but from your description you have no idea what the philosophy is about. You make extreme generalizations about a group of people you obviously don’t know. It seems as though your trend is to criticize groups of people you couldn’t begin to understand.
You seem to think that feminists hate men. Where did you get that? And feminists are promiscuous. Please, come up with something better than that. How can a promiscuous woman hate a man? It seems to be the exact opposite, don’t you think? Oh and maybe you should take a look into third-wave feminism and the ‘girl power’ movement. It encourages self-respect and loving yourself – no matter your physical appearance. Feminism is about empowerment – not at the expense of anyone else.
Substantiate your claims at least. I consider myself a feminist and I love my husband and our egalitarian relationship. As for my sex life, well dear, sorry to disappoint you but I wouldn’t be considered promiscuous by any standard. I’m also pretty satisfied and happy in my life. I could provide you with all kinds of similar examples, but that wouldn’t add to your ridiculous claims would it?
By the way, primary references are helpful when making any type of point. I respect that you are a christian, but have you ever thought critically about the information you are fed? Maybe a course in general psychology or sociology – or God forbid, a course in gender would expand your ability to have an informed opinion. I hope you’re able to write a rebuttal that is researched – but I understand if you cannot."

An Inspiration For Something To Do.

"I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should do something wrong."
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience.