Sixteen-month-old Faith reaches for a glass bowl on the coffee table.
Faith, no, don’t touch that.
Faith touches the glass bowl. *pop* I slap her hand. She looks startled.
I said no.
Faith reaches for the glass bowl again. *pop*
Her little hand reaches out once again, her lower lip trembling. *pop*
Faith whimpers and looks like she’s going to cry, and I sigh. I gather her in my arms.
Faith, it’s okay, but I said no, and that means no.
She looks up at the glass bowl with pain and confusion in her face. I set her down by her toy box, pointing to her toys, and she soon forgets about the glass bowl and is busy with a doll.- Blogger Libby Anne
One of my major disagreements with the Vision Forum and related groups is their use of the word “defraud.” To defraud someone is to deceive that person in order to take something away. However, VF and related literature says that a woman or girl who exposes or emphasizes certain parts of her body is defrauding men or boys who see her. The implication is that she is deceiving them because her body is an automatic promise of sex and the thing she is taking away is the sex they have a right to expect from a woman or girl who straddles a fence/hitches up her skirt/grows breasts that make her blouses tight over the summer/whatever. Of course, if she agreed that she had inadvertently promised sex by straddling the fence and went on to give them what they thought they had the right to expect, she would be a fornicating harlot or whatever.
Basically, if you’re female, you can never be as pure or holy as a man, because you have a woman’s body. And men have the right to use you as they see fit. –Jenny Islander on Gentle Christian Mothers
The “defrauding” and extreme modesty aspects are also pretty demeaning to men, IMO. Those poor little men who can’t control their animal natures need us women to cover nearly every square inch of our bodies in order to stop them from sinning.
There’s no responsibility for men to keep themselves from sinning by, oh, I don’t know, turning their heads AWAY from the temptation. There’s no accountability for men either. All that responsibility for the men’s lust is given to the women and girls.
Not to say that modesty isn’t a positive thing… but not when it’s used to absolve an entire gender of the responsibility for their own sin and instead places the responsibility for that sin on the other gender. BarefootBetsy on Gentle Christian mothers
Both of the above are common attitudes in patriarchal teachings.
To recap, in “Christian” patriarchy:
Babies – should be taught self-control. To not act on what they see. If what they see (i.e. Mom’s glass vase) causes them problems, they should be taught to simply not act on their urges. Nothing should be hidden to protect them from stumbling.
Adult men – should be protected from seeing things that makes them stumble. If what they see (i.e. the female shoulder or knee) cause them problems, it should be hidden from them. Nobody expect that their self-control has to protect them from stumbling.
There is something seriously wrong with a system where babies have to be punished if they don’t act right, and the world has to be adult-male proofed to not tempt them. In a sane world adults are punished for not acting right, and houses are baby-proofed.
In the real world, we let those people who apparently can control their urges lead us morally, while the babies who cannot are protected from temptation. In “Christian” patriarchy, those who don’t lead (women and girls) have to take responsibility for the urges of the leaders (men), up to the point of blaming the women for the man’s sin. This doesn’t just happen in blaming them for how they dress. The women are also often blamed for physical abuse from the husband, or his marital unfaithfulness.
Who are the babies in patriarchy? The 16- month olds who are expected to have self-control even though your ornaments are on display, or the 30 and 50 year olds from whom you should hide things? And why does the proponents of “Christian” patriarchy want people to be led by the “babies” from whom self-control is not expected?