Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood

(My regular readers certainly won’t need the teachings in this blog post. This post is for those who reach this blog via search engines. Please, regulars, be my fellow teachers here. Comment to improve on what is said here and to add to it.)

There is actually a thing called “Christian Domestic Discipline”, in which husbands hit their wives when the wife allegedly does wrong, and twist the Bible to call it a Christian thing to do. (Sources here and here.) Of course, this is a covert movement, and the practitioners “convert” others to their activities in secret.

According to a commenter on that blog, Anne Garbozi Evans,

…my research has shown, while it may very well be more frequently popping up in patriarchal circles, it is by no means limited to those congregations. The only type of congregations that all of these wife-spanking people refused to go to were ones that ordained female pastors and taught egalitarianism. Any church that taught complementarianism was fair game for them to attend: their words not mine… many said they secretly suspected they weren’t the only ones to practice wife-spanking. They also heavily discussed how to bring up the topic of wife-spanking to your friend so as to “evangelize” them on the topic. They esp. thought they had a moral duty to tell any friends going through a divorce about wife-spanking as a way to “save their marriages.”

Read the rest of this entry »

I have never read Mary Kassian’s “The feminist mistake”, but I have read this quote from it:

“women grow up thinking that the essense of womanhood is the exercise of personal power – including sexual power.”

Women do not grow up thinking they are womanly when they exercise power. Today’s allegedly free young women in the Western world Google terms like “what should I do if my boyfriend wants to choke me?” Even when a man wants to do something that could actually kill them, they do not think they could simply refuse and leave him. They think that it is unattractive for them to have/use the personal sexual power of “no, I don’t want to do it.”

Young women today are told it is wrong (“kink-shaming”) to shame sadistic men. Some men have fantasies of hitting women, treating them as slaves and objects and calling them sexual slurs. These men can allegedly not be criticized for acting out those fantasies, as long as they get the women involved to not refuse. Power imbalance combined with violence against women is (according to porn culture thinking) acceptable, when the battered woman does not have a strong enough personality to clearly refuse.

Many teenage girls nowadays do anal sex – not because they like to do it, but because they believe that they, as girls, should submit to what boyfriends want. Christian culture, despite its insistence on female virginity, also often say that women are supposed to submit to men. Mary Kassian herself contributes to the Christian™ belief in female submission.

What men fear most about going to prison is what women fear most about walking down the sidewalk, and Kassian think women believe that sexual power is the essence of womanhood?

In this world where sexual violence is constantly part of the reasoning and decision making of women, Kassian not only tells us that “women grow up thinking that the essense of womanhood is the exercise of personal power”, she tells us that sex is God’s picture of how He relates to us, something we would have a hard time to understand otherwise.

You know what, Mary Kassian?

Part of the essence of womanhood, since the fall, is to feel fear of being overpowered and forced into things that harms our deepest being. And in a world where men want to choke, hit, rape or do other acts that give sadistic men pleasure, sex is really a terrible symbol of how God relates to us. Feminists don’t pretend we live in a world where womanhood means exercising power over others. Instead, we feminists work towards a world where we women don’t have to be so afraid of being overpowered, where women’s voices matter as much as men’s. From a Christian perspective, we want a world in accordance with the Jesus who wants us to care for (those seen as) the least, a world that lives by His teachings about not lording it over others.

 

Dear reader of Kassian’s books or blog, can I make a suggestion to you? Try to read some Christian egalitarians for a while. You may find that we, unlike Mary Kassian, actually speak to real-life situations as they happen on this planet.

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Note:

A fan of Kassian could say that I took one sentence “out of context” from a book I did not read. If so, they are welcome to provide a context by which we could really say that today’s women see womanhood and sexuality more as a power they have than as a vulnerability. I can’t conceive how her statement can possibly be true.

 

 

This is not what I hear from the leading theologians of complementarianism, but more from rank and file hierarchalists who use the Bible to defend why women should submit to them:

Christian complementarianism …sees [men and women] as being identical in nature but different in function and role. For example, women are to bear children where men are not. This obvious biological difference is a complementarian necessity within the family. Likewise, men are to lead their families with Godly direction, and the women are to support their husbands in their leadership. – Matt Slick’s wording of an argument I have often heard from complementarians

The thing to notice here is that this view compares male rule to an obvious biological fact. Who will do that?

1) The they-can’t-do-it sexist?:

Do they think it is obvious that women have no capacity to rule? That men, not women, ruling is as biologically unchangeable as women, not men, carrying children?

2) The unappealing man?:

Are their wives so unattracted to them that the wife would never initiate sexual contact? So that, if they as men do not lead their wives to the bedroom, they would have as few children as when women do not have wombs? In that case, this refers to how they see male and female roles in procreation. But it does not reflect well on their marriages.

3) The (potential) rapist?:

Are they saying that the way that bearing children is something female anatomy is designed for, ruling is something male anatomy is designed for? If so, men forcing women to have sex as would be seen as a good, manly thing – it is ruling over women.

 

If leading is seen as men’s natural, biological ability, where is the evidence for that? And what does it say of the men who see it that way?

 

sullivan_man_upI have heard variations of this question more than once, usually from guys who have very misogynous views. But this is IMO a worthy question: Why should men “man up” and women should not “woman up?” To quote one of the askers in his own words:

Men have tons of programs in the church to “Man up!” Either they are stupid or women are more moral, which one is it?

I answered him this way:

Your “man up” question is actually a good one. There are men’s programs in the church, and even more women’s programs1.

But men are asked to step up, and women to not usurp, to step down, to encourage men to lead. No, men are not stupider, nor are women more moral. The point is that people with a men-should-lead view see, when men and women are equally wise and equally involved in decision making, men who should step up and women who should step down. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine that you were part of a church that really took Luke 9:46-48 to heart.

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” – Luke 9

In this church, the highest priority is children’s church, training Sunday School teachers for children, getting children involved, training parents in how to treat children, speaking to children, and making sermons child-friendly. In fact, single adults and the aged feel neglected at your imagined church, because everything is done for the children!

Would your church, by agreeing children are important and acting by it, be obeying Jesus’ message in this passage?

No. Because Read the rest of this entry »

(Note: This article will use slight generalizations like “women are used to…” and “women constantly get messages that…” There are exceptions to almost every rule. (Is there an exception to the rule that there are exceptions to every rule?) You are free to disagree, if you feel that what I say is not generally true.)

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There is an assumption about women that is commonly made where 50 Shades of Grey is discussed on the Internet: People, both believers and unbelievers, claim that this book is evidence that women actually want subordination. Gender hierarchy Christians™ then add that the activities in these books pervert “natural”, “God-ordained” female subordination. But, so their narrative goes, the popularity of the books proves that women are created with a desire for subordination. The most infamous example is probably this quote from Doug Wilson, that first appeared on the Internet in an article commenting on 50 SoG:

“Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.

When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us…we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.

But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies… True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.”

But that conclusion does not fit the facts. Read the rest of this entry »

Biblical™ Womanhood theology, if consistently applied, is worse news for widowed women, divorced women, not-married(-yet) women, and girls of all ages, than it is for married women.

The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood does not officially say women should live with male relatives, not go to college, not work outside the home, and not be independent. But they are – I will motivate my accusation just now – on a road towards the views, by Biblical™ Patriarchy supporters, that I will quote here*:

And does it really make economic sense to invest tens of thousands of dollars for a woman to get an advanced education (often having to go into debt to finance that education) that she will NOT use if she accepts that her highest calling is to be a wife and mother?” – Brian Abshire, quoted from now-deleted material at the Vision Forum ministries website.

Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner believe parents should not raise daughters who are going to compete with men in the marketplace,” but should train their daughters to be “a woman who will be a helpmeet to a man so he can compete in the marketplace.” They speak out against female independence.* Read the rest of this entry »

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