Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Interesting Links

I came across this discussion of relationship terms while looking up something else on This discussion covers the basic but often misunderstood differences between polygamy, polygyny, and polyandry.

Also, here is an interesting little post that talks about the politics of female characters being chained up in many of the early Wonder Woman comic strips. Not knowing much of anything about comic strips, I'll leave it to more comic-strip-minded individuals to offer their two cents on this bit.

Then we have a discussion on the blue-eyed Jesus seen in much of Christendom, from Feminist Mormon Housewives. This post talks more particularly about how the Savior is depicted in LDS artwork, but the racial dynamics behind these white portrayals are complicated and problematic. It's particularly interesting to look at this issue from an LDS perspective, because according to LDS doctrine the prophet who restored (if you're not LDS you probably favor the term "founded") the Church, testified that he saw the Savior face-to-face. That fact then exponentially increases the importance of any comments he chooses to make about which painting he prefers.

One common explanation behind the blue eyes in the most common LDS depiction of the Savior is that his father, Heavenly Father, must look Caucasian. While there's no saying this theory isn't true... there's also no saying it is true. On a side note for anyone lost by what I just said - according to LDS doctrine, God the Father and his son Jesus Christ have separate, physical bodies. That means that theories about how God's DNA impacted the way Jesus Christ looked in his mortal life hold up a lot more than in religions that believe God has no body. Also, according to LDS doctrine a resurrected individual regains a perfected version of the body he or she had while alive. You can imagine how that doctrine complicates questions of what the Savior looks like now.

Next, here is an article I stumbled across through Carl the OMC's blog. The article is written in response to a man requesting advice on what to do when his wife gets upset with him for not doing anything without her asking him to. Carl takes issue with the author of the article rejecting the idea that women want men to read their minds, but as a woman who certainly shares the sentiment Carl is referring to, let me explain how I see it. When women say "Why can't you do X without me asking you to?" they're usually not talking about you doing X on a particular day and at a particular time. They're not even just talking about X. They're usually asking for you (and this can go for women communicating with other women, or for men who communicate this way) to in general think of their needs a little more naturally. Perhaps they go out of their way to do things for you all the time, and when you then want them to ask you each and every time... well, it's frustrating to them because they're in a paradigm in which you show respect by in general finding ways to help and serve a person.

So, the solution people who don't understand this perspective often offer: "Call me and ask me to do X ahead of time," doesn't solve the emotional issue the people making the original complaint are often getting at. It only solves the mechanics of X being done by someone else and by a particular time. I didn't understand this concept as a child. As an adult woman, however, I finally understand where my mother was coming from. She saw us not cleaning the house after school as a sign that we didn't care about and respect her. She loved us, so she made our lunches and cooked dinner more than anyone else in the house did. And she saw our unwillingness to reciprocate as us somehow withholding affection. So.... if you have someone in your life who wants you to do things without being asked, the solution may be to meet halfway, with you doing more of your own volition in general, and with them asking you to do particular things from time to time. Or in other words, the solution may be what the author of the original article suggested: think of a relationship in terms of one another's personal needs, rather than in abstractions about what "men are like" and "women are like."

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