Focus on the Family advice columnist perpetuates stereotypes about single women
I left a comment on this page, but it’s in moderation, and I do not know if it will be slated for approval.
This page doles out the negative stereotype to insecure married women that they should not allow their husbands to befriend unmarried women, because that’s “dangerous.”
Because, you know, all of us single women who meet a rotund, balding, dowdy, middle aged married man for lunch at Chili’s during a work day are dying to get into his pants. 🙄
Because we’re horny, unscrupulous harlots like that. 🙄
Oh no, we single ladies who meet with married co workers for lunch don’t actually care about just being friends and chit chatting, or eating the fried mozarella sticks, we want to run our fingers through the few strands of wispy hair left on the married co worker guy’s head. 🙄 Only in the world of insecure married women and conservative Christians.
Married, insecure women: you gotta be suspicious of any and all unmarried women, they all want to go to bed with your husband! Single women are sluts with no morals, and married men are all horn dogs who think with their penises, who cannot resist a sexual come on should they receive one.
Send all unmarried women off to a walled village on a remote island to remove all temptation for married men! Who cares if single adult women are lonely and need friendship too? Treat them as though they are the problem and wall them off, by golly.
By the way, it ain’t single ladies you gotta look out for, it’s the married ones who are screwing around with married and single men:
(Link): New Study Released: Cheaters: More American Married Women Admit to Adultery (links)
Here is the odious page that perpetuates the stereotype the single women are harlots who seek out married guys for affairs:
Here’s the summary of the letter: a married woman writes in to the Focus on the Family advice columnist, a Mr. Jim Daly, to say her husband has been meeting regularly, alone, with an unmarried female coworker for lunch. Should she be concerned – because she says she sure is.
Daly replies (this is an excerpt, not the full reply):
- Your concerns are warranted. Your husband may genuinely feel sorry for his co-worker and have a desire to make her feel welcome at the office.
But consistent one-on-one time with her is not a healthy idea. Most people who fall into extramarital affairs didn’t set out to do so. Rather, the illicit relationship began on innocent terms.
There are always compelling reasons to be cautious about opposite-sex friendships outside of one’s spouse. Before you were married, you may have had lots of friends of the opposite sex, but things are different now. Once you say, “I do,” your bond with your spouse takes priority over every other relationship.
Here is the comment I left on their page, but I have no idea if it will be printed or not (it contains some typeos):
- Regarding the first letter and its response: this is what is wrong with Christian teaching on marriage, the genders, and relationships, and it unfairly isolates unmarried women. Single women are often viewed as “threats” by married Christian men and women, but they are not.
Why is the letter writer afraid of her husband eating alone with a single (as in an unmarried) woman, alone as in, they are probably eating at the same table in a restaurant daily? Men and women, even married ones, can be platonic friends. Unmarried women should not be cut off from social support just because of Christian gender stereotypes, paranoia over sexual issues [e.g, possibility of adultery], and due to married women’s insecurities.
Recent news stories point out that more married women are instigating affairs these days, and sometimes with married men – it’s married people who are cheating on each other with other married people, it is not unmarried women seeking out married men to have affairs.
This comment from the reply is patently false and un-biblical:
- ‘Once you say, “I do,” your bond with your spouse takes priority over every other relationship.’
That is wrong. Jesus says in the Bible that you are to be inclusive of every one, that if you put spouse, brother, mother, sister, son or daughter before Him and fellow believers in Him, even if you are not married to them or related by flesh and blood, Christ [says] that you are not worthy to be His follower.
Why? Because Jesus knew that some believers have a propensity to put “family” and “marriage” before helping *spiritual* brothers and sisters in Christ – leaving many childless widows, never married and divorced adults, with no social net, no community, and no support. Jesus was seeking to eliminate this problem, but ‘Focus on the Family,’ their mouth pieces, and other conservative Christian groups are seeking to maintain it.
This means married men can and should befriend single women – teaching married couples that single women are “dangerous,” or some kind of temptation, is deeply insulting to single women, and it needlessly excludes them from much needed socialization, support, and community.
Most churches are so fixated on marriage and parenting that they ignore never married, childless adults over the age of 30 (and we comprise almost half the American population).
Single women have no where to turn for help or support or friendship, and census data show that up to 45% of the adult population is single these days. Many of us do not have aunts, uncles, friends, spouses, brothers or sisters we can turn to.
I am in my early 40s and still a virgin because I have never married. I have often encountered married men (and sometimes single men) who mistaken my platonic overtures at chit chat as flirting, and they sharply tell me they are married or seeing someone, as though I am a temptress who was trying to get them in the sack by a simple “hello, how are you” greeting. I would never break up a marriage. I would never sleep with a married man, so I find it very insulting that a lot of men just assume a simple “hello” means I want to have sex with them.
Also, a lot of these married men are egotistical: I am a very attractive female, but they, (these married men who mistake my polite chit chat as come ons), are typically repulsive looking, fat, ugly, etc. I would not sleep with them even if I were that kind of woman, and they were the last man on earth.
A lot of married women need to keep that in mind too: your husband ain’t all that hot looking, so stop assuming every unmarried women who strikes up a conversation with him, or who has lunch with him during the work day, wants to bed him. You can keep your beer gutted, toothless, balding, middle aged husband. We don’t want him, not like that, not in a sexual way.
By the way, sexual self control is possible, but if Christians keep maintaining these rigid stereotypes, as they often do, that all single women are Jezebel harlots who want to sleep around, and that only men like and want sex, and that men think of nothing else, and they can’t help themselves around unmarried women, you are perpetuating some of the very issues Christians complain about (divorce, porn usage, fornication, etc).
If you need more understanding of this topic, and how these sorts of stereotypes against single women (advice such as, “Oh no, married men should not eat lunch with unmarried women”) are damaging to singles and the Christian community at large, and how it is un-biblical, please read a copy of the book “Singled Out” by Christian authors Field and Colon.
BTW, Focus on the Family does not truly care about marriage or family, their name is a misnomer. If Focus on the Family really cared about marriage, they would be taking steps to help the largest group of unmarried Christian adults get married: single Christian women over the ages of 30, 40, and older, and they would stop obsessing over the already-married, or over the 20- something singles. As it stands now, FOTF does nothing to help older singles, not to get married, and not with anything else.
Previous posts, this blog:
(Link): Focus on the Family having financial problems – aw, too bad (not!)
(Link): Good Grief! Five Million Dollar Family Idoltary on Display: Focus on the Family Launches $5 Million Project Targeting Family Breakdown, Social Ills – Please, when you say you support marriage, be honest about what you REALLY mean