I stumbled upon an article titled Sexual abuse won’t stop unless the church puts women in power the other day. Is it me or is this ridiculous “women in charge will stop all war/rape/pedophilia” meme picking up in frequency? I’m not even going to begin to debunk this silly claim, by now refuting this nonsense is becoming old-hat. What I will do however is explore the reason this nonsense continues to rear it’s ugly head over and over again despite it being so easily refuted. We begin with a quote from the author, a concerned male Christian.
There is no single, magic answer to the epidemic of abuse in the church, both Protestant and Catholic. But increasingly, I’m convinced of one thing: the abuse won’t end as long as men are the sole arbiters of power.
When a woman has to go before an all-male elder board for permission to end her marriage to a confessed child porn addict, that’s a recipe for perpetuating abuse.
Sure, they might apologize later for “not communicating clearly” or for being too “heavy-handed.” But if they don’t confront the root problem—men claiming sole power by divine right—then it’s just going to happen again. And again and again. Any theology that insists on a God-ordained “male priority” (yes, that’s the term they use) is complicit in the cycle of abuse.
Let’s address this first and foremost, the idea that religions are tools of “patriarchal oppression” is one of the biggest tropes we hear from professional female victims, any look at the abrahamic religions in particular will demonstrate that religions are, like most other institutions we find in civilization, arranged and cultivated in such a way that women are protected and favored, many times at the expense of men.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts and on videos on my youtube channel that women tend to prefer male leaders/bosses over female ones. Gallup poles spanning over sixty years have consistently shown this to be the case, women in the majority see leadership as a male thing, the reasons for this are complex. Women, I believe understand on some level that most women wish to coast through life with as little work as possible. Yes, men also wish to do this, it is human after all to want to work as little as possible with the most amount of reward for your work, but women are not ignorant of the fact that although everyone wants to coast through life on the boardwalks of easy street, civilization must be maintained and it’s damned hard work. Somebody has to keep things running, someone has to suck petrochemicals out of the ground, somebody needs haul tons tons of goods everyday on the freeways of civilization, someone needs to keep food in the supermarkets, and that someone, will almost always be male. This male, like his female counterpart wants to coast through life on easy mode, but he knows that he simply cannot, that failing to deliver the goods will not result eventually in him saying “this isn’t fun anymore” and relying on his non-existent uterus for his sustenance, he has no uterus to fall back on, thus he delivers and he makes sure he delivers on time, every time.
I have a friend who, for the purposes of anonymity will be called Joe. Joe gets up to all sorts of… seemingly unnecessary activities to pass the time, he makes his own beef jerky, he has an almost obsessive preoccupation with firearms, his wardrobe can be best described as duck-dynasty chic. Of course, I don’t care about his wardrobe or his hobbies, I consider him a friend because he’s an all around good human being as far as I’m concerned, I share this with you simply to paint a picture, a picture of a man who is a bit rough around the edges and certainly not young, pretty, neotenous or female, but always unequivocally competent, the guy you need when in a real serious jam. Joe simply gets things done, he doesn’t make excuses, he doesn’t give a sob story, when you need him, he’s there… men look up to that, they admire it, respect it and even strive to emulate it to each other, out of a deep sense of reciprocity and mutual respect, but women depend on… even exploit the Joe’s of the world. An example of this; the first introduction to the character known only as “Slim” in John Steinbecks of mice and men.
A tall man stood in the doorway. He held a crushed Stetson hatunder his arm while he combed his long, black, damp hair straight back. Like the others he wore blue jeans and a short denim jacket. When he had finished combing his hair he moved into the room, and he moved with a majesty achieved only by royalty and master craftsmen. He was a jerkline skinner, the prince of the ranch, capable of driving ten, sixteen, even twenty mules with a single line to the leaders. He was capable of killing a fly on the wheeler’s butt with a bull whip without touching the mule.There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke. His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love. This was Slim, the jerkline skinner. His hatchet face was ageless. He might have been thirty-five or fifty.His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.His hands, large and lean, were as delicate in their action as those of a temple dancer. He smoothed out his crushed hat, creased it in the middle and put it on.
The “Prince of the ranch”, who “moves with majesty”, Steinbeck says. Pop open the worlds religious tomes and you’ll discover that this language is eerily similar to the language reserved for the messiahs of our great religions. Our gods, at least the monotheistic ones, the “leaders” that lead us in the afterlife, all of them are the picture of utter competence and omnipotence. If we need someone to deliver our nations produce on time, every time, we picture and know intrinsically that it will be men doing it, likewise when we wish to imagine a being that will offer us eternal consciousness in the afterlife, we expect a man to deliver it as well, an omnipotent god is the ultimate leader, him not “delivering the goods” translates to the eventual annihilation of our consciousness, it’s no wonder the church puts its faith in our “father” instead of a great matriarch goddess of some sort. Gaia may be the womb of the earth, a goddess in her own right, but our father, who art in heaven, that guy? well… he created Gaia, and a billion others like her strewn about the cosmos along with her.
Thus men do not claim “sole power by divine right” in the church, they are ceded this power, by both men and women since both men and women know that if we are to entrust something as important as eternal life to anyone, that someone, even if he is a god, better have a penis… both genders equate masculinity with no-nonsense reliability. This is why the phrase “man up” so often accompanies a request for a man to bite the bullet and “get something done” that by all accounts he does not wish to do.
Perhaps that’s why even in God’s kingdom men are still expected to do all of the work, perhaps that’s why even in the monotheistic religions all of these rules sprang up surrounding the agency of women, or lack thereof and the ability of women to take part in the church. When it comes to the business of securing everlasting life people are deathly afraid of the possibility that if we leave this on the shoulders of women, they won’t, when we all make that inevitable transition into the afterlife, deliver on the promise of that everlasting life. For the record, I do not believe in Gaia or any of these religious figures, I speak in allegory, in hopes of explaining the religious beliefs of humanity instead of persuading you to adopt them.
If we are going to structure our morals and our behaviors around these religions, around these… monotheistic religions in particular, then there better be a man disseminating this everlasting life when we get to the other side, otherwise no one would believe it, male or female. This holds true even if there is no god, since religion is our faith in an omnipotent being instead of our proof of one. On top of this, even though the male gods of men are still expected to do all of the work, our religions still manage to pander to women despite their focus on masculine omnipotence.
Think about the omnipotent creator of the universe who created the trillions of stars and the trillions and trillions of molecules in the universe and the galaxies and the earth, our home. This omnipotent creator still, it seems, needed to use the womb of a human woman in order to transmit his only begotten son to us, an omnipotent being apparently needs a woman’s womb, comprised of molecules he created in order to create a messiah? logic would follow that if he created the universe, he created all of the molecules of the universe, and he should be able to create whatever molecular arrangement makes a messiah at will, no?
Apparently not, The bible’s Kwisatz Haderach is still beholden to the golden uterus it seems. This is passive deification of women, women are everything, yet they do nothing. At the very least when we deify the male form he has to have had earned it somehow, but at least here, with this explanation we can put to bed the notion that men have “kept women out of religion”, they have not, in fact men have made religion easy for women, and given Mark Driscoll and others like him, they’re making it harder for men in the church by the day. I myself will never step foot in a church again, but i will continue to document the phenomenon of the churchian whiteknight/mangina, and with that, we return to our article.
Of course, it’s easy to point the finger at those who wear the term “patriarchy” as if it were a badge of honor. The truth is, many of us who reject patriarchy haven’t done much better. We may accept the notion of gender equality in principle. But if the composition of our leadership is any indicator, we haven’t fully embraced it in practice. (Case in point: though the Episcopal Church has been ordaining women for almost 40 years, the active priesthood is still two-thirds male.)
How interesting, I’ve done articles on the new pantheon of “man up” preachers and proselytizers in the Christian church that routinely get up on their pulpit and lecture men on the damages that their sinful, that is non matrimonial, deeds have wrought on the good wholesome Christian family unit, with Mark Driscoll being the most notable example. The Driscoll approach seems to come almost exclusively from a tradcon perspective, but in this we see for the first time that I can recall, a supplicating male feminist mangina Christian evangelist. Take note of how universal this all is gentleman, the trad-con vs mangina male feminist tug of war for female approval. Will we see the emergence of an affirmative action gender quota in the Christian Church? Only time will tell.