An Informative Tour of Victorian English Women’s Struggles for Equality

Have you encountered an MRA spouting nonsense about how women lorded it over men in Victorian England, and need a rebuttal? Perhaps you’ve encountered Christian patriarchy advocates who are waxing lyrical about how good the ladies had it when they were under male authority, and wish to disabuse them of some ridiculous notions? Then you need to procure yourself a copy of Mary Lyndon Shanley’s Feminism, Marriage, and the Law in Victorian England at once.

Cover of the book Feminism, Marriage, and the Law in Victorian England.

This is a slender tome packed full of eye-popping information on how married women were treated by law in that romantic era, and their decades-long struggle to be treated as people, not property. She tells the story through a series of Acts of Parliament. If, like me, you’re a sucker for law drama, you’ll savor this method thoroughly. Even if that’s not your thing, you’ll encounter too many fascinating feminists in infuriating situations to care. [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VI: Oceans O’ Creationism

After a long interlude with ACE, we’re now ready to jump in the deep end of our other creationist textbooks. Make sure you’ve got your scuba gear!

Science of the Physical Creation’s on about the oceans now. They begin their section on oceanography with Psalm 104: 24-25, because it has got the word “sea” in it, and sez God made it, therefore “God did it” is Science Fact. I suspect they’re doing this because there are only so many ways to work God into a discussion of seawater. [Read more…]

Why It’s Important to Keep Combating Creationism

I showed you a few things yesterday that make a case for fighting creationism. But it’s more than just shoddy science education we’ve got to worry about: creationism is far more than just the idea that god-did-it and Jesus rode a velociraptor. I don’t need to babble at you, though. ACE school survivor Jonny Scaramanga is here to tell you what other odious ideas creationism supports, and why it’s a damned good idea to oppose it. (Feminists take note, please. This stuff has direct relevance to the issues we face.)

Image shows a woman looking omniously at the camera. Caption says, "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

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Did You Go See Fifty Shades of Grey? Planning To? Read On…

Nope. Haven’t seen it, won’t see it, meself. But I won’t judge you if you did, whether it was a hate-watch or a guilty pleasure. I’m just here to throw a few resources your way, provide a suggestion for salving your guilty conscience, show you where to find out what real BDSM is, and open up the thread to those who want to kvetch about it. [Read more…]

We’re in Deep, Deep Trouble Indeed

DonDueed left a comment on our latest ACE atrocity post that reflects thoughts I had when I first started our Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education series:

There’s a question that’s been gnawing at me since you started this series. Just how widespread is this Christian home schooling cult?

If it’s a tiny fraction of the population, I’d say it’s not worthy of all the attention and effort on your (and our) part. But if there are significant numbers of kids being fed this atrocious crap, we’re in deep, deep trouble.

Good points! So let’s talk a bit about homeschooling first, then I’ll hit everyone with the map that will make you choke. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: “Naw, Man, She’s My Sister! No, Really.”

“Naw, Man, She’s My Sister! No, Really.”

(Genesis 12 & 20)

I was raised with the impression that the patriarchs were super-duper good, moral, upstanding human beings. Imagine my surprise when I read about their exploits and discovered what a lot of rat bastards they were.

Abraham, née Abram, for instance, is many things, few of them good. He’s one of God’s favoritest evah, but as we’ve seen before, God has awful taste in human beings.

When Abram first gets uber-blessed by God, he’s 75 years old. He doesn’t have kids, as his wife Sarai is barren (always the wife’s fault, cuz the Biblical men always had perfect little swimmers). But God promises him he’ll have soooo many descendents. All he has to do is go to all these places God tells him about. So he packs up his wife, and his nephew Lot, and his slaves, and goes traveling all over the place. Pretty much everywhere he goes, God’s all, “Yep, I’ll give this to your descendants, too,” which is a little hard on the people already living there (Gen. 12:1-9). [Read more…]

The Pleasures and Perils of Being Owned by an Elderly Felid

Misha’s cold again. She’s been an above-blanket cat all of her life until now. She would become upset with any attempt to lay cloth over her, which meant instant pain and regret for the cloth-layer. I did once wake to find her snoozing at the foot of my bed with the blanket pulled up to her shoulder, but only the one time.

It’s different, now. [Read more…]

Bodacious Botany: Vaguely Tropical

Back where I grew up, “evergreens” were generally conifers. We didn’t seem to have many plants that would remain alive and vibrant during the winter unless they had needles for leaves. Even nearly a decade later, I’m still occasionally surprised by how much stuff west of the Cascades stays happily green when it’s cold.

I don’t think I’ve seen these bushes at Discovery Park before, but that’s probably because the grass in these meadows gets quite tall and swallows nearly everything. This is not a problem in winter. Wild grass is one of the few things that takes the season off. These plants seem quite happy about it. [Read more…]

The Unstoppable Force of Huxley, Darwin, and Frances Power Cobbe

Reading this book on Victorian England’s marriage laws is slow going, because I keep running into fascinating women. Mary Lyndon Shanley quotes a snippet of their work, and then I end up haring off after the source and promptly getting immersed in that instead. I made it to Chapter Two, and I did intend to get all the way to Three, but then I ran into Frances Power Cobbe. And I had to read her article “Criminals, idiots, women and minors” in its entirety. It is so full of good things that I will probably quote from it even more. The woman was a caution. She may have been an anti-vivisectionist, but she completely eviscerates the laws against married women owning their own property. She impales her opponents’ arguments on their own logic before she finishes them off with several master strokes. It’s just amazeballs.

Since we’re just past Darwin Day, I figured I’d share this bit with you. It seems appropriate. [Read more…]