Bob Carlton at The Corner had an excellent idea: get bloggers to create a list of their "five best posts" of the year. What a marvelous exercise in self-absorption! I've been doing some thinking, and here are the five posts I'm proudest of for 2004, in ascending order:
5. Men Key section:
Through high school, college, and graduate school, I prided myself on the large number of women who were close to me, with whom I had mutually supportive, generally non-physical relationships. Of course, the real truth was that I was absolutely terrified of intimacy with men. Men were colleagues and rivals, but never friends. I made all sorts of excuses as to why I didn't have more male friends; the most frequent one was that "most American men are sexist pigs, and I can't relate to that." (That was a lie on several levels!)
4. Sailboats, Thanksgiving, and Growing Up Loving Lesbians (This may be my favorite title). Key section:
And even now, when I hear words like "unnatural" or "immoral", I think about real people whom I loved and who I believe loved me. I think about sailboats, Thanksgiving dinners, and chocolate. And when folks start condemning or pathologizing women and men who lived and loved like Jane and Carla, Christine and Rachel, I get very, very, very angry.
3. Boys, Girls, Hugs Key line:
But a place where every gesture of physical affection is seen as dangerous is an inherently unsafe environment! Our young women need to be reminded, over and over again, that they are loved and cared for non-sexually; in that effort, a hug is worth ten thousand words. Our young men need to be reminded, over and over again, that here, at least one night a week during youth group, they don't have to be "tough guys." They need men in their lives who will love them without judging them or assessing their fragile masculinities.
2. Porn, Hiv, Freedom, Responsibility Key section:
As a man, I am called to do the hard but essential work of looking beneath the hyper-sexualized surface image that young women so often adopt in our society today. I owe it to myself, to the woman with whom I share my bed and my life, and to these young women themselves. The fact that many young girls and women choose to make themselves objects of desire does not lessen for one second my obligation to look past that veneer and see them as my younger sisters whom I need to honor, love, and care for.
I don't make healthy choices because I am virtuous. I make them because I am fortunate.
There are other posts I could have picked, I suppose -- but those were the ones that came to mind. Come on, bloggers, go through your archives and share your top five!