Monday, April 25, 2011

Patriarchal Control

The Bible is full of patriarchal double-talk used to control its members. As far as I'm concerned, the Jehovah's Witness patriarchy is out of balance. Only men are allowed to claim special knowledge of the human condition. Men who have been designated "elder" may have never been married and never had children, yet it is their job to instruct women how to be good wives. Here is an example of the counsel I received from many such experts, "…you wives, be in subjection to your husbands, in order that, if any are not obedient to the word, they may be won without a word through the conduct of their wives."—1 Peter 3:1 New World Translation.

Believing I would be blessed for my obedience, I was as subservient as any human could be to my sex-, alcohol- and drug-addicted husband. "Obedience" to scripture does not work. The only thing my "subjection" accomplished was to continue to enable his addictions by not addressing his issues at all. In fact, in that past marriage I was the one with the label of "sick one" because I bent over backwards to the point of depression, believing the patriarchal malarkey spewed by the ignorant and uneducated elders.

You see, the elders were considered by all in the congregation to be the "experts" on my well-being. Yet, quite frankly, they barely knew me. They knew nothing about co-dependence and even less about addictions or mental health. They had no training in those areas. Yet, elders' continual advice to me was:
  • "Be a better wife"
  • "Read your Bible more"
  • "Be a regular attendee of five weekly meetings"
  • "Render your sexual due"
  • "Win him without a word"
To the elders' ways of thinking, his vices had nothing to do with him choosing that life and having no intention to grow. Apparently, his addictions were about my failure to be a good enough wife. My job was to "fix him."

The elders, having no training in recognizing or counseling dysfunctional relationships could not see that their advice was detrimental, perhaps even compounding the addiction issues. Blaming me for the marriage breakdown was nonsense. I see that now, years after the fact and after much therapy. Thus my reason for saying the Bible is a book that supports ancient patriarchal societies and is irrelevant counsel in today's world.

I believe patriarchies will soon be a thing of the past. As humanity comes into balance, women will become self-empowered and independent. I have learned it is unnecessary for women to consult ignorant men spewing Bible texts for guidance when therapeutic insights, common sense, intuition and self-trust is all that is required to heal from enslavement to patriarchs.

Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2011. Permission is granted to copy and re-distribute this transmission on the condition that it is distributed freely.

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