Biblical womanhood and other undead sexist matters

Working on Undead Sexist Cliches, one thing I keep running across is the deep misogyny of the religious right. We have John Piper, who insists even if you’re dating Black Widow, in a danger situation, you do the fighting…but if the husband slaps his wife around, she has to suck it up. In the male supremacist world of complementarian theology, a man who fails in his duty to care for his wife is less of a problem than a woman who defies her man by not letting him assault her.

THE MAKING OF BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr describes the Southern Baptist author’s realization that complementarianism — the belief women and men have separate spheres and neither should intrude on the other — wasn’t what Piper and similar preachers said. They claimed that by steering Christianity away from the fallen world of “egalitarian” feminist thinking, they were keeping it pure and apart from the world. In reality, their embrace of rigid gender roles simply embraced secular male supremacy and made it Christian (as noted at the link above, separate spheres wasn’t seen as Biblically mandated until women’s liberation was established in the 1970s).

Barr argues that Piper, Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson and others of their ilk get there by ignoring the long history of Christian women preaching and witnessing; mistranslating the Bible to eliminate women’s roles (e.g., women deacons referenced in the New Testament get downgraded because they’re inconsistent with women’s roles) and reinterpreting the Pauline epistles. Barr argues that by Roman standards, what stands out is not Paul saying women must obey their husbands but a)setting responsibilities on husbands and b)addressing his directives to both of them, instead of telling the husband as secular thinkers of the time would have.

This focuses much more on theological issues than my own writing and thinking, but I still rate it excellent.

Now, some links:

The pandemic has hurt women’s careers as they struggle to both work and care for kids stuck at home. Unsurprisingly, conservatives are spinning this as women happily choosing family over career. We’ve been through this before.

A North Carolina bill would raise the age for marriage in this state from 14 to 18. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger is blocking its passage.

The “birthing people” controversy.

Stacey Abrams writes romances. Tucker Carlson thinks this is hysterical.

““It doesn’t matter who you are, what your life is, your situation, who you surround yourself with, how strong you are, how smart you are. You can always be taken advantage of. ” — singer Billie Ellish on abusive relationships.

Teargas can mess up menstruation.



Filed under Politics, Reading, Undead sexist cliches

6 responses to “Biblical womanhood and other undead sexist matters

  1. Pingback: Gods and religion, talking animals and a puppet fox: books and graphic novels | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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