I wish we could chat, Pastor Wilson of Moscow fame, and perhaps we shall someday by the coffee fountain in the courtyard where the streets are paved with gold.
I find him quite likeable, terribly wrongheaded on several levels, starting with what we shall most charitably call his antebellum romanticism and progressing on to what I would ever so gently call a, “major blind spot.” All in good fun here, but he is much like a semi tractor-trailer backing up in crowded parking lot and I am furiously pounding on my horn, but alas he cannot see me for I am in his blind spot.
Worse yet, should I manage to grab his attention, pride, ego, that insufferable spirit that afflicts us all will simply rear up and insist, “I know how to drive this thing, don’t tell me what to do!” Naturally this shall be said as we cheerfully back right over the sani-can that was once my car. A “sani-can” being an outhouse for those not in the know.
Anybody ever been in that situation, completely powerless, unable to penetrate that wall of human pride and ego, unable to be heard, rendered totally silent because of power I suppose, dominance, ego, gossip, what I always refer to as, “teh stoopid?”
I have been there, more times than I can count. It is especially galling to be in that situation and have some complete moron pull what I call a “Jesus juke” on you, preach a catchy coffee cup phrase, something like “women submit,” that’s just the way it is. Because bible.
Meanwhile one’s spirit just cries out for justice, like there is no way imaginable on God’s green earth that I am supposed to stand here cheerfully, looking quite fetching even, and simply watch you back over my car. It is my car. Mine, not yours.
And so feminism is often born of such a spirit. We can shake our angry fists and rail against it all we want, but it is a symptom of cause and effect, a logical and rational response to having been trapped in a cage, locked into a system that has rendered you completely invisible for far too long.
I must say, I have no desire to smash the patriarchy. In fact, I am rather fond of the patriarchy, however the devil is always in the details, isn’t it? Is this the patriarchy of Harvey Weinstein? Is this the same patriarchy that has paid out hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on behalf of US congresscritters settling sexual harassment cases?
You know what a bunch of baboons are called? A congress. Am I supposed to celebrate the patriarchy of a bunch of baboons?
Perhaps I am dreaming here, in fact, I am quite sure I am, my eyes are not even on this world, they are resting in another time, another dimension, somewhere over the rainbow where the people are quite simply, good. “My” patriarchy does not need to be smashed, because it is one where men do not fear women, do not always have this driving need to try to make us smaller, quieter, and more manageable. Less threatening.
The problem with some of what Pastor Wilson preaches, is just how small is going to be small enough? Our Lord and Savior made Himself very small, zygote small even, and curled Himself up inside a woman. The Prince of Peace was about as non threatening as One can possibly be and yet we crucified Him.
That simply does not bode well for the far more imperfect and sinful women we try to make very small and submissive. However, it does speak well to the a nature of men and power, or perhaps it doesn’t speak well of us at all, in fact, it’s astoundingly appalling, an abomination even, but descriptive and true.
That is what lurks in the hearts of men and women, that is the nature of power in our hands. We have a real tendancy to just murder the souls of the least of these, or to try anyway. If I were Queen of the world, I would not doom my sisters to the whims of such a patriarchy, leave them defenseless, desperately praying the love of Christ finds its way into the heart of someone like Harvey Weinstein?
For how long must we pray?
And how many of our sisters, and even our brothers, have been trapped inside the church, wrestling with abuse, silently enduring the Christian version of a casting couch for thousands of years? Oh yes, that’s a real thing to, as is domestic violence, and psychological and spiritual abuse.
In “my” patriarchy, the one somewhere over the rainbow, men have no fear of the little girls in their pink hats, no fear of the Great Pink Reckoning that permeates our news cycle. They do not grieve the Swamp Draining becasue their identity is in Jesus Christ and not in the fake news of Matt Lauer, or the surprising (not!) predatory sexual behavior of some smut ridden comedian. “Out of the abundence of the heart the mouth speaks,” does it not?
Everybody who had no idea Harvey Weinstein was sexually exploiting women please raise your hand. Now slap yourself for having spent years working so hard to just ignore the loud cries of all those women….
Dead women, women dying in bathtubs from drug overdoses, the young starlets like Marilyn Monroe of so long ago, all the way up to the half naked Miley Cyrus riding her wrecking ball across our TV sets. Those are the women who cry out to me. So, so many women for so long….
I know men in general have a way of compartmentalizing things in their brain, but one simply cannot look about at our culture, one that found it amusing to wish “caribou barbie gets herself gang raped” and not observe that there is something all wrong here with how we perceive and treat women.
This is nothing new, it is not as if women have ever enjoyed the Golden Age of What, justice, fairness, equality? How about, just simple kindness, the kind that doesn’t leave you alone struggling to figure out how to feed a pack of kids in a world that doesn’t even value your labor?
Pastor Wilson is rather infamous for having written the following sentance, one he used in the context of marriage, one I believe he expressed with good intentions, one rendered horribly out of context here, but it is what it is, “A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.”
Actually, she envelops, she consumes, she plants, she reflects, and she multiples. She takes what is given to her and makes it so much bigger…… and than she hands it all back to you. The beautiful side of this equation is the way she can take a tiny seed grow it into a whole baby.
The darker side is the way she receives the message that she has no more worth and value than a meaningless clump of cells, and as she has received, so shall she sow.
Hell hath no fury and all that.
It’s actally a bit sad for me to watch the dinosaurs fall, the guys of old filled with such romantic idealism, clinging to their bits of biblical patriarchy as if it were faith itself. In the saddest kind of plot twist, it isn’t really “patriarchy” and it isn’t even really “biblical” either.
All just the vain imaginings of The Men Who Think They Are Good, the ones who hang with me Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the Tone Deaf Ones who cannot see the Great Pink Reckoning for what it is….and simply reach out their hand to their sisters as Jesus Christ once did.