A Threat to Femininity
This was initially written on Tuesday, but it took me a few days to find the correct words.
I am reminded (somewhat forcefully) today that the term “cult of patriarchy” is not just something feminists throw around in their misandrist rants. When most “holy books” specifically instruct the man to control and pacify his wife by any means necessary–including what we now term as abuse–it’s a reminder that the cult of patriarchy is alive and well; especially among fundamentalist men.
As I often say in my diary, “I won’t lie”: I find it truly discomforting to be in my own house (with the doors locked) while four men with chainsaws and big equipment lurk outside. My roommate gave them permission to be here; but it’s a testament to the number of sex crimes in this nation–and the cult of patriarchy itself–that I should still feel uncomfortable with the deadbolt thrown and men going about their work.
Men who harbor the belief that they should be in control–regardless of modern mores–are a threat to femininity and feminism as a whole. These are the men who seek obedience through subjugation; whether by assault, rape, torture or other means. While rape is a prominent theme in my novels, subjugation really comes to the forefront in Early One Morning, and again in Exilium. On the subsurface, the pool scene was nothing more than an expression of my desire to make love to “Alex”. But on the surface, it was about two things: Pontius was lusting after Julia and he wanted to express his dominance over the barbarian wench through his sexuality. The pivotal scene at the end of Early One Morning was actual lovemaking; however, I doubt I’ll be giving much away by saying that the tides turn in Exilium and Pontius is again in a position to exert control over Julia. This time, however, he uses something to humiliate Julia that many in the present consider commonplace.
There is an adage that says, “To the victors go the spoils”; similarly, it’s said that it is the victors who write history. Somewhere along the way, men decided that they were the victors, so that when Judiasm–a patrifocal religion–gave birth to Christianity, many of the mores predominant in that faith were passed on. As Christianity went on the ascent, male became the most important gender and women were subjugated by the misogynist ideal from then on.
To say that the fact that the bible includes books by female authors proves that women have always been accepted in Judaism (and later Christianity) is a fallacy at best.
The bible I was given at age thirteen (an edition of the New International Version known as the Life Application Study Bible) includes the books of Ruth and Judith; two that I’m told are also included in the Catholic bible. But some term those two books as part of the apocrypha. Have you ever looked up the word “apocrypha”? The dictionary we keep on the shelf in the office says that the apocrypha are the non-canonical books of the bible, but further research says that “apocrypha” means “information of a dubious origin”. You know what a novelist thinks when she sees “non-canon”? FAN FICTION. (Or worse, “urban legends”.) You’ve read that right: men included women in the bible, but had the audacity to give female work a fancy term that future generations would eventually recognize as, “We think women write BULLSHIT!” (And people wonder why I’m not Christian…)
The sad part is, though we seek equilibrium, we will never find it. So long as humans fight, there will never be world peace. So long as men believe that certain words–written by men, hundreds of years after the original events–give them power over women, the genders will remain unbalanced and women will continue to be subjugated by men.
After all: to be a man is to be modeled in their god’s own image; to be a woman is to be naught more than an afterthought.
The rant about the apocrypha was initially quite a bit longer, but it was lost in the transfer between the editor and the site.