I lived under Mike Pence’s rules regarding the opposite sex. Here’s why it’s problematic.

This past week, the internet has been ablaze upon learning that Mike Pence has some rules around opposite-gender relationships, including a restriction on dining one-on-one with any woman except his wife. While many people find it ludicrous and have taken the opportunity to poke fun, those of us who have spent portions of our lives entrenched in evangelical circles are not really surprised at all. Not being alone with a member of the opposite sex is a standard-issue boundary for many married people who work or serve in evangelical churches, and that rule trickles down to the congregants as well. I was a pastor’s wife for 15 years, and lived under these very rules for most of that time.

I am going to resist the urge to mock these rules because, while I find them problematic, I do understand the motivation behind them. If you’ve ever lived through the implosion of an affair from a family member, a church pastor, or your own spouse, you know the damage it can cause. My own life has had far-reaching consequences from adultery in these spheres, and it is incredibly painful. So I don’t want to ridicule the intent. I appreciate the desire to avoid putting loved ones through the pain of betrayal and scandal, even if it’s inconvenient.

That being said, I do think that there are many problematic aspects of these kinds of boundaries, and that ultimately these rules cause harm and don’t really prevent people from making stupid decisions any more than a self-imposed rule about going to bed at 10pm actually makes me get a reasonable amount of sleep each night. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own actions.

Here are some of the ways I found these rules to play out:

It sexualizes interactions between men and women. When you are living under a rule that makes you constantly monitor your proximity to the opposite sex, it effectively creates more sexual tension. The idea that being alone with a man could lead to us having sex ultimately sets up the consideration of that possibility. When situations arise where you find yourself alone, even for a few seconds, it feels charged, because the rules you have set up for yourself imply that there is a causal relationship between being alone and things moving towards the physical.

It adds a forbidden fruit element to perfectly normal interactions. While a pastor’s wife, I generally followed the rules and avoided ever being alone with another man. However, there were a few times that we agreed to break the rules, and suddenly these very simple and benign scenarios (riding in a car on the way to a church service, for example) felt titillating and forbidden. Living under these rules meant, for me, that there was an automatic adrenaline hit any time I found myself alone with a man. On the converse, now that I’ve been out from under these rules for a long time, I don’t find that to be true at all.

It penalizes women in leadership. While I’ve seen many pastors who follow these rules, there are many other men in government who follow these rules as well. In both scenarios, men dominate in leadership positions. Whether it’s ministry or politics, a lot of negotiations occur over meals or drinks or coffee. When women are shut out of those casual opportunities to bend the ear of a coworker over a meal, it means that they are shut out of conversations that other men are able to have. I worked briefly at a church, and it was incredibly frustrating that I could never have a one-on-one conversation with my supervisor, or go out for a creative lunch with a coworker without seeming like I was hitting on them somehow.

The rules are heteronormative and myopic. These rules assume that everyone is straight, and that affairs could never occur in same-sex relationships. These rules are othering to the LGBT community, and have terrible implications for any gay people who have to abide to these kinds of rules. Does it mean that a straight married person can’t have lunch with a gay friend of the same sex? All of these questions get muddy, and place unneeded relational stress on gay people in the church. (As if they don’t already have enough stress in that environment.)

It doesn’t work in the real world. When I worked at the church and everyone I socialized with held similar rules, it was easy to manage. But when I started working as a therapist, suddenly I was faced with the predicament: does this mean I can’t see male clients alone? We decided to make an exception but that decision raised a lot of eyebrows. But for a time, I also worked in a corporate environment where going to lunch with coworkers was absolutely part of the culture. It was incredibly awkward trying to dance around those rules when people paired of and went to lunch regularly. If I made a plan with three people but one canceled and I found myself alone at lunch with a man (and one I wasn’t even attracted to), I had all kinds of unneeded angst about it.

It is shaming.  There are many situations where I felt shame living within these rules. One I remember well . . . I was needing to meet with one of our church staff to go over some music choices for a service. I was really busy and I asked him to meet me at my office. He asked if other people would be there, and I explained, yes, I was in private practice and shared an office with several other therapists. He arrived, and pulled out his laptop to play me some of the music, and I got up to shut my door. He asked me what I was doing, and I explained that the noise would carry into the other offices and into the waiting room, and that I didn’t feel comfortable playing music with the door open in a professional setting. He got frustrated with me, and left. I felt SO EMBARRASSED. I felt like he was implying that I was hitting on him. I felt like he thought I was some harlot who lured him there to jump on him. When all I was trying to do was be efficient with my time and not bother my coworkers.

After about a decade of living with these rules, I was working in more secular settings and tired of the inconvenience and awkwardness. I gave myself permission to go to lunch with male coworkers. There were several occasions where I would be at lunch at someone from church would spot me, and I would always feel deep shame. I would feel “busted” . . . like I was caught in an affair. And word carried that I was breaking the rules. I had friends confront me with concern about my “slippery slope.” All because Eric and I were the only two people in the office who wanted to eat vegan food at lunch, and walking over there separately seemed ludicrous. Other people viewed this scenario as a credible threat to my integrity.

It implies that impulse control is an external thing. All of the external rules in the world will not stop someone from breaking their own moral code if they are in that space internally. I think it is better for people to practice self control in real-life situations and learn to negotiate their own impulses and behavior rather than creating a false narrative that these arbitrary rules will just take care of everything.

At the end of the day, I have mad respect for people trying to have integrity in their marriages and in their relationships, and I do think that these rules are generally coming from a place of good intent. I’m just not sure they help more than they harm. Ferreting out best practice for avoiding an affair is probably a longer conversation, and I think there are many different reasons people end up in an affair (and rarely simply due to being alone with someone else.) In my experience it starts with psychological health, self-love, a moral compass in all areas of life, a marriage where there is real intimacy and vulnerability, and friends who know your shit and aren’t afraid to call you on it.

If you want to talk more on this, my friend Paul Martin and I are going to be doing a facebook live video on this topic today (March 31) at 3pm PT on my facebook page. Paul is a former pastor and we’ve both had experience with these rules and have lots of thoughts, and would love to hear your opinions as well. Come join us!


Source Link: I lived under Mike Pence’s rules regarding the opposite sex. Here’s why it’s problematic.


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

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Unboxing my first subscription box of beauty, fitness, and lifestyle products from FabFitFun

I feel like I’ve seen the FabFitFun boxes all over social media, but I’ve never gotten one. In fact, I’ve never dipped my toes in the waters of beauty subscription boxes . . . which is funny considering how much I love subscription boxes for clothing. I was pretty excited to try it out, because I really enjoy trying new products, especially for my face and hair.

FabFitFun is a subscription box of full-size beauty, fitness and lifestyle products. Their boxes are valued at over $200 but retail for only $49.99, and it’s a great way to try new products.The box comes out once each season.

Here’s a recap of the items in the box:

Gypsy 05 Roundie is a big, versatile throw that you can use in a million ways…as a beach or picnic blanket or even a tapestry or a table cloth.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant
 is a high-end skin exfoliator and this product alone is worth more than what you pay for the box.

RealHer Lip Kit is a cute lip set has words of affirmation on every product. It includes a lip pencil, a long-wearing matte lipstick and a gloss, all in a great neutral color. You can see me try it on in this video:

Briogeo Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray protects your hair from heat and UV rays, and it’s paraben-free and sulfate-free. It smells amazing too.

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies are tasting, strawberry-flavored gummies packed with Bioton to strengthen your hair and skin cells.

Milly Zip Pouch can be used as a travel makeup bag, or you can put your wet swimsuit in it. It’s huge!

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish Set in pastel colors perfect for spring.

Karuna Hydrating Face Mask is a paraben-free mask to make your complexion look more refreshed.

Luv AJ Crawler Earring Set are a set of modern earrings in rose-gold. 

If you want to try a box of spring goodies, you can use the code MINIVAN for $10 off your box at this link.


Source Link: Unboxing my first subscription box of beauty, fitness, and lifestyle products from FabFitFun


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

What I want you to know: 6 Reasons Why Your Husband Taking a Business Trip Does NOT Make You a “Single Mom”

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post was submitted by Overthinking Mommy.

A couple weeks ago, my husband traveled to Chicago for a few days. A few excruciatingly. long. days. Four days and three nights without my husband proved both lonely and chaotic.
One night before bed, one kid was diaperless, literally pooping in the corner of the living room; One kid was naked running around with a pull-up on his head pretending to be an astronaut; And one kid was obediently getting his pajamas on….outside on the back deck. That same night, ten minutes later, my youngest was licking the bottom of the bathtub while I was putting toothpaste on three little toothbrushes and shouting into the next room, “Stop jumping off the top bunk! You’re not Spider Man!” And, with my husband gone, there was no guy with a booming voice to sweep one or two of the kids up, plunk them into their appropriate positions, and save the day.
So one night, I had a naive split-second thought while pouring myself a giant thermos of wine: This must be what it’s like to be a single mom.
Then, in an involuntary-yet-necessary spasm, one of my hands rose up to promptly slap me across the face. No, my husband taking a business trip did not mean I had even a clue about the life of a single mom. Here’s why:
  1. I don’t just have “financial support” in the form of a check deposited every month for 1/2 of my childrens’ expenses. My husband’s entire paycheck (and mine as well) goes toward our family and household. Because of that, my husband and I, together, could decide to go on a vacation, remodel the basement, or repair the cracked driveway. Because of that, I am able to pay someone to replace my headlight, get my kids professional haircuts, and get my kids Bakery-bought birthday cakes instead of doing it all myself to save a buck. I have a true partner in finances, not someone that simply writes a check for a bare-minimum amount which the judge decides should cover half of clothing, food, sports, and education.

    Whether single moms get a monthly check or no financial support whatsoever, they are often living paycheck-to-paycheck, as it is nearly impossible to raise children on one income while having to pay for child-care (even if the father covers half of daycare). On the other hand, when I find myself utterly exhausted in my husband’s absence, I am able to consider getting a babysitter or ordering a pizza without worrying about where the $20 is going to come from.

  2. Now, this is going to make me look old-fashioned, but this is a perk that I do not take for granted: When I order a complicated crib or kids’ table from some discount site that does not provide assembly, my husband is there to take care of it. If something funky is happening to my car, or if I need a huge piece of furniture moved, or I just can’t figure out how to hook up the stupid blu-ray player, my husband is there to take care of it. Even if my husband is away on business, he will eventually be back to take care of it.

  3. When I am sick, my husband is often able to pick up the slack with child-rearing or taking care of errands or the house. If I have a big meeting the next day, and my child is sick all night, my husband is there to step in and give me a few hours of shut-eye. Even if he is away on business, I have his sympathy and emotional support (which was HUGE during the infamous stomach bug of 2010 while he was in Germany), but I also have his willingness to dip into our “emergency/non-essential money” to hire a babysitter, and his willingness/ability to call his parents to ask them to help his struggling wife.

  4. My kids know their dad loves them, and is consistently there for them, even though he has to go away for work sometimes. My kids also know their dad loves their mom, even though he has to go away for work sometimes. Many times, single moms have to work extra hard to reassure kids, heal emotional wounds, and fill voids that married moms may take for granted. Many single moms are tasked with understanding and dealing with challenging behaviors or emotions that their kids experience in the absence of their father.

  5. I have a built-in friend and partner that gets it. Even when my husband is away on business, I can give him a call to tell him about my fried-nerves and ringing-ears after a day with the boys. I can just say, “Benny was being Benny today,” and he knows Benny was climbing in the toilet and scaling the back-fence. I can simply say, “Charlie was a little upset,” and he knows I am referring to a two-hour meltdown before his body finally succumbed to his nap. Single moms don’t have that person that truly understands every detail of every aspect of their daily challenges. Or if there is another parent that “gets it,” they certainly don’t view them as a friend, partner, and confidante.

  6. I may be lonely for a few nights here and there, but I know not the loneliness of a single mom. Sure, single moms can join a moms group and meet moms at work. But they don’t have a partner at home to allow them to go out to the “moms night out” or “happy hour,” and many times to not have the financial resources to hire a babysitter. After the kids are asleep, the crickets start chirping, and families across America are turning-in for the night. Married partners turn to each other for companionship, but single parents don’t have anyone by their side.
My hat is truly off to you, single moms. You are challenged in ways that I could never imagine, you rise to the tasks, and you are amazing.  Just something to think about!
Peace,  This overthinking mommy


Source Link: What I want you to know: 6 Reasons Why Your Husband Taking a Business Trip Does NOT Make You a “Single Mom”


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

Odds and Ends

boybye

1. Friends. Two days ago, Vice President Pence was a key speaker at the White House Women’s Empowerment Panel. The following day? He cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to take away women’s access to birth control. This is ridiculous. Dangerous. Unbelievable. Please consider donating to Planned Parenthood, who will now be defunded thanks to all the schmucks who voted for the bill.

2. Are you a woman? Are you so done with this bullshit? You might like some of these.

3. Have you heard of Resistbot? It sends messages to your representatives – basically, you can text ResistBot what you want the message to say and it will be faxed to your representatives. So easy. And cool.

4. Hey. You are allowed to leave, you know.

5. Have you seen Facebook’s new town hall feature? Probably the best thing they’ve ever launched.

6. Crushes can be good. Even if you are in a committed relationship.

7. This is the best purchase I’ve ever made in regards to travel. USB charging port! Brilliant!

8. Wasn’t sure if I was going to share, but I started taking this drug earlier this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

9. Cards Against Humanity creator makes a bold statement and I love him for it.

10. I totally remember this story! Freaked me the heck out!

11. Why social media is no bueno for middle schoolers.

12. Was this the longest week for anyone else? Such a crappy week, and I’m so glad that it’s over. #politics But! For my local OKCers, I have a perk for you. (We had our own fair share of bad news this week. Ranked 50 out of 50 for the worst quality of life for women. WAY TO GO, OKLAHOMA. WAY TO DRIVE IT HOME. JAYSUS.)

Anyway! I’ve been working out at Beyond Studios and because, ahem, I know the owner, I persuaded her to create a deal for my readers. 1 week of unlimited workouts for 30 bucks. You guys, that’s the bee’s knees. The code is WHOORL. You can sign up by calling the studio or on the Beyond app. (You can also access on the Mind Body app, but not sure the code works on there.) Come join me! You will be addicted, I promise.

Wishing you all a great weekend, and let’s hope next week is a better one.

image credit: dannybrito

The post Odds and Ends appeared first on whoorl.


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

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Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

Wednesday’s Child: Ally

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.


Source Link: Wednesday’s Child: Ally


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com

Unboxing my first subscription box of beauty, fitness, and lifestyle products from FabFitFun

I feel like I’ve seen the FabFitFun boxes all over social media, but I’ve never gotten one. It’s a subscription box of full-size beauty, fitness and lifestyle products and I’m unboxing my first box. Their boxes are valued at over $200 and it’s a great way to try new products. If you want to try a box, you can use the code RAGE for $10 off your box at www.fabfitfun.com.
#fffpartner #fabfitfun
Here’s a recap of the items in the box:
  • Gypsy 05 Roundie is a big, versatile throw that you can use in a million ways…as a beach or picnic blanket or even a tapestry or a table cloth.
  • Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant is a high-end skin exfoliator and this product alone is worth more than what you pay for the box.
  • Luv AJ Crawler Earring Set  in a modern rose-gold
  • RealHer Lip Kit is acute lip set has words of affirmation on every product.
  • Milly Zip Pouch can be used as a travel makeup bag, or you can put your wet swimsuit in it. It’s huge!
  • Briogeo Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray protects your hair from heat and UV rays, and it’s paraben-free and sulfate-free. It smells amazing too.
  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish Set in pastel colors perfect for spring.
  • Karuna Hydrating Face Mask is  a paraben-free mask to make your complexion look more refreshed.


Source Link: Unboxing my first subscription box of beauty, fitness, and lifestyle products from FabFitFun


Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog , https://ruthrdavisblog.wordpress.com