Saturday, January 31, 2015

Because diamond rings are a virgin’s best friend…

I'd give credit to whomever created this image, but for some
reason, I can't find information about who that was.

Shhhh.  Be very, very quiet.  Because I’m going to tell you a secret.  Are you ready to hear it?  Really?  You sure?


Here goes.

I wasn’t a virgin when I got married.

Oh my god! Stop the presses!

Psychology Today cited studies that said that 70 – 90% of adolescents have sex before they’re 18, but I couldn’t read the full study without paying $20, and that sure isn’t worth it for a little blog like this one.  But I’m going to guess it’s at least somewhat legit, and argue that most people (51% or more) are not virgins when they marry.

And that should be okay.

Because sex happens.

Of course, even if a woman chooses not to have sex, she still might not have a hymen.  According to How Stuff Works, the hymen can separate during athletics or even “for no apparent reason.”  On top of that, you also have instances of rape where a woman will potentially lose her hymen without consent.

But there’s a new movement going through Twitter (so you know it must be well thought out) with two great new hashtags: #nohymennodiamond and #poppedcherrynomarry. 


For real.

Apparently, men will only marry – and give diamond rings – to women who are still virgins. 

This confuses me greatly because it makes us all fall back on that double standard.  Men need to have sex to be studly and manly.  Women have to refuse to have sex to make them dainty and feminine. 

These two things cannot go together.  Unless you’re advocating that all men should be involved in homosexual relationships.  (Hey, I don’t think that’s a bad thing…but I’m going to guess that there are some men who won’t be into that idea.)  So that means that, sooner or later, for a man to have sex, a woman will be the one having sex with him.
But let’s not even go there.  Let’s look at the simple things. 

There are three assumptions in those hashtags:

A woman’s worth is in her hymen.

A woman wants to get married.

A woman wants a diamond ring.

The first of those things is just straight out wrong. You cannot make any argument that would convince me (or almost any other woman) that a hymen is a value of worth. 

The second and third are arguable.  Many women do not want to get married.  Many women do not like diamonds (or do not want a diamond engagement ring, anyway). 

It seems to me that if someone is going to put forth the idea that women should only get engagement rings if they are virgins means that the diamond industry should weigh in on that because they’re set to lose quite a bit of cash…

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What would Jesus do? What would a feminist do?

colorful fists by stockimages via
Image by stockimages via

Let me tell you two stories.

The first one happened when I was working on my Associate’s degree oh so many years ago.  It was during the height of the WWJD bracelet craze.  Everyone was wearing at least one.  I was sitting in class one day when I heard two people talking.  The first person was telling the second person how much she liked the WWJD bracelet she was wearing.  First person said that she knew that you were supposed to give the bracelet away when someone asked about it, along with telling them all about Jesus, but she had gotten the bracelet from a cute guy, and so she wanted to keep it.  She figured that people who didn’t know what it meant didn’t know that she was supposed to give it to them, so it would be okay.  Her friend – person number two – was agreeing and yeah-ing and hmmm-ing at all the right parts of the story.  And I sat there, rather amused that someone who professed to love Jesus and believe in sharing didn’t have quite the same level of faith as soon as a cute boy became involved.

The second story happened years later.  I was working on my Master’s of Liberal Arts.  I was doing a paper with someone else – a “group” assignment – about Betty Friedan.  While I think NOW is a great organization, and she definitely helped to start it up, she was also pretty whacked out.  She didn’t want to include lesbians in the organization.  She feared that they would try to convert her to lesbianism.  (I don’t know that she needed to worry about that…)  Regardless, it was another case of someone who didn’t quite get the purpose.  Just like the people who refused to give out her special bracelet, Friedan didn’t want to give up her special organization to people she didn’t think she needed to care about.

Why did I bother making you read about those experiences?

Because there was a recent intersection.

A church in Lakewood, Colorado, stopped a woman’s funeral because it was displaying a picture of her with her wife.  The wife she had two children with.  Because, you know, it was a sign she was gay.  And the church couldn’t possibly accept that.

Apparently, the church didn’t get it either.  They, just like the girls in the college classroom, decided that God was okay with them picking and choosing what they did.  They only had to listen to God when it agreed with their own likes.  And, just like Friedan, the church decided that they needed to fear something ‘different.’

As feminists, we need to embrace all other women. We need to share our bracelets with anyone who asks about them.  We need to understand that no one is going to try to ‘convert’ us.  Feminism is about supporting everyone, wanting everyone to be equal.  We need to mourn with her family, and we need to share the story. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Discrimination is okay when you have money, right?

All About the Benjamins...image by hyena reality via

Another brouhaha made it into the news when, once again, a sect of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to women on a flight.  This was not the first time it happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. 

The basic story is this: the men didn’t want to take their assigned seats because – gasp – they would be forced to sit next  to women, and their religion tells them that ‘physical contact between men and women is forbidden unless they are first-degree relatives or married to one another.’

I was discussing the issue with a guy, and his response was, “But they offered to pay to swap seats with the women.” 

I tried to point out that it didn’t matter if they offered money – discrimination was discrimination, and while it is nice that they had the money to pay for it, that didn’t make it any less wrong.

He didn’t get it at first, and I pointed out that might because it wasn’t his “group” being treated that way.  So I came up with some other examples…

What if someone decided that they couldn’t sit next to you because you were black?
Because you were disabled?
Because you were American?
Because you were Christian?
Because you were Muslim?

How many of those things would be wrong, even if they offered you money to make it better?

Dividing a plane based on gender seems to be the equivalent of dividing a bus based on color. 

The guy I was talking to got my point after I drew the parallels, but I wish I didn’t have to.  I wish that people would make the parallels on their own, would be able to feel empathy with those who are being discriminated against. 

So just a quick reminder – discrimination is wrong.  It doesn’t matter if you try to couch it in religion or money.