February 22nd, 2012

Recommended Reading #87: Perspective and Judgment, Pt. II



      “God is not impressed by the orgasm you didn’t have: Lent, self-denial, and self-love” by Hugh Schwyzer (Self-Awareness, Sex and Culture, Psychology, Religion) 2/22/12

I don’t identify as Christian, but I appreciate the sentiment I interpret here. Much, if not all, of it feels to me like I can extrapolate it from the Christian context and the word “God” (a word with which I personally don’t resonate) and see it as true. And for those who do identify as Christian, it seems to me a beautiful message well worth considering.

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      “Parents Who Hid Child’s Gender for Five Years Now Face Backlash” by Megan Gibson (Parenting, Youth, Gender Socialization) 1/24/12

I will admit that when I first saw the title of this article, I hesitated to read it due to suspicion that I might find it filled with gender stereotypes that I would simply find anywhere from irritating to infuriating. (I will further admit it was because the article was in a mainstream publication that I especially felt this way.) I did read the piece, obviously, and I was pleasantly surprised. I much appreciate how the author points out that judgments about things the parents have done as reported in this article are reflective of feelings in those who are judging (which is, it seems to me, often if not always the case with judgment)—and certainly that children who have experienced challenge or consideration around their gender identity or sexuality have often indeed not been “shielded” from correlative stereotypes…making it seem quite questionable (or, perhaps, nonsensical) to me indeed that such “shielding” would be some kind of inherent setup for gender or sexual identity struggles.

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      “The Slippery Slope of Sex Addiction” by Dr. Charlie Glickman (Psychology, Self-Awareness, Relationship, Sex and Culture) 2/20/12

I find this brilliant and am once again amazed by what I perceive as Charlie’s capacity to address and articulate nuance in a kind, considered, incisive way. Especially since he’s tended to write so much about sexuality and, as I interpret it, self-awareness, this is something I appreciate profoundly.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

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2 Responses “Recommended Reading #87: Perspective and Judgment, Pt. II”

  1. Wonderful reading as always. I especially appreciated Hugo Schwyzer given that anti-pleasure voices are so loud in the public discourse right now, and just in time for Lent, too:

    “Repentance is not a game in which you prove to yourself and to God that you can control one particular urge for the six weeks or so between Ash Wednesday and Easter. God isn’t impressed by the truffle you didn’t eat or the orgasm you didn’t have. Self-denial is only virtuous if it does two things: one, if it connects us to the very real suffering of other living things, and increases both our compassion for and capacity to help them. Two, self-denial is about quieting down our habits of mindless consumption so that we can listen to the real needs of our bodies and our souls.”

  2. Emerald says:

    Hi Donna!

    Yeah, I loved that paragraph too. To be very personal for a moment, partly it’s because I used to live my life in accord with its first sentence.

    I also really appreciated those ideas of what may indeed constitute hurtful behavior. The idea that it’s not simply all about self-deprivation and punishment still opens up unconscious patterns in me, it seems. Such a system/perspective has seemed deeply ingrained in me….

    Thanks so much for coming by! Xoxoxo

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