Monday, September 30, 2013

No Fear in Being 'Ready'

Vaughn Ohlman of True Love Doesn't Wait has answered NLQ readers comments with claiming again that we don't understand and we're all a bunch of Anti Quiverfull Liberal Feminists with an agenda.

Dood, many of us have lived this or other things you refer to. Many of us escaped. We understand all too well where you are coming from in your ideas. The stuff we don't understand we've tried to wrap our minds around it. At least more than any fundamentalist has ever tried to understand our struggles and our journeys.

It is a funny difference between conservatives and liberals that conservatives seem to always question liberals ideas, and liberals question conservatives motives. Indeed, when a liberal makes a movie about an evil conservative the conservative is almost never doing what the conservative says he wants to do (ie he is a hypocrite[1]) whereas a conservative movie will often show liberals living up to their stated ideals (which just happen to be wrong, immoral, and lead to a deranged and deprived society).
A similar issue has cropped up, repeatedly, in the discussions on betrothal. There are, basically, two sets of opponents to the idea. The first is conservatives: the kind of people who are big on ‘courtship’. They have built themselves an entire edifice of extra-Biblical (and anti-Biblical) ideas and do not appreciate what we have to say.
 Those conservatives who choose to enter into the discussion do so primarily over the meaning and usefulness of the Scriptures on the issues. Or they point to general principles of hermeneutics to argue against any kind of mandate for the principles of betrothal.
 By questioning the entire idea of betrothal are we not at NLQ in essence questioning the idea of betrothal and courtship, questioning ideas instead of pure motives.

Now some of our number has developed motives for those ideas. I know I have. But people look at motives as a way to understand the way those ideas are developed and how the mindset and world view of the originator reached her/his hypothesis.

Contrast that with the pure courtship crowd you're mentioning in the second paragraph of your post. Those conservative Christians that oppose your type of betrothal aren't even going to attempt to understand your ideas or the motives behind them, they will continue to lockstep forward like lemmings until they reach their goal. They aren't know for deep thinking or questioning the rules.

You don't have the only correct understanding of the Bible any more than they do. All of you have your own views on the meanings of scripture without any room for the possibility that scripture might be something that is multi-faceted with more than one meaning. Can't you at least admit there might be different paths for different Christians?
However the liberals (the anti-quiverfull radical feminists so popular on some sites) take a different tack. While they occasionally mention (briefly) some Scripture or hermeneutic; they often, and enthusiastically, speak to my motives; claiming for me pretty much every nasty motive the modern mind can invent.
The readers and authors at NLQ aren't any one label and to label us all as one treats us all as if we aren't actually people, we're things that can be treated with disdain, dismissed and not part of the conversation. We are all different and all on a sliding scale of what it is we actually belief. The one thing that we all can agree on there is that most Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull groups are a slippery slope leading many times to spiritual abuse, the kind of dishonoring and destruction of self that leads people into all sorts of misery, pain, turning from God, losing themselves and sometimes losing their lives.

Vyckie Garrison nearly lost her life to Quiverfull. I nearly lost my life to Quiverfull, attempting to have a large brood while I had medical issues that made it very unlikely. Neither of us are unique in our experience,and we're not alone in this. Just read with an open mind many of the life stories at NLQ and you'll see that Quiverfull can lead into some very dark destructive hell for many woman. The entire purpose of NLQ is to help those that are struggling with the more harmful ideas this lifestyle can falsely teach women. Support. Healing.

How is warning others of the dangers of a man-made religion that doesn't much follow the red letter words of Jesus but mostly the control issues of men the stuff of dangerously liberal feminism?
Well, I’m a big boy, and can handle the flack. I’ve suffered worse. They don’t even bother to come over and make the comments on my site or my FaceBook page. But I do think that the motives they give are interesting ones and ones that could use some discussion. I won’t comment on their truth, which only God can judge, but I can comment on their logic and theological soundness… a more human endeavor.
Yes, you can comment on our logic and theological soundness, just as we can yours. But most of us will never be commenting on your Facebook or website because we're not interested in a flame war that would surely break out. Plus the list of things someone has to agree to in order to comment on your site is very controlling and almost farcical in their scope.

Which brings me to my next point. I have been contacted many times by people asking me if you're real, that surely you must be a parody of fundamentalists or a performance artist making fun of hyper religious people. I always tell them that you're the real deal, no comedian mining comic gold in the Bible.

The first thing they accuse me of is ‘fear’.  They think I am worried that my son will pick the ‘wrong’ wife; and are convinced that this is at least one of the reasons I want to pick for him.
Ironically this is true, although perhaps not in the way they intend. It is true that I ‘fear’ (at least as broadly defined) but the actual fear they propose is wrong.
I know, I know, you're referring to the fear of the Lord, which all followers of God are supposed to develop. But... you know... exerting that much control over a grown man (your son) does seem to posit that you are trying to control so much not because you don't trust your son to have good sense but because you fear the world and all the horrible things that could happen.

I think you mean well, you genuinely think you're doing what is best for your son, I get that. But when you try to control another human that intimately what you're doing could seriously impact their ability to grow as a person, develop in their lives, limit their potential and I know you are so passionate about the best for your son that you would never want to harm him in any way.
 I think my son is perfectly capable of ‘picking’ a good wife… at least, as compared to me. Indeed, if the common expression of ‘choosing’ one’s wife were literally true instead of being merely a figure of speech [2] I would consider my son fully capable of picking a very good wife, thank you very much. Perhaps not as good as I might pick but, as the picking is purely hypothetical… tis a moot point.
 Your son, from what little I know of him in his interview on your site, seems to be a perfectly nice young man so I have no doubt he could pick. I worry about people that don't have a say in who they marry because they are the very ones that will have to live out those vows they took, that life long commitment that isn't all moonlight and roses. Why should someone else pick for them? Guide them might be a better strategy. I see nothing set in stone in the Bible that says a father picks without any input from the adult child. 

This particular argument falls particularly flat. I think my son was readier to pick himself a wife at fifteen than the overwhelming majority, indeed probably the totality, of these anti-quiverful women are able to pick a husband.[3] Indeed they declare their rebellion to the Biblical qualifications for husbands and the role of the wife quite overtly. The site is dedicated to an open rebellion to a specific verse from God, after all.[4]
 Fifteen is too young for anyone to make such a serious decision with a long term impact no matter how wise that fifteen year old is. It's also very illegal in most states.

Believe it or not many at NLQ are married, happily married for many years. But that verse about a woman submitting to a man has most men skipping the back part which says that the man should also submit to his wife, that they should submit graciously to one another. Many of the times when Jesus was around women or talking to women in the New Testiment it's very clear that He treated women as equal to men, equal in such a way that was outrageously liberal and open minded for a society that treated women as chattel.

So why, then, do I propose betrothal as the ‘right’ way for my son to get married? Why did I think it better for me to ‘pick’ a wife for him than for he to pick one for himself?
Well, first of all, we don’t really have a marriage mart– we have dating and courting. We have two processes which force our young people into relationships which go beyond ‘brother and sister’, and yet are not yet husband and wife. I’m not opposed to, worried about, or fearful any of my sons picking out their own wife. I am opposed to the process proposed for doing it.
My actual ‘fear’ is something that my opponents are well aware of, since they have written articles about it. The term they use is ‘giving away pieces of their hearts’. Many of them were raised on the idea that dating involved ‘giving pieces of your heart away’ and that the end result would be a man or woman coming to their marriage with insufficient ‘heart’ (ie ability to love) left for their spouse.
Dating and courting? Whatever happened to friendship? Mixed outings that have nothing to do with dating? Your son is out in the world, it wouldn't be too hard I would think for him to pray and seek God's wisdom on someone to marry whatever your thoughts of betrothal/courtship/dating. That way doesn't work for everyone. Plus I've seen what happens in parent-picked arranged marriages, Christian ones at that, and it's not an ideal recipe. It doesn't seem to have any greater chance at success than anything else.

One of the things that has always bothered me about the idea of giving away pieces of your heart is that it divides people into "worthy" and "damaged" categories. It goes right back to those thoughts that being judgmental about the possible emotional life of others is awesome.

I think (as they do) the analogy is a bad one. Ironically I would use their very arguments against them when they condemn the Duggars.[5] I am not worried that my children will run out of love during the dating process. Love is not divided, it is multiplied.
Love is limitless and no one has ever accused your children of running out of love. The concern is more that they had bounded choice or no choice in their futures. The same complaint we've had of the Duggars, everything is decided for them and those children have no way to practice any agency or ability to take any steps towards maturity, only to be a mirror for their parents beliefs instead of developing their own.

But I do worry that they will violate the image of Christ and the church.[6] We are not given the impression that Christ ‘checked out’ a variety of brides before he finally settled on the church. Instead we are told He came to ‘choose’ only and all of those His Father had given Him. It is that image we are trying to portray in our human marriages and that is the image that, I am sorely afraid, is being destroyed by our current systems.
I would agree that human marriage is being destroyed and not taken seriously in this world. Which leads to divorce. There must be a return to reverence for marriage. If you're not sure, please don't get married. There are worse things than living a life without a marital partner.

On a purely factual basis, as well, I must say that our current system does not work. My opponents wax eloquent about the consequences of the betrothal system, but have they seen the consequences of dating? The child-murder rate, the divorce rate, the number of children living in single families or, worse, with foster families? Compare that to Scripture… where no Godly man was divorced. Or even the Christians in India, where those that don’t practice dating have an almost zero percent divorce rate.
Marriage is screwed up in this world but as I said earlier it is more due to the lack of reverence to the commitment and our disposable society than anything else. A world that treats people as objects tends to devalue any commitment by those objects. Patriarchy reduces women to objects as much as pornography or the world does. Attitudes towards marriage need to change but you cannot legislate the human heart.

The bottom line, of course, is that my opponents reject Scriptural pattern and precept in building their ideas for how marriages should happen. Scripture does not show the young man, fully ‘ready’ for such a decision, going out into the dating world and ‘picking’ a spouse. It does not show God encouraging or requiring such a thing.
 Nor does it show God requiring the father to always pick a mate for the child either.

People have value and should be allowed the freedom to make the most important decision of their lives without interference of family if that's what they desire. There is no one right or wrong way to pick a spouse.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Skewed View of "The World"

Vaughn Ohlman tried his hand at writing Bible parody to try and belabor his most beloved of points - that children must always trust their father, or in this case the father's servant, to pick the right spouse for them without taking into consideration concerns such as compatibility, sexual chemistry or even something as simple as common interests.

The parody falls flat on many different points but for me there were two huge glaring things that stood out.

First, this is the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah we're speaking of, a marriage that ends with Rebekah deceiving her husband at the very ending of his life by having tricked him into blessing the second son. She was pissed off with Laban because he married two Hittite women. I understand not being happy with the choice of your relative but who does that to their son?  Some cold-hearted woman playing favorites among her children, some role model there.

Isaac wasn't the most honorable guy either, he pretended his wife was his sister because he was afraid of getting his ass kicked in the land of the Philistines. Both Rebekah and Isaac were due some universal reciprocity or karma by their own actions. They both were deceitful.

Yes, Von, universal reciprocity is a real thing. I've heard it preached from many pulpits.

Going back to when Isaac and Rebekah married it states quite plainly that she has to give consent to marry Isaac.

Genesis 24:8  If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”

Genesis 24:54-60  When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”
55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.”
56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

Regardless of Von's wishful thinking the Bible clearly demonstrates that there is a measure of the woman's consent that must be considered. Sure, the father had sent for a woman from among his own people but the woman still had the power to say no. In no way does Von's view give a woman any rights of her own, it's all shut up, lay down and put out as the subtext to his views of marriage.

Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary has this to say about consent in those passages:
As children ought not to marry without their parents' consent, so parents ought not to marry them without their own. Rebekah consented, not only to go, but to go at once. The goodness of Rebekah's character shows there was nothing wrong in her answer, though it be not agreeable to modern customs among us.
The second point is a tiny niggling one that has to do more with Von's own assumptions that all retirement homes, or what they used to term 'nursing homes' are horrible places where busy worldly children warehouse the elderly. I would suggest that he hasn't spent any time in the last decade at any of the many options for seniors that either shouldn't or decide they won't live alone or in a family member's home.

To say it is the way of the world to shut away the elderly is another lie he's picked up likely from an unreliable source like Fox News. All fear tactics all the time. These days there are all sorts of facilities for the elderly, such as programs during the day at community senior nutrition sites or adult clubs and daycare. There are huge leisure villages where you can live completely independent or with some level of care. Many places offer all sorts of activities for seniors to keep their minds and bodies sharp, such as golf, dancing, game nights, swimming, and outings. Most places offer on site amenities such as a beauty shop, hot tub, computer area, libraries and activities.

Even with families offering to take care of the elderly relatives many will chose to go into a retirement community rather than expect the family to care for them. There's nothing wrong with realizing you're better served by entering a senior living facility. It breaks no Biblical law and it's not like you are putting your loved one out on an ice floe to die.

It used to be shameful the way the elderly were treated in facilities but no longer. It is a valid choice.

Wake up and smell the espresso, Von. Your parody is flat and dated.

Monday, September 9, 2013

You Can Fall in Lust But Not Love? Gimme a Freaking Break...

Me and someone I fell deeply in love with at first sight 
Vaughn Ohlman's latest scripture limbo playing fast and loose involves braying that it's not possible to 'fall' in love. Why? Well, because falling is mentioned in the Bible as a negative or passive word according to the few scriptures he managed to pull up and glom together to support his point.

Hey, join in that FUN game, grab some scriptures and claim they mean all sorts of things it's likely they don't mean.

Exodus 20:26 -

"Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon"

Alrighty then, I declare that because God doesn't want you walking up steps to the temple because someone might see your naughty bits that clearly God is opposed to the wearing of underwear. Toss those bras, jockstraps, boxers and panties right now!

I could pull up all sorts of odd scriptures and decide to make man-made laws from them, such as the part where during a battle the army used an altar as a latrine, or where King David danced in his underwear before the Ark of the Covenant or perhaps the man that lay on the floor naked prophesying before Samuel.

I bet you're wondering how Vaughn makes the leap from passive 'falling' in love being lust? There's no Biblical basis for it, he's making a leap without any logic.

 To summarize: We don’t fall in love, we fall in lust. Love is patient, kind, fears no evil. Love is an attribute we demonstrate by our actions. It is our reaction to God’s work in us. It causes us to walk in His ways, to keep His commandments. Love never fails. You cannot fall into it, you can only be granted it by God. You cannot fall into it, you have to hang on to it.

Lust, on the other hand, is often the first step in sin. We desire. We see something and we want it. And, all too often, we then ignore our conscience, our friends, and our God to get the thing.
Or, sometimes, more subtly, our lust works in the opposite direction. Sometimes we fail to do a good thing because our lust isn’t tickled. Consider Jacob’s unconscionable behavior toward Leah. She wasn’t as attractive to him, so he literally ‘hated’ his first wife, taking a second after a one week honeymoon. How’s that for ‘loving’ behavior?
You can fall in lust. You can wake up one morning, or look across the room at some party, and decide you are looking at a good thing. You can desire that thing. That desire can feel overwhelming. It can lure and entice, it can tempt and destroy.
You can’t fall in love, but you can fall in lust. But you shouldn’t.
Love and lust can go hand in hand or they can be separate things entirely. Falling in love is a glorious feeling and mostly devoid of lust. Remember back when you first held your newborn baby and the quickening of your own heart, feelings of lover over flowing for this tiny creature you'd just seen for the first time. It makes no sense, but there it is. How about laying eyes on a good friend that's ended up being in the only one that knows all your secrets and would never betray you. Or glimpsing the beauty of a small child you don't know. A puppy, the first snow fall, whatever it is that stirs your heart. Falling, falling in love.

A world without the possibility of falling in love is a pretty bleak cheerless place. Love is not duty and it's not lust. People that tend to be focused on finding porn, lust and evil sex under every bush have the problem, not those of us that fall in love.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why Betrothal Isn't 'The Answer'

Photo removed because I'm sick of the self righteous whining by one of Laura Camp's relatives. I have to say though that she should get used to being publicly mentioned because I'm pretty sure Ohlman is going to cite her and his son's sex life in his future postings at True Love Doesn't Wait. 

Last week brought the news that Vaughn Ohlman of True Love Doesn't Wait betrothed his son Joshua to a young lady up in Michigan named Laura Camp. I wish both of them well, they look like good well-scrubbed Fundie Christians. They're going to need all the luck and good wishes they can garner considering the explanation of betrothal Josh's dad gave in the wake of the announcement.

Marriage isn't easy under the best of circumstances. It's a struggle sometimes to create a union where each is valued for who they are and both partners fit together in complimentary ways. Their type of betrothal sets up a pretty high potential for failure, or at least, outright misery. Saying that doesn't give me any pleasure, but after being married to the same wonderful irritating man for nearly thirty years now I think I have at least a clue what needs to happen to have a successful marriage.

Pink's song "True Love" really sums up my and my husband's relationship sometimes. 'I wanna hug you and at the same time I want wrap my hands around your neck' shows the playful push/pull dynamic that works for us, right down to the freedom to disagree and occasionally not like everything about each other.

Let's example Vaughn's way, shall we?

Let me start by laying out the process whereby people in our era commonly get married. They first start, usually, as ‘friends’. Then they start dating and become ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’. Perhaps they ‘go steady’. (We will ignore, here, the world’s stages of when they start sleeping together.) Then, assuming things go well, they get ‘engaged’.
 That friendship and 'boyfriend - girlfriend' phase is really one of the best ways to get to know each other enough to get a sense if you have common goals and values. If you're completely yourself and your partner is honestly who they are then this is really a critical time. Whatever red flags you see will let you know what you can expect if you plan a lifetime together. It allows you time to examine what your own deal breakers are, what things you're willing to overlook or compromise on.

I knew before I married Jim that he was a football fanatic and between Saints games, LSU games and fantasy football scheming that every weekend during the fall and winter revolves around football. I'm not a big football fan so that time is usually when I go shopping with our daughter Laura, hang out with friends, quilt or take my oil paints and easel outside to paint. I knew it going in and it wasn't a big deal. He knew I had almost no interest in football but was okay with his love of football.

We're not joined at the hip and our interests are sometimes divergent and that's okay. Had I gotten engaged after a two hour meeting there's no way I would have known that and it had the potential to be a big deal. That's why those dating days and/or hours in courtship are so needed. You have to get to know the real other person.

I want to examine carefully the next two phases; because we don’t think of them as two phases except, occasionally, when there is some legal problem. But there are two distinct stages. First there is the ceremony, which usually involves some critical moments: vows, a preacher saying ‘I now pronounce you’.
Most of us, after those critical moments, consider the couple ‘different’. We call them Mr and Mrs So and So, we call them man and wife, we cheer when he kisses her.
But at the same time, especially if they are virgins, we are all waiting for something else as well. We call it ‘consummation’. It is the time, usually later in the day, when the young couple ‘comes together’ physically.
 I don't think that Von realizes that it doesn't reference the wedding ceremony much in the Bible. I think it's more of a Westernized cultural thing than a Biblical thing. It's symbolic of the promises the two people being bound in legal covenant together are making and a way to make their friends and family part of that symbolism.

We may cheer at the end of the ceremony when the couple seals the ceremony with a kiss but I hope no one in their right mind is thinking about the sexual consummation of the relationship that night. It's just creepy and wrong, mind-porn, to think about the happy couple gleefully making the hotel bed springs squeak in passion. Most people are either thinking happy thoughts, like how beautiful the bride is or about the commitment these two people have made, or even anticipating having wedding cake, not thinking about sex.

If weddings make you think about all the sex the bride and groom are going to have it's highly possible you have issues with impurity of the mind.

But there is typically at least some kind of separation between these two times. A time when the young couple is ‘Mr and Mrs’, but they have not had sex. When they are in covenant, but have not consummated that covenant.
Not legally are they Mr and Mrs. No one but a few people with little understanding of the actual commitment of marriage might consider them bound in a marital covenant.

What is betrothal? It is that time. Bound in covenant but not  yet consummated.
Mountains out of bridal molehills, it is essentially the same thing as an engagement. Just because you are calling a pig a puppy doesn't mean you can't still have bacon from it.

In Scripture we do not see the whole ‘friends’, ‘dating’, ‘engagement’ thing happening. Even historically a broken ‘engagement’ was called ‘breach of promise’ and could be sued over. In Scripture we see the couple being formed by the agreement of the fathers,[1] and being bound in covenant at that time. They don’t date, or court, they begin by being bound in agreement.
But even betrothed couples in the Bible usually knew each other more than a few hours. The agreement of the fathers was usually more related to political machinations or to protecting the wealth inherent in each family. That's a very old way of dealing with marrying off a daughter or son. It still happens in some societies or people are strongly encouraged by their parents to date and marry from their own circle. You've misunderstood the cultural factors and the era you are using as an absolute.

For all your 'Biblical' blathering you're deliberately misunderstanding the Old Testament. You have no proof of what you claim.

I hope against hope that your son and his soon to be bride are happy and a good match. It's just too bad they had no say in the matter. Way to start out their lives together with a strong disadvantage.

You need time to know others.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teenaged Mothers

I've lined up a post for tomorrow's Quoting Quiverfull feature of No Longer Quivering quoting something Vaughn Ohlman posted at True Love Doesn't Wait.

Rather than cutting and pasting it here I'll boil it down for you - Married teenagers pregnant = good and unmarried teenagers pregnant = bad slutty immoral. He didn't exactly use those words but that was his distinct import. He waxes very hand wringingly over the fact that having a baby out of wedlock in our world is considered by most polite society to be no big thing.

Quite frankly I'm glad it's no big thing now, no public slut shaming, no acting like the woman bearing the child, not the man, is the evil scum of the earth.

Several years before I left my old judgmental church I got to see first hand what happened when my dear friends Whitford and Diane brought their pregnant out of wedlock mentally unstable twenty year old daughter when she was ready to pop to our church. Most every one hugged the poor girl and told her how glad they were to see her again. A few people cut her dirty looks but mostly she was treated like the precious child of God she was.

With one exception, one BIG exception - Tommy Smith, the man I've chronicled my many years of struggles with. If iron sharpens iron then what in the hell does self-righteous abuser and stubborn woman do to each other? More like sticking spoons in angry hornets nests.

After the sermon is over and most folks are still visiting in the sanctuary I slipped down the hall to the restroom. As I passed the secretary's office I notice that Tom has this poor pregnant girl with the thin grip on her emotions in the office and he's talking to her. Later I hear that what I actually glimpsed was Tom telling her what a disgrace and bad example for the youth she was setting, how she had no business being at church at all in her condition.

Do you really think that Jesus wants us to shame those that haven't exactly been perfect Christians, that end up wearing their 'sin' publicly? Did Jesus ever slut-shame anyone in the Bible?

I don't think anyone would argue that kids raised with two parents in a loving relationship aren't better off in many ways. That's really not the point, but what about helping those that are pregnant out of wedlock, helping the poor single mothers, simply accepting them as they are in that moment?

You want to cut down on the number of out of wedlock pregnancies? It's simple. Make sure every kid knows how their bodies work. Have sex education taught in all schools. Education is power.

Speaking of education. Make every freshmen in high school do the Baby Think It Over exercise. My youngest, Laura, had to take care of Baby Think It Over for a week and by day three was sobbing and crying how trapped she felt. She got enough of an experience of what being completely chained to someone depending on you all the time was like.

Any teenager having a baby isn't a good idea in my eyes, married or single. Statistics show that you're more likely to issues in a teen pregnancy such as low birth weight, increased rates of anemia, premature birth, high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Teens have lower rates of proper prenatal care and are put at an educational disadvantage and socio-economic disadvantage. Not to mention that their bodies are still changing and maturing before reaching their twenties.

Delaying child birth till you are in a better place physically, emotionally, economically, finished your education (whatever that level is) and only when you are mature enough to realize you will be spending all your waking moments caring for a small demanding someone and knowing you are capable of that sacrifice.

Anything less cheats both the mother and the child out of the best possible chances.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Why Isn't Robin Thicke Being Pilloried?

While Ladies Against Feminism and many other ministries and others not religiously inclined are busy clutching their oversized Marge Simpson pearls over Miley Cyrus's performance on last Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards program there is almost dead silence over the other person there, Mr. Robin Thicke.

You know Robin, he of the Beetlejuice-esque black and white striped suit grinding on Miley Cyrus's boney butt during her twerking and singing? He of the song, Blurred Lines, with the very rapey-rape culture lyrics that hint that some women just are asking for it? That seems to glorify date rape? The 36 year old married father who should have known better than to rub himself up against a foolish 20 year old? Yeah, him.

Doesn't he bear at least 50% of the blame for this public display of lewdness? If you're going to scream and call Ms. Cyrus' dance 'obscene' then you have to think that perhaps Mr. Thicke should have never participated.

After all, who hasn't done some amazingly stupid things at 20 years old, things they would never do at 36. Miley is young and she's obviously working out some rebellion in full view of the world. You can almost excuse her knowing what a screwed up family dynamic she comes from added to the fact that The Mouse House, Disney, owned her for nine long years. It looks like Preachers Kid Syndrome from here to me. Let's all agree that it wasn't her most shining of moments and move on.

But Thicke did not act with the maturity of his age, he was fully in the act, the recipient of a crotch-grab followed by Miley backing her bucking hips against the front of his pants. He, father of a daughter, without any shame, behaved like a sexed up lunatic pimp in front of millions of viewers. Yet no media mention of his part in the collective gasp heard round this world.

Oh no, it's pile on the girl, just like in that awful rape case in the media these last few weeks. You know the one, where the teacher had sex with a 14 year old girl, the victim killed herself and the judge said the victim "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher the rapist.

As long as society keeps slut shaming women for their sexuality expressions, even if they agree with them, and refuses to hold men accountable, perpetuating the whole purity culture rape culture, then nothing will change. Your attacker could be slapped on the wrist because of what you wore or some supposedly seductive dance you did. No consequences or blaming on the guys.

Robin Thicke, SHAME on you! You bear the greater part of the blame for that silly sad incident on the MTV stage. You should be publicly shamed as much if not more than Cyrus.