Saint Monica

Some months ago, a well-educated, avid, practicing Christian man who I respect told me that, “In the Old Testament,” they executed women who didn’t have children. I felt awkward, and my initial reaction was to say something smart. Over time, I gave that idea a lot of thought. I tried to imagine what that must have been like. The choice for a woman to remain childfree by choice is not a new one. I also wondered if the threat of execution would make me change my mind. I don’t want to have a child. I think that, alone, would make me “less than” as a mother.

More recently, I ran this by another educated man I know who is also an avid, practicing Christian. He seemed appalled. His brows drew together and his jaw fell open. When I asked if it was not true – that they did not execute childless women during “Old Testament times” – he said, absolutely not. Now that I am remembering it, he seemed kind of offended. I explained that someone told me that. He just kept saying it was absolutely not true.

As I wrote, both men are Christians, and not just, “I got to church almost every Sunday” Christians. These are two Christian men who practice their faith in obvious ways every single day – Bible reading, verse sharing, regular fellowship beyond Sunday morning service, teaching, reaching out, etc. The concept of killing women who don’t have children during a certain era seems very cut-and-dried. Where does this very obvious confusion come from? Regardless of denomination, don’t both of these men subscribe to the same magazine, so to speak?

So, who is correct? How does this work that two men who are clearly dedicated to and knowledgeable about their Christian faith have significantly different answers about this one topic? I’m struggling to see how there can be flexibility. They did or they didn’t.

Enough already.

10.22.17

When I feel or think that I’m not *this* enough, I don’t know if my feeling or thought is realistic.

In LA, Todd wanted to buy me a “Feminist AF” shirt. It was a great shirt. I liked it. It was kind of him to want to buy that for me. He thought it suited me. I turned it down because I worry that I’m not feminist enough. I don’t even know who gets to make that decision.

Can we say that I know a lot about serial killers if I sometimes forget where John Wayne Gacy lived? Or if I don’t know many details about Henry Lee Lucas? I’ve only just recently decided I want to learn more about Carl Panzram. What about forgetting the number of victims for a given serial killer? I am almost never sure of the number of victims. I gotta say: it’s similar to my interest in music. I have favorites. I have preferences. I know more about Jeffrey Dahmer than I do Richard Ramirez. If Ed Kemper still wrote to people, I would get a PO Box and write to him. True story.

Maybe I’m not enough of a horror nerd because I haven’t seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? I feel indifferent about seeing it. The Exorcist is scary, but it doesn’t scare me that much. I can watch it without problems. I found the book to be scarier. Pet Sematary, on the other hand, equally scary book and movie. We don’t need to discuss how many times I’ve watched Hannibal or Silence of The Lambs, but maybe I need to watch Hannibal Rising a few (okay, several) more times to even out that my viewing of the Lecter movies? Todd and I were recently discussing the Saw franchise and I had to admit that while I fondly remember the 2nd one, I think I only watched it one time. I like horror movies, but that’s not the only genre of movie I like. I’m never going to have watched all of the horror movies. I don’t want to do that. I want to see the comedies, too, and serial killer documentaries and documentaries about the opioid crisis, sex offenders, folklore and cults. I also enjoy a good tear-jerker and some classics.

I may not be enough of a book nerd. I love to read, but I almost never read a book that was just released. Christopher Moore is my favorite author, and I still haven’t read The Serpent of Venice. I’m currently reading a book that will never see the NYT Bestseller List. Although I don’t know what they will be, it’s safe to say that the next 4 books I read haven’t made it and won’t make it to the NYT Bestseller List, but they will be what I want to read. As a side note: Noir, also by Christopher Moore, will be released 04/17/18, and I’m not likely to read it or even buy it right that minute.

I believe and feel that I am enough, as a person, but somehow, simultaneously not enough to fit into these groups (i.e., feminist, horror nerd, bookworm). I think to get myself to a point that I believe I fit in any one of these groups, I would end up being untrue to myself somewhere in the process. I would end up feeling like I’m wasting my time trying to meet what may very well be an impossible standard (not that I have a habit of setting impossible standards for myself or anything like that /s). I would likely feel resentful. I bet Nicholas Sparks makes the NYT Bestsellers List. I don’t want to read that. I don’t want something I enjoy and LOVE to become an assignment I’m trying to complete “for someone else.” For someone who isn’t paying attention, has no idea I’m doing this for him/her and doesn’t care. I’m not willing to do that.

I’m only willing to be myself – a woman who reads and watches what she wants to, what she likes. A woman who thinks it’s important for women to be treated equally to men, women should have choices and power. I enjoy watching horror movies, and I want to watch so many of them, but I also want to re-watch Psych and the Harry Potter series. I want to keep up with Bob’s Burgers, to an extent. I want to watch whatever looks interesting to me. I don’t want to read ALL of the books. I only want to read the ones that sound good to me. After I finish Motherfucking Sharks, I might get into some Camille Paglia. Who knows? I’ll never reach that looming, impossible standard I have set in my mind that will make me a real feminist, a real horror nerd, a real bookworm, but I know someday it will go away. It will be like it never existed at all.

I don’t know how to measure any of this.