Sexy Feminists Read: R.A. Brown’s ‘Created Equal’

New legal thriller Created Equal goes where no other lawyer dramas have gone: inside the Catholic Church’s continued condemnation of the ordination of women. Could a woman who wants to become a priest use the law to her advantage? We talked to author R.A. Brown about whether the church might ever change its ways, what the legal issues are, and how modern Catholics feel about female priesthood.

We obviously support ordaining women, but why do you think it’s particularly important?

In order for one to be a priest, that person first must have a calling to the vocation from God. Let’s take two people who both have the calling and are both spiritual and essentially have all the traits to be a successful priest. The church, however, and not God, says one is qualified and the other is not solely because of the lack of male genitals. That is the only difference between the two people. What does the presence of a penis have to do with being a priest when a priest is forbidden to use it in a sexual manner anyway? There are no male genitals involved in the performance of priestly duties, so why the qualification? Unless God has instructed otherwise, man is interfering with a calling from God, which doesn’t make any sense and is discrimination on the highest level.

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Who Says a Girl Can’t Be King?

Homecoming: a time of parades, pep rallies, and the crowning of the school’s king and queen. This year, Patrick Henry High School in San Diego put a new twist on an old tradition. The student body elected Rebecca Arellano as the first female homecoming king and her girlfriend, Haileigh Adams as their queen.

It’s a small wave in the sea of change for gay teenagers—and girls in general—but it’s one worth noting.

I have been out of high school for exactly ten years and out of the closet for almost the same amount of time. While my suburban New Jersey high school was no Mississippi, it certainly wasn’t as progressive as Patrick Henry. We didn’t even have a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), an after-school activity that has become a staple at American high schools in the last decade. There were three or four openly gay students, one of whom was a close friend. As far as I’m aware none of these students (or myself) encountered major harassment or bullying. Interestingly, my close friend experienced far worse at home than he ever did in the halls or cafeteria of our high school.

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Attention NY Sexy Feminists: ‘Guy’s Guide to Feminism’ Launching at a Bookstore Near You

Please join us in celebrating that all-too-rare breed, male feminists, at the Nov. 22 launch of The Guy’s Guide to Feminism by the Michaels Kaufman and Kimmel. It’s at 7 p.m. at Bluestockings Books, 172 Allen St., on the Lower East Side. We’ll have more on the book and its authors later this week, but mark your calendars now …

The Most Empowering ‘Chick Flicks’ Ever

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Chick flicks have a reputation for being sexist, vapid films (even the nickname makes us roll our eyes!). But the movies on this list prove that feminism can be found in any genre, if you know where to look. Whether the main character is kicking ass or finding her voice, these chick flicks are actually feminist.

Have movies to add to our list? Comment below!
Photo: Paramount

Guns Won’t Stop Rape Like Education Can

Should women carry guns to ward off sexual predators, as a South Carolina sheriff recently suggested? He made the statement after nabbing a rape/kidnapping suspect who already had a long history of arrests. He says, “I really think that would send a message to some of these people who can’t control themselves that you better be really cautious who you mess with because they might be armed.”

Of course, anti-gun activists are up in arms (or whatever) about the statement, alleging that more people carrying guns only leads to more gun violence. And anti-rape activists consider the remarks a form of blame-the-victim scapegoating.

But I see it differently. I think this is less about “blaming the victim” and more about the way we think about violence towards women in this country. Rather than focusing on education, prevention and awareness, we look for band-aid approaches, such as telling women not to dress like sluts, not to go out alone at night or urge them to carry concealed weapons.

I’m not against women practicing their Second Amendment right to bear arms if it makes them feel more safe. They should be properly trained to use them safely and know how to kick a little ass, too. But it’d be far more effective if we also did a better job of educating the masses about violent and sexual crimes against women so that fewer instances occurred, and that more people knew what to do about them when they did.

Look at the success of Take Back the Night crusades on college campuses and now, around the globe. The first event occurred 30 years ago, when the term “date rape” wasn’t even in our lexicon–it was one of those things we didn’t talk about, mostly because women were made to feel like it wasn’t a crime and that their voice wouldn’t be heard anyway. Now there are Take Back delegations in nearly every U.S. city, countless rape hotlines that save lives and catch predators, and a month dedicated to domestic violence awareness, when even morning talk shows focus on the issue.

Ending violence against women takes intervention on a societal level. We need to make everyone as incensed about this issue as they are about terrorism–and let’s not forget that sexual terrorism has been around longer than any other kind.

That South Carolina sheriff was frustrated and fed-up with violent offenders ending up back on the streets. He was suggesting a method of protection that made sense to him. What makes more sense to me is to fix the laws that put first-offense, inner-city drug addicts in prison longer than someone who commits a sex crime. Let’s put our loud-mouthed, lobbying muscle (you know, the way the media makes stories like this viral without considering the larger issues) behind things that can create real change.


SF Talking Points: Boys Should Get HPV Vaccines, Mississippi Could Outlaw The Pill

Boys can (and should!) get HPV vaccines, too: The CDC is now recommending that boys, as well as girls, get the much-debated, and in our opinion downright miraculous, human papillomavirus vaccine. Why this wasn’t the case from the start, we have no idea. HPV causes cervical cancer, yes, but also mouth and anal cancer. It’s transmitted via men, and most sexually active adults — the ones who were over 25 before the vaccine came out, since 25 is the upper age limit for getting it — contract a form of the virus at least once in their lives. The only way men aren’t involved is that, so far, it’s not detectable on men’s private parts the way it is on pap smears. So women who get it go through a rather laborious cycle of more frequent paps (usually every three months until it clears up) along with a colposcopy (an outpatient, but extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient, biopsy of cervical tissue). The HPV vaccine causes all kinds of debate because, um, from what we can tell some people think their kids are going to run out and have sex afterwards, as if the one thing stopping them was a fear of a virus they likely didn’t know about and certainly couldn’t spell. (Rep. Michele Bachmann used Gov. Rick Perry’s HPV vaccine mandate in Texas to score points in a recent Republican debate. She then later spread false information about the vaccine causing mental retardation, an unforgivable gaffe.) In any case, it’s baffling to us that parents wouldn’t be lining up to get their girls and boys vaccinated against this virus. You know how we’re always looking for a cure for cancer? This is as close as we’re getting for the moment.

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