Calling God a Girl

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Hope you enjoy this article I wrote for the website Ravishly. (Note about the picture on Ravishly: I didn’t pick it. I know it gives the article the look of talking specifically about the Christian god, but that wasn’t my intent. Even though the specific religious tradition I’m healing from in Christian, when I talk about the concept of the divine I’m not tying it to a specific religion.)

As a kid, my family’s male-focused religion often left me feeling like I was a member of the second-best sex. I internalized a lot of Sunday morning sexism as I was taught about “biblical gender roles” and “submission” and “a woman’s place.”

And I was taught something else that might not seem harmful: god was male.
Within a monotheistic context where it was considered sinful to say god was anything but a man, male pronouns and imagery reigned supreme. The classic Christian metaphors said the divine could be compared to a father, son, or brother — but not a mother, daughter, or sister. God could be shown with a penis but never a vagina. The divine was indisputably a dude. [Continue reading on Ravishly]

Purity culture slut-shame blues: Everything I know about sex I learned from Bob Dylan


This article originally appeared in Salon October 2016, right after Dylan had been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. I’m happy to finally be able to share it with you here!

I was 10 years old when I sat through my first abstinence series at church. My parents had discussed its age-appropriateness, but had decided that my relative youth was a good thing. It meant my first introduction to sex would come within the safe, godly confines of our church. So I sat in the church sanctuary dutifully every week as various pastors took turns stressing the dangers of things like necking. I didn’t have any idea what necking was, but I made a mental note to avoid it.

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