Personal Theology – A Woman’s Place?

A Woman’s Place?

I will start straight off by telling you that I have never considered myself a feminist.  In fact, I have never particularly liked feminists.  When I was growing up, Gloria Steinem was at her zenith, preaching a largely man-hating doctrine.  As a tom-boy, I did not appreciate men being bashed.  I hung out with boys, and found them a hell of a lot more interesting and fun to be with than the stupid girls I went to school with.  Girls played with dolls, wore silly dresses and uncomfortable shoes, and were fascinated with makeup and hairstyles.  I did not have time for that nonsense, and certainly thought that their tendency to cry every time they skinned their knees was… well, it was just plain girlish.  I was trained by my brother to take things like a boy, and that meant not crying over minor injuries, not wearing dresses, and definitely not wasting my time grooming and being groomed by other females.

So, in a nutshell, I was trained by my older brother to behave and think like a boy.  This did not change the fact that I was a girl, that I had girl-type interests and tendencies; it only changed the way in which I choose to view my role, and my limitations, as a girl.  My brother taught me how to fight.  He taught me so well that I no longer fight because I go into the state that the Vikings used to call ‘berserk’, and it is terrifying to behold.  I won’t stop beating the crap out of my opponent, or getting the crap beaten out of myself, until one of us is pounded into the ground to the extent that they cannot get up again, or even move a single digit of a single finger.

All of that is to say that, in my opinion, a woman is a wimpy, simpering thing only because she is trained by her family and her society to be that way.  Instead of mental and physical toughness, women are taught to be manipulative.  To some degree this is not their fault, but to a greater degree it is.  It is easier for a woman to find her way in life if she plays the delicate little flower who needs a man’s help to carry her groceries home.  She also knows that men like nothing more than to have their egos stroked.  So she plays the damsel in distress, and her target gets to play Sir Galahad.  Women are conniving, and men eat it up because they have fragile egos, largely due to the fact that they know in their heart-of-hearts that they are most definitely not the men their ancestors were.

The roles of men and women in history

Modern men, particularly those on the political and social right, have a romanticized notion of what the historical and biblical roles of men and women were.  I can only assume that they get these strange ideas from watching 1950s television shows.  The 1950s, by the way, are not considered ancient history.  The 1950s were, however, a nasty and regressive time in male – female relations.  The reason so many feminists hate the 1950s is because it was the era when Rosie the Riveter was stripped of her job as welder in an airplane factory, and forced back into the house.  During WWII women had proved themselves in a wide variety of ways.  They had gained self-respect and a sense of independence.  Then the men-folk came back home, and Rosie was forced to play the role of the modern housewife.  That is, she was told to be dependent on her husband for money, food and shelter, and, above all, to behave in a manner that he would consider non-threatening to his fragile masculinity.  Rosie cooked, cleaned, popped out children on a regular basis, and provided sex on demand.  Her husband expected her to keep her weight at an acceptable level, to primp and groom herself to his liking, and to fetch his slippers on demand.

Rosie had never been so humiliated!  Never had womankind been treated as such unequal partners!

Did I say ‘never had womankind been treated as such unequal partners’? Well, hadn’t it always been that way?  Wasn’t it always so?  Doesn’t the bible state that a woman’s place is in the home?  Wasn’t Eve created for this very reason?

No.  Absolutely not.  What I am about to say requires a certain degree of intelligence that I fear many people lack, as well as an ability to perceive subtleties along the lines of the difference between a brick and a rock.  A brick is one thing, and a rock is another.  They are similar, but not the same.

All right.  Let us start with Adam and Eve.  Eve was created as a helpmate for Adam, and a companion.  Adam and Eve did not have a kitchen.  Eve was not confined to the kitchen.  She helped Adam tend the garden.  They worked together, and kept each other company.  There is no record of how they split their roles when they had kids.  One can assume that they shared the job of child-rearing.  However, the fact remains that there is no record of how they split it up.  For those too dense to get it: there is no proof that Eve was the first housewife, just as there is no proof that she was the first feminist.  Period.

Now, let us move a little further down in history.  Men and women eventually settled down into family units and households where the men went out and did the heavy work, while the women stayed home and cooked and cleaned.  Wrong.  Look at a farm family: when there is work to do, all members of the family pitch in to do it.  Women milk cows, help plant and help harvest.  They slaughter animals, too.  As soon as the kids are old enough, they are given jobs to do, too.  Everyone pitches in to the best of their ability, talent and strength.

The same holds true when home-industries start up.  Women contribute to the business in some form or another.  A miller’s wife did not remain in the kitchen.  She helped her husband grind the grain, bag the flour, and deal with the customers.  The success of the business was as much her concern, as it was her husband’s.

That is the historical reality of a woman’s role in the family.  The family was a business, and she was a worker in that business.

That is not the same as what befell poor Rosie the Riveter.  Rosie became a victim of the changing times.  The 1950s brought with it a major change in womens’ roles in the family, and not one for the better.  During the two world wars women had contributed greatly to the war effort.  They were moving forward as radio operators, and front-line nurses, they worked in intelligence and went behind enemy lines as spies.  They flew airplanes from base to base, and in Germany, Hanna Reitsch became a legendary aviatrix.  Then, suddenly, the menfolk decided that women should cook, clean, and had over the control of the family finances to men.  Rosie, who a century earlier would have taken payment from people coming to the mill, or the haberdasher, or other home-enterprise, was suddenly given a weekly allowance for groceries, and worse yet, had to ask her husband for permission to buy a new dress.  She wasn’t even allowed to pay the utilities.  Her husband kept the cheque book locked in a drawer in his den.

All of this is to point out how unnatural a woman’s role had become.  It is no wonder that backlash in the form of feminism would soon occur, or that women were so angry at men.

The right or the wrong of what happened next is not the point I want to make here.  What I want people to understand is that the housewife of the 1950s is an anomaly in the history of the human family – at least in the west.  The problem is that it has become enshrined as the role God has assigned to women by men (and other women) on the political and religious right, and this is dangerous in our day and age.

The role of women as viewed by the political/religious right vs. Islam

I am not going to get into the whole lunatic-left ideology of feminism, because, quite frankly, that rubbish is simply a case of ‘we have a common enemy, therefore we are friends (for now at least – after the revolution, we’ll dump you)’.  What I find very concerning for sensible modern women is how the political/religious right wants to impose the 1950s on women all over again.  This is utter stupidity, and I have to say, it is the result of men who are basically losers being frightened of real women.  Think about it: how different is their view of women in society from that of the radical Islamists they purport to be fighting?

Not very.

In radical Islam, a woman remains in the house at all times.  She cannot leave, unless escorted by a male relative.  The husband is even responsible for the household shopping.  When she does set foot outside the door, she must be clothed correctly, lest she bring shame on her husband and her sons.

The political/religious right believe the same thing: a woman’s place is in the home.  The man controls the finances. He decides on all purchases, and she requires his approval to spend money beyond her pocket-allowance.  When she steps out of the house, she must wear makeup and heels and generally maintain her appearance so that she does not embarrass her husband by looking too fat, too plain, too unkempt.  And, even though she can go out on her own, it is only to hen-parties.  Having coffee with a male friend is really not acceptable.

Islam: a woman must provide her husband with sex on demand.

Political/religious right: a woman must provide her husband with sex when he’s horny.  This includes doing it on the living room sofa during televised ballgames.

Islam: a woman has no right to vote.

Political/religious right: women voting fucks things up.

Oh, and here comes the big one… .

Islam: an unmarried woman is a disgrace to her family.  Women must marry and produce offspring.  It is the will of Allah.

Political/religious right: an unmarried woman is a thing of horror.  Women were created for one reason, and one reason only – to produce offspring.  That is what God made them for.

Well, no.  The political/religious right has been ignoring important parts of scripture, and applying only those parts that support its agenda.  Well, in Luke 20, and in Matthew 22, Jesus says something quite different.  In fact, it is based on these scriptures that the monastic life got its start.  Jesus clearly says that the children of this age (his own) marry and are given in marriage, but that in the age to come, they will neither marry, nor be given in marriage, because they will be like the angels (paraphrased).  So, marriage, as we know it, is not God’s will for humans.  It is an aberration resulting from a fallen state.  Humans, and that includes women, who chose not to marry are not acting against God’s will.  We are acting as He made us, and if you believe in Jesus, then you also believe that all the old rules and traditions are no more.  The only rules a true believer must follow are those set out by Jesus himself – and Jesus said marriage would one day be no more.

That is a brief synopsis of a complicated situation.  So now, to the bones of the dilemma.  The left is aligning itself with a foreign religion that is oppressive to women, much in the same way that all the parties opposed to the rule of the Shah in Iran aligned themselves with an Islamic group in order to overturn the existing state of things.  But, in Iran (this comes from someone I once knew who was involved in that revolution), those same groups were sucker-punched by the Islamists and denied their part of the pie.  Bit by bit they were driven out, imprisoned, executed and exiled.  That is the fate that awaits the radical left in the west.  They haven’t learned their history.

The right claims to be opposed to this foreign religion, but we have seen some lackluster opposition to it.  Why would the Austrian president be so la-dee-dah about the fact that women will probably one day have to go under the veil in Europe? (FYI: I am not saying he is right-wing – I am simply using his behaviour as an example.) Well… maybe because, on some level, this is what men who are not like the men of old really want.  The idea of dominating women is appealing to weak men, particularly men on the political/religious right.  As disgusting as it seems, women are actually better off with the ‘feminist’ men of the left, men who are terrified of playing the man, than they are with these fake ‘macho’ men of the right, who have history and religion all wrong.  This is not good for those women who are not the conniving, manipulative type, though.  We – normal, natural women – are now caught between several forces who want to strip us of our person-hood.  If Islam wins, we are screwed.  If the right wins, we are screwed.  If the left wins, with their men-can-have-vaginas nonsense, we are really screwed.

All I can say is ‘God help us all’, because nobody else seems to have the sense or the balls to do it.