‘Patriarchy is about power and control’

‘Patriarchy is about power and control’ October 20, 2012

Danielle @ From Two to One: “Slut-Shaming & Related Attempts to Silence Women”

In sum, patriarchy is about power and control. For some, they believe that men should be in power and control because they believe God or tradition or both say so. But it is still about power. Let’s not sugarcoat patriarchy with less offensive (or more confusing) terms like complementarianism that diminish women’s voices rather than amplify them.

… I also read a review of Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood that shockingly packed deep-rooted misogyny into a single sentence – even a single word. I’m not going to link to the site, but the author, “Will S.”, spits:

Frankly, I think she’s an annoying evil postmodern liberal femingelical [most revealingly reductive misogynist expletive imaginable] herself, and I’m not alone among Christians in disliking her.

This man calls himself a Christian.

I was not expecting that word, let alone expecting it come from a Christian’s lips in vitriolic attack of another image-bearer of God, another sister in Christ. But should I be surprised?

Cheryl B. Anderson: “Christians and Reproductive Justice: Hearing New Voices”

Conservative Christians, on the one hand, understand Judges 19 to condemn homosexuality, (focusing the intended act of the men in Gibeah) and, on the other hand, liberal Christians see Judges 19 as addressing the issue of hospitality (focusing on the host’s efforts to protect the Levite). Both interpretations are problematic for several reasons, but my point here is that both interpretations — whether done by conservatives or by liberals — do not address the damaging way the females are treated in the text. My fear is that, over time, ignoring the harm caused to women has become equated with the Christian tradition itself. Yet the need to support reproductive justice initiatives becomes clearer when we hear the voices of the women who are harmed by a lack of justice. If Christians are to hear the voices of women today, they need to start reading texts such as Judges 19 in ways in which a woman’s voice can be heard — or in ways that make us aware of the silence where her voice should be heard.

Richard Beck: “Life and Sex”

Concern about sex muddles the logic of the Pro-Life movement. It’s hard, from a policy stance, to be both for life and against the sexual revolution at the same time. For example, you want to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies but you don’t want tax dollars to go toward contraceptives. Or you start questioning the stories of rape victims to make sure the woman isn’t getting away with something. In your zeal to roll back the sexual revolution you become callous toward and skeptical of victims needing your help. That’s a tragic place for the church to be — calloused toward victims.

This isn’t to say that the conservative concern over sexual ethics is wrong-headed. It’s just that it has been folded into the Pro-Life conversation in a way that confuses the picture. You think you’re talking about life when we are often talking about sex (and its consequences). In my personal opinion, you can’t have it both ways from a policy perspective. If you want to protect life then that’s the priority, that’s what you have to do. Even if that means swallowing a bitter pill, like seeing tax dollars go toward contraception. And really, is that so hard a pill to swallow given how much of our tax dollars go to, say, defense spending? Last time I checked condoms were less expensive than bombs.

Caperton: “Safe and legal. And rare.”

So yes, we should want abortion to be rare — not because there’s anything wrong with it as a procedure, or because it’s horrific or universally traumatizing, but because we’d generally rather not have to pay money and undergo minimally invasive medical procedures if we can avoid them. Um, hi. It’s also often a sign that societally, we’ve missed a few holes we need to fill in. You don’t fix that by outlawing the solution — you fix that by fixing the problem, creating a world where women who don’t want to be pregnant don’t have to get pregnant and women who want to carry their pregnancies to term are able to do so. And until you’ve fixed that — and forevermore after you’ve fixed that — your only option is to protect the hell out of a woman’s right to choose what’s best for her life.


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