Christians, Victim Blaming & S**t Shaming

Christians, Victim Blaming & S**t Shaming

A Chapter by Jordan
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A blog

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There is a trend among many Christians that is far more harmful than believing the Earth and universe is just six thousand years old and that science is evil because it is out to destroy Christianity and Christianity alone. (That last bit was said with sarcasm; science and faith are not mutually exclusive, but that is another topic.) This trend is two sides of the same coin, just brought about differently; and this trend is victim blaming and s**t shaming, in the name of religion, namely Christianity and other Abrahamic religions.

    Victim blaming, if you are new to the term, is where victims of rape are blamed for what is done to them. “Oh, you were drunk, you deserved to be raped!” “If you hadn’t worn that short skirt, you wouldn’t have sent an open invitation to any red blooded male that you were available!” “If you hadn’t been walking the street alone at night, you would not have been mistaken for a prostitute, and he would have left you alone.” “If you had a man, you would have been safe and protected.” “He’s your husband/boyfriend/date and he deserves what he wants for buying you dinner/clothes/jewelry.” The list is endless of excuses for rapists, all while solely placing the blame on the victim. This is what victim blaming in, and it is targeted mainly at women; and it leaves the male victims of rape vulnerable and isolated as well.

    S**t shaming is where a woman is looked down upon, treated like she is worthless, and made to feel ashamed of enjoying what all creatures are created for- sex. Women are taught that sex is for the men, and cuddling is for us. (Seriously. It is a meme on facebook on one of those asinine teen pages. I about puked when I saw it.) The thing is this: Sex. Is. Fun. Our bodies are designed to find pleasure in our partner’s/partners’ body/bodies based on anatomy alone, never mind the emotional aspect and the mental aspect. Yet, according to many fundamental extremists of the Abrahamic religions, sex is sinful, should only be enjoyed in marriage, and is for men, not women. On top of that, women are over sexualized in society to where a mother cannot even breastfeed her child, using what are actually called mammary glands were intended for; this also leads into body image and many other issues that will be discussed later.

    I mentioned earlier that these are two sides of the same coin. I’ve covered what the sides of the coin are, but not what the coin itself is. The coin is that of oppressing women in the name of religion, the name of modesty, piety, and virtue. The coin is oppression, painted up in a lovely shade of Godliness and holiness, that is based upon a false doctrine of a weaker sex, of women being powerless and helpless, and of needing someone to care for them financially, and needing a man to validate her. It is a coin that paints sex as a shameful act, in a missionary position, with all of the lights off, between only two people in a heterosexual relationship. Sex is supposed to be bad, not fun, not good and it is only for procreational purposes. Sex is only intended for married couples to know pleasure in one another. Sex is all of these negative, archaic things that it has become an institution that is considered necessary yet shameful. And here is where the problems begin with this logic, when using victim blaming and s**t shaming.

    With rape or any sexually abusive act, IT IS NOT ABOUT SEX. It never was about sex. It was never about an attraction to the person being raped for the rapist. It was never about seeing this lovely woman and just having to have her right there, even if she says no. It is about power. It is about having so much power over another person that they do not willingly give you that power, but you rip it from them, against their will, even if they say no, because it is about you needing that power. It’s not a power exchange or power play, it’s not about attraction or desire- it is about one person wanting to take away a person’s power and rip it away from them because that is how they get off. This is why men whom are raped are so fearful of coming forward; they lost their power over women. Society has taught that men are more powerful and have more power than women, but once a man has his power yanked away, then he loses his identity as a man, because his power is gone. (This begs the question of which way will our society acknowledge it; for a woman it is about sex when she is raped, yet a man loses his manliness because he was raped. The logical errors in this and double standards present are staggering.) These problems are presented because of a misguided conception that is rooted in a deep religiosity of the patriarchal religions for many of its practitioners. In many of the stories, men were portrayed as strong leaders, warriors while women were portrayed as weak, helpless, and deserving of only being used in political marriages to create alliances, unless they were portrayed as completely venomous and deceitful, in which case the men were portrayed as no better than beasts to their sexual urges. This treatment of victims and survivors is shameful to the Way that Jesus taught because their pain is disregarded for accusations and assumptions that truly have no basis in reality. It also breaks many of the things Jesus taught, including the golden rule of due unto others.    

    Which brings us to s**t shaming. Women are told to not enjoy sex, not to be promiscuous, to not do all of these things that are for men’s enjoyment and men’s enjoyment alone. (Women were also told for several thousands of years to stay out of politics and religion because we are considered to weak mentally and due to our constitutions to handle the rigors of such subjects.) But why are women told this? Why were they told that? Why are women looked down upon for enjoying sex outside of marriage, told that they are worthless if they are not virgins, looked upon with disgust because because they wear revealing clothing, or enjoy sex? It is simply this; in the patriarchal religions, a woman’s power is said to lie within her ability to seduce, to pleasure,  to be her partner’s fantasy come to life. Look at Ahab and Jezebel, Samson and Delilah, Adam and Eve, and many other stories within the Old Testament of how women seduced men to get what they wanted or to do evil deeds to hurt the tribe of Israel or all of mankind, even when there were only two human beings. We are ingrained with this so heavily that women have become sexualized in a most shameful sense; and not just by men either, but other women too. (Another example of this is the fact that men find it very sexy to see two women kissing or having sex; but if a woman finds two men kissing and having sex sexy and fantasies about having sex with two men? Oh, she’s so bad, such a s**t.)

    This treatment of sex as a shameful act is what has brought this about, as has this oppression of women in the name of religion, and in the guise of virtue and righteousness. And society continues to allow it, even into the twenty-first century, basing it on patriarchal religions that were trying to separate themselves from the pagan tribes around them that used sex as a form of worship and revered the flesh of the human body. Women, in many of these pagan tribes, were also allowed power, so, as with tattoos, mixed fabrics, shellfish, certain birds, and pork, women were then taken from power and not allowed it in these patriarchal religions, and were even painted to horrible, conniving, and even evil. The only difference is that it was not spoken aloud like the rest of these rules and laws or written, but remained unspoken and a bit obvious because of the treatment of women. (The rule in the Old Testament that a woman must marry her rapist, along with a woman may be stoned if she is found to not be a virgin on her wedding night makes this glaringly and painfully obvious as do certain verses in the New Testament that Jesus never spoke but that the disciples did; women shall remain silent in church, for instance.)

    With religion, many focus on the wars started in the name of religion, the bloodshed, torture, imprisonment, and cold blooded murders of what the practitioners have done in the name of their God. One thing that is ignored is the way that people are treated and how it affects many of those same people today, even in an enlightened age, where it has been acknowledged that all are equal and deserving of rights. Yet many are still having to fight to even marry, because of religious people wishing to ban marriage and such a beautiful thing as love, but allow violence to roam rampantly in the light. Many are still attacked and shamed for what others did to them because of religious people interpreting sacred texts their way, to suit their own purposes, biases, and prejudices. And the saddest thing of all, is that these people never realize the monster that they are feeding into, the darkness that they are allowing to obliterate another’s light, and the heartbreak and sorrow that is being caused to other people. This coin needs to be taken, shattered, and scattered to where no other person can feel the pain it causes and healing must be promoted with damage done. Love is the only thing that can reach people, not a religiosity that oppresses and fears a group of people for whatever reason. And, that being said, we must begin to love one another and ourselves enough to rid our society of these views by teaching the truth. Religion itself is not the problem, but rather how people perceive its literature. We must encourage a change in thought in how texts are viewed and encourage the new methods in thought concerning sex and women. This is the only way that this will stop and that our sons and daughters will be able to come forward with no shame and be who they are, enjoying what they enjoy, with no shame or fear or hurt or sorrow.


© 2013 Jordan


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Added on October 10, 2013
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Jordan
Jordan

Crossville, TN



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