This Link Wednesday, admittedly doesn’t have a lot of feminism, but it does comprise the majority of the links. Here we go.
1. “An Update on the Gay Debate: evolving ideas, untidy stories, and hopes for the church“
Julie Rodgers was a “Ministry Associate for Spiritual Care” at Wheaton College until she resigned yesterday. She is a celibate gay Christian whose shift in view on same-sex marriage seems to have been the reason for her resignation. If you are not used to reading gay Christian perspectives, check out her blog. Another gay Christian voice to check out is Matt Vines at The Reformation Project.
In other religio-sexual news, Reza Aslan encouraged his fellow American Muslims to fight for marginalized groups like the LGBT community in a public letter after the SCOTUS decision. In case you weren’t aware, 42% of American Muslims support same-sex marriage (21+21). Maybe you weren’t surprised by the figure. I was. It helps to look at data.
2. “Media Literacy 101”
Here are the four takeaway questions quoted (except for the “And”) from the transcript:
- What is the content of this product? As in, what am I looking at here?
- Is it really selling what it’s advertising? Like, if you have a woman in a bikini in your commercial, it better be for swim wear and not for, ya know, hamburgers.
- Who made this?…
- Why do they want me to consume it? That is, which demographics benefit from me internalizing this message and which demographics are hindered by it?
My wife and I discussed this while we walked by Victoria’s Secret in the mall. She wondered why the store would have an image of a woman with no top, covering only her nipple (probably through Photoshop or a nude suit) when what it was selling was a bracelet. I speculated that marketing experts project that it will have a significant impact on the tastes of women’s significant others to push to buy that product so that their women can exude the image shown: free-spirited, virile, trophy, etc. But then I thought about it today, and realized that women (or men if they want the bracelet) don’t need other agents encouraging them to exude free-spirited, virile, trophy images; they have agency of their own.
3. “Is secularism still Christian?“
This article talks about the origins of Western secularism. I modify it because not all secularisms are the same. Turkish secularism, for example, looks different from American secularism because of the different histories of the peoples. Even in the West, secularism in the United States differs from that in the United Kingdom which differs from that in France. For more elaboration on the various secularisms, see the interview with Tariq Modood at The Religious Studies Project.
4. “How the Justice System Hurts Survivors Through the ‘Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline‘” and “How ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Misrepresents Women’s Federal Prison (And Why It Matters)“
These two articles discuss how women entering prisons are primarily non-violent drug offenders. The feministing article highlights that the major contribution to drug use/penalization occurs among sex-abuse victims. The everydayfeminism article highlights that while men’s prisons still have far more prisoners population-wise, women’s prisons are growing at double the rate of men’s: growth in prisons in general are fueled by the failed War on Drugs.
5. “An Explanation for Why It’s Not Just Men Who Pressure Women Into Feminine Norms“
Celia Edell applies Foucault’s reading of Bentham to explain that patriarchal norms for femininity come from many directions (men, other women), including from the self. Gender expression is a show for everyone and no one. This was an article that gave me a check regarding my thoughts on the Victoria’s Secret ad.
6. “The Coming Gay Rights Letdown” (The Daily Beast)
While happenings in one place aren’t guaranteed to replicate in another, a Canadian LGBT activist warned American LGBT activists that marriage equality brings apathy among the public. It reminds me of the unfortunately failed Equal Rights Amendment. Women in the United States gained suffrage in 1920, gained lots of momentum in the 1960s and 1970s through second-wave feminism, but the culture at large seems not to have given that Amendment as much weight as they.
7. I’m going to wait on #PlannedParenthood. The story is still developing. Color me cautious (I guess you can color me cowardly if you want; I just think big stories need more development).
Because of Caitlyn Jenner in the news last month, I thought it worthwhile to cover a less well known group. Intersex persons are the little known group in the longer LGBTQIA acronym. Political recognition of them at times overlap with transgender persons, hence the upcoming post, “The Politics of Intersex.”