Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

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Illustration by Charlie Powell via

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“How Drunk Is Too Drunk to Have Sex? Universities are struggling to determine when intoxicated sex becomes sexual assault” [via Slate]

“How to find lifetime love: 10 secrets from couples married for decades” [via Today.com]

“30 Things Better Than Having a Boyfriend” [via PopSugar Love]

Well, this just one of the dumbest things I’ve heard this week: “Couples Who Choose Not To Have Children Are ‘Selfish,’ Pope Says” [via NPR]

In honor of Valentine’s Day: “All’s Fair in Love and Classified Ads: Three Centuries of Public Spouse Shaming” [via Boston.com]

“Their arranged marriage blossomed into true love” [via CNN.com]

“Your lifetime earnings are probably determined in your 20s” [via Wonkblog]

Ha ha: “Health Experts Recommend Standing Up At Desk, Leaving Office, Never Coming Back” [via The Onion]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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26 comments… add one
  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki February 13, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I haven’t read all of the articles yet, but I did just read the Pope one and I had two thoughts:
    1) Children are great, but people who have kids but don’t want them or don’t know how to properly care for them are the selfish ones. People who choose note to have children know what they want (and don’t want) and are certainly not selfish for that decision.
    2) This statement about homosexuality “But the Vatican backtracked on the Pope’s suggestion, calling it an ‘unacceptable’ deviation from church teachings.’ ” pisses me off. I’m not Catholic (but was raised that way), but the Vatican doesn’t get to backtrack. The Pope is the Pope. He gets the say and that is bullshit.
    .
    Also, I loved the article about the older married couples giving advice. I always enjoy those.

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      K February 13, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Totally agree on both counts, especially on the Pope being the ultimate Catholic authority as opposed to the Vatican.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 2:55 pm

        The Pope is only infallible in certain circumstances though. If it doesn’t meet the requirement for infallibilty, like this didn’t, then it’s really just his opinion. The opinion of the leader, sure, but still just an opinion. He’s not like a king where his word is law, there has to be agreement.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. February 13, 2015, 3:10 pm

        The Pope is the head of the church, the ultimate authority. He is very much like a king.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki February 13, 2015, 3:21 pm

        Yeah, we were always taught that the Pope’s word was the final word. He is the ultimate patriarch in the Church.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 3:40 pm

        Only when he’s speaking ex cathedra, because then it’s supposedly the Holy Spirit speaking through him. It’s literally God’s word. But him saying that he thinks there might be a possibility of gay marriage being accepted doesn’t mean that the church automatically needs to adopt it. Not unless he declares it ex cathedra.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 3:54 pm

        Also, when “The Vatican” backtracks, that’s the pope backtracking too. He’s the head of the vatican. So it’s not like the pope and the vatican are two separate entities contradicting each other. The vatican can’t come out and say something without the pope’s agreement. So he has agreed with this statement. Maybe not in his heart of hearts, but publicly, he has.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki February 13, 2015, 4:30 pm

        I didn’t like the wording of it. Because they mentioned the Pope said something (twice) and then “the Vatican” backtracked. Ultimately I don’t know why I even pay attention to what’s going on within the Catholic Church.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 4:35 pm

        Well, it matters a lot because if the Catholic Church ever accepted gay marriage, that would be a huuuuuuge f’n deal for gay rights. So while I don’t care about the church at all, I do care about its opinions as a shaper of thought for a large number of people (and countries) in the world.
        .
        I agree they worded it weirdly. But in both cases it was officially the pope speaking.

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        MsMisery February 16, 2015, 1:29 pm

        Yeah, I am not defending the Vatican in anyway (recovering Catholic here) but the Pope is allowed to speak his opinion, but not allowed to change church doctrine without the backing of the Vatican as a whole. So he can say he’s down with the gays and atheists and children-free of the world, and that may be so, but the *church* isn’t. So the church will come right behind and either issue their own statement (“the Vatican back-tracks”) or make him reword his own statement.

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    • mylaray

      mylaray February 13, 2015, 2:19 pm

      I agree. I know he’s the Pope and all and can’t get married. But he doesn’t have kids. What a hypocrite.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 2:57 pm

        They say their congregation is their children. Which makes it extra fucked up that one of the reasons women can’t be priests is because women “need” children. Nevermind the fact that nuns don’t have children and they seem to survive.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki February 13, 2015, 3:09 pm

        This is why I left the faith =/ It’s a mess.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 3:41 pm

        I left it too. I agree it’s a mess. But so far I haven’t seen one that isn’t (in my opinion). Of course I’m an atheist so it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever find a religion I agree with. 🙂

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    TeacherNerd February 13, 2015, 2:25 pm

    If my lifetime earnings were determined while I was in my 20s, I’d be earning negative income for the rest of my life; I only started college when I was 27, and until that point I was paid in limes, practically.

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      RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 3:41 pm

      Depends how many limes you get. Millions of limes is nothing to sneeze at. 🙂

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja February 13, 2015, 2:49 pm

    i’m pretty glad my earnings weren’t determined in my 20s. until i was about 30, i barely made enough to support myself.

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      K February 13, 2015, 4:47 pm

      Good, this comment gives me hope – I hope mine won’t be either! I’ve been at the same job for 8 years, and I can just about pay the bills and have a bit of fun too, but I have credit card debt now and I have nothing in savings. Most of my friends have changed jobs once or twice and therefore have increased their earnings, while at my job we haven’t had a raise in 3 years.

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    snarkymarc February 13, 2015, 4:18 pm

    I found the article on “How Drunk is too Drunk…” super interesting. The case of John and Jane is definitely a corner case, but it is the type of story that scares the hell out of men. The UVA/Rolling Stone fiasco was ten times worse. Unfortunately, I think it can make men cautious to believe rape allegations. The battle for mindshare in the rape discourse has to be targeted at non-rapist men. I think virtually all women have an innate, visceral understanding of rape, even if they’ve never been directly threaten. But most men don’t. I just can’t imagine myself as a rape victim. I know it is theoretically possible, but it is a huge stretch for me. That why stories like these are so damaging and why policies like those at Occidental are counter productive. John did not assault Jane. This case is a small injustice relative to all the injustices that women have suffered, but the overall impact is strongly negative because it turns non-rapist men against the greater good.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki February 13, 2015, 4:32 pm

      Based on the facts as they were reported in that article, if John was written up and expelled, then Jane should have been as well because she violated the same policy in the exact same way.

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        snarkymarc February 13, 2015, 4:55 pm

        Yeah, I had the same thought, as I’m sure just about everyone does. If you are going to suspend one, then you have to suspend both.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 5:06 pm

        I guess it depends on whether their policy requires you to report it or not (which I suspect it does, because otherwise they’d have to suspend, like, everyone). John didn’t report it as an assault, so if that’s a requirement, there would be no grounds to suspend Jane. Of course, he could just report it, and in that case then I agree they should both be suspended.

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      RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 4:32 pm

      I’ve heard the same thing from other men. That they don’t have the visceral reaction to rape that women do. The MRAs are always arguing that false rape allegations are worse than rape, and that they would literally rather be raped than be falsely accused. Not even convicted! Just accused! It’s unbelievable.
      .
      Unfortunately, since it’s the case that even non-misogynist men don’t understand rape the same way women do, it’s going to be a very hard slog to ever resolve this. False allegations will keep being brought up as the bogeyman, and yet another reason to not believe victims. I really don’t see a way to solve it.
      .
      Also, I think it’s extremely hard to say whether someone assaulted someone when you’re drunk. If you sober up and you feel that you were taken advantage of and assaulted while you were too drunk to consent, then, weren’t you? I don’t know the correct answer to that. Either way is unfair to one of the parties. One way, Jane feels that she was raped, and has to just suck it up. The other way, John feels that Jane was into it and he didn’t do anything wrong. They’re actually kinda both right. She wasn’t able to consent, but from the information John had, it seemed that she was consenting. So how can this possibly be resolved? It doesn’t help that alcohol is the tool of choice for rapists, so that serial, purposeful rapists could easily take advantage of any legal loophole regarding alcohol and rape, in order to hide their activities.

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        snarkymarc February 13, 2015, 5:09 pm

        I’ve gotten past doubting rape victims. It’s taken a lot of reading and thought, which is sad in its own right, but I now always assume that if some is claiming rape, then they were raped. But I strongly believe that most men just don’t get rape. Intellectually we can understand it, but emotionally we just don’t get it. As you said, that makes it a slog.

        When I first heard Emma Watson’s slant of putting men in the position of protector or guardians of rape victims, I thought it was kind of lame. I’m not sure why, but it just seemed odd. But overtime I’ve grown to like it. Non-misogynist men haven’t had a natural role to play in the rape discourse. Most of us stand by the side and don’t know what to think or do. Should I speak up and give my perspective or will I be shot down just because I have penis and testicles? But if we have a role, maybe it will help. There was rape at Stanford about two weeks ago. Two passersby, both young men, stopped it and apprehended the assailant. Maybe it will make a difference.

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        RedroverRedrover February 13, 2015, 5:18 pm

        Totally agree with you. I think it’s going to be a long road, but that giving men a defined role will certainly help. My husband struggles with the same things you do, and he’s a total feminist, social justice type of guy.
        .
        And typically, I do think you should speak up and give your perspective. Remember, women don’t understand men’s point of view on rape either. I had no idea that men didn’t have an innate sense of how horrible rape was, until a guy online actually admitted that to me. I think men are afraid that it makes them look bad. But I mean, men and women are living a different reality in some ways. As a man, you’re not constantly threatened with the spectre of rape. And since you’re not, how could you possibly fear it as much as women? You can’t. It’s a totally reasonable reaction to your reality. And I really appreciate it when men give their perspective, because it’s the only way that men will ever be able to be part of the solution. Otherwise, as you say, the non-rapist men are just sitting on the sidelines, unable to really do anything.

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        MsMisery February 16, 2015, 1:47 pm

        I am more afraid of rape than natural disasters, my airplane crashing, or just about anything else I can think of. It is my #1 fear and it always has been since I was able to understand the concept.

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