I haven’t written a blog post in a while. I know you’ve all been awaiting my latest rant, and I’m sorry to have disappointed you for so long. The truth is, my other half is much better at delivering the rants without so many f-bombs. . . and, honestly, how could I compare with such wonderful rants as this?
But the time has come, guys and dolls, for me to stand on my soap box and do my bitch of the day. Normally these are done in the privacy of my bedroom, where I yell at the top of my lungs about the idiocy of the fundamentalists and the poison they teach to their congregations. This time, for a change of pace, I’m going to blog it. Now, I’m the last person who will tell anyone how to live their lives. If you want to be an ignorant, hate-filled idiot, that’s fine with me. I do have a problem, however, with bullshit that’s spouted from the pulpit. If you’re going to preach, you have a responsibility – not only to the people who are trusting you to lead them in a healthy direction, but also to the people who are watching you to get an opinion on what this whole “Jesus” thing is about.
Lately, I’ve been finding more and more completely un-researched bullshit being spouted on a national stage regarding sex and the female body. It pisses me off.
For example, just yesterday I came across this article written by San Jose pastor Justin Buzzard, about his book, Date Your Wife. Having not read the entire book, I can’t comment on all of the content Buzzard put into it. But the article itself gives me pause. What immediately disturbed me about this article was an email from Buzzard’s wife, as referenced by the author. A bit of set-up – a woman had emailed Mr. Buzzard, asking for advice about how many times per week she should have sex with her husband. The author’s wife, Taylor, shot off an email to the inquiring bride that included this bit:
“I think aiming for every other day (4x a week) is a healthier range. But I guess this is a question our husbands can best answer, since they typically have the bigger “sex tank,” and we definitely don’t want to send them out into this sex crazed world with their sex tanks on low. Satan is prowling.”
Now I’m not the sort to tell you what to do, but read this article. On the tail of such comedy gems as “legitimate rape” and discussions as to whether or not a woman should be able to abort a stillborn fetus, this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I could no longer keep silent.
I was enraged at “legitimate rape”. I fumed about it for days. Really? We won’t get pregnant unless we liked it? If our bodies responded to it at all, that made it “rough sex”? Come the fuck on.
I was incensed at the idea that we should give birth to a dead baby because that’s “what cows do”. As if I’m worth nothing more than a brood mare, and I have no opinion in the matter at all.
But this bit, about how women should sacrifice their bodies to their husbands every day to every other day in order to have a healthy marriage (read: a marriage where he won’t cheat on you at every opportunity because your simply not giving it to him enough) broke my brain. I’m infuriated.
Ladies, we are more than this. We are allowed to want sex! We don’t have to use our husbands’ “insatiable animal desire” as an excuse for taking our clothes off for him. It’s ok for us to want him. And men, why are you not infuriated by this idea that fundamentalist Christians have of you, that you’re a sex-crazed maniac that can only avoid infidelity (and rape!) because your wife becomes a secret gutter slut in the bedroom, thus sating your irrepressible urge to stick it in something? Ladies, if your man is this much of a slime ball, I would like to give you a piece of advice. Let me be very clear on it: leave him. He is not a man; he is an ambulatory turd. A real man will not cheat on you because you’re stressed out, or have a headache, or are busy, or because you just don’t want it. A real man has self control and is not controlled by his penis. You not giving it to him but once every two weeks does not mean he is going to be lead, by his penis radar, to the nearest sleazy-dressed slut who will spread her legs for him.
Men! I know you’re better than this! Do you know how many men I’ve dated who would put it in anything if I didn’t give it to him constantly? One.
Do you know how many men I’ve dated? More than one!
I weep for these poor women who are receiving this “marriage guidance”. I feel for them so completely. First, they believe that they have to stick with a man of such low character because divorcing this asshole (in favor of a man with any actual merit) would make them guilty of adultery, and therefore condemned to hell. Instead of happiness, and a marriage of love, they believe the selective so-called biblical reasoning of gender roles, deliberately ignoring certain passages in the bible in favor of others that stem directly from a patriarchal society in which women were considered property. This is espoused to them from a position of guidance, and dressed up with modern sensibilities, and it makes me sick.
Can we please, as a culture, get over these antiquated gender roles? Ladies, there is more to life than being his maid and slut. Men, you are more than sex-crazed fiends that can’t stop yourself from raping and cheating.
A healthy relationship is based on trust and communication. I say “relationship” instead of “marriage” because I see nowhere in the scripture the fundamentalists seem so intent on taking literally (except when it doesn’t fit their ideology) where it says that Adam and Eve were married. I mean. . .if they were the only two people on earth, who was the rabbi who performed the ceremony?
Women do not have to become submissive sex slaves to their men to have a happy relationship free of infidelity, and men do not need (or want, I should hope) their women to be a free lay when they get home, bereft of any thought and opinion of their own.
Aside from the talk about wives needed to fill their husband’s “sex tank”, something else about Buzzard’s article bothered me. The book seems to be written with a male audience in mind, and the author offers the men reading the article this advice:
“Underline this next sentence. If you want to change a marriage, change the man. That’s you. So whether you’ve been following the two-times-a-week rule, the one-time-a-week rule, or the one-time-a-quarter rule in your marriage, don’t rush to show your wife my wife’s e-mail. That won’t work. Your wife isn’t the problem. You’re the problem. I’m the problem. Men are the problem. If you want to change a marriage, change the man. If you want to change your marriage, you must first see that you are the main problem in your marriage.
“I imagine there are exceptions to this, but you and your marriage are not the exception. There’s probably one guy somewhere in Canada who can legitimately claim that most of the problems in his marriage stem from his Canadian wife. He’s the exception. You aren’t. The man who reads this book and disagrees, who thinks his wife is the main problem in the marriage, is the man who most needs to read this book.”
My first thought, when reading this blurb, wasn’t, “Finally! A man who understands that wives are blameless!” Because that’s ridiculous – why couldn’t I be the problem with my marriage? I’m just as broken as Daniel, just as selfish, as irrational, as evil in my bad times as he is. As it is, I think that both Daniel and I share an equal burden of blame for the bad times in our marriage, but it’s not impossible that I could be the biggest problem in my marriage. I’m a person, aren’t I? Buzzard’s implication that all wives are perfect little angels is as offensive as it is nonsensical. I live in the real world, not The King of Queens.
Justin Buzzard’s assertion that women are porcelain dolls of sugar-coated goodness (and, conversely, that men are the apes who ruin their own good thing) is, as George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson put it, the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. I’m all for a male pastor telling men to take responsibility for the part they play in maintaining a healthy marriage, but Buzzard takes the sentiment so far that it becomes its own form of prejudice. Does Buzzard believe wives can be perfectly blameless because they can’t compete with the authority of their husbands? Because they couldn’t possibly ruin a marriage, as they lack the power to do so? Or is Buzzard following the modern complementarian ruse of patting wives on the back while making sure they have no actual control over anything in their lives?
Wives can cheat. Wives can steal. Wives can lie. Wives can do anything that men can do, because they have both the same powers as men, and the same inclinations as men. Pretending that wives are perfect is just a Christian man’s way of trying to feel better about all of the abuse that Christian men have heaped on women over the centuries, blaming them for every little thing because of their “weakness,” their “wicked natures”. Saying now that wives are perfect little angels is just as offensive and untrue, and it extends the mindset (to the Christian male) that his wife is a delicate fawn that needs protection. Just ask Daniel – I’m no fawn.
I for one am eternally grateful and thank God every day that I didn’t come to Daniel as a mealy-mouthed little child who’s entire view of marriage had nothing to do with love, or my own desires in the bedroom, and instead was filled with the poison of the so-called guidance of Date Your Wife as my guideline for a happy marriage. I have a relationship built on love and companionship that I firmly believe God blessed before we ever even knew to credit the blessing to Him. And if life gets in the way and we don’t have sex for a week or two, I’m glad I don’t have to worry that he’s out there, tongue lolling after anything skinnier, sexier or sluttier than I am.
And if I occasionally want to smack upside his head for no good reason, well, what can I say? I’m not perfect. No matter what Justin Buzzard says.