How to Get a Rise out of a Young Feminist at a Fundamentalist Religious Convention

Written by guest blogger Amara

The past week has been an interesting one for me.

I’ve been at the SDA General Conference in San Antonio, after my parents generously decided to block out a whole 10 days from my already fleeting, quickly moving summer. But I guess I’ll forgive them for that eventually.

If you aren’t familiar, the Seventh Day Adventist church is based on these three boiled down notions:

  • Church happens on Saturday, not Sunday — from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
  • Life is to be lived naturally + as straightedge as possible — many are vegetarian, no drinks or drugs.
  • Jesus is coming back to save those who have earned (enter sideeye here) it. And soon so like, get your shit together.

It seems simple because for the most part, it is. The Adventist life is a surefire way to live simply. This whole week is evidence of that, as I’ve been surrounded by people young and old, hetero families of all sizes with smiles on their faces. Adventists aren’t a flashy people, in fact most Adventists I have met are unassuming and well-intentioned.  Adventists are content.

And that’s where trouble starts for me.

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Romeo and the Feminist

By Theia. 

“People will instinctively find out, as I have done, that it is not your forte to talk of yourself, but to listen while others talk of themselves; they will feel, too, that you listen with no malevolent scorn of the indiscretion, but with a kind of innate sympathy – not the less comforting and encouraging because it is very unobtrusive in its manifestations.”

“How do you know? How can you guess all this sir?”

“I know it well; therefore I proceed almost as freely as if I were writing my thoughts in a diary…”

-Jane Eyre

Dear John*,

Although we were both too shy to admit it, I think we could call it summer love. And since we were both too shy, we didn’t know how to flirt. In the end we were just friends, and that’s what I loved most about it.

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Offense vs. Defense

By Theia. 

soccer-goalie-clipart-soccer

This theory is a lot like watching Dr. Phil or Comso’s sex tips: a guilty pleasure. It’s trying to tell you how this socially constructed world works even though there’s no rhyme or reason to how ANYTHING works, but that doesn’t make it any less fun for humanity to rationalize, categorize, and quantify the constant phenomena around us. So with that disclaimer, enjoy the unfounded theory of how guys and gals function. Also remember my positionality is a straight white upper-middleclass girl trying to figure out how straight, mostly white, mostly upper-middle class men work.

The Offense and Defense Theory

Men are on the offense and women are on the defense. Traditionally speaking, men are more likely or more pressured to make the first move. They’re the one that’s supposed to ask the girl to prom, they’re the ones that should be buying the girl a drink, they’re the ones expected to go down on one knee. Traditionally speaking, women are on the defense, they’re the ones that get to say yes or no to the prom, drink, and proposal. For the metaphor, think of the man as the offensive player shooting into the goal, and the girl is guarding the goal. The men, especially the beginners in the sport of Flirt, miss the goal, or it gets deflected. In other words men get rejected. A lot. They put themselves out there with the risk of being completely denied. So when they get rejected, why would they do it again? If they treat like a game, it means it’s ok to lose, it’s ok to fail, it’s not personal it’s just part of the game of Flirt. It’s not who falls down but who gets back up.

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