Eye hope this helps

Dear readers and internet bots,

I have been writing a post for the past month that I kept on writing, deleting, and re-writing. It was going to be about racism, marxism, Christianity, freedom, all that stuff. Then I realized that there are many people out there with (relatively) huge platforms that are already expressing my opinions on the matter, and with much more eloquence and prudence than I can muster right now.

The news has made me a hot little potato. I feel like I wake up angry and go to bed anxious most nights, and very rarely from personal life matters. It just seems like everything sucks, but no one can agree on why it sucks and how to change it. In fact, ways i can think of to make it suck less would be used as evidence for many other people on how it’s sucking more.

Eeks.

What to write during such a time as this?

I have only one tiny positive thing to say or recommend during times like these.

Look people in the eyes

This is probably what I look like these days.

That’s right. The only bright spots I’ve had recently in the public domain have been when I’ve made eye contact with some stranger and shared a laugh about something. I had an appointment the other day and the attendant woman cracked me up with a raunchy story, and then I bonded with the front desk lady over how long higher-education degrees take and was able to give her a word of encouragement. These little brief flashes of positive human interaction bolstered my spirits and helped me have a little less deep disgust and dislike for the general population. ( keepin it real!)

I’m sure this will come across very naive and over-simplistic to many, but if it impacts one person then that’s good enough for me. If you are currently depressed/anxious/angry/all the bad things right now, I highly recommend limiting yourself to consuming any and all news (including “news” from social media friends) to 1-2x a week, and try to stop seeing all people as disgusting potential carriers of disease and look them straight in the retina. And I don’t know, maybe try to be kind or something.

We are all being squeezed right now. The harder you’re squeezed, the more of what’s deep inside you comes out in your words and action. That’s why we’re seeing a lot of fear, violence, hostility – it’s not new, it was there all along. Just hidden. But let’s try to be optimistic and assume that there’s some admirable, great qualities deep inside people, too. Especially if you carry the spirit of Jesus within you, may the light and hope that’s inside you come out!

The death of a dream

WARNING: If you can’t tell by the title, I’m in a melodramatic mood.

I’ve come to the realization that I’m an absolute nutto about my career. I’ve known for many years that I don’t want to be a professor, but now the reality of cutting the uni apron strings is really setting in. Tying to map out my “next steps” has not been a delight. It has been more of a drudgery. It has brought out all sorts of feels – anxiety, sorrow, guilt. Eeks.

The anxiety I understand. I expected some anxiety about changing careers, especially since I spent 10 of my 30 zesty years in the same field. The sorrow and guilt, though.. they have taken me by surprise. Where did this devilish duo come from?

Well, one factor is a somewhat absurd but persistent idea of mine that I’m letting down little Gallo du ancienne- the spunky optimist who set her sights on curing Alzheimer’s disease when she was a delicate 16 years. I can imagine her being disgusted with Gallo du présent for quitting her dream. “You’re there! Why stop now?” she would demand. Similarly, I also feel like I’m letting my Grandpa and Grandma down. Grandpa had Alzheimer’s disease, and a prevention or treatment would have changed his and my grandma’s life. They would have been so excited to know that my research was in Alzheimer’s disease, and maybe a bit disappointed that I’m choosing to leave it.

On top of that, there is the jadedness (jadosity? Jadociousness?!) of academic research. Yes, I’ve completed experiments. Yes, I’ve analyzed data and wrote up manuscripts that were published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Do I think my research has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer’s disease? Not particularly. My entire academic career was way less impactful and dynamic than I hoped it would be.

That is my summary of gloom, my friends.  I bring all of this up because I think it’s worth noting that there is actually a degree of real grief involved in burying a dream. Especially when that dream was tied to specific people that you love(d). And – it’s difficult to create a new dream (or goal, for you less romantic types) when you don’t have the advantage of boundless optimism, time,  and naive willingness to be poor for several years as you work your way from the ground up that you have when you were a youth.

Nevertheless, she perspired. Wait, that’s not right. She.. resisted.. the man! No, she insisted on having her own way!! She desisted.. the pity party?! There you go. Okay leave encouraging comments! Thanks! ❤

 

Are you guilty of righteousplaining?

There is a trend in the Christian community that drives me bonkers. It can be applied to an infinite number of ways, but it has the same logic structure.

  1.  I am a Christian.
  2.  I have thoughts.
  3.  Therefore, my thoughts are Christian Thoughts.

Note that the implicit extension of point 3 is that if you don’t agree with said thoughts, you’re not Christian. Or, at the least, you’re not thinking Christian thoughts. We’ve seen this time and time again with all sorts of issues. Whether it be the issue of suffering, immigration policies, war, poverty, Kanye West – just wait a day or two, and you will see a flood of articles written by pastors, music artists, and devo debbies who proclaim that they have searched the scriptures and come away unequivocally with what the correct Christian Response should be. This would all be well and good, if there weren’t an equal number of articles from different camps of Christians claiming they have the real insight into how the entire kingdom of God should respond to a particular issue. They all are, in effect, righteousplaining.

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This is where the chaos and confusion lies. People from all sorts of different nations, cultures, political ideologies, family structures, moral upbringings, intellectual strengths, and personalities are drawn to the character of Jesus. They make a decision to follow him, and usually get involved in a local church of like-minded people. They talk about their faith with those people, and how it influences how they see the world. Then, they begin to see these opinions and views as representative of Christianity. Then they feel bold and brave enough to righteousplain the Christian Response. Then Christians from other backgrounds get offended and outraged, because their faith is being represented and applied in a way that is foreign and offensive to them.

It’s a tricky thing, because our faith has very bold, well-defined tenets (e.g. love your neighbor) that demand action. But, different people have very different ideas about what those tenets look like IRL. For example, one camp might say “I love my children, so I would never strike them because that is a violent, aggressive act.” A different camp may say “I love my children, and if I see them tottering towards something dangerous I will smack the crap out of them to keep them from harm.” Both of these groups have heard and received the concept of love, but they have different ways of applying it.

So, in light of this, I advise against public proclamations that your response to the societal problem du jour is The Christian Response. Obviously, you are free to explain how your Christian faith motivated your current position, but I urge you against concluding that opponents are workers of the devil. In some issues, they just might be, but in some issues your opponents may simply be the tricep to your bicep in the body of Christ.

Let’s leave righteousplaining to Jesus! Woo!

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

My sister wrote a post that was similar in nature – check it out! WWJD: Who Would Jesus Diss

 

John Crist should not be canceled forever

This couldn’t be a complete farewell tour for Galloblog without a John Crist post, amiright? My thoughts about Crist have oscillated over the past year or so. I held back on posting anything about him for a while because posting during the peak of the cancellation storm seemed exploitative and icky.

But, here we are. Let’s recap, for those of you who do not stalk this blog –

November 2017 – I post an extremely silly post about how I broke off my engagement to John Crist. This post was written largely to poke fun at the desperado of single Christian women in the church (e.g. taking every friendly gesture from Christian men wayyyy to seriously).

Spring 2018- the engagement post starts getting *tons* of views. I realize some people are actually taking this seriously.  I feel a combo of “lol” and “yay! Blog traffic!”

February 2019 – I notice I’m getting a lot of hits from Twitter, which is very unusual for my blog. I investigate 🧐 and discover someone is accusing John Crist of being abusive to women and is citing my satirical engagement post as proof. I think “lol” and “oh dear.” So I private message John Crist on Twitter and explain the situation and offer to take it down if he would like me to. He actually replied (!!!) and said to keep it up because it was funny.  Then he also said to let him know if I wanted free tickets to his next show in my area. So of course I was like “Hellz yeah!”

April 2019 – he gives me 2 amazing tickets to his show. He tells me to come say hey after the show. We have this ironic jokey text exchange –

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So my boyfriend, friend + hubs, and I all went to the back to see him. It was a very quick conversation , but it something along the lines of “yeah, people are so mean online. Let me know if anyone ever gives you any trouble!” And that was pretty much it. I even have photographic evidence (I cropped out my boyfriend’s face for privacy – but my bf is the true babu of my heart!).

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So anyway, fast-forward to November 2019- Charisma News published a bombshell article John Crist Cancels 2019 Tour Dates After Reports of Sexting, Harassment, Manipulation that detailed the sexual misconduct allegations from five women. “According to multiple sources, Crist has exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women over the last seven years. The allegations include, but are not limited to, individually sexting multiple women during the same time period, initiating sexual relationships with married women and women in committed relationships, offering show tickets in exchange for sexual favors and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk.”

A day or two later, John Crist issued a written response-

“My behavior has been destructive and sinful. I’ve sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most. I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process,” Crist said. “I am sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused these women and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I have also hurt the name of Jesus and have sought His forgiveness.”

I shared the entire saga because I find it bizarre. Our entire exchange was very innocent. Did he have creepy plans, and then change his mind when I mentioned a boyfriend? Unlikely, given married women weren’t an obstacle. Did he change his mind when he saw me in person? Unlikely, given that I am exquisite. 😉 Could it be that it was because he was dating Lauren Alaina at the time? Maybe he offers free tickets to many people, and only occasionally got a little creepy-creeps?

I have no idea. I don’t think I will ever know, unless I asked him directly. But I am not going to abuse having his digits. Not to mention the dude has probably changed his number at this point. All I know for sure is that he treated me 100% appropriately.

Now, a graceless segue into the main point of this post – should John Crist be canceled forever? I’ve thought a little bit about this, and I think John Crist needs to come back. Forever cancellation would be way too harsh. Why?

  1. His behavior was creepy, yes, but incredibly mild compared to “secular” comedians. Honestly if he wasn’t being labeled as an “evangelical Christian” –  which I’m not even sure he would identify as – I don’t think anyone would even bat an eyelash. I mean good Lort, *opens can of worms* our President who is certainly not being shunned by the majority of Christian conservatives has unapologetically said and done much worse. And I’d like to float the idea that the personal failures of the U.S. President are more important than the personal failures of a comedian.
  2.  Yes, his comedy was centered around Christians and church culture, but he never claimed to be a spiritual leader or offered anything remotely spiritual during his comedy acts. So I don’t think he should be held to the standard of a pastor or some other spiritual leaders.
  3.  I hate this culture of wanting people to forever be buried because they had a moral failure. (Note – I mean John Crist level moral failure, not Harvey Weinstein.) Good grief – if you broadcasted everything I did – or dug up stuff I did when I was 19 – you would cancel me, too! The only saving grace for me is that I’m not important or famous enough for anyone to care. And what’s the long-term outcome for him – be forever banned from the career he’s been building for 10-15 years? Should we do this for all people who don’t hold up to our moral standards- like should I refuse to do business with a plumber if I know he cheated on his wife? Where does it all end? Should people who are canceled be put on government assistance for life? Imprisoned?? Euthanized??? I’m being dramatic, but seriously – I’m against shutting people out and sabotaging their future forever because they said and did some inappropriate things (NOTE AGAIN: of this scale).
  4.  On a very selfish note, I miss his comedy. I think we need it right now. Trey Kennedy is a weak echo of John Crist and it’s not enough!

In toto…

My personal interactions with John Crist made me think he was the bee’s knees. What he admitted to doing is bad, and in no way am I trying to minimize the badness of it. But the punishment is disproportionate to the crime. Come back please!

 

 

We have a moral obligation to not cancel student debt

Hey-o. ‘Tis official – I will be shutting tol’ Galloblog down in a few months (I’m not renewing my plan or my domain this year). What shall I use this blog for in the meantime? To share my unpopular opinions, of course. I’m not the first one to speak on this subject and soytenly not the most eloquent, but.. some of this stuff needs to be said by a young educated female instead of grumpy Bill O’Reilly types. Or maybe not. The 6 people who still read my posts can decide.

So – student debt. It’s out of control. Should we cancel it?

I say no. My main reason for saying this is that it’s simply not fair.

  1. No one is forced to go to a 4 year college
    •  Ever since.. oh let’s say the 80s or 90s, it was kind of assumed that everyone who wasn’t in extreme poverty or had an inkling of intelligence would and should go to college. High schools do try to prepare their students for college and push them to apply. But at the end of the day, no one put a gun to your head and told you that you had to go to college. It’s not as if a government mandate got students in their current position.
  2.  Going to a 4 year college is not necessary for success
    •  On top of that, there are many trades that are very lucrative and in high demand – electrician, welding, plumbing, etc. They may not be glamorous or cushy but they are good options for young people to consider. Dignified options. They may require a tad of debt but it’s much more likely you will get a lucrative job and actually be able to pay it off in a few years, instead of having a lifetime payment that is equivalent to a second mortgage.
  3.  Going to a 4 year expensive college is definitely not necessary for success
    •  I knew from the time I was 16 that I was going to get my PhD. So a trade school wasn’t a good option. Did that mean I needed to go an Ivy League or private school? Nope. I went to a good ol’ state college. I worked ~30 hours for a small business while I was a full-time student. I took advantage of the HOPE scholarship (thank you, Zell Miller!) and kept my grades pristine so that I would stand out to grad schools. I graduated with $0 in debt and I got my PhD at Emory University. While not quite as prestigious as Harvard or MIT, it is very respectable and many PhDs in my program have gone on to get jobs at Stanford, Harvard, etc. I could have gone into debt to pay for a $25k/year college, but it was 100% unnecessary.
  4.  What about people who made sacrifices to pay off their debt already?
    •  Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually lived below their means for a long time to make great strides toward paying off their debt. My sister and boyfriend, for example. 10s of thousands of dollars paid. What about their peers who haven’t made as much progress? Does it make sense for them to suddenly get a write-off? That is completely not fair, unless you’re going to retroactively reimburse everyone who was prudent enough to pay off their debt, which would become absurd. It’s morally repugnant to punish people for being responsible.

 

So what’s the alternative? I’m not sure… but I like the idea of student loan forgiveness programs like the United States military is doing. Maybe the government could offer incentive for businesses to institute similar programs. Or perhaps we could convince businesses to stop insisting that every single job they post require a minimum bachelor’s degree education for jobs that are 95-100% learned on-the-job, anyway. Better yet, maybe we could make the legally required public education actually teach the youts anything useful so that the first two years of college “core” classes in which they cover things like basic writing skills and the 3 branches of government could be done away with, and only the two years of actually major-relevant courses would be required. That would slash loans in half! There are many options, but canceling student debt like Academic Santa Clause is the least moral.

 

Rat god

I spend a lot of time alone in a basement, surrounded by rats. Because of my sacharin nature, I have not been able to keep my foolish heart from becoming attached to my furry little experimental subjects. Some experiments that I conduct require me to sit in silence for long periods of time as I watch my rats explore, freeze, groom, poop, or otherwise ruin my experiment. Naturally, my brilliant mind wanders. Often, it wanders straight into crazy town (see below).

I hate how afraid my rats are of me. Every time I open up their cages to deftly pick them up at the base of their tails and gently place them in whatever experimental apparatus I pre-ordained for them that day, they flail their little feet as if I was doing something horribly torturous. Usually the task my rats are being drama queens about is something fairly benign from my point of view, like placing them into a large round container for 5 minutes while absolutely nothing bad happens to them – I’m just there to observe how much time they spend hugging the edges of the circle versus strutting confidently in the middle (this is a measure of anxiety). Then right back they go to the comfort of their own little homes.

I wish I could explain to them that I come in peace, that I mean them no harm. I wish I could explain to them that the bizarre little rituals I’m putting them through are for a reason. A grand reason that no street rat – whose miserable little existence comprises of  slinking around city dumpsters to forage for food before it gets eaten by a hawk or poisoned by pest control – would ever dream of. These lab rats of mine will never have such a gritty existence because these are no ordinary rats. They have special genetic mutations that cause them to over produce the “bad” form of a protein so that they begin to resemble humans with Alzheimer’s disease as they age. Almost everything about them – how anxious they are, how long it takes them to fall asleep, how well they learn a new task, how quickly they will give up in a challenging task, where and how much pathology is in their brains – could be an important key to helping millions of humans with Alzheimer’s disease. Think about how many humans aren’t even blessed with that sort of distinct purpose.

Another scientist in another lab created this rat strain for such a time as this. We didn’t kidnap their ancestors off the streets to fulfill our evil scientific schemes – these rats would not even exist if not for scientists. And then they came to me. I decide what happens in their lives. Some I randomly assign to be breeders. As such they get to have lots of great sex and raise little families. #toblessedtobestressed But most rats I assign for my experiments. They could be designated to a very short experiment, and the last thing they ever experience will be mild confusion in a weird new box before they join the Big Rat in the Sky. Or, they could be involved in a very long, complicated experiment in which they will be subject to all sort of weird environments, some even mildly aversive or painful, and have a lot of interaction with a large scary mammal who smells like coffee and tacos. Sometimes this large scary mammal seems sinister – most of them remember her taking them into a new, stinky room, losing consciousness, and then waking up with their head screaming in pain. But sometimes this large scary mammal seems compassionate – they also remember her visiting them at home when they had headaches, and giving them yummy food that eased the ache in their heads. This large scary mammal also frequently put them in stressful situations, but never seemed to let anything actually bad happen to them. Until, well… They don’t like to think about why all those cousins never came back that one time.

I am, essentially, Rat god.

I’m much more advanced, capable, powerful than these critters -why do I want to explain myself to them? Why do I care what they think about me? Why do I want to make myself known to them?

Because they’re cute.

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And this has led me to have a thought that’s probably wildly irreverent. One part of the Christian story that never made tons of sense to me was why God would ever choose to reveal himself to us. Why not just let us go about our dumb petty lives and then die, never the wiser? But my stint as Rat god has made me wonder.. What if God decided to work humankind into his plan and reveal himself to us because, well… he thinks we’re cute?

ratgod

 

Just think it over before you immediately dismiss it, that’s all I ask!

 

— Editorial Notes —

Obviously the God-as-kind-scientist metaphor can only go so far, but that’s ok. I’m not trying to design a new religion, so everyone spit out that grapefruit-flavored Topo Chico you just drank!

Icky feelings in your tum-tum do not dictate what’s right

A few weeks ago a young feller was recalling an interweb exchange he had, in which he floored someone with a story that was meant to provide an airtight case for moral ambiguity. I don’t really remember the details of the story, but it was something to do with a man with cancer (or who had a kid with cancer?) deciding to rob a bank because he would either 1) get the money or 2) be killed and his kid would get his life insurance money. Something like that. The young feller told me, victory shining in his eyes, “So who’s wrong- the man, or the police officers who shot him?”

I can’t stand stories like this. They’re meant to guilt you out of condemning the bad action. “Wow,” we’re supposed to exclaim, “I never considered that people who do bad things may have a personal history that made them think they had no choice in the matter! Or that they could do bad for good reasons!” The Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie taps into this too. The movie gives you the context to the Joker’s background, which is so disturbing and sad that you almost cheer for him as he *SPOILER* murders all those meanies who bullied him.

But the thing is – you can understand the reasons behind someone’s evil actions.. or feel sorry for them… or see how the people they are murdering or stealing from or otherwise victimizing are also evil themselves… but that still doesn’t make their actions good or right.* Violence is violence, evil is evil, bad is bad. Other violence, other evil, and other bad doesn’t necessarily cancel it out. Even if you feel sympathetic towards them.

In the same vein – I wrote a blog post a while back begging women to not post public pictures of their bosoms while breastfeeding. I provided multiple excellent examples to demonstrate my point. Some of those examples were a little crude. They weren’t crude for crude’s sake- I used them to demonstrate points like “privacy doesn’t equal shame.” A few of my readers expressed dismay and disgust that I made those comparisons, saying things like, “Making that comparison is just.. ew.” Like a disgust reaction from them was enough to negate my entire argument. Poppycock! I’m not trying to be a jerk, seriously. But just because a comparison is upsetting, gross, weird, or triggering doesn’t mean the comparison doesn’t hold true.

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This cannot be your moral guidepost!

The point is, my fellas** and fellos, that sometimes what is right and true is upsetting, and sometimes what is wrong won’t be upsetting. I don’t like many truths, like Kesha removing the ‘$’ from her name. I’m not super bothered by other wrongs, like when a woman murders her cheating husband. Our degree of tum tum hurt, upsettedness, or anger is not an argument against.. anything. Our tummies are not our Truthometer. Just because some jerk blogger is using intentionally provocative examples to drive their point home does not mean they’re wrong.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I’m talking on the level of personal morality not a nation or political system. I think the United States taking out Osama Bin Laden was justifiable and right.

**I just realized what a feminine sounding word “fellas” is, even though it traditionally refers to menfolk. From now on, I demand that men be “fellos” and women be “fellas” for the sake of continuity and parallelism in the English language!

 

 

Are women untouchable goddesses or helpless victims?

Women, can we come to a consensus about how we’re choosing to brand ourselves? Even as a woman, I’m confused about how women want me to see women. Are we untouchable goddesses, or helpless victims?

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On one hand, we have an uber feminist narrative that makes loud and brash claims about female superiority and independence. We have songs like Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” saying

I’m that bad type
Make your mama sad type
Make your girlfriend mad tight
Might seduce your dad type
I’m the bad guy, duh

You said she’s scared of me?
I mean, I don’t see what she sees
But maybe it’s ’cause I’m wearing your cologne

Apparently hearing about an underage girl (she was 17 when she wrote about seducing dads.. eeks!) being a sadistic ho-ho to men and women alike makes Cosmo girls feel totes empowered.

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Then there’s Lizzo, also a rising star in female empowerment,  who says

Yeah, I got boy problems, that’s the human in me | Bling bling, then I solve ’em, that’s the goddess in me

Well now I feel foolish. This whole time I thought solving one’s relationship problems was just a normal part of being a grown up.  Then Cardi B has an entire shtick around being as crass and arrogant as male rappers

I need to let all these hoes know | That none of they niggas is safe

So as a woman, I’m supposed to be empowered by hearing a very rich, famous, beautiful woman brag about stealing my man? Or am I supposed to internalize the arrogance and steal the men of women less beautiful than me? Hmmm. I hope my nieces model their lives after this one! Moving on from the music industry, there are several new female action heroes (e.g. Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, the female 007, etc.) being praised for showing that women are kick-booty (literally)! According to this narrative, women are rough, tough, powerful, and just completely superior in every way to the buffooned males we occasionally allow to pleasure us.

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On the other hand, we have another manifestation of feminism that wants women to be a protected class. In ironic contrast to the paragraph above, apparently it is sexist to ask women to meet the same physical requirements as men to enter the military.  So women can do everything that men can do! … but with a large caveat – *if* you lower the bar for what men can do. There is also a strain of the #metoo movement * that is telling us even imbalanced power dynamics between a man and woman completely vindicate her of any responsibility in a sexual relationship. If a woman is approached by her boss or some other male in power, she is suddenly rendered completely defenseless and actually compelled to be subservient to his every desire. An adult woman suddenly has the mental, emotional, and moral reasoning of an 8 year old. So now women are delicate fleurs that wilt in submission before any man who has a smidge of power. Thus, they need to be protected like children.

… What?????

Women need to stop making idiotic, obviously-false claims of goddessery, but women also need to stop telling other women how powerless they are. The former makes women sound like delusional psychopaths, and the latter is derogatory and disempowering to members of our own sex. It’s not victim-blaming to point out that women are responsible agents in their own life – it’s offering hope to a younger generation entering the workforce.

Women don’t need to paint our entire sex in one broad brush stroke so that we can push what we want to be true about ourselves at a given moment in time. Want to feel better after you get dumped? You’re a goddess. Want to feel like you didn’t have any choice but to allow your creeper boss to feel you up? Now you’re a victim.

We don’t need to squash mankind with a wave of female superiority, but we don’t need to hide** from them either. We don’t need to take on the worst attributes traditionally attributed to men (lack of empathy, exploitation, etc.), and we definitely don’t need to take on the worst attributes traditionally attributed to women enslaved in the sex industry (powerlessness, dependence).

Let’s be kind. Let’s be mature and responsible. Let’s protect other women when we can, but let’s also give younger women a reason to hope for better. Let’s respect the majority of men who are not predators, and stand up to predatory men. Let’s examine whether we are intimidated or offended by men’s success and accomplishments. (If you are, that’s an ego problem of your own that needs working on.) Let’s celebrate and cheer-on men and women.

Some women are incredibly strong, but none of us are goddesses. Some women are incredibly vulnerable, but that doesn’t make all women victims.  Whether or not a woman is strong or vulnerable is not simply an inevitable virtue of being a woman. Women are individuals who happen to be women. That’s it.

Thats It GIF by VH1 - Find & Share on GIPHY

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I’m not anti-#metoo in general, but I find this particular idea that the #metoo movement has propagated particularly problematic. You know what was a good sentence because I used 3 “P” words in a row – BOOM!

**The first time I wrote this, I accidentally wrote “we don’t need to hike from [men] either.” TRY TO CATCH US NOW MEN, WE’RE UP ON AN EFFIN MOUNTAIN! Lolz.

This article was expertly edited by the infamous Dania Vititoe, a contributing writer to Galloblog and sister of C Gallo. 

Do you suffer from delusions of petiteur?

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My very first “about something” post for little Galloblog was titled “Dismounting the activism high horse.” I wrote about how I had stopped feeling the need to use my social media accounts to change the world. I recommended shifting the focus from grandiose goals for world change (“I’m going to combat world hunger!”) to realistic goals for changing your immediate surroundings (“I’m going to bring dinner to a struggling family I heard about from a mutual friend”).

I still agree with that post, to a certain degree. But I also wonder if I’ve gone too far in the other direction. Should I ignore the ills of the world? Can I really do nothing positive to help people that aren’t in my immediate circle? Mais non! Consider the following brilliant points:

One, there is a circularity to this thinking. My former conviction to focus on those around me has also fostered a callousness and indifference to The World. I know I can’t stop poverty or racism or men wearing crop-tops, so I don’t let myself think or learn about those social ills. I hate knowing about a problem and not being able to fix it. I’ve convinced myself I can’t fix it, so I ignore it. But of course my astute readers can see the circularity here – we ignore problems so they persist, they persist so we ignore them. 

Two, occasionally one person or a handful of people actually do something that is good. Women and men did come together and advocate for women’s right to vote in the United States, and now women can vote. That didn’t solve all inequality and sexism out there, but it was a good thing. Something that was worth knowing about and fighting for.

Three, sometimes even meager improvements – in relation to the grand scale of the problem – are very impactful to certain individuals. Chemotherapy didn’t cure cancer, and many people still die from cancer. But the development of chemotherapy as cancer treatment has allowed some people with cancer to live much longer than they would without. Does more still need to be done? Of course. But chemotherapy was worth working on.

Finally, sometimes you have to do the best you can with what you know, all the while knowing that you are also going to introduce some new or different bad in your attempt to bring about good. The medical community has made great progress in treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, so now we’re much more likely to die from horrible chronic diseases. Still, I’m extremely happy that dying from diarrhea is no longer a major threat to our society.

Some big issues are worth caring about and working toward. And maybe different people are more prone to and qualified for working toward different scales of change – whether that be at the macro (world hunger!), mezzo (hungry children in my congressional district!), micro (one hungry family in my neighborhood!).. nano (hungry rats in my attic?!) level. But I doubt anyone’s off the hook.. so shake off your delusions of petiteur and do something grande. 😉

*awkwardly remounts the horse*

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WWJD: Who Would Jesus Diss

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So apparently two full grown adults, who happen to be famous Christians, have some beef with each other. As far as I am aware, neither has spoken to the other personally, but rather they have referenced the other’s comments or platforms via public forums such as social media, interviews, and large conferences. And now the Christian community at large is all aflutter. I honestly would never have known who said what and when if not for individuals feeling the need to leap into the fray and declare their support for one and/or disdain for the other. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is scripturally sound? Who is more Christ-like? Who sits on a throne of lies? Who smells like beef and cheese? Personally, my question is, “Who cares?” 

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Why are we speculating over which of the two is most likely to host Pancakes with Beelzebub? What exactly do we have riding on this?

What would be laughable if it weren’t so sad is how predictably the lines fall for the debate. On one side:

  • Posts IG pictures of a steaming mug next to a highlighted devotional
  • Cried watching The Blind Side
  • Almost certainly has a Live Laugh Love sign somewhere in their home

On the other side:

  • Likely have no idea what IG stands for
  • Typed up their treatise on why they support Person A on Microsoft Word, pausing periodically to consult their 36 volume, leather bound set of Greek-Hebrew concordances of the New and Old Testaments
  • Would never get a tattoo… but if they did, it would be a toss up on an upper arm portrait either of John Piper or St Augustine

I almost get the feeling that these two factions have been simmering in resentment towards each other and leapt on this opportunity to condemn those filthy sinners on “the other side”. In all likelihood, they could really complement each others’ strengths and weaknesses if they so chose. But where is our love for one another? Why do we feel the need to join into these camps?

None of this is to say that Christians can’t discuss and debate points of theology. It would be disastrous if we never questioned one another or dug into what scripture tells us. In my mind, there is a difference between discussing the merits of an idea, the scriptural accuracy of a specific teaching, etc., and gleefully condemning an individual, name calling, and self-righteous posturing. A prime example for the most current debate: “I can’t believe this scum sucking pig would dare to insult a fellow Christian! That son of a motherless goat!”

The individuals in this public conflict are just two humans. Our faith isn’t dictated by what they say or believe. Neither one of them is without sin, and none of us are, either. Why don’t we focus on the only one who is? Maybe we could spend more time reading what he said instead of someone else’s book or commentary. This petty squabbling makes a mockery of the church. Let’s stop rushing to divide ourselves by allegiance to a mortal teacher. Let’s look at the unifying factor among us and celebrate Him.

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