X-JW FEMALE CIVILITY=X-JW FEMALE SUBJECTION?
Greetings gentle posters,
I have been inspired to write this by the following quotes from various posters on a thread started by Amnesian titled THE EX-[ELDERS] FILES: EYES WIDE SHUT.
The following was quoted by Amnesian from various responses to a thread started by Amazing titled: EX-JW WOMEN, YOUR SIDE.
Thanks for asking!…Thank you Amazing for asking that question…Just my 2 cents. Thanks for letting me share…Amazing, this is a great topic!…Amazing, great idea…Thanks for starting this thread Amazing…What an excellent topic. It is so healing to be able to say how we really feel and felt…I love this thread…There is something about this topic that usually causes a burning desire for our voice to be heard…Thanks...great thread…Thank you Amazing for starting this thread…This is an excellent thread because so many JW women are oppressed…
I will quote a few responses to Anmesian’s thread that intrigued me:
Also some women who still carry over the ladylike civility a la WTS. You'll know them by their posts. They bought into that definition of 'the good woman' but forgot to return that old used up costume to the store lol. Real assertive competant outspoken women scare them,because they havent realized the status quo changed long ago. Pollyana is dead and buried. Civil=little ladylike kow-towing here.And this from a male:
If these comments weren't so tragically sad they would be downright sickening. It reminds me of the exact same inability to speak up for the distress women feel within the brotherhood (emphasis on "brother") that is the Spiritual Paradise. So much pain and misery not allowed to surface and men walking around acting as they have all the answers but knowing all the while that they don't.And also this:
You no longer speak from behind the authority of the podium at the KH and women are no longer hostages held in your audience with no choice but to give the impression of sitting in quiet rapture, “lapping” whatever concoction you’re ladling if they wish to “earn” G-O-D’s approval.
Except for the first one provided, I do not match the posters to their various quotes for a reason. My objective is not to call them out, and duke it out via this forum, but only to provide my inspiration in the starting of this thread. I wish to make it abundantly clear, that I have NO ax to grind with anyone on this discussion board. However, I do have a somewhat different perspective and the desire to share it.
I also harbor no personal animosity towards Amazing. When I write about elders, I am not referring to him. I, myself, have found insight in his posts.
First off, a little info about; Moi. I was raised with the unfortunate “privilege” of having my own personal “elder/Jehovah”. Self-appointed by my JW Father. I know the smothering hand of oppression up close. And I have experienced the frustration of having the message sent, covertly, and overtly, that because I was born a female, my thoughts, opinions, dreams, and ambitions were trivial, silly, and just a plain waste of time. That my very existence on this planet was a burden to be carried by the stronger, wiser, and proudly swaggering, males, that traveled in my universe, and that I should know my place and keepeth my mouth shut.
So, here’s where I take a deep cleansing breath, and offer my various musings on a little ditty I like to call:
BURNING THE WATCHTOWER BRA
It seems like another lifetime that those “little pearls of Patriarchy” were planted in my impressionable mind. I’m older and wiser now, and know, really KNOW, who and WHAT I am. What is acceptable and what is not to me. If some ex-elder feels compelled, by old habits, to fall back on his “Elder-EASE”, I really couldn’t care less. I understand that many others here are less understanding. Yet, some women who have been silent on the subject of their roll, or rather, lack of, in the WTs, or when asked to give evidence of their experience, are highlighted as still in the grips of submissive female WT mentality. Also, that the silence of other females indicates their fear of even sharing at all. So frightened are they of being challenged and ridiculed. That may be true in some cases, but not in all.
Is subjection a condition taken on by women that desire not to divulge their personal experiences? Or, when they do offer their perspective, and include a polite, “thank you” for being asked, are still under the thumb of the Society?
And if the asker is a male, a former elder, if her contribution is not riddled with in yer face sarcasm, and indignant fist-raising, she’s the cowering little woman still in the clutches of twisted Borg “sisterisms”.
Well, maybe not.
I know that many women here, on this discussion board, are in various stages of shedding their WT mannerisms. However, some have chosen not to throw the manners out, only the, opinion stifling, WT isms. Perhaps they don’t need to go to the mat with every puffed-up, full- of- himself, male, who thinks he can “show the little lady a thing or two”. They react with mild bemusement when encountering his imagined superiority. They are way beyond anger. It’s more of a reaction of indifference. Elders, whether they be, current, or former, have NO POWER in their lives anymore. It’s her party and she’ll be polite, or quiet,for that matter, if she wants to. They don’t need to feel pissed off and hurl personal insults in order to feel liberated. They are liberated! Their Watchtower brassiers are nothing more than a few wind-blown ashes floating away into a clear blue sky.
However, I understand, usually , that some EX-JW women need to vent, sometimes angrily, about their years of frustration and stolen dignity. Sensitive they are to, what they consider to be, condescending elderisms. Fine. In my opinion, however, civility doesn’t equate with subjection, and biting sarcasm doesn’t equate with liberation.
GDW...this was a very good post. I have to admit that I learned to respect women long before I came to this board as equals or even betters in some cases. I found it interesting in my own life experiences that some of these really cool people didn't have to go to the mat as you say, or need to use verbal karate to get their point across. They were no door mat that is for sure, and whoah to any guy stupid enough to think they were. But, once you know you are right, you don't always have to fight...and I think someone here is using that as their signature and I think that is a pretty cool way of looking at things!
Thanks for sharing that some of us really do manage to get our personal act together after walking out that backroom door.
women are tops, I've learnt that now
Fabulous post. As one of the people who knows me better than most, you know I respect you as an equal. Your gender is inconsequential to the respect I accord you.
We share the common value that respect is earned by decency. Disrespecting and not according equal rights to someone because of their gender is intolerable. Treat others decently and they will respect you.
Men who treat women badly simply because they are women are out and out bastards - shoot the dickheads!!
Women who claim equal rights, but then turn around and treat men in a defamatory way...obvious answer (let the reader use discernment).
Women who claim to be freed but then turn around and name call other women - just because the other women does not ACT like they do and choose to still be lady like and dignified - YOU ARE WORSE THAN THE MEN YOU VILLIFY.
I will be the first to stand up for female equality. But thats not what this discussion has been about lately. It has turned into a tirade against individual people under the guise of female equality.
I contribute to the Ayn Rand Society - for me she was one of the most brilliant philosophers ever. She came from a suppressed society, she was also suppressed because of her gender but she brought with her the most incredible logic on issues of freedom I have ever been privileged to read. She could have had an axe to grind against society in general and against men in particular....but she carried herself with class and argued her ideas with clarity. She earned the respect of millions by her ideas, her logic and her class.
Well said, GDW. (you realize that those initials could stand for another famous saying, don't you?
Seems a woman being civil, saying *thank you*, having manners, or just being quiet is now damning evidence of being held in the bonds of "a la WT" female subjugation to men.
Civil=little ladylike kow-towing hereSimon was the first person (and the king here, and a man) to ask the others posters to be "civil" with each other. I know he's not a jw any longer, and I know he's a man, and I have come to respect him as being decent & civil. Is he still under WTism bondage of being civil?
Are all people, men & women, who express manners, accord civility and respect for each other as people - all under the cult influence of the WT? Before the WT, were people capable of being civil?
Really enjoyed the posting of this topic especially about the submission part, so many women are under alot of submission even from husbands who are elders. A family relative of mine is and such a change in her personality. I'ts sad to see her changed so much it's almost like she has lost a part of who she used to be instead of fun-loving and happy she has become sad looking and quiet. I't breaks my heart to see this happen, and I'm glad I'm no longer in that position.Great conversation.Some not all husbands who are elders, take it way to seriously and use scriptures as the one on submission way to seriously and demand their wives respect. I wonder if that is true love for ones weaker vessel,so to speak.
I would like to add that I don't think that manners and civility should be gender specific. A man who insults others with name calling, berates those those he considers inferior, runs rough shod over those more timid in his midst is nothing but a low class bully. I don't respect men or women who use their tongue as a weapon of destruction.
Now, back to women. I know a woman who has been out of the JWs for over 30 years. She is one of the most intelligent persons I know. She is mild mannered, polite, and considerate. She does not flaunt her intelligence or hurt others. Quite the contrary, she uses her intelligence and wisdom to help others when others ask for such help. Many have appreciated her patient counseling over the years. She can relate to people at all levels of society, from the most humble to the very affluent and sophisticated. One woman she helped is a widow with very few resources. They are the best of friends. Another one she helped is the wife of a high level GM executive. The advice in this case, helped turn the woman's teenage daughter around. Rather, it helped the woman and her husband better understand their daughter.
The woman I am describing, posts here, but not frequently. Several of the woman here email back and forth to her and can attest to her character. She is my wife. I have known her for over 40 years and I never tire of her company or her conversations. She has been a good role model for my two grown daughters, who are also civil and intelligent, but not pushovers, by any means.
Well, that is all for now. I have to get back to the dessert thread.
I'm with you on this one:
In my opinion, however, civility doesn’t equate with subjection, and biting sarcasm doesn’t equate with liberationI certainly do not feel that being ladylike, civil and polite makes me a Pollyanna here or anywhere for that matter. Conducting myself as a lady, I feel, does not mean I'm bowing in subjection and servile humilty to the male ego. I have burned my WT bra and feel very liberated by it. I will speak my mind and have gone "toe-to-toe" with men on certain issues, but I certainly don't feel the need to bully my way around and hurl trashy insults in gutter-language when I disagree with him.
Some may laud and praise a women who talks like that as being gutsy...but sorry...it just doesn't impress me or gain my respect. Having the last word with biting sarcasm, does not convince me that one is liberated. I don't feel superior to women like that. I just believe what several have said here lately which is a very simply truth....you get more respect when you give respect.
That may be difficult when you think you've been insulted....but it certainly appears that continually hurling foul-mouthed insults does not win the argument, and that goes for whether its coming from a man or a woman. It only causes more insults and does not settle the real issue.
Thank you for your well-presented thoughts.
"Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."...Margaret Mead
GDW, excellent post, and great observations. One of the hardest things for my husband to deal with was his loss of "godlike" status in my eyes. He still tries to use this on me occasionally, but it doesn't get him anywhere.
I have finally gotten to the point in my life where I will fight for something IF I feel it's important enough to ME to fight about it. Some things just don't concern me that much, and it makes no sense to waste energy arguing about it. If someone's wrong, they're wrong. If they're not going to listen to my opinion, why should I waste my time trying to convince them? They're wrong, anyway.
I'm fortunate to work in a profession where I'm judged for what I know, not who I am. My managers solicit and respect my opinion, and I feel free to disagree with anyone, whether they are male or female.
Many of us are no longer submissive....we just don't feel the need to beat our chests at every opportunity.
I concur with Celt, understand Larc, and think Women are a gift, beautiful, and hope that JW's one day do away with the ridiculous 'inferiority principle'. Everyone knows women are angels, (or evil, depending on the saucy baby in question.)