Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wallets: Why Patriarchy Relies on Taking From Both

In mid-December, a student wrote in seeking advice on how to convince her boyfriend that the wage gap and rape culture were real (How Do I Convince My Boyfriend that the Wage Gap and Rape Culture are Real?  December 2016). I passed along the challenge (re: the wage gap issue) to my students, and as expected, they did a wonderful job.  With their permission, I’ve taken from their responses and incorporated them within.  I have also contributed my own understanding of patriarchy and rape culture.  To all of my students who help me and their classmates learn each day, thank you, and well done! Continue reading

How Do I Convince My Boyfriend that the Wage Gap and Rape Culture are Real?

Dear Liz,

I was showing my boyfriend the article and essay I am writing for your Women and Gender Studies class. We got into an argument because he said that the wage gap between men and women isn’t real, and that rape culture doesn’t exist in the United States. How do I convince him he’s wrong? Thanks. Continue reading

This Holiday Season, Don’t Forget Your Inner Gingerbread Person

Our holiday celebrations form around stories that remind us of the invisible, the unexplainable, the liberating, the joyful, and the miraculous. Whether we realize it or not, our holiday stories are there to remind us of all that is within us, waiting to be touched, to be illuminated, and to be shared.  The oil that kept the lamp burning, the star that led to the humble manger, the baby who grew to be a man of wisdom and miracles…This holiday season, as the material world beckons your attention, Continue reading

Boyfriend Wants a Backwards Relationship…

Dear Liz,

One of my best friends is in a relationship that is not normal. The boyfriend does not want to talk through the troubles that both of them go through. He puts her down sometimes and ignores her when she brings up things that they need to talk together about. She has to do the driving all the time, plan all the dates, because the boy wants to have a “backwards relationship” and I want to help, it’s just I don’t really know how besides possibly giving some advice. Please let me know how I can help. Continue reading

Fear of Relapsing Into Isolation and Pain

Dear Liz,

Recently, I have been internally going in a downward spiral. I have been waiting for, and dreading this moment to come, as I have been in this state before. The world seems to keep turning while I am invisible and stationary– stuck in one moment in time. No one can see it because it doesn’t seem like I am in as bad of a place as I was, but what they can’t see is that I am. No one has ever been able to really see me. Even I have trouble seeing me. I’ll have to have a few more sit-downs with my gingerbread person before I’ll be able to see myself and the good that I carry. I’m not sure if there is a question to pull from this. Maybe since I am more aware of my symptoms I can ask, how do you stop a relapse from ruining a portion of life? How do I get myself up and going every day, if only mechanical body? At the end of the day, I am the only one who will have my back. I have no one to take the pain away or to walk and talk with me every day. The only person who can do that is myself. What are some ways to get to the point of holding enough self-love so that I am able to walk with myself every day? 

I realize there are no right or wrong answers to my questions. I know whatever you have to say will be helpful. Thank you, Liz. Continue reading

My Best Friend’s Boyfriend Treats Her Horribly…What Can I Do?

Dear Liz,

My best friend is dating a boy who doesn’t treat her right. He has cheated on her multiple times, and recently she even walked in on him cheating.  From the start, I have warned her multiple times that he is not a nice guy and that I do not like him and that he is not good for her. He’s also extremely mean to me and her other friends and has no respect for anyone.  He is always getting “belligerent drunk” and is very disrespectful and hurtful to many people. She continues to stay with him even when I am constantly warning her about him. She says ‘you just don’t know him like I do’ and she also says that the awful things a person does, does not define them. It is becoming an issue in our friendship in the way that I am the “bad guy” because I will not accept  him. What do you think I should do? What do you think she should do? Continue reading