This post will contain sexual content. If you are not over 18, please exit this post immediately. Adults only.
A few weeks ago, I promised some of my Facebook Fan Page readers some sex and dating talk.
As a feminist, I’m most interested in women’s studies, and women’s sexuality. Many of you may be intimidated by the word feminist, which has negative connotations, particularly in the Christian world. A feminist can be any woman. A feminist can also be any man. My definition of a feminist is someone who believes that the oppression of women occurs, is a great injustice, and wants to change that for the betterment of society. A feminist also believes that the liberation of women also means the liberation of men.
I have studied some texts from a great feminist, Mary Daly, particularly her book Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation. Daly quotes Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Chapter One, “The first step in the elevation of women under all systems of religion is to convince them that the great Spirit of the Universe is in no way responsible for any of these absurdities.” She goes on to say, “The biblical and popular image of God as a great patriarch in heaven…has dominated the imagination of millions over thousands of years.” (Daly 13)
Daly brings to us the idea that if God is male (and he is widely accepted as male), then male is God. “The image of the person in authority and the accepted understanding of “his” role has corresponded to the eternal masculine stereotype, which implies hyper-rationality…”objectivity,” aggressivity, and the possession of dominating…attitudes towards persons and the environment.” (Daly 15)
If male is God, then authority revolves around male, and a male God. Patriarchal religion is one of the dynamics that oppress women.
But, I said I was going to talk about sex, right? I am. In fact, let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me.
Well, let’s talk about me. I’ll leave you out of it, because I’m not sure if I know you that well. A study of European witchcraft tells the tale of a woman named Walpurga Hausmanin of Dillingen, as told in Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts by Anne Llewellyn Barstow. She brings up an interesting point: “…Walpurga had connected her sexual desire with the devil long before the court pressured her for a confession, believing that sexual desire in itself is evil.” (Barstow 18)
Let’s me explain why I bring witches, witch hunts and witchcraft into this post. Speaking for myself, I was taught explicitly and implicitly that sexual desire in itself was evil, was of the Devil, and was a temptation that was difficult to overcome and destroy. I was taught that too much sexuality or too much of my body being shown was evil, that I was a temptress if I dressed certain ways, and was drawing in men and seducing them.
Based on my mentors teachings, my interpretation of sexuality was that it was evil. I was easily a pawn of the Devil, just by being a woman, in fact.
Actually, there was a time we were all praying in a room and my discipleship leader, Wendy, came up to me and said that I needed to close my legs because I was tempting a fellow “brother” by sitting in a sexual position.
I had no idea that sitting normally on the floor was a “sexual position.” I was a virgin, and pretty naive. I had had my eyes closed and wasn’t thinking anything of the way I was sitting.
But, I realized quickly, that women were subject to getting called out for being themselves, simply because sex was viewed as an uncontrollable temptation for some men.
It’s no wonder one evening Nathan brought in a good friend John Bates to tell all of us women that we were Jezebels, taking away the men’s masculinity by our controlling, rebellious, witch craft ways.
As Malleus Maleficarum says, “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.”(Daly 44)
We get it–if we like sex, we’re not sexual or liberated, we’re witches.