Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hashing Out Thoughts on Pornography

Last Sunday, our RS lesson was on "Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts." i.e. pornography. This seems to be a rather frequent lesson topic, as in the last couple of years, we've had a fifth Sunday, an Enrichment, and more than one RS lesson on this topic.

I appreciated the RS women's comments and stories. Clearly it's been a real destructive force in some women's lives. (And I was thrilled to hear some of they heavy weights in RS say that this is a problem that requires professional help - praying and talking to the bish are rarely enough.) But while part of me totally understands how horrible it's been for several people's marriages, part of me wants to have a more balanced discussion about it.

For example, I think it's totally horrible when a man gets hooked on porn and then starts to ignore and treat his wife badly. So for me, the real bad things are a) getting addicted and b) treating your spouse badly.

But I can't help but recognize that at some point in the next 15 years, I'm sure my little baby E will look at some dirty pictures. How could he avoid doing so in this day and age? And I don't want him to feel like he's going to hell, or that he's committed an unpardonable sin. My wish would simply be that he not get hooked.

I also would be interested in a discussion that distinguishes between porn and erotica. In my mind, porn is primarily about exploitation and degregdation. It's about having sex with underage girls or boys, rape scenes, chains, etc. But erotica I think of taking place between two consenting adults and having more artistic merit.

I personally think it's best to stay away from porn in any situation. However, I do wonder if there's a place for erotica in a marriage. If both partners are interested at looking at it and both are totally agreeable - that doesn't seem to be as bad as the type of porn that gets talked about at church.

I'd also be interested in discussing what seems to often be the women's equivalent to men's pornographic pictures - romance novels. An interesting equivalent because it just doesn't seem as destructive to me as pornographic pictures often are to men. I personally enjoy a good steamy romance novel now and then, and Mike doesn't really have any issues with it. Doesn't feel betrayed, ignored, badly treated, etc. So, I wonder, do the GA's agree with me, and is that why porn talks focus so sharply on men's porn problems?

Sunday, July 29, 2007


(Warning: don't read this if you have delicate sensibilities)

Mike and I are watching an Inspector Lynley mystery. It's the climactic scene. The murderer has suddenly broken down into tears and has admitted his guilt. The camera is doing a closeup of his face as he breaks down.

Mike: Was that snot that just flew out of that guy's nose, or was that a tear?

Me: I think it was snot!

Mike: (with reverent respect) Wow. That's good acting.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Quotes from the Day in the Life of Raising a 1 year old

"Let me wipe the cheesey finger goo off your bottle so that I don't get cheesey finger goo on my hands."

"You're being a real stinkery-doo today!"

"Thanks for pulling my arm hair out with your goobery hand!"

N.B. Mike is the genius behind these gems.

Ah, The HH Ward...

Special features of the HH:
1. 42 babies 2 and under. Makes sacrament meeting a circus, bringing on a lengthy and annoyed request by the bish to shut the kids up quicker. Apparently investigators are having a hard time feeling the spirit. Personally, I've discovered that the foyer is a much more fun place to be during SM.

2. Interesting (for lack of a better word) high council Sundays. Let me just say that I have never heard "What the freak?!" so many times in a talk.

3. References in EQ to volunteering for the Mitt Romney campaign. Which were swiftly countered by a certain person's vigorous mentioning of

4. a Fathers' Day talk that was overtly political, and that made numerous mention of how horrible it was for children to be raised without fathers. Made me feel bad for all the kids of divorced parents, and the divorced parents themselves, who had to sit there and listen to it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Me and Mormonism

John wrote a post recently about four things he missed about being an active, believing Mormon. I'm still active, but I also miss some of the things he mentioned.

Community: I used to automatically feel a bond to any person I found out was LDS. I used to feel like I had really important things in common with other LDS people. But now that my own beliefs have evolved, I don't feel that same sense of community, of fellowship, of shared goals and ideals. Sometimes I feel pretty lonely at church.

Certainty: Well, that's gone too. But I'm trying to embrace grayness, to embrace possibility rather than certainty.

Morality: I have a very strong sense of morality on some issues (e.g. gender equity), but a grayness on others. Even though I'm still in the Church, it's been exciting to take responsibility for my own morality. I decide whether what I hear over the pulpit is inspired or whether it's hogwash.

Service: Still have that to some extent. Both in and out of the church. I love my humanitarian calling!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Mike in the kitchen reading the newspaper

Mike: So it does look like Michael Vick was indicted on charges of dog fighting.

Me: Yes he was, the bastard.

Mike: They must have some real evidence to charge him.

Me: I hope he burns in hell, that he's raped in jail, that someone tortures him repeatedly and and that he's desperately unhappy and that he lives out his life in misery and loneliness.

Mike: Well, we'll have to see how this turns out.


(Mike and I in the kitchen. Mike opens up the freezer....)

Mike: Our freezer has so much crap in it. Can we get rid of some of this?

Me: It's our food storage. (holding up my hand.) Talk to the prophet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


(Driving in the car)
Me: I'm so happy that our house has been painted! It looks great.

Mike: Whatever my baby wants, my baby gets.

Me: Good, because I want a lot.

Mike: Hey, you're supposed to say that as long as you have me, you don't need anything else.

Me: Wow, that didn't even occur to me.


"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of [wo]man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."--Jack London

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


(Mike and I cuddling)

Me: Mike, if you ever try to divorce me, I'm taking you to court.

Mike: (laughs)

Me: Ah, romance....

Mike: Will you stalk me and my new wife and then kill us?

Me: I'd stalk you, but I wouldn't kill you. That would be going too far.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For some reason, blogger is not letting me put a title up there. So here it is down here.

Single Moms' Ministry

A woman on an email list I'm on mentioned a local church in her area that has a "Single Moms' Ministry." I was struck by what she described, and I wonder, could something like this be done in our church?

It's a program for single mothers of all ages. Once a month there's a nice dinner, catered by the congregation. Moms eat in one area, kids in another, and then the kids separate by age and go off for games and activities. Women are initially encouraged to bring a friend, whether or not they are the same religion, so at least they know someone. Older single mothers (women in 60's and 70's) are highly welcomed, as a source of wisdom and encouragement.

In addition to the monthly meals, there's a Christmas party with gifts for themselves and the kids. There's also a Car Care Ministry aspect to this, in which members of the congregation with some knowledge in this realm help maintain the moms' transportation (change their oil, etc.).

I think this would be great on a stake wide basis for our church. And I see this being run entirely by the Relief Society presidencies, with men (and women) serving in supporting roles as cooks, waiters, child care providers, and mechanics.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I'm Worming!

Worm bin-ing, that is. Just rode over to Jana's on my electric bike and got some worms for their new home in my worm factory. Very exciting. Now all my kitchen scraps will go in my worm factory rather than into our land fills. And on top of that I'll have some fantastic fertilizer to use on my vegetable/herb garden.
Speaking of my food garden, this is what I've got going at the moment:
2 tomato plants
1 oregano
1 italian parsly
1 curley leaf parsley
1 chive
1 cilantro
2 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 yellow squash
1 zuchinni
6 lettuce
1 rasberry vine
1 grape vine
1 blueberry bush
1 lemon bush