Tag Archives: gender roles

Christian School Pressures 8-Year-Old Sunnie Kahle To Leave Because She Looks Too Much Like A Boy

We <3 Sunnie Just The Way She Is
sunnie kahle
Sunnie Is A Tomboy

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that some people who run “Christian” schools are actually enormous dicks.

Eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle is no longer a student at Timberlake Christian School in Lynchburg, Virginia, after administrators sent a letter home to her guardians complaining she doesn’t dress or behave “feminine” enough, like wearing pants with her school uniform. Her grandparents, who are her guardians, pulled Sunnie out of Timberlake and enrolled her in public school instead of forcing her to be someone she is not.

Sunnie is a tomboy with a big, infectious smile who wears short hair (she donated her longer hair to kids with cancer!) and comfy clothes like jeans and T-shirts to run around outside. But elementary principal Becky Bowman from Timberlake Christian School wrote in a letter to Sunnie’s grandparents that perhaps it’s “not the best place for her future education” if Sunnie can’t conform to the Biblically-based gender identity they dictate:

“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment … We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.” Keep reading »

5 Shocking Realities Of Being Transgender The Media Ignores

I bet that, for most of you, nothing would feel weirder than having your dad or brother tell you he’s now a woman. And for a certain percentage of people, the reaction to that news would be violent. The reality is that the entire concept of transgender people makes folks very uncomfortable, which means we’re simply not talking about it enough.

I’m Amy, a 20-something trans woman living in California. Read more on Cracked…

The Soapbox: On Lori Gottlieb, “Egalitarian” Relationships And Sexual Passion

The author Lori Gottlieb markets herself as a teller of harsh relationship truths for women. As a contributor to The Atlantic, she saw her 2008 piece “Marry Him!” turned into a full-fledged book in which she advocates that women abandon long lists of qualities marriageable men need to have and marry Mr. Good Enough before their biological clock ticks its last tock. (I interviewed Gottlieb about Marry Him: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough back in 2011.)

Gottlieb, who is also a psychotherapist, is back with a new controversial subject in The New York Times Magazine: how trying to be completely egalitarian in our relationships may be taking the passion out of our sex lives. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Emily Matchar, Author of Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing The New Domesticity

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QA Emily Matchar Homeward Bound

One upon a time, the phrase “domestic diva” referred to Martha Stewart and stereotypes of 1950′s housewives. But you may have noticed recently that all your friends are knitting and growing their own kale. Your cousin is raising chickens in her backyard. Your mom is making her own pickles and selling them on Etsy. And everyone is wondering why you aren’t baking your own bread yet.  (“It’s so easy!”)  Congratulations, you have been hit by New Domesticity, an aughties phenomenon in which traditional homemaking tasks experience a revival in the hopes of saving money, eating fresher, improving health, and cutting the government out of your personal life.

Journalist Emily Matchar always loved reading blogs, especially the do-it-yourself (DIY) and homesteading genres. She was surprised to see a lot of middle-class professionals, including Third and Forth Wave feminists (not the likeliest group to embrace washing their laundry by hand), taking on pioneer woman-style chores and calling it a feminist choice. Matchar got curious what was going on. Why would people milk their own cows if they could just buy milk at the store?  Why would parents refuse to vaccinate their children? Were women who quit their jobs to devote themselves full-time to growing nearly all their family’s food could really be serious? Quickly Matchar fell down a rabbit hole where answers only lead to more questions.  There are liberal Earth mamas, conservative Mormon housewives and even some pioneering dudes who read the same blogs about DIY homemaking tips — and they are everywhere. In her new book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing The New Domesticity speaks to a bunch of these folks and paints a fascinating portrait of this new twisty-turn in feminism.

I spoke with Matchar over the phone in Hong Kong, where she is currently living about New Domesticity, traditional gender roles, and the pleasures of breaking your bed. (Apparently, it really is so easy.)  Our conversation, after the jump:

Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Going To Hell In A Handbag

Disrupting The Pink Aisle
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On Sex And Gender
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Skylar Davis vera bradley purse

There are a lot of worries parents might have as their child heads off to school: academic struggles, not getting along with teachers or classmates, bad behavior. The potential consequences for these concerns are worrisome as well. As a mother (and one who used to teach high school social studies), I don’t think it’s all that unusual to fret over things like these.

But one thing I didn’t think I’d have to be worried about is the possibility of my son being suspended for his sense of style. A 13-year-old 8th grader from Kansas was recently suspended for wearing a Vera Bradley handbag while attending school.

Suspended. For having a quilted bag. Seriously. Keep reading »

It’s OK, The Word “Wife” Isn’t Going To Bite

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What Does A "Real Wife" Do?
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Beyonce & Mrs. Carter
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wife husband

A woman goes through life with a number of labels that she doesn’t have any control over, either by birth or by society’s imposition. But one label she should get to choose is whether she wants to be someone’s “wife” or not.  This should be a right for all of us.

A recent piece on Salon.com by soon-to-be-married author Tracy Clark-Flory about the word “wife” really pissed me off.  Clark-Flory wrote about going over the language of her wedding ceremony script with her fiancé and getting to the part that says “I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

Husband? Wife? I could barely conceal my gagging sounds. He said something to the effect of, “Ew, gross.”

She continues:

It makes me feel like Betty Draper, like I should be fetching his slippers and a scotch on the rocks — and remembering to get the roast bird out of the oven. (In reality, I’ve only just recently expanded my cooking repertoire beyond Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese and things you put in the microwave. He, however, will roast a chicken and make a rustic tart from scratch — all in one night.) I am a daughter, partner and friend — but a wife? I can’t help but imagine saying “I’m his wife” with heavy air quotes, a roll of the eyes or exaggerated feminine cheer.

Clark-Flory then expresses concern that the Middle English/Old English terms for “wife” and “husband” translate, roughly, to “vagina” and “householder.” It’s not that I don’t understand Clark-Flory’s discomfort with both words or their histories (although dredging up the Old English definition? really?). But I’m uneasy with how glib she was about that choice when so many people are scrambling to have the same one. Keep reading »

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