Richard Rohr

Catholic priest tolerates gay men, and even trans people shock!

Rohr’s daily meditations reach millions, and recently he tackled LGBT folk, or SOGI, Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity issues. He started by assuming his audience was hostile.

With all the changing ways of understanding gender and sexuality, most of us truly need contemplative eyes and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to “rupture simplistic binaries” and be compassionate and respectful of difference and diversity. It clearly seems that God is quite comfortable with immense diversity.  We have a much harder time with it, preferring uniformity and conformity instead.

I found it almost impossible to read. He is challenging his queerphobic Christian followers, saying that while he has to make a continual effort to be “non-dual”, his instinct and theirs is to judge gay as unacceptable. Jesus, he says, ruptures and transgresses simplistic binaries between self and other, but most people dismiss and judge every thing that does not fit neatly in their simplistic categories.

He wants to teach the Mind of Christ by getting readers to think about SOGI, which he has no doubt they will instinctively reject. This week is a good test case for one’s ability to think in a nondual way.

So he decides to preach that the church should include and accept LGBT people not in hopes that they can force us into a normal, celibate, straight-acting box but accept us as part of God’s beautiful diverse creation, and he starts by othering all his LGBT readers.

He says some good stuff. God’s will is that people and things become their true selves, and then live in “supportive coexistence”. Conservative Christians, however, want to control God’s good creation which they fear, seeing it as chaos.

Institutional religion tends to think of people as very simple, and therefore the law must be very complex to protect them in every situation. Jesus does the opposite: He treats people as very complex—different in religion, lifestyle, virtue, temperament, and success—and keeps the law very simple in order to bring them to God… Love God, and your neighbour.

Jesus, and Rohr, allow people to be ourselves. Do not let the labels trip you up—woman, man, transgender, cisgender, straight, bisexual, gay, queer. I note he does not mention lesbian. There is a reason we bring L to the front. Formerly people wrote GLBT.

He goes on to use queer folks to teach about the Bible. Yes, Leviticus commands stoning gay men to death, but the Bible records a developing understanding of God from Abraham’s attempted human sacrifice to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus’ harsh words are reserved entirely for those whose certainty about their religious rectitude causes them to condemn others. Jesus is all about inclusion, forgiveness, and empowerment. In the light of his compassionate presence, people are set free to live their lives in strength and hope, regardless of whether they be considered outcasts by those in the “religious know.” Rather than complex rules teaching us what is OK so we feel safe with no need to think, or even to see clearly, the only law is Love.

Just as the Bible supports slavery and we don’t, so also we find deeper themes in the Bible support LGBT acceptance, and even oppose Patriarchy. Rohr writes, God sides with the powerless. God liberates the oppressed. God suffers with the suffering. I resent that. Many LGBT people flourish despite oppression. We are not his exemplar group of powerless and suffering people, and his attitude encourages others to look down on us and pity us- perhaps he does himself. We do not need his support, but justice.

He claims the secular culture “celebrates” us. Perhaps he has not read The Times’ articles on trans people. It is almost as if he shares the homophobic Christian’s shock when we are shown in a good light.

God, he says, creates each of us unique, with different gifts and challenges, and desires us to live into the fullness of our humanity and our identity.

Rohr’s example is Episcopal priest and lesbian Liz Edman, who aged five wanted boy’s shoes and was supprted by her mother. Everyone wants things forbidden by the complex rules humans create. From object of pity, we change in an instant to patterns and examples for others, who should all Know who you are. Be who you are. Be the person God created you to be. It is deeply uncomfortable for me. I am as enchained by convention as anyone. I have no wish to be forced to teach others any more than be pitied by them.

At the end, he quotes Liz Edman on Jesus turning water into wine. The water was used for ritual washing, the wine intoxicates and liberates us from rules. This is a queer interpretation, which might get her fired. To liberal straight Christians, she says, Let us be ourselves, and assure us that you will have our backs when our proclamation unsettles and afflicts those who are comfortable in a dualistic worldview.

Yes, Queers can be free as Christ intended, and our freedom help liberate others. But our experience belongs to no-one straight. We are not your teaching tool. And the idea of sheep and goats, the binary division between in group and out group, is everywhere reinforced in the church. For example:

Later, Rohr quotes an Asian man:

Now that new voices are being enunciated about him by those . . . outside the traditional framework of Christianity, Jesus must be experiencing an emancipation from the confinement of orthodoxy that has immobilized him. . .

Spirit of Life

Am I safe? Yes- until I am not.
Am I good? Yes- until I am not.
I am powerful, until I am powerless.

I am not sure I fully agree with Paul, but what he says makes some psychological sense. What does he mean? I do the very thing I hate. I agree that the law is good. I will what is right, but I cannot do it. When I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. Who will rescue me from this body of death?

What is the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus [that] has set [me] free from the law of sin and death? What is that law of sin? It seems to me, wrestling with the passage in Meeting, that the law of sin is an external standard of Right- not just the 630 commandments of the Torah, but every external standard, every set of rules for conduct no matter how well-intentioned, every attempt to keep safe by telling others what to do. Every standard imposed from outside, even if I accept it and think it is a good standard and want to live by it.

The spirit of life in Christ has set me free. If I walk according to the spirit of life within me, I will do Good- for I am Love as God is Love. Any other Rule is impossible to obey. And yet we feel unsafe, and we feel threatened by the Others, so Christianity since Paul is filled with these sets of rules. A trans man I met had been subjected to “Heavy Shepherding”, where his church did not believe in his ability to make correct decisions for himself, so his pastor had to vet each one. That comes from Hell not Heaven. I am not safe, and no-one is safe from me. Or, I am safe and good, until I am not. Yet we are children of God, brothers and sisters, so we will act in love.

One ministered on decluttering- not just stuff, but relationships, ideas and memories. Why keep a memory and worry at it like poking a bruise? I said to her after, because it still has something to teach me. My mother’s lack of understanding had so wounded me from the age of nine to 44, when I accepted it. I recounted the memory. She had experience as a teacher, of parents driving their children to achievements they never realised. That’s close enough. I had accepted my mother’s lack of understanding, but today I accepted my powerlessness and inability to communicate my own feeling, which was a lack of confidence. I wanted to be confident.

I am powerful until I am not. Sometimes I am not as powerful as I would have wished. IT FEELS LIKE DEATH! IT SCARES ME! But it isn’t death, not really. I am still alive, even well-situated and happy. If only I could recognise that.

In the afternoon, in the Quaker business meeting, we considered whether we should become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or remain Unincorporated when we register as a charity. This is fairly dry and technical. What makes it beautiful is the way we deal with it, in discussion before and in the moment of the Meeting. I am open to persuasion, and I am not going just to give in. So I talk to the former managing director of a company with factories in several countries, and feel somewhat abashed, the queer benefit claimant. He could seek to dominate, and I would defy him; instead, we respond in Loving equality.

Christianity not belief, but poetry

Belief has always been at the heart of Christianity. The problem with belief is that it can be false. It is necessary to have the correct belief, or you will go to hell, and lead others there too: that is the idealistic justification for burning heretics, to save their souls. We use the word “creed” as a metonymy for religion because the creed- including such things as “born of the Virgin Mary”- is so important. The Church of England is defined by the 39 Articles, additional essential belief; and the Church of Scotland by the Westminster Confession. Now Fundamentalists believe in the “inerrancy of Scripture,” which creates innumerable impossible things requiring Belief.

This makes Christianity impossibly fragile. If Noah could not have taken four million different species of beetle into the Ark, then Christianity cannot be true. Still, creationists attempt to argue that the World is less than ten thousand years old.

It also makes Christianity pernicious. If a child is brought up to believe in Adam as a historical figure, such that they refuse any evidence to the contrary, they make it difficult to function well in the world: any university degree should confront them with evidence refuting it.

If people were inspired to write about the nature of the world, I doubt anyone before 1800 could have comprehended that the local galaxies are moving at a thousand kilometres per second towards the Great Attractor. I had not heard of the Great Attractor before idly googling to get a link for this paragraph. I see the first article is from 1998 and may have been superseded- don’t take this as gospel: I was only looking for some figures to bamboozle.

Instead, we have stories. Gordon wrote on facebook this morning, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18.20).
This is not dogma, or doctrine, or theology, or magical or ‘supernatural’. It is a poetic expression of the realisation of the experience of coming together in community to share our lives with one another
. I agree. It does not matter whether Jesus said these words, and it is not necessary to imagine the Presence in the Midst literally. What matters is the experience of being together with this intention.

For me, Christianity in the 21st century has to get rid of belief entirely. The beliefs are so often impossible or ridiculous. Though when Hosea realised I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings he realised a better way for people to be together. Job suffered, purely because the world is like that; it does not mean he was bad; he is impossibly small, within the workings of the World; he realised this, stood up, and by his own efforts regained what he had lost. It is a story, and a worthwhile one.


Taking a stand

My test of whether someone is truly Christian is their attitude to LGBT. Any mature Christian will be entirely accepting.

Religion is a tool for helping people to understand and relate to Reality, or alternatively to block out and deny reality in a fruitless search for comfort. Humankind cannot bear very much reality, and those who can bear very little can huddle together in conservative Evangelical churches. There they can be reassured that gays are bad, God made the world less than ten thousand years ago, and everyone outside their little huddle is deluded, and going to Hell. Any threat to that belief system and the bottom drops out of their world, which is why they defend it so aggressively.

And yet, unless they close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, and shout “La La La” all the time, reality will challenge their falsehoods, and, thank God, so will Christianity. If they actually read the Bible they will realise that God could not create everything, then man and woman on the sixth day, and at the same time create man, then plants and animals, then woman. People do believe impossible or incompatible things, but eventually the scales fall from their eyes. They will also see that while the Bible can be mined for reasons to see other people as bad, it also says that everyone is your neighbour, even those you most despise, then commands you to love your neighbour.

Then the despising falls away. Seen with love, we see the beauty of the Samaritan, and all which seemed most loathsome is seen not to be.

Yet there are these terrible attempts to defend the fundamentalist lie. And some people are just stuck. They cannot turn to Christ, because they prefer the illusion.

I did not like Henry Meynell Rheam, so look at his work more deeply.

Rheam, the fairy wood

Why are they wrong?

James wondered why any Christian ever might disagree with him. Fortunately, he has the answer: they are ensnared by the World, and have not allowed the Holy Spirit access to every area of their heart. When they do, they will think exactly as he does, and leave behind the things he disagrees with- which are “The World’s System”.

This absolves James from thinking. Anyone who disagrees with him is simply less spiritually mature than he. When you have had the same inestimable blessings James has had, you will think just like him, and if you do not, and go to Hell- well, the ways of God are strange.

Whereas, we do not all follow the same path of spiritual maturing, but learn different lessons at different times.

One has only so much head-space, and surely it is better to devote it to learning what is Right, what I Believe, than to listening to wrong people. This short-cut absolves you from ever having to refute them. Their ideas are not even wrong in an interesting way, so should not detain us.

I give some attention to any opinion. Possibly, it will increase my understanding. I might be happier with more confidence in my own opinion. There are many good choices: like the supermarket cereals aisle, there might be a best cereal but there are many which are good enough; with so many things one can be wrong, but not wrong enough to hurt. I am giving more attention to attitudes, ways of being: some people with ways of being with others, or in the world, radically different from mine, seem effective or happy and I might learn from them. Though some are merely an awful warning.

Like James, I experience God as changing me, bringing me to health. The changes are unimaginable beforehand, sometimes inexplicable after. It is one reason why I am religious not atheist: I do not proceed by rational argument, but sometimes against what had seemed rational.

Degas, at the milliners in gloves

If I should die

The church is completely beautiful. The central section of the nave has rounded arches, conceivably Norman, with those thick pillars. The west and east ends of the nave have Gothic arches. Unusually, the window above the altar is of clear glass; the whole is whitewashed; so it combines light and solidity. It feels strong and supportive, a womb of protection against the World, filled with Light to lift the heart.

I was there for a concert, the City of London Chamber Orchestra playing the Britten Sinfonietta, the Lark Ascending, the Siegfried Idyll and Mozart’s twentieth symphony. I could imagine myself there each Sunday morning, part of the church community, singing the Creed and the Gloria, kneeling for the consecration, my spirit lifted and grounded at the same time. My spiritual practice now is to open myself to life and experience, so I chose an open posture and paid full attention to the Wagner, and was rewarded by being moved to tears.

“They’re all hypocrites. No-one believes that” say more than one friend. Well. Certainly not the virgin birth, and possibly not the divinity of Christ, though God spoke in Him. My Christianity is stories and images which encourage me or help me make sense of the world; a link to a spiritual reality beyond the reality I can comprehend with my conscious, occasionally rational mind, or express in words. God is. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, living in my heart.

Not all Christians feel this way. Evangelicals have a series of verbal formulations, which fit to the words of the King James Bible, to which they consciously assent, formulations like Christ died as a sacrifice for our sins provided by God yet the Sacrifice needed against God’s Wrath, which you must Accept, in order to be Saved from Hell- conceived by some as a state of perpetual conscious torment after earthly death. Well, not all people are as sensitive as I am, or have my emotional intelligence.

The Isaiah 53:5 project seems to know the weakness of the Evangelicals. He imagines women craving appreciation: “Do you see me? Do you delight in me?” He says “most husbands” do not even hear: perhaps because of the vilely narrow concept some Evangelicals have of what is a “real man”. I don’t like the idea that “all women” feel exactly the same- my femininity, the Evangelical ideal, is certainly not the experience of all women. With his heart in the right place, I53 demands that men show their appreciation. Some men and women are naturally like this.

Violet and her atheist chums had a good laugh at this. It seemed to me a wasted opportunity: deriding the others’ view, rather than using it as a chance for understanding.

My loveliest religious experience to date was on Monday 4 May. I had a heartfelt conviction of God’s love for me and my beauty as a created animal. And I still want to be appreciated, for someone to acknowledge that I can light up a room, that my drama and dance is Beautiful- by her words or her appreciative look.

Rossetti, Joan of Arc

Biblical leadership

My latest follower is “Apostolic Mommy and Wife”. I am delighted that she should take an interest in this Christian blog, for much of my posting is about Biblical interpretation and Christian relationships with God and creation. Unfortunately I find her account of Christian marriage wanting.

It was a shock to find the writer on such a pink site, so clearly aimed at women, refer to “our wives”. Is this a man writing? It is unlikely to be a lesbian. I googled it, and found the article was plagiarized from here, or possibly this pdf:  lifted whole, rather than “adapted from” as she claims. This is objectionable, given that she wishes to make money from her site, asking readers to “Donate”, “Advertise with us” or go to “Our Youtube channel”. I am unclear whether the companies she reviews, including Kosher CasualI wore this dress to church today. I was able to sing, dance and shout to praise God’s name – All while feeling assured I was modestly covered- paid for the review.

On modesty, I saw a woman in a niqab yesterday walk across the square. Her loose summer burqa did not disguise the glorious sexiness of her relaxed, confident walk. Modesty rules can never prevent free people expressing ourselves; and as the Muslims recognise, arms and ankles, and singing and dancing, are sexy. The only way to be “modest” in this sense is to erase yourself.

The real author, Dennis Raney, recognises that some women wear the trousers, and even that some men are not strong or natural leaders, but still says that men should lead. God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility. It does not matter what kind of personality a man may have. Nor the woman: in fact Raney does not acknowledge different personalities among women, claiming that all wives want and need leadership.

Raney says husbands should give to their wives, but bizarrely claims it should be giving up: something you genuinely valued, like your golf game, a fishing trip, or your hobby. Rather, he needs to find ways of being with her to enrich them both. There must be room for two in a marriage. I get the impression that the husband Raney writes for finds his wife a mystery, but gives up his golf game because them’s the rules- rather than choosing to do something with her, because he prefers to. No wonder she “resists, fights and spurns” him. I am horrified that Raney imagines that couple could have been living together so long that their children are grown and gone.

The article is not wholly worthless. He correctly says women at different stages of life have different needs; but gives no Bible quote for that. The tiny amount of sanity in the article comes from contemporary morality and understanding. The Biblical bits lead him to make ridiculous assertions, missing the complexity of real life.

Cranach, Judith and Holofernes IV

St Pauls

After seeing Serra, I touristed St Paul’s Cathedral.

There is a ban on photography. It irritated me, but H had been among huge crowds in Hagia Sophia, where most people did not look at the cathedral except through their screens, producing fifth-rate photos they might not look at again. The audio-guide irritated me, demanding that I take time to experience the spiritual presence, as if I had never thought of such a thing in my life. The Middlesex Regiment chapel in the north transept irritated me, with its Georgian and Regency memorials by public subscription to generals, still known to specialist historians, famous at the time for killing lots of people. The sculpted uniforms and drapery bored me, but then I saw the naked feet of an angel in a long robe and this tiny detail was enchanting, and the naked thigh of- Neptune, I seem to remember, bearing up some sailor or other- was exciting.

Under the Dome, it was too far away to see the monochrome pictures from Paul’s life, and I looked up as Christ descended from the Cross or stood in glory as the Vine, the branches growing from him, in glorious golden mosaic. Irritated as I am by the traditional churches, I would be poorer if I just ignored them.

I went up the dome. Having dispensed with the guide, I had not known that the Whispering Gallery is so named because if you sit precisely 180° across from another and whisper to the wall, she can hear you. I was quite shocked by a woman whispering into her hand “the guard has become suspicious of your activities”, and later asked a woman why she was talking to the wall. She explained, and exhorted her friend to “say something” though they had stopped. I did not experience it, and do not know if Wren intentionally created the effect.

David and harp

I took the photo clandestinely when there were no guards about. It is from north of the choir: David, I presume, with the harp, not well lit or well angled but the kind of view one might actually have, looking up without trying to get square on.

St Pauls- the saint blesses the Millennium Bridge

I took more photos from the Stone Gallery: I like St Paul blessing the Millennium Bridge, and if anyone wants to try the photo project of having two people, one in the stone gallery, one in Tate Modern, co-ordinating taking photos at precisely the same time so that the flash of each appears in the other’s photo, please let me know.

Topmost niche

I asked the guard if there were any plans to fill this niche in the lantern at the top of the dome, and she said I would have to ask the Premises Committee. I went round to get the niche in sunlight, and she got pushy about how you can’t go back on yourself. I only want to take a photograph.
-Is it for a specific project?-Yes, I said, thinking of this blog post, then she ceased her objection.

Meeting for Worship for Business

Ian told me that some members of my AM are uncomfortable with this post. He did not say who. I would rather disquiet was expressed to me, than to others. I am quite happy that people know who I am. And if anything in the post is untrue, or gives a false impression by omission or undue emphasis, please tell me.

Here are some of the comments from facebook:

-A long and difficult road! I’m glad you have been able to stick with it this far and share the experience with us.
-This is wonderful Abigail – thank you for labouring with your meeting towards the goal of worshipful collective discernment. This is such a treasure of the Quaker way, it is worth great efforts to preserve and revive it. Elders in our AM have become more aware recently of our responsibility for supporting the clerks and for upholding the discipline and spirit of all of our meetings. At each meeting for business we now have a short reminder from one of the elders about Quaker practice (including ‘not harassing the clerks with unnecessary amendments’) which has proved very useful I think.
-Education, education and education. I hope that, if Friends can remember what it felt like to follow the discipline and come through, they might be able to do it again sometimes. I find it disturbing that Friends so often appoint people to a job and then don’t let them do it.
It sounds as if your AM is very lucky to have you.


On Saturday, we achieved what I had worked towards for two years, a Quaker business meeting in a spirit of Worship.

I wish I had supported Richard better as assistant clerk. He felt with an ageing and shrinking Quaker area meeting, the answer was to amalgamate with a neighbouring AM. He had no support for this, but brought it up over successive meetings. I should have warned him, we should have looked after him, but when in the AM in September 2013 he said this had been decided and we needed to consider how to go forward, the Quaker Business meeting, normally so douce, silent, reasonable, erupted. We were talking over each other. I stepped in to write the minute, and that week the humiliated Richard resigned from the Society, giving his reason as the increase in non-theism.

We were abashed. I became clerk three months early, and people expressed their support and care for me. I am still not working properly with my assistant clerk: by the time I had emailed Ian my draft minutes on Thursday, he was very busy at work, so that we did not actually discuss the meeting before sitting down together.

Much of the business of the next six months revolved around altering the structure of our business meetings. AM was always the second Sunday of the month, in the afternoon, after lunch provided by the host meeting, after Friends from other LMs worshipped locally then drove to the host AM. In September last year we had AM in the morning, following on immediately from unprogrammed worship, followed by lunch and then a speaker. My desire was that we worship together as an AM. 44 people attended worship that morning, more than anyone could remember, out of an AM membership under a hundred. When in October we set the pattern of meetings for this year, I experienced the objections to the new style of AM as peevish: the hour of unprogrammed worship must not be cut; there must be a shuffle break of ten minutes before business starts, even though we often had had three hour AMs in the afternoon. It did not help that the objections came from our largest LM and the support for changes from the other three LMs. I felt we reached consensus.

Often after AM I have had emails from S, more in sorrow than in anger- this is what I did wrong this time. She sends me draft minutes, and I rearrange the wording so as not to be seen to use her draft. She has proposed amendments to every single one of the minutes in a meeting, in the past, not always improving them: if we record the AM someone transferring in comes from, I doubt we need record the LM too.

What I have experienced in AM is niggling tension and conflict, not trusting the process or speaking in Ministry. When a particular person at some point in most AMs apologises for speaking twice on a matter, has the guidance any value? I see people- members, even an elder- whispering to each other as we try to draft a minute (I write it, then Ian proposes changes) and think of being warned to “Uphold the clerks” when I attended my first Monthly Meeting. Having experienced Richard’s attempted control of the meeting, I have avoided that, trying to be open to the words from others, and wondering if I offered too little guidance.

We were to have the Green Party parliamentary candidate speaking after AM in the morning in April. At LM, we had decided to invite her to speak, as she is our attender, and she was married in our meeting last year. In the week before, after concerns expressed privately that a parliamentary candidate should speak before the election, and two emails strongly objecting sent to the whole membership, I met with an elder and agreed to cancel Marion’s talk.

For AM this month, I wanted to consider the QCCIR response to the WCC: Are we a Church? In St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, I mused on my love and irritation for wider Christianity. I had proposed it by email to LM clerks after the last AM, and received neither objection nor support.

Nominations has not gone smoothly over the last year. On Saturday I had drafted a long minute explaining precisely where the nominations came from, and offering a chance to reject those nominations, but in the ten minute shuffle break redrafted it simply to state the nominations. This took considerably less time.

Then we went on to the QCCIR summary paper. The first person to speak said these questions will take a great deal of time to answer, and she was not sure this was the right way to proceed. Our discernment could have been shut down before it started. I resisted the strong temptation to stand and explain why I had brought these questions to AM. And then, over forty minutes, silence deepened and people ministered, as moved by the Spirit. I had felt “Are we a church or an NGO?” to be unduly challenging. We are, and are not, Christian, theist, in the tradition and part of the wider Church. I love our formulation, we are a community of faith.

Here is our minute, of which I am particularly proud:

We have considered the summary paper of the QCCIR response to the World Council of Churches. This matter will come before Meeting for Sufferings in September. Quakers worldwide are by a large majority Christian, and one with experience of a programmed tradition found it had the true life. Some Friends see what we have in common with other Christians is far more important than what divides us. Others find little in common with the Evangelical emphasis on personal salvation. We are a community of faith, respecting all people seeking the spirit within. The heart of the church is worship, and we come to Meeting for Worship. We refer this matter to local meetings.

It is the kernel of the ministry of all of us. The amendment from the floor was to add that crucial word “other”.

After lunch, and our “Getting to know you” exercise, a recent attender came up. He is getting more irritated with his Anglican heritage, and we shared our mutual loathing for the doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement. He has worshipped with us for a year, this was his first AM, and he was bowled over by the difference of our business meeting from an ordinary committee meeting, and my sensitivity to the feeling of the meeting, as we found unity.

An elder said how wonderful it was that a meeting for business should feel like a meeting for worship. Yet it has to be: if we make rational decisions, we are stuck with mere rationality, but if we decide in worship we have Leadings and Unity! Others have expressed how well it went.

I went out and got drunk with a friend. We wondered if we were proper Quakers, wearing this, driving that: proper enough.

The two mules, a fable for the nations

Modesty II

Cause I’m gonna make you see
Nobody else here, no-one like me
I’m special, so special
I gotta have some of your attention
Give it to me

Oh, yeah- me, too! Of course. This creature is beautiful, creative, powerful, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and you’re going to notice. You will see my posture and deportment, because a person can dominate a room, turning heads, whatever they are wearing. I am a force of nature. I dress to express my personality, to make me feel Good, to attract attention, and why not use a push-up bra as part of that? My sexuality is part of the way I am, with everyone, not just with lovers.

At least that’s the theory, what, appallingly late, I am now working on. One has to do teenage eventually.

Onywye, I feel good in a nice dress, and I love that suede jacket. The long blonde hair feels so much better than the short dark style. I love it caressing my upper back, in the V of the neck-line.

So we dance together, women and women, men and men, men and women, left-handers and red-heads, sometimes enjoying the game, sometimes bruised by it. If you do not have the physical advantages of the most vivacious animals, you can play with other tools. The unco guid use disapproval, saying that displaying her body is lacking self-respect, coming over like a whore. Men oppress women with violence, and use her attractiveness against her- she was “asking for it”. In places women dress as men wanted, we are naked or in burqas.

The alternatives seem to be the beautiful free movement of expression or rules from controlling fear. Men object to women dressing “immodestly” when they feel embarrassed by their naughty thoughts. If they could accept attraction as natural and beautiful, they would not need to project their discomfort onto the other.

It is not respect for another to say that she is demeaning herself by the revealing clothes she wears. It is judgment. Respect requires allowing her to be as she is. Tiribulus’ comments here are vile. To me every woman is a lady, no matter what they are to themselves. And My family is the standard. If I would not want my wife or daughter to be seen in [anything “revealing”], I don’t intentionally see other women that way either. He sets himself as the standard, and claims that those women who do not meet his standard are demeaning themselves and have no self-respect. He is projecting.

This is why we are told “Judge not”. By the measure you use, it will be measured to you. You create a picture in your mind of another’s cultural background, understanding, intention, action, and it may be wholly unrelated to their reality. Walk a mile without shoes.

Different Diana