In an article named “Biblical patriarchy is NOT Christian“, I wrote:
On patriocentric/ “biblical womanhood” blogs, (and their comments on the blogs of others) I often encountered the opinion – given by women – that women should defend men and never speak badly of them. I usually answer that with a point-blank question to the giver of that opinion: “If your husband or pastor molest your daughter, what will you do?” Not one of them have yet answered that question.
Denelian, who works at a shelter for abused women, tells one tragic tale here on how these attitudes played out in real life:
…one only came because she caught her husband pawing at their 12-year old daughter – and she blamed HERSELF, because she “hadn’t kept up with her wifely duties” because she’d had 10 kids in 14 years and that AGES you, and so because she looked 50 instead of 38, her husband wasn’t attracted to her anymore, and this was all HER fault for somehow not being “Right with God” enough to be able to retain her looks enough to keep her husband from straying [and worse]. she wanted us to *keep the girl* while she went and got “fixed” [had plastic surgery] so that her husband would “see her as his proper wife again” and not be “drawn to sin because of her lack”. and then once she was recovered, she came to get her daughter back.
… her daughter was then a Ward of the State, because she’d been A) at the very least molested by her father B) abandoned by her mother for 3 weeks and C) her mother was planning to return her to the home with the man who had abused her without the man getting ANY sort of therapy.
Amount of children? Take no responsibility. Let go and let God. Schooling and education of quiverful children? Take 100% responsibility, do not leave them at a public school, or Sunday school, or anywhere someone else could teach them values. Safety of children, making sure they go through life unmolested? Let go and let God, because protection is not a woman’s role. (I have no idea what makes anyone think that protecting is a “biblical manhood role,” as no book in the Bible teach it.) Your husband’s sex crime? Take 100% responsibility, you were not pretty enough. (Proverbs actually warn men against falling for outward beauty, and Christ said you should pluck out your own eye – not blame your aging wife or make rules about immodest clothing for the opposite sex – when your focus on outward things make you sin.)
This is husband-worship instead of Christ-worship. It is a complete failure to protect children, as the least of these. It is also a system which adult males is often not held to Christian standards at all.
Is it acceptable to use individual stories like these, while each story is not the experience of every family in patriarchy? The blogger Incongruous Circumspection was abused by a patriarchal mother, and he say:
Don’t even try and come at me and tell me that my mother was the exception to the rule. I won’t even give you the time of day. That doesn’t even matter. Her way of doing things was simply her way of exemplifying the doctrines that propped up her way of doing things. The exact doctrines that prop up everything in the false lifestyle of patriarchy.
Or, to quote the blogger Liberty, in answer to Incongrous Circuspection:
…it makes me SO annoyed when someone tries to say stories like this are just the “exception” and there isn’t really anything wrong with patriarchy … The point I try to make is this: it isn’t the PARENTS that are the problem. It’s the IDEOLOGY. Period and full stop.
The system of patriarchy lends itself to to abuses like this. However good patriarchal practitioners may look from the outside, it is not something any Christian should endorse. The church needs to distance itself from patriarchy like it distances itself from, say, Jehova’s Witnesses.