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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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Never Lost Again: Tinder, Porn and the Dying Art of Falling in Love

Never Lost Again: Tinder, Porn and the Dying Art of Falling in Love

In our upcoming sixth installment of The Mockingbird, the Technology Issue, we had the opportunity to interview the sensei on the subject, Nicholas Carr. Carr was a Pulitzer finalist for his 2010 book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, and his recent book, The Glass Cage, deals with the growing presence of automation in our lives. Part of the book deals with Google Maps, and the difference between what he calls “wayfaring” versus “transport.”

Wayfaring is messier and less efficient than transport, which is why it has become a target for automation. “If you have a mobile phone…

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Ines Boubakri of Tunisia, left and Nicole Ross of the United States compete in the round of 32 during women's fencing at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Saving Face: the Relational Politics of “I Don’t Know”

This post was co-written by Samantha McKean and Kristen Gunn. Sam is a student at Duke Divinity School, where she’s realizing what she actually does and doesn’t know. Kristen is heavily into words and why we say them, which is how this conversation became a post.

Sam: I say “I don’t know,” a lot. It’s a filler, a tic, the new “um” or “like” that your Com101 professors warned you about. It comes tacked onto the end of my sentences like sad parade banners. Most of the time, I don’t even notice I’m saying it.

I have a friend who always calls…

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Mining Netflix: Masculinity Surrenders to a Force Majeure

Mining Netflix: Masculinity Surrenders to a Force Majeure

Nearly a year ago, NPR released an article entitled The New American Man Doesn’t Look Like His Father where they examined the shift in American masculinity over the past fifty years. There were, of course, both positive and negative findings. For example, postmodern boys and young men have an increased respect for gender equality, but they also are far more likely to dropout of college or choose not to attend at all. A far more alarming, but not entirely surprising, section in the write-up comes in a quote from Stony Brook University sociologist and director of the Center for the Study of…

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Feministic Fallout? More on Underachieving Boys and Gracious G.A.W.F.s

Feministic Fallout? More on Underachieving Boys and Gracious G.A.W.F.s

There’s a telling scene at the end of Whit Stillman’s film Barcelona (above). One of the characters remarks about how wonderful it is to marry someone from another country. Alienating traits, instead of being taken personally, can be chalked up to national differences. As in, “must be a Spanish thing”, or “in Japanese culture, that’s just how they operate”. The scene has been playing in my head these past couple of weeks as various articles about the state of gender relations in America have crossed my desk. One wonders if, in leaving behind certain gender expectations and roles, we have…

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Clothes Make the Man: Thoughts on NYT’s Men’s Style

Clothes Make the Man: Thoughts on NYT’s Men’s Style

Earlier this month, the New York Times debuted a new print section in their newspaper- the first new print section of the paper in a decade- and that new section is dedicated to Men’s Style. It says a lot that one of the great media companies in history would decide in 2015 to invest ink and paper in any subject matter. Even if the section insert is only once a month, if the New York Times is getting into men’s fashion, perhaps we should be turning our attention there as well. Says Men’s Style editor Jim Windolf:

Today The Times unveils Men’s…

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