Fangirl Saves the World

just who the hell do you think you are, anyway?

Posts Tagged ‘frustrations

fundamentalist Biblical literalism and you: part 2 of ??

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A quick and friendly disclaimer to start this post before I step on any toes: I’m not saying you should live your life based on the Bible, nor am I saying you should not. What I am saying is that if you claim to live, word for word, by what the Bible says, you are expected to do exactly that. If you, like me, believe that this is a book, perhaps divinely inspired but ultimately written (and then translated) by fallible human beings two thousand years ago, and that therefore some of this stuff just isn’t relevant any more now that we know better and just think that what matters is that Jesus wanted us to love our neighbors, that’s totally cool. It’s the hypocrisy of cherry picking what matters while simultaneously insisting that the cultural context it was written in doesn’t matter and God wants us to obey every single rule laid down therein that gets me.

Without further ado: I found s’more handy Bible knowledge!
This won’t be news to any of you who actually know jack shit about the Bible, but it was new to me.
First off: I Corinthians 11:5-6, which says “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” So at the very least, women should cover their heads in prayer (and, by extension, in church). I don’t wanna hear jack shit about literal Biblical living* from any woman who doesn’t do that, because otherwise she is a hypocrite and/or a liar. This passage is full of heinously sexist bullshit, much of which I am sure they use to support their patriarchal society, but if you’re gonna say that you can’t pick and choose, you can’t pick and fucking choose.
I’ve tried this before by quoting Leviticus 19:19, but was told that, because Jesus made a new covenant with God, many of those rules don’t apply any more (e.g., Christians don’t have to keep kosher). This argument pissed me off for two reasons: one, as far as I know (and correct me if I’m wrong), Jesus never says anything about eating bacon (&c.) outside The Gospel According to Biff†. Funny, though, how they have no problem keeping Leviticus 18:22. See what I mean about hypocrites and liars?
Also, continuing the anti-family theme in Corinthians that I talked about earlierLuke 14:26, wherein Jesus basically says that if you have ties to your family, you’re not worthy of him. Ironic, considering the Biblical literalist/fundamentalist obsession with marriage and babies, ’cause these two passages (both New Testament, mind you, and therefore – according to what I’ve been told about why Christians don’t have to keep kosher – more relevant/important than their favorite passages about replenishing the earth (Genesis 1:28)) make it pretty clear that Christ likes unattached singles.
I did find two verses – and here I am, picking out what I think is still relevant, but I never claimed to do otherwise – that I liked: Joel 2:28-29: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” and Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” So fucking play nice with each other, kiddies, or Our Father may have to come down here and kick some unrighteous ass: yours.


*I’m not referring here to “What Would Jesus Do?” but to the Quiverfull and related movements that interpret the Bible literally (or so claim to) and live (or say they live) by what the Bible says, word for word; by all means, protect adulterers from being stoned to death and whatnot – be nice to widows and orphans, pet kittens, whatever!
†I went there.

Written by Fangirl

August 13, 2010 at 2:41 am

but I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

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I somehow have ended up arguing Scripture with a group of… well, I’m not sure. They call themselves “Christian,” and I’m not going to say that they’re not, but that’s an awfully broad label and doesn’t tell y’all much about what I’m talking about. They’re not exactly Quiverfull, but they’re close.
Anyway, I got into a debate about 1 Corinthians 7 and whether or not marriage is always supposed to be part of God’s plan.
(Some handy background for people who don’t know me well: I’m nonreligious, and I actually care whether or not the Bible says I should or should not do something. I’m here for the debate, because I enjoy debating.)
Now, that passage sounds to me – and to another woman on the site who actually seems to care – like Paul is saying basically that ideally, everyone would be an unmarried (and, hence, celibate) like him and marriage is just a compromise for those who aren’t cut out for life as an ascetic.
Basically, marriage is for those too weak willed to fight temptation.
(I’m not saying I believe this, I’m just saying this is what it sounds, to me, like what this passage is saying.)
One woman said that the times were different then, Christians were persecuted and in grave danger, and it would be better for a Christian to burn than to watch, helpless, as their spouse burned. However – this is where I jumped into the argument – why can’t we apply that rule to other Scriptural mandates? I doubt she’d be as willing to say that the Bible was written in a different cultural context than the world we live in today, therefore the things the Bible says about women/homosexuality/&c. no longer apply, either.
Funny how the Bible needs to be taken completely literally in some contexts (this site is big on the “[b]e fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,” bit being a continued mandate, despite the Earth being more’n replenished already) but not in others (they don’t seem to support the “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I” thing that Paul here is on about.)
If someone who actually knows the Bible and teachings thereof would like to educate me, I would like to be educated. I’m working with the passages themselves and some reading comprehension, but no religious teaching. (Yours truly is your friendly neighborhood godless heathen.)

Written by Fangirl

August 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm

a little Greco-Roman know how

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In this post, the app in question (it tracks menstrual cycles – for men in heterosexual romantic/sexual relationships) has “a female symbol …sporting devil horns.”
For those of you who failed Greco-Roman mythology and/or astrology or just plain ol’ fashion do not give a damn about either subject, let me remind you: the female symbol (♀) is the astrological sign for Venus. (The male symbol (♂) is the astrological symbol for Mars.) However, the Venus symbol with horns (☿) is no longer the Venus symbol at all, but is, instead, the symbol for Mercury, and it’s used to represent intersex individuals the way the Venus/Mars symbols represent ciswomen and cismen.
Whoops. (KNOWING STUFF: It helps!)

Written by Fangirl

July 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

movie reviews: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice + The Princess and the Frog

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Two short movie reviews, crossposted from my personal journal. Expect posts in more depth soon. (I actually have time now that I’m home from Japan.)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
I went to see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was pretty good. Nicholas Cage was surprisingly attractive in it; he doesn’t usually do much for me, but the Aragorn-esque outfit helped. /easy to please There was some serious Lord of the Rings ripoff stuff in there; e.g., Morgan le Fay’s freak out was filmed just like Galadriel’s “in place of a Dark Lord you shall have a Queen” thing. A decent summer movie, but not a great one – the car chase was so-so, but the car itself was an old Bentley. Classy. (Unfortunately, the car did not remain a Bentley for the duration of the chase. Now that would have been awesome.)
My biggest complaint was that the female characters weren’t characters, just love interests. Becky in particular was really boring – not quite cheerleader, not quite Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but definitely ~*perfect*~ and c’mon, just because you knew someone in fourth grade doesn’t mean you’re destined to be together. They didn’t seem to have anything in common beyond that; she was a music major who does yoga and he was a gawky physics nerd. (Yoga was not, in this instance, used to show that she was a selfish bitch, though! It often is.)
Veronica had some potential, but she nobly sacrificed herself in the first ten minutes and then was pretty much useless when she came back.
Oh, and the whole reason shit happened was because the two male apprentices fought over the female one. Plus, the big bad was a woman.
Girls: will do nothing but fuck your life up. (Becky was a constant distraction from David’s training to save the world.)
Needless to say, I was displeased with that part. Also, it did not pass the Bechdel Test. Actually, it didn’t even get close; two named female characters didn’t even talk, let alone about boys. The closest we got was Becky talking to an African-American woman in a coffee shop (a convo we did not hear so much as see through David’s stalker gaze), so they could show how politically correct they/the characters are and still have a film entirely about white people.
I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, FILMMAKERS.
… and I’m sick of your bullshit.
The mop scene was fun, though; David basically does like Magical Mickey, complete with the music from the same scene in Fantasia.

The Princess and the Frog

Mouse and I watched The Princess and the Frog. I thought it was a let-down; the music wasn’t very inspired and for all the ruckus Disney made about Tiana being the first Black protagonist in an animated Disney film, she was only human for about 15% of the film. Talk about a cop out.
Oh, and the previews for Tangled, which I was originally excited for because the concept art was really pretty and Rapunzel was supposed to be kinda awesome, are really leaving me cold. It looks like another trite “princess saves herself and the prince” story – and I am all about girls kicking ass and taking names instead of being helpless and rescued all of the time, but these half-assed knockoffs inevitably destroy the grrrl power message somehow and end up reinforcing boring heteronormativity. Yawn. If anything they’re even worse, because you’ve gotta work hard and be awesome, but still, your reward at the end of the day is a man, instead of full-fledged personhood and legal/social equality for yourself.
The Princess and the Frog had the same problem. Tiana knew what she wanted and how to get it, but in the end, her life just wouldn’t be complete without a man. ‘Cause all career driven single women are bitter ugly harpy spinsters and we definitely don’t get movies about us. =/ She was doing fine without a man, you know. I would have liked that movie much better: girl and dude decide that they can be friends or try again later, but right now she’s got shit to do, you know?

Written by Fangirl

July 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

“I’m not a feminist, but…”

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“I’m not a feminist, but [insert complaint about the patriarchy here].”
Am I the only one who is filled with rage at this? It’s collusion of the highest order. “Oh, I’m not one of those people working against you, but since I’m working for you, could you reward me as one of you own?”
Hint: they won’t. The patriarchy does not love you. It sees you as a disposable object, one of many interchangeable, identityless bodies. The patriarchy thinks you are flawed and defective and dirty. It tells you to be quiet and then blames you for not being loud enough. It tells you to be demure and then blames you for not fighting hard enough.
If you’re white enough, rich enough, skinny enough, straight enough – in short, if you’re privileged enough – you can get by. They might take you seriously if your skirt isn’t deemed “too short,” if you weren’t “too drunk,” if you didn’t know him. You probably won’t go without eating.
Perhaps, if you’re compliant – if you’re pretty and nurturing and don’t complain – you can eat the crumbs of their pie, if they’re feeling generous. What the hell? Why don’t you give up begging for their table scraps and help us make our own damn pie? I know you’re afraid of going hungry – we all are – but we’ve got the ingredients, between us all. It might not taste the same, but we’ve had the same pie for two thousand years or more. Don’t you think it’s starting to go a little stale?

Written by Fangirl

March 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

“oh, I love you.”

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If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the patronizing “oh, I love you,” spoken in the tone of voice one uses to address a small child.

One girl in my study abroad program, RK, would always say it when I finished explaining my position on something: I’m going to go with “marriage” as the example here, since it was the first time she did this. “Oh, look at how cute. Fangirl is up on her soapbox, frustrated with the patriarchy.”

Yeah. I’m fucking adorable.

No, I’m not. I’m not a small child explaining why I think Santa Clause is real because he leaves me presents on Christmas that use different wrapping paper than Mommy and Daddy. I’m a real, grown-up individual (or just as grown up as her) with positions that I have put a lot of thought into, instead of accepting wholesale and unexamined from anyone. My thoughts on marriage, abortion, public education… anything, really, are carefully crafted. I care about what I believe in, and I don’t want the wool pulled over my eyes by anyone.

I gather knowledge, facts. I check the sources of those facts. I consider other, related fields and questions and ultimately I weigh the options against my own personal code of ethics (itself constantly being fine-tuned so that I can be the best feminist and ally that I can be) and arrive at a decision.

I do this mostly for myself. I like to know where I stand, and to understand why I believe what I do, why others believe what they do, and what all of that means. It’s important to me: not just the result, but the process of achieving it. (Have I mentioned lately that I’m INTJ? This might explain a lot about me.)

So when I’ve explained my (admittedly unrealistic) thoughts on why I think the institution of marriage should be abolished all together, and my (more realistic) suggestions for what to do with the broken system we have now, I would at least like the dignity of a response detailing why I am wrong. That patronizing “oh, I love you” is the most frustrating thing to hear.

I’m not telling you this because I think it makes me quirky and funny, some kind of straw feminist class clown. I’m telling you this because you asked and because it’s something I care and have thought a lot about. Please, at least do me the favor of “but marriage is a holy and sacred institution and a fundamental part of our culture!” or “you know, you’re a fucking pinko commie” or something other than amusement.

‘Cause, you know: demanding equality is hilarious. Only silly people do that.

Written by Fangirl

February 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm