The other day there was a discussion about the abominations to be found in Proverbs 6:17 and the fact that “haughty eyes” was number one on the list of things God really dislikes. Somebody didn’t understand and thought that was a bit silly.
I so thoroughly understand this one that it is burned into my very soul like, well, like somebody’s haughty eyes. Eyes are the windows to our souls, they reveal who we are and what we project out into the world. Our eyes seldom lie, even when our lips do. It’s no accident that some people like to hide themselves behind sunglasses. Often those who do, want to read people without being read themselves. Eyes are powerful.
If you are familiar with narcissism, you are probably familiar with haughty eyes. Narcissists will use their eyes to project their hatred onto you. Some people call it shooting daggers, or giving somebody the evil eye. There is a coldness there, a hatred, something a bit hard to describe, but it is empty and void of any humanity. Sometimes they will do it behind your back, but it is still a tangible thing, you can feel it burning into you. Hatred has a substance to it that can actually be felt, even in complete silence.
Sometimes people will do an imitation of haughty eyes, glare their disapproval at you. Sometimes people will look at you with contempt or pity or other assorted attempts to be demeaning. Those are haughty eyes too, but they don’t quite capture the full impact of the real thing.
In the KJV I think they’re called “proud eyes.” Many people get confused about pride these days, they perceive it more as feeling good about yourself, taking pride in your work, having a proper sense of your own value. Those are all good things, but pride is actually the exact opposite of that. It is tightly entwined with shame and goes along with conceit, egotism, arrogance, vanity, and feelings of superiority. Pride is not strength at all, it is weakness. Pride is like something that walls off an infection of shame. Prideful people are carrying around a bunch of shame and the only way they know to relieve themselves is to try and unload it onto someone else. If you don’t graciously allow them to unload their shame on you, they can get hateful about it.
Narcissism is an extreme form of this pride/shame disorder, all mingled into one’s sense of self and identity, or lack thereof. For narcissists, trying to unload their shame on others is a way of life. Using haughty eyes against someone is really a form of murder, you are trying to kill somebody’s very soul. Those who have survived narcissism will understand what it feels like to have somebody try to murder your spirit every single day. Near as I can tell, scripture pretty clearly tells us God considers the attempted murder of somebody soul to be an abomination to Him, an offense.
Women are especially vulnerable to falling into the trap of haughty eyes. By nature we’re simply more passive/aggressive and lean towards subtlety more. Contempt is another weapon women tend to use to try and make our way in the world. The problem comes when we’re carrying around a lot of shame and rather than taking responsibility for it, healing it, we try to dump in on someone else, usually somebody that doesn’t deserve it. If it gets bad enough, we can easily slide into attempted soul murder, contempt and haughty eyes.
In the midst of all this heavy stuff, it strikes me as somewhat amusing that what men often tend to fear or dislike the most is contempt from women. Naturally women have conversely developed a finely tuned potential contempt weapon. Everybody has to have an arsenal of some sort. Out in the world and in the bible you can observe the fear and dislike men have for women’s contempt. In the book of Job for example, the poor guy has lost his entire fortune and is covered in boils. What else gives him grief? His wife’s contempt, she pretty much sneers at him and tells him to curse God and die. Boils people, men would rather suffer boils than a woman’s contempt.
I have a couple of concerns here. First of all, in order for women to truly be empowered in a genuine way, we have to recognize our strengths and weaknesses. So many women are walking around in shame right now, completely unaware of their own power and tossing contempt about like it’s nothing. Second of all, we do not want to live in a world full of wounded men covered in boils, now walled off from empathizing with women because they have been so over exposed to our contempt.
This is yet another one of the dangers of feminism. If you study the movement you will discover that each phase of feminism has always created a backlash. For every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Often the reaction feminists seek to create, comes back to them in reverse.