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Ian Skemp

Joined: Jul. 6, 2014

Bio:

Graduate of the University of MN (BA Art History) and University of Dallas (MA American Studies). Ian is in his fourth year of teaching US History at Providence Academy. He lives in St. Paul, MN with his wife and son.


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Pitfalls of Asserting Gender Roles

Aug. 28 at 12:52pm | Comments: 5 | Most recent comment: Sep. 3 at 11:44am

In Devra's recent post on "Becoming who you are..." She described the fallacious notion that gender is a mere social construct that inhibits self discovery.  I, too, reject the notion that gender is nothing more than artificial social norms that restrict us from being who we truly are. After all, God created us Man and Woman, two different types of human. Thus, there is a natural distinction between "masculine" and "feminine." Yet, I find myself annoyed whenever the...


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Re: Pitfalls of Asserting Gender Roles

Sep. 3 at 11:44am | see this comment in context

Hey, no one likes a busybody. I like the idea of invitation. We shouldn't guilt people into coming to the feast; we just need them to know they are welcome and that the food is good.

Re: Pitfalls of Asserting Gender Roles

Sep. 3 at 11:25am | see this comment in context

Katie van Schaijik, Sep. 3 at 10:28am

"I think this is a major concern of the Pope's. Stop moralizing. Stop judging. Stop trying to manage the way other people live. Just invite them to Jesus and the Church. Let Him heal them."

Re: Pitfalls of Asserting Gender Roles

Sep. 2 at 12:50pm | see this comment in context

It becomes an even bigger problem when people are driven away from the faith because they assume that good Catholics conform to traditional gender roles. Thus, the woman who decides to have a career, remain single without religious vocation, or marries but keeps her maiden name, feels at odds with Catholicism with no reason to be. 

Additionally, I'm glad you mentioned tendencies. I've heard from women who have been through a disordered purity talk at some point in their lives. While the purity talk for men directly confronts our urges, the talk for women oftentimes consists of "You need to dress modestly so as not to make life hard for your brothers." This would be fine, I suppose, if the talk continued on to address a woman's urges, but it stops there. The assumption seems to be that, since men generally struggle more with lust, that lust is a man's problem and women don't need to worry about it. The generalization is not unfounded, as the sex industry is primarily catered to men for a reason. The problem is treating a generalization like a universal, and an even bigger problem is, as you said, treating a tendency as a moral imperative.

Re: Modesty and misogyny

Jul. 8 at 11:05pm | see this comment in context

Katie, that fits in with my experience with respect to academic institutions. While male teachers are tasked with enforcing the same rules, it often falls on the female faculty members to do this for a variety of reasons. Some men don't care about the rule, while others are simply uncomfortable about enforcing it.

What I'm more curious about are situations outside of institutions. A faculty member pointing out a short skirt may just be trying to do their job, but what about those random acts of unsolicited advice? What prompts a person to be such a busybody about modesty? Is it youthful zeal? Blind reactionaryism? 

Re: Modesty and misogyny

Jul. 8 at 10:44pm | see this comment in context

I can tell you right now that a clean shaven requirement is a deal-breaker for me, as I prefer sporting a full beard during the colder MN months. If my beard makes it difficult for women to control their urges, then that’s their problem and they simply have to deal with it…

All snarkiness aside, I find it interesting that it was a girl who called you out on your sweater, Kate. It makes me curious. Has it been your experience that women police each other more vigorously? I've witnessed and heard of women scolding other women for their manner of dress, but the only time I see it coming from a man is when that man is a figure of authority- like a dean. That being said, I'm interested to know what your experience is.

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