Sunday, May 15, 2005


i'm reviewing a book about the AIDS pandemic. the chapter on women and children infuriated me.

the author writes (in a section titled "the Patriarch problem"):

Christianity and other religions give lip service to honoring and caring for women, youth, and orphans. But reality rarely matches rhetoric so that, in truth, women, youth, and children, are treated as second-class or lower citizens. This discrepancy between the idealism expressed and the reality experienced is painfully evident amid the global pandemic of AIDS.

Christianity and other world religions developed amid patriarchal societies in which women are treated as objects rather than persons. To this day, women have neither been accorded equal rights within the society nor equal rights within religious communities. The male, in most instances, has been granted authority and power over women, especially wives, and this has led to devastating consequences for women and their health and well-being.

the author goes on to relate this directly to the pandemic and women being unable to protect themselves.

my anger is not at the men, as you might think.

i was raised in a matriarchal family. men in our family largely kept silent and were very passive aggressive. the women held the power and it wasn't long before the men learned their place. (scary, i know).

the Lord has significantly healed me of much of my matriarchal tendencies. by brining me into submission and teaching me about authority and covering.

i agree, women are not afforded the courtesy of dignity in many cases, but the problem is not patriarchy. the problem is men acting like buffoons. the remedy then is not feminism and matriarchy or swapping one bully for another, the remedy is mutual submission. rightful authority.

it troubles me that the church remains largely silent on this issue, but i think the pastors (most of whom are men) are afraid to bring up the subject and get the women folk all stirred up (i understand, believe me).

at one small church i was asked if i had anything for the newsletter, i said, a piece on submission and one on community. the one on community was opted for.

when i took the helm of that newsletter, i ran the piece about submission because it is not a taboo subject and needs to be looked at in the light of Truth.

once the younger adults in my family were discussing something controversial, as young people will do when they are grouped up at a party. we didn't agree and my matriarchal, older aunt stood up and walked to the door and said,
this is why we don't discuss things.

of course we all laughed. it was like watching the old guard say, see, if you put these blinders on you won't see anything.

but that's the problem. the disagreement is not the problem. not seeing anything is the problem.

i am not into submitting myself or subjecting myself to any power hungry church leader (and there are plenty, believe you me). prayerfully i listen to what the Lord says and try to submit myself where He bid me. when He tells me to hit the road and not submit, i do that too. but that too is a submission to the Lord.

i know all this talk of submission is too much for some women but let me tell you how the Lord explained it all to me, to where i could finally understand without some frightening male interpretation clouding my vision.

the Lord said,
you know how saul had his armorbearer beside him in battle?


that is how you are to be beside your husband in battle.

wow. really?


that requires stamina.


that requires strength.


that requires the ability to wield a sword.


aaahhh! i see.

perhaps we need a new word to describe this.

in sharing my thoughts with a friend, i told her patriarchy in its purest form is a mutual submission. a preferring one another.

i've seen very few relationships where this is the rule.

mostly i've seen one dominate the other. one rule the other. whether it be the man or woman is irrelevant, it is sin.

mutual submission is the only way (as much as i hate saying there is one way to do anything).

women have lost the tender place in the heart of men by all the bra-burning and insisting on their rights. fine. have your rights, but submit to the head of your family. submit to the head of the church. if he's male, so be it. it doesn't change the Bible. even neutering the language doesn't change the spiritual principle behind submission.

men have lost their God given stength. their masculinity, their power because they are afraid to tell a woman she is out of line. they are afraid to speak truth lest it be interpreted as politically incorrect. if a man can tell a woman, in all humility that she is out of line, without going overboard and telling her to submit to being beaten and abused, subjecting herself to degradation, then they can reclaim their rightful authority. but only by submission.

submission is not a bad word. it is a beautiful and excellent thing. it is the key to the kingdom. let me tell you one more thing before i away:

there is a wretched set of movies called the prophecy series. while i don't recommend watching them, there is one scene that sums all this up.

gabriel, the fallen angel--the angel of death in this series is outside a gate. he wants to enter. but michael stands watch.

gabriel says to michael,
let me back in the family brother.

michael replies

gabriel proceeds to find entry another way.


Deborah said...

Great post. I agree wholeheartedly.
I believe there are certain charisms associated with one's place in a Godly hierarchy, gifts and graces which flow in God-ordained order, even if the person filling that role is a jerk. It's sad that abuse of authority has contributed to rebellion, and rebellion has contributed to abdicating authority. So many men are as you describe, nice, passive aggressive guys who have checked out of meaningful spiritual leadership in their homes, offices, factories and communities.
Sad, sad, sad. So then, we see either milquetoasts or gangstas, and few men who know how to exemplify virtue and strength coming from a Holy source. And alas, we women can't teach men how to be men. We can only pray.

Justine said...

why did the quote from the book make you mad?

I think they have a point. On the other hand, I don't think there is an AIDS pandemic simply because of patriarchy.

siouxsiepoet said...

hi deb. thanks for your comments and you're right, we can only pray. thank God PRAYER WORKS!

the piece made me mad because patriarchy is not the problem. men acting as buffoons is, as i tried to point out. the godly models of patriarchy in the Bible, in 3-d, in churches everywhere are real. men can regard women and women can regard men. mutual submission.

to make a feminist "answer" to a problem which is not patriarchy, but an enlightenment problem perhaps, that angers me.

thanks for your comments.