Saturday, February 27, 2021


Poster for the show WandaVision. I really love this show! Image source.


2. Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh, A Conservative Lodestar, Dies At 70 (posted February 17)

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Taking My Kid To Church: God Loves My Son

A children's book called "Jesus Loves Me!" Image source.

Part of the Taking My Kid To Church blog series


It's Lent now, so I'm thinking to myself, "Maybe I should buy some books about Easter for Square Root." He loves books. He likes to point at the pictures and identify what they are- he says "moo" and "mama" and Chinese words for "fish" and "cat" etc. He can say so many words; he's just amazing.

So. Easter books. Well, I don't know, I am thinking he's not ready for the bible story about Easter. Too much torture and death, and honestly I think it's effed-up how we show children pictures of Jesus on the cross like it's no big deal.

So for now I'm not getting him any books like that. But as I was browsing around online, I did see some books about "God loves you." And I feel like, yes, I do want to get him a book like that.

I believe God loves him. I mean, just look at him, look at this little sweetheart, his beautiful eyes, his little precious feet. He's a toddler now, which means he runs around everywhere and he "helps" us with housework. Carrying a container of laundry detergent all over the apartment, getting all of Daddy's socks out of the drawer, opening and closing the kitchen cabinets over and over, yep so helpful. He found 3D glasses that we bought at a movie theater and now he insists I wear them while breastfeeding. How could anyone not love him? Yes, God loves him.

I want to tell him God loves him. But it's fine if he doesn't believe in God. My husband doesn't believe in God, and that's fine- actually, I think it's good for Square Root to see that people have different opinions about religion. So what I really want him to believe is this: If there is a God, a good and loving God, then Square Root deserves God's love.

That's it. That's what I want him to know. He deserves God's love. If he doesn't believe in God, okay that's fine too. But the idea that we don't deserve anything, that God is so "merciful" for stooping down and holding back feelings of disgust and loving us- no honey, no. You are wonderful and amazing and you deserve love and happiness.

God loves you, honey. But more importantly, you deserve God's love.



Wednesday, February 17, 2021

My Little Niche in the Asexual Community


A set of 5 asexual flags, with a few other small pride flags pictured under them. Image source. 

The topic for this month's Carnival of Aces is "Comparing Ace Spaces." This has got me thinking of the diversity of asexual experiences, what types of ace experiences I've seen represented in ace groups, and what I want to see more of.

Specifically, I am an asexual straight woman, married to a man. And I think there are a lot of women in that same situation, but they don't even know what asexuality is- the concepts and the language would be so helpful for them, but they just don't know it. 

This is the little niche I am in, in the asexual community- I choose to be in a "normative" relationship structure- married, monogamous, opposite-gender partner, expected to have sex. I am interested in how to navigate that as an asexual, and I want to reach out to people (especially women) who are in the same situation. 

Also, I grew up in Christian purity culture, so my writing about asexuality comes from that perspective. I've actually had a lot of comments from readers saying they also have that same background, and my perspective on it is very helpful. It's not something I've seen many bloggers talking about, the intersection between purity culture and asexuality. Maybe you would think that purity culture would be no problem for asexuals- isn't the entire point to not have sex? But no, purity culture is much more than that- it's "men want sex all the time, and women don't really want sex ever" (which taught me to be afraid of men, and also made me unable to recognize my own asexuality). It's "don't be alone with your boyfriend, because one thing leads to another and before you know it, you've had sex and ruined your purity" (which made me afraid of my own desires, which turned out to NOT ACTUALLY EXIST). It's "we are all sexually broken." (Note: this "sexually broken" is not referring to the common ace experience of feeling "broken" because we don't have sexual attraction. Purity culture's use of the term "sexually broken" means that everyone has sinful sexual desires- so first of all, it erases the existence of asexuality, and on top of that, it makes everyone feel like there's something wrong and shameful about completely normal desires. Fun!)

And I want to see more people talking about things like this in the asexual blogs and online spaces. Really I want to see representation from the whole diverse range of asexual experience. We need the single aces, the married aces, the poly aces. We need straight, gay, bi, and pan aces. Aro aces. Demisexuals and gray aces and people who wonder if maybe they're asexual, people who hope they can identify as asexual but aren't sure if they fit all the criteria (spoiler: if it would be helpful to you to identify as asexual, then yes you are allowed to identify as asexual). We need the aces who have sex, the aces who have never had sex, and the aces who are still trying to figure out what they want. Trans aces and nonbinary aces, aces of every gender. The aces who knew something was different when all their middle school friends were having crushes, and the aces who didn't figure it out until years after they started having sex.

I don't know, maybe I'm not looking in the right places- but a lot of asexual discussion I've seen online centers around singleness. And yes, that's good and important! Definitely we should talk about that! But the asexual world is so much bigger than that.

The set of people who identify as asexual, or who would identify as asexual if they could see themselves represented in asexual spaces, is extremely diverse. I want to see ace spaces where all of this is more accessible. And the way that will happen is for all of us to keep talking about our experiences and keep lifting up each other's voices.



Miss me with your "we are all sexually broken" hot takes. I'm asexual. 

On Purity, Asexuality, and Timing

For This Asexual, Purity Culture Was All About Fear 

My Husband Is Not The Entire Focus Of My Sex Life 


This post is part of the February 2021 Carnival of Aces. The topic is "comparing ace spaces."

Friday, February 12, 2021

Thank you, Libby Anne

Butterfly logo from the blog "Love, Joy, Feminism". Image source.

I was sad to see Libby Anne's announcement that she is retiring from blogging. Her blog, Love, Joy, Feminism, is one of my favorites. I have learned so much from her; she comes from a similar background to me (though her family was definitely more conservative than mine), and writes about a lot of the same ex-evangelical feminist issues that are important to me.

So I want to visit some of the topics she's blogged about, and the posts that have been meaningful to me:

Marriage/ sex/ dating from an ex-purity perspective

Probably the biggest impact for me is seeing what a good marriage can look like for ex-purity-culture women. 

Sex and Respect "Here was a man who wanted to have sex with me and didn’t have any convictions about waiting for marriage, but he wasn’t pressuring me to have sex with him? What was this?!"

CTBHHM: Divine Lovers and Desperate Castration "Look, if Debi wanted to talk about female pleasure she could have. She could have said things like 'you have this thing called a clitoris' or 'lube is your friend' or 'try some more foreplay' or 'if it hurts, there’s something wrong, and you should go to the doctor.'" I am pretty sure Libby Anne's blog is the first place I ever heard that it's a good idea to use lube during penis-in-vagina sex, to make it less painful for the partner with a vagina. So THANK YOU.

Hey Focus on the Family: Masturbation Is Actually Important YES! And Libby Anne's post inspired my post, I Wanna Preach the Good News of Masturbation, which I am very proud of because I definitely want to preach the good news of masturbation.

The Purity Culture and Trust "For one thing, I found out that he had had sex with a previous girlfriend, and when he wasn’t regretful for it, I did everything I could to let him know how much this hurt me in an effort to make him feel guilt and regret."

Purity culture 

Evangelicals Said Having Sex Before Marriage Will Ruin My Life. It Didn’t. PREACH.

Checklist: An Evangelical Approach to the Marriage Market "Look at the list above again and note what’s missing. There is nothing in there that covers warning signs of abuse. There are, in contrast, a million questions about whether the pair has had sex yet." And what has really stuck with me is how Libby Anne says her mind was blown when a relative gave her a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT set of questions: "Do you love him? Does he love you? Does he treat you right?" (See also my post: The Checklist: Purity Culture's Alternative to Actually Getting to Know Someone)

Purity Culture and Staying in Abusive Relationships

Louisiana Lawmakers Want to Marry Off Pregnant 15-Year-Olds Libby Anne has written many posts calling attention to child marriage in the United States and the purity rhetoric used to support it. (Which inspired this post from me: What do you mean by "sexual immorality"?)

The pro-life movement

How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement Last I heard, this was the #1 most viewed post on her blog, BY FAR, and wow yes, it is an extremely good post.

Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Abortion Wars About volunteering as a clinic escort at Planned Parenthood.

The Anti-Abortion Movement’s Fetal Imaginings About how the "pro-life" movement uses imagery of 8-month fetuses/ pregnant women, and literal already-born babies, which is extremely dishonest because most abortions happen during the first trimester. 

Josh Duggar (wow, I have a whole category for Josh Duggar)

When the scandal with Josh Duggar came out (2015), Libby Anne's blog was a very good source for information and analysis:

What You Need to Know about the Josh Duggar Police Report 
What Did Josh Duggar’s Counseling Look Like?
Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness
When the Perpetrators Matter More than the Victims
How Christian Culture Excuses Sex Offenders 
Josh Duggar’s Lies, Damn Lies, and Half Truths
It Took This for People to Listen?
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s Interview with Megyn Kelly: Minimize, Deny, Obfuscate
Are the Duggars Victims of Christian Persecution?

Answers in Genesis

On Answers in Genesis’ Portrayal of Noah’s Son’s Wives "I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe—just maybe—Answers in Genesis should have taken more proactive steps to avoid perpetuating nineteenth century American race theory in their portrayals of Noah’s son’s wives."

How Did Judas Die? Why Evangelicals Seek to Explain Away Contradictions. (which inspired my post- The Bible Stories As I Read Them Were Never Actually In The Bible)


Progressive Piety and Conservative Politics: On Kaepernick, Tebow, and American Christianity

Evangelical Blogger: Christian Leaders Need Extra Protection against Allegations of Sin A response to an extremely bad article by Tim Challies.

Christianity Today Goes Full Pick-Up Artist About creepy evangelism.

About That Viral Modesty Video, “Virtue” I will never get over the absurdity of this music video about modesty- with boys in SUITS and TIES being total STUMBLING BLOCKS as they sing about the importance of girls dressing modest. Dayyyammmm.

My guest post

And I am very proud of this guest post I did: I’m Really Really REALLY Glad I Had Sex Before Marriage. About purity culture, asexuality, facing my fear that sex was going to change me into an unlovable person and ruin my life, and discovering there was nothing to fear at all.


And I could keep going- she has also written A LOT about homeschooling in the United States, and how conservative organizations fight against any sort of regulations regarding homeschooling, and this can make it easy for abusive parents to hide the abuse. She has written about Josh Harris and his role in purity culture and impact on her own life. She has written about politics and Trumpism and immigration and how evangelicals have become unrecognizable since selling their soul to Trump.

So thank you for all your hard work blogging, Libby Anne. We will miss you. <3

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Blogaround + Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year design with a cow, "2021", and "新年快乐" [xīn nián kuài lè]. Image source.

Happy Year of the Ox, everyone! Tonight (February 11) is Chinese New Year's Eve. (Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival.) 2021 is the year of the 牛 [niú] which is a cow/bull/ox/buffalo/etc but seems like everyone's translating it as "ox" in English. *shrug* (I contend that "Year of the Cow" is equally valid.)

This year is weird because the Chinese government strongly encouraged everyone not to travel for the holiday (the biggest holiday of the year). There are rules about "if you travel, you need to have a covid test within 7 days before your trip." So the 春运 [chūn yùn], the largest annual migration of people in the entire world, is way down this year. ("春运 [chūn yùn]" is the Chinese word for "the massive phenomenon that is everyone's Chinese New Year travel", see, there's an actual word for it.)

I am in Shanghai, and usually Shanghai is fairly quiet during new year holiday because a significant proportion of Shanghai residents aren't originally from here, so they all leave. Not this year though. This year we are staying.

However, in China there are tons of migrant workers- which means they come from a poorer area and go to big cities to get better-paying jobs- and it's common that they leave their children back in their hometown to be raised by the grandparents. Typically migrant workers only get to go home and see their families/kids once a year- at Spring Festival. So seems like a lot of them are traveling anyway, even though this year it's much more difficult and they run the risk of getting stuck in a lockdown or quarantine somewhere along the way.

Anyway that's the situation here. Hope the Year of the Cow is better than the Year of the Mouse. 新年快乐! [xīn nián kuài lè]


And here's the latest blogaround:

1. Disney Parks To Revamp Jungle Cruise Attraction, Responding To Racism Charges (posted January 25) Okay, yes, that ride is definitely racist.

2. I’m Sorry, What Is Going on With GameStop and AMC? (posted January 27) Yep, I had the exact same question. (About recent happenings with reddittors buying ridiculous amounts of GameStop stock, to screw over the short-sellers.)

3. These Creationists Learned a Weird Lesson from Sloths (posted January 29) LOLOLOL

4. On the Trail of COVID-19 in Shanghai (posted February 4) In January/February there have been something like 21 locally-transmitted COVID cases in Shanghai. This article is about how disease experts did contract tracing in response. At this point it seems like that outbreak has petered out and that's that.

5. Christopher Plummer, Actor From Shakespeare to ‘The Sound of Music,’ Dies at 91 (posted February 5)

6. How Isaiah converted Israelites to secularism (posted February 8) "Prayer, worship, and stomping through the doors of a church are all dismissed here as meaningless, wholly insignificant in comparison with the paramount duties God enumerates and describes — all of which seem to be things that white Christianity perceives and portrays as 'secular.'"