creepwalking:

This fucking kills me every time!

creepwalking:

This fucking kills me every time!

A message from Anonymous
I am a 22 year old ex-evangelical. My first date was a few months ago and I've never had a boyfriend. I'm just now figuring out romance and relationships, and I just graduated college. I left the toxic purity culture environment and I feel better than I ever have in my life, but I am still battling the harmful mindset. I was taught to fear heartbreak and now I'm afraid of being with someone lest it turn bad. How do I get over this fear so that I can have a meaningful relationship in the future?
A reply from noshamemovement

I am in my 30s and dealing with the same issue. But it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s before I understand why I was so unsure in relationships. Because of purity culture, I internalized that all men were likely predators who only wanted “one thing”, but I needed to simply *wait* for the “special (non-predator?) one” that God had chosen for me.
I wish I had an easy answer to this, but I do know that talking with other friends who went through the same thing, or understood this was a huge help for me. Counseling is another option, perhaps someone who specializes in relationships.
Also, the fact that, at THIS stage in your life, you’re cognizant of how purity culture has affected your ability to have a relationship is a HUGE plus! It took constantly pushing men away, breaking things off after the second date, often being terrified of even approaching a guy I was interested in before I finally came to terms with how much of purity culture I internalized.
Anyone else? How have you navigated relationships as an adult?

I talk a little bit about my experience with internalized purity culture in this post. I haven’t yet talked about my experience with guys, but maybe I will one day when I’m up to it (lol). 

When I was a Christian teen, I knew that there were other churches that allowed for dating, but my church wasn’t one of them. The leaders encouraged us—any and everybody of the church who were looking for a mate (and yes “mate” because they demonized the terms “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” so much) to fellowship, in which Jesus would be the center of the relationship. Think 1950’s courtship. And if the couple should want to take things further, an engagement would follow. But if not, naturally, they’d go their separate ways, and how this was different from a supposed “ungodly” relationship: no heartbreak! Why, because you have the Lord to fall back on, the rebound, the one who would never leave your side! But that’s how this church kept people thinking it was in order to always find an alternative. Al-wayyyyss.

This idea that dating was bad was a fear ingrained in me, too. I didn’t mind not dating at the time, because it was so much easier to reject people based on a superior belief that I had. 

I believed that God would point me in the direction of my husband. I personally don’t believe that anymore, because there is no evidence in the bible that clearly states that 1) God will guarantee a mate for you and 2) that marriage is a done deal for every believer. 

Now that I’m an adult, I’m still a little apprehensive about the whole dating thing, because I know it won’t turn out perfect like the stories we read, or the movies we watch. At the same time, I’m hopeful. I’m excited to be in a relationship where core feelings are mutual; there’s real depth, and of course, free of purity ;)

Resources

Religion & Philosophy:

Philosophy Index

Religious Tolerance (I personally find this the best resource ever :) )

Journey Free blog by Dr. Marlene Winell (includes helpful articles and other resources on how to recover from religious harm)

Kids Without God 

Dating, and Misconceptions I Once Believed Were True

musingsofaskeptic:

Here, I’m talking about dating and why people I knew thought that it was wrong. 

I was under a church congregation that did not condone dating as a means of finding a partner, but rather believed in a practice called “fellowshipping.” The goal of fellowshipping was to be with somebody you just knew God destined for you to be with! It was your typical not going alone to dimly-lit or dark places with significant “un-married” other, avoiding thoughts or notions of sex—obviously, and avoiding excessive, lusty kissing which may lead to, you know, sex. I remember sitting in our youth group one Saturday talking about fornication (as if a group of teenagers would really need to discuss fornication), lust, and why dating is bad. To put it this way, of course they made fellowshipping sound great. When the older, “seasoned saints” as they are called, talked about all of their negative experiences with dating, hook-ups, marriage, and inevitable unpleasantry within divorce, of course an alternative would be all that they want. But I find that I can’t stress this enough: everybody is at some point susceptible to some kind of negative experience within a relationship—all people, religious and non-religious. Before these people found their god and got “saved” this ~horrific~ modern dating and hook-up culture was all that they knew. In my findings, I believe purity culture (x,x,x) is unrealistic in trying to keep young people away from sexual immorality, when in reality sex and sexuality is essential to our very being. 

When I took off my Jesus glasses and started behaving and thinking without brainwashing, (and believe me it was not easy) I saw just how objectifying and mind-numbingly uninformed this “dating is bad” thought process is. It’s objectifying because it seems like modern Christian evangelicalism presents an unhealthy obsession with virginity in women. People think that they’re tainted just from having past sexual experiences whilst most likely being uneducated about what they were doing in the first place. So, there are many young men and women who have their “firsts” stories, who hopefully saw it as a pleasant and confusing experience as it should be— obviously excluding rape, non-consensual activity. But as they get older, they may begin to notice that there’s some strange value in being a virgin (woman). I had learned all of this in the beginning of my deconversion; it confirmed everything I felt inside of me that yearned for personal autonomy. I once felt like I didn’t belong to myself, like I was meant for someone else other than myself, some “knight in shining armor” boy sure to be the ONE. Well, I’m against that now. I enjoy being single and being able to talk to any guy I want. The key word here is “want.” 

How I Was Introduced To Christianity & Expressing Gratitude Towards Friends I Can Trust

musingsofaskeptic:

There aren’t too many people I can open up to about my deconversion. Mostly it is because I feel it’s not of importance unless the topic is brought up. But I typically hear everyday people mention the Christian God or Jesus; whether they are thanking him or making an exclamation, theists seem to—with much ease—make their beliefs known. 

A large part of Black culture in the United States is rooted in church and Christianity. While I did not specifically grow up in church—my family and I were “in-name only Christians” which I would say accounts for many Americans today—I was the occasional Easter/Christmas/Wedding/Funeral goer, and at one point in my childhood, I was invited by a lovely Christian family to go to Vacation Bible School. Oh yes, and I would also tag along with my cousin each time I spent the weekend at her house. Those were the days. Of course I didn’t really know what Christianity was about until I reached high school. I was in ninth grade, age 14 maybe. My aunt introduced me to a Silver Ring Thing Study Bible just in time to plant seeds of abstinence and “purity” at a time when teens are definitely more curious about sex. I guess in her mind, she thought that it was a good idea, a way to introduce abstinence as an alternative which is understandable. The only problem I had with it is that it is imposing someone else’s beliefs onto another. I believe people can be abstinent for whatever reason they choose, but up until then, I never saw purity as the answer to anything. I recall having a boyfriend at the time, and when it ended, I plunged myself into my growing Christian faith, and saw purity and Jesus as a way out. This later taught me to believe that pursuing any romantic relationship—or simply dating—was bad, and should only be sought after if you had the intention of marrying the person. Pretty manipulative, don’t you agree? 

Long story short: I went to college for one semester in Delaware, OH after graduating high school. It was brought to my attention that there exists a world outside of my faith, which used to offer me comfort and some protection against the world’s distractions and this supposedly active enemy roaming the earth. This opened me up to so many new experiences, so much awareness on campus kept me hungry for more knowledge. It’s funny how in just a short amount of time I was a Christian, I was conditioned to believe so much fuckery. I guess that is what happens when you get involved so young. 

I reached a point where I had had enough with the routineness of going to church and not truly gaining anything from Christianity. That last sentence is a sure way to get backlash if I walked up to an evangelical Christian and said that. The phrase, “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Phillippians 1:21) comes to mind. On this earth, your entire life—every single minute of it—is supposed to be all about Jesus Christ so that is your life and nothing else. Everything else is completely irrelevent unless it is beneficial to the Christian lifestyle. And when you die—god this is the hardest part to try to explain now that I’m not as programmed as I used to be—you are supposed to gain life again? There are so many different Christian takes on that subject, just an infinity of grandiose thelogy behind it that I don’t care to look into. The point is, self-gain, or looking for self-gratification is prohibited, it is sin. I didn’t think this was right; it wasn’t fair to what my mind, and what my body was telling me. I had so much I wanted to discover on my own. 

When I tried to tell people about my leaving Christianity, it was not a pat-on-the-back experience. People wanted to challenge me, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want it to turn into an invitation to preach to me, or “bring me back” I just wanted true liberation. When people tell you that you are going to hell, or misguided, fallen, backslidden, and wrong—it hurts. It truly does hurt, because the ones who are supposed to be your friends or family, are saying that they don’t accept you in your raw, natural form. If you’re stripped from those beliefs, you get your natural-born self. It’s the truth. And apparently, Christianity is not all about that, I see. It’s about creating an identity, one of a self-righteousness and stupidity. 

One of my friends who has been there since before I went to college, and before I deconverted, continues to be a beacon of hope for me when I cannot talk to people (who are mostly thesist) openly about my non-belief. He, too, deconverted from Christianity, but maintains a belief in a god, sometimes referring to himself as a deist. I don’t believe in any god, or rather I cannot prove that there isn’t one, but I leave it up to reason to say that there most likely isn’t. I guess that makes me Agnostic. Whatever it is I may call myself, I want to be able to do that without having to explain why or explaining the details of the whole process of my decision. Maybe I wouldn’t mind briefly telling my story, but nine times out of ten, I don’t feel like it. I didn’t have that freedom when I was a Christian, because there’s a certain fervor in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who seem hopeless, just about to give up on life. I think that’s part of the advantage of being Christian—just plain old faith in something “larger than life”—a phenomenon so many of us want to believe in. I’ve given up on that. To me, there’s only what’s right in front of us, and it is up to humanity to decide what to do with what we have. No god can. 

I digress. I’m not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with practicing faith in Christianity, so please, do not take it that way. The goal of this post and my blog is centered around me trying to find what life means to me, and why, in the past, anything else just did not work for me. I am more at peace with my mind, and my whole existence than I have ever been in my life. I understand things that I did not understand before while under Christian beliefs. And for that, I thank humanity.

randomingoftherandomness:

shubbabang:

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i dedicate this comic to the teacher who pulled me out of class in middle school to tell me my bra strap was showing and that i needed to get a jacket to cover it up so that i didnt distract the boys

dedicated to all teachers, school administrators, parents, dudes, dudettes, random ass strangers, politicians and dogs who think that is a woman’s duty to ensure that men aren’t ‘distracted’

I remember in middle school it was strictly against the dress code to wear “spaghetti-strap” shirts. By the time I reached high school, I guess it was out-of-fashion to wear those tops ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The problem isn’t that girls are wearing shirts that might reveal a small fraction of their bra strap, it’s the guys’ problem that they’re distracted. 

I always find it weird how, for graduation, most schools make the guys wear the dominate colors like red, blue, or maybe fugly maroon like at my high school, but the girls are usually always wearing white caps and gowns. Like wtf is up with that? What kind of bizarre pre-wedding graduation ceremony are you trying to portray? Girls wear white because it depicts them as pure?! I don’t get it.

It should just be one color!

6 Activities Introverts Like Myself Might Appreciate (My Version)

Going to see X-Men: Days of Future Past this weekend? The Amazing Spiderman 2? Have fun! 

Nowadays I think going out to the movies is soooo overrated. Maybe it’s because I don’t go out much or I don’t have anybody to go with. Either way, going to the movies just doesn’t sound as fun as it used to be. Here are six fun-packed activites that I would rather be doing:

1. Wine and a Movie

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In my opinion, what could be better than a cozy sofa, a bowl of your favorite snacks, and a nice cold glass of wine (or maybe you like yours warm—I don’t know) and a movie, or two? The best part is, you can have as much wine as you want! Can’t do that at Cinemark, now can you? It’s less expensive and you don’t need anybody to join you. Not that there’s anything wrong with going to the movies by yourself! Do you!

2. Reading a Book 

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So maybe you’re a bookworm/speed-reader like Matilda or, like me, you would rather go at your own pace. Reading a book at home is a classic pastime for introverts. Yeah…devour that classic literature! Oh, and nothing wrong with a little wine to go with that novel. Pour it up! 

3. Playing an Instrument

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First of all—Yaaayyy Niall! In my spare time, I like to work on my guitar skills. I picked it up only a year ago, and still have a ways to go before I achieve what I want to achieve. Them chords ain’t gonna play themselves! 

4. Going For a Strollimage

Sorry—Leo stan here, I had to.Though I might not be as spirited in my step as Mr. DiCaprio, a leiurely walk is good way for me to clear my thoughts and take in my surroundings. Definitely no wine needed for this! 

5. Eating

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*Siiiggghh* Yep. I loooove chowing down. Sometimes I like cooking what I enjoy eating, other times not so much. I mean, cooking is time consuming! Maybe that’s why food is burning a hole in my pocket. I’m snacking on a pack of Oreos as I’m typing this. Listen: Oreos>Life. 

6. Sleeping 

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This may not hold true for all introverts, but it is true for me. I will never let anyone shame me for liking to sleep. I love my sleep! Anytime I’ve been out for hours a day, I cannot wait until I can get back home and recharge. I’m not lying, I’m worse than my cell phone. School, work, you name it. Nothing tires me out more than being in a world full of busy people. 

So there you have it. A succinct list, provided with the hilarious visual of gifs Buzzfeed style, of things I would choose over going to the movies with friends any day. 

blackfeministmusic:

Janet Jackson “Let’s Wait Awhile” 

In honor of Janet Jackson’s birthday today, I had to post a video of hers. In “Let’s Wait Awhile” Janet is singing about talking with her partner on waiting to have sex. She is asserting control over her body, by being upfront and honest about what she wants and needs in order to be comfortable. Though, she has declared her love for this person, she is not ready to have sex, and that’s OK.

Agency over your own body means it’s OK to wait or have sex the first day you meet someone, as long as it is your decision and it is consensual for all parties involved. Waiting does not make you any more or less a feminist than the inverse decision. 

How I Was Introduced To Christianity & Expressing Gratitude Towards Friends I Can Trust

There aren’t too many people I can open up to about my deconversion. Mostly it is because I feel it’s not of importance unless the topic is brought up. But I typically hear everyday people mention the Christian God or Jesus; whether they are thanking him or making an exclamation, theists seem to—with much ease—make their beliefs known. 

A large part of Black culture in the United States is rooted in church and Christianity. While I did not specifically grow up in church—my family and I were “in-name only Christians” which I would say accounts for many Americans today—I was the occasional Easter/Christmas/Wedding/Funeral goer, and at one point in my childhood, I was invited by a lovely Christian family to go to Vacation Bible School. Oh yes, and I would also tag along with my cousin each time I spent the weekend at her house. Those were the days. Of course I didn’t really know what Christianity was about until I reached high school. I was in ninth grade, age 14 maybe. My aunt introduced me to a Silver Ring Thing Study Bible just in time to plant seeds of abstinence and “purity” at a time when teens are definitely more curious about sex. I guess in her mind, she thought that it was a good idea, a way to introduce abstinence as an alternative which is understandable. The only problem I had with it is that it is imposing someone else’s beliefs onto another. I believe people can be abstinent for whatever reason they choose, but up until then, I never saw purity as the answer to anything. I recall having a boyfriend at the time, and when it ended, I plunged myself into my growing Christian faith, and saw purity and Jesus as a way out. This later taught me to believe that pursuing any romantic relationship—or simply dating—was bad, and should only be sought after if you had the intention of marrying the person. Pretty manipulative, don’t you agree? 

Long story short: I went to college for one semester in Delaware, OH after graduating high school. It was brought to my attention that there exists a world outside of my faith, which used to offer me comfort and some protection against the world’s distractions and this supposedly active enemy roaming the earth. This opened me up to so many new experiences, so much awareness on campus kept me hungry for more knowledge. It’s funny how in just a short amount of time I was a Christian, I was conditioned to believe so much fuckery. I guess that is what happens when you get involved so young. 

I reached a point where I had had enough with the routineness of going to church and not truly gaining anything from Christianity. That last sentence is a sure way to get backlash if I walked up to an evangelical Christian and said that. The phrase, “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Phillippians 1:21) comes to mind. On this earth, your entire life—every single minute of it—is supposed to be all about Jesus Christ so that is your life and nothing else. Everything else is completely irrelevent unless it is beneficial to the Christian lifestyle. And when you die—god this is the hardest part to try to explain now that I’m not as programmed as I used to be—you are supposed to gain life again? There are so many different Christian takes on that subject, just an infinity of grandiose thelogy behind it that I don’t care to look into. The point is, self-gain, or looking for self-gratification is prohibited, it is sin. I didn’t think this was right; it wasn’t fair to what my mind, and what my body was telling me. I had so much I wanted to discover on my own. 

When I tried to tell people about my leaving Christianity, it was not a pat-on-the-back experience. People wanted to challenge me, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want it to turn into an invitation to preach to me, or “bring me back” I just wanted true liberation. When people tell you that you are going to hell, or misguided, fallen, backslidden, and wrong—it hurts. It truly does hurt, because the ones who are supposed to be your friends or family, are saying that they don’t accept you in your raw, natural form. If you’re stripped from those beliefs, you get your natural-born self. It’s the truth. And apparently, Christianity is not all about that, I see. It’s about creating an identity, one of a self-righteousness and stupidity. 

One of my friends who has been there since before I went to college, and before I deconverted, continues to be a beacon of hope for me when I cannot talk to people (who are mostly thesist) openly about my non-belief. He, too, deconverted from Christianity, but maintains a belief in a god, sometimes referring to himself as a deist. I don’t believe in any god, or rather I cannot prove that there isn’t one, but I leave it up to reason to say that there most likely isn’t. I guess that makes me Agnostic. Whatever it is I may call myself, I want to be able to do that without having to explain why or explaining the details of the whole process of my decision. Maybe I wouldn’t mind briefly telling my story, but nine times out of ten, I don’t feel like it. I didn’t have that freedom when I was a Christian, because there’s a certain fervor in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who seem hopeless, just about to give up on life. I think that’s part of the advantage of being Christian—just plain old faith in something “larger than life”—a phenomenon so many of us want to believe in. I’ve given up on that. To me, there’s only what’s right in front of us, and it is up to humanity to decide what to do with what we have. No god can. 

I digress. I’m not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with practicing faith in Christianity, so please, do not take it that way. The goal of this post and my blog is centered around me trying to find what life means to me, and why, in the past, anything else just did not work for me. I am more at peace with my mind, and my whole existence than I have ever been in my life. I understand things that I did not understand before while under Christian beliefs. And for that, I thank humanity.

Just Checking In: Spring Semester Is Officially Ovaahhh!!

Yes, I am finished with final exams and I am ready for Summer! As stated before in my last post, I have so much to blog about, and cannot wait until I get myself situated so I can begin this wonderful blogging experience. Please hold tight, because I’m about to deliver the realest (hopefully) blog you all have ever seen! I’m also hoping I can attain a bigger follower count. Thank you for being patient out there.

Update As Of April 30th, 2014:

Hello few followers that I have so far. I haven’t really posted in a while because I’m busy with school. During the weekdays, I have classes from Monday through Thursday. By the weekend, I am just too exhausted and unmotivated to post anything. But! I will be able to get back to regular blogging time very soon; I want to say approximately in one week, and definitely after final exams! I’m doing great in all of my classes, by the way.

Good News! One of my favorite artists is coming to Cleveland this June and words cannot describe how awesome it feels. It’s really something special when your favorite artist(s) come to your city when so many events/artists skip it, like they never include it in their shows *cough* HAIM *cough cough* I mean just tour the freakin’ world—all of Europe and only have a few U.S. dates spread out across the country. But I guess the demand is higher in other countries. Granted, I think I might have some American artist entitlement issues when it comes to touring in the U.S. first. My bad. 

Anyway, I’m rambling and I have homework to do. See you all soon! I’ve got so much to talk about. 

P.S. Washed Out is coming to Cleveland. I forgot to mention who!

"Evangelical purity advocates don’t ignore consent for no reason. They resist discussing or teaching consent because it is both irrelevant to their sexual ethic and in fact undermines their sexual ethic."