Singing my heart out

sing your heart out

So now that I feel a little like I’m getting it all worked out with my online presence, it’s time to just sing my heart out. This last quarter has been a little less eventful, but progress has continued and I feel a little less like I’m screaming into the crowd. These are all good things.

My themes this quarter had been children, religion, and reflection. I really debated on taking this time out for reflection. December would have been better timed for religion than November was and I would have another month to have something to say. But reflection does say something. It gives us time to review the things that worked and that didn’t in our own lives. It gives us some time to think about what made an impact on us this year. Reflection has turned out to be pretty important, but I’ll hit up children and religion first.

In October, we discussed children and we did it from a mostly first world perspective. As stated on Monday, I believe that developing countries have so much further to go and need so much more help, but our help will stall out if we don’t continue our own progress in the mean time. We covered sexism, gender neutral parenting, gender segregated team sports, and consent before venturing into the way that sexism towards parents can also effect children. People forget that children can see the sexism that is directed at their parents whether it is a mom at her work or a dad on the playground. Kids notice and they will decide on their own what to make of it if we don’t talk to them about it.

Due to an unusual inability to check on my social media and news, I also preplanned a bunch of TEDtalks for my readers to check in my absence. This was the last month where I missed any Monday musings, sharing news, and did not associate Wednesday Entertainment posts with the theme. I had decided to start keeping the Entertainment posts within theme during my out-of-range time, and soon realized that November was not the month to start that but I think that we got through it pretty okay anyway. As for October, entertainment posts mostly talked about women and modeling behaviors, both good and bad. I also answered “What would your book life be?” which is a fun question and shared some music for the first time.

In November, we discussed religion, though it was not as diverse a discussion as I had hoped to conduct. I got to November and was still woefully ignorant on most religions and not even greatly versed in my own. I have my opinions, but scholars and jerks are pretty quick and easy to pick them apart. Religion is at least as misinterpreted as feminism, so it was hard to feel like I could talk about it without getting into unwanted arguments and spur hatefulness. I was surprisingly successful with that. We covered the genderless nature of having faith in something or someone, the silencing and exclusion of groups, and the way that culture and religion can play off each other to create change in the world.

Entertainment and gender and religion do not go together well. It was a little painful to keep things in theme but I managed. Okay, I really just cheated and did the predictable things with Thanksgiving and wrote about Alanis Morissette’s Thank U because I love it and I had nothing on religion. Other than that week, I enjoyed writing about the women of the show Supernatural and the book series Women of Genesis. Mostly, though, I was proud of writing about the Book of Eli. I really like the concept of the movie but I hate to watch it and I think I do a good job explaining why in the post. I don’t just hope to never be in the world, I am absolutely terrified by it.

This month, we have been walking back through the year and the ups and downs that we have taken. My entertainment posts have been primarily on things that have made my reflect on life and gender in some way and so have my books. Mostly, the books are memoirs and I do love a memoir. I’ve considered writing my own one day. Reflection is important. We must take time to reflect on ourselves, our culture and the actions of those around us. Some top news stories this year were: Bring back our girls, the Jill Abramson firing, the Isla Vista shooting which sparked #yesallwomen and then #notallmen, Emma Watson’s UN speech, Gamergate, Shirtstorm, and then the awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I’m sure that I’m missing some great stuff, but these were the most memorable to me (though not the best using standards of greatness).

I kept my reading in theme, which means that I read Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin and Brian McLaren and The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work and Family by Kathleen Gerson in October to look at children. In November there was: Devotion and Defiance: My Journey in Love, Faith and Politics by Humaira Awais Shahid with Kelly Horan, Junia Is Not Alone by Scot McKnight, Women of the Wall by Phyllis Chesler and Rivka Haut, A God I’d Like To Meet by Bob Edwards, and Let My People Go: A Call to End the Oppression of Women in the Church by Bob Edwards. This month I’ve finished: Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman and looked back at Bossypants by Tina Fey which I hadn’t reviewed when I read it. I am currently reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb. I think I’ll finish it soon and have some ideas for the rest of the month.

This last quarter of 2014 has seen the continued growth of this blog in many ways. I am grateful to my readers for their time and for allowing me to discuss these topics with them. I am grateful that they have not wanted to be cruel or slander thus far and I hope that no future reader ever does. I want to keep this a safe space for ideas which may not always be new but definitely needs to be discussed. I hope that this growth continues next year and to continue improving the content of this blog. Thank you.

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