Hey Ladies, Rock the Vote—by Not Voting

When I was sixteen, I was at a camp located in the fusion between “biblical” Christianity and capitalist patriotism. There was a man there with his children, and he was vetting me as a potential bride for one of his five strapping lads. Oh, this wasn’t explicit—but in retrospect it was pretty obvious. Anyway, one question he asked me was what I thought about whether I thought women should vote. He explained that his wife did not. I think this may have been how I disqualified myself from being worthy of his sons (thank goodness!); rather than simply asking his opinion or giving my father’s opinion, I proceeded to debate the point with him. My position was pragmatic—I agreed that in an ideal world women would not vote, but argued that good Christians should not halve their vote.  He argued that what mattered was principle, and God would take care of the rest.

Anyway, it was this incident that came to mind when I was sent a link to a blog post by a quiverfull blogger. This isn’t the first time I’ve written on this issue or the first time I’ve come upon conservative Christian blog posts against women voting. This idea is actually surprisingly widespread in conservative Christian—mainly quiverfull—homeschool circles, and is promoted by organizations like Vision Forum. But I wanted to take the time to go over a few things in her post (in which she explains why she does not vote), as I think it’s fairly representative of the basic arguments.

1Timothy 2:12  – But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Based on the Bible, it is wrong for women to exercise authority over men. However, women voting can lead to a passing of laws that the majority of men would oppose. One example of this is abortion – more than 50% of men are against it, but more than 50% of women are for it, which is why it is legal.

Most anyone would agree that in a democratic republic such as the US, the voting citizens are the final authority, not some monarch or ruling class (at least in theory). Hence, I do not wish to be part of the voting pool, because I do not believe it is right for women to be in charge.

Isaiah 3:12  – As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

How true this verse is in today’s world. Seems that so many parents live in fear of their children, who dictate their lives. And yes, having women rulers/politicians is mentioned as a curse in the Bible. I DO NOT support any women politicians. They are way outside the natural role that God intended for them, and as such, are not qualified.

The Bible, most especially the Old Testament, is indeed very patriarchal. There are some passages that point toward gender equality, but if you’re going to take Israelite society as it functioned in the Old Testament as your guide for life, yes, women shouldn’t vote. And honestly, I’m not completely sure there should even be elections if you’re taking that as your guide.

It is not because women are inferior or less intelligent. They simply fulfill a different role. Man was created by God for a certain purpose, and so was woman. If each fulfilled his God-given role, they would be happier in life, and our society would greatly benefit. I wonder if Sarah Palin would have chosen to stay at home and rear her own children rather than run for political office if it would have saved her daughter from being a single teen mom.

1Timothy 5:14 – I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Squares are not better than circles, but good luck trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I mean, maybe you could hammer it in there somehow, but it is not the way it was intended, offers no benefits, and will likely cause some sort of damage.

Yes, this again. The argument, over and over, is that men and women are totally equal, they’re just different. Different in a way that means that men get to do all of the decision-making while women get to do all the childcare and food preparation. Different in a way that means that men are supposed to lead while women submit. This is not equal. And unless she wants to argue that slaves weren’t inferior to their masters, her whole this doesn’t mean women are inferior trope is getting old.

Also? All that talk about squares and round holes—what of women who hate homemaking and have strong inclinations toward leadership? See, this whole pegs and holes thing assumes that women should play their role because that’s what they’re best at and what they thrive at. But if that’s true, why would she need to be saying this in the first place? Wouldn’t women naturally tend to the childcare and cooking and men naturally tend toward decision making and leadership without all of the pushing and preaching? Sounds to me like this blogger is the one trying to shove square pegs into round holes.

Saying that I think women should not vote (for whatever reason) is considered near insanity these days. However, that thinking was the norm not even a century ago. The Founding Fathers quite obviously believed differently than we do today. Not that society or our forefathers were automatically right on everything, but obviously my position is not just some absurdity – it used to be as natural as air for most of human history.

Yes, the founding fathers did believe quite differently from today. For instance, most of them were a-okay with slavery (and the ones who weren’t were willing to make political compromises that allowed it to continue). Look, before pointing to early American history to legitimize something it might be worth remembering both slavery and the genocide of the native population.

So now maybe we women are “liberated” and “get” to vote, but at what cost? Is our society so much better now that women act and are treated like men? Divorce, adultery, fornication, abortion, wayward children, being forced to work outside the home, etc. are at all-time highs. Some people would have us believe that before “women’s liberation”, women were just mistreated and abused by their selfish husbands who were more beast than man. Yet I am certain that there are many times more acts of violence committed against women and children now than back then.

Really? She seems to be unaware that until the end of the nineteenth century it was legal in the U.S. and Britain for a husband to beat his wife—and that in Roman times it was legal for a husband to murder his wife. And while I’m not sure that we have good statistics (it’s hard to get statistics on crimes that were not considered crimes at the time), we know that these things happened. And besides that, in spite of her “I am certain,” she offers no evidence of this supposed escalation of male-on-female violence whatsoever.

But let’s really think about what she’s suggesting here. That men were so threatened by women’s demands for equality that their response is to commit acts of violence on women? And these are the men who women should just let run the country? Really? Men who are so selfish and bereft of empathy that their response to female demands for equality is violence? And this is why women should resist feminism—because if women just go back to submitting to men the violence will end?

Finally, as for fornication, abortion, “wayward” children, and working outside of the home, these things have always been around. I don’t know what statistics say about frequency, but I would point out that the author offers no stats of her own, she simply levels an assertion. As for divorce, well, it is true that the rate is far higher than in the past—and it is also true that in the past many women found themselves stuck in loveless or even abusive marriages without even the recourse of divorce. I prefer now.

Did you know that  statistically, the most likely cause of death for expectant ladies, and those newly postpartum, is homicide at the hands of the baby’s dad? You are never more likely to be murdered  by today’s modern man who is so secure in his manhood that he doesn’t mind sharing his authority with women than if you are pregnant or just had a baby.

Actually, the pregnancy-related homicide rate (not necessarily by the baby’s dad) is 2.9 per 100,000 live births while the the maternal mortality rate—i.e. from health risks—is 15 per 100,000 live births. As for the rest of this, I’m not even sure what it’s trying to say. Is the suggestion, again, that men react to having to share power with women by exercising violence against them?

Let’s see how else we can apply that idea. Would the correct response to the civil rights movement have been: “Look how violent and hateful white people are being to you black people now! Can’t you see it’s your own fault? How about you stop demanding equality, because you are better off when you accept that it’s white people who should run the country!” Um, I don’t think so. And yet, this is the same logic being used here.

Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day? How come whenever kings and other monarchical rulers want to bring glory to themselves, they want to be elevated above their fellow citizens, not be just like them? Because they know that having a certain level of honor is something special. What is wrong with a husband thinking that his beloved wife is much too honorable to be out in the work force taking orders from other men, or that his children are much too precious to simply be left in the care of hirelings?

Believe it or not, kings or rulers are elevated above their fellow citizens by virtue of being the ones with political power. They don’t just have honor—they also have power. I’m pretty sure that bearing that in mind matters. Also, this may be just me, but I do not want to be elevated above men. I thought I’d just point that out.

Also, ugh, there’s so much wrong here.

Note that the guy in the example has a problem with his wife taking orders from other men—rather than from him, of course, because his wife is absolutely supposed to be taking orders from him. That’s her role and position in life.

Also, don’t mention the fact that some people have female bosses too, that might just blow her mind. In fact, at my work I have a managerial position, and meaning that, yes, I assign work to and ask for progress reports from . . . men. Shocking, I know!

Finally, what’s with this bit about not leaving children to the care of hirelings?  There was a time when that argument made sense to me, but I’ve now had my kids in daycare for three years and our experience has been nothing but good. In fact, my husband told me the other day that the benefits he’s seen daycare provide the children are such that even if one of us was working from home and we technically could keep a child out of daycare, he wouldn’t want to. And the workers at our daycare are great—the children love them and look up to them, and they serve as positive role models. So yeah, while I’m not against families going the stay-at-home parent route if that’s what works for them (and I have friends doing just that), I call bullshit on the whole “children are too precious to be cared for by anyone but their mom” bit.

Voting is not in my area of responsibility, because as a woman, I am commanded to follow God and my husband. There should be one vote per household, and it should be the husband who casts it. Men are responsible for running the affairs outside the home, women are responsible for those inside the home.

How very Victorian. I’m increasingly convinced that the ideals that undergird Christian patriarchy come not from the Bible so much as from Victorian cultural prescriptions.

Invariably, Christians who are inflamed by a position such as mine bring up Deborah, one of the judges of Israel. As if the fact that a woman was a judge automatically means it must have been right. The Bible also tells us about people who had multiple wives, committed adultery, were murderers or thieves, etc.

Thing is, the Bible praises Deborah soundly for what she did. If you ask me, that makes a difference.

After she posted this piece, the blogger got a lot of feedback in her comments section. Most comments said what I would have, and indeed did—that not voting wasn’t practical because it would halve our vote. So, the author of the post added a postscript at the end of the post:

Several readers commented saying that since women do have a right to vote, Christian conservative ladies should likewise vote (in some cases simply for the same candidates their husband voted for) in order to balance the scales.

While I can understand their logic, I believe in absolutes. I believe it is wrong for women to vote based on principle, and my principles do not change based on the condition of our society. God is the one who ultimately controls who runs our country. Any time He wants, He could cause our entire government to collapse, and put whomever He wants in charge.

This is basically what the man I argued with at age 16 was saying. And somewhere inside me, I did feel he was right. If God could do anything, voting didn’t matter one whit. God could maneuver the elections however he liked. I think that I was just unwilling to accept the idea of not voting. It was too much—a step too far.

We have wicked politicians because we, as a society, are wicked, and are reaping the curse of God for that. I for one do not believe that we as Christians will be able to earn favor with God and turn our country around by further disobeying his word, whatever our logical reasons might be. For every lady who decides to obey God and refuse to vote because the Bible says that women have no right to vote, even if humanly speaking that may seem counterproductive, God can bless such faith and obedience by providentially hindering one or more liberal feminists who are trying to go vote.

Now this is just mean. God’s blessing to the faithful is to hinder me from voting? Really? Should I be extra careful in making my way to the poles, in case God is out to prevent me in order to honor some poor woman for not voting?

Besides that, feminists who are aborting their children do much less to influence the next generation’s voting pool than me, who will have contributed three men of voting age in about one more decade, and hope to add many more if God continues to bless us with children (who I hope will likewise do the same).

How many times do I have to say this? Seriously? I have spent way too many posts on this. Lady, you have no guarantee your sons will vote for conservative candidates. You are not raising robot soldiers. You are raising people. People who make their own decisions, for better or worse. I would rather influence the political process by my vote and by promoting my political ideals to those around me in the hopes that I may change minds (such as through this blog) than by raising even half a dozen sons and crossing my fingers in hopes that they will all grow up to vote like I would (if I actually voted).

Wow, this post has ended up covering a lot. The basic idea, of course, is that women aren’t supposed to exercise any form of leadership at all, including political leadership or even exercising a political voice. It’s the menfolk who are supposed to be doing those things, and if women allow them to do so God will rain down blessings. Women are just safer under men’s protection and authority in general, rather than out in the scary world doing silly things like working. Women’s role is that of wife and mother. Period. No exceptions. No stepping out of line.

And can I just say again how glad I am that my deigning to actually have an opinion on whether women should work disqualified me from being proper marriage material at that summer camp all those years ago, when I was only 16? I was so eager to marry early and get started on birthing children (remember, my worth as a person was tied to how many children I would have) that I shudder to think what might have happened had I actually had a marriage proposal before I turned 18.

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.

  • centaurie

    But let’s really think about what she’s suggesting here. That men were so threatened by women’s demands for equality that their response is to commit acts of violence on women? And these are the men who women should just let run the country? Really? Men who are so selfish and bereft of empathy that their response to female demands for equality is violence? And this is why women should resist feminism—because if women just go back to submitting to men the violence will end?

    This is pretty much the thought behind patriarchy, that digusts and confuses me.so.much. And also why I will never ever fall for any other argument, however benign, they might be, they give you in favor of said patriarchy. Ugh.

    • Ruth

      Not to agree at all with this stupidity and irrationality, but I have wondered if what anecdotally seems to be more overt hostility to women is because women and their allies have had to become more aggressively vocal to avoid losing all the previous ground gained. (I know I keep saying to myself, wait, didn’t we already deal with this 30 years ago?) To quote Gov. Rick Perry and his horrid rape culture analogy, “the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.” There’s something to that, I think.

      To that end, I’ve been an international election observor in the developing world and I don’t think these wingnuts really want to be in the same category with the man in those places who votes for his entire household.

      Also, this selective use of the Bible drives me wild. Literal on the whole no woman as head of a man, huzzah for theocracy, women didn’t vote in the OT so there, but handwave away the slavery, polygamy, concubines, mixed fiber cloth and fields, and infanticide. Do they really not see these inconsistencies?

      • Gillianren

        I think there’s more overt hostility simply because the assumption that they’re better and more important than women doesn’t hold water anymore. They have what they think of as their rights taken away, and they’re lashing out.

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com/ KevinKat

    Geeze, that kind of blog post would fit perfectly in the anti-suffragette era.

  • ako

    Squares are not better than circles, but good luck trying to fit a
    square peg into a round hole. I mean, maybe you could hammer it in there
    somehow, but it is not the way it was intended, offers no benefits, and
    will likely cause some sort of damage.

    The “Different, not inferior” analogies are really popular. Presumably, because it’s easier to argue about different shapes of pegs than to go “I’m not saying you’re inferior, I’m just saying that you’re weak, irrational, unsuited to intellectual matters, not to be trusted with power, without any moral right to make your own life choices, and only fit for serving a man in any way he demands while obeying his every order! That’s in no way calling you inferior!”

    Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?

    I like wearing pants. I probably wouldn’t like shoveling dirt all day, but I like a certain amount of hard work and getting dirty, especially if it’s outdoor dirty. I don’t like having to wear long dresses, perpetually feign cheerfulness, wash dishes, change diapers, make beds, fetch and carry drinks, or any of the other stuff that goes with being ‘honored’ and ‘exalted’ like that. Even before factoring political power into the equation, I’d rather be in the outdoors, wearing jeans, and ripping out old decking with a crowbar than inside, having to stay perfectly tidy, going “I don’t know honey, what do you think?” and “Gee, that’s so impressive!” until my brain fell out.

    God can bless such faith and obedience by providentially hindering one or more liberal feminists who are trying to go vote.

    Evil liberal voting feminist here. Never had a divine lighting bolt, or so much as an inconvenient drizzle getting in my way. She obviously needs to not-vote harder.

    • Gillianren

      I like wearing pants, too! Oh, also, I don’t have the physical stamina to shovel dirt or do housework all day. I like the situation I’m in, where responsibility for keeping the apartment clean is shared, and if I were working, it could be an inside job.

    • Mary C

      “She obviously needs to not-vote harder.”

      Bwahahaha!!!!

    • Levedi

      I’m a liberal Christian feminist, right there with you. Ironically, my mom is a fairly conservative Christian who wears pants all the time and is never happier than when digging in her garden or slogging through some sort of swamp/forest/wilderness. My father doesn’t compel her to do any of this. I prefer to stay indoors and bake because I like food. But women like this blogger just can’t cope with idea that my mom and I are equally feminine people who express our gender and our beliefs according to our individual personalities, instead of being carbon copies of whatever gender norm this blogger wants to impose.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Deny feminism and men will stop hurting you.

    In other words “I’m going to rape you. You can scream and make it traumatic or you can enjoy it.”

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Creepy. And sadly accurate.

  • Kit

    Things I don’t get: the sheer disaccord with reality.

    It’s not exactly difficult to meet a woman who likes working outside the home, who likes whatever job or profession she’s chosen, who likes having her own paycheque and if she has kids, balancing her work life with her home life. I’ve met loads of women who would absolutely not fit in the staying-at-home role that God has apparently designed for us. I have a friend getting married this week who straight-up told her fiance that if he really wanted kids, he should be ready to take care of them outside and make some sacrifices, because she doesn’t even want to take the year-long parental leave that our employers give us by law. If she has a child, she wants to be in the workforce again asap. Women are not all the same!

    Speaking for me personally, I would absolutely refuse to stay at home unless serious exceptional circumstances come up. My boyfriend is more willing to work from home or stay at home than I am, and it’s probably because I have no patience. I would hate staying at home, I would get very depressed doing it. I can’t even take long at-home vacations. I LIKE working outside the home; no one is FORCING me to do it.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Evil Liberal baby killing feminists have tainted your mind so badly that you don’t know what you truly want. You only THINK you’re happy working outside the home.

      (Please nobody drown in that sarcasm .)

      • grindstone

        I dunno, BR, that sarcasm looks thick enough to walk across, no swimming required.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Wait, hold on.

    “For every lady who decides to obey God and refuse to vote because the Bible says that women have no right to vote, even if humanly speaking that may seem counterproductive, God can bless such faith and obedience by providentially hindering one or more liberal feminists who are trying to go vote.”

    So much to unpack in this.

    1) This essentially says “God is letting the evil Liberals win because you don’t follow the rules he set down. America is a cesspit because of YOU!”

    2) So much for that free will thing, yeah?

    3) Do any of these people ever once stop to address that the bible says to respect the governments that god puts over them? Or do they assume that, somehow, this is invalid when candidates that they don’t like win, because maybe Satan over-powered god and set up his preferred government instead or something?

    • Rosa

      I do enjoy these people’s belief in magic.

  • Angela

    If each household should only cast 1 vote then does that mean that if any sons over the age of 18 are still living at home that they must refrain from voting? If your father or father-in-law were to move in with you who then would get the household vote?

    • Mogg

      And what about the households of single women in duplexes? Do their votes go to their ex-husbands or their fathers? Do men who left their unsubmissive wives for a prettier, more compliant girl get two votes, one for each family?

      • Alix

        I have heard people seriously say that if a woman doesn’t have a man “over” her, she should simply not vote.

      • NeaDods

        Ew!

      • Mogg

        So my mind went back to that link the other day about the politician who claimed that the only legit marriages are those where the partners have sex face-to-face… Urghurghurgh!

      • Alix

        …wow, I managed to miss that subtext. >.< I need to run my sentences through my inner thirteen-year-old first.

      • Mogg

        That’s alright – my inner 13 year old was very repressed, and has some catching up to do ;-)

      • Baby_Raptor

        That’s an amusing mental image, Alix. I approve!

        (Consulting your inner 13 year old before talking about serious stuff, not the original one. But it was funny too.)

      • Christine

        OK, that’s me out… single, deceased father, brother lives in another state and therefore votes for completely different candidates (in Australia).

      • Levedi

        Single women should still live at home no matter how old they are. Seriously – I was 35 before my father stopped asking when I was coming home.

      • Mogg

        Oh, don’t worry – I know from personal experience. My dad last asked me to move home when I was 32 or 33. I bought aduplex instead – yes, really! Not a dumpy one though – it’s very cute and cosy.

  • Boo

    Libby Anne, can you explain to me how these types of people view the middle east culture? In my experience fundamentalists see no similarities between their values and the cultural values of Pakistan. I once tried to explain to a fundamentalist man the consequence of applying the things he believed, would not be a perfect Christian nation, but a nation similar to Iran. He completely ignored the issue, but proceeded to publicly shame me by telling me how disappointed he was in my attitude. I just don’t understand what happened. First, I’m a 30 year old woman, and I don’t give a rip if he is ‘disappointed’ in me. Second, I had a valid question that he never bothered to even address. Maybe you could explain it to me. Do they view patriarchal societies in today’s world as being a positive thing for women, or what?

    • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

      Islamic countries are bad, because brown people, essentially (with a slight sprinkle of BECAUSE JEEBUS)

      • Mogg

        And just never you mind that Jeebus would have been a brown person.

      • Alix

        But that’s not what all the kitschy church artwork shows!!1!

      • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

        Not in the artwork in THEIR church, thankyouverymuch

      • Baby_Raptor

        I’ve met people who believe that Moses, et al, wrote in King James English.

        The very thought that Jesus wasn’t Aryan would blow their minds.

    • sam

      Iran is one of those trigger words for most zealots. It hits a nerve and they can’t handle it and shut down.

    • Machintelligence

      He completely ignored the issue, but proceeded to publicly shame me by telling me how disappointed he was in my attitude.

      This sounds like the lawyer’s rule:
      If the facts are against you, argue the law.
      If the law is against you, argue the facts.
      If both are against you, call the other lawyer names.

    • plch

      actually, it would result in a nation *worse* than Iran, at least for women: after all, in Iran women do vote and can even be elected! (and they go to university and often work outside the house and do many other things that are complete anathema for fundamentalist Christians). I guess Afghanistan under the Taliban rule would be closer to their ideal.

    • sylvia_rachel

      I find this mind-boggling, too. I think it works for them because, in their minds, it’s not the fact that Iran (or Saudi, or wherever) is a theocracy that makes it a bad place to live, it’s the fact that it’s the wrong kind of theocracy. Whereas a Christian theocracy would, of course, be Paradise on Earth ™.

      • Boo

        I guess. It feels like there is more to it than that. Maybe it’s just willful ignorance on their part. But if they truly believe that the way they treat women is commanded and blessed by God then why has it gone so wrong for those cultures that practice these beliefs? Do they believe that their female-submission-man-worship only works for Christians, and turns bad when it is applied by non-Christians? If so, why are they trying to force the lifestyle on non-Christian people? I DON’T understand, either they believe this is good or they don’t, and trying to get a straight answer from people in this lifestyle is like banging my head against a wall. They do not want to evaluate their belief system in any way, and they appear to not even care about the consequence of forcing their belief system on an unwilling country.

      • Rosa

        This doesn’t explain how their thinking “works” but the description of the belief that if WE do it everything will be awesome is usually American Exceptionalism – it will work because of who we are, not because of anything else.

      • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

        It doesn’t make sense, but then, so little prejudiced thinking does. I used to work in a restaurant where the local BNP group (a UK fascist political party) would meet – to have curry, and sometimes fajitas. Not joking.

        I think the idea is that when the system is overseen by Real True White Christians, it will work – even when forced on non-RTWCs, but if anyone else is in charge, that is heresy and thus doomed to failure, because their God is really fucking petty about who does what (see also, their God getting pissy about men cooking a flipping meal every now and then). As I said, it’s nonsensical.

      • Alix

        A lot of them honestly, sincerely believe these other countries are doing it wrong because they are, in the fundies’ minds, godless.

        Also, most of them are grossly misinformed, and don’t really know whether theocracy in these places is “working” or not.

    • Whitney

      Here’s a fun exercise: Find some quotes from fundamentalist Islamists. Replace “Allah” with “Jesus” and share with fundamentalist Christians. Watch them fully agree, then share with them the original quotes and sources, and watch them fall over themselves (“but but but…”) to try and explain the difference.

      • Boo

        I did once. It didn’t go over well. Apparently, it only proved that I was a heathen.

      • Christine

        One of the online newsish sites does “who said it” quizzes, and did one on that once. It was one of the hardest quizzes I’ve seen in the series. (Most of them didn’t even need to be edited to remove deity terms, they were just general social statements).

    • That Other Jean

      Well, yes. American fundamentalists see patriarchy as a good thing–for themselves, and therefore for women, who are supposed to do what men tell them to do anyway. It will all turn out differently from Pakistan, because Jesus. Besides, Pakistanis are brown people, and heathen, and therefore bad. White, God-fearing American fundamentalists who follow Jesus are not bad, and therefore their version of patriarchy, although it very much like the Pakistani version, is just fine.

      Urgh. I feel slightly ill typing that.

      • That Other Jean

        This was a reply to Boo’s first question, about how fundamentalists view Middle Eastern culture. Not sure how it got way down here.

  • Mel

    Um….yeah…. the absence of logic in the Quiverfull post astounds me. You can either vote and affect the political process or not vote and opt out. It’s just that simple.

  • badgerchild

    “God is the one who ultimately controls who runs our country. Any time He
    wants, He could cause our entire government to collapse, and put
    whomever He wants in charge.”

    Right, Christians, so why bother to vote at all, men or women? Stay home from the polls and pray for God’s intervention. I promise you’ll do more good that way. Cross my heart.

    • Jolie

      Why, I wouldn’t be opposed to people of either gender who think women shouldn’t vote abstaining from voting themselves, because, you know, pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die or whatvever. Also from expressing opinions in public, if possible. Thanks ;)

    • Ruth

      yes, please, please, please stay home, stay out of the Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina legislatures, and pray for God’s deliverance. The Kingdom shall be yours, promise, and do you really want to taint yourself by associating with us evil abortionist worldly feminist liberals? We’d all be so much happier if you went off the grid, stayed home, and prayed most earnestly for our souls and the return of America to the patriarchal theocracy God and the founding fathers intended.

      • Monimonika

        Unfortunately, they would be taking their children with them for the stagnated ride. :-(

    • grindstone

      By their logic, god is in control and puts into office his chosen. BUT, if it’s someone they do not like, then god has turned his face away and let us continue down our path of sin. The lack of logic in that thinking is tantamount to sheer idiocy. If they followed their own”logic”, then they should fully support every elected official….every one…or simply not vote at all. The fact that they vote just proves that their belief is weak.

      • Rosa

        God makes his will clear only to certain people, who know who they are. This is also true of all women (because you can’t just trust them to say what they really feel), all nonChristians, most children, and all unborn babies.

      • Rilian Sharp

        Unborn babies (etc) make their will known only to certain people…? *confused face*

      • persephone

        Fundagelical logic. Which isn’t real logic.

    • Cathy W

      I’ve heard that argument used to make a case that democracy is sinful, because it usurps God’s authority to establish rulers. (Welcome back to 1630!)

      • badgerchild

        Haha, priceless. I suspected something like that but didn’t have the reference.

      • gimpi1

        I’ve heard that as well, Cathy. The fellow was essentially arguing that the Christian thing to do was to use democracy to attain power, by deceit if necessary, and then establish a “divine theocracy” under “God’s rule” and ban all further democratic action. Creepy, huh?

      • stacey

        They are identical to the Islamists in this way. BOTH want to install theocracy, and will use democracy to make it happen.

      • Trollface McGee

        Well, if you’re going to ignore context and history when it comes to the Bible, then monarchy is the only really valid form of government. Saudi Arabia sounds like the perfect place for them.

    • John Kruger

      Indeed. Why bother to try and effect anything, if everything is according to god’s will? One has no choice but to use this justification selectively, or be doomed to complete inaction. I am amazed that there are whole groups of people that take the completely omnipotent and willful god at all seriously, much less those who go all in on it like Calvinists or the Wesboro Baptist Church.

    • Trollface McGee

      It’s a great strategy. And don’t worry if more of us Satanic librul types keep getting elected, that’s just a sign from God that you aren’t praying hard enough and voting too much. Also the rapture is nigh so don’t worry, be happy and focus on your tribulation farms instead of politics.

    • Olive Markus

      They only stay home and pray in lieu of action when that action is something they really, really don’t feel like doing, but they want to pretend they totally are being useful, e.g., spiritually adopting about-to-be-aborted embryos instead of actually adopting living, breathing unwanted children (just learned about that).

    • Anat

      I suppose their god really liked FDR. Wasn’t he a ‘big government’ guy? I guess from now on they should support social programs and direct job creation by the government.

      • Rilian Sharp

        Do you mean because he got elected 4 times?

      • Anat

        Exactly. Obviously God was trying to say something there, right?

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    I wasn’t all that familiar with the Quiverfull and patriarchy aspects of fundamentalism before I started reading your blog. I’m amazed and horrified at how many women are being sucked into a premodern, antifeminist way of thinking. And worse, they’re raising children who think that way too (unless they’re lucky and smart enough to break ranks). I can’t imagine what kind of damage it does to a little girl to be told that she always has to defer to men, she shouldn’t work outside the home, and that she shouldn’t vote. This kind of upbringing actively strives to make her incapable of dealing with the modern world.

    • Nebuladancer

      “I’m amazed and horrified at how many women are being sucked into a premodern, antifeminist way of thinking.”

      It is a trap. I was not raised this way but as an adult I embraced Patriarchy, Quiverful, homeschooling, the whole thing. I wonder if other women who get sucked in do so for similar reasons: I grew up in church and came to realise there was an obvious-to-me disconnect between what the bible says and how the church behaves. I became an expert in the contradictions and perversely believed that embracing Patriarchy was the most internally consistent way to live.

      Thankfully, that drive to be both internally consistent and truthful is what finally helped me find my way out of it. Libby-Anne’s story seems to anecdotally confirm that at least some people who are involved do so because they are critically thinking and that thinking eventually leads them (or at least some of their children) out of it.

      • CarysBirch

        THIS! When I describe my parents and my upbringing (which are quite mild, by the standards of other people on this blog) what I usually fail to mention is that I saw the logical inconsistencies too, I took my parents beliefs to their logical conclusions, and in my late teens and early twenties, was far more conservative/fanatical than they expected of me. It’s part of why coming out is so hard, because in retrospect, I can see the places where the trap was laid out for me, and the places where I built it myself.

  • Katty

    Okay, this is a tangent, but it has bothered me for quite some time now, so here goes: What is it with conservatives / fundamentalists calling women “ladies” all the time?!?!? (Unless you’re Michael Pearl, in which case women are always “girls”.)

    I’m not a native English speaker so my perceptions might be way off, but it seems so weird to me to not simply use the term women. “Lady” seems awfully loaded with implied expectations of certain behaviors and “morals” and much to specific to use as a general denominator. Maybe that’s why they’re doing it – it’s a status that can be revoked (“She’s no lady” or some such shaming statement).

    I’m not sure I’m explaining this well… :-( Have others noticed this inflationary use of the term “ladies” by people steeped in Christian Patriarchy / Conservatism?

    • Rosa

      “women” sounds too much like a slur in their subculture.

      It’s also a part of regional American culture in a lot of places, though, to say “ladies” instead of “women” – women really does sound aggressive/negative in a lot of settings to me, even when it’s not intended to be. I’m from the American Midwest and “ladies” is in widespread use here – like little kids talking to strange women will say “Lady!” where maybe in other places they’d say “ma’am” or “miss”.

      • Katty

        That is really interesting. I would never have thought of women as a derogatory term, just a neutral descriptor. So would something like “Women to the right, men to the left, please!” sound negative/offensive to you? (Not the content, just the use of the word women instead of ladies.) Or were you thinking more along the lines of “Shut the door, woman!” And does a sentence like “More than fifty women attended the meeting” sound negative as well?

        Sorry for asking so many questions, I’m trying to understand this issue so as not to unwittingly offend anyone in future… :-)

      • Rosa

        It’s more when talking *to* someone than about them that it sounds kind of vaguely hostile, or talking about a specific person – “ask the woman in the blue dress”, which is perfectly neutral, is the kind of thing I see a slight tendency toward using “lady” for, while addressing a group people will use almost anything but “women” (“You women are in for a great show today!”) except in a specifically feminist context.

      • Katty

        Hm, I think I get that. It’s actually kind of similar in my language. I still feel like fundigelicals tend to use “lady” more frequently than the general population. I read it at least five times in the quotes provided by Libby Anne, including the memorable phrase “expectant ladies”. My non-native speaking mind stumbled over that last one for a moment before translating it to “pregnant women” and moving on, lol.

        Anyway, thanks for the culture/language lesson!

      • Rosa

        yeah, white Evangelicals (and conservatives in general) use lady way more. I assume it’s because “woman” has way more negatives attached in their minds than in other people’s.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I too was confused by “expectant ladies”. I was picturing them waiting for someone to put their coat down over a puddle.

      • alwr

        My personal hate in this matter is for schools in the Midwest who use the word “lady” before the mascot for their sports teams. So the football team is the “Knights” or “Panthers” and the volleyball team is the “Lady Knights” or “Lady Panthers”. So stupid and demeaning. Interestingly, my very conservative Catholic high school explicitly did not use that and corrected news reports and other schools who automatically added “lady”.

      • Rosa

        Yeah, that’s pretty terrible. Especially when it’s the Lady Knights or the Lady Trojans.

        I was lucky that our high school’s mascot was so bizarrely abstract (it was just the town name, which is a noun but not one with an anthropomorphic meaning) that for a while the costume for the mascot was a big exclamation point. No gendering possible.

      • alwr

        Our high school mascot was not a person/animal related name either. But that has not stopped a lot of schools from gendering teams around here. I’ve seen Lady Links (yes, there is a school whose mascot is a chain link), Lady Storm, and Lady Stars.

      • Leigha7

        That’s how it was done where I’m from (Pennsylvania). It always annoyed me–the boy’s team is the “real” team, and we also have the less important “lady” version.

      • http://autistscorner.blogspot.com Thalestris

        I’m another Midwesterner, and while “women” doesn’t sound like a slur to me, I typically use “ladies” as well. To me it’s just a synonym for “women”; no special connotations of class or femininity.

    • sam

      I was born and raised in Texas and ‘ladies’ is everywhere too. Lady is a loaded word and they want the chance to be able to take it away. Woman is like a swear.

    • onamission5

      You’ve got the subtext nailed down. “Ladies” is their way of putting women into a certain category of gendered expectations, the opposite of which is not “men” but “worldly, brazen harlots.” Little lady or brazen harlot, those are your only choices.

      • Machintelligence

        Of course. It’s:
        Ladies and gentlemen.
        Men and women.
        Boys and girls.

      • Katty

        I had to read this twice to see the difference between the first and the two other ones because those phrases are just so ingrained in me. Wow. Thanks for calling this to our attention!

      • Rilian Sharp

        But why? Why the difference?

      • Helix Luco

        i think what they’re getting at is that like katty said, ‘ladies’ is loaded with expectations about behavior and status, as is its counterpart, ‘gentlemen’, but conservatives rarely use the latter term as they prefer to use the more neutral word ‘men’. men don’t have to be gentlemen, but women are always expected to be ladies.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I mean, why is the female-referencing term first in the first one, but second in the other two?

      • Rilian Sharp

        I’m totally confused and at a complete loss as to why someone downvoted this comment. There’s not even anything to disagree with in it, as it’s just a *question*.

      • Helix Luco

        it’s probably just a mistake, my laptop mouse will accidentally click on stuff all the time

    • http://expreacherskid.wordpress.com/ Nathan

      A slightly amusing tangent to your tangent: apparently when my oldest daughter was little we only used the term ‘lady’ in a scolding context. As in “what do you think you’re doing, young lady?” So one time when I said something to that effect my daughter snapped back, indignantly, “I am NOT a lady.” I think she was two or three years old at the time.

      It made me realize the power of language, that an otherwise innocuous word can be an epithet if you only use it in a certain context.

    • ecolt

      A slight tangent, but there’s a British sketch comedy show that has a recurring skit of two transwomen (not sure if it’s supposed to be transwomen or just crossdressing or what) that are totally over the top. They wear absurd Victorian-style dresses and constantly insist that they’re “ladies” (not very convincingly, since one even has a mustache) and do “lady things” and the way some of these conservatives speak always reminds me of those skits. “I want something dainty to eat because I’m a lady!” In terms of things like trans-rights I know it’s actually kind of awful, but that over-the-top and out-of-date emphasis on being a “lady” is so sadly the mindset of some real people that I have to laugh. It’s either that or cry.

      • Alix

        … I … just … that sounds so utterly appalling. I’m sorry, but, this is meant to be funny? :/

      • Alix

        …I’m sorry, but I can’t quite let this go. It’s funny to sit and laugh at trans* folk? It’s funny to watch trans* folk (real transwomen or not, that’s what the actors are at least pretending to be) play at being ladies? It’s funny to use the concept of trans* people as a way to mock a particular gender role?

        And you think you can just dismiss the problems as “in terms of things like trans-rights I know it’s actually kind of awful,” as if that makes this somehow okay?

        What’s next? “I know that minstrel show was kind of awful on race, but isn’t the way they pretend to be plantation owners funny?”

        …I’m tired, right now, and so maybe I just read this comment at the wrong time, but I’m sitting here shaking right now, and I cannot honestly tell you if it’s horror or rage that has me shaking. And not just at the existence of this comedy sketch.

  • Lolly

    Why do they try so hard to pretend that men and women are equal? I mean, why keep this up, they clearly hate liberal feminists anyhow, so why co-opt their ideas of “equality” when shilling for their doctrine? They would come across as more honest at least if they just dropped what seems to be a pretense.

    And no, I really don’t want to be “honored and exalted”, that’s not being equal either, not even close. I am too busy busting my @ss every day and my husband knows it. How do I know? He doesn’t just pay me lip service. He drags me to the couch, and sits me down with a book while he does the dishes, and this is after he’s cooked dinner. I don’t need or want to be put on a pedestal. And what does that look like anyway, how do you honor and exalt someone who you have complete authority over, by letting them live in your house, telling them what to think and do? It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Women work very hard at home, the hours are very long, the breaks are few. Work is work, it can be dirty drudgery in the home and out of the home and if woman were really, truly valued in this culture, the work they do would be recognized and appreciated as such, not gussied up with flowery hooey like “honored and exalted”. Instead they make it all out to be godly and holy and precious and whatever and really have to torture the heck out of it to make it something it really isn’t. It’s so dishonest and it does such a disservice to their cause.

    • Mariana

      “Why do they try so hard to pretend that men and women are equal?”

      Because then they wouldn’t be able to feel superior to Muslims who in their worldview actually treat women as inferior (unlike themselves).

      • Gillianren

        Not to mention that they need to win over people who don’t like the idea that they would be considered inferior in this system. They need women in their movement, and too many of us are too determined to be equal. Admitting that they don’t believe that would lose them numbers. And money.

  • BobaFuct

    “I wonder if Sarah Palin would have chosen to stay at home and rear her own children rather than run for political office if it would have saved her daughter from being a single teen mom.”

    ohhhh SNAP!

    • Lolly

      lol. Catfight. It is fun to watch them go after each other.

  • Gail

    You know, I always have a hard time properly explaining the rationale behind the electoral college to Brits. I think maybe my vagina is preventing me from understanding…

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

      It’s definitely not the fact that the electoral college makes no fucking sense at all … just our poor ladybrainz can’t figure it out.

    • Gillianren

      I find at least the original idea of the Electoral College pretty easy to understand, actually. Go back to the Constitutional Convention and look at all the compromises between large and small states, and a lot of things start making sense.

    • emesbe

      The same way that my vagina makes me enjoy changing diapers and washing dishes!

  • Christine

    “That men were so threatened by women’s demands for equality that their

    response is to commit acts of violence on women? And these are the men
    who women should just let run the country?”

    And this is also my objection to the “dress to avoid rape” argument. If how you dressed did have an effect*, would you really want to let the sort of person who used violence like that determine how you dress?

    *I am aware that there are parts of the world where it does. This is not one of them.

  • BobaFuct

    “Voting is not in my area of responsibility, because as a woman, I am commanded to follow God and my husband. There should be one vote per household, and it should be the husband who casts it. Men are responsible for running the affairs outside the home, women are responsible for those inside the home.”

    Honestly, I fully support this…one fewer vote for the wingnuts.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?

    It seems to me like the blogger has never learned that where you find such “benevolent” sexism, you often find sexism in more hostile forms as well.

    • Trollface McGee

      I’d take paid menial labour over unpaid, disrespected menial labour any day. Not to mention, as an employee, I have legal rights. In his world, the “honoured and exalted” woman has none.

  • Cassiopeia

    You can SO fit a square peg in a round hole.

    You can also fit a round peg in a square hole.

    It’s all about the relative size of the pegs and the holes.

    You can’t always fit a square peg into a square hole. If the peg is much bigger than the hole it doesn’t matter what shape the peg is, it’s not going to go through.

    Yet I am certain that there are many times more acts of violence committed against women and children now than back then.

    Committed, no. Reported, undoubtedly.

    That’s because now we teach women that being forced to have sex is bad, not just part of life, that being hit is not acceptable. We have authorities who can protect children from abuse.

    Men are less likely to be believed simply because they have a penis.

    And that’s not a bad thing. Of course people who want to support the patriarchy will argue that it is, because more people are willing to challenge the assertion that men can’t control themselves around women.

    Pretending something doesn’t exist, which was basically what was happening in the past, doesn’t make that thing actually not happen.

    Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA *falls over laughing*

    Lady, you know nothing about history. Women have been hiking up their skirts and shovelling dirt for millennia. Less so the wealthier they were, but women at the bottom of society did the same sort of thing men did – because otherwise nothing got done.

    And what if I like wearing pants and shovelling dirt? What if the thought of being honoured and exalted makes me want to curl up into a ball and die?

    But I have breasts and a vagina therefore I am a woman and therefore I can only want womanly things. And if I don’t then clearly I am deluding myself or something.

    Because women don’t know their own minds or anything.

    • Newbie

      I think her head would explode if I told her that I work outside the home and pay my own mortgage, and yet I have never had the occasion to shovel dirt, and because it’s 80 degrees outside I’m wearing a skirt to the office and an adorable pair of high heeled peep toe shoes (probably a lot more feminine that a garden variety modest shoe)

    • http://rebeccasdaughter.blogspot.com/ Rebeccas_Daughter

      Also because women had no right to refuse sex to their husbands, so rape of wives was essentially legal, no matter how painful and humiliating it might be. Thank God, that’s not the case any more – at least, outside those who suck up the patriarchy.

      • Leigha7

        Until 1993, if I remember correctly. My mind was blown when I learned that. That was after I was born. What the hell?

  • Trollface McGee

    “See, this whole pegs and holes thing assumes that women should play their role because that’s what they’re best at and what they thrive at. ”
    Exactly. I have a lady brain and yet this lady brain is really good with politics, good enough to me to ace my poli sci classes in university. It’s good at cooking but absolute rubbish at things like sewing or blindly obeying people based on their genitalia. (I’m sure she’d blame it on feminism or demons or something). If gender roles really were natural, then there would be no need to argue or try to impose them on people.

    “What is wrong with a husband thinking that his beloved wife is much too honorable to be out in the work force taking orders from other men, or that his children are much too precious to simply be left in the care of hirelings?”
    Um..everything? If my spouse thinks I’m too “honourable” to be out in public but not too honourable to be pregnant against my will, and be the equivalent of a live-in-maid with benefits, then my spouse is crap.

    In her world, a wife is an unpaid hireling without the ability to leave the situation (slave) so why is it ok to leave the husband’s precious child-property with the slave and not someone with childcare experience.

    • sylvia_rachel

      In her world, a wife is an unpaid hireling without the ability to leave
      the situation (slave) so why is it ok to leave the husband’s precious
      child-property with the slave and not someone with childcare experience.

      Because there’s some kind of magical motherhood mojo that makes her the best possible caregiver for her own children regardless of experience or anything else.

      I mean, OBVIOUSLY.

      Also, though, in this blogger’s subculture there’s probably the expectation that a wife brings to her marriage years and years of experience as deputy mother to a horde of younger siblings. (It doesn’t seem to occur to them that this might potentially make her less enthusiastic about starting that all over again, rather than more.)

    • ecolt

      Seriously, that idea that only mothers can care for their children is refuted by all those instances in the Bible where females slaves, concubines, wetnurses, whatever are mentioned. Bet you this woman would be OK with her precious offspring attending church events supervised by other uberChristians, though.

      As far as the square peg thing goes, how about a triangular peg? I mean I’m great with stuff like cooking and baking (even though I often just don’t feel like it) and I’ve done plenty of sewing in my time. Thing is, so has my fiance. In fact, he really likes cooking and is good at it. And since he’s disabled and I’m the one who’s “forced” to work outside the home (even though I go nuts if I’m stuck at home all the time) he’s the one that’s here most often to do it. I do the laundry, he vacuums, we split the dishes more or less down the middle. People aren’t squares and circles, they’re weird little blobby amoeba shapes that shift and grow and don’t necessarily have just one hole to fit into.

      • Alix

        The mechanistic “pegs and holes” metaphor always annoys me. Could there be a clearer image of how these people see the world? Cookie-cutter people, cookie-cutter roles, and if you don’t fit it, something’s clearly wrong with you, not with the hole someone’s trying to force you into. :/

  • trinity91

    I actually think more of the evangelical christians should follow this. Get half of them out of the voting pool and our political parties will have to be more reasonable in order to get the votes to get into office.

    • Lolly

      If I didn’t know any better, I might suspect that the fundy author is right, it is a blessing from God. They’re happy they’re not voting, we’re happy they’re not voting, it kind of has that blessing ring to it.

  • persephone

    Anything that cuts the fundagelical voting share makes me happy.

  • Kristi Winters

    1 Timothy is a forged document. So are 2 Timothy, and Titus. Christians should reject these forgeries for the utter lies they are.

    ‘..Kummel goes on to amass further evidence that the theological expressions used are incompatible with Pauline authorship (op. cit., pp. 382-84). All these arguments establish that the pastoral epistles are second century products.’ http://earlychristianwritings.com/1timothy.html

    So the next time a Christian busts out: 1Timothy 2:12 – But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    You can instruct them to reject that sexist lie as a lie. And if they don’t believe you just point them to Paul’s apostle Junia, who clearly taught and had authority over men and was not at all silent:

    Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

    — Romans 16:7

    • Alix

      …though admittedly, “forged” misses the nuances here. Attributing texts to respected writers was a fairly widespread practice (sometimes accepted, sometimes not so much, but really widespread across the Mediterranean/Near East), and regardless of the author these epistles were still seen as worthy of inclusion into the canon by the folks compiling the canon lists, and before that as worthy of circulation in the churches where they were read. So it’s not like they’re not as firmly entrenched in orthodox Christianity as other epistles.

      Hell, the authorship of a lot of the Bible can’t be determined. And that includes all the Gospels.

      • Christine

        Thank you – I’ve been wondering since Libby’s series on Judaism just how accurate what Christians teach about the scriptures is. Maybe “pseudo-epigraphy was a rhetorical technique” was just a Christian myth, and I would never know. You are the first time I’ve heard reference to that outside of a RS classroom.

      • Gillianren

        Bart D. Ehrman says Christians tend to exaggerate its frequency and definitely exaggerate its legitimacy.

      • Alix

        A big part of the problem is determining whether or not something’s pseudepigraphic in the first place – it’s pretty difficult to determine for certain who wrote something. I mentioned the Gospels above – they’re all attributed, obviously, to specific people, but there is absolutely zero consensus on whether they’re pseudepigrapic or not. And they might even have been penned by other people recording things the credited authors (if you think they were real people) said, which also happened (and happens).

        Pseudepigraphy did piss off at least a few ancient writers, though. My brain is fried or I’d provide more detail, but I seem to recall at least one writer (…I want to say he was Roman? But I may be very wrong) coming out swinging against people falsely attributing stuff to other authors.

        It makes me wonder about the early Christian subculture, actually. Pseudepigraphy didn’t just happen within it – it happened before, after, and outside that subculture (for one thing, in Isaiah) – but when something like a third of the epistles you’re considering holy writ are clearly written by someone other than the attributed author, something’s kind of gotten out of hand.

        Legitimacy with any scripture is also tricky, because while it was certainly a concern of the creators of the canon, what mattered just as much, if not more, was doctrinal soundness. And at this point, too much is invested in that canon for believers (speaking again in terms of the body of believers, not individuals) to go about editing the canon. As one quasi-fundie put it to me, it doesn’t matter if the texts really were written by someone else, that they made it into the Bible means they were still divinely inspired – and that’s a view a lot of people hold.

        …Sorry for the epic post of doom. XD Pseudepigraphy fascinates me.

      • Gillianren

        But really, the Gospels only seem to have become pseudepigraphic with time; nothing in the texts claims to have been written by anyone in particular. Nothing in the Gospels is first person, for example, even when it’s obvious that the person who “wrote” that Gospel would have been there. And it’s not as though there are no gospels written in first person, just none of the four scriptural ones.

      • Alix

        Very true. It does point to the problems of establishing authorship, though.

        Which, lemme tell ya, is crazy frustrating. So many things are pseudepigrapic because of time, and there are a substantial number of works attributed to particular people where we can’t verify that attribution short of a time machine. I’m actually working on an analysis of a Byzantine military manual right now, and the pseudepigraphy issue’s cropped up there – it’s attributed to a particular emperor, but there’s a lot of debate over whether or not he actually wrote it.

      • Christine

        So in other words, yes, the authors may have been trying to convince people that they were Paul, and no, it wasn’t the usual basis of scholarly debate, but it’s not the same as modern forgery. Makes sense.

      • Gillianren

        I’m not sure I agree with that summary, really. I mean, I don’t see the difference between pseudepigraphy and forgery in practical terms.

      • Christine

        Ok, so basically pseudepigraphy wasn’t really done, and it was just forgery.

  • gimpi1

    A few years ago I heard a fellow on a radio call-in show talking about how, “according to his ‘morality’, it was wrong for women to vote.” Because he believed his ‘morality’ was so superior, his household shouldn’t have less power than an ‘immoral’ household where both husband and wife voted.

    His solution? He had arranged to vote absentee. He filled out both his and his wife’s ballots, ordered her to sign one of them, and sent them both in. Apparently, his ‘morality’ allowed for lying and fraud, but not women voting. Interesting, no?

    I just hope this case of outright voter fraud was investigated enthusiastically by the folks trying to require picture ID for voting.

  • Rilian Sharp

    I’ve been telling a friend of mine that the word “lady” is offensive. Not all women are offended by it, but many are. Yet he persists in addressing women as “ladies”, and he obviously thinks this “politeness” will help him obtain a romantic-sexual partner. The fact that anti-feminist patriarchal people always use that word contributes to my belief that it is offensive. Also that people say “look lady” or so when they’re mad at a woman, and the demeaning “young lady” cast at teenagers and sometimes children. My friend thinks he’s being polite but he’s actually engaging in “benevolent” sexism. Thoughts?

    • Jayn

      I think the issue with ‘lady’ is that it implies a certain set of behaviour that is though to be ‘proper’. It is used as a more polite/formal term of address, but it also carries certain connotations of what makes a woman a lady–it’s not like kids vs. children where the terms are interchangeable. Ladies are more of a sub-set of women. Think of how we correct girls on their behaviour–we’ll say things like “Ladies sit with their legs crossed” or “Ladies don’t pass gas in public”. So using ‘lady’ carries with it implications of how a woman should act. There are male equivalents to this, but they’re not commonly used in our culture. So women get referred to by a confining term while men aren’t.

      • Alix

        “Lady” also implies a pedestal.

      • Rilian Sharp

        That’s the benevolent sexism, ne?

      • Alix

        Yup.

    • teglet

      I think it depends. By now “lady/ladies” is actually my preferred term for women, in part because in the spheres I run in (gaming) “getting respect for female characters, developers, and fans” is only slightly harder than “getting a camel through the eye of a needle.” So I use lady/ladies near constantly because I don’t have another word for “female person” that hasn’t been turned into a slur and insult by large swathes of the community.

      • CarysBirch

        I’m a pretty big gamer and I’ve never heard “woman” used as a slur?

        I HAVE heard behavior policing associated with the word lady though, especially cosplay related.

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

        You could try “woman”. I’ve been referred to as a lady before, and my usual response is to burst out laughing. “Lady” has all kinds of connotations to it that are just flat-out inaccurate and offensive. I’m not submissive or refined or quiet or deferential to men at all. If I’m at a con, I’m going to play my fighter and you’re going to pout because I have higher AC, do more damage, make sounder tactical decisions, and know the rules better than you. I’m going to yell out my battle cry as I roleplay.

        I’m also going to hold my own in any conversation about WoW or League. I can tell you why the auction system in Diablo 3 was what killed that game. I’ll ogle the shiny swords in the dealers room and be sad that the giant one in the corner weighs as much as I do (and costs *gulp* quite a lot). I’ll be my nerdy gamer self, and what I am is a woman. Not a lady.

      • Levedi

        Use woman. Or just address us by name. Or say “there was this group of gamers…” no need to specify gender because it’s irrelevant to the issue. Seriously – I’m a big old geek and guys at Cons who address me as “lady” are either cosplaying knights (okay as long as they don’t touch without permission) or being slimy and awkward. They come off, perhaps unintentionally, as being more interested in peacocking their “manners” in the hopes of getting laid than in actually connecting person to person.

      • Alix

        …I’ve been mulling over this whole thread, and you know what? People need a non-gendered way to refer to people. Call folks by name. Call a group of them “people” or somesuch.

        Because if you saw me in real life, you’d assume I was a lady, or a woman, or whatever your preferred term is. And you would be wrong.

    • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

      My feelings on the word lady are pretty similar to yours. If a specific woman is not bothered by it, then I don’t feel like I have any right to say you shouldn’t call her one, but I’m not a fan of assuming that because one member of a group isn’t offended by a word, then no other members get to be offended.

      Sexist or not, though, there seems to be an even simpler point in this scenario: YOU are offended by it. Even if no other woman ever was offended by the word, that doesn’t alter the validity of your offendedness (Is that a word? I think I’ve decided it’s a word.) While it might make it reasonable for him to call you a lady once out of ignorance, if he persists after being told you don’t like it, then he’s being an ass. Sexist or not, that’s not a nice thing to do to a friend.

      Has he considered actually asking the particular woman he’s interested in how she feels about the term? I mean, if she likes it, I see no reason why he shouldn’t use it. But I get the impression (please correct me if I’m wrong) that he’s just decided we all like to be called ladies and have no individual preferences or objections. To me that, rather than the choice of words, would be the biggest indicator of sexism/lack of respect.

      • Rilian Sharp

        Even though he’s been told many times not to use that word in our group of friends, he keeps doing it and says he doesn’t see the problem because its an “honorific”. He said he was told by his mom etc to call women ladies and that their “opinion carries more weight” to him than mine or our other friend’s does.

      • Jayn

        It is never respectful to disregard someone’s wishes in how they want to be addressed. His mom and other women who have told them they prefer that term of address? Fine. Strangers he’s never met? Personally, I’d give a stranger leeway if they used the ‘wrong’ term (my personal one is ‘cute’–everyone gets one free use of the term as applied to me) and I’d hope that other women would do the same. People who have TOLD him not to use it? He’s saying that their opinions don’t matter, and there’s no way to make that respectful.

      • CarysBirch

        Usually I’m okay if clothes/outfits/shoes are cute. I don’t like to be told that I myself am cute, though.

      • Alix

        And of course, at that point he’s also privileging his own view of others’ gender over their own self-identity.

      • Theo Darling

        Omg this. I have done battle with too many men who absolutely insisted on doing things “out of respect for me”–things like stepping in front of me and impeding my path so they can open the door first, grabbing things out of my hands to carry them for me, telling restaurant servers not to listen to me when I try to pay my bill, calling me “miss,” &c–and somehow my angry words about how disrespected I personally felt went in one ear and out the other.

    • rtanen

      I think it’s the counterpart to “gentleman,” a term that also has many expectations based on “benevolent” sexism but is used just for politeness as well. “Be a gentleman and hold the door.” “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this theater production!”

      • Rilian Sharp

        There’s actually the word gentlewoman.

    • Rosa

      I think you’re right and also that he is probably right that there are some women who appreciate it & are more likely to sleep with him. But if he’s still using it at you he’s not a very good friend.

    • Levedi

      Guys who address me as “lady” are either yelling at me or trying to get laid in a slithery, look-how-noble-and-old-fashioned-I-am sort of way. I don’t date them. Unless he’s actually at a Renn Faire and in costume, he should avoid addressing women as “lady.” It’s just creepy.

  • katiehippie

    “Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?”
    If I’m looking at a profile on a dating site and the guy says, ‘I know how to treat you like a lady’ it’s a huge red flag and immediately look for someone else. I want to be treated like a person.

  • Arakasi_99

    Could someone explain for me why evangelicals tend to treat the Epistles as, err…, gospel?
    The Epistles were written to provide advice to the early Church. Yes, they were written by the respected figures* in the leadership of the Church, but they were written to address the growth of the Church in that time period. Maybe the author was mistaken, or he let his preconceptions dictate his advice. Maybe his advice would have been the best solution for Ephesus in the 1st century, but it isn’t universally applicable.
    It is like a modern US citizen reading Thomas Jefferson. You can easily commend him for his contributions to our political discourse, while acknowledging that his vision of the US as a nation of gentleman farmers was fatally flawed, and that his conflicting views on slavery were a muddled mess.The worth of every idea needs to be tested on it’s own merits, rather than accepted because of who it (supposedly) comes from.
    * This is a bit of an assuption. Isn’t 1 Timothy one of the Pauline Epistles that current scholarship holds to be written by someone else?

    • BobaFuct

      Paul is thought of essentially as a prophet…Like Jesus came and did all that great crucifixion and resurrection stuff, but Paul actually laid out all the rules and the nitty gritty. Sometimes the label “Pauline Christian” is used for these people, but I think “Paulite” (without the “christian”) is probably more accurate.

    • Alix

      1 Timothy is indeed considered pseudepigraphic. That doesn’t actually affect its canonicity, though, for orthodox Christians. (Talking here in a broad sense; obviously individuals have freedom to determine otherwise.)

      The basic thought process is that all of the books of the Bible are roughly on par with each other in terms of being divine revelation (this goes doubly for folks who believe in inerrancy), and so while yes, the epistles were written to specific places/people, they were included in the canon because they circulated fairly widely and were deemed to apply more broadly.

      The idea is that the Gospels have preeminence in terms of being the core stories, but the rest is explanation and context that refines and elaborates on the Gospel message.

      A lot of fundies still manage to completely deemphasize not only the messages of Jesus in the Gospels, though, but quite a bit of Paul as well. And you’ll rarely catch them citing the other epistles, like, say, James.

  • SinginDiva721

    I’ve been reading some the entries in her blog. Wow, she’s pretty batshit!!!

  • KarenJo12

    I read her recent blog entries. My favorite was the describing her family schedule. Her sons learn German but her daughters play the piano. I suppoe music is something trivial enough for girls, who will never need to speak anyhting but English even though they will grow up to homeschool boys and will somehow magically develop the ability to teach a foreign language without speaking it. The best part was that she has a designated hour on Friday evening for “soulwinning” which I picture as her playing a slot machine which has three Casper The Friendly Ghosts instead of three cherries for the jackpot.

    • AndersH

      It sounds uncannily like her family is the kind that Mary Wollstonecraft wrote her Vindication of the Rights of Woman about, back in 1792. Which is all about this kind of sentiment:
      “And have women, who have early imbibed notions of passive obedience,
      sufficient character to manage a family or educate children?”

      Then I noticed that my favourite quote from that book was prefaced by something I found a bit darkly amusing (I still hold out hope for the next enlightened age!):
      “The divine right of husbands, like the divine right of kings,
      may, it is to be hoped, in this enlightened age, be contested without
      danger, and, though conviction may not silence many boisterous
      disputants, yet when any prevailing prejudice is attacked, the wise will
      consider, and leave the narrow-minded to rail with thoughtless
      vehemence at innovation.”

  • teglet

    I love the historical illiteracy of basically the ENTIRE quiverfull/sahdaughters/hyper-reactionary-Christian-right. I don’t think I have ever encountered a single one of these mother-and-family-worshippers who didn’t both advocate the “old-time-traditional-approach” to family and also not realize that actually children were invented/discovered by Rousseau.
    Also “dig in the dirt wearing pants” was the universal occupation of the overwhelming majority of women in the world prior to the last couple of centuries, as the global economy shifted from agrarian to industrialized.
    And just…wow. To quote Paige Fox, “How many nanoseconds per day do you spend in the real world?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

      Right? Women and children worked in coal mines, factories, farms, you name it. There is a reason peasant women’s dresses are shorter than the nobility because they worked! It wasn’t until the rise of the middle class did women stay home and even then, middle class women were reliant on servants who were often lower class women working outside of the home.

    • Alix

      Well, maybe without the pants. XD

      But yeah. Is it any wonder these people do their level best to gut education?

    • CarysBirch

      Not to mention their “back to the Bible” Christianity is a totally new thing that no culture that’s interpreted the Bible in 2000 years has yet discovered.

    • Levedi

      Children were not “discovered” by Rousseau. That’s a fallacy promoted by a French historian, but he’s been thoroughly disproven by other historians. See Hanawalt. There’s a lot of pre-Rousseau art, poetry and burial evidence showing that children were treasured, treated as children not just tiny adults and were deeply mourned when they died.

      • Alix

        You also see that in, well, stories (myths, folktales, and so on) and language itself. If the concept of children is a modern invention, why do ancient languages have words for them? Why do ancient stories talk about children being children, playing, etc.?

        (I’m not actually trying to stalk you across the comment section. XD I’m just really enjoying your comments.)

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    I’m all for her not voting, and convincing other who have any chance of being convinced by arguments like this to not vote either.
    Go for it, wingnuts. Don’t vote.

  • Theo Darling

    “I’m increasingly convinced that the ideals that undergird Christian patriarchy come not from the Bible so much as from Victorian cultural prescriptions.” Nooooo fucking kidding. This is actually one of the larger themes I was finally able to see running consistently through my work and now carries my artist statement. I also love how, even in the Victorian era with all that social repression and those religious mores, the occult movement was THRIVING. No matter how tightly screwed down you think your society model is, you can’t eradicate the underground currents and you can’t count on owning people’s minds forever.

  • Gillianren

    So a minor point I noticed. The author says that abortion is legal in this country because more than half of women are pro-choice. Leaving aside the importance the Supreme Court had in that law, and being aware that the author will just think it’s our broken lady-brains, doesn’t that mean that women, who are more likely to have a real understanding of the issues of pregnancy, have come to the conclusion that abortion is at worst a necessary evil? Doesn’t this mean that the whole system is ignoring women’s experiences? Again?

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Non-Christian women trying to murderz innocent babies! Not real, God-fearing women. They don’t count, except to prove how necessary submission is (probably all lesbian feminists anyway).

      • Alix

        Living in duplexes.

    • Christine

      I believe the theory is that women make bad choices, men need to protect us from them. Possibly with a “women are trying to take the easy way out, and if men were in charge they’d have to do the right thing” spin, but I’m not sure that the author of the original piece understands that people don’t have abortions for the sake of getting an abortion.

  • lollardheretic

    Well, I say let them keep on not voting, and may they have lots of girls who also stay at home and don’t vote, too. They can not vote until none of the people they support have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected! Yay for these people who don’t think they have a right to vote not voting! Twits.

  • redlemon

    I often wonder what would happen if any of these sorts ever met me in real life. On the outside, I mostly appear to be a so-called “Lady”. I have a vintage clothing love and hobby. I have been married to the same man for what seems like forever sometimes. I can count the men I dated on one hand and I am actually my husband’s first girlfriend. We have a daughter, I stay at home and keep house mostly, we have limited debts, and on every surface level, we appear to be this modest, happy, family.
    On the inside, we are the exact opposite of everything she represents. Not only do I vote, I vote quite liberal. So does my husband (as far as I know). I swear like a sailor, I very much have opinions of my own, and we have a mutual agreement that if he ever hits me, I am to pack my bags and leave. I told the pastor who married us (a woman, btw) that, under no circumstances, should the word “obey” be in our vows. And I’m going to school so I can eventually do something other then keep house, because it seriously blows and I hate housework. I am a feminist. And I have my bags packed for a girl’s weekend getaway this weekend, where I go and have beer-riddled fun at the Renn Festival while my poor, poor husband has to watch our child all alone. (Not unlike his men’s getaway weekend a few weekends ago, where he watched baseball and had a cigar with beer.)
    Although, I fear their heads would explode at my idea of 1940′s vintage women’s clothing being a hobby and not a set standard of my life.

    • Miss_Beara

      You seem rather awesome.

    • Levedi

      I second Miss Beara. You and your husband sound awesome fun.

      • redlemon

        Thank you. It took a long time to get here. I grew up in a rather screwed up Christian fundamentalist hybrid household (like, too lazy to homeschool but all public schools are evil kind of thing. I was caught between the world around me and the evangelical Christian world). So when I was finally able to look at out the real world *fully*, I found myself being able to function in it but extremely awkward. And fully determined to have it never happen again to me or my daughter.

        However, that did not mean that I had to leave behind my absolute appreciation for peep-toed shoes, wiggle dresses, and bright red lipstick.

        And, to add to what I said about the word “obey” in my marriage vows, I got the idea when I was young from Laura Ingells Wilder. Somehow, that strikes me as rather ironic, considering her sort of lifestyle is the sort of lifestyle that some of these people want to idealize.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

    The original author does realize that the children of people who didn’t work were often not raised by their parents?

  • Ruana

    Well, if statistics might help:

    Essex, Sussex and Hertfordshire, late 16th – early 17th century – ‘Wives accounted for three-quarters of the victims of domestic murders.’

    Women in England 1500-1760 : A Social History, Anne Laurence

    Of course, the one time I actually used this fact in arguing against the idea of a pre-feminism golden age, my interlocutor dismissed it as ‘biased’ without even bothering to find out where I got it…

    • Levedi

      I always like telling such people that women in England had more legal and economic safety under Anglo-Saxon and Norman rule in the early Middle Ages than they did after the Reformation. Protestant “reformers” seized on the idea of a woman being confined to the house to end women’s participation in the guilds, restrict women’s access to courts (women could no longer bring a lawsuit without a man to bring it for them – made it really hard for widows to protect themselves from predatory landlords.) and severely limit women’s ability to own property in their own right. I’m not a Catholic, but I am a professor of medieval literature and it makes conservative Calvinist men’s heads explode when I give them this little history lesson.

      • Alix

        It’s also not a coincidence that the witch hunts across Europe peaked during the religious wars, and were often more severe in heavily Protestant areas. >.>

        I mean, the witch panics are complex phenomena, it’s not like we can just straight up chalk them up to the rise of Protestantism. But there’s an interesting and definite correlation there.

      • Levedi

        Yup. I agree. Hello fellow history geek.

      • Alix

        *waves* Hi!

  • NeaDods

    Libby Anne, you correctly peg that this screed has much more to do with Victorian ideals than biblical precepts, but you bleep right over the point that lept right out at me: being forced to work outside the home … Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?

    The sheer priviledged ignorance of this just rolls out in a wave. Only rich or middle class women ever get an option to “be honored and exalted” – poor women, pants or not, have ALWAYS worked hard at menial jobs. Always. Sometimes even actually at dirt shovelling – does she think farmer’s wives just bake pies and make quilts and never have to help actually farm?

    God can bless such faith and obedience by providentially hindering one or more liberal feminists who are trying to go vote

    On the other hand, God can be as oblivious that she is that some of us liberal feminists are also privileged women. Privileged to have polling places easy to get to. Privileged to have jobs that allow us time off to vote during non-peak hours. Privileged enough to not have our registration challenged due to our location, ID status, skin color. And that’s before mentioning all the feminist men in the country.

    Mind you, I think I’m giving her a very generous benefit of a doubt to think that she is just referring to feminists who are “providentially” too busy or have a flat tire or something and thus can’t go vote. Because frankly, it’s equally possible to interpret that statement as thanking providence for the racial bigotry being used to make it harder for minorities to get to the polls.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

      This is a highly stylized painting of medieval women working on a farm. I imagine the reality was much less idyllic.

      • emesbe

        Look how CLEAN they are!!

      • Alix

        It is perhaps worth noting that the idea that the poor/people living in the Middle Ages were filthy is a myth.

      • plch

        well, but working in a field an not getting dirty is pretty difficult in any age!

      • Alix

        True. XD

        That myth is just my biggest medieval-life pet peeve, and so I feel the need to preemptively squish it.

      • emesbe

        I’ve worked in a field. It’s impossible to stay clean, and there’s a whole lotta white clothing in that picture.

      • Christine

        The white probably represents the linen undergarments most people wore. Linen doesn’t dye very well using natural dyes, so it was left white. And lower-class people were far more likely to wear just linen, because it’s hard wearing, AND EASY TO WASH.

      • Levedi

        Exactly. Bleach is not expensive or hard to find (sunlight, the acid in urine, etc), but colors are/were much more expensive. The fact that both women are in gorgeous blue is what makes this picture stylized for a rich patron- that blue color was incredibly expensive either as a dye, a paint or a glass color. Real peasants would have been out doing fieldwork and probably barefoot (why wear out your shoes when the weather is warm?), but they would have been mostly wearing greens, yellows, browns, off whites and greys which were all easier and cheaper to get from local plants and sheep.

      • Alix

        Fair enough! My apologies for the really out-of-the-blue tangent, then.

      • emesbe

        No worries. I understand your point.

  • emesbe

    Ah, the Andersons. My favorite Pissing Preacher. This is the dude that prays for Pres. Obama’s death. Their “church” is classified as a hate group. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithful_Word_Baptist_Church
    They are an embarrassment to the name of Christ.

  • Hat Stealer

    Besides that, feminists who are aborting their children do much less to
    influence the next generation’s voting pool than me, who will have
    contributed three men of voting age in about one more decade, and hope
    to add many more if God continues to bless us with children (who I hope
    will likewise do the same)

    Yeah, sorry, but normal people don’t consider their children to be voting machines. If you’re measuring your child’s value by how well they can help you win the culture war, you’re probably not going to be a good parent.

    • Boo

      I find it more bizarre that she thinks that feminists are aborting their children.

    • CarysBirch

      Not to mention your children who are not voting machines might turn out like me — voting liberal women!

  • Godlesspanther

    Some people really would like to live like it was back in the ’50s. In this case, that would be the 1850s.

  • Stev84

    There are actually a few monarchies that de-emphasize the pomp, protocol and formality in everyday life and only do it when it’s really necessary (like public celebrations or hosting foreign dignitaries). Otherwise they try to be normal people and most in the family have regular jobs.

  • TLC

    “because the Bible says that women have no right to vote.”

    First things first: I went to biblegateway.com and did a search for the word “vote” in more about 15 English translations. It comes up several times in The Message, and once in a few other versions, in Acts 10:26. It does not come up at all in the King James Version (which she quotes). So if this blogger wants to convince me that the Bible says women have no right to vote, she’s going to have to find the Scripture for me.

    “Why wouldn’t ladies rather be honored and exalted, instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?”

    Well, dear blogger, let me tell you about my ex-husband. He will not pay child support unless it’s garnished. Nearly two years ago, he filed a lawsuit to get a “refund” of half the child support he’d paid the last 13 years — maybe because he thought his investment in his child was a bad one? Fortunately, he lost; but I still have not collected all that he owes me. He hasn’t held a full-time job in more than 10 years, and has not willingly contributed to his child’s expenses in 7 years. How’s that for being “honored and exalted”? He doesn’t even take care of his son!

    On the other hand, today I am celebrating the fifth anniversary of the day I started my own business. I have enough resources available to support myself for another year without any work at all. I moved my son into his college dorm on Sunday (his dad did not help at all). I have survived two layoffs, the lawsuit, and many other tribulations — a great number of them brought on by men “in authority” over me — to support my family of two, raise an honors student who won a full-tuition scholarship, hold on to my house, and prosper in ways I never dreamed I could. I did it with the help of some (not all) family members who supported me, as well as a number of wonderful friends and clients.

    I would rather “wear pants and shovel dirt all day” than stay with an abusive man who had so little respect for me, and as it turned out, so little disregard for our son. She has been brainwashed into thinking she is “honored and exalted’; however, I feel sorry for her and those like her that her world is so restricted and closed.

    Some of these women need to get out of their protective bunkers and find out what the real world is like. If they lost their husbands and had to live on their own and support their families, could they do it? Would they do it? I wonder.

    • Boo

      I wouldn’t call it a ‘protective bunker,’ it’s more like a ‘protective bubble.’ They will never leave because they believe they have all that they need, and their lives are perfect. When their bubble bursts they will suddenly discover how wrong they had been. Then they will be abandoned by everyone in their lives because they finally understand the reality that the others have been so adamantly denying.

    • emesbe

      You’re awesome!

  • Kate Monster

    As long as we discriminate against women using nice words and happy anecdotes, it doesn’t count as discrimination. As long as we expect women to be slaves but call them queens, it doesn’t count as enslavement. As long as we say we’re honoring women, we can treat them however we damn well please.

    Holy shitballs, these people are just more and more and more disgusting the more I see of them.

  • Ella Warnock

    “If each fulfilled his God-given role, they would be happier in life,”

    Mmm, hope, not even close. Neither my husband nor I would have been happier at all. And even if I thought there was a god, I wouldn’t necessarily believe he gave me a role in life that clashed so spectacularly with my nature.

    “Squares are not better than circles, but good luck trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.”

    Ah, well, I’m not a square or a circle, you see. I’m a person, who also happens to be a woman. Don’t worry, I’ve managed to carve out my niche in life without hammering or forcing anything.

    “instead of being expected to wear pants and shovel dirt all day?”

    What? I don’t even . . .

    “What is wrong with a husband thinking that his beloved wife is much too
    honorable to be out in the work force taking orders from other men,”

    Well, actually, I’m usually the one giving the orders. My husband thinks his beloved wife is so honorable that she gets to decide her own fate. There’s a time and a place to be protective, of course, but I certainly don’t need to be protected from the big, bad world on a day-to-day basis.

    “and hope to add many more if God continues to bless us with children (who I hope will likewise do the same)”

    Oh, I think your way of life will guarantee that some of those many kids will do exactly the opposite. Especially the older ones who have to help you raise their siblings.

    • Baby_Raptor

      “What is wrong with a husband thinking that his beloved wife is much too honorable to be out in the work force taking orders from other men,”

      What’s wrong with it? A lot of things. I’ll make a quick list.

      1) Who is he to be deciding how honorable his wife is?
      2) Why are women too good to have male bosses?
      3) Why is he the sole exception to this?
      4) Who is he to decide how honorable his wife is?
      5) Why does the woman not have a say?

      • Ella Warnock

        Exactly. I would say that this attitude treats women as children, but that’s a lousy way to view your children, too.

      • Jackie

        I’d much rather be earning money doing something I love and paying someone else to do the household drudge work – since only women in that scenario are exalted enough to scrub toilets, windows, and floors. Of course in my world these chores are split up because I believe my husband is exalted enough for that work too.

        She’d think I’m such a shameful wife – we were married a month when my husband told me I folded his underwear wrong. I didn’t touch laundry for the next 15 years until he started traveling with his job.

  • Susie M

    THANK YOU for pointing out that this madness is not from the Bible, but rather a misinterpreted version of Victorian times.

    I read a few more articles on that author’s blog. She’s crazy. She basically hates everything except her kids, her version of homeschooling, and her husband/his church. She actually thinks 9/11 was put on by the U.S. government and I didn’t dare read her abortion post which was labeled “graphic”.

    I like that she ignores that Roe v Wade was a ruling, not a voting issue. And I really don’t care how what percentage of men versus women are for/against abortion. Men do not carry children or undergo abortions. (For the record, I’m adamantly pro life and pregnant–just not a fan of misogynistic behavior whatsoever.)

    And her poor, sweet daughters. She has three (so far) and they’re the youngest three. Poor abused little things.

  • Rilian Sharp

    About the word “woman” having a negative connotation:
    I was listening to an episode of godlessbitches a while ago, and they said that some people had written in and said that they didn’t like to call women “women” because it had a *sexual* connotation for them. So they’d rather call women “girls”. I don’t know what to make of that.

    • Gillianren

      This woman has no interest in being called a girl and hasn’t for about twenty years. I don’t care what other people want for me in that department.

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

      That’s … absurd. And disturbing. Woman is the term for a grown female human being. Girl is the term for an immature female human being. Infantilizing women because they can’t see them as people instead of sexual objects is just … gah! Words fail me.

      • Alix

        It’s absurd, and yet that same sort of process – words referring to female people becoming either overly sexualized and/or insults – happens a lot. See: madam, mistress.

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

        I know :(

      • Alix

        It gives me a sad. I wish we could just reclaim the words we have, rather than scrambling for new ones. I wish we could halt this devaluation process in its tracks too.

        While I’m at it, I’d like a pony.

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

        Hell, while we’re wishing, I wish that jobs didn’t lose social status and pay when they became predominantly female jobs (teacher, secretary, nurse being big ones). I wish the concept of “people are people” wasn’t so damned hard to grasp.

        I’d also like $10 million and a kitten :)

      • Alix

        Ooh, $10 million and a kitten. XD Is there still time left in the “making grandiose wishes” sweepstakes to edit my entry?

        (Sometimes, it’s laugh or cry.)

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

        Oooh yes. I grew up Jewish, well steeped in the very mordant Jewish humor traditions. You laugh because the only other option is crying.

        And of course you can alter your wishes! It’s never too late- if we have grandiose wish machines, we can always wish we wished for the other thing first, right?

      • Rilian Sharp

        Yeah! A woman is a sexual object, so in their attempt to stop objectifying some women who they like and probably respect, they call them girls. Weird!

      • Jayn

        It could be worse. They could consider ‘girls’ to carry the sexual connotation.

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

        *Shudder* And thanks for that lovely middle to my evening!

  • Levedi

    Besides that, feminists who are aborting their children do much less to influence the next generation’s voting pool than me, who will have contributed three men of voting age in about one more decade, and hope to add many more if God continues to bless us with children (who I hope will likewise do the same).

    And there it is, sisters and brothers. Pride. (Yes, I’m going to go back to my conservative preacher’s daughter roots in this comment.) The real root of all her ideas and theology is that most basic of sins – pride. Pride in her offspring. Pride in her ability to produce SONS. This woman is straight out of the Bible alright, except the person she’s imitating isn’t Christ. No sir, she’s taking her model from Leah and Penninah who tried to lord it over their rival wives by having more and better babies. Except this woman is having a one girl baby contest with all the feminists. And we know this is wrong. It wasn’t Leah and Hannah who received a direct message from God. It wasn’t them who received the blessing and became ancestors of Christ. Nope, it was the barren women, the women who were despised and lowly in a culture that only valued women for their womb, that God promised to bless, to comfort and support. This whole “I don’t think women should vote” nonsense is nothing but arrogance. It has nothing to do with Christ’s words that to love God and your neighbor is the whole of the law. It has everything to do with a female Pharisee finding a way to brag about how much better she is than other women. Better than all women because the measure of a woman is her ability to bring men into this world. Well this barren feminist is going to follow Christ and let the Pharisees say what they will. I may never bear a child at all. But when my time comes I won’t point to mortal men as proof that I did something worthy of heaven. I’ll point to Christ and say, “he is my rock and my salvation. In him do I trust.”

    • Boo

      Uh, actually, Leah is in the direct lineage of Christ. Christ came from the tribe of Judah and Judah was Leah’s son. But I get what you are trying to say and I totally agree.

      • Leigha7

        Jesus is only a descendant of Leah in that Joseph was a descendant of Leah (the lineages in the New Testament, aside from not being wholly the same, are for Joseph, because who cares about women’s ancestry?). But Jesus isn’t actually Joseph’s son, unless (as I suspected, when I believed in that stuff) God used Joseph’s DNA to magically impregnate Mary. If Jesus isn’t really Joseph’s son, then the lineage is totally irrelevant.

  • Pam

    I wonder what this nutbar crazy woman would do down here in Australia, where voting is compulsory (well, technically it’s turning up at the polling place and getting your name crossed off that’s compulsory, whether you properly fill in your ballots is up to you) and you get fined if you don’t? Would she consider herself to be facing ‘persecution’?
    And as a naughty liberal feminist I’ll have great fun voting my feminist ways in our election next month.

    • InvertIntrovert

      Huh, I never knew that about Australian voting law. Out of curiosity, how big is the fine?

      • Pam

        It’s about $50, I think, not huge, but not tiny. But our election processes seem to be much simpler: two pieces of paper, one for your local representative, one for the senate, fill it out with a pencil (and you don’t even need to fill the whole thing in if you don’t want to), and you’re done. My flatmate’s American and postal voted in last year’s election, and it took her more than half an hour. Here, you’re in and out in about two.

      • Beroli

        You can also explain why you didn’t vote and get out of the fine pretty easily, as long as you have a legitimate reason for not having done so. (“I’m a fundamentalist” would probably not be considered a legitimate reason.)

    • Leigha7

      One of the comments is from a woman in Australia (I believe). She says the she votes, because it’s compulsory, but she always votes for whoever her husband does. Another person suggested she just toss the ballots in unfilled (I have no idea how the physical process of voting works there, but that’s how they described it).

      Speaking of the comments, I especially loved the one who said (and I’m not quoting directly in any way, just approximating from memory), “My husband and I discuss the issues and who we are going to vote for. If we disagree, I vote for his choice. But I don’t just do what he tells me, we both help each other make the decision.” Um…okay…

  • Brian

    “I agreed that in an ideal world women would not vote,”

    Even though I know your history, every so often I read something like this and am slightly taken aback by the person you used to be. You’ve come so far and you’re such an amazing and intelligent writer that it still surprises me to this day the life you cam from. It’s truly inspiring.

  • stacey

    Please, if you think women shouldn’t vote, STAY HOME. I am happy to see the xtian extremist vote halved. It would be good for the nation.

  • Valde

    And it may come as a shock, but pro-choice people are capable of having PLENTY of children.

  • LizBert

    Can we for once cut through the crap about how horrible the world is today and how if only we could transport ourselves to 1830 it would be happy? I don’t think I would want to be alive at any other point in history. Globally, there is more freedom, more education, less slavery, better access to medicine, more communication and a gazillion other great things. And the US isn’t doing to shabby either, violence at a 20 year low, teenage pregnancy is lower than it was in the 1970′s, abortion rates are at a 30 year low, college graduation rates are at a high, kidnapping is way down compared to the 70′s and 80′s, and on and on.

    There is a lot of shit in the world today, believe me I know it’s out there. Sometimes I just can’t listen to the news anymore and have to turn off the radio, but let’s be honest about the good things too. The 1950′s nor the 1850′s were perfect, every era has its struggles, let’s work on making life good now instead of isolating ourselves while insisting that everything is going to hell in a handcart.

  • David S.

    I ran across a British journal of 1833 in Google Books that asked the question if it was okay to kill your wife if she was a shrew. It came down strongly against it, thank goodness, but it was responding to a real case where a man murdered his wife and the jury acquitted him because she was constantly nagging him.


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