The following is a guest post from Camille M. Richoux.
Dear God, it’s not our fault. Sincerely, women.
I recently had a conversation with a Christian acquaintance, and it was over the subject of feminism. She attempted to explain that ‘true’ feminism, from a Christian perspective, is understanding the purpose given to you by God. The word ‘feminazi’ was dropped (because it’s clear as crystal that wanting equal treatment is the same as wanting to invade Poland and kill a few million people), and I admittedly became irate. The conversation eventually led to her assertion that, “women deserve better than abortion; abortion isn’t a choice” and then my brain exploded out of the back of my head.
I live in a country where my basic dignity is being attacked constantly. From attempts to legislate contraception to whether I should have to carry a stillborn to full-term, and everywhere in between, I feel like I have suddenly been dropped into a rollercoaster in fucking bizarro world and I don’t know when the ride is going to end. Is outright insanity some new fad? Let me answer my own rhetorical question: No, it isn’t. It has always been this insane. We’re just more vocal on both sides. And we have the internet.
If you’ve been following the news, you’ll come across a new attack on women’s rights from the conservative religious right springing up left and right. Crazy and crazier legislation has been repeatedly introduced into the public sphere almost rapidly over the past year. If you aren’t filled in, here is a pretty graph detailing them.
(click the image to make it ginormous)
Towards the end of the conversation, she could tell she wasn’t swaying me to her side, and she attempted to patch things up with a heartwarming quote on the relationship between Adam and Eve: “Woman was not created from his head to rule over him, nor from his foot to be ruled under him; but from his side to rule with him.” I stared at her for a moment because I thought I was suddenly having a stroke; but alas, this was real life happening. I sputtered, “that is literally the opposite of what the Bible says”. She disagreed. I asked her if she had even read the damn book, or if she just watched the movie.
We didn’t get too much further in meaningful conversation. But it got me thinking, and I sought out to refresh my memory on deplorable things the bible says in regards to gender equality. Not surprisingly, I found a lot of appropriate material. I won’t drag you through all the misogyny of the Bible because we’d be here for a while and I imagine you are all well-versed on the evil that the bible says is okay. I specifically want to share one verse because it very clearly states the problem at hand:
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16)
This blatantly states that women will suffer and they deserve their suffering. The inferior treatment of women is not only allowed by the Bible, it is divinely ordained by God; to do so is to rebel against their savior. It is no surprise, then, when we live in a country in which a majority of people’s moral compass comes directly from the Bible that we have viable candidates for the presidency who are able to say heinous shit like the separation of church and state makes them want to vomit (Santorum 2012!) and not be a laughingstock to the general public.
(Note: We had a viable candidate. RIP Santorum 2012 campaign. We barely knew thee.)
This is the root of the problem we have in America. Conservative legislators are reflecting the archaic, misogynistic, Bronze Age book they believe in. And people vote for them, thinking that their religious beliefs are universal and should apply to everyone! This is not the future I envision in a country that has progressed so much over the past 235 years. I aspire to live in a country in which I have sovereignty over my body. I want contraception and sexual services to be attainable, affordable, and nonnegotiable. I want to see slut-shaming looked down upon and see sex positivity reign.
What I’m trying to say is I am a woman.
I did not eat a fruit after being tempted by a talking snake.
I am not the cause of the world’s suffering.
I am a simply a woman who wants to be treated like a human being capable of having a voice, having that voice validated, and being able to make decisions regarding my personal life and body. And if that makes a feminist, then I am a very proud feminist.
And I hope you are too, damnit.