As a Woman Have your Attitudes Towards Men Changed After Exiting JW's ?

by flipper 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    Being raised in the Jehovah's Witnesses cult from birth - I saw many females mistreated, abused in a demeaning manner whether subtly or right out in the open. Before congregation meetings in the 1960's even as a boy I saw an elder talk rudely to his wife as if she was a child- and the wife put her head down in sadness. I saw JW men take themselves WAY too seriously as alleged " heads of their house " - because the WT society pushed the headship issue into every witness marriage. It disgusted me.

    What this caused was men who became in many cases " Minitiature dictators " in their own homes especially , even if out of view of the congregation. I watched my own older JW sister stay in an abusive marriage where her husband beat her, cheated on her with other sisters in the congregation, and took untold numbers of illegal drugs. After suffering with this for years what counsel did the patriarchal elders have for her ? They told her she " Must be doing something that makes her husband mad and needed to work on being a better wife ! " Finally she left after 20 years- but has suffered post traumatic stress syndrome in the years after.

    Now- Granted not ALL JW men were like this - however the " men first " patriarchal system pushed within the WT organization just perpetuated the abuse of women & children in my opinion. AS women after exiting the witnesses have you been able to regain more POSITIVE views of men now that you are out of the male dominated Jehovah's Witnesses ? And are you personally able to have more POSITIVE relationships with men now ? As always I look forward to your answers and I wish ALL you JWN ladies the best !! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • mrsjones5

    After being born and raised in the bOrg and almost getting married to a jw, I didn't want to marry a jw man. My father wasn't a dictator in our home but I knew a few jw men who were. I married my "worldly" husband but I still retained a little bit of the "headship" idea. Early in our marriage I explained the idea to my husband and he gave me a strange look and said never mention that again, our marriage is a partnership.

  • crazyblondeb

    I knew, after watching my parent's marriage, I would never marry a jw....

    I'm not the submissive type....

  • gubberningbody

    No. See the other post. ... I mean, if i WAS a woman...

    What was it that comedian said...

    "If I had a feminine side, I wouldn't stop touching it."?

  • Scully

    I never totally bought into the Headship Arrangement™ thing when I was a JW. It got me into trouble whenever I tried to call "bull$h!t" on misogynistic bull$h!t within the JWs.

    My parents raised me with the intent that I would be an independent self-reliant adult, not a simpering submissive hausfrau who had to ask her husband's permission to make up my mind for me. They wanted me to have marketable skills in case I needed to work to support my family.

    Oddly enough, it was JW women who objected the most to my return to college for nursing school. This was after several years of being home with a young family, when all my JW women friends were also home with their kids. They didn't like it one bit that I was embarking on a professional career. I was told I was being Materialistic™, that I was wasting my time because Armageddon Is Just Around The Corner™, that Satan was tempting me with education when I needed to focus on Spiritual Things™, etc.

    My response was that (a) my drive toward a career in health care must have been something Jehovah had given me, and that I felt it was wrong to neglect the gift that came from Jehovah, and (b) that should my husband ever drop dead and leave me with a family to raise on my own, I needed to have the ability to provide for them financially, because I couldn't rely on the congregation to take us in, house us, feed us and put clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet - because they were @$$holes who wouldn't even pick up the phone to call and say hello when I was seriously ill, I certainly couldn't trust them to be of any help if I were suddenly a single mom.

    I think what I said must have had an impact at least on a few of the JW women that I used to be friends with, because ALL of them gradually started getting jobs, and their daughters also took a career path other than just Pioneering™.

  • sass_my_frass

    I was disfellowshipped a few months before getting married, and The Headship Arrangment hungover for me for a little while. Like Mrs Jones, I mentioned it to my husband, that 'somebody has to have the final say', and like Mr Jones, my husband explained to me that no, we are a partnership. Bless our beautiful worldly men!

    In reality I can't see how 'submission' would have worked out for me anyway, if I'd ever married a witness. In our life, each of us takes the senior role in different things. I happen to be good with the money, so that's one of my things. I wouldn't want to be in an arrangement where I couldn't control the things I want to control.

    Good topic Mr Flipper! (As always..)

  • anewme

    When I was a JW wife I was in submission to my Elder husband. I thought that was what God wanted. But sometimes I wondered why my feelings and needs were put aside for his and the Society's. I remember one particularly cold winter Saturday morning. I did not want to go in the Field Service and told him so. I felt a pain in my chest and was coughing. But he insisted saying the sheep need to be fed even in the winter cold. So I got dressed and went. As the hours dragged on I felt sicker and sicker. I begged to quit and go in for the day, but he wanted to finish the territory before turning it in. It was almost 1pm and he found someone at home who was willing to spar religiously with him. I coughed and coughed while standing there, excusing myself and coughing and stepping back and coughing some more. We were standing there for another hour when I decided to just walk away and go and sit in the van because I felt like fainting. I dont know what time it was when he returned to the van, but that afternoon I went to the hospital with pneumonia.

    I felt very resentful and still feel resentful over the way I was treated during that 20 year marriage.

    Looking back, the Watchtower Society and its needs always took precedence over my needs. I was made to feel selfish and unspiritual when I requested a weekend off to spend on our marriage. In our 20 year marriage we never took a vacation due to the fact the other elders were going out of country for theirs and someone had to take the lead in midweek field service and on the weekends. So my husband felt the responsibility rested on us.

    The joke about the elders wife waiting at the KH for her husband until she was a skeleton with cobwebs all over her, was really no joke!

    In addition to the obedience to accompany my husband everywhere was the submission to his every belief and viewpoint. If I disagreed with him he would counsel me until the wee hours of the night until I would finally agree just to get him to leave me alone.

    Needless to say we were the strictest couple in our viewpoint, always applying the society's guidelines to the nth degree.

    Anyway, in my new marriage my husband and I are partners. We bought a house together so we are financial partners. We plan the weekend together. We love to be with each other. We are best friends to each other. He always puts my needs and health on the top of his list. He allows for my different opinion and I respect his. He never tells me how or what to think.

    He has shown himself to be a true friend to me. With his help I have recovered my life and mental health. I now am a retail manager with 20 employees under my supervision, eleven of which are men.

    I have learned to be respectful of both men and women and use insight and skill in gaining their cooperation.

    But to this day I do not tolerate well any person male or female imposing his or her will on me (unless he or she is wearing a shiny police badge)

    Thank you for bringing up this subject.


  • scotinsw

    Approaching this from a different direction here.

    My attitude has changed. Not all men are trying to sleep with you. I was petrified of men when I was a witness and when I first left. As time has gone on though I've realised that while some men are like this it is possible to get on well with men without sex coming into the equation.

  • flipper

    MRS. JONES- It is so great that you married a non-witness man who saw, and continues to see you as an equal ! Good for you. It was interesting though that even though you were never baptized as a JW - the views of the witnesses affected your viewpoint as to WHAT to expect from a prospective husband though. Being raised by a JW father would cause a female to expect she'd have to be submissive. Lucky for you- you have a great husband who saw through that warped JW viewpoint.

    CRAZYBLONDEB- I'm glad for you that you saw you didn't want to be in a JW marriage after seeing your parents marriage. Best to avoid the pitfalls first. I'm happy for you that you cherish your independence.

    GUBBERNING BODY- That is funny ! I'm a male- and I can't stop touching it. LOL !

    SCULLY- I too didn't agree with the " headship " arrangement either. It sounds to me that the sisters you knew in your congregation were mainly jealous of your success going to college and nursing school. Probably envious that THEY didn't choose to go. Many times people, men OR women will respond in a snooty way to someone because they are jealous of their success. But kudos to you for sticking to your plan to educate yourself in a profession. Because , you are right- who ELSE would provide for you if your something happened to your husband ? Certainly not the elders or OTHER members of the congregation. Being helpful in a financial way was not a strong point of JW members for sure. Or showing empathy towards one's situation.

    SASS_MY_FRASS- I'm so happy for you that you found a great non-witness husband ! Good for you . I think it works better having an equal marriage or partnership to promote real happiness. I saw so many JW marriages out of balance because the MAN controlled the marriage decisions. Really crazy. I'm glad for you.

    ANEWME- I really enjoyed your experience. Thanks for sharing it. Very well written by you. I am so sorry you suffered for 20 yrs. with a JW husband who was so inattentive to your needs. I'm glad you finally got out of the situation and found a man who treasures you for just being YOU in an authentic way ! Awesome ! Good for you. AS you stated I think it's an important factor for happy marriages to listen and respect each others viewpoints- even though we may not agree with our mate- but at least give them a listening ear. It sounds like you've done a lot of learning and re-educating of yourself since you successfully deal in business with men & women. Fantastic. I wish you all the happiness you deserve my friend ! Take care

  • flipper

    SCOTINSW- Very good point you make here. As witnesses we were all told that non-witness men were scum and immoral- just trying to have sex with aNY female available. But it was part of the false mind control conditioning thoughts put into us by the WT society and Jehovah's Witnesses. There are lots of good men and women who just want to be friends and not climb into bed with us at every chance ! LOL ! So it's good yopu've been able to see that after exiting the witnesses and lose those fears

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