Anthony W Brooks
In a recent conversation on the interwebs “He Who Shall Not Be Named” was memed for the millionth time this month by a professional troll with less than pure intentions. This conversation involved a quote from one of his books on marriage (one of his more controversial topics) and the quote basically stated that sex was for the man to “penetrate and conquer” in his sexual activities. Now you can imagine what people will do with such a quote, not understanding his underlying eschatalogical views that are far from their cultural presuppositions.
Well, the conversation turned toward the obvious definition of “sexism”. But before I get into that discussion I want to qualify one point. This point is that I live as if the Bible is the only sufficient rule of life in the people of God. That means that all things can relate back to the Bible to be rooted in reality in a “general equity” sort of way. So if a concept is not seen as being Biblical then it is to be rejected.
The Origin Story of ‘Sexism the Giant’
Sexism was a term coined in November of 1965 during a “Student-Faculty Forum” at Franklin and Marshall College (see “Feminism Friday: The origins of the word “sexism” Oct 19, 2007). The term was coined to explain the existence of sexual stereotypes in the culture and how the culture catered to them. The main objections were aimed toward, or course, organized religion, but other groups and stereotypes were of course targeted. These stereotypes were the typical “women belong at home barefoot and pregnant” to “women can’t drive”.
When it comes to stereotypes I am not naive enough to say that there are not small pieces of truth in some stereotypes. Though some might be outright false like “women can’t drive”, others might be mostly Biblical like “women belong at home barefoot and pregnant” (I say MOSTLY Biblical because barefoot is not usually a part of the Biblical equation).
“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” -Titus 2:3-5
I know that this probably offends most of you, but if I said I cared then I would be lying. There is a standard that exists outside of us all and it isn’t your subjective feelings or mine. And for you Christians that are offended I quoted your primary authority above in black and white.
Why Sexism is a Giant
Sexism is at the forefront of our cultural problem because of the feminism issue. First, Second, and Third wave feminism have slowly degraded our views of women and their unique and valued role as a caretaker of the children, a lover of her husband, and a tender of the home. These are not negative, but the culture from the time that I was little has treated this stereotype as negative and degrading to women, even though scripture says it is a noble thing for the woman to engage in.
The cultural narrative has shifted to suggest that women are stronger without the man. According to them, women are held back by men and the patriarchal establishment of corporate America (though this reality is made up, it is still a popular view). Are we really going to bow the knee to the gods of the egalitarian establishment? We are giving them our children in the public schools, our young people in the public university, and now our wives in the workforce (Not Sorry!).
The Crux of the Matter
Sexism isn’t a Biblical category, and, therefore, we are not to be offended when we are called sexists, and we aren’t supposed to give the argument any recognition as anything close to valid. Nowhere in scripture is there a word about sexism being a thing (a sin or otherwise), the fact that the word was coined against many religious stereotypes should tell you something, and many of the things that the culture says is sexist is actually spoken of as virtuous and commandments in the Bible. Sexism is not a biblical category. Period… Not sorry!
Anticipating an objection here… Yes sexism has a definition in the dictionary, but the dictionary is not the Bible. I don’t look to the dictionary for moral guidance of any sort. Yes, sexism is a word that has meaning. I agree. I’m rejecting the definition of the word, not the word itself. As you can see I’ve used the word multiple times in this article, but the concept the word portrays is not Biblical and should not have an affect on the way we order our homes and lives (which is to be in subjection to the Word of God at all times).
I was trying to think of whether I should make qualifications on the treatment of women, but decided that any Christian man worth his salt will know the proper way to treat his wife. But do not take that as any opening to say I don’t believe women to be individual persons, or lesser persons, or persons at all. I’m not attacking the personhood of women, or their status in modern America (that discussion will come later). I am simply saying that Sexism was invented to counter biblical categories and we need to reclaim those categories for Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria!