Power, Purity, Meekness and God. The Ugly Reality of Rape Culture.

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bells, May 23, 2015.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This is the part where I wait for someone to try to tell you there is no such thing as rape or ownership cultures.

    This is also American Christianity. This manner of perversity has been around from the outset.

    I mean, even Cotton Mather's own father, Increase, was a preacher with a known penchant for the laying on of hands with female parishioners. One of the most famous stories of our precolonial history is the seventeenth century trial of Anne Hutchinson, banished from the community for being an uppity woman. When Americans wax triumphal about a "Christian nation", the misogyny is just part of what they praise God for.
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  3. Bells Staff Member

    Let's see what Larry says!

    In the Bible a man’s wife and children were considered his property

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17 (NASB)

    This is idea of a man’s wife and child being considered his “human property” is confirmed by these other teachings of the Bible:

    A man paid a bride price to a woman’s father for her hand in marriage – the father did not have to consider his daughter’s wishes in the man he chose for her.

    A man paid the bride price to a woman’s father if he had pre-marital sex with her, and the father still had the choice of whether he would give his daughter to this man in marriage. Pre-marital sex was considered a property crime against the father of virgin that had been defiled.

    When a man committed adultery with another man’s wife he and she could be executed. This was considered a property crime against the woman’s husband. If a married man had sex with a prostitute this was not considered adultery, but rather the sin of Whore mongering as no property crime was committed.

    The fact that a man was allowed under Biblical law to sell his son or daughter as a slave confirms that children were considered the property of their father (assuming he was a free man, and not a slave who had been given a wife by his master).

    The only exception to this idea of a man’s wife and children being his property was if the man was a slave and his master gave him another slave as a wife. If the male slave were to freed, the master did not have to release his wife and children with him.


    Wife – this truth that God has given your husband owner over you might at first be scary. It’s scary because we all know that human authority can be abused. But God calls you to have faith in him, and faith in his design. This does not mean your husband will never mistreat you, or sin against you because he is a sinner just like you. Also know that just because God has made you the property of your husband this does not mean as “human property” that you have no rights. You have certain human rights and additional rights as a wife that your husband must respect – otherwise God will hold him accountable.

    God did not give your husband ownership over you to crush or dehumanize you, but to provide for you what he knows you need. Once you understand how God view’s a husband’s ownership over his wife – it should give you comfort that if he owns you the way that God owns us all, you have nothing to fear.

    This will then free you to embrace your husband’s ownership over you. It will humble you and help you put aside that sinful pride that can often rise up in your heart. You will be able realize you are not your own – you were bought with a price, and God gave you to your husband.

    “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NASB)

    “For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” – I Corinthians 11:7(NASB)

    He then goes on to praise the virtues of slavery, when done properly and as the bible says...

    I have left out the litany of biblical verses he uses to excuse all of this, there are just too many.. Where he describes how and why a man owns his wife and children and why women and children must "willingly submit to the authority of the husband and father in the home".. In other sections of his website, he discusses what a man can and should be doing if his wife does not "submit" to his authority. Such as his "7 ways to discipline your wife" page... Ah that page.. Recommended that it is read with "Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?", where he concludes, again after a litany of biblical verses that explain the how and why women should submit to their husbands and the implications and consequences of her refusal:

    A Christian wife’s submission to her husband is not voluntary, it is mandatory and synonymous with obedience. A Christian husband has not only the power to discipline his wife, but he has a duty to do this.

    [Insert going into foetal position and making keening noises here]

    Obedience.. Like she's a dog. She must submit and obey.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    An Ungodly Mess

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    Golf clap?

    Sorry, the demonstration is just so apt; is there a polite way to point out the actual infantilization of women taking place in some of this ideology?

    Here's a fun one, because we're only a hundred fifty or so years removed, and there are a handful of cultural references I would pass over because, well, right.

    But you know how children sometimes ask straightforward questions that make the grown-ups uncomfortable for various reasons. So, the next time you happen to be around some sort of museum or other such display of, say, fashion history, and one of the kids stands and stares at a dress from a particular late-century European fashion period, and asks the obvious question, give the obvious answer.

    A couple versions:

    "How does she go to the bathroom in this thing?"

    ―[looks puzzled] What do you mean, 'go to the bathroom'?

    "How does she go to the bathroom in this thing?"

    She doesn't. Er ... ah ... rather, well, yeah. Like you said. How does she go the bathroom 'in this thing'?

    Because right up there with eating chalk or cotton balls, refusing cancer treatment, and high heels for the career woman, there was in fact a time and place when soiling herself was simply part of the price of being a fashionable, proper woman.

    And while it's hard to sketch an analytic outline of the modern notion that calls itself "Christian Domestic Discipline"↗ insofar as, like the Men's Rights movement, it appears to be a fairly small population of unmitigated sickness―only more so―neither is it remotely surprising. And while that cohort might be extreme in its definition and praxis, it is in achieving that extremity merely an escalation of historical themes in which lust and misogyny make some naughty, and proudly present that bizarre bastard offspring in which the line between youthful vitality and openly juvenile ceases to exist and becomes a standard of merit for woman's presentation, because, well, you know, above all else, the good obedient girl is the good obedient sexy girl.

    But if London and Paris in the nineteenth century are a particular emergence of a neurotic priority on a fairly massive societal scale, and as much as I want to make a crack about the good reverend here, the "About" page on Larry Solomon's website is merely another insanity that blows all this to hell.

    London and Paris.

    Oh, yeah. That's it. Okay, so Victorian and Edwardian societal mores can easily be collected for psychoanalysis; it's a scary undertaking. But what would this "spank your wife" Disciplinary movement be by comparison? Because the IT guy's thesis on what women owe men is considerably closer to the "What the fuck?" of the other than the heavy sigh, shaking of head, and exasperated, "O! humanity!" that comes from trying to figure out Victorians and Edwardians.

    Maybe it correlates with time for some reason. I mean, compared to pissing yourself for fashion, what the hell am I supposed to think of the Duggars? This tech dude with a wannabe sexy orthodoxy is the punch line. You know, the Guardians of Female Chastity, keeping our daughters pure for our later exploitation, or something.

    It's like the seventy-two virgins thing. And, you know, one of the last times I ever saw Dennis Miller actually being funny, his punch line was, that it would be boring to have seventy-two virgins because every once in a while you want a woman who knows how to slip you the finger.

    Go figure.

    But I wonder, compared to this arc of institutional sexual deviance, how many Christians would really want to answer for this rape factory called marriage.

    You know, since we're supposed to have a problem with Muslims and their seventy-two virgins in Heaven. Can we spare a thought for the Christian women on Earth? That kind of thing.

    But if the purity cult is the setup, Mr. Solomon is the punch line.

    And Poe's Law is in effect here. To that point I would simply note that if Mr. Solomon has dedicated such effort to crafting some manner of provocateur's joke, well, sure, I'll applaud, but I will also worry about the artist's state of mind. It's possible to go too deep.

    And this? I really wish I could promise you it's some sort of joke. But I'm too often wrong when I say such things, and it's also true that he's hardly innovative. That is, he might be the one who just came out and said it. I've heard myriad degrees of this stuff over the course of my life; it is nearly a crystallization of the ambient misogyny into which I was raised.

    If I said, "What ever happened to Fay Wray?" I doubt I could explain the joke. Funny, that. I started with a piss joke, because it was funny and relevant. I don't mean to mansplain, but the truth is that this Mr. Solomon has done nothing more than attempt to collect and organize the underlying misogyny of a twisted virtue so close to my memory it's like family.

    And it has its effect. Why do you think I'm so terrified of myself? Mr. Solomon has distilled a tremendous amount of how I, a receiving gay man―and thus, by the bigoted custom of my time, the woman in a gay male relationship―learned to view women as relationship partners. With so many disease vectors, and intimate and sexual violence numbers virtually untrackable, it's really easy to terrify myself. And, you know, one might be tempted to think one of the privileges of masculinity is never having to put up with that shit. Actually, the privilege of masculinity on that count is never having to see it from a woman's perspective. You know, because I can't. And some days that seems like a blessing.

    And while I've learned over the years what's wrong with such expectations, yeah, you know, I'm pretty sure we all would be better off had I never learned the expectations. And it's true, there are apparently places to find women who can fulfill such artificial needs, but I have never been materially suited to the head of any household; nor can I (ahem!) "fake it" for Jesus.

    And while I can say my big mistake was failing to recognize that the distinction between "person" and "lover" is not exclusive, or even polish my knobs with a #NotAllMen, I'm not certain the question of crossing this line or that really has any meaning insofar as the rest of the bullshit is concerned. I might easily dispense lines about the millions of times daily women let it pass, because it's their husbands or boyfriends groping and pawing and pressuring, but only most days can I look at myself in the mirror. The lack of a felony or body count is what it is, but the human rights disaster is such to tremble and cringe in shame. So in this context I can at least say that it's hard to thump my chest for any notion of progress since I and, especially, my female partners throught his lifetime, would have been much better off had I skipped the voyage entirely by never learning such stupid notions as a husband's prerogative and a wife's duty.

    And it's like looking at an old photograph: Really? That's me?

    Except with a twist. Think of it this way, it's the reason why it took me so long to pick up on why Steinem is correct about pornography. Because that is supposed to be me, so it can't be bad. So, for the record, to those who think this is all stuffy and stodgy and depressing, yeah. What ever happened to Fay Wray? I can't tell you how much I enjoyed resolving that one.

    But this evil is pretty much nostalgic. And that's why it scares the living fuck out of me. I know the power of this Dark Side.

    Wait. Here we go. Got it.

    No, really, this is almost entirely real time.

    Okay, look, this is also the reason I consider myself unsuitable for gender transition.

    No, really, if I say I'd rather be a woman, just what does that mean? What, in this context, is womanhood?

    Because it sure as hell ain't all this.

    That is to say, what attracts me to the idea of actually being a woman is, in fact, twisted jealousy. And when I think about what I envy, I seriously must be crazy. Why in the world would anybody make that trade? Except they're not me, so I can't say what my brothers and sisters are chasing. And, yes, for me these outcomes whisper ominous potential, and what seems even more horrifying is that I will never face the true heart of the evil. It is impossible, and unhealthy, to speculate what sort of misadventures my miseducation might contribute to, but if it ever comes to that, I'm still a man, and the man across from me or on top of me or whatever will know that, and it will be a different dynamic, and in the end I will still be a man, so that sort of shit won't be every fucking day of my life.

    But, yeah. There you have it. I mean, sure, it's incomplete and all, but there's no way I can circumscribe the whole thing. Mr. Solomon's is a particularly sharp expression of mixed themes so familiar to me they might as well be the air I breathe.

    At the very least, though, somebody finally went and tried to say it all at one time. I'll give him that credit at least, though it's probably offset by what I perceive as the requisite desperation of undertaking the task in the first place.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Everyday Rape Culture

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    Smile: Haven't you heard?

    Just, you know, another day.

    And even though I wanted to reply, to put each of those scared little baby men in their place, I held my tongue, I privated my account, and I waited in my car outside Ralph's daycare until my hands stopped shaking and my heart slowed down.

    I did this because unlike these men, with online pseudonyms, it's me online. My face, my name. And because I am afraid of retaliation, I had to hide on the Internet the same way I'd have to run and lock my front door if this man had said that to my face.

    That. Is. Rape. Culture.

    It's a group of men who are so threatened by the existence of female opinion that it's nothing to them to toss off a tweet like that. Because, can't I take a joke? Because, why am I such a bitch when a man just wants me to smile? Because, what business do I have posting a *gasp* selfie and telling men how to treat me?

    This exchange, in the big scheme of things, is nothing. Really, these people are nothing to me and I could just keep ignoring it and pretend it never happened and hope that they let me slide out of their part of the Internet and stay on the sunny side. I've watched my husband die in my arms so on the scale of Shit That Matters, a few tweets... don't.

    Even in the big picture of the cesspool that is Twitter (Jack, dude, get it under control), this is nothing. Women experience worse. Every day.

    That's why this matters.

    (McInerny Purmort↱)

    Or so I hear.


    Deutsch, Barry. "Street Harassment". Ampersand. 1 September 2010. LeftyCartoons.com. 7 November 2015. http://bit.ly/1H3WEkD

    McInerny Purmort, Nora. "My Opinion Doesn't Justify Your Rape Threats". The Huffington Post. 6 November 2015. HuffingtonPost.com. 7 November 2015. http://huff.to/1QkEDnM
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    That we might not be surprised should not offer any comfort:

    Things just keep getting worse for Bill Gothard. If you thought your 2014 and your 2015 were challenging, sorry, buddy, but this year's going to be even more intense. On Wednesday, ten women filed suit against the Christian homeschooling leader―best known for his close ties to the puzzlingly still-famous Duggar clan―accusing him and other members of his organization with “sexual abuse, harassment and cover-up.”

    Gothard is the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, an organization “established for the purpose of introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ and dedicated to giving clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God's principles found in Scripture” He's also the founder of the Advanced Training Institute International home education program. As a bonus, he has been embroiled in controversy over sexual misconduct since at least the eighties, when Gothard's brother Steve resigned from IBLP after allegations he'd had affairs with “several secretaries” at the Institute. At the time, Gothard himself briefly stepped down amid allegations he'd known about his brother's behavior and done nothing.


    Since 2012, Recovering Grace, a site for former members of the “Gothard generation” to share their experiences, has revealed numerous stories of individuals who say they “survived physical and/or sexual abuse that causes nightmares and trauma even today.” In 2014, Gothard resigned from the Institute, following allegations of sexual harassment and failure to report child abuse. Then this past October, five women came forward to sue the Institute, seeking $50,000 each in damages and claiming “the organization and its board of directors enabled and covered up sexual abuse and harassment of interns, employees, and other participants in its programs.”

    As the Washington Post first reported this week, the original five women have been joined by five others in an amended lawsuit that includes the new accusers and adds Gothard's name to the complaint. In the most shocking allegation of the suit, a Jane Doe plaintiff says she was sent to the IBLT after her father and other family members raped her, and that Gothard “taught that children were to obey their parents even if they were being sexually abused.” She further says Gothard and another IBLT counselor sexually abused her during her time there.


    But it's true that the one thing we don't get to be is surprised.

    When I was young, one of the first enduring issues of political awareness among my generation was censorship. Whether it was Tipper Gore's husband calling musicians before the U.S. Senate, or banned books, or the dangers of movies that show women enjoying being non-traditional, the general premise was that young people were too stupid to understand anything. Too stupid to listen to rock and roll. Too stupid to read a book. Too stupid to watch a movie or TV show. And in recent years, we've been discovering that they weren't necessarily wrong; but there is a catch. The censors and moralists might have been right, but they were talking about themselves.

    And that's the punch line. Except it's not funny.

    Because maybe the world really is too perverse for otherwise decent people to control themselves ... if you're one of these moralists. Like the breastfeeding controversy↗, which is only valid as a public decency question if we presuppose the sexualization of breastfeeding, so naturally those who protest basic motherhood in public sexualize breastfeeding. They're talking about themselves.

    This is what purity culture is for; it's actually just redundant basic psychology; the perversity they fear, that the ownership aspects of this societal outlook purport to guard against, lives in their own hearts, and the sublimation occurs under cover of layer after layer of recycled perversity. Who the hell else but sexual moralists could implement the idea of sexual harassment and dominance as a means of sexual morality? No, really, this is sexual exploitation ostensibly to guard against sexual exploitation.

    I mean, what, we didn't think it was just anti-gay conversion therapy↗, did we? Summer camp to straighten out your daughter? And there's a reason the conscience bill in Texas↱ would protect state agents who force children into conversion therapy or deny reproductive health services to abused, pregnant minors.

    There are many organizations within this ideological affiliation; nor is it reserved to some small sphere of influence within society. Driving your daughter across states to shack up at a hotel for a night of dinner, dancing, and pledging to own her sex life↱? Okay, so maybe that might seem like problematic implications limited by sample size, but then there is a Christian education system that is often caught out simply grooming girls for exploitation↱, and such expectations permeate the industry. But then there is, say, Dr. James Dobson↱, a bestselling advocate of purity and ownership ideology. These aren't just some random gatherings of wankers, a few bad apples among the barrel. The whole thing is a sexplay↑ fantasy↑. For the compulsive or simply undisciplined pervert who wants to feel moral, it is nearly everything one could ask.

    The accusations against Bill Gothard's organization should not be viewed as some deviant, spectacularly awful outcome resulting from a bad seed here and there. This spectacularly awful deviance isn't nearly as statistically deviant as our society pretends; that is to say, it's a lot closer to normal than we like to admit. But this formalized, accentuating purity cult itself? This pretense of structural moral immorality? This is what it exists for; it's a pervert's playground.


    Williams, Mary Elizabeth. "More trouble in Duggar-land: Family ally and founder of Christian institute sued over sex abuse allegations". Salon. 7 January 2016. Salon.com. 8 January 2016. http://bit.ly/1PRXSp7
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    I never quite understood completely this whole hypocrisy where a man seems to respect his mother and all of her rights as a female and person but not other women. A man can have the most mysogynistic, sexist, abusive, oppressive, unfair, even nasty and cruel values regarding women but their mother is respected and others better damn well respect her too yet the son is an absolute piece of shit and predator of women. When I run into men like this, I can't respect their mother either. I figure she influenced him in some warped way to just respect her only, even if unconsciously or she didn't make something seriously clear which can even be done in a loving way and the point still made. There seems to be a teaching of you should act a certain way to fit in or because its socially unacceptable, bad for image, against the law but not really about ethics and what they are and why. They aren't an example of it either except as some model of a certain social status or role. And I think I'm right because people deep down know where you really stand and why/what those values are and how important it is. I think women with sons like this give a subliminal message that they may disprove of some behavior but also 'boys will be boys' or 'men will be men' which is just bs, as if being an asshole or handling life issues through dishonesty is just normal mainstream behavior.

    There are just too many philanderers, cheaters, abusers etc that strangely respect their mothers while absolutely and shamelessly atrocious to other women. Its rather disgusting and when I meet a mother of one of these, I find her repulsive as well because not only did she bring this scum into the world but with the respect and influence she has, she didn't have a very positive influence as a woman when that is the most major point of a woman toward a male child!! Its not just about her, he's going to interact with the world! You raise them to be aware of not being taken advantage of but you still should teach them fairness and respect towards women as people and human beings!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

    As an example, an ex's mother told him that one of the problems was 'its how you speak to her' where the message is more akin to you can't get anywhere with piss and vinegar but rather with honey. Its not all about looking at the game of life through a lens of opportunism. The woman wouldn't just say the real truth out of some misguided sense of love or bias and that its rude and inappropriate to be verbally abusive wasn't truly and honestly communicated. That its not right to treat people that way, even when no one else is looking/hearing, weaker etc especially when they werent speaking rudely to you. Hello?? Makes you wonder what the hell is the problem with people.

    Some people are just a certain way genetically but most of the time, there are females in a mans life that either couldn't (depending on society) influence the son or if she could/did, she did a pisspoor job or neglectful in regards to teaching ethics regarding women and relating to them as people. That woman is 79 years old and from the old school who typically did not teach ethics which is centered around the fact other people have feelings and deserve respect which has nothing to do with social status, religious organization, culture, sex etc. The ones with grown sons that are misogynistic, sexist or dishonest are that way because either one or both parents believed in some type of heirarchal value system that some deserve or entitled to respect and others dont or one can be biased depending on what group you identify with. Also many parents just focus on the physical or what one can gain in a reward/punishment system.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Well, the word "seems" seems rather important.

    He might respect her "as a mother", but not as a human being. There are a number of things that go into it, such as who gets to talk about your family in any disrespectful manner (typically other family, customarily differentiated), or whether some words or conduct are appropriately directed at family (ritual mating behavior, &c.), and it's generally a similar functional device to something else I noted in this thread, the idea of the "wrong woman"―e.g., part of the problem in with Duggar-style purity and ownership culture is the dim view of women itself insofar as for them it would seem that part of the problem is not so much that Josh Duggar obliged a female, but, rather, that he obliged the wrong female.

    In the traditional culture by which I was raised there existed an implicit reserved men's sphere; for our purposes the idea of "locker room talk", or basic and useless "pub talk" suffice. And in this tacit tradition you can say pretty much anything you want about a woman in an abstract context, or even that one across the bar, that slut who obviously wants every guy's attention because why else would she be wearing that or laughing loudly or whatever else, and whether it is that she just needs to be fucked properly or fucked in the ass or fucked 'til she can't walk right or whatever else―in the dark? from behind? with a bag over her head because she's not attractive enough?―but as soon as someone says it about my wife, or my daughter, or my mother, or my sister, then, well, then we're out of bounds. Nelson and Lisa, I think, and he says something about the state of the Simpson family, and she responds that he can't talk about them that way, and he points out that she criticizes her family all the time, and in a hurt, almost mystified voice she explains the obvious, "But they're my family", because for all the fights we have with parents or siblings, nobody else gets to say all that about them.

    Because nobody gets to call your mom a bitch, or your dad a faggot; nobody gets to call your brother a queer or your sister a slut. How many men have I known over the years who wouldn't see their daughter treated the same way he talks about women? It's not because his daughter is any more human and thus deserving of human respect than the next woman, but because his daughter is his. It's not that his wife is any more human and thus deserving of human respect than the next woman, but his wife is his, and only he gets to treat her like that.

    And I also have a phrase, indicting one's whole life. Nobody likes doing that. But there also comes a point when victimhood―a woman trained up to fear and loathe herself―also becomes a participant, bestowing the principles by which she was treated poorly unto the next generation. And for many of these women, what we see in our lives is how they made it through a world including challenges beyond my imagination. And depending on the stakes, it becomes that much harder for any human being to indict the whole of their own existence.

    To the other, when does that question arise?

    If we start with presuppositions including the humanity of any given woman, we also presuppose human frailty. An American mother's dark night of the soul might well come when she discovers that some lesson she taught her daughter is why the girl said nothing about sexual abuse; something she told her daughters might come home to roost when her son is under arrest for raping a girl and he doesn't seem to understand that he has committed rape. Women are human; plenty will do exactly what pretty much any normal human will do, which is struggle to ward off self-indictment.

    Think of the old movie trope, when the boys are holed up and the cops are trying to talk them out. "Tommy, it's your mother. Come out, son. Please. This isn't what I wanted for my son."

    In my own time, a common response for a parent faced with news that their child is gay was to apologize and accept blame for the mistakes that caused this. To the one, I never got the speech, but that's because I waited until middle age to confirm what pretty much everyone else always knew; but it's worth noting that my parents are so human they both lied to be about the past―it's morbidly delightful, because I tell one what the other said, and they hoot with laughter, knowing it's not true, but believing themselves righteous and proper. Like my father saying he would have had no problem with me wearing skirts when I was a kid. That one just doubles people over. To the other, though, I can't imagine that the period when accepting the blame for one's child being gay was considered the decent, rational, mature response did many homosexuals any real good, though, you know, any refuge in a storm.

    What does a mother say in that moment, when every little thing she ever said about duty and expectation comes crashing down because she knows it all played a part in the disaster her daughter must survive?

    Or is she human? Is she going to do what every other human being does, and find ways to deny and push away or bury that sense of unpleasant truth? And let's face it, at the point a mother is dealing with a teenage daughter who has just been through the worst day of her life, that mother might well be dealing in some pretty morbid ideas, like, say, the "little rapes". You know, the countless, "It's rape, but she didn't say anything", occasions that happen every day. She's well-practiced because so many women pass on harassment, and so many women bargain with sexual subjugation because it's just part of being a woman; among these generations it is virtually guaranteed. Maybe she didn't say anything because her mother taught her that's what wives do. And maybe the mother knows it.

    I couldn't define the line between victim and abettor in such circumstances; such conditions do not appear so exclusive, anyway.

    Not that I have any solution for the hypocrisy you perceive; nor do I disagree that the contrast is both confusing and infuriating. Rather, these are the reflections that occur to me.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    No, seriously, what is wrong with these people?

    An evangelical Christian magazine has apologized for running a personal ad for a woman created by her father—without her knowledge.

    "Her: godly, gorgeous, athletic, educated, careered, humorous, travelled, bilingual, 26-year-old virgin," the ad said. "You: unworthy, though becoming less so daily."

    Even creepier, it was posted in the jobs section of Christianity Today.


    The daughter in question, Rachel Stewart, retorted, "At least it's appropriate they placed it in the Employment Opportunities section because putting up with this father-in-law's shenanigans is a full time job, without any paid vacation." The magazine, for its part, is rather quite embarrassed. "We want everything in our magazine to reflect beautiful orthodoxy", explained editor in chief Mark Galli, before assuring, "no ad like this will appear again".

    Rachel wrote she was amused and called the ad "remarkable" on her blog. There she also recounted calling her father after finding out about the ad placed for her future spouse. Her father Stephen reportedly closed his office door before defending his choice to place the ad, and reading it aloud to his daughter. Rachel was "impressed, but not surprised," she wrote.

    A month before Valentine's Day, Stephen told Rachel that he was investing financially in finding her a match, though he refused to give details. He called his plan to find her a man "El Grande" in earlier conversations. (In 2014, Rachel also blogged about her dad's readiness to "promote our beauty to strangers, notifying boys of our availability and convincing parents of our guaranteed familial contributions.)

    "I'm just nervous if this doesn't work out, next I'll find my face plastered on a billboard," she added in her post about the ad. "Oh gosh, now I'm giving him ideas."

    While Stephen Stewart did not answer a Daily Beast request for comment, we might note that the gentleman stands in good company alongside Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and former U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) in considering his daughter something that needs to be advertised for others to claim.

    We keep coming back to that uncomfortable phrase↑ from Judith Butler: "family as the unregulated sexual property of the father". Our entire society would probably be better off if fathers didn't go out of their way to demonstrate the point.

    Your daughters are not commodities; their lives are not yours.


    Zavadski, Katie. "Dad Advertises His 'Virgin' Daughter for Marriage in Christian Magazine". The Daily Beast. 7 March 2016. TheDailyBeast.com. 8 March 2016. http://thebea.st/1XamYjE
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Evangelicals Just Say No to Prominent Pervert

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    Via Religion News Service↱:

    Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles has lost its membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which gives accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations.

    Its membership was terminated last Friday (March 11) for failure to comply with its standards for governance, according to the ECFA website.

    A couple of caveats: Bill Gothard is no longer in charge of the organization; he stepped down in 2014. Meanwhile, RNS↱ reported last month that the number of people suing the Institute founder for sexual harassment is climbing:

    Now 18 people — 16 women and two men — are suing the 81-year-old founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, and the Oak Brook, Ill.-based institute itself, a once influential Christian ministry associated with the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Thousands of conservative Christian families have relied on the IBLP’s home schooling curriculum.

    “It’s very similar to the Bill Cosby situation,” said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, David Gibbs, referring to the sexual assault lawsuit against the comedian. “More and more victims keep coming forward telling the same story.”

    The story told in the pleading filed Wednesday (Feb. 17) paints Gothard and other IBLP leaders as manipulative spiritual authorities, groping girls as young as 13 and persuading them to keep the abuse from their parents. The suit also alleges that Gothard raped one young woman. One of the men suing alleges harsh physical punishment and emotional abuse from IBLP leaders. The other alleges that he was molested by a male IBLP counselor, who is not Gothard.

    Mr. Gothard is a paragon of what moral virtue? See, part of the problem is that allegations don't paint simply a predator, but, rather, a predator who operated in a community in which his actions were construed as virtuous.

    As it is, Gothard is mounting the expected defense; his attorney wants the claimants' attorney thrown off the case, and his team is preparing to sue his accusers. The judge, meanwhile, is looking at the mess piling up in his courtroom and has ordered no more plaintiffs will be accepted; if new accusations emerge, they will have to be a separate suit.

    And while the ECFA's decision might mean little to some of us, it is intended to bear considerable influence in evangelical communities; this is a loss of accreditation. To the other, I would actually expect that when it comes to the purity racket, many simply won't care, or else they might decide it's another case of institutions beating up on the little guy. After all, if Christians wants to hire someone to sexually molest their children as a manner of corrective behavioral therapy, then Christians ought to be able to hire a molester. I might suggest it is not impossible that we will hear some manner of that argument in Gothard's defense; it's already swirling around the periphery of the religious freedom debate in our society. But it would be more accurate to say it seems unlikely we won't.

    Purity culture is a sexual grooming endeavor, because no Christian's liberty is complete until they have someone to sexually abuse. And that's what Bill Gothard and his IBLP are for; they condition Christians to their (ahem!) "appropriate" sexual behavior roles.

    As such, we ought not actually expect this latest development will do much to change anything. Stupid and horny is a dangerous way to go through life, but say it's in Jesus' name, and, well, is it a flock rushing to a shepherd, or a suckerfish in a barrel?


    Markoe, Lauren. "More women sue home-schooling guru for sexual harassment". Religion News Service. 18 February 2016. ReligionNews.com. 19 March 2016. http://bit.ly/22pGcZA

    McFarlan Miller, Emily. "Scandal-plagued home schooling institute loses key accreditation". Religion News Service. 18 March 2016. ReligionNews.com. 19 March 2016. http://bit.ly/1pAQe8X
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Duggar Hole

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    Via HuffPo↱:

    More bad news for TLC as even more advertisers continue to pull ads from the network's new Duggar family reality show.

    Since In Touch reported last week that advertisers were unhappy to learn their spots ran during “Jill & Jessa: Counting On,” eight more companies told the magazine their ads were not intended to run during the show and they will not allow them to air in the future.

    Wrigley, Ring.com, Combe Inc., Credit Karma, Gazelle.com, RCN Corporation, X Out, and Chattem Inc. join Cici's Pizza, The UPS Store, Pure Michigan, Whitewave Foods, Choice Hotels, Mattress Firm and Verizon as companies who have pulled support for the show. That's a total of 15.

    There comes a point at which we might wonder why TLC is trying at all. To the one, it might simply be that the Duggar family misery is not the sort of scandal an enterprise can recover from by rebranding under a new public face. To the other, flip a coin; heads, call it progress, and tails means you ask why it's taken so long just to make it this far.

    Additionally, I would suggest we might actually be in a particular transitional period between an old iteration from the comfort of supremacy to a new counteriteration to rise from the uncertainty of plurality: Attend, over the middle and long terms, what society does with the proposition of marketplace solutions.

    Social conservatism runs up against a fairly literal assertion of market forces. North Carolina faces some degree of backlash from the business community for its bathroom bill that also strips local communities of the power to pass and enforce anti-discrimination measures, and for some reason goes after veterans, as well. Georgia follows other states, most recently and significantly South Dakota, in rejecting a bathroom bill; the Empire State of the South endured heavy pressure from the business community in a scene much reminiscent of Arizona's flirtation with discrimination two years ago.

    But for a long time we have heard occasional talk of leaving divisive social issues to the marketplace, which has long boiled down to letting the majority decide who gets what according to the satisfaction of the majority; it was a counterpoint to guarantees of equal protection under the law.

    We have witnessed in recent years fairly raw applications of marketplace coercion denying soccons traditional comfort of supremacy. The prospect of leaving certain decisions to the marketplace no longer implicitly favors traditional, comfortable supremacism. How deeply each nail is driven is its own question; no firm conclusions present themselves. But, to the one, Animal Planet recently canceled a planned farm show after the family and farm's problematic history was exposed; somewhere in there a TV executive was quoted as saying something about no more bearded expletive weirdos with animals running all over the house.

    And yes, that is an unfortunate analogy in many contexts. Nor is it merely some frustrated executive. But we might be witnessing a strange threshold at which the marketplace itself is saying, "You know, we don't want to sell that." After all, these are sexually-possessive cultists whose dehumanization of women has pretty much proven its own point. To the one is the possibility of the grand and glorious comeback. To the other is the marketplace saying, "You know what? No more perverted expeltive weirdos with dangerous 'family values' running amok."

    Which brings us 'round: Yes, this might be a marker of progress; we'll have to see what comes. No, we need not ignore the question of what took so damn long, but still, we'll have to see what comes before we can assess that context. And, yes, this is potentially ominous for soccon traditional comfort of supremacy, so, yes, it's another blow against the traditional expectation of leaving the marketplace to sort things out.

    That would count as revolutionary, in its own way. Again, heads or tails: It's not much, but, hey, it's something, and no, the obvious subsequent question should not be ignored.


    Marcus, Stephanie. "Advertisers Continue To Pull Ads From New Duggar Show". The Huffington Post. 30 March 2016. HuffingtonPost.com. 30 March 2016. http://huff.to/1RLru3G

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