Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism


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The Ludys: An introduction

Can I get a B-U-S-Y to describe my summer? Phew. I’ve been feeling inspired for a long time but I simply could not find enough time to actually write a full post. Today’s the day! So let’s get started.

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I know most of my readers follow a large number of similar blogs (I follow the same ones!). Now, a ‘trend’ on these other blogs is (and has been for months and months) a focus on certain teachers from the P/QF movements, often closely linked to book reviews and the likes. One blog may be very strongly involved in the Godhard-side of things, another may be more focused on Vision forum. I really really enjoy reading these condensed views, reviews and collections. I personally never felt compelled to focus on any specific leader in my writings, simply because I don’t know that much about them (e.g. their personal histories, affiliations etc.). Another factor is that I never got deep into reading their materials, so I can’t really speak in such a knowledgable way about Godhard & co. What I’m trying to say is that I always thought that I never followed a specific leader religiously in my past life, and that means to me that I should not be spreading pseudo-knowledge when there are so many good (and knowledgable) resources.

Recently, however, I have noticed that I did follow a specific group religiously. I did soak up materials like a sponge. I did listen to sermons and talks and all that, took notes, marked their books, etc. And that group is – Eric and Leslie Ludy. Funny I never noticed how obsessed I used to be (and still am, avid reader of Leslie’s magazine here!). Additionally, I find that the Ludys take very much a backseat in the discussion of hurtful theologies and ideologies. Seriously, it’s very hard to find a critique of the Ludys on the webs. Why is that? Here are some thoughts:

As opposed to many other leaders in the evangelical community, the Ludys are a couple. Now, obviously Mr Phillips is also married, but his wife never played a major role in his projects. When she did appear, she very much seemed in the role of a supporter. Godhard was never married, so there’s that.

Finally, we got the Pearls. Now, the Pearls are also a couple, but the constellation is very different from the Eric-Leslie Ludy constellation. The Pearls enforce the exact same values and ideas, the only difference being that Debbie’s books are labelled “For women” whereas Michael’s books are labelled “For men”. At the end of the day, they talk about the exact same stuff, the exact same ideas. Michael and Debbie Pearl are not so much a couple as they are the same person (at least concerning the books they produced) in male and female respectively. This is a huge difference to the Ludys, and I think it is this difference that sets the Ludys apart from the majority of ideological leaders in the evangelical world.

Eric and Leslie Ludy populate vastly different spheres. Their books are very different: Their styles of writing differ greatly, so it’s actually possible to guess very easily who of the two wrote a text (as opposed to Debbie and Michael, you would probably not be able to tell who wrote a piece of text in a blind test). Most importantly, however, their topics differ greatly. Leslie Ludy has a strong focus on clothing, style, make up, family life, children, housekeeping and all things “feminine” (eg. gossip, texting, Internet, etc). Eric Ludy, on the other hand, has not published as many books as his wife to begin with (possibly due to the fact that Leslie’s books have a different target audience which happens to simply consume more books of this sort), and those that he did publish are on topics such as missioning, theology, religion in daily life, etc.

I think this short list gives you a pretty good idea that there is very little chance of the two getting in each other’s way, meaning, they will never repeat what the other one has stated before because they do not intrude each other’s spheres. This also means that the Ludys come across not only as very complementarian (“perfect match” anyone?), it also gives them a quality of respecting each other and each other’s roles in life without reflecting a pattern of “submission” of the wife. In fact, Eric never talks about submission at all – that is entirely Leslie’s job (though she does not like to use the term “submission” at all; Leslie has developed a whole array of terms to cover for it). That may make Eric look like the perfect husband, but whether this reflects his actually state of mind or if this is simply a relatively smart way to solve the problem of a man telling a woman about her place in life is a completely different story.

The very few hints Eric’s writings and sermons give us is his usage of terms like the anecdotal “warrior-poet” (I’m serious, direct quote). This is something I will go into in more detail in a follow-up post, for short a warrior-poet is a man like King David: A brave warrior as well as the shepard who write poems and plays on the flute. Now, warrior-poets are leaders by definition, and, because they are not just brave but also incredibly romantic (the poet part), women are to trust the warrior poets to lead the relationship. I think this very short description gives a good glimpse into the idea of “letting a man lead”. The whole point of this is, though, that the idea represented by the Ludyesque warrior-poet differs in no way from the man in the good old purity/courtship culture. Not one bit.

Eric Ludy hardly ever talks about relationships outside of this warrior-poet-symbolism, and that is, in my opinion, what distinguishes the Ludys from everybody else and ultimately makes them seem extremely liberal while extremely complementarian – this sounds like a contradiction in itself, but it is not, as I hope to show a bit clearer in the next few posts.

Now, Leslie, as opposed to Eric, is very much into the strong representation of female qualities in her writings. Leslie has published a number of books on beauty, style, love, relationships and the like. In her writings, Leslie often takes a very critical approach towards women who fall out of the line of what she deems “godly behavior”. In fact, without ever stating this specifically, she often implies that a woman truly saved will look just the way she expects you to. Everyone who does not meet this ideal of the perfectly made up and styled woman fails to do so because they lack faith. In a sense, Leslie differs very little from other leaders in this field, except for the lack of involvement of her husband in these issues. This lack gives her an authority on these issues that is unmet in the evangelical circles: She speaks truth without her husband being involved in this at all. She speaks truth because she herself does not need her husband’s input on it. This makes her believable and uniquely authentic. She undermines this seemingly god-given perfection of the feminine sphere of Christianity with her magazine “Set Apart Girl” (available for free online, just google set apart girl), in which she uses beautiful layout, beautiful photos and beautifully arranged texts. You may say I’m overinterpreting here, but as a matter of fact, Leslie manages to publish and honestly beautiful magazine, while looking beautiful herself, sitting in her beautiful house, with her perfectly clean kids (rosy cheeks and all) – this is what attracts the young female reader. Leslie turns into the perfect role model because she has it together (or so it seems), because her husband is so immensely proud to have a perfect wife (and he didn’t even have to publish a book on how to be a perfect wife because his wife already is perfect).

These things are exactly what drew me towards the Ludys (and still does), so bear with me while I go into more detail on a number of the things I mentioned (and some others). I think it’s going to be interesting, and I also think it’s going to be a nice addition to the rest of the “evangelical leader” publishing field.

By the way, since book reviews are so popular, I went through the small stack of christian living books I still own (They are all Ludy books). I came across “Meet Mr Smith”, which is a book on sexual and emotional purity in relationships, written by Eric and Leslie together. I thought I’d offer this up for a review because it’s one of the least-known Ludy books and it’s actually a very interesting read. Thoughts?

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Of free-ing the free?

I’m all for women’s rights, freedom and equality. If you look at the issue from all angles, you’ll realize that equality is easier said than done, and that sexism is not necessarily the result of religion but rather a symptom of a general disease, whether a community is religious or not.

Especially or “western” mindset makes us believe that we are the good guys, our way of doing things is the right way, and everyone who doesn’t do it this way is either a madman or an oppressed, weak woman. In this sense, we’re really not that different from all the “madmen” we want to protect women from.

I think this becomes especially evident if you look at the ways many westerners view the Islam, and especially muslim women. A woman who covers her hair is necessarily oppressed and needs our help to be set free. We cannot imagine that any sane person would choose to wear a hair covering because she wants to, Instead, us western, “civilized” and “free” women think we have to stand up for our “sisters” and free them. And if they tell us that they aren’t actually oppressed – well, they’re brainwashed. We have to show them the light.

The result of this is more often than not some sort of movement that instead of uniting women for a common cause tends to dig even deeper canyons between us. Take, for example, the “Femen” movement. All things aside of good intentions, strong women and important political causes. These are women who demonstrate against the oppression and objectification of women by going naked. This is somewhat similar to trying to extinguish a fire by pouring gas into it, in my opinion. In a world where women are objectified in every way possible, is there really a way to get a point across if you make yourself another object? Sure it gets the attention. But what do you think is going to happen in the minds of men who see these women? Are they going to think “Oh, that woman demonstrates against the exploitation of women as sex objects”, or are they going to think “Oh my gosh, BOOBS!”?

While I didn’t mind femen too much when they first started, I started to disagree completely with their methods when they started demonstrating against Islam. I’m not a muslim and have no interest in this religion (or any other, for that matter), and to be honest, I don’t care much whether you are a muslim or not (do whatever rocks your boat), but I don’t think it’s ok that a group of western women comes along as the knights in, well, no armor, I guess, to “free” women they have never asked if they actually need their help. I know plenty of muslims (there are very many in Germany). Some of them cover their hair, others don’t. Some are religious, others not. Some drink and eat pork, others don’t eat pork because they don’t like the taste (not for religious reasons, I was told pork is a taste you have to acquire), some stick to religious laws concerning their diet. Either way, it’s ok to do whatever you feel is right. One of the girls I study with wears a hjiab. She also cares about women’s rights. What makes us think that women who cover their hair are too stupid to free themselves? What makes us think that they’ll end up being thankful for helping them by demonstrating naked?

Even personally, I feel insulted. I used to be oppressed and brainwashed, but I don’t want some woman who hasn’t experienced the same thing to strip down naked and yell “freedom” in my name. It’s not the right way to appeal to the people you want to convince. If you said you’re going naked because you’d rather be naked than wear fur, I can understand why you would protest naked. But that’s not what’s happening here. What is happening is the idea that nakedness is the ultimate way to get what you want, to convince people. Sounds familiar? To me, that sounds about as terrible as any other form of oppression. Do I really want a freedom that we had to undress for? Do I really want to convince people by turning into an object that only gets the attention because it is a highly sexualized form of protest, often causing people to forget why you are undressing?

I think this entire discussion is a very difficult one. Of course there are brainwashed, oppressed women who could use some help. I was one of them. These women aren’t a phenomenon of Islam but a phenomenon of general society, and victims to men all over the world. On the other hand, plenty of women are well able to make these decisions for themselves, and don’t need our help – don’t need help at all because there isn’t a problem to begin with.

I think what should be remembered is that we need to move away from our western ideal of “freedom”. Freedom comes in many colors. Freedom includes the choice of dress, the choice of religion, and yes, also the choice to live a life that might not conform with our image of how women should live. Finding the balance is probably the biggest problem in all this. How do I balance helping women who really need help and hurting perfectly fine women because I demonize their way of life as “oppression”? I don’t have an answer to that, but if I find one, I certainly won’t be writing it on my bare breasts (and I ask you not to do that in anyone’s name either, unless you have their permission to do so).


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It’s time for us to be Hobbits

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Once upon a time there were two little hobbit girls, a blonde and a red-haired one, living next door. Their land was beautiful and every day was filled with joy.

Then, one day, their hobbit parents met evil Lord G, who gave them the order to give each girl The Ring. The parents did as told. They said to the girls: “You must guard this Ring with all your being. This will give you power. This will make you special. Without it, you are nothing.” And, despite the fact that the girls didn’t really know what the fuzz was about, they accepted the Rings and proudly wore them.

They grew older together, and their friendship was still strong. And finally, one day, a handsome young man hobbit asked for the blonde hobbit girl’s hand in marriage, and for her Ring. At first the hobbit girls were excited, but it didn’t last long.

As they sat together, one day at the lake, the blonde hobbit girl expressed her grief to her friend: “I do not want to give this Ring away. It makes me strong and powerful. It makes me special. It makes me …. better than everybody else.” The red-haired hobbit girl was shocked. What was her friend saying?

You see, the blonde hobbit girl was blinded by the power the Ring gave her. She enjoyed walking around with it, people staring at her hand, people telling her how strong she was for taking the burden to wear that Ring. The red-haired hobbit girl felt the burden constantly. She did not like that people stared at her Ring, knew what it implied. She liked what it stood for, but she could not understand why she would need a Ring to be the person she wanted to be.

The closer the wedding day came, the worse the blonde hobbit girl acted. She was angry and mean, and she started to despite her hobbit fiance, who would soon take her Ring away. “My precious” she started to hiss, “it’s mine. Nobody can take it from me!” Oh yes, the hobbit girl was acting real strange.

The red-haired hobbit girl realized that she did not want to be this way. She decided to run away at night to destroy her Ring, so she could be free again. Free to do what felt right, without needing a Ring to signify it. So she packed her bags and left.

Soon after leaving her family, she came into deserted land, burned soil and a raging war and, far away from a high mountain, a looming eye watching her each and every step. And she knew the eye would soon send troops after her, to bring her back, to make her keep the Ring.

“I need a sword”, she realized. Lucky enough, she found a group of Elfs who were willing to help her. And even though she was imitated by their beauty and strength, she decided to follow them. And she realized that hobbit girls who had gone before her probably had not had the Elfs to help them. Yes, she was very lucky to have found a new group of friends.

Their travels were long and exhausting. Through deserts and over mountains they travelled, until they finally reached the volcano were she could destroy her Ring. And as she stepped into it, the flames bursting next to her, she realized that this was it.

The second the dropped the Ring into the fire, she finally felt its spell lift off her. She finally felt free. And even though she knew she could never return home, she was eager to see the new life waiting for her.

The blonde hobbit, meanwhile, got married and never forgave her husband for stealing her Ring. From time to time, on those lonely evenings, she sits and stares at the Ring in her hand, angry at the world and herself for not being honorable enough anymore to wear it. “My precious”, she hisses then, “you will be worn again – soon.”

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I think it’s time for all of us to be little red-haired hobbits. It’s not about abandoning values, it’s about abandoning structures used to rule over you, used to control you, used to make you feel bad. It’s not easy to just let go and give up things that are important to you in order to live a self-governed life.

If you are a young woman still struggling, I highly encourage you to reevaluate the tools used to keep you in control. If you already threw your ring into the fire, don’t tire of being an Elf – aka helping the other hobbits along the way.

Yes, I have a great passion for Lord of the Rings. Watch it! If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it asap! If you already have, watch it again asap!


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Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the purest of them all?

Ages after we abolished paying money to a father so that he would let you marry his daughter, we still somehow see virgins as something desirable. Though we might not measure in gold or land anymore, we certainly put a price tag on every woman, spiritually, emotionally, culturally.

These price tags are especially important in christian fundamentalism. And that price goes WAY down if only the slightest scratch was ever attained (though, it was only right at the back of the knee and didn’t leave a scar).

We’re not talking about physical virginity here. That is important, though, because once that’s gone, a man might as well marry a street-walker.

We’re talking about emotional purity here. Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free? That’s old news. Why buy the cow when you can look at it for free would be much more accurate to describe what fundamentalism is doing to its’ daughters.

There is only one way a woman can stay pure: If she never even had an emotional attachment of any sorts with a man. And with this mindset, purity become the impossible good. A girl will be damaged goods if she has had a deep friendship with a boy. A girl is damaged goods if she ever held hands or “flirted” with a guy. And flirting is stretched very far here. Laughing about a joke a guy tells might be flirting if the wrong people see it. Being in a room with a boy who’s not part of your family is considered damaging to the girl’s purity. Purity becomes a minefield and the only way to avoid it is, I’m sad to say this, staying at home. Inside your house. Seriously, don’t even take out the garbage because some boy might say hi and talk to you, and you would be flirting. And anyway, what if somebody saw you? They’d gossip their mouths fuzzy that you’re having a secret boyfriend and once that’s in people’s minds, you’re about as damaged as a vase somebody dropped out the 13th floor on the hard concrete sidewalk.

And what about men? Well, men are so focused on sex even at a young age, you can’t really blame them for a slip here and there. A man who wastes his purity on, say, holding hands, will not be “as impure” as a woman doing it. And even worse: A man who admits his “sin” is considered strong, spiritually mature and godly. His purity is easy fixed in the minds of people. A woman admitting her “sin” is still damaged. The reputation of being impure will always follow her around.

I grew up in an environment where even talking to a guy could make me look like a slut. Any interaction between boys and girls was so dangerous and at a young age lead to strict discipline that I stopped interacting with boys completely. I wouldn’t talk to them in church or at conventions unless a male relative of mine was right next to me. They don’t tell you to behave that way, but it’s expected.

I couldn’t go out alone, or with girls only, or, much worse, with boys who weren’t related to me. Whenever I wanted to do something outside the house, I needed a male relative with me. Even at the supermarket I couldn’t move too far away from my mother (unless one of my smaller brothers went with me). My smaller brothers were trained to “protect” their sisters, us older ones as well as the younger ones. Age didn’t matter, gender did. A girl out alone, walking down the street to bring something to that nice old lady a living a quarter mile away? Can’t have that! There’s all those horny, sexually perverse, monkey-like men just waiting for to pick you up, tell you you’re so pretty and they feel an instant connection. And of course us girls are stupid enough to hop right into bed with them. Or into the car, whatever. No joke, I had to take my younger brother with me in order to bring that old lady a pot of soup when she was sick.

The very few times I got to talk to boys and later men was when my brothers were around. At church, my brothers would talk to their friends while us girls stood next to them, smiled and acted quiet and meek. We were not to look into their eyes, or to laugh about their jokes as this would imply interest in them, not to ask questions because that again would imply interest in them, not to mention that we were supposed to look godly, and godly girls and women are meek and quiet, not straight-forward asking a bunch of questions.

Our lessons for school were different. We learned female things like cleaning, sewing, music and cooking, together with girls from like-minded families. There were meetings with other women from our community, old and young, teaching us different instruments and exchanging “secrets”. How do you get grass stains out of those jeans? What can you do when you overcooked potatoes? It was treated like secret, sacred knowledge. We were miles ahead of those secular feminists who couldn’t even boil water without burning down the house.

We also had lessons on men. How to treat them, how to act around them, what they liked and didn’t like. Wise tips and tricks were given. Always have a glass of your husband’s or Dad’s favourite drink ready when he gets home. Don’t bother him with questions. Cheerfully eat the food you hate once a week if that’s his favourite food.

We were given advice how to dress, too. Our clothes were checked for potential immodesty: Was the neckline too low? Would the top show the skin on your back when you kneeled down to pick something up? Would the skirt outline your butt if you picked something up or was it still lose and modest?

I had a time, or better phase in my life, I was 15, 16, where I discovered a love for colorful hair bands. They made my long, boring hair look somewhat fashionable and allowed different hairstyles than the typical modest braid. I could wear it up, wear it open, wear it in different braids artistically wrapped around my head and top it off with a cool looking hair band. My intention in this wasn’t any other than trying to look somewhat worldly. It had a surprising effect: I was praised for covering my hair. It started a whole discussion whether women should cover or not, and I was asked why I did it – to which I replied “Because I think it looks pretty”. They didn’t realize I meant fashionable, they thought I meant modest and godly. I never corrected them and quiet this practice a while after.

Purity goes far beyond sexual relations. Extreme purity is something that has an effect on every area in your life. I was considered one of the really pure girls in our community. My fear of being anything else was too big to be rebellious.


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A “modest” girl in Naked-Town: Anecdotes from the lake

One of my favourite Bloggers, Incongruous Circumspection wrote a post about modesty, inspired by yet another blogger, Darcy’s Heart-Stirrings (post here). Both of the posts brought back memories, good and bad, so I want to join in and talk about my experience too.

When I was a small girl, I loved dresses and skirts in every form. I didn’t mind the strange, old-fashioned prints they had. They were flowy, wavy, girlish, and I felt like a princess, strolling through a kingdom in which I was the only girl wearing pretty clothes. When the sun was shining, I would go out and spin spin spin to hear the dress flow, quietly, giggling.

But this changed even before I hit puberty. I was able to do ANYTHING in a skirt as a small girl, but the realisation that many things like climbing trees looked terribly immodest hit me like a bus – and BAM, my beautiful, flowy skirt was my prison.

At a certain age, sometimes 8, sometimes 10, sometimes 12, girls start being really picky about what they wear, developing their own tastes and styles. I wasn’t allowed to do that. My mother bought our clothes without asking for much of an opinion. The dresses WE liked weren’t good enough. My mom would pick out dresses with huge flowers on them. One of my person highlights of terror is the fact that they had those HUGE collars. I dreaded them. I looked ridiculous in them. One time, my mom held out one of these to me at a shop, and I begged “Mom! Please! Not one with collar! I’ll look like a sailor!” Mom lovingly ignored my concerns and when I tried it on, she made sure to point out many times how beautiful I looked and how the collar perfectly accented my tiny shoulders.

Whenever I went outside, I envied the girls in normal clothes. Many of those were beautiful, too. I wished so badly to find a certain pattern or a certain cut I had seen on the worldly girls at the thrift store, only to find myself standing there trying on burlap sacks with huge collars once again.

As I grew older, I learned to ignore the fact that I looked ridiculous most of the time. I learned to overhear the giggles and whispers. And I found a way to work my way around the worst dresses. My secret were denim skirts. Out of all the modest “fashion” you can buy at thrift stores, the denim skirts are the prettiest. You look somewhat fashionable, and many people wear denim skirts, so you don’t look like a parrot among chicken. I reasoned this to my parents as “Denim is so sturdy and lasts for years! I can do harder, dirtier work without having to worry!” It worked, but nevertheless, denim wasn’t nice to wear on those humid, hot summer days.

I had accepted my fate as the girl with the denim skirts. I still envied, almost hated the normal girls, but I was somewhat at peace with how my denim skirts and shirts looked. When we went to home school conventions, I saw those girls at my age, 16, 17, still wearing those ugly old flower dresses with the huge collars. I so pitied them. I gave my ego a boost: There were girls who wore much uglier stuff. I looked at myself and thought “Those denim skirts aren’T that bad!”. I knew I wasn’t supposed to feel proud, but I did. I was proud to look a bit less like I was part of their freak show which was supposed to show all those terrible people of the world how it’s done. I felt like, if someone approached us and asked about the ugly dresses, I could say “I’m not that bad! I’m ok looking! I’m not a Victorian era freak!”

A thing that really bugged me was my body. In the movement, there is this very weird reception of female shapes. Most importantly, you need to hide it as well as you can. I know of girls with rather large breasts who just couldn’t hide them. No matter how many huge shirts and jumpers were layered, you’d still be able to see their very feminine shapes. I was on the other side of the fence: I’m a very skinny girl with next to no femininity about my body. I don’t have those big sexy hips and I don’t have those admired big breasts either. While I prefer the term “petite” to describe my body, many others found a better expression: They called me the fish bone.

I know many girls in the movement really hate their bodies and torture themselves in multiple ways, I had a natural gift of eating whatever I wanted and not putting on weight. My bones just show on many places, particularly my neck and collar-bone. On one side, this came in handy as I never had to be afraid to look too sexy, because you really have to put an effort into looking sexy with this body shape, on the other hand, people didn’t consider me female enough. And the clothes I wore didn’t help. I looked like a little girl and on bad days, I felt like I looked more like a boy. You’re not supposed to look boyish, so while others considered certain shirts too tight to be modest, they were just right for me.

Whenever I saw worldly girls with my body shape, I admired how feminine they could look. I never felt like I was that… feminine! Standing next to them, I felt childish, undeveloped, unattractive, in short, I felt like the fish bone everybody said I was. I envied the girls with feminine bodies, while they envied me for not having to worry about big breasts and looking immodest. It’s such a crazy system that nobody can be who she wants to be, that nobody is allowed to feel good about their bodies because there are always something sinful to pick on.

After I left, I rethought the system of modesty. And after I moved to Europe, my standards have shifted – had to shift.

You have to imagine that I now live in a country where public nudity is not an offence. This means that when you go to a lake, there WILL be women topless. That’s fine, that’s allowed. Sometimes, people will ask the ones sitting next to them if they mind full nudity. Usually, nobody minds and you’ll see fully naked people. And you know what, nobody cares. Nobody stares. Nobody is offended.

I came from a mindset where everything below the collar-bone was a big no-no, and was thrown into a culture where a naked body is old news. When I was at the lake a few days ago, I was wearing my swim-dress which I didn’t take off the entire time. Kathy and I went to get an ice cream and had to stand in line with a huge pack of hungry kids. They jumped around, loud and nervous and full of happiness. I stepped back a bit when one was jumping like crazy, and my elbow touched something… soft. I turned around just to see a topless woman behind me and I can only guess I touched her breast. I was humiliated and I don’t even really know why. She smiled and said sorry, and so did I, trying to conceal just how embarrassed I felt. But it didn’t seem to be a big deal because she just went on chattering with her friend.

Sometimes, I feel very embarrassed for how open people are about their bodies and nudity here. Breastfeeding women don’t cover up when they feed in public. People go swimming topless. At clothing shops, people try on stuff just right in front of the shelf, not even going to a changing room sometimes. And nobody bothers. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around this, and not act weird.

Oversexualized? I’m not sure. It doesn’t have any sexual connotations to them. It’s how people are. It’s natural.

Nobody stares at the topless woman. If they stare, they rather stare at me. When I go into the water only knee-deep and splash my arms with water, not taking off my knee-length dress simply because I’m not at that point yet. I’m the weirdo, not the naked old 80-year-old lady and her equally naked husband, walking around holding hands. And somehow, that makes me laugh just a little.