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.

 

The Way We See Green

Ever wondered if everyone else sees the world the same way you do?

I remember as a small child asking my mother “Do you think we see colours the way they really are?” My mum replied yes, but I still wondered if what I saw was what was really there, or was really just a trick of my eyes. I wondered – do people see things as they really are, or do people see things because of the way they themselves are?

I watched this incredible documentary on television last night. Do You See What I See  explains how it may be that everyone actually sees things differently. The most fascinating aspect for me was a study on colour perception conducted with the Himbu people from Namibia.

The scientists wanted to find out if what we see is in any way connected to our ability to describe it with words. Is language linked to perception? The scientists established the Himbu have just five words in their vocabulary to describe colours, whereas western culture uses upwards of eleven words. Himbu colour groupings could include some reds, blues and greens in the same category, with different shades of red and green attributed to a different colour grouping entirely. Water is considered white – where we would say it was blue – and to the Himbu, the sky is considered black. You can view the study being conducted in this clip.

What I find extremely interesting is the fact that the perception of difference of the people in the study is seemingly defined by their ability to describe with language what they are seeing. Because the Himbu have the same word for both the green and the blue they see on the chart, they apparently can not “see” the blue tile which is set amongst the green. However, we, with our words for green and blue, clearly “see” the remarkable difference between the two colours. What’s the difference? Our perception? Or the way we define with language what we see?

Do all of us “see” the same thing? We all see coloured tiles, but without the ability to create difference with our words – our language, – apparently our brains are unable to “see” any difference between them.

What if we removed all the words from our vocabulary that describe the differences between people? Words that define between religions? Nationalities? Sexuality? Gender? How would our view of the world begin to change if we removed the words that separate us – that make them into others – and connected us back into only us?

How might this change the world?

 

Good Girls Never Change The World

Of all the stories surrounding Jesus that appear in the Bible, one of my favourites would have to be the account in John chapter four of the Samaritan woman who speaks with Jesus at the well. Now, I’ve heard many readings of this passage, most which focus entirely on Jesus’ words and actions – mostly lauding His marvellous condescension at lowering himself to speak to a woman, and a Samaritan at that. I realise that it is indicative of Jesus’ nature that he seemingly wasn’t bound by sexist or racist conventions. But why are we so surprised? Why would he be bound by sexist or racist conventions?

Er, Son of God, people.

I’m not that surprised Jesus was prepared to speak to the Samaritan woman. (And just as an aside, I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to be identified in your most defining moment throughout the ages not by your name, but instead by two words representing your ethnic group and your gender. “Hi everyone, you may know me as the ’Samaritan Woman’, but my name is really Pamela Jones……” )

No, I’m not surprised Jesus was prepared to speak to a Samaritan woman. Jesus never was one for conventions. What I am surprised about is the fact that the Samaritan woman was prepared to speak to Jesus right back. Because women – especially Samaritan women – just didn’t do that sort of thing.

Not only did she speak with Jesus, at length, about theology (what was she thinking?), she went back to her town and told everyone there what they talked about. And as if it wasn’t bad enough to fess up to openly conversing with a Jewish rabbi in order to tell people about Jesus, she also had to blather quite a bit of personal information about herself. Not that they probably didn’t already know of her shadowy past, but nevertheless, it was pretty brave of her to bring it up. In public. “I just met up with this man…” (I can hear them – “Oh, really?”) “…who told me everything I ever did.” she reports. Which part? “Oh, just the part about me being married five times before, and how the guy I’m living with now isn’t even my husband.” Oops. Embarrassed much? Apparently not.

“Come see a man who told me everything I ever did.” Come on! Don’t hassle me now about all that living-in-sin crap. Come and see him!

Come meet the guy who read me like a book. Come see the man who exposed my shameful actions and didn’t flinch. Come listen to the rabbi who shouldn’t have spoken to me, but who did, and to whom I spoke back.

Funny thing is, they did come.

And the Bible says that “many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” The Samaritans went off and sought Jesus out, and had him come stay with them for a few days so they could learn more. And because of that, many more believed.

I love the Samaritan woman. She didn’t have anything else to report except “I met Jesus, and he knew all my crap.” That was all she had to say, and it was more than enough to bring the Way, the Truth and the Life to a people who would otherwise have avoided Jesus like the plague, and who would not have had a disciple come within a stones throw in a pink fit.

Good for her. I guess that’s why she’s in the Bible – someone obviously thought what even with all the things she had done wrong, something the Samaritan woman did was very, very right.