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.