Mark Driscoll (Re)Invents Patriarchy

You know what is interesting? Essentially every time conservative evangelical leaders wax on about patriarchy, they act like what they’re preaching is new and shiny and totally different from that bad woman-hating patriarchy thing we had in the past. As an example of this, I give you Mark Driscoll’s January sermon, “Real Men: Men and Marriage,” which Ahab of the Republic of Gilead has transcribed for us. In it, Driscoll preaches the same-old age-old patriarchy but appears to think that what he’s preaching is something new and sweetly beneficial. In fact, he’s very careful to use some form of straw-patriarchy as a backdrop for promoting the nice-patriarchy he’s preaching.

What this doesn’t mean, Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 and 1 Peter 3 and 1 Corinthians 11What it doesn’t mean when it says that the husband is the head of the wife, it doesn’t mean that men are over women. God forbid that would happen. I have two daughters. The scariest thing I can think of is that men in general were in authority over them. This does not mean that men are over women. This means one man, one woman, husband and wife in the covenant of marriage, that the man is the head. He takes responsibility and burden before God to lovingly, humbly lead her.

Here’s the thing. Patriarchy has never been about all women being somehow in bondage to all men—it has always been the individual level Driscoll is talking about. Think of the law of coverture—upon marriage a woman legally ceased to exist, subsumed into her husband. Patriarchy was always about individual women being under individual men. A wealthy noblewoman was not “under” the footmen who waited on her—she was under her wealthy nobleman husband. Under patriarchy, individual women obey and are subject to individual men, obeying and submitting to them in return for protection from other men.

And on that note, back to Driscoll:

This is to protect women from other relationships. Let’s say for example there’s a daughter, and she’s got a close relationship with her covenant-head, Christian dad. That headship protects her from other boys who want to come along and be here head, tell her what to do, set an identity for her, abuse her, endanger her. It protects her from other young men who would come to take that place of headship in her life. Similarly with a wife, if the husband loves her like Christ loves the church, and he takes responsibility for her, that protects her from bad men, bosses, men who have ill intent or those who are perverted. It protects her. It puts her in the context where she is lovingly cared for and protected.

Again, this is classic patriarchy. And do you know the problem here? The problem is that when a woman trusts to a given man to protect her from other man, she is only as safe as that man can make her—or as safe as he chooses to make her.

Note for a moment that for Driscoll, this isn’t just about wives. It’s about daughters too. The idea is that every woman has a male authority that she is to submit to, first her father, then her husband. Every woman is under the protection and authority of—i.e., she must submit to and be led by—a man. Driscoll thinks he can make this situation sound appealing by comparing it to an imaginary straw-patriarchy that never existed where all women must submit to all men, but the very real alternative is the world we live in now, a world in which women not only don’t have to submit to all men but rather a world where women don’t have to submit to any men.

Driscoll wants to see girls protected from boyfriends who might tell them what to do or abuse them, and wants to see women protected from bosses and men with ill intentions towards them. But what he seems utterly incapable of grasping is that by arguing that the solution is that girls should be protected by their fathers and women should be protected by their husbands he is arguing that women should be protected from men by men.

And in our day when one in three women is sexually abused, and women are mistreated and maligned and taken advantage of, it’s good to know that God’s intent is that men would be the head.

I’m sorry, what? Does Driscoll not see the huge contradiction and irony in what he is saying? If Driscoll is relieved that, in a world where one in three women faces sexual abuse, God intended for men to be “the head,” who in the in the world does he think is out there sexually abusing and mistreating women? Other women? Driscoll’s inability to grasp that sometimes it is fathers and husbands who are the abusers blows my mind. I can only wonder what he would tell women in these situations.

The picture Driscoll paints here of men in general—from teenage boyfriends to male bosses—is incredibly negative, and yet he somehow exempts himself and whatever future husbands he may find for his daughters from this category and argues that women should protect themselves by placing themselves under male authority and headship. Men are violent and dangerous, he says, so trust your future to them. I’m sorry, what? Driscoll manages this by creating a dichotomy of “nice, protective Christian men” and “dangerous, violent non-Christian men.” Except that in the real world, it doesn’t work like this.

In the real world, there are good, kind men and there are abusive, violent men, and these two categories transcend religion or the lack thereof. There are abusive Christian fathers, and there are awesome atheist husbands (like mine!). (And also abusive atheist fathers and awesome Christian husbands, just to be perfectly clear here.) Fortunately, unlike Driscoll, my experience tells me that far more men fit in that first category than in the second. It seems I don’t just take a better view of men than Debi Pearl does, but also a better view of men than Mark Driscoll. In the end, Driscoll’s Christian man good/non-Christian man bad dichotomy, when combined with his call for women to be under the authority of their male heads, creates a situation ripe for abuse.

And honestly? The fact that Driscoll can’t even see that we might be able to work towards a society where there are fewer abusive boyfriends and sexually harassing bosses, or work to empower women to value and protect themselves and refuse to put up with any such shit from the men in their lives, makes me want to strangle something. Mark Driscoll may think he has has some new improved attractive version of patriarchy to sell to his flock, but the stuff he’s peddling has been around for millenia, and it hasn’t gotten better with age.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • minuteye

    “Driscoll manages this by creating a dichotomy of “nice, protective Christian men” and “dangerous, violent non-Christian men.” Except that in the real world, it doesn’t work like this.”

    I’ve heard this called the ‘Knight/Beast’ dichotomy (to go with that charming ‘Madonna/Whore’ dichotomy that women get). Aside from being really messed up to begin with, it has the unfortunate side-effect of seeing every man as categorically good or evil; so if a woman goes to her pastor and tells him her husband is abusing her, the pastor has seen the husband do kind and good things, therefore he must be a Knight, and only Beasts abuse women, so the wife must be lying/exaggerating/deserves it.

    • http://campuskritik.blogspot.com Malte

      It also creates space for men to spin self-justifying fictions. After all, nobody thinks of themselves as a Beast.

    • smrnda

      Given what I read, it seems ‘nice Christian’ men are just as abusive, if not more, than other types of men. Worst it that they can defend their behavior through a belief in divinely appointed ‘headship.’

    • Ibis3

      It also feeds into the idea that if you’re a Knight and not a Beast, you are entitled to have a woman under you. If you don’t, then women deserve all the hate you can dish out. Likewise if you do, but she’s not being compliant enough to your wishes. You’re still a Nice Guy though.

  • http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com Ahab

    Thanks for the shout-out. You’ve pointed out a lot of the glaring flaws in Driscoll’s thinking, revealing how unrealistic his worldview is. Just as patriarchy shoehorns women into boxes, so too does it categorize men in unrealistic ways for the sake of sustaining male dominance.

  • J-Rex

    Problem: Men sometimes abuse and manipulate women.

    Solution 1: Teach women that they are in charge of themselves and no one has the right to abuse them, so that they know to leave (or not get involved in the first place) with men who abuse them.

    Solution 2: Teach women that they are under the authority of their fathers, their brothers, or their husbands. That way they’ll just submit to abuse and think it’s normal.

    Driscoll logic.

    • Hilary

      Solution 3: Teach BOYS that being abuse jerks is rude, not civilizied, and not acceptable. Teach men that such actions will not be put up with and enforce serious consequences.

      • Sheena

        Solution 4: Combine #1 (teach women that they are in charge of themselves) and #3 (teach boys and men that abusing anyone is not okay). :)

      • Bobby

        Solution 5: Teach guys that it’s not okay to hit someone unless you are defending yourself, your property, or other people and their property.
        Also, teach girls not to deliberately antagonize guys to the point where they feel like hitting her is a legitimate option.
        I am not defending men who abuse women, but I am defending those men who respond with violence when being psychologically abused. I would contend that when women abuse, more often than not they abuse psychologically, and men do it more physically. Many of my female friends admit that when they are angry with their husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, they try to hurt their significant other. And when men feel threatened, how do they usually react? They try to get rid of whatever it is that is hurting them, usually in a physical way.
        Also, here’s a funny double standard. Look at column two, third one down:
        http://web.archive.org/web/20020109092304/http:/www.domesticviolencedata.org/4_faqs/faq02.htm
        If a woman doesn’t want to have sex with her SO, it’s okay, the man has to shut up and jack off, but if he doesn’t want to have sex with her, it’s abuse. Just like refusing to talk to her. How many women out there have given their SO the silent treatment? I know that list is from England, but I’ve seen some similar lists in America.
        To be fair, a lot of things on that list are abuse, but I take issue with a few of things about it. It implies that women don’t abuse men. Some of those things are presented as abuse, but we’re not given a context. Refusing to give her money? What if he hasn’t got it? What if he’s saving to buy something really important to him? What about shouting and screaming. Angry people scream and shout It doesn’t mean that it’s abusive. And some are just outright not abuse at all. Telling her children things she doesn’t want them to know. How in the hell is that abuse? Or asking for receipts for all spending? If he’s doing the budgeting for the house, he should be getting receipts.
        Again, not defending actual abusers. But men who hit those who are psychologically attacking them are not abusers.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        “Many of my female friends admit that when they are angry with their husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, they try to hurt their significant other.”

        Bobby, some how, I have a very hard time imagining that you can really have so very many female friends to tell you flagrantly obvious things about how human beings, male or female, sometimes act in the heat of anger. Just reading your incredibly creepy post pretty much made me glance around looking for the bouncer before remembering that I’m in my own apartment and you are, thankfully, very, very far away.

      • Christine

        @PP – Honestly, even if Bobby did have large numbers of female friends who made such statements, I’d be more disturbed by the fact that he thinks that’ smore of a problem as the fact that there are men who would react by hitting the person who was annoying them.

        Granted, the lack of ability to understand social conventions that the rest of his post shows does make this plausible, but no less disturbing.

      • Christine

        Today seems to be a day for not reading what I actually typed… “he thinks that’s more of a problem than the fact that there are men who would react by hitting the person who was annoying them.”

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Oh but Christine, he is only trying to “get rid of” the thing that is hurting him “in a physical way.” And that thing is…a person. See, nothing at all disturbing about that.

      • Christine

        You have just made it even more disturbing that it was originally. (I didn’t jump out of my seat from the creepiness the first time.)

      • Bobby

        There are 19 people that I consider friends, and of those 19, 10 are female, and nine are male. Shocking, yes, I have more female friends than male ones, most of whom I have known since preschool. I’ve dated two of them, so I have experiences with their behavior. 4 others admitted to me that they do it.
        I do think that people abusing their SO is wrong, always and unequivocally. I was not defending abusers in my post. Maybe instead of the word defending, I should have used retaliating when I was talking about people reacting to psychological abuse, I believe that that is a better term. I was defending those who retaliate against a psychological abuser, not from people who are “annoying them.” It doesn’t make someone hitting someone else alright, but I believe that you should judge them less harshly than someone who just hauled off and hit someone. And no, I do not consider it to be a bigger problem. My point, though I did not do my best in stating it, was that you can’t just teach boys not to hit women, you’ve got to teach them not to abuse emotionally. And just teaching that to boys is not going to solve anything. You have to teach girls that it’s not okay to do it either. Teaching boys not to hit but leaving open the path of emotional abuse to both boys and girls is asking for trouble. Not to mention that about half of all domestic violence victims are men, and in around 50-75% of domestic violence cases, the violence is reciprocal, or tit-for-tat. In the ones that aren’t reciprocal, women make up roughly 70% of the abusers. So you can’t act like it’s all men beating women, it just doesn’t fly.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1854883/pdf/0970941.pdf
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-sacks/researcher-says-womens-in_b_222746.html
        http://menstuff.org/issues/byissue/initiatingdomesticviolence.html
        I will admit that I am not the most unbiased person when it comes to my mother, but then I had to live with her. I remember one of her boyfriends, his mother had died, and my mother did not like her. When she heard the news from him, she laughed and told him she was glad that, “that wrinkled old cum-guzzling hippie whore has died.” I don’t know why he stayed with her after that, but he did. Because over the next two months, he would sometimes start crying whenever he thought about it, my mom would needle him about it and insult his mom. She’s the type of woman who insists that real men don’t cry, and she is the reason that I cannot cry when hurt, physically or emotionally. One day, she took the urn that held his mother’s ashes, and threw it out of our third floor apartment window onto the pavement. Obviously, the urn, a cheap glass piece, broke, spreading the ashes all over the ground, telling him to “grow a pair and stop bitching.” What happened next is in my opinion less than what she deserved, because, even as little as I love my mother, I would do worse to anyone who did the same thing to my mother’s ashes. He socked her three times in the face, knocking her out cold, packed his stuff, and left. I did not feel sorry for her. To be honest, if it’d been another man having a go at his mom, he’d probably have been hit a way before two months had passed. One way that men bond is by belittling and insulting each other. The thing is, inside a group of men, there are things that are off limits, explicitly and implicitly. When those limits are crossed, the men fight. In fact, fighting is how you turn an implicit limit into an explicit one. And, if the insult was not too serious, everything goes back to the way it was before after the fight, maybe with more respect on the part of the guy who defended his limits. Women however, have a handy little protection ingrained in society by men, which is, DON’T. HIT. WOMEN. Which is handy, because a lot of stuff that women do to men would not be acceptable if it were done by a man.
        It doesn’t always take, I agree. People abusing each other within, or outside, the confines of a relationship is a problem. However, I don’t think that all violence is necessarily abuse.
        To me, abuse is when you use physical or psychological violence against someone, and it was not in self defense, or retaliation against someone who used violence against you without your permission. In some cases, I do believe that you For example, you’re home doing some chore and your husband comes home from work and insults and berates you because he had a bad day at work, or a woman who is angry at a friend comes home and starts hitting her husband because she’s hurt herself. That is abuse. If the husband or wife retaliates, that is not abuse. If two men or two women, or a man and a woman, decide to fight each other, then that is not abuse in my definition because they both consented to doing so. Hopefully that’s clear now.
        Maybe I’m just more accepting of violence, because I realize that above all, humans are animals, and no amount of civilization is going to completely eradicate it, at least not yet. And I was taught by my father that if anyone ever lays hands on me, regardless of who they are, then on principle I am to hit back, to show that person that I will not be taken advantage of. Oddly enough, he never hit my mom back when she would start hitting him. I share no such compunction. Should I ever have a wife or girlfriend, and she should slap me, or punch me, or whatever, I will strike back with equal force. Call me a misogynist if you want, I don’t really care. I call it treating everyone equal, because I would do and have done the same to men.
        By the way, I really don’t think you’d say it was creepy if I was a woman who advocated attacking an abusive husband or boyfriend. In fact, I’ve seen many instances in the media and in real life where women will cheer on another woman for doing that very same thing. I’ve even seen women cheering on a woman who chopped her husband’s penis off because he asked her for divorce. Hell, I’ve seen feminists on message boards and websites acting elated because a woman in Canada recently got away with trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband because she claimed domestic abuse, with no proof to back her up. The Supreme Court there said that, “she had been through enough.” But no, it’s not okay for a man to hit a woman, or to joke about a woman’s genitals being mutilated, or try to murder their wives. But if the person has a penis, he’s fair game.
        And no, I don’t advocate doing those things to women. I’m just sick of the double standards regarding, well, everything having to do with men and women. Please don’t

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Bobby, I don’t know one single feminist who would condone your mother’s actions towards her boyfriend or who would advocate the physical injury, mutilition, or murder of men have done women wrong. Not one, and I know a lot of feminists personally, professionally and virtually. In fact, you are commenting on a blog that is read and commented on by many feminist women who are themselves victims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of men, and I haven’t seen a whole lot of calls for male genital mutilation or hit men. The focus of this crowd, as is amply demonstrated on this very thread you decided to contribute to, is too teach men not to abuse and to empower women to value themselves and walk away from abuse. Is that so threatening? Please stop hanging out on weird fringe “feminist” (I have a feeling your defining “feminist” as anyone you deem to be anti-male) message boards and websites for the express purpose of absorbing more crazy talk to fan the flames of your obvious hatred of and contempt for women. It can’t be good for you and it certainly can’t be good for any woman that is naive enough to get anywhere near you.

        Many of the things that you are talking about–emotional abuse, ridiculing men for failing to live up to the Emotionless Tough Guy standard–are things that feminists speak up about a lot and work to stop. Surely, you have picked up by now that feminists tend not be major fans of gender roles and of bullying people who fail to live up to them. (Although funny, it seems on recent threads you’ve, in fact, done quite a bit of arguing in favor of gender roles. Maybe rethink that?). Your mother’s actions are certainly not a-okay in the eyes of feminists just because they were done by a woman. Still, your mother’s boyfriend’s actions are not okay either. Punching her unconscious was not self-defense. It accomplished nothing that packing his bags and LEAVING–which was the right thing to do–couldn’t have accomplished just fine without violence. I am not a stranger to the idea that women can abuse men. A good male friend of mine was once in a relationship with a woman who was so abusive that he once went to the ER, thinking he was having a heart attack, but it turned out to be an panic attack induced by the all-consuming anxiety of living with her. Eventually he left. Without beating her. Now he’s remarried to a wonderful woman with whom he has a relationship based on love and mutual respect. How would violence have made a positive difference in his situation? What would it have protected him from? The abuse stopped when he refused to take it anymore and removed her from his life; knocking her lights out certainly wouldn’t have helped anything. Your mother’s boyfriend beating her was not a form of self defense, it was a form of violent revenge for the hurt she had caused. A form of violent revenge that has the potential for serious, permanent physical injury, btw.

        It seems very sad to me that you seem to take it as a foregone conclusion that relationships are these adversarial arrangements in which two people try their damndest to hurt each other, and that all women want to emotionally and physically abuse men and, therefore, you must pre-emptively reserve the right to give them back what you think they deserve. Especially since, who knows what your threshold for “emotional abuse” is? Sometimes when people are having a big fight (which happens), they say things in the heat of the moment that wound. It’s not the best side of a person, but anger often doesn’t bring out people’s best sides and it’s normal. You don’t respond by beating any woman who’s said something that hurt your feelings. You take time to cool down and then you apologize to each other for hurtful things you said and hopefully try to deal with the conflict in a calmer, healthier, more constructive way, with communication and listening.

        Instead of spending all the time I suspect you spend trawling for a lot of paranoid internet propaganda that blames feminists for all your troubles, I suggest you find yourself a good therapist. I sincerely mean that. And, while you’re at it, expose yourself to some actual feminism–you can start on this very blog, provided your willing to take the posts and the perspectives from which they’re written seriously. You’ll find that we’re not your enemies.

      • Bobby

        Petticoat–
        I doubt that you know many individuals who would support my mother’s actions. The only people I’ve ever known who congratulated her on it were her and her friends. In my experience, most individuals tend to be decent, but the radfems are just as much feminism as is libfem.
        I empathize with those of you who have been abused as well as I can, I’ve been through all three myself too. It sucks. I do not sympathize, as I feel that when you sympathize with an adult, you are in effect denying them adult status. And I have no problem whatsoever with people speaking about teaching boys and men not to hit girls and women, and to help empower girls and women. I find it an admirable and very laudable thing.
        However, I am constantly told by feminists that feminism is about reaching for gender equality. As such, you would expect them to not focus upon the issues and problems of one gender, you would expect them to focus upon both the issues and problems of women, and of men, though given the name of the political ideology, you would expect there to be maybe slightly more focus upon women.
        Therefore when it comes to issues of women being abused by men in relationships, a sub-issue of the greater problem of domestic violence, in a feminist space, if feminism is for gender equality, one would expect to see roughly the same attention focused upon men’s issues as women’s issues. In other words, instead of focusing upon just how to stop men abusing women, one would expect to see those identifying as feminists also discussing how to stop domestic violence as a whole.
        I say this because one cannot solve a problem by only solving half of it. How does it look to boys and girls if the only message receiving air time is that boys need to stop hitting girls? Boys and girls will look at other boys as potential abusers, while girls will get away with abuse.
        Domestic Violence victims are about 50% male and 50%female.
        http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2005.079020
        I agree that women do tend to be injured and killed more in cases of domestic violence. But if you look at all abuse as being wrong, you can’t ignore the fact that men are as likely to be assaulted in a relationship. Just look at the Violence Against WOMEN Act. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a Violence Against Partners Act? And look what happened when someone in government tried to change the words woman and women in it to victim and victims.
        http://ncfm.org/2012/06/news/domestic-abuse-violence/the-national-coalition-for-women-blasts-efforts-to-include-sensible-and-gender-inclusive-provisions-in-legislation-to-reauthorize-the-violence-against-women-act/
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terry-oneill/where-the-real-shame-lies_b_1555946.html
        “.. . A major weakness of the feminist effort to end domestic violence has been a refusal to take into account the overwhelming evidence from more than a hundred studies that have found that women assault their partners at about the same rate as men and that women initiate domestic violence as often as men (Archer 2000; Straus 2005b). That evidence is further confirmed by the results reported in this article. Given the fact that most domestic violence is mutual, and that as much, or more, is initiated by women, the effort to protect women from domestic violence is severely handicapped by a failure to address these facts…. Changing the system requires attention to all parts of the system, not just half of it. Current policy ignores the fact violence is an interactive event.” (Dr. Emily Douglas, Prof of Social Work, V3(3), pp 293-318, 2006, European Journal of Criminology.)
        In California, men had to sue to get access to domestic violence support services.
        http://www.metnews.com/articles/2008/wood101508.htm
        Since the proliferation of women’s shelters and other programs to help abused women, and laws that severely discriminate against men in areas like domestic violence and custody law and divorce and child support, things that men and women are concerned about when thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, the rate of men killed in domestic violence situations has gone way down. But consider the fact that the rate of women being killed has only gone down slightly. You could infer from this data, that women are feeling less trapped, therefore they murder less. But look at men. When they’re trapped, they’re trapped. There are almost no men’s shelters. Cops are often under orders to arrest the man in domestic violence cases, even when he’s the one who called the cops. They can have their kids taken from them because they’re not women, hell, half of the time they can’t even see their kids but are required to pay child support. If you are male and need to get away from an abusive spouse and still keep your children, what are your alternatives?
        http://www.angryharry.com/esWouldYouSignThisContract.htm
        Now ma’am, I assume you’re a ma’am due to your name, I don’t hate women. There’s only one person in this world that I hate, my mother, and I think that she rightly deserves my enmity. The therapist that I’ve been seeing for the past two years hints that she agrees with me. And I wish that you could meet my friends. They would tell you that I do not assault someone else except when I’m defending myself. I have no wish to waste valuable years of my life in a prison cell. And no, this does not invalidate what I said about males using violence in a group to keep order. My friends and I respect each other enough, and we’ve known each other long enough to know what our boundaries are.
        I never stated that my mom’s boyfriend was acting in self-defense. Actually, I will come out and say that he retaliated, and that I don’t find retaliation to be necessarily wrong, as it can be a viable way for two or more parties to resolve a conflict without having the courts interfere. It is often used, primarily in male social groups, as a means to keep a group together. His mother had just died, leaving him in a bad state. Over the next two months, he was continuously abused because he was trying to deal with losing the most important person in his life. Then one day, the only thing that he had left of his mother was destroyed by the person abusing him. Frankly, if my mom had been a man, she would have died that day, or her boyfriend would likely have died trying to kill her, and if I were a judge, I would not judge him as harshly as I would a person who just bashed a person in the head while he was asleep. Men not hitting women is a biological device enhanced by cultural mores that, though it can be overcome, protects women very much and can be seen as a privilege, as men have no such device built in either biologically or socially.
        Like I wrote in my last post, half of the things that women do to men would get them hit if they were a man.
        When I see people talking about ending abuse to women but not men, it enrages me for several reasons.
        1) By only speaking about abuse to women but not men, you are denying by omission that men are abused too. It seems like you’re trying to deny that anything bad is ever done by women.
        2) By denying that men are abused, you are indirectly implying that men are the ones who are abusers. And if men are the abusers, men of course can’t be abused.
        3) I see this as an attempt by feminists to claim that they do not want the protection that men give them because of their gender while still keeping the privilege of not getting hit for acting like a jerk.

        I am not saying that women are not hurt, that all women/feminists act this way, or that every woman/feminist thinks this way, but on the third it does look logical. I also am not saying that men always protect women, or that they always have in the past. These are generalizations, so please, no flames, just logical criticism. Here’s looking at you, Staceyjw.

        I don’t think that relationships in general are violent, or adversarial. I look at them as two or more people saying, we like each other, or we share some interest(s), why don’t we do things together and see if it goes further if we’re attracted to each other.
        And no, I should have been clear on this, though I though I was. Men have no right to emotionally or physically abuse, and neither does any woman. I never said that all women wanted to either. I said that the abuse does happen in about equal numbers. That’s it. And I would not beat any woman who hurt my feelings. When I get in a serious argument with someone I care about, and my friends and family all know to respect this, I walk away. I come back when I’ve calmed down, because I don’t want one moment of stupidity to screw something up. Hopefully they’ve calmed down by then, but if they aren’t, I leave them be until they are. Then, we sit down and discuss it rationally, and repeat the process as many times as it takes to resolve the issue. I am not, in most cases, a violent person. And when I speak of abuse, I speak of repeated incidents over a period of time. One occasion does not abuse make.
        I am, as I stated earlier, in therapy.
        I find it funny that you say that I need to expose myself to actual feminism. This is like liberal Christians saying that I need to expose myself to real Christianity, that the extremists aren’t what Christianity is all about. I want you to read these:
        http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/the-battle-for-feminisms-soul/
        http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/to-the-nice-feminists/
        And watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSaT9utl4Ys
        The last is entitled “Feminism, y’all gotta own this sh*t” by girlwriteswhat.
        The essential thing is that everything, and I mean everything, that libfems and radfems talk about is based around patriarchy theory. They’re just different interpretations of how to deal with it. You can’t deny the ones calling for the reduction of men as part of the population, because they base their ideology on the same thing you do. So you can take your no true scotsman fallacy and shove it up your ass.
        And I don’t expect you to actually, you know, look at feminism and patriarchy with a critical eye, because, after all is said and done, females have a remarkable trait called in-group bias. I think it’s self-explanatory. Woman are more likely to agree with other women simply because they are women. Men share no such trait, at least in regards to other men. They do show bias towards women though. And here’s proof, just so I won’t be called a liar:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274
        Think for a minute. Why would all of these people, men and women, be saying such bad things about feminism if some of it weren’t at least true? Feminism is at its core about making women out to be victims. Victims who are to take no responsibility for what happens to them, and that men wanted to subjugate the very people they form their closest bonds with. But if men wanted to do so, why didn’t they just make women slaves and breed them for that purpose, like they did slaves?
        Thank you.

    • minuteye

      Solution 1b: Make it easy for women who are being abused to leave their relationships, by creating meaningful practical and emotional support structures. Instead of immediately questioning whether the abuse is “really that bad” and encouraging her to just try harder.

    • Bobby W

      There are 19 people that I consider friends, and of those 19, 10 are female, and nine are male. Shocking, yes, I have more female friends than male ones, most of whom I have known since preschool. I’ve dated two of them, so I have experiences with their behavior. 4 others admitted to me that they do it.
      I do think that people abusing their SO is wrong, always and unequivocally. I was not defending abusers in my post. Maybe instead of the word defending, I should have used retaliating when I was talking about people reacting to psychological abuse, I believe that that is a better term. I was defending those who retaliate against a psychological abuser, not from people who are “annoying them.” It doesn’t make someone hitting someone else alright, but I believe that you should judge them less harshly than someone who just hauled off and hit someone. And no, I do not consider it to be a bigger problem. My point, though I did not do my best in stating it, was that you can’t just teach boys not to hit women, you’ve got to teach them not to abuse emotionally. And just teaching that to boys is not going to solve anything. You have to teach girls that it’s not okay to do it either. Teaching boys not to hit but leaving open the path of emotional abuse to both boys and girls is asking for trouble.
      I will admit that I am not the most unbiased person when it comes to my mother, but then I had to live with her. I remember one of her boyfriends, his mother had died, and my mother did not like her. When she heard the news from him, she laughed and told him she was glad that, “that wrinkled old cum-guzzling hippie whore has died.” I don’t know why he stayed with her after that, but he did. Because over the next two months, he would sometimes start crying whenever he thought about it, my mom would needle him about it and insult his mom. She’s the type of woman who insists that real men don’t cry, and she is the reason that I cannot cry when hurt, physically or emotionally. One day, she took the urn that held his mother’s ashes, and threw it out of our third floor apartment window onto the pavement. Obviously, the urn, a cheap glass piece, broke, spreading the ashes all over the ground, telling him to “grow a pair and stop bitching.” What happened next is in my opinion less than what she deserved, because, even as little as I love my mother, I would do worse to anyone who did the same thing to my mother’s ashes. He socked her three times in the face, knocking her out cold, packed his stuff, and left. I did not feel sorry for her. To be honest, if it’d been another man having a go at his mom, he’d probably have been hit a way before two months had passed. One way that men bond is by belittling and insulting each other. The thing is, inside a group of men, there are things that are off limits, explicitly and implicitly. When those limits are crossed, the men fight. In fact, fighting is how you turn an implicit limit into an explicit one. And, if the insult was not too serious, everything goes back to the way it was before after the fight, maybe with more respect on the part of the guy who defended his limits. Women however, have a handy little protection ingrained in society by men, which is, DON’T. HIT. WOMEN. Which is handy, because a lot of stuff that women do to men would not be acceptable if it were done by a man.
      It doesn’t always take, I agree. People abusing each other within, or outside, the confines of a relationship is a problem. However, I don’t think that all violence is necessarily abuse.
      To me, abuse is when you use physical or psychological violence against someone, and it was not in self defense, or retaliation against someone who used violence against you without your permission. In some cases, I do believe that you For example, you’re home doing some chore and your husband comes home from work and insults and berates you because he had a bad day at work, or a woman who is angry at a friend comes home and starts hitting her husband because she’s hurt herself. That is abuse. If the husband or wife retaliates, that is not abuse. If two men or two women, or a man and a woman, decide to fight each other, then that is not abuse in my definition because they both consented to doing so. Hopefully that’s clear now.
      Maybe I’m just more accepting of violence, because I realize that above all, humans are animals, and no amount of civilization is going to completely eradicate it, at least not yet. And I was taught by my father that if anyone ever lays hands on me, regardless of who they are, then on principle I am to hit back, to show that person that I will not be taken advantage of. Oddly enough, he never hit my mom back when she would start hitting him. I share no such compunction. Should I ever have a wife or girlfriend, and she should slap me, or punch me, or whatever, I will strike back with equal force. Call me a misogynist if you want, I don’t really care. I call it treating everyone equal, because I would do and have done the same to men.
      By the way, I really don’t think you’d say it was creepy if I was a woman who advocated attacking an abusive husband or boyfriend. In fact, I’ve seen many instances in the media and in real life where women will cheer on another woman for doing that very same thing. I’ve even seen women cheering on a woman who chopped her husband’s penis off because he asked her for divorce. Hell, I’ve seen feminists on message boards and websites acting elated because a woman in Canada recently got away with trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband because she claimed domestic abuse, with no proof to back her up. The Supreme Court there said that, “she had been through enough.” But no, it’s not okay for a man to hit a woman, or to joke about a woman’s genitals being mutilated, or try to murder their wives. But if the person has a penis, he’s fair game.
      And no, I don’t advocate doing those things to women. I’m just sick of the double standards regarding, well, everything having to do with men and women.

      • Staceyjw

        Why must gross MRAs show up to mansplain all over any blog post that talks about abusive men, trying to turn it into “but, women are monsters, they are the abusers!” I wish they would learn that NOT EVERY POST IS ABOUT YOUR BELIEFS! Get over it.

        If you don’t now what an MRA is, you should go to ManBoobz.com and read up on them, before you waste a bunch of time trying to reason with one like Bobby. His wall of text makes me cringe, even before I read the utterly predictable garbage he spews. Make no mistake, MRAs don’t want to “add their voice”, they only want to derail, thread Jack, troll, and annoy any feminist blog out there, in hopes of ruining them.

      • Jake Hamby

        +1 to Staceyjw’s comment. I must confess that I’m sort of fascinated by the MRA phenomenon. There are a lot of people out there who are genuinely hurting from bad situations they’ve been in, and then there’s this subset of them who have absorbed a whole bunch of stereotypes about men and women that they’ve built this worldview around, and then they go on Internet forums to continuously bolster that worldview.

        The problem with living a worldview based on such 2-dimensional stereotypes is that you end up becoming the biggest stereotype of all, as Bobby W’s posts demonstrate. The details may be unique, but the way he presents them is completely interchangeable with any other MRA-style rant featured on ManBoobz, and has the predictably opposite effect (disgust and/or cringing in embarrassment for him) when posted to a site like this one, rather than the agreement and encouragement that the same post would garner on an MRA site. Even so, the replies have been well worth reading, and hopefully Bobby W will realize that his issues are perhaps better dealt with in therapy, or if that’s not a workable option, then at least in conversations with close friends rather than random spewage on the Internet to a forum whose readers will generally be unsympathetic to your cause (even the male ones, like myself).

      • Bobby W

        Nowhere did I say, “but, women are monsters, they are the abusers.” I said that women assault men in equal numbers. Ignoring half of the problem in domestic violence will not help you solve the problem. I don’t think that calling for people who profess to be for gender equality to actually address both sides of the issue to be bad.

  • http://campuskritik.blogspot.com Malte

    Without wanting to change the topic, evangelicals seem to do a very similar thing when they talk about LGBTQ people. They set up two extremes – equality and a fictional wicked homophobia that kicks puppies – to make exclusion seem kind by comparison. And of course they did the same with the question of racial integration back in the day. The list goes on.

    • Steve

      They really do that about everything. Their entire world view is one of extremes. They only see black and white.

      Sex in general is another good example. They think if everyone isn’t taught purity and chastity, the only alternative is people constantly having orgies and sleeping with everyone.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        And they think that constantly having orgies and sleeping with everyone is self-evidently wrong. I’m not sure why, but that’s the obvious implication.

    • J-Rex

      Well it makes sense if you think about it. They think everyone’s destined for two extremes: heaven or hell. Now if they actually stopped to think about it and get to know non-Christians, they would realize that there are so many genuinely good people that would be doomed to hell if Christianity is right. That obviously causes a lot of logical and emotional problems for their belief system. It makes it much easier for them to believe in heaven and hell if they see everything as a dichotomy. For every action they disagree with (being gay), they can assume there is something much more disturbing going on behind it (the homosexual lifestyle!!) and as long as they imagine that everyone is much worse than what they see, it makes slightly more sense that they could be doomed to hell.

      • Bobby

        If one properly subscribes to Christian dogma, they cannot admit that anyone, even Christians, is good. The dogma is that only God, and Jesus, are perfect, the only good. Humans are innately evil, and even being saved doesn’t make you good, it just means that God says that he knows you’re evil, but he’s willing to overlook that because you try to kowtow to his insane demands. They deny the existence of good people, therefore the idea of a good person going to hell doesn’t work. Because in God’s eyes, the person who doesn’t take one day a week off of work is the moral equivalent of Pol Pot. Those that say they are Christians, but wouldn’t say to someone like Charles Manson, I am just as evil as you are, is not a Christian, because denying one part of the Bible is denying the whole, as it is the infallible word of God. In other words, saying that you someone is a good person is the same as saying God does not exist.

      • Bobby

        If one properly subscribes to Christian dogma, they cannot admit that anyone, even Christians, is good. The dogma is that only God, and Jesus, are perfect, the only good. Humans are innately evil, and even being saved doesn’t make you good, it just means that God says that he knows you’re evil, but he’s willing to overlook that because you try to kowtow to his insane demands. They deny the existence of good people, therefore the idea of a good person going to hell doesn’t work. Because in God’s eyes, the person who doesn’t take one day a week off of work is the moral equivalent of Pol Pot. Those that say they are Christians, but wouldn’t say to someone like Charles Manson, I am just as evil as you are, is not a Christian, because denying one part of the Bible is denying the whole, as it is the infallible word of God. In other words, saying that someone is a good person is the same as saying God does not exist.

  • wordsp1nner

    Driscoll admits that there are men who take advantage of vulnerable women–but he doesn’t seem to understand that these men are also husbands and fathers. Under patriarchy, who protects a woman from the abusers who she is supposed to submit to?

    Also, lack of patriarchy doesn’t prevent protection if someone wants to be protected, it just prevents people from forcing their “protections” on people who don’t want it.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

    One of the worst things about this type of patriarchy is it sets up women who are not protected. If a woman submits to her father and then her husband, she is “protected” from other men. But if she goes outside that –dead/absent father, a career, no husband and living alone, etc– she’s under no one’s protection. That makes those women fair game for rape, abuse, and anything bad. It becomes ‘her fault’ for going outside the protected area because she knew it was dangerous out there and she went anyways, so it’s her fault bad things happened.

    Patriarchy is rape culture. I know Libby Anne’s made that point in several previous posts, but it bears repeating. If only some women are “worthy” of protection, all women are made vulnerable.

    • ako

      The “patriarchy is good for women” argument always seems to rest on the same string of inaccurate assumptions:

      - The default state of women is Acceptable Targets who are judged unworthy of protection and can be abused by any man. (Pretending that patriarchy doesn’t ever engage in victim blaming, reinforce the virgin-whore dichotomy, or otherwise actively push the idea that some women are acceptable targets for victimization.)

      - This cannot be changed by anything other than patriarchy – stuff like rape prevention aimed at rapists is silly and futile and will never work. (Ignoring evidence like that Edmonton campaign that achieved a ten percent drop in a matter of months with nothing more than some effective posters.)

      - Putting women under a man’s protection elevates women from the status of Acceptable Target to Valued Property. (Let’s just shrug off the idea of women having inherent human rights unrelated to how men feel about them.)

      - Once women are elevated to Valued Property, they’re protected from abuse and mistreatment. (Putting aside domestic violence, child abuse, marital rape, and all of the other instances where a woman’s abused by a man who has power over her.)

      - This works because abuse is accomplished by Slavering Beasts who are always outsiders. (Dismissing all of the rape and domestic violence committed by respectable-seeming members of the community.)

      - Therefore, men who take authority over women are doing a favor by kindly extending protection, the only thing seriously important for a woman to have. (Completely trivializing every goal, ambition, or desire for anything beyond safety a woman might have.)

      • Caramello

        Great summary.

  • smrnda

    It seems that protection from abuse comes at the cost of having the male head exert total control over the woman or girl, which is really a form of abuse in and of itself.

  • BabyRaptor

    At a time when 1/3 of women are sexually abused by men…It’s great that god thinks women should submit to men.

    Yeah. Sense. You do not make it, sir.

    • SirWill

      Notice it’s almost always the guys saying that? Aside from the hilarity of someone basically saying, “You need to be protected from me by me!” It’s kind of suspicious that these kinds of systems always let the spokesman for them have more power than other folks.

      Almost like they have something to gain from it. Hmm, I wonder what that could be? *sarcasm*

      • Didaktylos

        A fox doesn’t need to raid his own henhouse – he can levy tribute.

      • Ibis3

        “You need to be protected from me by me!”

        Hmm. That sounds familiar.

  • http://wayofcats.com WereBear

    This branch of Christianity seems to fall into the idealization trap: it’s IDEAL to have a loving, godly, wise husband that a woman would be delighted to submit to! So let’s all pretend that is what is really happening.

    I have concluded that such patriarchal schemes are not just unworkable, but actually undermine moral choices. It forces good men into a constant authoritarian stance, where he questions normal kindnesses he really wants to make. It creates an untenable situation for men who could really use the support of a loving partner, but instead cannot have a sounding board or backup, because men are supposed to be automatically perfect. The usual discussions about large purchases, work issues, and child raising don’t get looked at from all angles, and the decision process can’t help but suffer from it.

    It’s also a trap for the man, because when things go wrong, he’s going to be even harsher to cover up for it. He literally can’t make a mistake, and everyone trying to live that lie is a nightmare.

    And, worst case, it lets monsters do whatever they want.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia Lucreza Borgia

    Driscol is very much into selling the whole package when it comes to men being in charge. He’s had many seminars and books and whatnot that strive to bring men back to the forefront in more mainstream Christianity. I don’t believe for a second that Driscol is unaware of the flaws in his grand plans. He just doesn’t care about them because we all know that REAL CHRISTIAN MEN™ are not abusive!

    • Kate Monster

      Well, THANK GOD* for Mark Driscoll! What American Christianity has really been missing is the male perspective. I’m glad someone is sticking up for the men involved in the Evangelical movement. For too long, women have been at the forefront. At last, someone willing to stand up–just once!–and think of the men!

      Now, if only we could get white people and heterosexuals involved…

      *Blond Jesus

      • minuteye

        Thank you for that comment. Nothing brightens a day quite like a belly-laugh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia Lucreza Borgia

        That’s the irony of it all! Men aren’t absent at all from the Evangelical world…

  • http://www.theupsidedownworld.com Rebecca Trotter

    I don’t even understand the theology behind this idea. How does one get from the idea that the husband is to the wife as Christ is to the church to these ideas about protection and leadership? Jesus never offered anyone protection from anything! In fact, he invited his followers to suffer right alongside him. So where does this idea about protection even come from? And how exactly does Jesus lead the church? The only ritual Jesus left behind was imbuing the passover meal with Good Friday meaning. He left no laws, no rules, no guidance for what his followers should do next, how they should organize themselves, how to deal with gentile converts, what to do about the old Mosaic law. Even the Holy Spirit was sent as a “comforter”. So how do they even get from Jesus’ relationship to the church to the idea of leadership?

    They are just taking the same old oppression that men around the world, regardless of religion, have always practiced towards women and slapping “Christian” labels on it. Of course, oddly enough, one of the things which Jesus did say he was here to do for his people was lift their oppression. It would make far more sense for Driscoll et al to say, “Jesus came to life all oppression from his people and set them free, so husbands, your job is to lift all oppression from your wife and set her free!” At least that would be theologically defensible.

    • http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com forgedimagination

      But . . . aren’t we the weaker vessel? Aren’t we physically and mentally inferior to men? Weren’t we first deceived?
      It’s sexist theology. Sadly, just because someone has a “systematic theology” doesn’t mean their theology makes sense. It’s just systematic and, to an extent, internally consistent. It doesn’t match reality, but at that point they just point at reality and call it Fallen– end of problem.

    • Steve

      It’s the other way around. He has the idea that men should be in charge of women and then says something theological-sounding to back it up.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia Lucreza Borgia

        Bingo!

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      I think it was Paul (real and/or pseudo) who is responsible for most of that crap — at least, the Epistles are where you’ll find the appropriate proof-texts.

      • Rachel Heston-Davis

        Paul was the very person who said that husbands should treat their wives the way Christ treats the church. So even the proof texts back up Rebecca’s point.

  • UrsulaL

    I’m sorry, what? Does Driscoll not see the huge contradiction and irony in what he is saying? If Driscoll is relieved that, in a world where one in three women faces sexual abuse, God intended for men to be “the head,” who in the in the world does he think is out there sexually abusing and mistreating women? Other women? Driscoll’s inability to grasp that sometimes it is fathers and husbands who are the abusers blows my mind. I can only wonder what he would tell women in these situations.

    It isn’t that he doesn’t grasp that fathers and husbands are abusing women and girls. It is that in his mind, by definition, a husband or father can’t be abusive.

    When you define male/female relationships in terms of male ownership and rights to control women, then nearly all violence by men against women gets defined away.

    Any physical violence isn’t abuse, it is Godly correction/discipline for the benefit of the woman or girl who has strayed from the correct path (as defined by her male owner) and who needs to be brought back to the straight and narrow for her own good.

    Any sexual violence by a husband to his wife isn’t assault or abuse, but simply his marital rights, and any force involved is her fault, for not submitting properly.

    Any sexual violence by a father towards his daughter, or by another male guardian (brother, uncle, etc.) towards a female dependent is not his fault but rather her fault as being seductive and a slut and not properly submissive and demure so that no human male could possibly be tempted.

    In addition, physical and/or sexual violence committed by any male against any female acquaintance or friend is not abuse, but rather proof that the woman or girl in question has been indiscreet, and chosen to be alone or unchaperoned with a man other than her designated guardian, and the problem is not male violence but rather feminine indiscretion.

    Likewise, an attack by a stranger on a woman who is not accompanied by her father, husband or male guardian is evidence not of male violence, but of feminine indiscretion, because no woman has any business being alone and unchaperoned.

    Put all these things together, and you have a world-view where the only violence against women and girls is that which happens in the very rare situation where a woman or girl is in the company of their father/husband/male-guardian, and they are attacked, the male protector is overwhelmed, and the woman or girl in question is harmed by the attacking strangers.

    And even then, if the violence by a stranger-male against a woman who was “properly” chaperoned includes a sexual element, it is, again, her fault. Because she didn’t resist enough. Even if a woman or girl finds herself pinned down by a half dozen men while other men take terms raping her, when she was accompanied by her male guardian and he was overwhelmed, she is to blame, because she wasn’t able to continue resisting to the point of death.

    In Discroll’s world-view, one in three women is not the correct calculation of the rate of sexual abuse and assault, because most of those “attacks” are defined away as women being sluts rather than men being rapists.

    • Noelle

      You haven’t seen Driscoll’s “How dare you?” video then, of the sermon where he yells at the abusive men of his congregation. He does seem to know that fathers and husbands, including those in his church, can be abusive. His solution is to yell at them, and I don’t see how that is going to change anything. But he does recognize they exist.

      He does not seem to recognize his own abusive nature, examples of which are too easy to find by simply searching abuse and Mark Driscoll together. There are many stories from those no longer in the church of how controlling and emotionally abusive he is of his wife too, so he can’t play the only one I need to protect are my own card on that one. Abuse is more than hitting and raping, and I’m not sure he understands that. Of his abuses against others, he is quite unrepentant and he has boasted of wanted to give bloody noses to his own past coworkers who dare disagree with him. While in his “How dare you” yelling-sermon he admonishes those men who hit their wives, he makes it very clear in other private and public statements that he expects wives to be entirely submissive and under their husbands’ control, even in what the women say to each other when they are socializing together. And yet, he does not see this as abuse.

      There is something seriously wrong with Mark Driscoll and the culture that supports him. He is very close to my age, and it bothers me that these sentiments are not appropriately dying out with the oldest generations.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia Lucreza Borgia

        I think it’s because he allows a veneer of modernity at Mars Hill. Things like tattoos, casual clothing, and modern culture aren’t exactly considered to be anathema. A lot of people take what he peddles as something new and modern and shiny. They see him hand-crafting Christianity and don’t realize he’s nothing but a cheap reseller.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia Lucreza Borgia

        Mars Hill seems to attract a lot of people who haven’t been in touch with religion since they were a child and they are unaware of how Driscol is merely repackaging the bullshit of yore.

      • Noelle

        Ye olde bullshit of yore, repackaged with hipster-esque music. It’s gotta be good. And if you can’t see that, then you are lame and not cool and stuff.

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      Mark Driscoll does believe husbands and fathers can abuse. He just believes that if you *correctly* understand headship, you won’t abuse, and that *correct* implementation of headship will stamp out abuse. This is actually a very common attitude in Christian circles. If men are getting too high on their horse and believing that hierarchy makes them king, all you have to do is teach them the CORRECT way of hierarchy and everything will be fixed.

  • Judy L.

    Libby Anne, Just a friendly editorial note on this fantastic post: Putting an asterisk in shit (sh*t) doesn’t actually do anything to sensor the word, and comes off as coy. We all know what it means, and the asterisk just looks like the ‘i’ has died and gone to heaven, now just a twinkling star in the space over-top its former incarnation. Most of us reading this blog are adults, and we can handle properly-spelled vulgar words. Be bold! :)

    This is one of your best posts ever. Brilliant, funny, tight and concise.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      I know, I just wonder about what all words various filters people use screen for—I know my regular readers have no problems with language used in that way, but I wouldn’t want to accidentally prevent a potential reader who uses a filter from reading my piece. That said, this word probably isn’t bad enough for filters, so I’ll go ahead and change it.

      • Judy L.

        Libby: That hadn’t even occurred to me. Good to know if I ever start my own blog. :)

  • Mafrin

    @ Judy- I now want to use “sh*t” if only because of your wonderful twinkling star analogy :)

    • Judy L.

      You’re welcome to it, Mafrin. :) It’s actually based on my high school English teacher’s lesson on using apostrophes properly. The basics are:
      1) Apostrophes never indicate plural. NEVER.
      2) Apostrophes can indicate possessive for nouns, including pronouns, with the exception of the possessive of ‘it’, which contains no apostrophe. (yes, I know it’s confusing that English has ‘exceptions’ to grammatical rules. Also, using apostrophes, or ‘single quotes’ instead of double quotation marks around words and phrases is a British convention.)
      3) Apostrophes can indicate a contraction (two words combined), where the space is removed between the two words and letter from one of the words is deleted: that letter dies and goes to heaven, becomes an apostrophe and looks down upon its former spot (e.g. do not=don’t, it is=it’s, you are=you’re). If you write the apostrophe with a big enough head you can actually draw a little face looking downward. ;)
      4) Apostrophes can indicate removal of letters, much like as with contractions, usually found at the end of words, and written to reflect actual speech, e.g. finger lickin’ good.

      My parents, who live in the U.S., used to shop at a grocery store called Kash n’ Karry. The proper way to contract Kash and Karry is Kash ‘n’ Karry where the apostrophes indicate deleted letters. Since we’re all grammar nerds, we determined that there was only one letter deleted from the middle word and the name of the store could only make sense as Kash no Karry, even though there were friendly employees who would help you ‘karry’ your groceries out to your car.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        Doesn’t an apostrophe indicate a plural possessive, though? “Our mothers’ bags were heavy” is a different sentence than “Our mother’s bags were heavy”. The first sentence indicates at least two women, each with at least one bag, while the second sentence clearly indicates only one woman with multiple bags.

        Just saying your #1 rule requires an exception as well :). And now I shall retire, grammar nerdiness compulsions assuaged for the moment.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        Oh hell, ignore my comment altogether. My reading comprehension utterly failed me. Carry on.

  • fencerman

    Every woman should just marry a TRUE scotsman.

    After all, no true scotsman would ever do a thing like that.

  • Pingback: Mark Driscoll Explains Patriarchy | Why I Am Not A Feminist

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    Oh. My. Goodness. Circular logic much?

    Driscoll’s argument for headship is that it needs to exist, because if it DOESN’T exist, it WILL exist (but with the wrong, bad people). That doesn’t make any sense!

    What if women are taught to protect themselves from people who want to take advantage of them? Then there is no need for the husband or father to be the head. I was never taught that my father was my spiritual head, or that I needed a male spiritual head in my life. That lack of a spiritual head did not make me go out and make bad boyfriend choices. It didn’t mean that I was a helpless victim at the whims of society. I knew how to protect myself. And I had the support of my dad AND my mom AND my friends AND my relatives. No hierarchy needed, just common sense and a loving support system.

    Driscoll’s bad logic is absolutely astounding sometimes. I don’t understand why people think he is such a genius. I’m sure he says some insightful things, but then he comes up with turds like this and I just don’t know why anyone continues to listen.

  • JC Beaumont

    Did you miss the fact that the sermon is to MEN? He is calling men to step up. To lead and protect their wives, and daughters, and to model this to his daughters so they can look for the same healthy relationship themselves, and to his sons so they can be MEN themselves.

    • Mogg

      Did you miss the fact that women are not infants, and that putting them in the position of being dependent on men for safety is not the model of healthy relationships?


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