This post might piss some of you off. It’s a post I wrote a while back in response to a thread on Beliefnet.com about sexism…it’s kind of an old rant but it’s been brought back to mind lately because of some other things I’ve heard said. I love men, but I don’t like some of the attitudes I’ve seen among certain ‘church groups’, which I mention below. Get your vomit buckets ready. 🙂 -PQ
I used to be a Christian fundamentalist. I live in the South. I have heard a lot of prescriptions of how women need to be and how anyone who deviates even slightly is ‘sinning’ or ‘rebellious’. I’ve recently been subjected to two such lectures on a thread about anti-male sexism and others-one poster saying he hates ‘feminists’ (defined by him as any woman who doesn’t do whatever her man tells her to do, all the time, without question), and another one who might seem a bit more progressive, but has talked about us in such sexualized terms that it is very clear that he has no respect for us as anything other than sex objects. The second one claims to be ‘fakeposting’, but no one is laughing at either one.
So, we have plenty of talk about how women ‘should’ be. I have heard many, many lessons from conservative ‘church people’ about how women should be, and the world tells us every message in the book about this.
But what about men? Why don’t the conservative evangelical/fundamentalist* churches here spend much time at all talking about how the men should be? Why don’t we hear anything about men being expected to love and respect their wives, rather than hearing how we somehow deserve it if our man doesn’t treat us well? We have heard men say on discussion forum threads about how the abusive relationships some of us have been in were wrong, but why do we only hear this on threads, rather than having evangelists and preachers teaching men how to behave properly toward women? I can honestly say that, in all my time as a fundamentalist (roughly 10 years, give or take) , I never once heard any preacher or teacher talk about how treating your wife badly is wrong. I have heard a lot about how we women can earn the respect and love of our husbands….which is basically saying that it is my fault if my husband beats the crap out of me and runs around behind my back. Why doesn’t the world talk about how a ‘real man’ treats women and behaves? Why don’t we see magazine articles talking about how a man can treat a woman well, without sex being used as an incentive?
And no, I do not have issue with men in general. Most of my friends are men. I will say, though, that I was really apprehensive when my husband mentioned that his family is part of a conservative denomination, because I thought he would end up being like my ex and making me feel like crap for not fitting some mold while not making a single effort himself to contribute at all. The passive-aggressive shit really gets old. But by the grace of God, my husband is more like my father than like my ex, and is a *real man*, not threatened by my having a different opinion.
Call me a bitch all you like. Apparently I am the worst kind of woman around, or so I have been told. 🙂
*conservative evangelicals/fundamentalist are a somewhat different breed here in the southern US/Bible Belt than they are in other countries. Most are good people, but their beliefs are much more rigid than you might see people called by the same name elsewhere.