Rape: A Punishment for Egalitarians?

[Trigger warnings for rape and abuse] 

Sometimes, conservative Christians are able to cover up the fact that their bad theology is often used to enable abusers, cover up abuse, and blame victims. Then, sometimes, they slip and people see everything and their attempts to convince people that they do not condone abuse seem laughable.

This is what happened today when Jared Wilson of The Gospel Coalition published this article, a critique of 50 Shades of Gray which consists of a quote from a book by Douglas Wilson. You should take a minute to read it before you finish this post so you have some context. Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you to come back.

…..

Done? Okay, you’re going to need a kitty to cheer you up after that.

 

I have a lot to say about this post, and the subsequent responses, by both Jared Wilson and Douglas Wilson. I’ll probably say all those things eventually–in fact, I’m thinking about writing a book on this very subject (how certain branches of conservative theology equate God and “God’s will” with abusive behavior) and the ideas presented in post will probably give me a whole chapter’s worth of material. 

But I’m going to start with this point, because I didn’t see it addressed much in the responses to this article that I read.

Douglas Wilson and, by his endorsement of Douglas, Jared Wilson blame egalitarianism for the existence of our society’s rape culture.

Jared and Douglas wouldn’t admit to such. They would probably accuse me of lying and slandering and suggest that I have low reading comprehension. But, people, I aced that part of the ACTs. I know how to read and I know what this means:

Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.

“Because,” indicating causation. And what is that causation? Us forgetting the biblical concepts of true authority and submission. These “biblical” concepts being, as Wilson mentions later, “A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.”  (Tomorrow, I plan on going through every one of those words individually and talking about what they mean, because the Wilsons seem convinced that these words can mean whatever they want them to mean and they are trying to convince us that these words are about loving, mutual sexual submission. It’d be funny if it weren’t so horrifying).

D. Wilson goes on to say

When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us.

The quarrelers he is talking about are obviously those who rebel against “The Bible of D. Wilson”‘s disturbing gender roles. The egalitarians. The ones who believe in mutuality and equality.

The world has a way of getting back at them.

Because egalitarians have told men that they don’t get to dominate their wives, according to D. Wilson men become pathological in their need to dominate and therefore begin to “dream of being rapists.”

He describes rape, not as something that exists outside the realm of healthy sexuality, but as perverted mirror of what healthy sexuality should look like:

Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless.

True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.

The Wilsons never blatantly excuse rape, or rapists. But their point is that when society moves toward becoming more equal, men will become rapists because all men have a natural need to conquer and dominate a woman.

If they can’t get that in the marriage bed, the Wilsons believe, they will search for that in “perverted” ways (apparently the Wilsons don’t see anything perverted about a husband “conquering” his wife).

Rape has been used for thousands of years to control women. To put them in their place.

And you don’t even have to be a rapist to use rape to control women. Jared and Douglas Wilson do a fine job of it here.

Not-so-subtly, they warn women to stay in their place in the world–to submit to being conquered, colonized, and penetrated by their husbands–or have the world “get back” at them.

With this article, the Wilsons manage to wield the tool of rape to control women without ever laying a finger on a woman.

And no, I don’t think I’m being to harsh by saying that. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 women will be raped in their lifetimes–there are real women being affected by these poisonous words. The feelings of Douglas and Jared and others in positions of power who use that power to control women with fear of rape are NOT my concern.

Rapists rape to control and gain power over women. By legitimizing rapists’ logic, saying that rape is caused by women who don’t adhere to gender roles (roles which seem a lot like marital rape, but that’s a post for a different day), the Wilsons are affirming the actions of rapists.

I cannot be “harsh” enough to men like this. It needs to stop.

  • Jay

    I have several thoughts on this first being the words he uses, “A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.” are in no way horrific by definition. In fact, penetrates, when you break it down outright says, “(of a man) insert the penis into the vagina or anus of (a sexual partner).” The words are not out of context nor meant in anyway to “dominate”.

    Second, I have looked up the word “equal” and it leans more towards the word “identical” and does not mean “like” or “similar” which most people when they use the word “equal” assume it’s meaning to be. Men and women are not “physically” equal. Are they mentally equal? That’s up for debate. Are they emotionally equal? That’s out for debate.

    Thirdly, “With this article, the Wilsons manage to wield the tool of rape to control women without ever laying a finger on a woman.” Wilson is not trying to control anybody.

    “But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies. Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless.”

    He said this!!! He said this! What does it mean? Remember the shootings that happened after the Matrix movies? Remember the controversy and the debates whether the movies influenced the kids to do what they did?

    “Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless.”

    That is an important and powerful statement because regardless of what society or any movement says, “Your desire will be for your husbands [position], and he will rule over you.”

    “True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.”

    What does that mean? “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church… Wives submit to your husbands…” What does that mean? There is clearly a structure and rape is a perversion of that structure. Adultery is a perversion of that structure. Incest is a perversion of that structure. Homosexuality is a perversion of that structure. Christians are guilty of extremes. We pick the extreme where we hate the person and the sin or we love the person and love the sin. That article does make a mistake at blaming a modern movement in the sense that the movement and the problem are both modern. Rape is not new. Neither is roles being tossed around like clothes to be tried on by anyone.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      How can you say that conquering and colonizing are not about domination?

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      How can you say that conquering and colonizing are not about domination?

      And, other than that question, you’re pretty much participating in the same rape apologism that I criticize here. Check yourself.

      That is all.

    • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

      The passage doesn’t end at “Wives submit to your husbands”, and you would do well to finish the sentence, actually the entire passage, before deciding it gives you authority to conquer, colonize, and dominate.
      Seek out Paul and his authority on the matter. No union is to exist under bondage. The submission must be equal – identical between spouses – or there is imbalance and that imbalance is contrary to what an equal union is to be.
      AND, I can’t go without disagreeing with you – men & women are equal mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, and equivalent physically.

      • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

        Nor does it begin at “Wives, submit to your husbands.” Back it up a verse! :)

        • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

          I like this easy to understand analysis:
          “The two verses are linked. So the passage is saying they are to submit to their husbands in the same way the entire body is supposed to submit to each other, and that means the man is supposed to submit to his wife also. … A husband can’t expect his wife to submit, if he isn’t willing to.”

          • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

            love it!

          • Jay

            I put the “…” to show that that was not the entire verse… I’ll back up… I think the greatest disservice to the Word of God was to verse it and reference it instead of reading it how it was written (a topic I am in the process of discussing continually)

            “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them…. Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (notice no “…” here).

            Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

            Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

            The break down, yes, before it says, “wives submit to you husbands” it says, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” However, it goes on to break down the roles in a marriage. As humans, we are to respect each other, however, we are to respect our government respectively. I cannot speak for British people but their government does things differently than ours. Do they forget their roles as a British person to do as the Chinese do? It’s interesting that the role of a husband is to love “like Christ loved the Church” yet Christ is not made to submit to the Church. When it comes to husbands (not men in general) they have to be willing to submit. Of course!!! No one said not to. The emphasis in a marriage is that “however, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” In the Bible, it says for us to “love one another” yet it does not tell the wife to do love the husband. Why? Does she not love her husband? Is she not supposed to? No!!! We are to love one another and submit to each other, generally. The next sentence after the passage is, “Children, obey your parents…” is that all they are to obey? No!!! We are not to forget our roles (both in and out of marriage). We are to love one another and submit to one another (those who are in Christ).

            “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

            “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (there is a reason for the “…” here Go read in I Corinthians)… For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”

            What am I saying?

          • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

            We are absolutely interdependent upon each other, but that’s no justification to lord over anyone, significant other or stranger. The language circles around and back in on itself: both people hold the power and should any imbalance occur, the parties should work together to rebalance the power. I don’t know if that’s what you were saying.
            But I do know what an ellipses is and what it signifies, and that ending your reference to that verse at that provocative point, as often do the Bibilically ignorant, contributed to some of my misunderstanding. All too often “wives submit” are the only two words some people have heard from the Bible.

          • http://marchingonandon.blogspot.com Heath March
      • Jay

        “AND, I can’t go without disagreeing with you – men & women are equal mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, and equivalent physically.”

        Men and women are EQUAL is to say everyone is EQUAL. I am EQUAL to minds that have NATURALLY possessed far greater mental stability and intellect and have strong emotions that they control (both men and women). It would be wrong to say that I was EQUAL to Adolph Hitler because I am not EQUAL to him and I am a man. Equal means if you placed me in the place of Sarah who original wrote this blog, there would be no difference. However, there will be. I am not Sarah and she is not me. There is a phrase that will be this whole discussion off topic but it does a disservice to the word EQUAL, “All men were created EQUAL.” More on that, later…

  • Jay

    Conquer – successfully overcome (a problem or weakness) : a fear she never managed to conquer; climb (a mountain) successfully : the second American to conquer Everest; gain the love, admiration, or respect of (a person or group of people)

    Colonize – come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area) : a white family that tries to colonize a Caribbean island; appropriate (a place or domain) for one’s own use; Ecology (of a plant or animal) establish itself in an area

    Dominate – be the most important or conspicuous person or thing in : the race was dominated by the 1992 champion; (of something tall or high) have a commanding position over; overlook

    Domination – the exercise of control or influence over someone or something, or the state of being so controlled : the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe; ( dominations) (in traditional Christian angelology) the fourth highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy

    This is how… pick the combination that supports your issue with what was written.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      Countries/people who have been victims of colonization on a global scale would probably not describe it as a loving, peaceful experience. Read Angela Davis’s “Conquest,” particularly the chapter where she compares the colonization of Native Americans to the rape of women’s bodies.

      • Jay

        Intercourse is a “peaceful” experience?

        • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

          What? You’ve never tried the peaceful intercourse? Oh, simply, you MUST! It’s to die for. Quite the experience, I assure you. After the sex, you must try a dessert of cuddling. It’s delish and helps to chase the whole meal down.

          • Jay

            After sex? I said peaceful intercourse. The act of penetrating is not any way “peaceful” no matter what is being penetrated. I am more of a cuddlier than anything else so that is what I do yet I will not lie to you that some form or force is not at all applied to intercourse, whatever is doing the penetrating. Before and after can be as peaceful and comforting as an embrace, yet the intercourse (the act) is not peaceful.

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            The act of penetrating is not any way “peaceful” no matter what is being penetrated.

            God, dude. Maybe you should use some lube. I’m sure she’d appreciate it. Or, better yet, a little foreplay. Who taught you have to have sex? It doesn’t have to hurt her. God!

          • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

            woohoo lube! and cuddling! :)

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            Don’t forget foreplay!

            Oh, and changing positions.
            http://www.nakedpastor.com/2012/07/19/women-on-top-and-biblical-sex/

          • http://gravatar.com/heartlikefire Melissa

            …..I feel so sorry for any sexual partner you have ever had. Do you have no concept of LOVE or gentleness? Penetration can most CERTAINLY be peaceful. It can also be the norm. But I guess unless you cease to see yourself as the “conqueror” you will never be peaceful or gentle.

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            Nothing peaceful about it, Melissa. But a white man’s gotta conquer and dominate. That’s their God-given obligation. Vaginas and Africa, beware! Here we come with our shooters!

          • Jay

            I never said nor do I see myself as a conquerer. I love my wife and there are and being with her is peaceful. My body, her body (in the act) is not at peace. Temperature rises. Muscle tense and relax. Increased blood pressure. Outside of this act, this is hostility (fight or flight for one). I am not aggressive unless that is wanted. I don’t know why I feel so defensive right now, I really don’t. I’m not a “white man” I’m Native American. I never said, nor implied, that I hurt her. When something is not peaceful it doesn’t mean necessarily pain or domination. The sounds of an busy intersection could be peaceful for someone but in that busy intersection I’m almost positive, most of the time, it’s not peaceful.

            Sarah, Why do you keep deleting my posts then talking behind my back? I cannot defend myself with my comments constantly being deleted and everything I say incomplete because a part of what I’ve said is missing so I look like a idiot. Please stop deleting me in sections…

          • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

            If your partners don’t think intercourse is a peaceful and comforting experience, dude, I hate to break it to ya, but you’re doing it wrong.

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            MEME!

          • Jay

            I don’t have partners, first of all, and second, we may be doing things wrong but I’m not dominating her or anything. I’m not controlling her and being with her is the one of the best times we ever have. It’s more “captivating” than “peaceful” more “surreal” than “relaxing” cause all the time we’ve known each other we were told we’d never work.

          • Fortuna Veritas

            If you’ve had sex with someone regularly and the sex is still surreal, I’d urge you to troubleshoot as to why that is the case.

          • Fortuna Veritas

            Hear Hear!

        • brambonius

          I really really really hope that you are a virgin

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      Also, the idea of any man (even if I loved him) “overcoming” me, “establishing political control over” me, “appropriating” me for his own use…yeah. That’s horrifying. The most horrifying thing I can think of.

      • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

        It’s horrifying to live through too, and thousands of us struggle to everyday.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

          yup. I lived through it before. never, never again. I’m glad I was able to escape.

          • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

            I tried, but now he has the children, so I must submit and obey to him to love and honor my children.

          • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

            *hugs if you want them* i hope you are able to find freedom someday. It’s so hard :(

          • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

            I take virtual hugs :) there’s no actual touching involved. Thank you.
            And thank you for your writing. You have a wonderful style and an educated voice.

    • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

      Colonize – come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area)

      I’m sure that the white male finds this to be a positive experience. I mean, it worked out well for us, right? (well, not so well for my Puerto Rican ancestors. But they’re colored, so we won’t worry about them)…

      • Jay

        Because black men “were” slaves does not now come to mean, “black men – slaves” this is what is being done with colonize. “Colonize – the experience of Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Australians, Haitians, and whatever other people who were oppressed when “come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area).” The definition of a word should not have to suffer for the abuse of the people who did horrible things in the process. Love is still love and those hurt by those who used the word “love” to describe what they were doing does not change the definition of love. You were not hurt by love but by someone who used the word “love” to justify or desensitize what they were really doing.

        • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

          Where did this conversation come from? I don’t get it. Are you saying Ol Massa is usually good for little black and brown and red children of the world, but sometimes there may be a bad seed in there.

          “Don’t let that discourage you, son. Buckle up and be a good master!”

          • Jay

            Again, that discussion I would love to have too (it is off topic) and therefore I will simply say that massa is what those who were enslaved (mainly blacks) would call their “masters” when in slavery. How that relates to a husband loving his wife (if you would see that love doesn’t dominate) and a wife submitting to her husband (if you would see that as the wife following her husband) and not this twisted “you do what I say” “i’m not doing what you say” relationship. The Bible says that the husband is “head” over the wife as Christ is “head” over the church. There is a reason he uses “head” cause he talks about how the body is governed by the “head.” The eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smells, and the head decides how the body behaves. Yes, the eyes see light, does the body goes towards the light, only if the head decides. Again, this is a marriage relationship not any “general” relationship. This is not a friendship, dating relationship, or even an engagement. This is simply applying to marriage between a husband and wife. Taking that, alone, out of marriage results in this “dominance” attitude that guys are over ladies and there is no likeness or similarities.

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            So, you give her head or she gives you head?

          • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

            “The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” Maria Portokalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding
            Very true words indeed…

  • http://marchingonandon.blogspot.com Heath March

    Now I will always associate cute kittens with the taste of vomit; thanks a lot. But, seriously, thanks for speaking out on this abusive crap-theology.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      oh no! sorry for ruining kittens for you

      • http://marchingonandon.blogspot.com Heath March

        I guess I’ll forgive you. Puppies are still safe.

    • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

      Kittens were evil the moment they decided to colonize my nose hairs with their conquering dander.

      • Jay

        This is silly to even say but I’m gonna say it anyway. There is no proof that kittens “decide” to colonize your nose hairs, or anyone else’s for that matter. Calling kittens evil are a matter of preference and have been called evil way before people realized they could be allergic to them (black cats, egyptian mau, etc.)

        • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

          You’re right. That is silly to say.

        • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

          You can’t even read a joke? Why are you telling us that we’re misreading what’s pretty damn plain? And then getting upset with us because we don’t agree with your dominating and poorly executed interpretation?

          But, Jay, you’re our favorite troll. You know that? Seriously. Jesus loves you. Lord, give Jesus mercy – this is a tough one.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

          okay, dude, that’s enough. this is just getting ridiculous. blocking.

  • http://meaningandsignificance.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel Simmons

    Sarah – It seems to me that part of the problem is that many of us have forgotten Aristotle’s “Doctrine of the Means.” If Doug Wilson and Jared Wilson are working from that framework, as I think they are, then perhaps your thesis would need revising.

    The “Doctrine of the Means” simply states that the right or virtuous disposition is not opposed by one contrary position but lies in between two extremes. The Wilsons, if I am understanding them correctly, are stating that their position is the mean, or middle position between “50 Shades of Grey” (a wrong sort of authority in a sexual relationship) and egalitarianism (no authority within sexual relationships).

    I wasn’t convinced that the Wilsons are blaming the rape culture on egalitarianism, instead they seem to be placing that responsibility on the “50 Shades of Grey” side of the equation. The egalitarian “sin,” at least I read the article, is the opposite. It is an “egalitarian pleasuring party,” where the ultimate purpose of sex is purely pleasure.

    Anyway, I would be interested to hear what you think, especially if you are writing a book on this. Do you disagree that they are working from a “Doctrine of the Means” framework or do you disagree that the “Doctrine of the Means” framework is even legitimate? – Thanks

    • alisewrite

      Given that D. Wilson wrote Fidelity 13 years ago and is staunchly patriarchal, there’s no question that it is about egalitarians. J. Wilson may be making the case that 50 Shades is the culprit, but the piece that he quotes was written well, well before 50 Shades was written, let alone popular.

      • Anonymous

        Good point, but isn’t Jared Wilson saying that 50 Shades of Grey is representative of Doug Wilson’s point. Just because fidelity was written before 50 shades doesn’t mean it was only concerned with egalitarian issues.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      Here’s the thing:

      1. Wanting egalitarianism is NOT an extreme position, and I will not settle for anything less

      2. The Wilsons were not blaming 50 Shades for rape. They were equating 50 Shades with rape (a problem in and of itself, but I won’t get into that today) and blaming its existence on egalitarianism

      3. Why is it a sin for sex to be pleasurable rather than an expression of male power over a woman?

      • Anonymous

        Sarah – thanks for the reply.

        1. If egalitarianism is the mean, what is on either side? Or do you think the doctrine of the means doesn’t apply here?

        2. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the Wilsons

        • Fortuna Veritas

          It doesn’t have to be an “extreme” or “the mean” in terms of gender relations or whatever other kind of scale you want to stick it on for whatever reasons you want to stick it on a scale. Calling equality an “extreme position” is not the same as saying that equality is opposite oppression, and not just because the majority of cases where people do so, they’re fairly transparent in their biased and bigoted positions.

          The only way that stands out that one could say that equality or egalitarianism was the mean would be if you took a scale with oppressing women on one end and oppressing men on the other, though even that would not really reflect reality well, as even misogynistic cultures also oppress men, though if my studies of sociology were fresher in my mind, I could probably remember the terms for the different types of oppression to which I am alluding..

      • Anonymous

        Sarah – thanks for the reply.

        1. If egalitarianism is the mean, what is on either side? Or do you think the doctrine of the means doesn’t apply here?

        2. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the Wilsons, but I still don’t understand why you think they are blaming equalitarianism for rape. It still seems to me that rape would typically spring from the other side of the equation than equalitarianism

        3. I probably shouldn’t speak for them, but I don’t think they have a problem with pleasurable sex (I think D Wilson says it should be pleasurable). I think their problem is suggesting that is is purely, or even primarily, about our pleasure. Instead, if I understand D Wilson correctly, he believes that the act of sex is an abstract picture of God’s relationship with the church. Thus sex should be pleasing, but not just pleasing. It should also be instructive.

        • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

          ” I still don’t understand why you think they are blaming equalitarianism for rape”

          Because that’s what they actually said?

          • Jay

            ” I still don’t understand why you think they are blaming equalitarianism for rape”

            Because that’s what they actually said?

            Where do they say that? I haven’t read the book yet. Just the articles and the comments. Would you please point this out to me. Thank you

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            “Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.

            When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us. In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.

            But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies. Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. ”

            Did you miss that part?

          • http://pentriloquist.com Amy

            First of all, the referenced article isn’t available. Perhaps they took it down. Secondly, I’ve been reading what Jay says and it isn’t what you THINK he’s saying. In my marriage, we are equally important, equally heard, equally considered but we are not equal. I’m a woman and love all that that is. He’s a man and I love all that that is.

            Rape IS a distortion of submission and conquest. Look at advertising – what’s used is what works.. so, what is used? Women look vulnerable, men look NOT vulnerable. Distort the respect, mutual dedication to one another, mutual submission… and you get a violent conqueror and a helpless victim.

            Take away the RULES to the ROLES and you have abuse. I’ve seen that.

            If you are all having “peaceful sex.” I’m very sorry. It doesn’t sound like Jay is raping his wife. It sounds like Jay and his wife are having hot sex. Watch a movie with hot sex in it… would you describe this as peaceful? No, they can’t wait to get into each other’s clothes. There is movement, desire, heavy breathing, and some mutual aggression – not rape, not cruel, not unwanted… mutually turned on by each other and equally desiring one another. But I’m sorry to tell you this… only one of them is being penetrated, and only one of them is receiving that penetration. Those are the facts – and most of us really like those facts… it’s a freaking awesome, surreal, breathtaking, passionate experience – followed by cuddling, exhaustion and sweating – if you’re doing it right. And I’ve found that can last decades into a marriage.

            While many have tried to make Jay into some sort of deviant – you were actually making the point being argued against. You distorted the hot passion of a committed couple into a violent caricature of the act. That’s what rape is – a VIOLENT DISTORTION of penetration and receiving. A twisted view, a deviant cruelty, a messed up way to see it. REAL women are raped by men with this distorted view. Men who don’t submit to the true authority of God who don’t see their role as loving women in the way Christ loved the church – they don’t give their lives for women, they TAKE them. To say that this means there’s something inherently wrong in all masculinity of men in their role of protector, (yes, I like my husband with me when I’m in a parking lot at night) champion, beautiful in his strength because it is under God’s authority – is the same as disrespecting femininity. (How many years have we fought to be respected by disrespecting ourselves? I don’t have to be a man to be awesome. I’m awesome as a woman. I’m made in God’s image as a woman- relational, emotional, multitasking, passionate, complicated. If you’ve had a good relationship with both parents, and you go through something heartbreaking – which one do you call? I call my mom. She’s that healing balm part of God’s image. Dad wants to fix it, fight for me, attack the world with his violent rhetoric on my behalf.)

            Denying TRUE biblical authority leaves a man without Godly authority over his testosterone. THAT’s the authority that protects women. It isn’t our hard-assedness. It’s the restraint and civilized behavior brought about by the Godly authority to not use the (in most cases) physically stronger advantage to take what you want against someone’s will. Deny God’s biblical authority and voila – a hot mess of shit.

            Like I said – I didn’t see the original article, but this makes sense in revealing the results of a world denying God’s wisdom.

          • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

            This is really just Jay in drag, isn’t it?

            C’mon, we know you didn’t like getting the boot before or being called a “troll.” But, seriously, this is a new low.

        • natsimms

          Sarah –

          Concerning the second point, I just reread the article I think I should recant. I believe that you are correct to assert that Doug Wilson is suggesting that Egalitarianism leads to a mentality which lends itself toward rape. The line that convinced me was his final line – “When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.”

          I still think that the piece as a whole suggests that deviations from either side of the isle of what he understands as a proper understanding of authority within marriage will result in an authority that “devours.” If so, both those who reject authority as well as those who insist on a wrong authority would be equally guilty of creating this destructive way of thinking about and engaging in sex.

          Also, If you get a chance, I would be really interested to hear your response to the first point. I am curious if you think the doctrine of means is a legitimate way to think through issues of gender roles.

      • Fortuna Veritas

        It is kind of amusing, because usually the pornography that’s equated with rape is the visual kind that’s marketed towards men.

    • Fortuna Veritas

      I doubt the Wilsons have heard of or understand the Golden Mean, and so while it’s possible that they accidentally set themselves up for it, it looks more like you’re grasping for any kind of shred of legitimacy for their stance.

      It’s much more plausible that they just see both equality between a man and a woman and both partners mutually satisfying one another sexually as wrong and frustrating because men are all selfish (because they are men and they are selfish and so all men must be like them because they’re just such fine, upstanding, godly specimens of the sex) and just want to dominate women to the point where if a woman has enough of a spine to say no, well….

  • Pingback: Marital Rape? Doug Wilson on Dominance and Submission in the Marriage Bed

  • http://freebread4life.com Rodney

    The issue at hand here is that the article is open to “50 Shades of Interpretation” – no pun intended. They take the very broad topic that is egalitarianism and then try to use it to tackle a very sensitive subject which is the domination of women – and more specifically rape.

    If they were going to to so – and were not in any way trying to blame rape on egalitariansim – then certainly they should have been more intentional in defining exactly what it was they meant. In fairness I think I see where they were trying to drive the article, but sadly I fear they missed the mark and drove off a slippery slope into the depths of mysogyny.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      I agree. and I feel like their logic actually supports and perpetuates the domination of women, rather than protects against it, but that’s another topic for another day.

      • Fortuna Veritas

        Well they’re pretty up front about wanting women to be dominated. They just want them dominated by their husbands and for married women to not be their own person.

        Sadly, we have not yet perfected a way in which to combine the minds of two people into a new entity.

  • Jen

    Your posts are almost too much for me lately but that’s not to say I disagree or think you should stop. I think the opposite but emotionally I feel broken. I read about 1/3 of the comments here and started to tear up. What I’ve been taught and what I believe are very different and I feel caught somewhere between the two. I seem to be on the path you have been on for a while (from reading your blog). It’s hard for me to read the Bible and to find an alternate meaning from what I’ve always been taught without feeling as though I’m just reading what I want to hear. I’m spiritually lost and I just hope to find some end to the tunnel.
    (It may not seem like it but this comment is very much related to the general subject of this post.)

    Your posts are helpful and your strength is amazing.

  • brambonius

    I can’t disagree with what you write here… I really tried to be gracious on my blog towards them (the whole ‘love your enemies and pray for who persecutes you’ thing, and I should probably feel persecuted, since I indeed got the idea from Mr. Wilson that they blame rape culture on egalitarianism…), but even then I can’t get around the fact that whatever they say they mean, it still reads like an endorsement of male dominion, which I fear it just is…

    • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye
      • brambonius

        I tried to understand them on their own terms, an emic approach to understand their side, anthropologically speaking, and tried to see what they themselves meant to communicate. They believe they don’t want negative domination, only ‘healthy authority’ or something like that. whatever that is, but you can see in their follow-up post they are really surprised that anyone could read the quote in favor of domination (not authority for them there is a huge difference that I don’t get) , and I want to understand how they can think like that.

        I don’t get it. Really.

        • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

          Too much benefit of the doubt. Their search for power and dominion has driven them mad. Mad, I say! Mad!

    • Fortuna Veritas

      I didn’t think there was any question at all about how obvious they were in favor of men dominating their wives. Why did you feel that it wasn’t clear?

      • brambonius

        Their follow-up and apology post says they don’t mean domination with what they say, and still it does. They just do not understand what they are saying, how it comes across and it’s a blind spot in their worldview, but they really do believe that they communicate that oppressive domination of women (though with another definition I guess) is wrong.

        “The comment thread exploded with horrified readers, some of them more nuanced in their outrage than others, but most claiming to find in the excerpt an admonition opposite of its meaning. Meaning, where I had read a treatise against self-gratification and the perversion of authority/submission into force and violence and kinky sex, others were reading it as a treatise for such things. Obviously I find that odd.”

        There really is a worldview disconnect in those guys…

  • http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com Tending Weeds

    Jay, I don’t see how you have acheived level of troll, but I’m a troll novice. Discussion breeds growth and until you flat-out call me a stupid bitch, or anything of the like, or I call you an asshole cocksucker, or anything of the like, then I believe we can learn from each other.

    • Jay

      Thank you for that. I am just reading, processing, and sharing. I would not resort to insult and I have been frustrated before (not on this particular topic yet that is).

      Sarah, why did you block me and delete my last comment?

      • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

        It’s my blog, man. It’s my blog. If I find what you’re saying to be overly offensive you’re outta here. Sorry, but that’s how it goes.

  • Fortuna Veritas

    This was really helpful to me, as the first couple of times I tried to read the article in question, I kept bouncing off of it when the writer seemed to admit that he himself dreams and fantasizes about being a rapist. Kinda hard to take a man seriously when he not only admits to wanting to be a rapist, but, like all of the interviews I’ve seen of people with convicted rapists(and then the discussions of this belief back when they were doing that comparison between what Men’s magazines say and excerpts from the transcripts of interviews with rapists…), he believes that ALL MEN are just like him and want nothing more than to just rape women as much as they possibly can. Well, as a writer whose ideas are worth fair consideration, anyway.

    Of course, come to think of it, your mention of marital rapes reminds me that if he’s married and actually lives by the principles that the brief view of that system of ethics I’ve had suggests he lives by, he may in fact be a rapist already. Ew.

  • Pingback: Gloating and Slander: Michael Pearl, Nancy Ann Wilson and Christian Fundamentalist Responses to Criticism

  • Pingback: Complementarians and Martial Sex: The Jared Wilson / Gospel Coalition Saga « The Dunedin School

  • http://gravatar.com/stuartgspooner catchmeifyoucan

    Sarah, doesn’t saying things like “you’re pretty much participating in the same rape apologism that I criticize here” to someone who politely and civilly disagrees with you seem a little, well, controlling (perhaps even a “conquering colonizing, and planting” of your theology of marriage) where your readers are concerned? To suggest that because someone attaches different meaning to words than you do that they are a rapist, or a supporter of rape, is undeniably puerile and intolerant. As a woman who claims to be a progressive, you should know better. As a matter of fact, I’m sure I could accuse you and a large majority of your progressive brethren of the same crime in nearly every arena of discussion. You, madam, should check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      Sorry, pal. Words mean things, and if you don’t support rape than you’d better be extra careful not to choose words that empower and normalize the actions of rapists.

    • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

      Wow. That was wretched. I’m sure you hat is up your ass. But don’t worry. Ass doesn’t mean what you think it means. It’s really a compliment. And if you think differently, it’s because you’re an asshole.

  • Pingback: [link] Doug Wilson, The Gospel Coalition, and Sanctified Rape Culture « slendermeans

  • Pingback: Christianity Supporting Rape and Slavery – Doug Wilson. « Dead Wild Roses

  • Pingback: Esther, Mark Driscoll, and using rape to control women « Sarah Over the Moon

  • Pingback: Complementarianism’s ugly relationship with rape « Sarah Over the Moon

  • Pingback: The Patriarchal Utility of the Threat of Rape

  • Pingback: Let me be angry. «

  • debhurn

    Don’t be discouraged by no comments on some of these posts, Sarah. Your case is so comprehensive it is hard to know what to add.

  • Liz

    It’s…… uhhhh….. Thanks for the kitten. I needed it. And I only found parts of the article scattered on the internet because it seems they took the article down. Imagine that.

  • caraboska

    Amen :)

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com jasdye

    You’re a troll by trolling. Trolls gotta troll. That’s how you’re a troll.

    You lay under a bridge and come out with your wild hair and shenanigans and you demand we pay you a certain lip service for the privilege of walking and being adults. That’s trolling, trollman.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X