Once again, Libby Anne hits on a topic that really irritates me: the corrupting effect that gender hierarchies can have. We tend to focus on the damage that power dynamics can have on those with the lesser power – with good reason. But those at the top are frequently corrupted by the power that they hold.
In the case of modern American patriarchy, the results are counterintuitive:
What are the qualities we generally associate with maturity? The ability to see things from others’ perspectives? The ability to accept that the world doesn’t revolve around you, and that things don’t always go the way you want them to, and that you just have to deal with that? The ability to cooperate with others, to communicate and find compromises that everyone can be happy with?
Yeah, under Christian Patriarchy, a man doesn’t have to do any of that. Because he’s the head of the family, dammit! What he says goes! God speaks to him, after all, and everyone else should listen and heed what God tells him! He’s the one who gets to make the decisions for the family, and for the children! Period! In other words, a man is allowed to act like a willful, spoiled child who always expects to get his own way. And if he doesn’t get his own way? Expect a reaction of confusion mixed with anger and righteous indignation.
It’s incredibly ironic that the movement insists on training any sort of willfulness out of children completely, but turns around and fosters it in its men. The truth is that in Christian Patriarchy men are allowed to act like spoiled children while women and children are expected to just roll over and acquiesce.
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