The website BiblicalGenderRoles has made an appearance here before for its discussion of how God is totally cool with rape within marriage. And how God wants women to eliminate rape from their vocabulary. And how God wants husbands to withhold money from their wives as punishment.
More recently, BGR’s spokesman-for-God answers a burning question: How can you help the women in your life “learn their place“?
First, though, he explains the necessity of women playing their assigned roles. Women, you see, are often thinking for themselves. Valuing themselves. Even — brace yourself — doing things that the men in their lives don’t always approve of. And this is very bad.
We have women saying things in the wrong place or in the wrong way. Women showing no deference or respect toward men. Daughters showing little to no respect for their fathers and wives showing little to no respect for their husbands. Wives routinely shame their husbands in public not to mention in private. Daughters disobey their fathers and wives routinely disobey their husbands with impunity. Many women pursue selfish career ambitions instead of being ambitious for marriage, child bearing and homemaking.
Naturally, this cannot be. So if you, like the intrepid Servant-of-God at BGR, are tired of uppity women not obeying their masters (this is, literally, the word he uses when referring to husbands), he has a list of points, all supported by Bible verses, for use in indoctrinating the young woman in your life.
He starts off with policing a girl’s speech. The Godly Girl is not “loud or boisterous but instead she is quiet and meek.” After a few admonitions against gossip and encouragements to hold her tongue when appropriate, he gets to what a girl should aspire to in life:
She is ambitious to be a wife, mother and homemaker
When she has a home she is ambitious toward the care of it and is never lazy or idle
When she has children she is ambitious to be joyful in her care of them
Because, remember, a career is “selfish.” It’s not just her ambition that matters, though. Her sexuality and appearance are also very, very important.
She protects her virginity for marriage and does not manipulate men with her sexuality
In marriage she ravishes her husband with her body and she never defrauds him
She dresses in a way that never places her femininity in doubt
She dresses appropriate to the occasion (modestly)
She cares for her beauty knowing that her husband desires it as God desires the beauty of his church
Luckily, none of these things are at odds with one another. It’s easy. A woman just has to be an experienced virgin, while simultaneously prioritizing modesty as she looks good for her husband.
A good woman also has to realize that she’s essentially a child, says BGR. A baby-making child, entirely dependent on and answerable to her male guardian.
She has a submissive spirit as opposed to a contentious spirit
She embraces patriarchy (male authority over women) in the home, the Church and in society
She looks to her father and later her husband for her provision
Now, keep in mind, one post earlier, BGR was talking about the threat men face of having to pay alimony and child support to their exes. Aside from the fact that taking advice from BGR is already a good first step on the path to divorce, think about that. The good Christian woman can’t pursue a career, because that’s selfish. She has to be dependent on men, from childhood onward. Anything else is to overturn God’s plan and disrespect her father and husband.
But if this same woman, whose only ambition and experience has been to raise children and maintain a household, expects financial support — even for her children — if the marriage goes south, that’s also terrible… for the man.
He’s not done yet. A woman is expected to be entirely dependent on (and subservient to) men.
She embraces that fact that God has placed her in “the weaker vessel” and that she needs the protection of men
She looks to her father and later her husband for her spiritual guidance
She embraces the fact that God made her to be the helper to her husband, not him to be her helper
She sees her husband as her master and not her equal partner
Many Christian misogynists attempt to explain their demeaning patriarchal views as a sort of divine separate-but-equal status between men and women. It inevitably leads to male dominance of women. BGR is every bit (and probably more) of a misogynist than those who pretend that controlling women isn’t because they believe men are superior, but he embraces his misogyny head on instead of hiding behind empty platitudes. Husbands and wives aren’t “separate but equal” in his view. Men are the masters, and women the “weaker vessel.”
It’s disgusting, but I suppose we should give him credit for not trying to be deceptive about it… in the same way that Donald Trump deserves credit for shouting what the Republican Party generally conveys in whispers and knowing nods.
He still wasn’t finished telling women what to do:
She does not nag her husband into doing what is right
She wins her husband by her righteous behavior toward him in spite of his failings
She never makes her husband ashamed, but rather she brings him honor
She reverences her husband’s position despite the flaws of his person
She influences and teaches other women to be good wives and mothers
She realizes that her greatest legacy is built by what she does in her home and not what she does outside her home
It doesn’t really matter what failings her husband — I’m sorry, master — might have; a good wife reveres him anyway, never nagging or shaming his behaviors, whatever they might be. If she just keeps being nicer, they’ll correct themselves. (Naturally, since the man is master and spiritual guide, this reverence only goes one way — she must be open to correction, but must never correct!)
This is a worldview that empowers abusers, disregards the intellect and limits the potential of women, and destroys healthy relationships between women and men.
Fortunately, much of humanity has already left these toxic notions in the dustbin of history where they belong. As BGR seems keen to demonstrate, however, there are always misogynists longing for the good old days when women were kept in “their place.”
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Daniel for the link)