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What Women’s Ministries Lack

What Women’s Ministries Lack

This post comes to us from Kelsi Klembara.

The lights in the large auditorium dim as quiet worship music plays in the background and a hushed buzz spreads throughout the room full of women. I look hesitantly at the two women sitting next to me. The speaker has just told us since Christian sisterhood is all about authenticity, it’s time to spill our guts to a neighbor we’ve never met. I’ve been through this before: share your story, make sure to emphasize the sin that used to be in your life and the growing holiness that is taking it’s place. That’s…

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Let’s Have an Uncomfortable Talk About Infertility and (I Guess) Grace

Let’s Have an Uncomfortable Talk About Infertility and (I Guess) Grace

This moving reflection comes to us from Ben Maddison.

Sitting alone in the doctor’s office at a quarter past two on a Wednesday, I held out hope that I was still in control of my life. After a year and a half of trying—of home tests and office tests, and pills and vitamins and online tips, and all those pesky “lifestyle changes”—I waited for the doctor to come in and give me the news I wanted. I sort of knew I was grasping at straws. That didn’t stop me from hoping for the best.

It’s weird to anxiously wait for test results…

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Everyone Is Still Awkward and the Gospel Is Still Strong: The 40th Anniversary of Women’s Ordination in the Episcopal Church

Everyone Is Still Awkward and the Gospel Is Still Strong: The 40th Anniversary of Women’s Ordination in the Episcopal Church

Last week marked the 40th anniversary of ordaining women to the Episcopal priesthood. While we have come so far, we have quite a way to go. No, I do not mean we need more women bishops. And no, I am not talking about how few women we see leading major churches. The church still has to adjust to women leading it, and women themselves are only at the beginning of navigating what it means to lead the church.

I laugh, heartily, when people suggest to me that the Episcopal Church is accepting and welcoming of women’s ordination. Instead I would say…

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A Review of A Woman’s Place [From a Man’s Perspective]

A Review of A Woman’s Place [From a Man’s Perspective]

Oftentimes evangelicalism, from the average parishioner’s perspective, is not so much a steady worldview as a collection of silently predetermined ideas. One of the more pernicious assumptions that many (though certainly not all) evangelicals share is that women are…limited? It’s really tough to nail down, partly because it is not universal. My first thought is Mark Gungor’s obnoxious video series Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, in which he ascribes disproportionate men in leadership positions to women’s “spaghetti brains” and uses a high-pitched whine to portray the female side of a conversation. Or the offhand references to Love and Respect,…

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The Complicated Righteousness of Yoga Pants

The Complicated Righteousness of Yoga Pants

In years to come, when Hollywood makes its first period pieces about the mid 2010s, or HBO films a miniseries about American life at the end of the Obama presidency, they’ll have a wide range of fashion trends to choose from when dressing the cast. But they won’t be able to pull off a credible depiction of today’s professional class without putting at least some of the females in “athleisure”, e.g. yoga pants and the like.

Jokes about ladies adopting high-end athletic gear as their go-to daily uniform (for all manner of non-athletic activity) have cropped up in enough movies and…

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Let Us Now Praise Fathers: On Taking the Patriarch for Granted

Let Us Now Praise Fathers: On Taking the Patriarch for Granted

A few weeks ago one of my girlfriends asked me to pray for her husband. They were getting back some major test results and she was worried he might be critically ill. He wasn’t. Thank God. But what she said on the phone about the possibility stayed with me. She said, “I feel bad for thinking this. But there’s just so many things he does. I don’t know what I would do without him.”

I knew immediately what she meant. I do not know what day the trash goes out. I hate driving anywhere I do not have to. And the…

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Are You Man Enough? When Virile Was a Compliment

Are You Man Enough? When Virile Was a Compliment

The first two pregnancies, my wife and I opted not to find out the baby’s sex. There weren’t any strong convictions behind the decision–more a sense of enjoying the anticipation. On both occasions we left the delivery room with a healthy baby boy in tow, grateful as could possibly be.

The third time around, however, as much as we cherish those two little rascals, we were hoping for a change-up. We wanted a girl, pure and simple, and so we went about collecting every theory we could find that promised to ensure such an outcome, no matter how ridiculous. That was…

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RBF: What Has It Brought Us?

RBF: What Has It Brought Us?

This one comes to us from Bronwen Newcott:

Memed, laughed at, and dropped in conversation for the past few years, RBF has taken on new life as the public, including scientists, have jumped into the mix. RBF: Resting Bitch Face (alternatively known as “bitchy resting face” which came from a parody Public Service Announcement in 2013.) is a “condition” of looking angry, bothered, or irritated when one’s face is at rest.

In August 2015, The New York Times published an article called, “I’m Not Mad. That’s Just My RBF” in which they explored the sexist implications of the term. Women, in…

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Dear Gloria Steinem: On Being a Young Woman in the Church

Dear Gloria Steinem: On Being a Young Woman in the Church

I am an Episcopal priest. I’m married to an Episcopal priest. I see politics as a “please don’t show me yours because I’m not going to show you mine” scenario. You want to talk about grace? I’m all ears. You want to talk about debt reduction? Talk to someone who went to Business School Yale. Not Divinity School. I am not here to advocate for a particular candidate.

That said, let’s talk about Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton. Or more specifically, let’s talk about Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright. Ladies, you don’t have to go home, but you have to stop trash-talking young…

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Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) On the heels of “identity” being Dictionary.com’s word of 2015, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill discusses a theme that we have spoken about quite a bit ourselves this year, namely, the increasingly fluid cultural understanding of identity politics. O’Neill takes on the phrase “I identify as…” as a telling move from what we used to say about ourselves: “I am…” And with this new movement of self-identification comes the emphasis on subjectivity, the need for one’s identity to be transient, temporal—rather than objective, fixed, given.

O’Neill describes that this rampant interest…

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Notes on the Gender Wars

Notes on the Gender Wars

Post two from gender relations correspondent, Scott Larousse.

What is expected of men? It’s a question that lends itself to silly stereotypes like flexed muscles, stupid cars, a loud swagger or a quiet, homey handiness. We’ve moved forward substantially in a cultural discussion and reasoned questioning of female stereotypes; immaculate Mary versus seductive Eve, the housewives of the 40s and 50s (needlepoint, casserole, checkered apron) set in relief against the femme fatales (sexy, empowered, indomitably possessed of their own agenda) of film in the same era, which calcified into their own neat, shoeboxed tropes. A good number of hours, novels, dissertations…

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Thank God for Country Girls

Thank God for Country Girls

It is not news that the men of country music have gone the way of the Internet. That is to say, they only write about hot ladies who don’t actually exist. Don’t get it twisted, I love me some Blake Shelton. He’s tall, loud, and says “Yes ma’am.” But if I’m looking to him for some sort of 1990’s Garth Brooks “No Fences” quality stuff, then I’m up a country creek without a paddle. No, Blake and his buddies Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, and other guys with made up names almost singularly record songs about long legged women and whiskey drinking…

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