I have spent a lot of time thinking about the silliness of "True Love Waits"-style campaigns, but it never really occurred to me to think about how a child who has been raped might experience these shaming "abstinence-only" discourses. That is to say, this would be particularly cruel, painful, and potentially traumatic for such a child.
Potentially even worse than teen purity rallies, I think, are the "purity balls."
Consider the opening line of this local news video: "Would you pledge your virginity to your father?"
Last week, a friend sent me a link to the blog Stuff Christian Culture Likes. Not to be confused with the evangelical site, Stuff Christians Like, Stuff Christian Culture Likes zeroes in on the strangeness of US evangelicalism with a more jaded perspective.
The blog raises an issue that I've been thinking about a lot recently—that is, that evangelicalism has its own weird language, with its smattering of words that take on a completely different meaning in evangelical culture. It even coins words and phrases of its own. In another post, I outlined some of the terms related to Christian patriarchy that I think you should know. Here, I offer another list of problematic entries (in no particular order), each paired with a corresponding Christian Contemporary Music track that you can find on YouTube.
Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
After she read my last post about sexist Christian music, my friend, Sarah Morice Brubaker of Religion Dispatches, told me I'd gotten a terrible Christian song called "How Beautiful" into her head. I'd heard it many years ago, but what I didn't realize was that it makes frequent appearances at evangelical Christian weddings. It's a truly horrific song, but it got me thinking: This business about "husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church" is more or less the foundation of Christian Right politics. Any guesses where we can learn all about it? That's right: Dippy Christian wedding songs!
I have a confession to make. I was raised in an evangelical Christian home, and when I was much much younger... I was a fan of contemporary Christian music (CCM). Oh, yes. I reailzed just how much of an affront to music it is almost half of my life ago, but lately, I've been thinking about just how entrenched it is in the ideology of the Christian Right. Consider this awful 1995 track by Twila Paris called "Rescue the Prisoner." (The "prisoner," it turns out, is a member of the LGBTQ community who is said to be "demanding rights" and "defending wrong.")
Seeing as it's National Women's History Month I thought we might be short on douchebags this week. No chance. Beyond the heaps of reappropriation and cause-branding companies stamping International Women's Day discounts on "goods" ranging from totebags to mail-order brides, senior d-bags up for declaration are the Network of Enlightened Women and their annual Gentlemen's Showcase. Misguided by the Palins and Thatchers of the right wing's anti-feminist past and present, NeW replaces the women showcased during National Women's History Month with men!
CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is wrapping up its 2010 conference in DC today. It's kind of like the Coachella festival of Conservative politicians. (So Mitt Romney's on stage 2 right now, but then at three we have to pick between Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft!)
But these riveting speakers aren't the only exciting draw this year. Nope--there are some fly honies at the conference, and The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson's conservative news site, has put this video together (equally poor in editing as in taste) documenting the earth-shattering revelation that there are women at CPAC who aren't named Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.
He basically goes up to women and proceeds to have a conversation like this: Daily Caller: What brings you to CPAC? Women: ...You mean besides the obvious fact that I'm interested in conservative activism?
You may know her as John McCain's cute, blonde, 24-year-old daughter, whose site, McCain Blogette, may have been the first campaign-trail travelogue to dish about its author's favorite cosmetics and love of Tupac. You may have seen her appearances on The Rachel Maddow Show or Politically Incorrect. And you may have heard about her kerfuffle with conservative columnist Laura Ingraham, who made fat jokes about the young McCain, to which she responded in a Daily Beast column titled "Quit Talking About My Weight, Laura Ingraham." What you may not know is that Meghan McCain is currently being shined up as the new face of Republican politics in a time when that party is grasping wildly at relevance. She's pro-God, pro-gun, pro-life, and pro-military—but, as she's constantly pointing out, pro-sex and pro-gay as well. Two writers ponder the polarizing upstart.
I agree with Siskind that sexism is unacceptable regardless of the circumstances, but should anti-feminists like Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean have their misogynist cake and eat their equal rights too? And can they wash the cake down with the supportive milk of the feminists they're so quick to condemn? (Okay, enough with the weird cake analogies, I promise.)