Fundamentalists love stereotypes and patterns. They have a whole bunch of them, and if you don’t fit in, it’s certainly because you’re not a very godly person. Many blogs talk about how women are forced into them but the last two days I’ve been thinking about men. I watched the men I saw around me and I came to a conclusion: Men are just as much forced into a role as women are.
So what do these “godly” men look like?
A leader-personality, a strong personality, physical strength, mental strength, emotional strength, spiritual strength, courage, a “maker”, a good job, problem solving skills, skills to fix up pretty much everything around the house, has the guts to lead his family, doesn’t get fooled by anyone especially not wife and kids, can voice a strong opinion, is a sexual person, faithful, loving, gentle, knowing (and controlling) his emotions, generous, can talk about his feelings with wife and kids, a great father, a great worker, a great preacher, a great husband, a great lover, a good friend, helpful, ….
I could go on and on and on but you get the point. Now where’s the bakery cause if I want a man like that, I’m sure I’ll have to bake him myself.
Fundamentalists blame feminists that they’re making pussies out of men. Yet, fundamentalists demand men to be both a manly man and an emotional genius with their wives.To be a hard worker and a great dad. To fix up the whole house and give the wife the time of her life in bed afterwards. To be courageous, yet vulnerable.
They want men to be leading a family, but not be bossy. That’s a very thin line. That infamous, so-called “servant-leader”. I’m not saying it’s impossible to be both a good friend and a good leader. But men are constantly asked to walk to line between two extremes in every aspect of life. They aren’t permitted to have a hard day emotionally. They aren’t allowed to just trust their wives and relax from all the decision-making. They must be the bread-winner for 10+ kids and still be the fun, awesome dad and amazing lover and friend for their wives.
I suffered what the fundies expected of me in the movement. And now that I’m looking back, I’m not really surprised that men suffer too. Fundie-girls ask for the perfect man. And the guys, they struggle to be the best they can, and if they dare to have a single worry in their lives, they don’t trust god, are emotionally unstable and not marriage material.
I’m not surprised that men turn into tyrants anymore. Even though both the manly and the emotional skills are expected of them, no person can fulfill both. So they chose the skills the others can see – leadership, strength, “courage”. They rule their house with a hard hand and heart in order to prove their manliness to the world. Nobody can see if he’s a gentle man, a good friend to his wife, a vulnerable servant at home. And it doesn’t even matter, because which godly person believes the blabbering of a rebellious wife trying to talk her man down?
Though men are expected to have amazing emotional skills with wife and kids, the fundies “admit” that still sex is the most important thing for a husband. Men are reduced to their sex drive. Actually, a man is nothing but a leader with a sex drive in some places. This goes as far as reducing men to beings that can hardly be called animals, unable to practice self-control. They would jump anything immodestly dressed if it wasn’t illegal – which it shouldn’t be cause hey, the slut in a short skirt had it coming her way! And yet again, practicing self-control is a female task. Control of emotions (her own), sex drive (of any men), of opinions (cause you can’t have one), of dress, of knowledge, of the ability to live on your own, the list continues.
I heard that men have two ways they should use to control their women: The rod and the phallus. Both are used to make clear to the woman that she isn’t in control of her body, but her head, the husband, is.
How would I act if I grew up learning that? That my sex drive and my bossy attitude are the two central skills that make me a man? That I should be ready to die for the woman I love, but most importantly, need to control that bitch cause I’m being held responsible by God for everything she screws up? Would I be better? Would I not be a tyrant? Would I not enjoy my private slave? Would I not be angry to be pressured into feeding her and the brood? Would I not go crazier and crazier by ignoring even the last bit of emotional life that I have left?
I think I’d be a tyrant, too.