A dry spell.

Here’s something I found really interesting lately:

The share of U.S. adults reporting no sex in the past year reached an all-time high in 2018, underscoring a three-decade trend line marked by an aging population and higher numbers of unattached people.

At first glance, it looks like simple demography; in an aging country, aged people simply have less sex, for the usual reasons. Here’s the interesting part:

But changes at the other end of the age spectrum may be playing an even bigger role. The portion of Americans 18 to 29 reporting no sex in the past year more than doubled between 2008 and 2018, to 23 percent.

It’s because they’re not partnered:

For most of the past three decades, 20-something men and women reported similar rates of sexlessness. But that has changed in recent years. Since 2008, the share of men younger than 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled, to 28 percent. That’s a much steeper increase than the 8 percentage point increase reported among their female peers.

There are several potential explanations for this, Twenge said. Labor force participation among young men has fallen, particularly in the aftermath of the last recession. Researchers also see a “connection between labor force participation and stable relationships,” she said.

I don’t know about you, but I find this worrisome. Not only for economic reasons, but because sexually frustrated young men are dangerous. Men with no prospects, sexual or otherwise, have been the engine of social upheaval throughout human history. Times change, people don’t. A man who can’t find a human partner is not going to be happy with masturbation forever.

It’s an interesting story. I recommend it.

Have you been following the great Leggings War? I know the Notre Dame skirmish was a topic here last week, but this is nothing new. Ruth Graham explains in Slate:

It’s fitting that Maryann White’s jeremiad against the troublesome trousers sprang from an encounter in a church. The leggings debate takes on a special urgency in Christian circles, where the stakes are not just which pants are flattering, but which pants are godly. Modesty is a virtue named in the New Testament, and lust is a sin. But the Bible unhelpfully does not include original illustrations. Does modesty require covered shoulders? Long skirts? Or just a spirit of not “trying so very hard to look good in all the ways that are so relatively unimportant,” while also, of course, looking traditionally feminine? Meanwhile, huge swaths of mainstream Christian culture are almost indistinguishable aesthetically with mainstream American culture, and even take pains to imitate it. The result is that many young Christian women feel perfectly comfortable wearing leggings, while others see them as not just unflattering but immoral.

The result is seemingly endless cycles of debates within the Christian community about the communal ethics of spandex, a hothouse version of the broader cultural debate. “Modesty, Yoga Pants and 5 Myths You Need to Know”; “To the Christian Men and Women Debating Yoga Pants”; “Yoga Pants and What the Bible Really Says About Modesty”; “Should Christian Women Wear Leggings?”; “Why I Chose to No Longer Wear Leggings”; and my personal favorite, “Leggings: A Catholic Man’s Perspective.” For what it’s worth, America is doing pretty well right now by traditional measures of Christian morality: Teen abstinence is up; teen pregnancy is down; divorce is down. The visible-butt revolution has not ruined us yet.

That second graf, in the original, is full of links. Follow a few; this is a topic some people are simply obsessed with. From the Catholic man’s perspective:

Many of my brothers struggle with pornography and are trying to rewire their brains to be clean from all the horrible things they’ve seen in porn. When a woman in real life walks by in an immodest outfit – say, a crop top, something low-cut, something sheer, or something very tight (like leggings), the visual of those body parts can recall images from porn to the front of their brains. It’s extremely hard to purify the brain, and we desperately need your help.

My goal is to get men to treat you more respectfully, and I’m simply asking you to treat us that way, too. Not only does dressing modestly help protect you, it helps protect us, too.

Got that? You must dress “modestly,” whatever that is, because your butt might recall images from porn.

Here’s what I don’t get: Why are leggings bad, but jeans, almost all of which are tight, are not? Don’t they both trace the curve of one’s bum?

Everybody is crazy.

It’s a great midweek blog, isn’t it? Mostly others’ work. But we have the demise of World Net Daily to celebrate, so that’s a good thing.

Posted at 9:17 pm in Current events |

75 responses to “A dry spell.”

  1. beb said on April 2, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Americans at NASCAR events respecting the flag…

    hat tip to the Mad Biologist for this link.

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  2. beb said on April 2, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Leggings are a lot thinner than jean material so when they hug the buttocks they really hug the butt. It’s like they’re wearing nothing at all (to quote the Simpsons). I suspect that if women could watch a video of them walking in leggings they would either quite wearing leggings at all or wear a top that reach down below the cheeks.

    Oh, I recall reading that divorce is down because marriage is down…

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  3. Deborah said on April 2, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Congrats to Lori Lightfoot the first black woman elected to be mayor in Chicago. Plus the first openly gay person to be elected mayor in Chicago. It was fun to watch Rachel announce that tonight.

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  4. alex said on April 2, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    I’m too old to know what’s going on in the meatrack marketplace these days but that’s really alarming that the Trump phenomenon has youngfolk too skeeved out to fuck. I guess this really is the most unsexy era of my lifetime. Glad to know it’s not age and diabetic neuropathy killing my libido but Republicans.

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  5. Sherri said on April 3, 2019 at 12:41 am

    I wear leggings regularly, and I’ve seen video of me doing squats and deadlifts and various other exercises in them. I’m fine with them, and don’t feel the need to cover up.

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  6. David C. said on April 3, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Nancy mentioned reading “The Fifth Risk” and it scaring the shit out of her. I think Michael Lewis tended to think the problem would come from incompetence, but my money is on venality.


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  7. ROGirl said on April 3, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Leggings, the devil’s tool.

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  8. Heather said on April 3, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Yet another example of men expecting women to do their emotional labor for them. Oh, my butt might remind you of porn? I guess that’s something I, a total stranger, must help you with!

    I find it hard to resist sweets, but I don’t expect cafes and bakeries to install shades in their windows.

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  9. Suzanne said on April 3, 2019 at 8:17 am

    I wear leggings but only with a top that covers my ample rump. They are incredibly comfortable. That said, I am tired of hearing that women’s clothing is the cause of men’s lustful, sinful thoughts.

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  10. Icarus said on April 3, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Modesty is a virtue named in the New Testament, and lust is a sin. But the Bible unhelpfully does not include original illustrations.

    It’s almost as if we shouldn’t depend upon the Bible as a dress code or fashion guideline or something.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on April 3, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Two words: video games. My son and friends can play all night long without eating or sleeping. He’s a lot better now that he’s involved in several community groups and plays tennis three days a week, but there was a while when all he did was work and game. Don’t underestimate their addictive power.

    Priceless, beb.

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  12. Suzanne said on April 3, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Let me give a lesson in why I don’t think Trump will go away any time soon, even in 2020.
    A coworker told me that on hearing the news that Chicago had elected a gay, black mayor yesterday, her husband’s (white, conservative, in his 70s) response was “This is why we need Trump.” Let me tell you that in this part of the country, this mindset is absolutely normal. In large swaths of the country, this thinking is absolutely mainstream.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 3, 2019 at 11:31 am

    “Christian circles” do not have a special urgency around leggings. They do not. Christian circles do tend to skew older, and more traditional. They are, to use a loaded word, conservative. They tend to change more slowly on many fronts than the society at large. This is either what’s horrible about them (us) or what’s good about us (them, whatever), depending on your starting point.

    We had a discussion Monday night at the elders’ meeting at the church where I’m pastor. I first arrived here in 1989 as the associate, newly ordained, fairly newly married, and had some hopes and dreams. Some changed, some were crushed, some have been fulfilled, but usually in unexpected manners.

    Meanwhile, I left (in ’93) and came back in 2012. During those thirty years, this congregation has welcomed women into leadership (elders, diaconate, and we ordained our second woman into ministry in February out of this church); we also went from being a Sunday service where only men served up front, pulpit and table and in the pews, all in suits and tan jackets were considered pushing it, to now maybe three ties in the sanctuary out of 150, almost no dresses on the women. In ’92 women were first “allowed” to serve communion (we pass it in the pews, and observe it each Sunday, open to all) but the “compromise” was a stern instruction that they must wear a dress and hose. I’m not sure when that was relaxed, but it didn’t last.

    In 1989, many women still wore hats, not a few white gloves, and all dresses. I recall ladies apologizing for coming to church in slacks for work days, which I quickly said was utterly unnecessary. But I would have done the same had I come to the building in shorts and flip flops. Today, I have preached and not on Camp Sunday in shorts and flip flops during the summer. We robe up, pastors and choir, for Advent and currently in Lent, but it’s being discussed to drop Lenten robing and save that for Holy Week.

    Our leaders think we’ve come far, fast. My task was to gently remind them that they’ve not come as far as they think, and there’s more change to come. Those present took it well — I showed them a video of typical worship, the kind my wife has led at another church in this county for fifteen years. There’s no bulletin, no hymnals, all screens, and the men all wear t-shirts or untucks and many of the women various forms of casual wear, including . . . leggings and short tops. Joyce tells me a few of the older members there have shaken their heads and said “young people nowadays, I’d have never worn that” but it’s not an issue and won’t be.

    The big question for me, as a pastor, is whether the church I serve will be here in another thirty years. Part of my work as I’ve seen it over the years has been a sort of leadership stewardship, thinking about the minister after me, and preparing the congregations I’ve served for a future beyond my tenure. I got back last week from Merton’s abbey in Kentucky, where they’ve been there since 1848, chanting a Trappist round of psalmody that’s over a thousand years old; they’ve been down and almost closed, up to over 200 after World War II, and and now down to just under 40. It was lower twenty years ago, but they’ve come back a bit.

    I suspect the Trappists will still be there at Gethsemani in another thirty years, but some establishments have closed. They may grow again, but I doubt in my lifetime. For congregations, many are closing, many more will yet do so. The besetting ailment is, I think, that they’ve changed to the point of discomfort and pain, and think that’s enough change, but the social trends around them mean they haven’t changed enough to keep up, in terms of supporting at least the number and type of local churches we knew in the 50s and 60s into the 70s, coasting through the 80s and then the long steady decline of the 90s and into this century.

    Not all of us have to be or should become culturally “relevant” contemporary worship centers with praise bands and multi-media tech as the primary vehicle for services, but the reality of that preference is a huge downwards pressure on small traditional congregations. The cost of staffing and operating a stand-alone church means the model changes on one end or the other. I think we’ll see some traditional churches survive, but even most of those will have a different sort of clergy/staffing, shifts in the worship model from the current pew books and handout programs, music choices, and yes, how people dress.

    But it’s a strange place to stand, in my Christian circles, to ask myself “what does leadership mean here, and now, if I would be certain that this building, this congregation, even my denomination, will not recognizably exist in 2049?” Yet looking back as a historian, that’s been true for 2,000 years. Our problem is that bubble of seeming stability, culturally and socially and church-wise, from the 1920s through the 70s, was a bubble of continuity. Outside of a handful of cathedrals and particular local parishes, continuity is an illusion. Ask the property committee of any of those vast stone piles, and they’ll tell you even they have to work hard just to maintain the illusion of stability.

    Meanwhile, as to leggings, this too shall pass.

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  14. LAMary said on April 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Keep good thoughts for me for the next few hours. Another interview. The last one was a train wreck that I promise I will describe more fully after I do this one.

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  15. Jakash said on April 3, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    “This is why we need Trump.”

    Why does a homophobe in rural Indiana care who the mayor of Chicago is? He already probably considers it to be worse than either Sodom or Gomorrah. And what’s Dolt 45 gonna do about it, other than tweet mean things and do what he can to prevent it from getting the A+ FEMA response, if needed. His hatred for Chicago is baked in, so it can’t get any worse.

    The saddest part about it being that the Marmalade Mussolini is a life-long big-city guy and libertine, himself, whose successful charlatanism in getting rural Hoosiers to think he gives a flying fuck about them or their supposed morals has been among his few actual accomplishments. And, as with most of the economic success his administration touts, he has the former Chicagoan Obama to thank for that, too…

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  16. Scout said on April 3, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Of all the stupid things for people to be worried about, leggings? Really? I wear them all the time. I do pair them with longer tunics because of my great grammy butt, but when I see a nicely built lady sporting them with a tight top I find the look pleasing. But hey, I’m a lesbian, so there’s that. I swear, ‘Christians’ are such insecure, judgey, pearl clutching fuss pots.

    On edit: Good luck, LAMary. We are rooting for you!!!

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on April 3, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    “I want to be chaste and treat women with respect, but the wiring in my brain won’t let me! And it’s the women’s fault.”

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  18. Suzanne said on April 3, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Bitter, I have heard several variations of exactly what you said from religious people at church and in Christian literature/bible study books. I think they truly believe that men can’t help themselves.

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  19. 4dbirds said on April 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Good luck LAMary.

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  20. JodiP said on April 3, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Best of luck, LAMary! Hopefully you will reporting the good news of employment in the coming days!

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  21. Deborah said on April 3, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Best of luck LA Mary.

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  22. Dave said on April 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Good luck, Mary, I hope it happens.

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  23. FDChief said on April 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    ISTM that the notion that lust is baked into men and that arousing it is the fault of women is pretty much baked into Christianity. Woman as the vessel of sin? Color me shocked!

    Here’s the thing; in a secular state that SHOULD be a personal problem that the Bible-banger has to deal with. It’s a condemnation of the degree to which the U.S. has encouraged the aggressive God-pesterers to shove their prejudices into the public square that this nonsense isn’t simply laughed off as the nonsense it is. It’s not difficult. And it’s not the problem of the person who’s being drooled over by some easily aroused Pauline fanboy.

    The capacity we hairless monkeys have to thrust our genitals into the public square would be impressive if it wasn’t so irritating.

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  24. Dorothy said on April 3, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I work at a Catholic university and I’ve never heard one word about anyone being anti-leggings. If the girls stopped wearing them they’d all be naked, because that’s all they wear. I love wearing them too, and like some of the others here have shared, I make sure I have a tunic on at the same time as I don’t want to send anyone into shock seeing my wide rear end. They’re my go-to outfit on the weekends now. If men and women can go to the beach and see each scantily clad, and spontaneous displays of uncontained lust don’t erupt, why can’t women wear body hugging garments NOT at the beach? The whole thing is ridiculous.

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  25. LAMary said on April 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    This was a second interview for this job. First one was on the phone and lasted an hour. It was supposed to be 30 minutes so I took that as a good sign. Second one, today, was supposed to be 45 minutes. It lasted 2 hours. One more to go with the partners in this company. Keep the good vibes going. They are very much appreciated.

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  26. Jo Kobiela said on April 3, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Popped into Abq today for a pickup, nice area.Leaving for Salt Lake shortly, I’ll wave as I go by, if I ever get time here, lunch is on me.
    Pilot Joe

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  27. Dorothy said on April 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Mary I forgot to cheer you on. I’m glad it seemed to go so well today!

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  28. Deborah said on April 3, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Regarding leggings, I wear them around our places and occasionally in public. After my spine surgery almost 2 years ago I got some leggings and yoga pants that didn’t fit tightly around the back of my waist where my incision was. I still wear them, the Lulu Lemon yoga pants aren’t super tight fitting because I thought I needed some breathing room around the incision area. Since then i’ve been back to Lulu Lemon to try to find the same pants but they only have the tighter fitting leggings which I’m not as comfortable in.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 3, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Baked into Christianity, Chief? You’ve been around too many other faiths to think that. Most religions are slow on transitions for gender roles, but God-botherers of the Jesus type have a more complicated history than just as oppressors of women, period. Many faith groups around the world have female submission more stirred into their special sauce than we do. Our problem tends be that we haven’t done a good job with Romans 12:2-3. Christendom has tended to let the surrounding culture call the shots, and in too many of our hierarchies have chosen to support those cultural norms — but it’s not integral to the recipe.

    Which is why Christendom as an institution is struggling and dying, and fast may that husk wither.

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  30. basset said on April 3, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Careful with that last part, JeffTMMO, or they’ll be having public burnings of your band’s records and making you apologize on TV.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on April 3, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Researchers also see a “connection between labor force participation and stable relationships”…

    Well, yeah, it is kind of hard to have a stable sexual relationship when you’re living with your parents.

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  32. LAMary said on April 3, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    I worked for a Catholic hospital system for 11 years and while we were not usually allowed to wear leggings to work, some people wore them when we had a casual day, like a regional meeting of all the people in my department. Most people opted for jeans but there were always a few leggings wearers and no one commented on it. Then we got a new boss. Not a Catholic or even a Christian. His last name was Cohen. When he was making the rounds of doing meet and greets he explained that all meetings would be casual days except for leggings and yoga pants, “obviously.” His word. He’s a young guy, sort of hip-ish. No flaunting our nether parts around him. Obviously.

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  33. beb said on April 4, 2019 at 2:32 am

    As I guy I like loose fitting jeans. They’re easy to slip on — I imagine that leggings requires a certain among of pulling to get them up the legs. And of they come with pockets. So many of them. I never have to wonder where my keys are because they are always in my pants pocket….

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  34. David C. said on April 4, 2019 at 6:36 am

    This will make you smile.


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  35. Dorothy said on April 4, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Nancy I typed a comment directed at LAMary around 6 PM yesterday. After I clicked on Submit Comment it said my comment was being held for moderation. Did I do something wrong?

    Beb I love pockets too but most women (including me) carry a purse. So my keys, wallet, lipstick or lip balm, Kleenex etc. are where they need to be. Which is not in my pockets.

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    • nancy said on April 4, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Not anymore. I approved it.

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  36. Deborah said on April 4, 2019 at 8:55 am

    I am one of those weird women who do not carry purses. Everything goes in pockets, I don’t carry much around as a result. In the summer if I’m wearing something that doesn’t have pockets I carry a very small shoulder bag that only fits my phone and keys.

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  37. Dorothy said on April 4, 2019 at 9:20 am

    You’re not weird, Deborah. I envy you the ability to do that. You referenced phone and keys go in a pocket, but what about a driver’s license, a debit or credit card and/or cash? I can’t go anywhere without Kleenex and a lip balm, too. Since I’m still working I carry my badge (need it to access the elevators and doors with badge readers), plus a master key to all the doors for my department, and another ring of small keys that gives me access to a file cabinet with personnel records. Only the boss and I can get into that. Then there’s a small bottle of Ibuprofen for my arthritis – I’d never get by with a tiny purse.

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  38. JodiP said on April 4, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Pockets. Sigh. As any woman here will tell you, the pockets in most women’s pants are far too shallow to be useful. Even jeans rarely have pockets like 501 Levis–including other Levis. On the flip side, most of my dress pants come with the pockets sewn shut, and I tend to keep that way for a smoother look. I don’t need them at work.

    We are looking forward to the weekend: our niece is getting married to a wonderful guy. I crazily volunteered to do a presentation in the morning of the big day for the NAACP as part of an integrated health forum, but will be leaving after my 10″ speech. I hope we have a great turnout!

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  39. Julie Robinson said on April 4, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Member of the big purse club here. I also have to carry my prescription sunglasses, eye drops, and hand lotion. Whenever I wash my hands I need to reapply because my skin is so darn dry. I keep buying tiny purses and then giving them away. I’ve got baggage!

    Mary, your interview process seems encouraging, and I’m holding good thoughts (praying) that this one comes through.

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  40. Suzanne said on April 4, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Big purse here, too. I have stuff. Kleenex, lip balm, I wear gas perm contacts so need to have my little “plunger” which is the only thing I can use to extract contact if it gets off center, ibuprofen, wallet, hand lotion, nail clippers, band-aids, phone charger cord, breath mints. Our daughter gave me a lovely purse for Christmas that is too small for everyday use.

    Best of luck LAMary! Job interviews are so stressful, like taking a test for a class that you never attended. You don’t know what they are looking for, so it’s hard to answer the questions.

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  41. Deborah said on April 4, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I have a tiny wallet that just fits my credit cards and drivers license. I just started using it a few months ago, it fits nicely in the back pocket of jeans. I carry a tube of lipstick in the ridiculous shallow front pocket of women’s jeans. I always have to be careful it doesn’t fall out when I lower my pants in bathrooms. I carry my sunglasses on the top of my head when not in use. And my keys are minimal, I have 3, the car key is the largest one, which bugs me. My tiny shoulder bag barely fits a tube of lipstick but I can squeeze it in with my phone if I connect the key ring to the strap.

    When I worked I carried a largish bag, I was so glad when I didn’t need that after retiring.

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  42. Sherri said on April 4, 2019 at 11:18 am

    I have leggings with pockets, side pockets that will hold my phone.

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  43. Deborah said on April 4, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I will also say that when I shop for clothing I’m always considering pockets, shirts must have a buttoned breast pocket, jackets and coats must have roomy pockets etc. my yoga pants have a pocket in the back too. Once I find a brand I like I stick with it until they invariably change the style.

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  44. Sherri said on April 4, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Your reminder that it’s not just Kavanaugh. Gorsuch should not be on SCOTUS, and it’s because of Mitch McConnell, not trump, that he is. We know have a Court with a majority that worries more about the humanity of a few cells than about the humanity of people they don’t like.


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  45. Jakash said on April 4, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Apropos of today’s discussion, this popular tweet by actress Anna Kendrick is making the rounds:

    “Sweatpants without pockets, you can fuck all the way off.”


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  46. Scout said on April 4, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Speaking of job interviews…

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  47. Sherri said on April 4, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I have to tell this story. I was at the my local Dems meeting last night. I don’t attend regularly, because they drive me crazy, but last night, they were voting on an endorsement in the mayor’s race, and I was speaking for my friend. After the endorsements were over (they did endorse my friend!), I’m sitting in the back with a young high school girl who is organizing the teen campaign for my friend, and one of the people who I find incredibly annoying is speaking about his meeting with Tom Perez. This guy loves to hear himself talk, and desperately wants to be a mover and a shaker, but has the social skills of a thirty year old still living at home with his parents without a real job*. After he’s been talking a while, the girl turns to me and says, “why is he still talking??!”

    *literally true. Once upon a time, he was the bright young junior high kid super involved in politics, and too many people in the org still treat him like he’s that. Because there are too many in the org who cling to their little petty power bases and keep the org from being at all effective, and drive off everybody who is capable of getting things done.

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  48. Deborah said on April 4, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks Scout, that link made my day.

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  49. Little Bird said on April 4, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I require a bag of reasonable size. Wallet, phone, keys, assorted other bits and bobs and usually some of the jewelry I make. I’m also becoming more of a leggings person. With long shirts. When are we going to stop blaming women for mens behavior?

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  50. Deborah said on April 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    I think a lot of women think pockets give them bulges so they would rather have a slim, smooth profile, but then they have to carry around a bulky bag that can get stolen easily, I had this happen when I hung my bag over the back of my chair at a restaurant on Michigan Ave. That was one of the reasons I swore off bags. That and sore shoulders from carting heavy, awkward bags around. But a lot of men I know carry bulky back packs around, which I don’t get when they have perfectly roomy pockets in all of their clothing. I have gotten beaned in the head by men wearing giant back packs walking past me when I’m sitting, especially on airplanes, but even at ballparks. What’s with that?

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  51. Julie Robinson said on April 4, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Scout, I read about that interview in Michelle’s book but it’s fascinating to hear it from the other side. Her book is going on my library list. Thanks.

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  52. FDChief said on April 4, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    I think the big difference between the Christian He-Man Woman Haters Club and the other gyno-impaired people following other religions is that what a lot if the other sects are doing really IS more “cultural” than actually tied up in the tenets of their faiths. There’s no particularly liberal strain of Islam, for example, but there’s nothing in the Quran or the hadiths that is the straight up equivalent of “let your women be silent in the churches”/girls-have-cooties sort of thing. The “you sluts cover up!” stuff is written into the scrpture – that’s the “baked in” part that bakes it into Christianity (and Judiasm, too, for that matter); it’s right there in the ingredients, not just on the package.

    That’s not to say that any Christian or Jewish group has to obey, say, all the Levitican proscriptions. But you have to find a reason NOT to buy into the stuff it says there right in your foundational texts; it’s not simply a matter of shedding cultural baggage as it might be for, say, a Buddhist or a Jain, or even a Muslim.

    But here’s the thing. I think you missed the point. I don’t actually have any issues with if you or anyone wants to obey all these biblical strictures.

    IMO religions are like hobbies; you should get out of them what makes you happy. If that means refusing to wear tight trousers? Fine! You gotta be happy, and if that makes you happy, that’s what you should do.

    No, my issue is with the nonsensical idea that everyone ELSE needs to do what makes you happy. Sorry, that’s just a non-starter. If you have an issue with human bodies and you are in a place where you see them, then you either have to grow up and deal with it or go where you can’t see them. You don’t get to make them don the burqa to make you happy…

    So my issue in the comment above wasn’t with (or whether, or why) leggings-as-near-occasion-of-sin being baked into the Jesus pie. It was that We the People have let too many people who believe that and things like it to make their religious itch-scratching part of public policy. THAT really isn’t the business of governance. So I’m fine with someone making the argument that seeing other people’s butts is Bad. I’m NOT fine with the City Council acting to pass as Seeing Other People’s Butts Control Ordnance. That’s the bright line…not the religion (or custom, or whatever it is).

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  53. beb said on April 4, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Deborah@50 I think gets why woman’s pants don’t have pockets.0

    Sherri’s story @47. The reason the man was still talking was because no one had ever told him “why are you still talking?” Which is why we need more young people in politics. They’re more likely to say rude truth like that.

    My wife has a large cloth shoulder bag to carry all her stuff. It;s very useful in many ways but every so often she curses it because she can’t some small item in it.

    Lili Loofbourow has an interesting essay about Joe Biden and the whole business of unwanted familiarity from men.

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  54. alex said on April 4, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Loved the Valerie Jarrett excerpt. Makes me want to read her book and Michelle Obama’s too.

    I still encounter people who rant about Barack Obama being a Chicago machine pol and spew all sorts of other uninformed garbage and I despair. You really can’t fix stupid, much less reason with it.

    Yesterday I found a snapshot in one of my flowerbeds, probably flotsam from a neighborhood garbage can but I don’t recognize the people in it. In the photo, a guy in camo is holding a baby in a camo onesie inside the antlers of a four-point stag with its head propped up and its right hip torn clean off. Still squicking out about it.

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  55. basset said on April 4, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    A four-point’s usually nothing to brag about, and the hip means either it was roadkill or someone can’t shoot.

    38 years ago right now, Mrs. B and I were enjoying our wedding reception in a UAW hall in Kalamazoo… after which we got into her Pinto and headed for the downtown Holiday Inn, where there were no towels in our room. You need towels in that situation.

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  56. Julie Robinson said on April 4, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    BTW FDChief, the misogynist stuff attributed to Paul was either written by someone else (1 Timothy, not accepted as canonically Pauline by many scholars) or in response to a very specific situation in a church (Corinthians, where the women were talking over others). I spent a semester poring over Paul’s writings and found his message radically egalitarian, both then and now. Galatians 3:28 “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”.

    As far as sexism being baked into Christianity, it’s baked into almost every society and culture throughout history. Let’s not blame it on religion.

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  57. basset said on April 4, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Pockets? You want pockets? I’ve had one of these for over twenty years, they’re discontinued so I have to make it last though:


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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 4, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Huzzah, Julie. I have nothing to add to your admirable assessment.

    Heading to Chicago tomorrow. I may spend all day Saturday staring at the America Windows. But I have to get a cheezeborger at Billy Goat’s, just for old times’ sake.

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  59. FDChief said on April 5, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Again; lots of groups of people don’t need religion to come up with goofy rules. The caste system probably antedates Hinduism, the burka precedes Islam, yes, I agree…many customs are completely outside the religious systems of those societies.

    The text of the Torah and the Bible, OTOH, are pretty much black and white about those rules. Regardless of culture, setting or milieu, or whether the letter that is attributed to some guy named “Paul” was really written by some guy named “Joe” or “Rocky” (and how the hell do we know? I’ve done enough manuscript research to know that even in later documents the trail can be tenuous, and here we’re talking about documents that don’t even appear – so far as we can tell – until a good half century or more after the original author(s) are dead (Paul is gone before 70CE and P46 turns up around 200CE) the texts contain statements that reflect the Bronze Age or early Iron Age culture that existed at the time. The fact that they are not entirely open to the idea of gender equity (or lots of other “equity”)? Not surprising.

    And, again; not appalling, either. If your religion tells you to drink the blood of rams on the Lord’s day, that’s between you and the rams.

    Lots of religions have lots of things that seem objectively odd. That’s part of the fun, if that’s your thing.

    But if it tells you that you need to try and get laws passed saying that I can’t marry someone, or wear leggings, or eat ham and cheese?

    THAT’s the problem.

    All’s I’m saying.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on April 5, 2019 at 12:50 am

    Don’t disagree with any of that, except that the more I learn about the Bible I pretty much see shades of gray.

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  61. Jakash said on April 5, 2019 at 1:04 am

    Rather different from the America Windows, but if you’re a Chagall fan you may want to allot a few minutes to visit the Pope’s “favorite painting,” JTMMO…


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  62. Sherri said on April 5, 2019 at 2:14 am

    Beb, yes, exactly. Those people who won’t let go are all older than me by at least 10 years and mostly men, and they indulge the man like he’s still a precocious little boy.

    Another story from last night. There are three people who have announced that they’re running for mayor. It’s a nonpartisan race, but two of the candidates have been active in the Dems for a while, and the third is not a Dem and did not seek endorsement. However, he showed up at the meeting last night, expecting to be allowed to speak when the other two candidates spoke. He was asked if he was a Dem, he said no, and he was told he couldn’t speak, per the bylaws.

    He then stormed out, saying he wasn’t going to stay if it wasn’t fair. I’m encountering more and more situations where men are used to their mere presence and desire being sufficient to get them the mike, and they don’t know what to do when they’re thwarted. Sometimes they throw temper tantrums, like this guy did, and sometimes they concern troll, worrying about issues of free speech and access. I think they’re genuinely unaware that they’re experiencing an episode of lost privilege feeling like oppression.

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  63. ROGirl said on April 5, 2019 at 4:25 am

    I’ve been on the receiving end of unsolicited touching from men while at work (not to the Joe Biden level), and it’s not OK. It isn’t a sign of friendliness or joking around. It was unprofessional, disrespectful and truly clueless.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 5, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Love one another. The rest are footnotes.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 5, 2019 at 8:05 am

    (But you have to have footnotes, which is where the problems start. Like “no, loving one another does not mean touching people who do not want to be touched even if you think you mean it lovingly.”)

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  66. Julie Robinson said on April 5, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Exactly, Jeff. And if something conflicts with love your neighbor, follow love your neighbor.

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  67. Scout said on April 5, 2019 at 11:10 am

    This is a fascinating behind the scenes look at the college admissions scandal.

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  68. LAMary said on April 5, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Alex, what a revolting photo. I haven’t even seen it and I’m squicked out.

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  69. Mark P said on April 5, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t recall that Jesus said anything much about women wearing leggings, but maybe I missed it. I used to wear tights under my running shorts on very cold days, back when I could actually run, but I would never have worn them without the shorts on top, and I would probably have died before I would have worn them into Walmart.

    As to Christianity, all I can say it that Christianity is not what it used to be, and probably never was. I have known some people who followed the words attributed to the man that Christians claim to believe was actually god, but most of what I see of Christians today convinces me they cut most of those words out of their bibles. Take Dave Ramsey, you know, the famous, wealthy financial advisor, who says, “There’s ultimately only one way to financial peace, and that’s to walk daily with the prince of peace, Christ Jesus.” But he spends all of his radio time urging people to get wealthy like him so they can live tomorrow “like no one else.” I don’t recall him ever mentioning the part where Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth.”

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  70. David C. said on April 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Dave Ramsey (sort of) broke up the marriage of a friend. She said she got sick of having to beg for money to buy underwear. Not much financial peace there.

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  71. Icarus said on April 5, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    in case this link doesn’t work

    Jesus: I am the son of God and also I am God and we are the same thing but different people and also there is a ghost who is me and is God but different too.

    Christians: yes, good.

    Person: I was assigned male at birth but I’m actually a woman.

    Christians: impossible

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  72. Julie Robinson said on April 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Dave Ramsey, ugh. Friends went through his classes, and you have to do things EXACTLY the way he says. You have to pay for everything in cash, and you have to carry around envelopes with the cash you budgeted and saved to spend, which just seems dangerous to me. You are absolutely not allowed to use a credit card. Under any circumstances. There are definitely folks with spending problems who need to put their cards away until they can pay them off. But we use a no-fee, high-rewards card and pay if off in full every month. I refuse to be be bullied into his system.

    But, it’s much, much worse than a rigid system. When friends started telling me about how wonderful his classes are, I went to his website and learned that it’s all about funneling you into one of his affiliates for insurance and other products. He’s getting lots and lots of referral fees. He’s despicable.

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  73. basset said on April 5, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Seems to be working for him, though, at least if you measure success by big buildings… he’s putting one up along I-65 on the south fringe of Nashville, drove past it today.

    Later in the same trip I ran up on a Pontiac Fiero junkyard down in north Alabama, probably had forty or fifty of em sitting out in the grass.

    Something that you’d only see in Nashville: local music bar is featuring an Allman Brothers tribute band tomorrow night. Nothing unusual there, but the opening act is a guitarist who used to BE an Allman Brother.

    Same place had a Steely Dan tribute band last year on the same night the real Steely Dan was playing an outdoor show maybe four blocks away. Lots of musical talent here.

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  74. beb said on April 7, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    When it comes ro religion my go-to place os Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian,” and noto just because I’m named Brian.
    “He’s not the Messiah; he’s just a very naughty boy.”

    “What have the Romans ever done for us?” followed by a list of things the Roman had done.

    “‘Blessed are the Cheesemakers’ What does he mean by that?’ ‘I think he was refering to anyone in the dairy industry.’

    After a cripple complains to Brian that he can’t work because Jesus healed him. “There’s just no pleasing some people.” “That’s what Jesus said,” replies the former cripple.

    And finally

    Brian: “You all think fir yourselves.”

    People in unison: “Yes, we must all think for ourselves…. tell us more O, Brian.”

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