Weekly Reads: Evangelical Dating Advice, School District Bingo, and Sandusky Redux
Howdy Readers! We’re ten days into the new year and it’s already evident that 2018 will be just as bizarre as 2017… and 2016… actually I’m pretty sure weird is the new normal.
Dani Fankhauser got all of her dating advice from her evangelical church… it did not go well…
Thus began my self-imposed dating ban. For the next half-decade, it was Nathan or bust — not only because I was a swoony teen with a crush that wouldn’t die, but because of everything my teenage self knew about what it means to be a woman in a relationship: that waiting is a virtue, that inexperience makes you a worthy spouse, and that forgiveness is expected regardless of the transgression. That’ll happen when the bulk of your education on sex and dating comes from an evangelical church.
From McSweeney’s so SATIRE ALERT… Hello I’m the Internet and You’re Parenting All Wrong
We could draw school districts to be less segregated if we wanted too, Alvin Chang at Vox teaches us all about “school attendance zones.”
But this exact strategy — gerrymandering school districts to include certain kinds of students and exclude others — can also be used to integrate a school, rather than segregate them.
In America, there is already a massive amount of residential segregation, shaped by a long history of racist government policies. This is why everyone going to the nearest school perpetuates very segregated classrooms. But using school zones, we can actually gerrymander these lines so we’re not recreating the underlying segregation.
Libby Anne looks breaks down what is wrong with Memphis megachurch pastor Andy Savage. Hint, he’s a sexual criminal…
There you are, picking up your kid from preschool one afternoon when you walk around a corner and — boom! — you’re suddenly walking in-step with a parent whose name you may or may not have forgotten. Now let’s assume that you aren’t, like, a huge fan of talking to people, especially those you don’t know already. Maybe you classify yourself as an introvert. Or maybe you’ve just been doing the whole work-kids-work-sleep-repeat thing for so long that your adult social interactions are rusty. Whatever the case, this is a mighty long hallway, and you’re going to have to say something. Because you don’t want to come off as a dick – especially because no one wants to have playdates with the kid whose “dad was cold to me in the hallway.”
Okay, fine, I can’t resist commenting on his writing. The giant OB/GYN plot hole isn’t really about the Star Wars universe having inadequate reproductive health care, it’s about Lucas lazily relying on a blanket of ignorance surrounding the entire phenomenon of childbirth. Childbirth is a black box that can explain anything that is difficult to explain, like how Anakin can turn on everyone he loves and all the principles he holds dear, or how Padme can just up and die without anything being visibly wrong.
Reproductive health and childbirth is a crutch, and Lucas gets away with it because his audience accepts that these things are mysterious and cannot be intervened with the way that that the loss of limbs can be remedied with robot prosthetics, or the way Luke can be rescued from near-death on Hoth by being submerged in a bacta tank. Having babies is worse than being mauled by a wampa ice creature or being chopped up by lightsabers and falling into a river of lava. Lucas can write a world like that, and worse, the audience will accept it.
But uteruses aren’t made of malignant magic. Women’s bodies are real physical things that can be studied and understood and when necessary, cured. The public at large should be better educated about reproductive health in general. Like ankle sprains, tooth decay, or heart attacks, reproductive health should be a banal medical thing that a lot of people know something about. The fact that there’s so much ignorance around it is a disgrace, a disgrace just as massive and overwhelming as the very existence of the Star Wars prequels.
So here is the background. Mark Pendergast wrote a book about how he thinks Jerry Sandusky, a man convicted of over 40 counts of sexual abuse of young boys is innocent, despite overwhelming evidence against him. Then Skeptic Magazine published an article by Frederick Crews that summarizes the argument made in the book. This has of course been picked up by other “New Atheist” types. if you are not familiar what a “New Atheist” is, they are just like a regular atheist, except in addition to not believing in God they are morally despicable. Even Daniel Dennett, a philosopher associated with New Atheism who is usually considered an exception to the rule, fell for it.