Gender
Just One of the Guys?

Just One of the Guys?

Stephanie Phillips on what it means to be a woman (sort of) in Jenny Lewis’s new album, The Voyager.

Let’s Hear It for the Boys… And Girls

Let’s Hear It for the Boys… And Girls

Another great contribution from Stephanie Phillips:

“This could be our last big surprise in life,” I said to my husband on our way to the gender-reveal ultrasound of our second child a couple of months ago. He laughed at the melodrama of the statement even as we both acknowledged that the news was likely to be anticlimactic, since the perinatologist had already guessed–and we had suspected–that we were having another boy. An hour later, our suspicions were confirmed. I was set to be the lone female in a house populated by Y chromosomes.

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Is It My Fault? Shedding Light in the Darkness of Domestic Violence

Is It My Fault? Shedding Light in the Darkness of Domestic Violence

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb have done it again. As with their earlier work on sexual assault, Rid of My Disgrace, their most recent book Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence, goes where most Christian authors can’t or won’t go. Justin and Lindsey have the unique pastoral ability–and the theology to back it–to shine a light in the darkest of human experiences: abuse from the hands of another human. Truly, the Holcombs are lights in the darkness.

The book is broken into three sections, four if you count the substantial appendices. The Holcomb’s first move is…

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Maid of Honor in a Dishonorable World: Problems with Wonder Woman in the Twenty-First Century

Maid of Honor in a Dishonorable World: Problems with Wonder Woman in the Twenty-First Century

Mockingbird Superhero guru Wenatchee the Hatchet returns with another installment of his Exiles and Orphans of the Justice League series, an rather in-depth installment on Wonder Woman beginning here, with a look at the problems she poses for 21st-century American narrative.

After the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel have had at least half a dozen movies each, you would think we would have gotten a single live action Wonder Woman film, but we haven’t. One of the recurring debates among fans of Wonder Woman has been exactly why this hasn’t happened.  Different explanations have been offered as to why.  Maybe Wonder…

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Misogyny, Works Righteousness, and Nerd Culture

Misogyny, Works Righteousness, and Nerd Culture

Another year, another shooting- not to trivialize this heartbreaking matter, of course, but to highlight that the best laid plans have yet to stop the phenomenon. News is continuing to trickle out of UCSB as the school, state, and country return to a place of mourning, and the op-ed sections continue to suggest solutions related to guns or mental health. Churches are returning to their prayers as well with the words “Lord have Mercy” fresh on their minds and hearts.

The dynamics of this most recent shooting are somewhat unique in that they’ve started an online conversation about nerd culture and…

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Another Week Ends: Trophy Rage, Thriving, Cave Churches, Flannery’s Freedom, Cheap Trick, and Facebook Love

Another Week Ends: Trophy Rage, Thriving, Cave Churches, Flannery’s Freedom, Cheap Trick, and Facebook Love

1. We all love The Incredibles, right? It’s as good a movie as Pixar has made, which is saying a lot (rumors of a sequel are legit!). And we all remember the rant that Bob Parr goes on in the middle of the film, when he objects to attending his son’s “graduation” from the fifth grade. “He’s merely moving from the fifth grade to the sixth grade,” Parr notes. Director Brad Bird put his finger on something that many have noticed in our culture, the rise of the “participation trophy”, where kids get prizes and acclamations just for showing up…

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Marital Contempt, Fargo the Miniseries, and One-Way Love

Marital Contempt, Fargo the Miniseries, and One-Way Love

When my husband Josh and I were newly engaged we underwent a series of pre-marital counseling sessions with a therapist. While I wish I could tell you what I remember from that expensive experience, I cannot. We probably checked a mental box of “reassurance about us being okay” and moved on. Some weeks before our wedding, Josh’s bishop in Atlanta asked to meet with us. Years later, that meeting is something I consider on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

Here’s what he said: if true contempt enters into a marriage, it is over. After years of counseling to-be-joyfully-wed couples, this…

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PZ’s Podcast: The House That Jack Built

PZ’s Podcast: The House That Jack Built

EPISODE 166

It is really happening now, a much prayed for thing. Women are starting to be called to the big jobs, at least in the church. The “walls of Jericho” (as in Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night”) are coming down. “No Doubt About It” (Hot Chocolate).

Podcast 166 talks about the promise inherent in this breakthrough, such as reduced conflict in parish communities, reduced transference on the minister, reduced counter-transference from the minister, reduced reactivity (in everybody), and in general, reduced resistance. What a relief for there to be less “heat in the kitchen” when it comes to parish ministry….

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Glimmers of Civilization (and Grace) in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Glimmers of Civilization (and Grace) in The Grand Budapest Hotel

I was bonding with a friend in New York last week over our mutual affection for the new Wes Anderson film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. After swapping a few favorite lines, he asked, with a twinkle in his eye, “So how’re you going to shoe-horn this one into your theological framework?” Quick wit that I am, I responded, “A story about adoption and inheritance that ends with an act of radical self-sacrifice – probably won’t need my shoehorn for this one”. Badabing! Obnoxious, I know. What’s even more obnoxious is that I’d been thinking for days about Grand Budapest and…

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On Blessed Messes and the New Law of Mothering Ineptitude

On Blessed Messes and the New Law of Mothering Ineptitude

Over the past few years I’ve noticed a trend in popular women’s theology (ie “mom blogs” and playground conversations) that goes something like this: My life is such a mess. Isn’t it great that I own that?

The trend isn’t just out there. I was taken aback recently when I found myself chastising a lawyer friend of mine for posting photos of the homemade valentines she crafted for her 4 year old son’s class. I wrote something along the lines of, “Can’t you keep the standards low for working mothers? Come on!” I can be easily overwhelmed by the charge of being…

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Another Week Ends: Negatively Positive Thinking, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Love and Friendship, Fun Families, Facebook Sociology and Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories

Another Week Ends: Negatively Positive Thinking, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Love and Friendship, Fun Families, Facebook Sociology and Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories

1. Think positive! The New Yorker this week pushes back against the “think I can” trend, famously espoused by Thomas the Train – and even in adult media, too. While it’s certain that confidence often sometimes helps (Seahawks defensiveback Richard Sherman self-imputed the title “best cornerback in the league” and subsequently grew into it), it tends to break down in the long run, ht TB:

According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images,…

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Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Equal Marriage

Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Equal Marriage

On Sunday, The New York Times Magazine published an article by Lori Gottleib about marriage equality. No, not that kind. This article had the search-engine-optimized headline: “Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?” Like many New York Times trend pieces, the article combines social science data with anecdotes from anonymous friend-sources to provoke its navel-gazing core demographic of 18- to 46-year-olds.

Well, consider me provoked.

The core premise of the article is this: In marriages where household duties are equally and gender-neutrally divided between the spouses, the spouses are less likely to have sex. That premise is drawn from a study…

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Another Week Ends: Ordinary Fear, Twitter Mobs, Christian Balloons, People-Pleasing, 30 Year-Old Advice and the (Space) Ghost of Pavement

Another Week Ends: Ordinary Fear, Twitter Mobs, Christian Balloons, People-Pleasing, 30 Year-Old Advice and the (Space) Ghost of Pavement

1. Apologies in advance for the rather bleak (midwinter) weekender! Hopefully the hymn is still ringing in your ears. First off, Joshua Graves had the opportunity to ask Experimental Theology’s Richard Beck–an emerging favorite, for his Calvin and Hobbes series if nothing else–what he would like people to know about death and the Christian faith. Beck’s response was beautiful, doubling as an ideal, accidental intro to our 2014 NYC Conference theme, ht WB:

I’d start with Henri Nouwen’s question: “Who am I when nobody pays attention, says thanks, or recognizes my work?” The answer most of us would give, shaped as…

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On TV: Has The Bachelor Lost Us? Introducing the Juan Pablo Problem

On TV: Has The Bachelor Lost Us? Introducing the Juan Pablo Problem

Maybe you don’t watch The Bachelor, sure. And maybe I don’t search for a Dolby receiver on Craigslist from time to time when my boss isn’t looking. You watch The Bachelor, you know you do. And if the first two episodes of this season are any indication, things have gone awry somewhere. If you need to see how, all you have to do is tune in for the January 26th Sunday night special, to watch last year’s bachelor-turned-groom, Sean, marry his Seattle sweetheart, Catherine—there you will get a picture of what the Bachelor was, the light casting shadows on what…

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Underachieving Boys and the Masks Men Wear

Underachieving Boys and the Masks Men Wear

I was bowled over a few years ago at the graduation of a family member from a high-profile college. Before the seniors walked up to receive their diplomas, a number of awards were announced. Academic awards and service awards and all-around achievement awards, about ten in all. As is normally the case at such functions, I was only half tuned-in, dreaming about some rare Beach Boys records I was thinking about ordering or something. So I didn’t notice what was happening until about six proud winners had shuffled up to the stage. All of them were young women. In fact,…

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