Friday, June 14, 2013
It took me some years to trust myself, to learn that the way I saw events and circumstances was as valid as the way others saw them. I used to trust everyone else's judgement over my own. My self-confidence has grown a lot since then. Every so often though, just when I thought my old ways of thinking were behind me, I have a day where it seems like I am back to square one, and everything others say gets to me. Maybe it has something to do with boundaries. A person with healthy boundaries does not give others what doesn't belong to them. She doesn't ascribe motives to others and she doesn't transgress physical boundaries. A person with healthy boundaries also does not receive what isn't hers. If someone says something about her that isn't true, she doesn't take it all in. I'm much better now at recognizing that much of what people say is more about them than about me, but permeable is the best word to describe how I feel some days. I let everything in. I forget the things I've learned and I let other people's perceptions color what I think and feel.
I recently had a few days of such permeability. I overheard a conversation between a man and a woman. I don't really know exactly what they were talking about. She was trying to explain how she felt about something and his reply was, "Too bad for you. You're a woman." Then the next day some random man on Twitter said something to the effect that if women can't handle a little humor in the workplace they should just stay home and raise children. Obviously, he doesn't hold such work in very high esteem.
I shouldn't have let these statements in, but I couldn't let them go. That sentence kept running through my mind. Too bad for you. You're a woman. Right now in my marriage, the household duties are pretty much divided along traditional gender roles. My husband earns our sole income, and I spend the majority of my days preparing meals, cleaning, and taking care of our children. Luckily my husband values the work I do very much. He used to be our children's primary caregiver and I worked outside the home. He tells me that he now has the easier job. I knew one woman who was a stay-at-home mom because she couldn't find work with the bad economy but her husband complained that she "wasn't contributing."
Even so, as I went about the mundane tasks that fill much of my day - doing the dishes by hand because we don't have a dishwasher, I thought, Too bad for you. You're a woman. As I did the two loads of laundry that I do nearly every single day - Too bad for you. You're a woman. As I picked up the toys that were scattered across the living room floor, changed the baby's poopy diaper, and made the evening meal, all I could think was: Too bad for you. You're a woman. A woman burdened with all these tasks instead of being able to do something worthwhile.
Eventually I snapped out of it, and began questioning such a perception. I began listening to my own estimation of the value of my work, instead of someone else's. Normally I value my work very much, and I find a lot of fulfillment in the work that I do. But it got me thinking. How much do women listen to what others say about us and our value instead of listening to what we ourselves think? It makes me think of the Judeo-Christian creation story. God has created the world in love, has given man and woman everything they need, and talks with them face-to-face. They should be confident in the goodness of God. But then the cunning snake makes a statement, "God didn't really tell you not to eat the fruit from the trees in the garden, did he?" And by this statement he insinuates that God can't be trusted, that maybe God isn't as good as Adam and Eve thinks he is, and all their peace and contentment is ruined. But Satan is a liar; so maybe they shouldn't have listened to him.
After a few days of seeing everything as a burden, unfairly foisted upon me because of my sex, I began again to listen to what I, myself thought of my work and my worth. I believe that people are eternal, created to live forever with God in heaven. I think everything one does in the service of people is really the only thing that lasts forever. I can spend my time earning lots of money or buying lots of possessions, but those things won't last. Quite a lot of people feel an immense isolation these days, and I think a lot of this stems from the breakdown of the family. Husbands and wives are isolated from each other, children from their parents, and maybe even siblings from one another. It surprises me sometimes, when I take my children to the park, how I see other children treating their little sisters and brothers, and I wonder how the child feels, wonder if he thinks the people he loves so much don't love him in return. I see people who are supposedly friends act catty and snide to one another. I wonder how many people feel like they are essentially alone, having no one who really knows them and loves them. Because of this, everything I do in the service of my family, even the seemingly mundane, I see as extremely valuable. Creating an environment that is welcoming and peaceful is important to me, and this includes all that goes into creating such an environment - cleaning the house, preparing nutritious food, and facilitating warm relationships.
I believe my feminine body has given me many privileges. I value immensely the epic journey of self-discovery that came when I became pregnant, gave birth, and nursed my children. I'm so grateful for the empowerment that I felt upon learning that I am life-giving and good. I'm grateful for my feminine cycle, its seasons of rest and reflection, of energy and creativity, and return to reevaluation. I wish all women could cherish the goodness inherent in who they are. Instead, so many internalize the perception of society: Too bad for you. You're a woman. What a pity that you are unfairly burdened in such a way. No wonder so many choose to just medicate it all away with birth control. But I'm not listening anymore. Some falsely insinuate that life as I experience it is nothing but a burden and a curse, but it's not. It's gift. It's all gift.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
I'm writing this post to announce a monthly link-up that I will be hosting on the first of every month, called First Phase Reflections. Here's what it's all about:
When I was in my early 20's, a friend told me about what she had learned regarding the female cycle from Jeannie Hannemann, founder of Elizabeth Ministry. I hadn't heard of either the woman or her ministry but what my friend told me changed my life. She told me about the different parts of a woman's monthly cycle, but she didn't just talk about what happens physically, of which I was already aware. She spoke about what happens relationally and spiritually during each phase as well. It was the first time that I had heard someone talk about the monthly cycle without disparaging it. I remember being so grateful for being a woman and I immediately wanted to learn Natural Family Planning, not for reasons of birth control, but so that I could be aware of my body and honor myself. Now, I am blessed to count Jeannie as one of my friends and mentors, and I have even had the experience of having her as my doula, and her giving me the Eucharist as I labored to give birth to my youngest daughter. Here's a summary of what I've learned that first day. It is basically a recap of what I wrote WAY back on my third-ever blog post. But for the benefit of people who have not been following my blog since 2009, here it is again.
Phase I: Reflection
When a woman menstruates, her inner uterine lining is being shed, being expelled from the body as blood. Physically a woman does not have as much energy, and she often feels less social. She may feel pulled inward and has a deeper interest in reflection. Some Native American tribes have seen this phase as a woman's time to gather her wisdom for the good of the tribe. Private prayer can be very powerful, as a woman will want to reevaluate her life and "expel" outmoded or unhealthy ways of acting or thinking. Although we do not live in a culture that honors our need for rest and reflection, we can take steps to honor ourselves by trying to get more rest by going to bed early or by taking a nap. We can also clear our schedule of unnecessary engagements.
I recently spoke with a woman who had slept nearly ten hours the night before and she was feeling guilty as she had so much to do. I told her that she shouldn't feel guilty. Women who are menstruating aren't supposed to be "doing"; they're supposed to be "being."
Phase Two: Energy
After menstruation ends, as most women enter their early dry days, their energy rises again and so does their interest in being more social. After having reevaluated how her life is going, phase two may be a time of proposing and planning. She has lots of ideas and can start taking steps to put them in place.
Phase Three: Creative
When a woman is fertile, she is bursting with creative energy. She feels selfless, nurturing, and giving. A way to honor herself is to perform the monumentally creative act of conceiving a child, if that is her desire. Or, if she is postponing or avoiding pregnancy, she can use her energy in other creative pursuits. Girls in high school or college can try to plan writing term papers or doing other creative projects at this time. For myself, much of my best writing seems to correlate with phase three. This is a great time to nurture relationships and to be social. This too, can be a very powerful time of prayer. Just as women are feeling generous with others, they will find it easier to be generous with God.
It occurred to me one day that God waited for Mary to enter her fertile phase to send the angel Gabriel to her to ask if she would consent to be the mother of His Son. I feel that Phase Three is such a gift for women. For even those whom God does not call to be physical mothers, God still gives them the gift of fertility — this creative, life-giving energy. Single women, religious women, and married women who have discerned that they need to postpone pregnancy, still get a time of fertility. Why would God give this to someone that He willed would never use it? I feel because God DOES want us to use it. During Phase Three, our task in prayer is to ask how God wants us to bring forth life. Are we being called to bring forth physical life? Or are we being asked to bring forth life in another manner? Is God asking us to say yes to something that we have been scared to say yes to because we are afraid of the sacrifices involved? Mary herself, was called to bring forth physical life once, (in the Catholic tradition) when she conceived Jesus. Each cycle after that, however, she was called to give life in other ways, and probably when she was nearing menopause, perhaps in her last fertile cycle, she said yes to giving birth to the Church at Pentecost.
Phase Four: Sensitive
In the late infertile days, a woman generally remains energetic, though not as energetic as during her creative phase, until she nears the end of her cycle when, a few days before her menstruation, her energy begins to wane again and she feels pulled inward like before. Her spirit often feels very vulnerable at this time and things that she may think are funny at other times, she may find very wounding now. As Jeannie Hannemann puts it, others can learn secrets to her soul that are hidden at other times. In Phase Four, she will speak her mind, and speak it bluntly!
So what's the point, and why am I going into all this? Because I feel that each day of our cycle, women are being given a particular gift, but our culture has told us that our bodies are not a gift, that they are, in fact, a curse, and the optimal choice is to just take hormones, or surgically alter ourselves so that we can be "freed" from all these burdens that have been unfairly foisted upon us. Well I'm not buying it. I'm choosing instead to honor myself, and I'd like to invite you to do the same. As the title suggests, I'm going to focus on one of those phases, the first phase — the menstrual phase. I'd like women to purposely make extra effort to spend time in reflection and meditation, to gather their wisdom for the good of this culture, and then sometime later to write a blog post about what they reflected on and to share any insights about themselves, their lives, or anything else, and link up. We don't have a "woman's hut" to go to during menstruation to share with one another, but like most everything else that used to have a physical space, this "women's hut" will now be a virtual space. I will host the blog carnival the first of every month. So you don't have to tell the whole world when you were menstruating if you don't want to. I won't; I don't think that's anyone's business, but I don't think it's TMI to write that I do menstruate. I am, in fact, a woman, and sorry if I'm bursting anyone's delicate bubbles, but women menstruate. For more on that topic, you may wish to read this.
So, in a little over one month, I'll be hosting the first edition of First Phase Reflections. That's Monday, July 1, 2013. If you would like, grab a button! So go...umm...menstruate, and then link up here on July 1st. It'll be live at midnight Central Standard Time.
- There's no way of knowing if what you write about was truly the reflections from when you were in Phase One. But I hope they are.
- If you are not menstruating, or perhaps if you have a long cycle, and so may not have a menstruation every calendar month, that's okay. Just link up when you have menstruated and reflected, and when you have something to share. I, myself, may not be done having children. So at some point, if I have nothing to share when the first of the month rolls around, then people will just be able to see all of your links and glean wisdom from all of your reflections, not mine.
- DON'T think of this as something YOU HAVE TO DO ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH EACH AND EVERY MONTH! Okay? Don't do that. Participate when you have something fruitful to share. If this causes you to stress and adds one more thing to your to-do list, don't do it. I mean, please still rest and reflect, but you don't have to participate in the linkup. Mmmkay?
- And all the usual rules, be sure to link to your First Phase Reflection post, not your general blog, and include a link back here.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
I was driving in my car, going to spend the day working at Elizabeth Ministry International. The weather was a little damp, but sunny and warm. I was happy to finally be able to leave the house without a jacket. I had the radio on and was listening to the news. "We're following the latest news about the three young women who were rescued Monday from a home in Cleveland where authorities suspect they had been held captive for about a decade, and the investigation into what happened to them." I quickly turned the radio off but it was too late. My heart was already pounding and my adrenaline surging.
I didn't really know what to do about the upset, churning, sickly feeling that established itself in my stomach for the rest of the day. I threw myself into my work. The next day, still unable to stop thinking about it, I tried to distract myself. I let the laundry and dishes pile up while I watched funny videos on YouTube. For each three-minute video, I laughed and was absorbed in it. After the each was done, I remembered what I was trying to escape from, so I'd click on another one, and become absorbed in the humor for another few minutes. After a few hours of this, I laid down with my baby and napped and cuddled with her.
The day after that I was able to find hope. The women are free now, I reminded myself. They are safe now. Even though such an event was horrifying for even one person to experience, I was, at the same time grateful they had had each other. In such a hell, they had the greatest thing anyone can have — a person who understands. I know their journey is far from over but I am awed at their strength of all these years and their will to survive, and this gives me hope. Surely with such strength they will continue to will to live. Surely after coming so far they will continue through the often grueling road to healing, the road not just to survival, but to living life fully, freely, and joyfully.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I often find myself thinking about the words that people choose to use, and I have a strong interest in language, its subtleties, and its possibilities. I also think frequently about how language shapes thought. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that language influences thought and therefore the language we speak influences what we think. For example, when asking people who speak different languages to group marbles according to color, those who have a word for 'pink' will group pink marbles separate from the red marbles. Those who speak languages that don't have a word for 'pink', but consider it a light red, will put the pink and the red marbles together. Although this is a hypothesis, and the degree to which language influences thought is contested, I think it's fairly well accepted that it does indeed influence thought. In a more sinister example, every example of genocide that I can think of began with dehumanizing others with language first. Language clearly matters and the words we use should be as truthful as possible.
I now have three girls, and I find myself very aware of the words that people use in talking about or to them, and also the words I myself use. Although I've been guilty of it myself, I don't think I like it when people call one a "girly girl" and another a "tom boy", and I'm challenging myself to not use these terms. Anyone who has spent any amount of time on my blog knows that the topic of femininity and gender is a topic I write about frequently. I don't espouse the view that gender is a societal construct, but I also don't negate the influence that society plays in shaping people's views and actions in regards to gender.
I have one girl whose favorite toys when she was three were cars and trains, and now she loves art, climbing, and video games. Her favorite colors are blue and green. I have another daughter who loves dolls, who often carefully and tenderly tucks all her animals into bed, and who has told me that one day she will be a mama and nurse her real babies. Her favorite color is pink. Because of this, it can be easy to classify the oldest as a "tom boy" and the middle as a "girly girl." Of course, these descriptions don't encompass their whole personalities. The oldest is quite gentle, while the middle one is a fire-cracker, (and it's too early to know with the baby).
The reason I don't like to classify them as "girly" or "ungirly" however, is because masculinity and femininity are profound mysteries. I worry that if one is classified as a"tom boy" that she might not feel comfortable in her skin, thinking that she isn't feminine if she doesn't fit a stereotype. The truth is, both of my girls are feminine, because they are both girls, and it is they who define what it means to be feminine, not a stereotype. Furthermore, I feel such sayings reduce gender to superficial characteristics, such as preferred colors, as if being feminine means liking pink and preferring dolls. This is like reducing a whole complex culture to their food preferences, and acting as if only knowing this one thing provided one an adequate understanding of a diverse group of people.
So I'm trying to use my language to honor the profound gift of gender rather than being content to simplify it or minimize it. I hope to use language to express what should be obvious, that true femininity can encompass both girls who like dolls and who like video games (or both), and that a man can be truly masculine and still like pink and be nurturing.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Our society has seen many changes in the last 50 years. Societies always change of course, but the rate and scope of change has been immense. The sexual revolution was a shift in thinking about sex. But since the meaning of family, masculinity and femininity, and of life itself is always tied up with the meaning of sex, all the others changed with it. Some laud the changes as necessary and good; others reject them. There is much about the sexual revolution that I myself reject. I didn't find being used for sex particularly liberating. I didn't find using others liberating either. I think there is an increasing number of women who agree with me. The effects from the sexual revolution, after all, have been hardest on women. More women struggle through single parenthood than ever before. This often means that without the benefit of another income, they live in poverty. Overall, the face of poverty is women and children. Primarily any side effects that occur from contraception and abortion are born by the woman. I think some people, in trying to reject all that, and in trying to restore an idea of protecting women from such hardships, wish to resurrect certain customs from ages past. I think their thinking goes something like this:
earlier customs = more respectful customs
So while their intention is good, I think it's important to remember that disrespecting women is not an invention of the last century.
One old tradition that gets under my skin, is the practice of a man asking the father of the woman he wants to marry permission for her hand in marriage. This hearkens back to a time when marriages were largely viewed as a business transaction. This transaction was carried out between the woman's father and the man who wanted to marry her. The woman was not a partner in the exchange; she was a good being exchanged. She had no legal right to say no to the marriage, no legal right to say no to her husband in bed, and no legal right to leave him. She was the property of her father until she married, and then she was the property of her husband. That doesn't sound too ideal to me, and in fact sounds rather like rape to me. Therefore, I propose that it's not romantic to propose this way.
I also find some people making this mistake:
a traditional custom = a good, Christian custom
I think there is biblical precedent for rejecting the custom in question. At the Annunciation, when the angel appeared to Mary, asking if she would be the mother of God's Son, we read that Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but still living in the house of her father. Since Mary was in her father's house, the angel could have asked him if he would consent to his daughter becoming the mother of Jesus. Or, since she was betrothed to Joseph, the angel could have also asked him if he would be okay with his fiance bearing God's Son. We read that the angel did niether of these. The only person the angel consulted was Mary herself. Once Mary gave her consent, her fiat, saying, "Let it be done to me as you have said." then she became the mother of God. Joseph was informed in a dream after the fact, and nothing is mentioned about how Mary's father was informed. I assume from Mary herself, after she was already pregnant.
I do think it is respectful to ask both parents blessing to marry, but as for permission, the only person the man needs this from is the woman herself.
Are you married or engaged? How did you/your partner propose and why?
Sunday, March 3, 2013
One thing a lot of unschooling parents struggle with is how to explain what we do to others. Many parents just say that they homeschool because it is something that most people are familiar with, whereas unschooling is something that not a lot of people have heard of. Unschooling often requires a paradigm shift in the way one thinks about education, and as such it doesn't really lend itself to a ten-second definition that would enable an inquirer to quickly understand it. At the heart of unschooling is a trust that if something is vital to learn in life, that children will learn it without coercion or force. We trust that children want to become competent in doing all the things they see adults and older children doing and thus there is no need to make them want to learn something in order to get a good grade or do well on a test.
Education reformer John Holt has said, "Birds fly; fish swim. People learn." It's simply what we do. Therefore learning need not be treated as something separate from the rest of life. I see it as something similar to religious belief. There are those who treat religious belief as something separate from the rest of life, perhaps something that they engage in on certain days, but that's it. Treated this way, it usually doesn't have too much affect on the way they live their lives. Maybe they attend church on Sunday, but on Monday they treat others unjustly. Then there are those that incorporate religious belief into their lives. They truly live what they say they believe and their belief influences how they think and live. Religion is not something they do, it is part of who they are. Maybe they go attend church, but they also try to live justly. They do things that nurture compassion, generosity, and love.
Similarly, learning can be treated as something children do in school, or at certain times of the day, or it can be treated as something that is a part of life itself. With this outlook, most unschoolers don't see a need to create lesson plans. Whenever possible I try not to separate things from their actual uses. Rather than teaching children about the seasons, for example, by using coloring sheets, discussions, and artificial worksheet pages about these things, my children go outside and have time to play in and observe all the seasons. Right now we have the benefit of living near a river. Usually a couple of times a week, my children have the chance to go down to the river and observe and play. This winter, they could see the ice on the river, people ice-fishing, and they could find various animal tracks in the snow. In the summer, they saw the river rise, they saw blue herons, jumping fish, and they played in the mud and clay.
Every so often I'm tempted to think, "But my child doesn't know this yet, perhaps I need to teach it to her before we take part in a certain activity." I notice, however, that my child often doesn't like such lessons and she won't want to participate in them. Perhaps this is why some think that many children will not want to learn unless they are made to. I notice though, that if instead we just dive into an activity, and she can learn those skills by needing them in the real world, for her own reasons, things go much more smoothly and my child learns things with enthusiasm. Right now my 6-year-old is learning to spell and read. My child did not decide one day that she wanted to spell. She decided that she wanted to play the game "Scribblenauts." This game requires problem-solving, reading, and spelling. My child's goal is to play a fun game, but in the context of playing this game she is learning how to spell and decipher many words.
I'm beginning to notice more and more all the times that adults try to extract something from the real world in order to make an "educational" product designed to teach children something. For example there are activity boards where children can practice tying shoes and fastening a variety of snaps, buttons, and the like, rather than just letting children learn to tie shoes by actually tying their real shoes or learning to fasten a button by actually fastening a real button. How exciting it could be for children to learn math, not just by trying to learn math as something separate from everything else, but by building some kind of structure, sewing an item of clothing, baking something tasty to eat, planning a real garden to grow real food grown for their own reasons, or by having their own allowance to buy some of their own things.
So often when I tell people that we homeschool, they reply that I have their admiration because homeschooling seems so hard. But I think it's only hard when I try to control the learning process. If instead of trying to educate or teach, I try to follow my passions and help my children follow and discover their passions, it is not difficult. The world is fascinating and if we set about discovering some of that richness it is the most natural thing in the world.
I doubt very much if it is possible to teach anyone to understand anything, that is to say, to see how various parts of it relate to all the other parts, to have a model of the structure in one's mind. We can give other people names and lists, but we cannot give them our mental structures; they must build their own. - John Holt
Power struggles can disappear when the person with power stops struggling. - Deb Lewis, Unschooler
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I've been thinking about loyalty lately and about the stories I have heard of the lengths that soldiers will go to, and the heroism many have shown in protecting their comrades. I have heard beautiful testimonies of soldiers even risking their lives to recover the bodies of their fallen friends. Yet, these stories of heroism are coupled with accounts of the high instance of rape in the military, of stories of female soldiers being sexually assaulted by their fellow soldiers or commanding officers. In situations that normally bond people together, such as the stresses of combat and military life in general, for some reason, in some situations, these experiences did not secure loyalty to the women. What enables men to show fierce loyalty to one another, but not show that same loyalty to the women in their group?
There are also stories of friends, stories of young women who have trusted and confided in the person who was their best friend...that is, until the night he decided to rape her. I've been thinking about the group of friends, mostly boys, and the girl who was "one of the guys", until the boys plotted with one another to get the female friend drunk and sexually assault her and physically abuse her with callous violence. On top of the trauma that such a girl experiences is the betrayal and hurt when she realizes that the people she thought were her friends didn't actually count her as a real friend, and worse yet, that they didn't even see her as a person. Her participation in the group was actually conditional upon her willingness to be considered a thing for their amusement rather than an equal person.
Why is this? Perhaps it is sexualization of women by the media. Perhaps it is the high place that contraception holds in our society, with the notion that being sexually available is more important than even our health. Even the medical industry, whose concern it is to care for the physical health of women, feels that taking a group one carcinogen is an acceptable risk for women to take for sexual availability. Of course they say it is so that we can plan our family size, but natural and effective means of planning family size are available. So I suspect the real reason that Natural Family Planning is frowned upon is that it requires a woman to be sexually unavailable during her fertile time if she wishes to avoid pregnancy. I often encounter the belief that abstinence for ten days with Natural Family Planning is unacceptable, but that increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and breast, liver, and cervical cancer for a woman on the pill are not.
Perhaps it is the idea of female as "Other", the idea that the default gender is male, and that women deviate from this norm that leads to men being unable to see the humanity of women. Rather than having more than one standard of "normal", they see only one, male norm. I have noticed this frequently as a mother of girls. There are often toys that both sexes would enjoy, but it seems the manufacturers think that only boys would like it and if they want to reach the girls they have to make it more "girly", like The LEGO Group that decided to make "girl" legos and so made princess castles and pink blocks. I see it in the shoe department when they have two versions of each sneaker, the one for boys in blue and the one for girls in pink, rather than having all the colors of the rainbow available to all children. I don't ascribe to the view that there are no differences between the sexes and that gender itself is a societal construct, but I feel it is also harmful to paint the sexes as so completely opposite one another that each is made into a caricature of maleness and femaleness.
I think that one cause of such disloyalty toward women is pornography viewing. Some estimate that 80% of men have a porn addiction.1 Patrick Trueman, Former Chief of US Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, reports that one effect of porn viewing among men is that it reduces their capacity to see the humanity of women and that they begin to feel "entitled" to sex. That is, they feel that their female friends and coworkers owe it to the men to have sex with them. Trueman also reports that pornography is an addiction, and like addiction to drugs, the porn addict progressively needs more hardcore, more taboo material in order to get the same effect.2 RECLAIM, an online pornography recovery program, explains:
Pornography viewing triggers the brain into releasing a flood of its own endorphins and other potent neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These internal chemicals produce a powerful rush or high very similar to street drugs. People across the globe are turning to pornography as their "drug of choice" for escape and self-medication.3Trueman informs that currently, the fastest-growing market is child pornography. Though people often begin with viewing adult nude women, they quickly become accustomed and "graduate" to more hardcore and more taboo material. He also states that men who regularly view porn report a higher intent to rape, with many of them saying they would commit such an act if they could be guaranteed to get away with it.2 A recent study by John D Foubert, Associate Professor at Oklahoma State University, showed that men who view pornography are statistically less likely to intervene as a bystander in rape situations, report an increased behavioral intent to rape, and are more likely to believe rape myths.4
I know that many believe that pornography and other hyper-sexualized images of women is harmless fun, but there exists quite a lot of evidence to the contrary. I would argue that dehumanizing others is never harmless and the ever-rising violence that is occurring against women and children is demanding that we wake up, pay attention, and dare to change the present status quo.
Is Pornography Viewing a Drug Addiction?
Want help overcoming pornography-use or other unwanted sexual behaviors?
1. Jeannie Hannemmann, "A Call to Awareness and Action" (presentation, Reclaim Sexual Health Conference, Appleton WI, October 27, 2011).
2. Patrick Trueman, "A Call to Awareness and Action" (presentation, Reclaim Sexual Health Conference, Appleton WI, October 27, 2011).
3. "How It Works." reclaimsexualhealth.com, 2013. http://reclaimsexualhealth.com/healthy-sexuality/pornography/how-it-works/
4. John D. Foubert, Matt W. Brosi, and R. Sean Bannon. "Pornography viewing among fraternity men: Effects of bystander intervention, rape myth acceptance and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault." Journal of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity. 18 (2011): 212-231. http://works.bepress.com/john_foubert/7/