How could I ?

One of my classmates asked me how a woman could promote misogynistic propaganda.  It was beyond her how certain American politicians could use the freedoms granted them by the women’s movement to denounce women’s rights at the same time.

Well, I once (to my embarrassment now) argued for male superiority (headship) in highschool. 

How could I do this? 

Easy.  I didn’t identify as a woman, or at least not as a human being in my own right.  I wasn’t defending myself, but my god, my church and my family.  I didn’t have a right to defend myself- that was like sin.

I identified as a Christian first.  I belonged to god, I was not my own.  I was bought at a price, therefore was not my own.

Yes,  first a Christian, with everything that went along with that.  That meant that I would follow church teachings to deny myself.  Small step from denying myself, trying to die to self and living for others to putting myself down.  After all, I was a purchased slave whose life was to serve others.  If I tried hard enough, I would find true freedom.  If I was selfish I would miss it.

To promote my own self, including basic human rights and dignity, was to put myself in danger of losing the brand of Christianity I was marked with.  That was to put my immortal soul and future reward at risk.

Secondly, I identified myself in relation to others.  I was a daughter.  Then a wife and later a mother.  I never thought of myself as ‘woman’ or even as ‘person’.  I belonged to Christ, the church, and my family.

With my identity thus placed on being owned by others, I needed to defend their positions in order to stay in the right relationship to them.  Without them, I was nothing.  This was reinforced constantly.

When I came out into the ‘world’ I was given the message “You aren’t just a woman, you are a person!”

(My brother was given the message “You aren’t a real man, you’re just a person.”  Oh well.)

So, there you have it. 

Why do battered women attack the police officers who come to stop domestic violence?  They believe they are better off with their abuser than without him.  (Of course, men are also abused.  This goes both ways, just not to the same extent.)

Why do women promote misogyny?  They believe they are better off within the relationships that demand it than without them.  And they probably don’t recognize how they are demoting themselves in the first place.

7 thoughts on “How could I ?

  1. Dear Nymph: Congratulations on your ongoing metamorphasis. Keep up the good work.

  2. Grace says:

    Nymph,

    What was the cult that you were part of? Did they believe that people had to be misygonists to be saved?

    They do not promote the dignity of the individual, or basic human rights?

    How sad.

    I believe that Jesus Christ elevated the status of women in His time.

  3. prairienymph says:

    Grace: I grew up in an offshoot of the Pentecostal Movement. This attitude I still encounter, although not as extreme, in most conservative churches. Vinyard is a notable exception. The only churches I haven’t found this attitude in are the liberal ones which don’t pretend to read the bible literally.

    If people are reading the bible a certain way, they will become misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. Their choice is to read the bible differently (ie: as a window into how older peoples understood god, through liberation theology, hegemony…) or to not read the whole bible.

  4. Ahab says:

    “I didn’t identify as a woman, or at least not as a human being in my own right. I wasn’t defending myself, but my god, my church and my family. I didn’t have a right to defend myself- that was like sin.”

    A lot of ex-Christians can identify with this. Fundamentalism definitely prevents people from valuing themselves as human beings or cultivating any kind of self-respect. I’m glad you broke free.

  5. PN, after 63 years of ignorance, I looked up the meaning of the word misogyny. You have described The Move to a T in this post. You write a great deal of what I feel about what was wrong.
    We go to church promised forgiveness and then guilt is used as a controlling factor to keep us there and in line.

  6. Grace says:

    Blog Fodder,

    But, why attend these type of legalistic, and manipulative churches?

    There are so many open, and accepting Christian congregations that emphasize the grace, and love of God in Christ, and where women are in leadership positions, even as clergy.

  7. […] “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”- there’s the idea that men and women are practically a different species. Even though I’m sure that, rationally, cis men are aware that women are human- there’s still a culturally spread idea that other people aren’t human in the same way, but in a lesser way. There’s a blog called “Are Women Human?” about gender and sexuality in Christianity and society as a whole. You’d think that the question doesn’t need to be asked, and while I’m pretty sure that anyone who was asked this would answer “yes”, it actually is a question that hasn’t universally been answered “yes”. It’s still all too common to think that women should be subservient to men. There are still women who believe this. […]

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