women are just for marriage and motherhood

women are for marriage and motherhood cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
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I’m always surprised when I critique certain unlovely aspects of religion and some people suggest that this only happens in fundamentalist denominations in the USA. Not! This can happen anywhere in the world in any organization.

Someone sent me this link, 6 Reasons to Not Send Your Daughter to College, written by a Roman Catholic. Here they are:

  1. She will attract the wrong types of men.
  2. She will be in a near occasion of sin.
  3. She will not learn to be a wife and mother.
  4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup.
  5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world.
  6. It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents.
  7. She will regret it.
  8. It could interfere with a religious vocation.

So, right off the bat you have to wonder if this person went to college because that’s 8 reasons, not 6.

In one sentence, Raylan Alleman shares his deepest fear with his readers:

“Is a degree worth the loss of your daughter’s purity, dignity, and soul?”

Fear. Make people afraid and they will do stupid things.

I like one of the comments left by a woman:

“So, please, what is an 18yo girl to do then? Bag groceries till a prince charming comes along to give a few kids?”

I believe all the comments oppose the post.

One commenter claims that this isn’t the authorized teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. It doesn’t matter. Sexually abusing boys isn’t either. These kinds of things are what find avenues for expression in such institutions. Not just Roman Catholic, but across the religious and denominational spectrum.

Either stupidity is increasing or the publication of it. Let’s hope it’s just the latter. However, the publication of stupidity increases its popularity. It may normalize it.

I wrote a post yesterday, Silence as Key to Pastor Dad Mark Driscoll’s Ministry in which I critique his view of women and the role women are expected to play in his congregation. So it is not a marginalized suppression of women we are talking about here, but one that seems rather popular in some circles and growing in others.

We live in a time when misogyny awareness is increasing but also when misogynist leaders are being chosen to lead countries and other institutions.

This should concern us.

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  • klhayes

    As someone who spent 13 years in Catholic schools, that fact that the author did not catch how many reasons were actually listed compared to the title is a huge embarrassment.

  • TiggyTiger

    I wanted marriage and motherhood, but I’m being pressured to join the workforce.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    I attended all-girl Roman Catholic grammar school in Europe (Gymnasium) and it was specifically for girls destined to go to University. The founder of the order was on a mission to educate girls.

  • Hello David, we should keep in mind that irrationality, injustice and arrogance can also be found within groups of militant atheists, ecologists, capitalists, communists and so on and so forth.

    I really enjoy the fact that the suggestion to keep girls at home was opposed by almost everyone else.
    It is clearly a scandalous waste not to allow a woman to become a theologian or a preacher.
    That said, I am not sure it is really a good thing to assert that the psychological differences between men and women are entirely a product of society for this flies in the face of many scientific findings.
    It is not clear to my mind if the psychological roles of fathers and mothers within a couple are really interchangeable.

    In France and Germany there are quite a few non-Christians who are in some aspects complementarian on the grounds true innate psychological differences have been empirically proven.
    And this is also my position, I reject Biblical inerrancy but don’t think it is good to strive towards a society where manhood and womanhood would have lost much of their significance.

    Lovely greetings from Europe.
    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

  • Painlessly Delicious

    …being kept for marriage and motherhood….Not to mention sex and how a woman’s body is not her own…

  • Gary

    Being pressured by who?

  • Not only is the original article highly insulting to women, it’s highly insulting to men like my husband who are called “lazy” for wanting to marry smart, competent, and educated women. (Also, my favourite commenter was the one who agreed with the original article and then went on to rant about how the Girl Scouts of America “looks like a [sic] innocent girls club when in fact it is indoctrination to a liberal, progressive, feminist agenda of filth and pornography.” You can’t make this stuff up.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    There’s schools like that and then there are schools that continue the problem of men and women objectifying men and women.

  • linds

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting that, but it has to be a CHOICE. Many women are not given that choice, they are told that it’s God’s will for them to marry and be mothers.

  • Hagere

    Well, yes. Women are only good for breeding, cooking and cleaning. If
    you are a woman and have crossed the age of 40, and haven’t bred 10
    children, you are a disposable good. Even the word of gawd says in the
    holy bible that a woman will be saved through childbearing!!-:)

  • klhayes

    My biggest issue is that men are telling women what their value is and no one should be able to do that.And it seems that our value can change depending on the circumstances. When the men went to war in WWII, then women in America were encouraged to go into the workforce. That is what made them valuable-Remember Rosie the riverter. When the men came back, a woman’s value was in the home. This can be seen in the TV shows and appliance ads. We are always letting men dictate our worth and according to Driscoll we should silently sit by as men like him do it. No thanks!

  • Carolyn Garcia

    in my experience, misogyny is institutionalized in most religions–regardless of denomination or faith structure.

  • agreed

  • no thanks!

  • that’s true hagere. your conclusion is correct i think.

  • skyblue

    Yeah, it’s a dead giveaway when someone talks about “a woman’s place” and it just so happens to line up perfectly with whatever makes life easier for them. Kind of like when people are convinced that God hates all the same people they do!

  • TiggyTiger

    The Benefits Agency. 🙂

  • Gary

    Oh you mean financially you need to work? LOL

  • Apparently the Benefits Agency doesn’t provide breadwinning husbands as part of their benefits package.

  • islandbrewer

    The atheist and skeptic communities are having big … debates? Blow-ups? Meltdowns? … over misogyny and harassment, right now. You don’t even have to be a part of a religion to have misogyny be a part of your cultural makeup.

    Religious institutions seem like excellent vehicles for codifying and justifying misogyny in a way non-faith communities can’t, however.

  • islandbrewer

    How ecumenical! It’s nice to see an American Catholic finding common ground with the Taliban.

  • R Vogel

    For those interested, Sarah Over the Moon has an excellent series called “You Are Not Your Own” in the Spirituality channel that deals with similar issues in Christian dating literature. Highly recommended. Great post, David.

  • Thanks R

  • wordofawoman.com
  • great post wordofawoman!

  • wordofawoman.com

    Thanks David!

  • Sarah

    While I do not condone the practice of keeping women from having jobs or climbing the corporate ladder if they so choose, I would warn against labeling all women who stay home as oppressed. Many WANT to be mothers and make sure the children they raise are raised by them and not media.

  • Carolyn Garcia

    aside from this being the equivalent of an 8 y.o. response that “suzy does it too”, here are two points to consider: 1. atheism is not a cultural institution, 2. there is no tenet of atheism that stipulates the oppression of women. Simply because some mysogynist happen to be atheist is no more relevant than some chevy volt owners have grey hair..

  • islandbrewer

    Nowhere did I say 1. atheism is a cultural institution or 2. any tenet of atheism stipulates any sort of misogyny. If you see that in my post, please feel free to quote it to show where I’m wrong.

    I think you’ve entirely missed my point. I was not in any way attempting a “they do it, too! Phthththt!” response. I think you have your automated defenses set a little too high.

    My point was that misogyny is so ingrained culturally, and most particularly perpetuated and protected by religious institutions where it festers, that it can’t help but bleed outside of religion. That is entirely relevant to the post.