What are the dating dos and don’ts that single people are expected to follow if they’re part of a church community? We discuss the experience of dating while Christian, specifically in the more conservative and evangelical world that we grew up in. We pay particular attention to the troubling double standards for men and women that we were taught as young people.
We talk about how the True Love Waits abstinence movement affected us as teenagers and how we dealt with the pressure to take a purity pledge under coercive circumstances.
We also revisit the Book of Ruth and the movement among both white and black churches to encourage women to “wait on your Boaz.” Check out what Mariam Williams has to say about this in the context of the black church over on her blog.
What We’re Reading and Listening to
Katey just finished Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou, her last memoir before she died. If you read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, some of it will sound familiar, but Angelou goes more deeply into the complex relationship she had with her mother throughout her life. At its core it’s a story of fierce love between daughter and mother.
Ashley has been listening to the advice podcast Dear Sugars with hosts Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) and Steve Almond. Their recent episodes called “The Power of No,” featuring an interview with Oprah Winfrey, are a joy. Oprah talks about how she learned to say no and set boundaries in her life after decades of being everyone’s yes person.
Kindreds of the Moment
This episode’s Kindreds of the Moment is Refinery29’s Take Back the Beach Series. This series has been tackling complex issues surrounding body image, fat-shaming, size acceptance, aging, body changes after surgery or pregnancy, what is considered beautiful and sexy, and challenging the idea of the “beach body” that women (and men) are typically sold by mass media. Some of our favorite entries have been:
“Why do we have such mixed feelings about muscle tone?”
“Why this woman takes sexy selfies showing her ileostomy bag” about Krystal Miller
“Little girls say big girl things” (Video)
- If messages about purity are still affecting you, visit the No Shame Movement–a platform for sharing stories of leaving behind conservative Christian beliefs about sexuality.
- Remember I Kissed Dating Goodbye? Listen to this NPR interview in which the author Joshua Harris talks about his change of heart about purity culture.
- Looking for a comprehensive sexuality education that includes discussions about values, healthy relationships, and boundary setting? Look at Our Whole Lives (OWL) which was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and includes curriculum for preschoolers through late adulthood.