Bergman’s Female Characters

When I first viewed Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL, I knew I had discovered one of my favorite filmmakers. Now, working my way through his oeuvre, I am deeply moved by the honesty of his female characters. The titular character in SUMMER WITH MONIKA (1953) is at first a high-spirited young woman (played by the sensuallyContinue reading “Bergman’s Female Characters”

Why “I’m Not a Rapist” Means Nothing

In Zen Buddhism, Ango is a three-month period of intensive study and practice. One aspect of Ango is that members of a Zen center study the precepts. These are guidelines for ethical conduct that have been passed on by ordained Buddhist priests across the millennia. My Zen center is headed by an ordained male priest,Continue reading “Why “I’m Not a Rapist” Means Nothing”

The Decision

There are so many ways that society monitors and controls women’s bodies. PiMam’s family had determined how she could and could not use her body in relationships. Now, economic necessity was undoing my own bid for freedom. Every morning I woke to the sound of the kitchen hood rumbling to life. My mugs rattled onContinue reading “The Decision”

Why Gloria Steinem Was Wrong, and Why It Matters

In the wake of Gloria Steinem’s comments that young women could only be siding with Bernie over Hillary in order to attract guys, a number of writers quoted young women who called the feminist leader’s statement “offensive” and insulting. Articles came out detailing the rift between Second-Wave feminists over 65 and those under 30. It’sContinue reading “Why Gloria Steinem Was Wrong, and Why It Matters”

Why the Rape Wasn’t Your Fault: An Open Letter

A lot of blog posts address men who believe rape is, at least in part, the responsibility of the victim—rather than the rapist. Or they address men open to hearing about this experience in the hope of educating them and building allies. This post is going to be a little different. I’m writing just for theContinue reading “Why the Rape Wasn’t Your Fault: An Open Letter”

Real Men Go for Real Women

A few weeks back, a guy was complaining to me about his girlfriend. Already earning a zero on the Classy Scale. “She’s just so dumb,” he said with a smirk. “Like, I can’t believe how dumb.” “She’s just young,” I said and ended the conversation soon after. I had no sympathy for the dude. InContinue reading “Real Men Go for Real Women”

How Hatred Helped Me Heal

There’s been a lot of family talk lately about a relative of mine who left one abusive marriage only to recently end up in another. She has endured so much assault and abuse that what little of herself remains is embittered, territorial, and angry—even towards her own children. But how did her path turn out soContinue reading “How Hatred Helped Me Heal”

Your Porn Is Making Me Crazy

Yes, you. We’ve got some talking to do. If your leading lady has become crazy and paranoid, I have a few tips for you. My brother and I were recently discussing the state of my sanity–always tenuous–when we veered into gender territory. I’m a woman; he’s a man. By default, he looks at my insecuritiesContinue reading “Your Porn Is Making Me Crazy”

Ladies: Stop Taking Responsibility for Other People’s Choices

Please. Just please stop already. I know it comes from a good place. Kind of. But stop it. So here’s half of the problem: my librarian team has a wicked sweet tooth. Just saying. But here’s the other half: one library coworker has diabetes. His philosophy is to eat what he likes and take insulin shotsContinue reading “Ladies: Stop Taking Responsibility for Other People’s Choices”

I Am Woman–And I Pump Iron

I’ve heard a lot of women balk at bulking up. But those big muscles? I’ll look like a man. Come on. That’s just insulting. Female bodybuilders train hard to get their glorious physique. To think that a few hours a week is all you need to bust some pecs like Schwarzenegger is either hubris orContinue reading “I Am Woman–And I Pump Iron”