Category : Women

(1st Things) Mark Regenerus–The Death of Eros

The introduction of the Pill has not changed what men and women value most, but it has transformed how they relate. The marriage market before the Pill was populated by roughly equal numbers of men and women, whose bargaining positions were comparable and predictable. Men valued attractiveness more than women, and women valued economic prospects more than men. Knowing that men wanted sex, but realizing that sex was risky without a corresponding commitment, women often demanded a ring—a clear sign of his sacrifice and commitment.

Not anymore. Artificial contraception has made it so that people seldom mention marriage in the negotiations over sex. Ideals of chastity that shored up these practical necessities have been replaced with paeans to free love and autonomy. As one twenty-nine-year-old woman demonstrated when my research team asked her whether men should have to “work” for sex: “Yes. Sometimes. Not always. I mean, I don’t think it should necessarily be given out by women, but I do think it’s okay if a woman does just give it out. Just not all the time.” The mating market no longer leads to marriage, which is still “expensive”—costly in terms of fidelity, time, and finances—while sex has become comparatively “cheap.”

For every one hundred women under forty who want to marry, there are only eighty-two men who want the same. Though the difference may sound small, it allows men to be more selective, fickle, and cautious. If it seems to you that young men are getting pickier about their prospective spouses, you’re right. It’s a result of the new power imbalance in the marriage market. In an era of accessible sex, the median age at marriage rises. It now stands at an all-time high of twenty-seven for women and twenty-nine for men, and is continuing to inch upward. In this environment, women increasingly have to choose between marrying Mr. Not Quite Right or no one at all.

For the typical American woman, the route to the altar is becoming littered with failed relationships and wasted years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sociology, Women

(Globe+Mail) Margaret Wente–Why are good men so hard to find?

Spend a little time with single women in their early to mid-30s, and you’ll be grateful you’re not one of them. The relationship scene is even more dismal today than when I was their age. All the women want serious relationships that lead to marriage, but many of the men they meet do not. All too often a woman moves in with some guy, hoping they’re on the road to somewhere. Two years later, he tells her he’s not ready for marriage and kids just yet. Splat.

But wait. Hasn’t online dating made the mating market easier? Yes – for men. If you really want to hear a woman rant, just utter the word Tinder.

Single women are more equal and empowered than ever before. They have unparalleled sexual, reproductive and economic autonomy. In many ways, they’re doing much better than the men. (Just look at the lopsided university graduation rates, which are now around 60-40). And yet, large numbers of young women admit their private lives are a sad mess.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Marriage & Family, Men, Sexuality, Women, Young Adults

The ACNA College of Bishops Statement on the Ordination of Women

In an act of mutual submission at the foundation of the Anglican Church in North America, it was agreed that each Diocese and Jurisdiction has the freedom, responsibility, and authority to study Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church, and to seek the mind of Christ in determining its own convictions and practices concerning the ordination of women to the diaconate and the priesthood. It was also unanimously agreed that women will not be consecrated as bishops in the Anglican Church in North America. These positions are established within our Constitution and Canons and, because we are a conciliar Church, would require the action of both Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly to be changed.

Having gratefully received and thoroughly considered the five-year study by the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders, we acknowledge that there are differing principles of ecclesiology and hermeneutics that are acceptable within Anglicanism that may lead to divergent conclusions regarding women’s ordination to the priesthood. However, we also acknowledge that this practice is a recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order. We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province. However, we continue to acknowledge that individual dioceses have constitutional authority to ordain women to the priesthood.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Church Discipline / Ordination Standards, Ecclesiology, Sacramental Theology, Women

Congratulations to Sloan Stephens for winning the Women’s US Open Title

Posted in Sports, Women

(WSJ) Kristina Arriaga–Cutting Young Girls Isn’t Religious Freedom

Earlier this year, a 7-year-old girl from Minnesota entered an examination room at a clinic just outside of Detroit. Thinking this was a regular visit, she allowed the doctor to remove her pants and underwear and place her on the examination table. Suddenly, while two women in the clinic held her hands, the physician spread her legs and cut her clitoris. Two months later she told investigators the pain ran down to her ankles and she could barely walk.

In April Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who allegedly performed the procedure, was charged with conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation. Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, the owner of the since-closed clinic, was also charged. Investigators suspect Ms. Nagarwala may be involved in 100 other cases, and the trial starts in October. This marks the first time a female genital mutilation case is going to federal court. The lawyers for the Michigan physician will argue the girl “underwent a benign religious procedure.” This is a dangerous hypocrisy with far-reaching consequences.

Female genital mutilation has been illegal in the U.S. since 1996. Yet a 2012 study in the journal Public Health Reports estimates that more than 500,000 girls in the U.S. have undergone the procedure or are at risk. These girls live all over the country, with larger concentrations in California, New York and Minnesota. Most go through this process in secret, and only 25 states have laws that criminalize the procedure. In Maine, the American Civil Liberties Union has opposed a bill to do so on the ground that “the risk of mutilation isn’t worth expanding Maine’s criminal code.”

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Women

(ED) Mitch Carnell reviews “The Invisible Women: Naming and Proclaiming the Forgotten Women in Scripture and Church Law”

“The Invisible Women: Naming and Proclaiming the Forgotten Women in Scripture and Church Law” is a book of great consequence.

Through Sister Sandra Makowski’s superb writing, research and scholarship, the poor treatment of women in the Bible, lectionary and local church is brought to new light.

Of course, Makowski writes from a Catholic perspective, but that does not mean there is no food for the rest of Christianity. As a Baptist, I was surprised by the number of things I did not know.

For example, I have never read a book or heard a sermon on Hagar and yet Makowski’s book helped me to see how Hagar becomes more and more important as international conflicts continue to unfold.

Similarly, I knew almost nothing about Huldah, the prophet who lived during the time of Jeremiah

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Theology: Scripture, Women

(Economist) Women alone are driving a recovery in workforce participation in the USA Economy

If there were a list of common complaints about America’s economy, the fact that too few people work would be near the top. Though unemployment is low—only 4.3% in July—the figure does not include those who are jobless either by choice, or because they have given up looking for work. The proportion of those aged between 25 and 54 in work is 79%—lower than in France, where the unemployment rate is more than twice as high. So it is a relief that over the past two years, as the labour market has improved, Americans aged 25 to 54 (prime-age, in the jargon) have been joining the labour force in greater numbers. What is remarkable, however, is that this turnaround has been driven almost entirely by women.

When people think about America’s hidden reserves of labour, they usually point to prime-age men, who have participated in the labour market at ever-lower rates since the 1960s. Things have been particularly bad for less educated men, who have suffered as technological progress and trade have killed off manufacturing jobs. More than one in five prime-age men with a high-school diploma does not work, compared with fewer than one in 11 men with a bachelor’s degree….the top end of the labour market is increasingly promising for women. Even in 2010, America’s working women were about as likely to be managers as men; elsewhere, they were only half as likely. They were also more likely than men to be professionals. Women are now a majority among new college graduates, make up more than half of law students, and are equally represented among freshmen at medical schools. Women in their late 20s and early 30s are responsible for nearly 40% of labour-force growth since prime-age participation bottomed out in August 2015.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Theology, Women

(CT) Dorcas Cheng-Tozun–Can Robots Be Sexist?

In response to such questions, Rob High, chief technology officer of IBM Watson, names transparency as one of the most important characteristics of ethical AI. Humans need to know when they are interacting with an algorithm, and what its purpose and expectations are. Others are calling for more high-tech professionals with a humanities education who can “grasp the whys and hows of human behavior.” Just last month, a leading Silicon Valley engineer wished she had “absorbed lessons about how to identify and interrogate privilege, power structures, structural inequality, and injustice. That I’d had opportunities to debate my peers and develop informed opinions on philosophy and morality.”

As Christians, we believe that our bodies, our personalities, and other forms of human expression are outward manifestations of the soul that resides in each of us. For Pope John Paul II, this theology of the body was so central to faith that he dedicated 129 lectures to it. “The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine,” he said. “It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus to be a sign of it.”

Whether we are ready or not, we are all riding an unstoppable train toward a society in which AI will be almost as prevalent as other humans and these questions of body and soul will become all the more pressing. Despite the uncharted path before us, this is the moment for those with training, gifts, and interest in engineering and human behavior to step into the fray. The apostle Paul’s exhortation to offer our bodies as is just as relevant in this next technological revolution. With God’s wisdom and discernment, we can encourage AI that enhances our appreciation for the embodiment of the divine, rather than detracts from it.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Women

(SC Featured) Jackie Robinson’s Daughter Narrates the Moving Story of Claire Smith, Sports Journalist soon to be honored at Cooperstown

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Media, Sports, Women

(LA Times) Iran’s latest culture battle: Should women in cars keep their heads covered?

Reihane Taravati, an outspoken social media activist, was riding in a taxi the other day when she received a stern reprimand from the driver.

Unbeknownst to Taravati, 26, her headscarf — which Iranian women are required to wear as a show of modesty — had slipped down the back of her head, leaving most of her hair exposed.

“Fix your scarf, or the undercover [moral] police will see it,” the cabbie told her. He worried about receiving a ticket in the mail, which would cost him about $30.

As Taravati relayed this story while sipping tea with friends in a Tehran cafe, a debate was raging in the Iranian capital that combines two things that people here obsess over: cars and the way women dress.

Read it all.

Posted in Iran, Travel, Women

(Time) Jade Weber–I Have an Open Marriage and My Relationship Is Better Than Ever

Before I met Nicholas, I’d been in several monogamous relationships but had never been able to remain faithful in any of them. With him, it was easy—not just because I was so sexually attracted to him, but because I loved him so much. Now and then, we’d have the typical “oh, a threesome would be fun someday” conversation, but we never really dug any deeper.

Everything changed in 2011, when someone in our family experienced a life-threatening accident.That kind of changed our perspective about life and the need to live every single day to its fullest.

Meanwhile, I’d started craving a little sexual excitement into our lives, and the idea of an open relationship intrigued me. But I had no idea how to even approach the idea with Nicholas, or how it would actually play out in reality. At that time, our social circle didn’t include anyone else who had an open marriage, so I wasn’t sure where to start. That’s when I sought counsel from some friends on the West Coast who were involved in such relationships.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Media, Psychology, Sexuality, Women

(NBC) Mom Receives Honorary Degree After Attending Every Class With Quadriplegic Son

A wonderful story–watch it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Women

The Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern on modern slavery (Human Trafficking)

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness of modern day slavery. We joined him at a conference hosted by the Clewer Initiative – a three year project that aims to assist dioceses with detecting human trafficking – and spoke to him about the unique pastoral work dioceses are carrying out to support victims of modern slavery.

Listen to it all (about 6 1/2 minutes).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Sexuality, Violence, Women

(ProPublica) The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth

The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Women

(W Post) Brad Wilcox–Why single men may not be having the most fun

In our desire to understand and normalize the increasing prevalence of single living, we shouldn’t minimize the difficulties that many young men face without the meaning, direction and support offered by marriage. Many young single men would benefit from the kind of community life extolled by Eve Tushnet.

Nor should we discourage 20-something men who are in love and seem to have the basis for a strong marriage from tying the knot. After all, the divorce risk associated with marrying younger drops offmarkedly by the time young adults hit their mid-20s, and the odds of forging a happy marriage are actually the best for those who marry then.

In the real world, the evidence shows that single men aren’t necessarily having the most fun — despite the footloose and fancy-free lifestyle depicted onscreen.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Military / Armed Forces, Women