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Libby Anne’s been knocking them out of the park, lately. After a strong one on Donald Trump and an excellent post on corporal punishment, she’s now talking about an upcoming conference. A group of evangelical Christians are gathering together to discuss child marriages.

1) The ‘youth’ ready for marriage has breasts. A woman who is to be married is one who has breasts; breasts which signal her readiness for marriage, and breasts who promise enjoyment for her husband. (We believe that ‘breasts’ here stand as a symbol for all forms of full secondary sexual characteristics.)

As in, they want’m. I honestly cannot think of something more dehumanizing; this group’s first bullet-point in determining whether or not someone is ready for marriage is not whether or not they are fully capable of consent, nor whether or not they’re interested in marriage, it’s whether their udders are sufficiently developed. This is literally treating women as cattle, property to be traded and sold based on its value to you.

Thank goodness the rest of us are more enlightened on the matter.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with being titillated by a woman’s body. However, there is everything wrong with feeling entitled to a woman’s body. Male entitlement makes men believe that they should be able to access women’s bodies whenever and wherever they so desire. Many men in our society have been socialized to believe that women’s bodies are for their consumption, and that they deserve it—and when they are denied it, that they are the victims of cruel “friend zoning.”

But on the flip side, male entitlement also means that when they don’t want to see a woman’s body, it should be covered up for the man’s benefit. When they don’t want to get aroused—such as in a restaurant, in the workplace, or at school—they believe that women’s bodies should be removed from their sight.

Oh, right. While not on the same scale, these historic values still echo around mainsteam culture. Our discouse subtly reinforces male dominance, which feeds into and excuses sexual violence.[1] [2] Don’t think that because you’re free of religion, you’re free of all the assumptions that pervade it. Don’t think that because you’re less sexist than a group of evangelical Christians, you’re not free of sexism.

And don’t think of someone else’s body as property you own or have a stake in.


[1] Adams, Peter J., Alison Towns, and Nicola Gavey. “Dominance and entitlement: The rhetoric men use to discuss their violence towards women.”Discourse & Society 6.3 (1995): 387-406.

[2] Bouffard, Leana Allen. “Exploring the utility of entitlement in understanding sexual aggression.” Journal of Criminal Justice 38.5 (2010): 870-879.

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