• ‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

The article in question:

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson, via Aussie ABC news

My introductory comments:

Complementarians like to insist that their gender theology has nothing to do with domestic violence, but funny, isn’t it, how so many Christian wives who divorced their abusive Christian husbands remark how their husband would sometimes cite male headship or “wife submit” type Bible verses or complementarian concepts to justify their abuse?

I think it’s very deceitful for complementarians, on the one hand, to prop up this view that says it’s God’s (God’s! – talk about taking God’s name in vein) design for a husband to be in a boss-like or deity-like position of authority over a wife, but then feign ignorance at being able to connect the dots at seeing how such a sexist view could of course be used and misused by a husband to abuse his wife physically, emotionally, financially, or by some other means.

Most of the complementarian husbands who are not abusing their wives are not living out complementarianism proper, or taking to its logical conclusions or abusing its inherent unfairness to women, but are living out egalitarian marriages in practice (their marriages are complementarian in name only, which even complementarian Russell Moore pretty much recognized).

For complementarians who like to proclaim the “no true complementarian” fallacy (“no true complementarian husband would ever abuse his wife”), especially in regards to the correlation between domestic violence and complementarianism, I point you to this page on another blog:

John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy

For those complementarians who like to say complementarianism properly carried out and practiced is acceptable and not violent or sexist, I point you to this post on my blog:

Even Warm and Fuzzy, True, Correctly-Implemented Gender Complementarianism is Harmful to Women, and It’s Still Sexism – Yes All Comps (Refuting “Not All Comps”)

Here again is a link to the Aussie ABC news article, with portions of the article reproduced below (in my view, all of this, or about all of this, is applicable to American complementarianism and American Christianity):

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson

Snippets:

Research shows that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Church leaders in Australia say they abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it.

This is the second instalment of an ABC News and 7.30 investigation into domestic violence and religion. You can read part one in the series — on domestic violence and Islamhere.

….”Your problem is you won’t obey me. The Bible says you must obey me and you refuse,” he [Peter] yelled [at his wife Sally]. “You are a failure as a wife, as a Christian, as a mother. You are an insubordinate piece of s**t.”

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• The Psychology of Victim-Blaming by K. Roberts

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming by K. Roberts

In my view, this article (see farther below) is applicable to a lot of the spiritual abuse or domestic violence stories we see on spiritual abuse blogs, and how so many churches mishandle them.

I have a few victim-blamers in my own family, including a sister and a brother – my brother’s victim-blaming tendencies seem to start after he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. 

I’d like to say, though, I don’t know if I agree with the author’s view that asking what a victim could’ve possibly done to prevent their victimization is blaming or not. I think it would depend on the tone, motivation, timing, etc, behind why one is asking.

For example, if someone comes up to you who was just mugged minutes before,  I do think that it is not the time to ask the person, “what could you have done differently to have reduced your chances of having been mugged.”

I personally have never been mugged, but I am very interested in reading articles by law enforcement that would give me tips so as to lessen my chances of being mugged. I don’t view such practical advice as always or necessarily being “victim blaming.” I think the timing and context of such advice matters.

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming (on The Atlantic) by K. Roberts

Excerpts:

October 2016

When people want to believe that the world is just, and that bad things won’t happen to them, empathy can suffer.

…Victim-blaming comes in many forms, and is oftentimes more subtle, and unconscious than Metzger’s tirade. It can apply to cases of rape and sexual assault, but also to more mundane crimes, like a person who gets pickpocketed and is then chided for his decision to carry his wallet in his back pocket.

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• Christian Gender Complementarianism, Lists, Rules, Formulas and Over-Promises

Christian Gender Complementarianism, Lists, Rules, and Over-Promises

Evangelical Protestants and some Baptists have a strange habit of giving congregants lists, rules, or principles they imply will guarantee success. Success at life, marriage, work, dating, whatever it may be.

Very often I’ve heard Christian preachers on TV, and sometimes in person, deliver sermons with headings such as, “Fifteen Steps To Raising Godly Children,” or “Six Rules for Keeping the Sizzle in Your Marriage.”

I was never a part of Gothardism, but wasn’t Gothard rather infamous for promoting rule or biblical principle keeping as a recipe for Christian sanctification success?

Here are a few links about Gothardism, ones from other sites that mention some of the rules-defining and rules-based living this group endorsed:

Growing up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult

Wikipedia’s Bill Gothard Page

Mr Gothard’s Sexual Rules: Part One

I could’ve been a Duggar wife: I grew up in the same church, and the abuse scandal doesn’t shock me

Some complementarians also do this very thing.

Authors and complementarians Lori Alexander and Debi Pearl promote these sorts of views that if one just follows a certain set of complementarian- based principles or rules, that one’s marriage will last, thrive, and be successful.

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• If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

I could have also headed this post, ‘If you act like prey, you will be treated like prey.’

One theme I have seen in numerous books, articles, television programs, and blog posts I have read on topics ranging from boundaries, people pleasing, workplace abuse, crime prevention, domestic violence, school yard bullying, to Animal Planet channel’s My Cat From Hell television show (seriously!) is that individuals looking to hurt or exploit another individual almost always seek out the most vulnerable-looking target.

Bullies, abusers, con artists, and predators usually do not seek out strong, self-confident, or healthy victims. (There are exceptions, but that is a general rule, based upon much reading I’ve done.)

It’s important to note upfront that my post is not intended to be victim-blaming. I am, rather, a big fan of prevention.

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• Why Keeping a Diary Helps You Move On And Even Improves Your Heart Health – Daily Mail

This article focuses on divorce, but I think its advice is applicable to other life problems.

I discussed healing and moving past painful ordeals in a previous post or two. I had depression for many years, and after my mother died a few years ago, I had to find healthy ways to cope with the grief.

One method I used was writing. I used to write by pen in an old notebook. These days, I might blog about something, or write posts on someone else’s blog. I’ve found writing does help.

Why Keeping a Diary Helps You Move On And Even Improves Your Heart Health – Daily Mail by Alexandra Thompson

Here are some snippets from that page:

Struggling to cope with a divorce? Keeping a diary helps you move on and even improves your heart health

  • Expressing feelings by telling a story of your relationship has notable benefits
  • Writing lowers the heart’s rate and increases its beat variability, boosting health
  • Telling a story has advantages over expressing feelings or recording activities

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• Five Signs of An Abusive Relationship Most People Will Dismiss by Harriet Marsden

Five Signs of An Abusive Relationship Most People Will Dismiss by Harriet Marsden

Snippets:

If asked to name signs of abuse in a relationship, many would assume physical violence.

Domestic violence and relationship abuse are often cognitively associated with black eyes, broken bones, sexual assault, rape and even murder.

But what about the non-physical violence? Trauma, manipulation, control, emotional torture? A subtler, more insidious and ultimately easier to hide type of abuse?

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• Abuse, Codependency, and Males

The last time I checked my “Miss Daisy Flower” Twitter account, I received a Tweet from someone who sent me two links in response I did to a Tweet with a link to one of my blog posts – this one:  “Codependency Is Real And It Can Leave Women Vulnerable to Being Abused or Taken Advantage Of.”

The two links sent to me pertained to boys who had been sexually or physically abused – one story was based out of the U.K., and if I remember correctly, the other dealt with boys who had been sexually abused in some sort of Jewish religious context (by a rabbi or something).

At the moment, I’m too lazy to visit my account, log in, and re-read my notifications area to see exactly what those articles were (perhaps I’ll log back in later and post links to those articles in this post at a later time).

I did ask the person who Tweeted me what she was getting at, because at the time, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t understand the relevancy of the links she was tweeting at me. I mulled it over and now believe I may understand what she was trying to say. Here is my response.

I am a woman. I was born and raised in the United States. I was brought up in a traditional Christian family (of the Southern Baptist, evangelical variety) that believed in gender complementarianism (i.e., a belife in traditional gender roles buttressed by references to cherry picked or mis-applied Bible verses).

As I wrote in an older post,

Christian gender complementarianism is nothing but codependency for women

but it’s passed off by Christian gender complementarians as being “godly” or “God’s design” for women.

In blogging about abuse and codependency, I am most competent – and most interested in and familiar with – addressing codependency as it relates to girls and women in American culture and American Christianity.

All I can fathom at this point is that the individual who Tweeted me was perhaps assuming that saying that there are ties between some girls and women and abuse and codependency is some form of victim-blaming (or sexism?), which, as I explained in a previous post, no, it is not victim-blaming to point out the links between abuse of females and codependent behavior.

I’m a former codependent myself who used to attract users and abusers, and who used to silently endure abuse from certain family members for years, precisely because of my codependency – and I’m certainly not victim-blaming myself!

Some boys and men are codependent too. Yes, codependency in a male can make that male vulnerable to attracting mean, selfish, manipulative, controlling, or abusive people. This does not mean that such males are to “blame” for being abused or taken advantage of.

Some abusers or “mean” people, are, by the way, female! Over my life, in my personal and professional life, I’ve had both males and females use me, exploit me, abuse me, or be rude towards me.

Some boys and men learn codependent coping methods in childhood when abused and carry these mal-adaptive coping habits into adulthood. I learned this from reading books and blog posts and articles about codependency (and some about abuse).

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