Fangirl Saves the World

just who the hell do you think you are, anyway?

nobody’s “helpmeet”

with one comment

a black and white photo of a white woman and her daughter in 1950s era aprons and holding baking equiptment; the wife, smiling, is looking at her daughter (who is also smiling) and saying "That's right, sweetheart; dreams and goals are Satan's way from distracting you from making dinner."

D’you know what word fills me with rage?
Helpmeet.
Every time I read it, I just want to stomp around like fucking Godzilla.
It just… ew. The connotations are disgusting: submit to him, damn it, because he’s the man and you’re the woman, he’s smart and you’re stupid he’s right and you’re wrong.

A few men are born with more than their share of dominance and, on the surface, a deficit in gentleness. (source)

… but that’s okay, because he will “exalt” (and presumably stop abusing*) her if she just sits down and shuts the fuck up (and if he’s not exalting you, it’s your own damn fault, fucking uppity whining harpy bitch).

If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong, and fulfilled man of God.

Yeah: do as your told and he’ll be nicer to you.
This is the sort of apologist bullshit I expect from, well, abusers; it takes on a whole different level of disturbing and upsetting when the victims are going on about how this is totes okay because God says so. (They probably have some bullshit caveat about how “this isn’t really abuse” (the same way beating your children with PVC piping is also just good upbringing “training,” or how a good man of God would never harm his spouse (bullshit, I say, and here’s one example)). They might say that’s not the ~intent but people love abusing their power; that old truism “absolute power corrupts absolutely”? they call them truisms for a reason. I mean, c’mon people: if your husband’s word is law and you’re not supposed to challenge his authority, telling him to stop abusing you is breaking the law… and this, my friends, is what we call a Catch-22.)
If you’re not a wife yet, being your husband’s helpmeet, you should stay at home and help your dad, since you’re his property until you get married, anyway. No, really. There’s tons of bullshit about glorifying your [male relative]‘s achievements and doing a lot of legwork but taking no credit and just being glad your [male relative] gets all of this cool stuff done, or something, and the most important part is that you never once complain about doing arduous and menial labor for no thanks, let alone pay. This all comes down to stroking male egos (many of the articles are about how a woman should never chastise or correct her husband, even when his behavior is out of line or he’s just plain old fashioned incorrect) and ensuring that their fantasy of what women are or should be (unpaid laborers who do so without ever striking and demanding better workplace conditions and thirty days of paid leave each year). It’s win-win if you’re a man: you have a penis, so you’re always right and the whole family belongs to you and exists for your pleasure. If your wife says otherwise, just remind her that if she doesn’t follow your directions explicitly, immediately and cheerfully, she is rebelling and will go straight to hell for daring to disagree with you. That’ll shut her up. (It does, too; these men exploit religious beliefs and deeply held fears of damnation to their own, ultimately self-serving, ends and they never have to examine what that means because that’s just how God made it, and us uppity, hairy feminist bitches need to shut up and get back to the kitchen, already.)
No, let me tell you how it is: women are people, too.
We all have the right to pursue our own dreams. I do not exist merely to serve some man’s every wish and whim, to suffer abuse for failing to be “cheerful” about performing arduous but menial tasks for no thanks, let alone recognition. Subjugation is, by nature, never joyful; it breeds resentment and discontent. Collaboration and compromise that takes the needs of both partners into account is the only way to a truly joyful relationship.
… but I forgot, didn’t I? These people aren’t talking about respectful, loving relationships between people, they’re talking about the relationship between a man and his property, because women aren’t really people in their minds, just nameless, faceless mothers and wives at best, and nameless, faceless “incubators” at worst.
This whole patriarchal religious movement is just a way to ensure that male fantasies about the role of women continue to be fulfilled, at the expense of actual women.

I know I’m taking potshots at easy targets, here, but I run emotional and intellectual laps every day. It’s a great workout for my brain and I’m a better person for it, but sometimes I get tired. Sure, all this makes me see red, but I can say, with 100% certainty, that I am right and they are wrong, because I am human and female and I know that I am human and that my desire to be treated like one is not sinful rebellion, it’s righteous outrage. This isn’t even moral high ground; right now, I’m on the moral Mount Everest and they’re at the bottom of the deepest, darkest ocean crevasse of morality. This feeling of being right, with no nuances or disclaimers, is not one I am afforded often, and I’m going to take it for now while I relax. I’ll get back to the grindstone tomorrow.


*a “deficit of gentleness”? c’mon.

Written by Fangirl

March 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

One Response

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  1. I just wanted to say that the picture totally got me RAGING hard.

    I like what you’re doing with this blog, keep up the good work!

    I would suggest though putting a few more pictures in to break up some text. Well, I think anyways that this article makes much more impact with the above picture.

    Anyways, much luck and keep speaking truth!

    bakageek

    March 31, 2010 at 11:05 pm


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