Christian Patriarchy and Women’s Self-Censorship

May 8, 2007 at 7:58 am 28 comments

PatriarchyEven as I answer some male comments on this and other blogs, I feel that niggling worm of doubt, the one in every woman’s brain, telling me, “don’t offend them” “be a good girl” “don’t make the men mad” and then I began to realize that I’ve been so brainwashed by patriarchy that I fear my own thoughts! My gender has been brainwashed so well, that I don’t realize I’m self-censoring until long after the fact. I then think, “whoa! wait a minute! What do I care what a bunch of hypocritical mega-pastors or male pastor wanna-be’s or fundie male mouthpieces for the big P are going to think about me or what I post here?”

I mean, the self-censoring impulse is scary because it is so ingrained and unconscious. For those who never have to censor their own writing (ALL YOU big P(atriarchy) and F(fundie) C(hristian) MEN OUT THERE), they just wouldn’t understand what that means. These men never consciously think that they are offending women. And if they did think it for one second, they would shrug it off because they just don’t care. The few feminist men who make a conscious effort to temper their speech or writings, goddess bless ‘em, are just not shouting loud enough over the fundamentalist din. They must “do a Driscoll” and declare that women should demand sex from their husbands (after dinner, please) at least once a day!

Fundie men are God’s anointed, don’t you know, and we should treat them like God “himself.” They are prophets, priests, and kings, and we women but their subjects. More like objects. In Christendom women are to watch how they eat, dress, talk, sit, portray their sexuality, or worship, all towards the view of how these men see us; the male gaze defined thusly:

The defining characteristic of the male gaze is that the audience is forced to regard the action and characters of a text through the perspective of a heterosexual man; the camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a man’s reaction to these events. The male gaze denies women agency, relegating them to the status of objects. The female reader or viewer must experience the narrative secondarily, by identification with the male (Wikipedia snippet).

So, as Christian women, we are trained never to offend or lure those poor, weak men into sexual traps, yet we are to blame if they don’t find us sexually available enough (as in Ted Haggard’s wife’s case).

As Luce Irigaray, a prominent French feminist wrote, “Women are marked phallicly by their fathers, husbands, procurers. And this branding determines their value in sexual commerce. Woman is never anything but the locus of a more or less competitive exchange between two men…” (Feminisms, This Sex Which is Not One, page 368). This describes Mrs. Haggard to a tee. She is Ted Haggard’s wife and fodder for Mark Driscoll’s prurient speculation, never a woman in her own right, a woman with feelings and desires beyond their understanding or off limits to their perusal.

So, women whose consciences have not yet been raised are trained subliminally to write only good things, pretty things, things that won’t offend those delicate male sensibilities. How dare we challenge the church hierarchy! God will punish us if we dare speak against his chosen ones, his precious anointed. If we do dare to speak truth to power, we are witches, bitches, cunts, and whores. We aren’t submissive housewives and aren’t “under the proper authority.” Who do we think we are, speaking for ourselves? We are still under Eve’s curse after all (even though fundie men curiously aren’t under Adam’s curse any longer) and we should be confined to our proper sphere; the home. We cannot be trusted to interpret men’s writings. We should not dare to be creative, to write, to sing, to dance, or to be sexually available to whomever we wish. We are fickle creatures of hormones (as if men are hormone-free robots of truth). We are property after all!

This is why women’s writing is so powerful and web blogging so liberating. We can say what we want to say. Sure we will always get chastised by idiots that attempt to take us down a peg or two with their male bombast (some male-bombasticized-women included), but the good feminist writers will ignore such drivel. Delete them as they deserve. The point is not to give in to such attempts at censorship. Godde knows (and I mean that literally), PFC men never self-censor, why should we?

-MysteryofIniquity

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Why I (a Christian) Admire Atheists Christian response to the Atheist vs. Christian Debate

28 Comments

  • 1. Heather  |  May 8, 2007 at 11:19 am

    **So, as Christian women, we are trained never to offend or lure those poor, weak men into sexual traps, yet we are to blame if they don’t find us sexually available enough ** I often wonder if fundamentalist men are aware of what that says about them — the women must be perfectly controlled and docile and available, but not too tempting, and if anything happens, it’s the woman’s fault. What it basically says is that fundamentalist men have no self-control.

    **We are still under Eve’s curse after all (even though fundie men curiously aren’t under Adam’s curse any longer) and we should be confined to our proper sphere; the home. ** Fun fact: Adam was standing next to her the entire time she was talking to the snake, and when she touched the fruit. And didn’t do a single thing.

  • 2. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 8, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Heather, :-) Yes, fundie men are such weak creatures to always blame others when things go wrong in their lives. Is it any wonder they reach out in “love” to another man (Jesus) in their moments of weakness?

  • 3. Mike C  |  May 8, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Funny thing, but the first time I saw that smashing patriarchy picture it was on a Christian’s blog complaining about many of the same things you are.

    You might also appreciate this website for Christian women who are speaking out against these problems as well.

  • 4. beepbeepitsme  |  May 8, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
    — Susan B. Anthony

  • 5. Karen  |  May 8, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Even as I answer some male comments on this and other blogs, I feel that niggling worm of doubt, the one in every woman’s brain, telling me, “don’t offend them” “be a good girl” “don’t make the men mad” and then I began to realize that I’ve been so brainwashed by patriarchy that I fear my own thoughts! My gender has been brainwashed so well, that I don’t realize I’m self-censoring until long after the fact. I then think, “whoa! wait a minute! What do I care what a bunch of hypocritical mega-pastors or male pastor wanna-be’s or fundie male mouthpieces for the big P are going to think about me or what I post here?”

    Wow – I can totally relate to that! I have finally started to outgrow that temerity, but I completely suffered from that fear and self-censorship for a long time – even in the anonymous arena of the blogosphere.

    The experience of recognizing what I was doing and learning to stop it, and be bold enough to speak my mind freely, was (and is) sweeeeeet. And it’s definitely carried over into other areas of my life, too. Where I never would have spoken up before, I now make myself heard and appreciated as a female voice. It’s very liberating. :-)

  • 6. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 8, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Mike C,
    Thanks for the links. I’ll check those out!

  • 7. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 8, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    BeepBeep,

    I love that quote. It sums up what fundamentalists think so well. I’ve found that women in Anthony’s era were far more outspoken and vociferous about women’s rights than some of us in this one.

  • 8. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 8, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Karen,
    Isn’t it amazing that we’ve swallowed (gross pun intended) what men dole out to us to keep us happy over the years? Why we keep quiet while they “allow” us to speak or why we sit still for sermons about our threatening natures is beyond me.

  • 9. escapedmentalpatient  |  May 9, 2007 at 5:44 am

    Religion = suppression. espesially in regards to women but also on all other fronts.

    “Dont look through the telescope mr Galileo we already know that the Earth is the center of the universe, and if you prove the before mentioned wrong we burn you at the stake for blasphemy”

    Religion causes unspeakable harm across, generations it should be despised as the mental stupefying disease it is.

  • 10. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 9, 2007 at 6:29 am

    escaped,
    I’m beginning to think you are right, but unfortunately we still have work to do enlightening others to the possibility of life without religion. This is the tough road. I’m not trying to convince them, just trying to show them that an alternate path exists, one that won’t penalize them for thinking. Unlike the Christian’s alternative. not going down an alternate road won’t make you go to a place of eternal torment. You’ve simply missed another beautiful view.

  • 11. escapedmentalpatient  |  May 9, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Sadly the weakness that makes people religious is hard to address. its my experience that religious people have a hard time accepting blame.

    “i beleive regardless of what the evidence says”

    This need to have someone to blame “its goods will” or the saying popular among priests now a days “i abused the boy under my care because the devil tempted me”

    I guess it must be nice to be able to float through life without having to really accept the consequence of their choices.

    imagine how easy it is to become a suicide bomber, or child abuser when you actually believe “Nothing i do is my responsibility god has a plan for me, i just go with the flow”

    Religion has been civilizations plague for to long its evil, filth, stupefying, segregating and abusive.

    Lets get rid of it

  • 12. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 9, 2007 at 8:08 am

    escaped,
    I agree, it WAS easy to live that way. It’s very, very hard for people to take responsibility for their own lives and to accept responsibility for their own screw ups. I believe this is also why religion was invented.

  • 13. arrgjonsmad  |  May 9, 2007 at 11:15 am

  • 14. EK  |  June 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

    What you are breaking free of is not “the evil grasp of patriarchal oppression” – you are breaking free from a world where men and women value one another, and women do not try to fight the laws of natural attraction in the name of wanting the “absolute freedom” to act like degenerate, unmarriable, self-obsessed perverted slobs.

    Your phony “gender war” is not about emancipating yourselves from oppressive patriarchal control, it is about emancipating yourselves from caring about something other than yourselves.

    Many of today’s “liberated” “women” no longer value accompaniment, and only value using others for their own pleasure and self-advancement. They are either lonely and miserable career-obsessed authoritarians or self-obsessing, foul-mouthed, perverted harlot degenerates who hate the idea of reciprocality and self-control/compromise that marriage requires and sure as hell are not fit to raise children. Not only are they mentally incapable of taking care of another human being, but they have also opted not to have children and are incapable physically, having drugged their bodies in the name of “choice”, so they can have 1000000000 orgasms without bearing the children. It is a sign of their mentality.

    You call it an individual choice? Well, interesting. Because who is going to bear the children who will keep the replacement rate level? Who is going to introduce new babies into this society who can support everyone once we’re too old to work? It all comes back around. Everyone pays. So now we have 200 million foreigners coming, bringing their own culture, including Sharia Law of Islam. Congratulations for doing your part to destroy functionality of the Christian-influenced Western World and also, the downfall of our civilization in lieu of the rise of the Asian world. Take not that your sick and socially-divisive ideas have not caught on in that part of the globe: apparently the people over there were smart enough not to fall for them.

    In parting, to the fall of the West,

    EK

  • 15. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 19, 2009 at 11:51 am

    EK,

    You wrote:
    “Congratulations for doing your part to destroy functionality of the Western World and the downfall of our civilization”

    Why thank you!! :-D Coming from someone like you who obviously feels so threatened by it, that means the world to me. Guys (and gals?) like you make my work worthwhile.

    Signed,
    A proud, foul-mouthed, perverted harlot

  • 16. Quester  |  June 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Rock the world, MOI !

  • 17. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 19, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I plan on it!! :-D

  • 18. HeIsSailing  |  June 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    EK rants:
    What you are breaking free of is not “the evil grasp of patriarchal oppression” – you are breaking free…etc…

    WoW..!! Now that was AWESOME..!! If you are not already in AM talk radio, I think you have a serious future in that business.

  • 19. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 19, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    HIS,

    I think he’s just shilling for his website. Bet that’s a treat as well. Anyone who equates women’s orgasms with producing babies has got to have his tin foil hat on backwards.

    It’s kind of sad if it wasn’t so funny.

  • 20. LeoPardus  |  June 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Since you mentioned it MOI, I looked at his website. Now I want a clorox wash for my brain.

  • 21. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    LeoP,

    That’s what I thought. I’m sorry. Would you like an anti-bacterial wipe? :-)

  • 22. OneSmallStep  |  June 20, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I always enjoy being told what I really want/feel by someone who has only encountered me for three seconds on the Internet. You know, as opposed to letting me explain what I want or how I feel … me who has lived with myself for twenty-seven years.

  • 23. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 20, 2009 at 9:18 am

    OSS,

    Yes. You know in my 49 years, I certainly haven’t thought about any of the things EK brings up. In fact, I’m an empty headed little old female with three grown children who’s avoiding childrearing in favor of breaking down society by any means possible! If I knew breaking down the structures of society was going to be that easy or that annoying to EK and his ilk, I would have started long ago! :-D

  • 24. EK  |  June 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Mystery, I was not attacking you or even saying that this sort picture I painted describes you. However, the ideas you promote are part of the same imaginary “gender war” which was invented solely to divide our people and is completely destructive.

    “Anyone who equates women’s orgasms with producing babies has got to have his tin foil hat on backwards.”

    That has to be about the stupidest interpretation of anything I have ever written. Are you denying that women (and men) have not put themselves out of commission for the sake of sleeping around and getting their rocks off? But maybe this is more about the generation after you (30+, no children, never will have them) and mine than yours, statistically.

    “Coming from someone like you who obviously feels so threatened by it, that means the world to me. Guys (and gals?) like you make my work worthwhile [...]…If I knew breaking down the structures of society was going to be that easy or that annoying to EK and his ilk, I would have started long ago!”

    Be careful what you wish for. Or are you only capable of seeing things in the context of an imaginary gender war?

    I know, I know, get out the clorox wash. It is too hard to think about something that seems so disconnected from your personal life and your own struggle to overcome your reservations to hating men — after, I’m imagining, men who only cared about themselves did you wrong. And by the way, for someone who seems to care a whole lot about women’s rights, maybe you should put down the clorox when confronted with facts about Islamicization, birth rates and restrictive government.

  • 25. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    EK,

    You say you aren’t attacking me and then you proceed to do just that. For someone who chastises my assumptions you sure do make a lot of them yourself! But your words speak louder about your misinformed discomfort than anything I could possibly say. I realize how hard it is to cast aside the indoctrination. I can only pray you grow out of it as I have. Peace.

  • 26. Reg Webb  |  June 21, 2009 at 9:40 am

    This guy EK seems to be practising the old reductionist trick of reducing someone else’s bid for freedom to selfishness in order to make his own case easier to advance.

    Of course, if you have freedom of choice, you can make narrow self-regarding choices which ignore the feelings of others, and our interdependence as human beings. But that doesn’t mean that these are the choices that an individual will make.

    It would be equally easy for me to suggest that EK believes in proper obedient “accompanying” women because he, as a male, happens to profit from that particular arrangement.

    We can choose to have a constructive debate rather than a war.

    rather than blame women who don’t do as they’re told for the ills of Western society which is apparently shortly to be over-run by EK’s apocalyptic vision of the Islamic menace, why don’t we all think about what we all cherish in our shared cultural values, and how those very values might be our best means of doing any defending that needs to be done, as in this article:

    http://tinyurl.com/acx4td

    Surely this is more productive than slagging women off because they mysteriously refuse to obey their master’s voice.

    It’s very tempting to invoke the natural law to get people to do what we want them to do. Nazi eugenics anyone?
    Hitler could have shown those Asians the door right? The door to the gas chamber in his case. Advancing the Master Race is great if you happen to be in it. Genocide with honour.

    Am I unjustly ascribing all kinds of false agendas here? That’s what happens EK if you make too many assumptions. Let’s all stop doing it.

  • 27. EK  |  June 21, 2009 at 11:57 am

    You did it again, mystery. You change my argument to say what you want it to say so that it sounds like I contradict myself:

    “wasn’t attacking you”.

    Wasn’t = past tense…I was referring to my first post.

    However, in that second post, while responding to your assertion that there is no correlation between running around having protected sex for pleasure and the breaking down of the family and morality, I WAS attacking you, just as I proceeded to attack you for your odd praise for the downfall of our civilization.

    To be honest though, if I was 49, had done my part in society, raised children and was looking around, seeing the younger generation not giving a damn, maybe I wouldn’t either.

    Reg – I don’t have to “trick” anyone, unless it somehow occured to you that telling people to open their eyes and look around is a trick. This isn’t about “submission and control”, either, but I can see how someone who subscribes to gender war doctrine would be inclined to think it is. It’s simple: reproduce or perish. Muslims are reproducing, .Europeans are not. Other peoples are sticking to their own kind and would rally against group persecution if they had to, Europeans don’t. European women are competing with men and deciding no have very few or no children. Everything here is a product of the spirit of the age, the idea that community does not matter and individual freedom is one thousand times more important than what is best for everyone. Look around: the recession, the overloaning, the outsourcing, the nat’l community disintegration, the low birthrate, the empty/backward culture, the terrorism, the domestic terrorism, hyperindividualism…it all goes back to the ideology.

    The article you forwarded to me, http://tinyurl.com/acx4td, is a joke. Basically, it comes down to this: a man is writing on behalf of the corrupt, flawed system and is here to defend not the Western European people, but the system that is destroying them; he wants Muslims to give up the values and ideas that put them in a position to overtake us because our system has reduced our nations to shit, and he calls for more of the same forward-march trampling of the European, Christian-styled volk community in the name of a lame, pseudo-identity of “citizen”. He talks about citizenship and loyalty, yet he targets only the Muslims, easy prey, without discussing the real threat of national subversion, represented by the dual-citizenship status of Mossad agents, as well as the powerful pro-Israel crowd, from AIPAC to Penac, from Bush Sr. to Hillary Clinton, to all the bought-out politicians who claim to represent America. He makes no mention of the companies which feed off of American wealth and dump their earnings into Israel, from McDonalds to Loreal, from Coca-Cola to Starbucks and on and on the list goes. Had he said that, he never would have been published. Instead he writes about defending the “Judeo-Christian” West, a laughable juxtaposition, considering the West has become the antithesis of anything Christian.

    Part of me hopes the Muslims win. I don’t think our people are worthy of living. And that your argument degenerates into Nazi-this Nazi-that reducto ad Hitlerum blather is typical; it is about the only thing the majority of the West knows how to do anymore. Even the anti-Muslim people resort to the same bullshit, calling the Islamists Nazis, while being called Nazis themselves. It is pathetic.

  • 28. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    You wrote: “just as I proceeded to attack you for your odd praise for the downfall of our civilization.”

    Let’s be clear here. My writing about eliminating the misogyny of fundamentalism in my post was my view. My response to your attack was a tongue in cheek attempt to show the absurdity of your assumption about what I said. I neither said nor did what I write in my post imply what you assume it implies. This is entirely your assumption taken from your own ideology and from your own interpretation of my post. Please keep it there.

    You obviously hold in contempt all who hold views different from your own narrow mindset. I no longer wish to provide a forum for such hatred.

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