Contradictions: Who’s the Visual-est of Them All?

Contradictions: Who’s the Visual-est of Them All? February 27, 2012


by Sierra

Fundamentalists argue that women should dress conservatively because men are visual. This is supposedly something women can’t possibly understand, because women are emotional, not visual. Women become attracted to men through flirtation and flattery; indeed, male visuality is like a foreign language to them. Men are not obliged to cover up for women for this reason.

However, Libby Anne has brought up the following argument that a fundamentalist father made against women’s right to vote:

The first impact of women voters was really felt after the televised Nixon / Kennedy debates.  Nixon, the superior statesman without question, looked “old” and “sweaty”.  But Kennedy?  He was “cute”! The same thing was true for Clinton.

Incidentally, this guy didn’t make this up himself. He may not realize it, but he’s part of a tradition. William Branham made the exact same argument in 1960:

It shall–also has been an evil thing done in this country; they have permitted women to vote. This is a woman’s nation, and she will pollute this nation as Eve did Eden. Women, given the right to vote, elected President-elect Kennedy–by the woman’s vote, the wrong man, which will finally be to full control of the Catholic church in the United States; then the bomb comes that explodes her.*** … Did you notice the rallies on the television? Nixon to be pretty near all men. All of them wanted to kiss Kennedy (the women), jumping astraddle the cars and everything like that, jumping up and down.

So women can’t possibly understand men’s visual sexuality because they don’t have it, but they also shouldn’t vote because they’ll make decisions based on their visual sexuality?

Ladies and gentlemen, need I say more?

***The strange references to the Catholic church and a bomb are part of Message eschatology. Branham claimed that the End of the World would be ushered in by a one-world government, headed by the pope (the antichrist) and that the United States would be “burnt from coast to coast” in a nuclear holocaust.

Discuss this post on the NLQ forum. Comments are also open below.

Sierra is a PhD student living in the Midwest. She was raised in a “Message of the Hour” congregation that followed the ministry of William Branham. She left the Message in 2006 and is the author of the blog The Unspoken Words: A Non-Prophet Message.

Read all posts by Sierra!

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Yes– any argument that can be used to restrict women will be used, even when they contradict one another.

  • Calulu

    Restricting women seems to be a problem that is intensifying in our culture.

  • occhiblu

    I remember reading about a study years ago that showed men with power (i.e., high-status jobs, high salary) prefer attractive female partners, and that women without power prefer high-power male partners — a previous finding that had confirmed the idea that men value looks and women value personality/ability-to-provide — but then also found that women WITH power preferred attractive male partners.

    Basically, if you have no resources/money/power, you survive by partnering with someone who does. If you can get your own resources/money/power, then you’re free to pursue your aesthetic preferences. Visual vs. “emotional” is not a gender binary; it’s a description of how marginalized groups, like women, have survived.

  • Lacey

    Nixon was the superior statesman and Kennedy only won because he was cute? Sure.

  • Lilah

    We could talk about their self contradictions all we want, but one thing is abundantly clear. The fact of the matter is that they want to keep women down come hell or high water, consistency and logic be damned.

  • rosemerry

    The present situation in Texas and some other States, taking away women’s long-acepted (?) rights to privacy and use of their own bodies, coupled with the possibility of a Sick Rant(sic) as POTUS, makes the USA seem medieval in comparison to most Western nations.

  • Bill

    Any woman who watches ‘Oprah’ or ‘The Real Housevives’ should not be allowed to vote. Any man who likes ‘UFC’ or ‘Wrestlemania’ should not be allowed to vote. There, I just solved the nations problems.