She Won’t Let Me Wear The Pants Or Stick My Thingy In Her, And Other Pressing Problems Facing The Church Today

Okay, so as a middle-aged Christian woman, in light of the recent rash of Driscollisms doing the rounds, I feel at this point I need to stand up say something. Someone certainly needs to tell these Bible-college educated boofheads a few home truths about marriage, leadership and sex. I’ve been hearing this same inane, misogynist drivel preached from church pulpits for about three decades now, and I’m so bloody tired of it, I just can’t tell you.

I wish everything they keep telling us to do actually worked, really I do. I wish all gender issues in the church and the larger problems of the world could be cured if I as a Christian woman agreed to never write essays or read books or rise above the creche roster at church, and promised to wear a french maids outfit while I dusted and baked. But this largely sexist idea that you guys – and it is the guys for the most part – seem to have about how all Christian men and all Christian women are wired – or ought to be wired –  just doesn’t work in the real world. And believe it or not, Mr. Anti-Women-In-Leadership, your church is in the real world.retro-couple

And, about that leadership thing. Let’s get this straight. You should stop telling men they ought to want to be leaders all the time, and telling women they ought to want to not be. Not all men want to be leaders, and not all men can be leaders, good or otherwise. And not all men want to live in a system of marriage or church or community where the kind of leaders you and your ilk advocate they become are even necessary. I mean, just listen to the way you talk to people, for crying out loud. Not all men are averse to the leadership of women, and many resent the fact you’re always telling them they ought to be. As hard as it is to believe, many men actually like women as fellow human beings, and don’t think women are just for marrying, or leading around, or sticking their willies in. I put it to you that an awful lot of men – more than you probably think – don’t want to be leaders, of their wives or anyone else. And these are not broken men that need fixing.

Another thing. Despite all that weaker vessel stuff, not all women are weaker than men, physically, mentally or spiritually. Some women are naturally very strong, and many have had to learn to be, and that is not an anomaly that needs solving or correcting. Little Man, not all women who are strong want to emasculate you. I am a strong woman, however, when I come into the presence of others, I do not assume because I am strong I am the boss of everyone else, and therefore all those present must defer to my strengths because there can be only one. I am happy to work with and appreciate the strengths – and the weaknesses – of other people, and give credit and respect where due. Regardless of what the misogynist men church teachers say, neither men nor women should assume their strengths are God’s gift to others, and that others must therefore submit and make way for them. My husband and I work together. He knows what my strengths are, and he is happy to use that to his advantage. He’s a smart guy. We try to let the other one do what they are good at and naturally enjoy, and we work hard not to dominate, but to compliment each other.

I tried downplaying my strengths once to allow my husband to rise up and be more like the strong Christian man the church said he was supposed to be in every area of our marriage (because he had the penis) but that was a disaster. He didn’t want to ‘lead me’ – he married me because he liked me and thought I was attractive and interesting, not because he thought I was weak and stupid and needed him or I would die alone in the woods. We figure God knew just what he was doing when he put us together, and when we both use our powers for good and not evil, everything works just fine. When things go wrong, it won’t work to blame someone else for being weak or a usurper. We just get onto the problem and sort it out.

Let’s just call this need some Christian men have to dominate and control others exactly what it is – basic emotional insecurity. If a man is intimidated by and feels he needs to dominate another person, and this is further compounded by the fact she is a woman, he is insecure first, a bully second, and a silly misogynist third. Buddy, your problem isn’t that your wife won’t follow your leadership, its that you’re trying to create an autonomous dictatorship in what is meant to be a democracy. Ironically, I have met a lot of incredibly strong women who got that way after surviving their stupid, despotic husband who used spiritual, emotional and physical rape as a “Biblical” leadership strategy. If you try to break your wife by demanding she follow your leadership because God said she has to, she may get strong in a whole bunch of ways you didn’t count on, with Gods help…and I will promise to help her do it.

Now, the sex thing. Pay close attention, because this is very important. Regardless of what they preach in church and write in their preachy marriage books, not all women have naturally low sex drives. A lot of women have naturally high sex drives, higher than their husbands do, higher than most men do in fact. Many men have naturally low sex drives, and it’s perfectly normal, i.e.: not a problem that needs fixing. If your wife doesn’t want to have sex with you, that is YOUR problem, not hers. You’re the one with the erection – sort yourself out, for goodness sake, and leave her alone. You do realise her part of the equation bleeds for a week every month, yeah? And besides, maybe your breath stinks. Maybe you stink. Maybe she really is tired or has a headache because of all the other problems she has to take care of as a result of the other times you put your thingy in her – i.e.: your children.  Your dick is your priority, not hers.

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that if a woman has a low desire for sex she’s called “frigid”, but there is no derogatory name for a man with a low sex drive. As if it were impossible for a man to have a low sex drive, or for a woman to be sexually frustrated. Hello. There’s no name for a man with a low sex drive, because we don’t presume that everyone with a penis will just instantly feel like sticking it into us when we snap our fingers, and – funnily enough – your puerile name calling didn’t make us horny when you did it to us. Neither did those sermons you wrote telling us we need to deal with our sexual “problems”. The fact that you wouldn’t even know a sexually frustrated woman if you fell over her – and yet a sexually frustrated man doesn’t seem capable of thinking or talking about anything else – says a lot about our genders ability to take care of our business, don’t you think?

Mr Sex-Obsessed, Misogynist, Power-hungry Pastor-man, every time you talk at people about what is normal and what is not when it comes to sex, family and relationships you effectively cause 99% of your congregation to become just a little bit more neurotic. I don’t care to read your book and find out if God gets mad when we put that into there. If you’d stop banging on about it – no pun intended – many people would not ever presume their sex life was broken and needed fixing in the first place. And this is the real problem, isn’t it? The church stopped talking a long time ago about how great and amazing and awesome people are and all the things they are capable of and can aspire to and create together, and instead started repressing everyone and bitching about them, while at the same time complaining about being repressed. I’ll come back to church when you guys start healing and uniting all people, regardless of gender and sexual orientation, celebrating their humanity and diversity, and just stop with the generalisations, the misogyny, and the micro-managing sin via behaviour modification. It’s just boring.

 

 

If you liked this, you might like –

On How The Infidelity Of The Christian Man Is The Fault Of His Wife’s Ponderous Thighs. Or Crap To That Effect.

 

If Everyone’s Meant To Be A Leader, Who’s Doing The Following?

This morning I’ve been thinking about leadership. Not being a leader so much, but about being led. Which is harder do you think?

Nobody seems to be raising up great followers these days, or equipping people to sit back and let someone else take the lead.  This surprises me, because good following is really difficult. Maybe that’s just me. Perhaps people think following is the same as submitting, and nobody wants to submit. Maybe that’s why we’ve made such a cult out of leadership. There are so many books out there devoted to leading your followers, and so few to following our leaders, you’d think following was so easy nobody needed to learn how to do it. God, how I wish that were true.

I’ve always kind of wondered – if everyone is “called” to be a leader, who is actually going to do all the following?

Following is associated with weakness. In our society, nobody follows where they could lead instead. Leadership is for the clever, the strong and the charismatic. Following is for the bovine, the weak and the less-then. Leadership is an aspiration, whereas followership is a relegation.

Really?

Jesus. Now there’s a great leader. By that I mean Jesus was a great man, and that his leadership was more than competent as well. I like Jesus’ leadership style. He went around to places where people were, he said what was on his mind, ministered to their sick and tormented, gave them something to eat or drink where he could, and then he went somewhere else and did more of the same. We know he was a leader because people followed him around while he did these things. If being a leader was hard for Jesus, leading as he did without the benefit of a book deal, the media, the internet or an international profile, Jesus knew that following was just as hard, if not harder. After all, Jesus was not just a leader, but a follower also.

Jesus was a leader, not just inadvertently, but also deliberately. He didn’t only lead the rambling gaggles of intrigued listeners seeking a Messiah who always trailed behind him everywhere he went. He also directly  invited people to follow him.  Great leader indeed. Fisherman. Crooks. A couple of mates who knew his family. C’mon guys – we’re going to start a worldwide spiritual movement. Er, okay then, I’ll just leave my job and my friends and family and come hang out with you and do….what exactly? Excellent.

Once, after Jesus said to a fascinated audience that little kids were a great example of those most likely to inherit God’s kingdom, someone came forward and said, well, that’s all very well, but what was it was he needed to achieve to be successful in Gods eyes? This fellow was no plebian peasant. He was well-respected in his community, and morally upstanding. He had fulfilled all his social responsibilities. He had superannuation, and was president of the local Rotary. Yes, yes, yes – wide-eyed little kiddies, the beauty of innocence and all that…but what must I do?

Jesus looked him fair in the face. All those things you’ve done before are admirable, Jesus said. You can see heaven. All you need do now is sell everything you own and follow me, along with the stinky, inarticulate fisherman and the other  rabble, while we eat whatever is put before us in the homes of tax collectors and prostitutes. You will listen attentively while I say cryptic stuff to confused people, and try and unravel my parables. You can help me feed too many mouths with too little bread and fish. You will shake the dust off your feet when people chase you out of town and call you insane.

The man, quite underwhelmed, went away from there. Damn. I guess I won’t see heaven after all. Excuse me won’t you while I go cry in my bags of money.

Familiar with being a “somebody”, and having accomplished much in the eyes of society, for the rich ruler Jesus seemed to have changed the rules of engagement. The rich ruler was used to hard work, and to gaining recognition for it. He was accustomed to earning his due respect and due reward. He was used to the trappings of success and the fruit of his toil. What? Eternal life means becoming a nobody? Resting on someone elses success? Following? Doing nothing?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Maybe he confused followership with submission.

But when you think about it, it really is all very well to be the Chosen One, isn’t it? It’s one thing to be able to stand tall on the courage of your convictions, to face opposition and ridicule and criticism, when you know that you know God Himself has spoken to you and called you and ordained you to be the Lamb of God. It’s quite another when you’re faced with real poverty, cruel abuse and total rejection, and able only to say in your own defence “Er….I’m with him.

In other words, being a leader is one thing, but being a follower is quite another. There are always far more kudos in it for the boss whenever an enterprise succeeds, or when you’ve simply rowed your own boat. And even if it doesn’t work out, having gone solo and failed, there is far more validation in being a crazy person on your own merit than to be accused of merely trailing behind someones else’s madness.

I think about Jesus not just as a great leader, but as a great follower. Jesus was led by God, led by the Holy Spirit, led by the Tempter and led by men to the cross. Being led was something Jesus had to do and wanted to do, just as much as leading others was. And Jesus knew that for us, following him is not just enough hard work for any man or woman, it will be a life’s work.