Theology

a #meninist sums up my childhood in the Biblical Patriarchy movement

[content note for descriptions of physical abuse, extreme misogyny]

If you haven’t heard of the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, you should definitely check it out. Most of the time I don’t have the stomach to pick through the misogynistic underbelly of the internet, but they do all of that for me, putting it in one somewhat-more-manageable post, broken up with entertaining commentary.

I read their “Furious about Furiosa” post, which gathered together the collective outrage of MRAs who are upset about Mad Max: Fury Road. I grew up adoring the post-apocolyptic campiness that were films like Waterworld and Mad Max, so I’ve been keeping track of Fury Road, although I’ll probably just rent it when it comes out. Something that intrigued me was that the producers asked Eve Ensler (who created the Vagina Monlogues) to consult, and she worked with them to make sure the themes and characterization were handled appropriately.

I was laughing, shaking my head at all the vitriolic nonsense, until I got to this:

The only way back is to begin punishing ambition in our daughters and in all female children. They need to be physicall­­y and psychologically disciplined to be servile and deferential and they unfortunately need to have it beaten into them that they should NEVER trust their own judgement and always seek guidance and permission of their male headships.

My daughter would be turned out with nothing but a shirt on her back if she so much as looked at a college website or played with her brother’s educational toys.

She would be belted to the point of being unable to sit if she exhibited confidence in decision making.

I don’t want my wife to step foot out of the house unless her every dime and minute spent can be accounted for and executed in conjuncture with my approval. My daughter will exude obedience and timidity for whoever her future husband is and it’s imperative that all Christian Men demand nothing less within their own homes. Playtime for feminazis and the left is over. This is our world and our heritage to protect. Let the cultural war begin!

I do in fact implement this in my own home and practice what I preach vehemently. I have a daughter and sons and they are being raised to know that they are unequivocally different and 100% not equal. My wife is from a highly devout family and she was cowed long ago into obedience by her powerful, alpha father. I kinda won the life lottery.

That was posted by user “TS77RP1” on the Return of the Kings forum, one of the MRA/red pill hubs, and something you should only google if you are feeling extremely mentally and emotionally prepared.

I couldn’t laugh at that because … that was what I was taught. Oh, TS77RP1 is being for more bluntly and explicitly honest about what the people in the biblical patriarchy/Quiverful/Stay-at-Home-Daughters movements want to accomplish, but that’s all. He’s just being honest. He’s not trying to cloak what people like Michael Farris (of HSLDA and Parental Rights) and Doug Phillips (of now-defunct Vision Forum) teach under a fog of “but the husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church.” The velvet glove came off at this particular forum, but this is the end game.

You hand this over to John Piper and Wayne Grudem and Douglas Wilson and they’d be appalled, horrified, and repulsed; there would be much arm-waving over how they’re nothing like TS77RP1. Except… they teach the subordination of women and the headship of men based on nothing except sex. They might not resort to “belting” their daughters, but they do tell wives to stay in abusive marriages. They do tell women to submit to husbands who aren’t loving them “biblically.” They do say that men “conquer” their wives.

Currently I’m researching a project that compares the beliefs and justifications of abusers to the beliefs and justifications of complementarians … and the more I dig, the more horrified I become. There’s more than just the occasional overlap– the justifications for complementarianism and the rationalizations of abusers are the same.

TS77RP1 just said it out loud.

Photo by Amy McTigue
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  • There is a definite advantage to there being MRAs like him, who can’t or won’t pretend to be less monstrous than they are–for as long as men who think like that exist at all. It destroys the credibility of those who can try to dress their misogyny up in euphemisms. But the women who have to deal with them, or worse, depend on them…

    I hope all that man’s children realize what a vile creep he is and how wrong everything he ever taught them was, sooner rather than later.

  • Is that a Poe? It reads like a Poe. Oh please, please let it be a Poe – the alternative is too vile to consider.

    • I don’t think it is. If it is a Poe, it’s Poe that everyone on Return of the Kings agrees with.

    • Check out the We Hunted the Mammoth blog Samantha linked. There are a lot of men like that. As the beliefs they rely on become less widely accepted, they become more overt and aggressive. They have no future, but they’re not going to go out quietly or easily…or without hurting a lot of people, female and otherwise.

  • serendipity

    I had the exact same thought when I read that post. It’s the same thing without the mask and boy is it ugly.

  • I am really curious to see this project that you are working on comparing complementarianism to abuse. It makes sense to me on an intuitive level, but i would like to see it broken down.

  • I started reading that thinking it was sarcasm … but no, by the end he sounds completely real.

  • Crystal

    I also have read around about Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, etc and despise the lot of them. As for that individual who said women should be punished for being human this is what I think:

    http://pandawhale.com/post/6399/picard-facepalm-gif-meme

  • Sarah S

    I also was reading thinking, this had to be a Poe. Had to be, but oh so did not have to be. It’s so disgusting. I like to think I scraped by that type of fundamentalism fairly lightly. I delved into most of this type of thing (not as blatant as this guy lays it out) as a teen with some friends who were very fundamentalist, and as a young adult, newly married bible literalist trying to figure out where to draw the lines and falling on the fundy side for several years.

    Reading this I felt panicky. I have friends that seem happy, but I wonder. My own marriage suffered quite a lot for years because I was essentially trying to erase myself. The depression, anger, hatred of self and husband, were unbearable. And that was in a home where my husband didn’t Want to be some weird authority figure and had a far more egalitarian mindset.

    I would be so interested to see your research on the complementarianism/abuser comparisons.

    • Even though it sums up a lot of my growing-up (and sounds remarkably like my friends’ parents’ ideology), I too almost had to laugh. It’s so bald-faced; when it’s put like that, how can anyone agree with it?? Yet, as a little girl, I’d internalized a lot of this. So it’s really not funny.

    • And I’m sorry for your suffering because of this, Sarah. Wishing you the best as you overcome this garbage!

      • Sarah S

        Our marriage is doing great and I am steadily overcoming a lot of the garbage. I’m doing really well in a lot of ways and so am often a little startled when I react strongly to something like this in a more than “That’s disgusting” in general type of way. But the more I look backward from my perspective now the more bad stuff I attribute to religion.

  • ITriedIt

    So I took a deep breath and checked it out. It turns out “We Hunted the Mammoth” is a site that collects and MOCKS online misogyny (I was wondering why Samantha was linking to it directly). So it might not be as bad as you might think.

    • The warning that Samantha offers about the site isn’t so much for the *site* itself because yes, they do mock and decry the abuses they are unveiling, but the fact is that they DO unveil the horrific truths out there and so the warning is in regards to the subject which they are attacking.

  • This turns my stomach upside down. Thank you for doing the hard work of social change, though–your voice and thoughts are very much needed.

  • I am choosing to believe the user in question is just writing either huge exaggerations (complementarian who isn’t particularly great to his kids, but not actively physically abusing them) or isn’t even someone WITH that home life, just making up a story to sound super manly and in charge on the internet. Because if that IS a real person and that IS truly how he treats his daughter, my heart breaks for her, and I hope someone will help her escape that hellhole.

  • I also believe the commenter who replied “it’s like oyu have Saudi Arabia in your own home!” was, um, not exactly approving of the situation. Man, when even the rabid ‘feminazis are de debil’ misogynists are like, “Woah, dude, that’s a bit much”…

    • serendipity

      Actually, some in the manosphere are quite approving of Saudi Arabia at least in theory.

      Check this out:
      http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/04/02/defcock-1-pickup-guru-roosh-v-warns-men-of-roving-witch-mobs-and-vagina-shaped-mushroom-clouds/

      “In countries currently at DEFCOCK 5 — that is, which have what he thinks as the healthiest environment for men — (straight, cis) men benefit from ‘completely normal male-female relations in a patriarchal society that believes in a binary gender system of man and woman. Homosexuality is persecuted. Casual sex is difficult (if not impossible).’ Countries at DEFCOCK 5 include Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Strangely. Roosh has not himself decided to move to any of these countries.”

    • From the things I’ve seen, that was an aprooval.

  • segertsch

    Still wondering why that MRA wants his wife to “execute” his approval. The grammar was doing so well before and after that, but then he ruined it!

  • Reading things like this make me thankful for my own dad. He wanted me to be confident, to make decisions for myself, to go to college, and to have a career. I didn’t grow up in a household with a man that expected to be waited on hand and foot. He cooked, cleaned, and took care of my brother and I. He knew what he was getting when he married my mom (career woman who does not take orders.) Before he had kids and got married, he took care of his younger siblings He votes Republican most of the time and attends a Southern Baptist church, but he is a feminist by actions if not by words. And for that I will be forever grateful.

  • Went to a screening of War Room by Affirm and Provident Films. Release date is August. It’s about submitting to your husband and going into a prayer room to pray for him and let God lead him. There a joke that women need to duck so God can smack the husband. The main characters were black and affluent, not that families like this don’t exist, but not the norm in North Carolina. No hint of racism either. It had a similar theme of older woman mentoring a struggling young mother like Fried Green Tomatoes. Naturally the husband discovers her prayer room and feels guilty for the way he’s treated her and gets down on his knees praying to God, then takes all the stuff he’s stolen from his employers and gives it back, yada yada yada. Goes into pure fantasy at this point.
    There were a number of places where the preachers and their wives in the audience applauded the older woman admonishing the younger on different issues. From the reaction this will most likely be more successful than Fireproof and other movies from the same producers.
    Stupidity loves straw characters.

  • J. Rachel

    Well, I have no doubt there are some men who have logically articulated their position on male/female relations in such an honest way, having had my particular experiences. The thing that strikes me about it is how calculated it sounds. And as funny and ridiculous as that calculation seems – I mean, why would anyone even bother to go to such lengths to crush another human being based on a physical characteristic they’re born with – as mad as that is, well, we all know history and that such problems continue elsewhere and are very real. If it can happen in the political realm, why not in the home?

  • Quiverfull. Xtian cult in the Texas backwoods. Sexual abuse, sexual control, sexual shaming. Gothard (ATIA). Fellowship of Yah (now Heritage Homesteads). Control, ALWAYS. especially of females. I was stuck until age 23, trying desperately to protect my siblings, and finally had to get out or kill myself. I haven’t seen my baby sibs in nearly 18 years. It DESTROYED me – those 8 younger kids were my LIFE – and rebuilding has been hard, long and slow. No formal education – NEVER went to school. Horrible marriage to a horrible, rapey man, lasted another 13 years before I escaped that second hell. Self hate, doubt, criticism. I’m forty and have JUST got my life together with a great person who loves me and my – our, now! – children. I will carry the damage of the misogynistic, hyper “religious” hate filled family I grew up with for the rest of my life – all I can do is fight to never let it control me! I’m actually expatriating to Uruguay in 8 days, to get away from the rape culture, misogynistic, uber-religious theocratic woman hating cesspool this country is becoming. My daughter deserves better.

    • Sarah S

      Grace, my heart breaks for you and for your family.

  • I can recommend a good book to use for your study: “Christianity and Incest” by Annie Imbens and Ineke Jonker. I found it almost by accident while researching for a paper, in my university library. I have since found my own copy (on Amazon). I highly recommend it! Annie Imbens is a theologian and author, and also established the Foundation for Pastoral Care for Women in the Netherlands. Ineke Jonker is a historian, specializing in women’s rights, philosophy, and cultural anthropology, and is a counselor in the Netherlands.

  • Hey! This is not exactly on subject, but I just saw Fury Road in theaters, and holy hell was it good. It’s the blazing antidote to the meninists (hence their fury). You’ll enjoy renting it, but it was so gratifying to see so many solid female characters on a big screen playing to a packed theater. Also as a visual person it was a smorgasboard: the effects, stunts, music, acting, set/costume design: everything was killer.

    All that to say: if you need to clean out your brain and you’ve got a free evening, see it in theaters.

    p.s. i enjoy your wit and writing very much: keep up the good work. 🙂

  • UGH. I didn’t know people this…backwards? still existed. I mean, to where they will actually spell it out. It totally does still exist in fundamentalism.

  • I’m not entirely convinced Doug Wilson would find the original writer to be a turnoff. After all, this is Mr. “dominance and submission in sex is an erotic necessity” himself.

  • Vera

    Hi Samantha,

    I am new to your blog, but I’ve already read like ten posts. Your words are articulating things that I’ve been thinking and feeling but had not known how to express!

    About this project you descrived:

    “Currently I’m researching a project that compares the beliefs and justifications of abusers to the beliefs and justifications of complementarians … and the more I dig, the more horrified I become.”

    I am really interested in this, because I am not a complementarian but I come from a church that is, and I can definitely see where the whole “you can submit to your husband because he will LOVE you” can be paralleled to the manipulation that happens in abusive relationships. Is there a chance you’ll write more about this in the future?