Biblical Gender Complementarianism, Unacknolwedged Sexism on Right Wing Sites, and Rare Admissions by A Christian Republican Politician that Women Have Sexual Drives – Re: Mike Huckabee’s Controversial Comments on Women’s Libido and Birth Control
Note: If I find editorials, pro or con, on Huckabee’s views that I find interesting, I will edit this post to add them later, probably at the bottom of this post.
Before I copy in comments from an article or two I’ve seen about this, here’s a reminder:
I am a Republican (GOP) and a social conservative. I don’t consider myself a feminist and disagree with secular feminists on many topics. So don’t get teed off about this post if you are right wing or a Republican.
Me being right wing and a social conservative does not, however, mean I always agree with how other Republicans or social conservatives handle situations, or with how they feel that U.S. Government, should handle things. Nor do I always agree with their premises or assumptions.
Some Republicans – such as ones of the Christian, biblical gender complementarian variety, yes, can be sexist.
(Some Democrats, atheists, and left wingers can be sexist too, but that would be a topic for another post on another day.)
Here’s an example (both links are from left wing sites):
- By Laura Bassett
A Republican congressman published a memoir last month in which he expresses his belief that “the wife is to submit to the husband,” The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), a Vietnam veteran, explains in his book that families, like the military command, need a leadership structure in which every person has a role. He says the wife’s role, according to the Bible, is to be obedient to her husband.
“The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice,” he writes. “The husband’s part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else.”
Pearce goes on to write that the wife should have a say in important family decisions and that her submission does mean the husband should have “authoritarian control” or be considered superior.
“The wife’s submission is not a matter of superior versus inferior; rather, it is self-imposed as a matter of obedience to the Lord and of love for her husband,” he writes.
— BIBLICAL GENDER COMPLMENTARIANISM: CHRISTIAN- ENDORSED AND CHRISTIAN- SUPPORTED SEXISM —
Biblical gender complementarians (GCs, or gender comps, also known as “biblical womanhood and biblical manhood”) like to maintain this fairy tale, one that lacks biblical support, that women are equal in being but not in function (or role), which is really not a lot different from the Southern states’ “Blacks are equal but separate” philosophy of decades past.
The biblical gender complementarian expression that “women are equal in being but not in role to men” is merely a rhetorical device (and a shoddy one at that) to keep women from using and expressing all their God-given talents and skills, so that men can remain in charge, and not share power and influence.
If you truly think someone your equal, you don’t seek to maintain or limit their roles in life based on an inborn, immutable trait, or 2 or 3 Bible verses horribly plucked from context and twisted, and hide behind a flimsy rationalization that while you totally believe women are equal to men, you only think that is so in terms of their “value” (whatever that means), but that same inner value does not confer upon them the ability or right to use their skills or talents along side, or in addition to, men.
Using the authoritarian structure in military as an analogy to gender roles, or a boss to employee analogy, as gender comps are wont to do in these discussions, only further re-enforces and exposes their views as being what they really are: sexist – and not “women are equal but different.”
That is, if you truly believe women are equal to men, you are not going to seek to put a limit on what women may or may not do by using asinine analogies, such as comparing women to privates in the army and men to generals, and say, “See there, women are not lesser than men; we just don’t let them serve as army generals!”
If a woman is qualified to act as a general; if she has the traits, education, and talent to serve as a general – then yes, she should be permitted to act in the role of army general.
Your gender comps, though, say no, even should that woman have the set of skills needed for that particular role, she should be barred from holding it, based on her gender alone.
That is not equality in any way, shape, or form, no matter how much one blathers on about “being equal in worth and value but not in role.”
There is nothing in the Bible that says God the Holy Spirit grants “army general talents” (or ‘preaching to men,’ or ‘leadership ability,’ or ‘boss over employees’ talents) to men only.
If you want to read more on that topic and related ones, please see:
- (Link): Defusing the 1 Timothy 2:12 Bomb (off site link)
(Link): First Timothy 2:12, the Ordination of Women, and Paul’s Use of Creation Narratives (PDF Format – off site link)
The end result in such thinking is the same from the gender complementarian, no matter how much they wish to couch it or soften it: you are basing who may do what, or be in power, based on an in-born, immutable trait.
It does not matter if you use the boss/employee analogy or the private/general analogy, the end result is limiting women based on their gender and not their education, talents, skill, or experience.
A woman can teach, preach, or lead as well as any man; the Bible says the Holy Spirit gives gifts to all believers, not just males, and the Bible even has positive examples of women, such as Junia and Deborah, leading and preaching to men, with God’s permission.
— SEXISM ON RIGHT WING SITES AND BLOGS —
I, a right winger, have personally encountered rudeness, hatred, and vitriol by conservatives and Republicans on right wing forums, sites, and blogs, on topics pertaining to sex, marriage, divorce, gender roles, and family, with this hatred being based on sexism and very narrow views of what these types of right wingers feel is acceptable lifestyle choices for American women.
Many conservatives tend to assume, knee jerk fashion, that if one disagrees with them on gender roles or marriage, that one must be a feminist who hates marriage or traditional values.
They cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that a person can be a fellow right winger but one who realizes that women are not limited to only marriage and motherhood, nor should they be.
Even though I am usually careful to preface my remarks on right wing sites by reminding readers I am also a social conservative, sympathetic and respectful to a lot of Judeo-Christian beliefs, and that I vote Republican, the other conservatives – males in particular – will keep assuming or trying to paint me as a liberal, atheistic, feminist – or they treat me as such.
It’s also fascinating to watch how male conservatives will read things into my comments that I never said – even if I express the opposite belief!
For instance, even should I write, “I respect marriage and would like to be married some day myself,” and then mention that right wingers and Christians have made too much of marriage, some of the right wingers will act as though I said, “Hello, I am a man-hating feminist, a flaming lesbian, and I despise traditional marriage.”
They do this typically in discussions where I agree I support marriage, but I think many times, social conservatives and Christians have idolized marriage and pro-creation, to a point that not even the Bible supports.
I sometimes even provide quotes directly from the Bible to remind them of the words of Jesus and Paul about God’s valuing of singleness. The male conservatives (and sometimes females, though it’s usually males) really chaff at this reminder, though.
Many right wingers do not want to acknowledge that the Bible does not esteem traditional marriage and parenthood as much as they ASSUME it does.
Republicans, Christians, and social conservatives on political sites bristle and act upset when confronted with clear quotes from the New Testament that Paul wrote it is better to stay single than to marry.
Some right wing males behave as anything less than full nuclear family worship is tantamount to rejection there-of, or is an acceptance of homosexuality, or they assume I must be a liar who is really a lesbian, Democrat, feminist who hates right wingers, the family, and marriage.
In the process of hurling their many incorrect assumptions at me, and responding to points I never made, they tend to make very rude, sexist comments about all women in general.
I recently ran into one such right wing asshole on a political site who referred to any and all women as “sluts,” and he did this repeatedly in his posts. He was also very condescending to me, though I was polite to him through our exchange. I suspect that the guy might be a troll, but it’s hard to tell.
I have also noticed that many conservatives and Republicans, in discussions about sex, birth control, family, marriage, or divorce on political sites, also misquote and twist the comment from the Bible in Genesis about being fruitful and multiplying.
Just as atheists and liberals – some of whom can be terribly biblically illiterate who seem to know only ONE verse from the Bible (and that only when it suits them, and they tend to mis-use it), and that one verse being the one containing the comment of Jesus of, “judge not lest ye be judged” – your usual right wing, socially conservative Christians on political sites are only acquainted with the verse from Genesis about “being fruitful.”
(For more on this, see:
(Link): Misapplication of Biblical Verses About Fertility (also mentions early marriage) – a paper by J. McKeown)
Some Conservatives have blinders on about all the passages (which tend to be in the New Testament) which negate marriage and pro-creation being divine commandments or preferences, but which make each activity optional for believers.
Despite the fact I point out to right wingers on political sites that things changed under the teachings of Jesus Christ and Paul (e.g., (Link): Matthew 10:37), where-in pro-creating is no longer a mandate, not for believers, they remain incredulous about it. It’s in the Bible, particularly in the New Testament, that marriage and making babies is not mandated, but some right wingers continue to act as though it were.
I was only able to shut some of them up about it in one thread months ago when I quoted straight from Scriptures, from the New Testament, about these issues.
It’s as though some conservatives minds go totally blank about the New Testament passages that talk in positive terms about singleness and celibacy. They tend to forget such passages are in the Bible, and some lapse into the incorrect, wrong, unbiblical view that only “some are chosen for singleness.”
The Bible does not teach that marriage and making babies is the norm for any one in any culture. Americans may assume that getting married is the norm for Americans, but the Bible does NOT contain a teaching saying, “God wants or demands most people to marry and make babies.”
As 44% of American adults are single these days, being married is not even the cultural norm in the United States any longer, not that it once was.
For more on this topic, please see: (Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage
Many Republicans and conservatives only hone in one “be fruitful and multiply” verse from the Old Testament and harbor the assumption that being married and having children is the only God-sanctioned manner of living life.
Republicans who are this very engrossed with marriage and parenthood neither seem to remember or care that Jesus and Paul never married or had children. They seem to feel that God hates adult singles and the childless, that God thinks that adult singles have cooties.
That the Bible legitimizes being single and childless in the New Testament continues to escape the notice of many of my fellow right wingers.
— FEMALE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND DESIRE —
Anyway, many people in American culture – and this is true of Non Christians too, though it seems a little more pronounced among conservative Christians – generally deny that women do have sex drives.
Supposedly, so goes Christian teachings and assumptions about women (that I have come across in Christian media and churches over my life), women don’t care about sex, don’t like sex, hardly ever think about sex, and women (Link): are not visually stimulated.
Furthermore, according to Christian laughable and naive assumptions and teachings about women’s sexuality, likes, and interests, women are supposedly way more into “emotional intimacy,” sun sets, they prefer to spend their time calmly sipping hot tea while grasping a tea cup with both hands while gazing out contemplatively over a misty field of flowers from a window, or using Pinterest (see (Link): sexist preacher’s Twitter Tweet (Perry Noble’s tweet)), painting their toe nails, Bible study, and would prefer a good looking man read them sappy poetry – rather than him rip their bodice off (so to speak) and make out or have wild sex.
(By the way, regarding the sexist preacher’s Twitter Tweet about women and Pinterest:
as I (Link): blogged about a few months ago,
some women use Pinterest to collect photos of buff, good looking, sexy, shirtless movie actor and cowboys. It’s a mistake to assume women only pin wedding dress photos, casserole recipes, and craft ideas to Pinterest.)
Christians usually do not admit to themselves, each other, or the public that women have sex drives and sexual desires (beyond wanting sappy, romantic poetry read to them by a man – you know, Christians assume the only thing Christian women are into are G-rated, sexual fantasizes that are devoid of sex).
Unless, conversely, it comes to condemning women for liking romance novels, erotica novels, or as being sluts for using birth control pills (an attitude which comes up frequently on right wing political blogs or from self professing conservatives on religious blogs I visit).
And, of course, when Christians find admitting that women do have sex drives handy to marginalize single, adult women by telling all men, but especially married couples, that single, Christian women are ultra horny, slutty, sexually famished harlots who view married men as prizes and prey. Then, in those sorts of circumstances, Christians are more prone to admit that women do have a libido.
(Though Christians like to hold conflicting thoughts about female sexuality to saying married women do not have sexual drives; please see this previous post of mine:
(Link): Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex).
— HUCKABEE’S CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS ABOUT A WOMAN’S LIBIDO —
All of this brings me to politician Mike Huckabee’s recent comments, which created a stir:
(Link): The Media Cries Huckabee!
Here are Huckabee’s words, as quoted in the editorial:
- [The Republican Party] stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. That’s not a war on them, it’s a war for them.
And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government, then so be it.
Let’s take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than Democrats have made them to be. And women across America have to stand up and say, ‘Enough of that nonsense.’”
I do agree that women can control their sexual behavior, so can men.
If you are a woman and don’t want to get pregnant, do what I’ve been doing my whole life: don’t have sex. You don’t need birth control to avoid getting pregnant. Celibacy is an option.
— BIRTH CONTROL PILLS —
I’m not against the BCP (birth control pill) for married women, or for single women who need to take it for health reasons.
Yes, it’s true, birth control pills are NOT only to prevent pregnancy, a fact a lot of men don’t even realize. Even women who are virgins take the BCP for medical reasons.
BCPs have other purposes than preventing pregnancy.
That a woman takes birth control pills does not necessarily mean she is a “slut,” (i.e., a woman who is out having sex with a different man every week – but a lot of conservative men depict women who are on the pill in that manner. I run into them all the time on religious or political blogs).
Even among women who do fornicate, not all of them are out having sex with 48 different men every night of the week.
Some of these ladies on The Pill are in committed, long term, stable relationships.
Ergo, it is not accurate or intellectually honest to slap the “slut” label on women who use the pill.
When you press some of the men referring to women who use the Pill as “sluts,” they at first claim they only object that tax payers should have to pay for the Pill (but insurance covers Viagra for males, so that is a double standard), but then they end up admitting in subsequent posts that women who use BCPs are sluts, in their view.
That is to say, these guys are not only against BCPs being paid for by the American tax payer, but one of their ulterior motivations for griping about BCPs is that they think women who use it are sluts, and that BCPs enable women to be sluts.
One wonders if these sexist cave men are also against men using condoms or getting vasectomies, or if they think of such men as man-whores?
It’s not that I necessarily support women (or men) engaging in casual sex, but I am put off by the double standards many men (particularly right wing men) hold on these issues, and that some of them are motivated by sexism – they have very low, insulting views of women.
Some of these types of men do not even show respect for me, who am a fellow right winger, which I make clear in my comments to them – the part about me being right wing, that is.
Such men don’t like it when I remind them (complete with pertinent Bible verses for proof) that God does not limit women to, or insist upon women, being wives and mothers (or men being husbands and fathers), but that God is fine with women (or men) being single by choice or circumstance. God does not shame women (or men) for being childless, childfree, or single. God does not do this, but many right wingers and social conservatives do.
— SEXUAL SELF CONTROL —
One problem is that Huckabee and myself are in the minority concerning the topic of sexual self control: he seems to think his fellow Republicans or Christians believe as he does, that women can control their sexual behavior, so are not in need of tax payer funded birth control.
However, the vast majority of Republicans and Christians are no different from atheists, feminists, and liberals on this front:
they all assume that people cannot control their sexual drives and behavior, which is why some Christians (and Republicans) have been encouraging that Christian teens (or all young people in general) should get married by the time they are 18 or 21.
— BIBLE DOES -NOT- TEACH GOD REMOVES SEXUAL DESIRE FROM ADULT SINGLES OR THAT PEOPLE ARE GIFTED WITH SINGLENESS AND CELIBACY —
Observe ignorant views of singleness, sex, and marriage of preacher Mark Driscoll, which are typical of Christians: he assumes that if one is a single past a certain age, that God has “called” that person to singleness and so will supernaturally empower that adult to remain celibate, that God removes all sexual desire from adult singles.
Preachers such as Driscoll and Christians like him continue to hold these views, although the Bible does not teach them. The Bible does not teach that God foreordains or calls anyone to singleness, or that God removes libido from adult singles, or supernaturally enables them to be single or celibate.
This incorrect view is based on assumptions read into the biblical text about things the Apostle Paul wrote about singlehood, but the views are not in the text themselves.
Unfortunately, even some adult, Christian singles enable un-biblical thinking among married Christians about singleness and celibacy, by running around the internet agreeing with these views by insisting in blog comments and in posts that God “called them” to singleness, or “empowered them to celibacy,” or “gifted them” with one or both.
The truth is, adult, Christian single, you chose to remain single and celibate, or, via circumstance, could not find a mate: God did not “call you” or “gift” you (in the sense of chose it for you) with any of this.
So, adult Christian singles, stop using the “Gift of Singleness, God chose this for me” lingo and terminology, as you are exacerbating and maintaining incorrect views and prejudices about singleness by doing so.
I wrote more about Driscoll’s butchering of the singleness texts here:
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias
(Link): More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”)
— MORE ABOUT SEXUAL SELF CONTROL —
At any rate, Huckabee might think the Democrats are running around telling women they are incapable of controlling their sexual behavior and desire, but so too are Republicans and Christians.
I’ve written of that before, in posts such as:
- (Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity
Huckabee needs to remind other Republicans that yes indeed, women (and men) can control their sexual behavior, because their usual reaction is to say no, nobody can resist sex past one’s teen years or 20s, so everyone should get married by age 21.
Which results in posts like this by me:
- (Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage
And by the way, for the Republicans, Christians, and social conservatives who sit around thinking that only the left wing babbles about sex constantly, so to do Republicans, Christians, and social conservatives, see:
- (Link): The Church of Sex (off site link)
Christians do NOT support the idea, like Huckabee does, that women can control their sexual actions.
No, many right wingers, Christians, social conservatives and Republicans believe all of us are at the mercy of our sexual desires.
Many right wingers, Conservatives, Republicans, social conservatives, and Christians, like their liberal, feminists, Democrat and/or atheist counterparts, believe nobody can resist sexual desire. They only disagree on when and how sex should occur, and if, when, or how birth control should be employed, and if so, who should pay for it.
Examples of such:
- (Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy
(Link): More Virgin and Celibate Shaming in Article: How the New Abstinence Movement is Trying to Reshape Our Views on Sex (from Relevant Magazine) Another Christian Anti Virginity Hit Piece – Fornicators Need To Repent of Their Pride in their Fornication Testimonies Maybe?
Some Christians, Republicans, and social conservatives place such an extreme, un-biblical importance on pro-creation and marriage, that they harbor heretical teachings about single adults, singleness, and celibacy.
See these posts for examples:
- (Link): Why Un-married / Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy (i.e., Male Headship, Female Submission, Should Women Be Allowed to Lead/Teach Men, etc) – Some Gender Complementarians are teaching that adults who are NOT married are not fully in God’s image (are less than human)
(Link): According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice
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