JW Women Self-0Loathing - Get a Back Bone

by Band on the Run 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • EmptyInside

    Honestly,the fact that women are expected to wear dresses and skirts to meetings and field service,are the least of what's wrong with this religion. But,that's just me.

  • meangirl

    First let me say I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread as the subject really hits a nerve with me. The only thing I do find disappointing is the fact that this thread has turned into "men have it bad in the org too"........which is not the point of the thread. The only way I can express how I am feeling is if this thread was about racial prejudice and the OP expressed a very personal story of how they were treated very badly because of their skin color since it was dark and then a bunch of white posters came in and said oh yeah well it is hard being white.......blah blah blah and that white people can be a victim of prejudice too blah blah blah. I just don't understand why some posters just can't say yep the org treats women horribly and there is no excuse for it. Quit telling me your pity story of how hard it is to be groomed from birth to be a successful male in the org. If you want to do that start your own thread, just saying as that completely negates the main point of the OP's thread anyway.

  • exwhyzee
    We are smarter than the brothers. Not the same. Smarter. We know our WT better. JW men are low-earners. They aren't men's men. Jw women will kill each other over the JW male crumbs.

    Meangirl: Substitute the words BROTHERS and MEN in the comment above, and replace them with the word WHITES for example.

    We are smarter than whites, not the same, smarter .

    We know our WT better. JW white men are low-earners, they aren't men's men.

    JW women will kill eachother over the JW white male crumbs

    If someone from one racial group made a comment like this about another race, or if a Man dared to say such a thing on behalf of all men towards Women, there would be a huge uprising on here. Yet Men....especially white men, are fair game when a Woman decides to blame them for the problems they have. You expect them to sit back and listen to this kind of thing without coming to their own defense, or poinitng out any of their own similar dificulties.

    Maybe the title of the thread shouldn't be MEN BAD... WOMEN GOOD rather SISTERS HAVE IT BAD...BROTHERS HAVE IT MADE !

  • meangirl

    Exwhyzee, I already said in previous posts on this thread that it is not right to put people in boxes and stereotype. I already said I disagreed with Bandontherun's statement about all JW men are low earners, etc. However, that was NOT the main point of the thread. The main point was how JW women need to get a backbone and stand up for themselves and quit putting up the obvious disdain and hatred the society has for them.

    And yes I do think sisters have it bad and brothers have it made in the sense that in the JW religion men are kings and they rule. What a pity for you. I am so sorry that from the time you were born you were viewed as a leader and were given authority over another human. I am so sorry that you actually had a reason to get up and move around during the meetings and look important. I am so sorry that when you spoke at the hall people listened. I am so sorry that when you gave parts you got to face the audience with dignity and not lower yourself to face another brother in a chair as that is not really teaching like sisters do on the school. I am so sorry that your clothes were not constantly scrutinized by perverted brothers who get hard ons and wanted to blame you. I am so sorry that you were never viewed as a Jezebel. I am so sorry that you were constantly elevated because you have a penis.

    I am white and I can look at my race and say you know what white people especially white MEN MOSTLY WHITE MEN have done alot of harm in the world. I watch Roots and I get so angry. I am not going to defend my race for its opression of other people and I have no leg to stand on when a person of color is complaining to me about racial intolerance and prejudice. I don't feel the need to interject my pity story of how hard it is to be a white woman because I am a big enough person to display empathy to others.

    Why don't you look outside yourself and find it in your heart to think of what other people i.e. women have gone through in the organization. Put yourself in their place. How would you feel if it was pounded into your head that your weaker. That you must be submissive. That your only role in life is to be a "helper." That is such an injustice on so many levels. When you break someone's spirit and tell them constantly the only dignified role for you is a wife or mother and you have no other purpose it is so belittingly. Little girls in the org are told this from the time they are born. It is morally wrong.

    Again yes the society treats all people like shit but like I said there is a special hatreds towards women in the org. Hell, they couldn't even touch the Sheperd the Flock book and bind it, I mean seriously. If you can't admit that, then I truly feel sorry for you as you are an EXTREMELY self centered person.

    Racial prejudice is viewed as politically incorrect now. It was a long fight and yes racial prejudice still exists but only a true moron will vocal if they are prejudice now. Most try and hide it whereas not too long ago it was just fine to spew racial hatred and acceptable. Segregation was a way of life. It used to be acceptable to make fun of gay people but now most people realize that is politically incorrect. HOWEVER, IT IS STILL SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE TO STEREOTYPE WOMEN, MAKE DEGRADING COMMENTS, OBJECTIFY US AND JUDGE US SOLELY ON LOOKS. WE ARE STILL NOT GIVEN THE RESPECT AND DIGNITY WE DESERVE AS HUMAN BEINGS. THAT IS THE TRUTH AND RELIGIONS LIKE THE JW'S MAKE OUR STRUGGLE SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AS THEY JUSTIFY OPPRESSION OF WOMEN USING THE BIBLE. EVERY OTHER MINORITY HAS FOUGHT FOR THEIR CIVIC RIGHTS AND DAMMIT WOMEN DESERVE CIVIL RIGHTS AS WELL EVEN IN A RELIGIOUS ORGANZIATION. PERIOD. THAT IS IT!

  • EntirelyPossible

    Seriously, where's my sammich?

  • exwhyzee
    I truly feel sorry for you as you are an EXTREMELY self centered person.

    Have we even met eachother?? Where is all this venom coming from ? Is that why you call yourself MEANGIRL?

    I personally never saw anyone purposly treat a woman truly badly at the KH but I did think the whole headship thing was taken too far. I believe that what was once meant to help organize a group (someone taking the lead) ended up causing a whole cross section of people to feel inferior and excluded. Plenty of Women would have been perfectly happy and capable of taking the lead. Myself and many other Men never wanted any of the prestige you say we had in the Hall. I wasn't asking for any pity for having a penis as you say, I was merly pointing out that men as well as women were guilted into doing things they wouldn't normally have done otherwise, the same way women were guilted into always wearing a dress or skirt, men were made to feel less than if they didn't want to be a leader or didn't want to wear a suit. Their very salvation seemed to hinge upon whether or not they did their part in not only the Ministry but also the leadership of the congregation....a thankless job. The whole leadership concept in the KH is skewed. You are suposed to be a Servant and your work is supposed to be a privelege yet you have way too much power and say in other people's lives and their relationship with their maker. Your decisions as a leader can destroy the lineage of an entire family forever. As I said before there have been many casualties from this cult, what ever form it took in each of our lives, one is as bad as the other. If the roles were reversed and Women were given the leadership role, the same things if not worse, would have happened.

    It's human nature to blame ones problems on whomever appers to be on top or in the lead at the moment. America is bad and is to blame for the rest of the worlds problems, if America went away and China was in the lead, all the worlds problems would disappear. Men are bad (especially white men) if they all fell of the face of the earth, and women took over, the world would become a paradise and no woman would ever suffer opression ever again. After all, Women would never take advantage of one another.

  • bafh

    In reading through the thread, I think part of the issue with how women are treated and what's expected of men is because we are looking at the social structure presented in the Bible without considering the social context at the time, and through our own social structure now.

    One of the hallmarks of Jesus ministry was his kind,loving and considerate treatment of women as equals. That was in fact a break from the social habits and tradition of the time. In fact, it was quite a big deal that Jesus' resurrection was revealed to women first, and not to men ~ and it may have been one of the reasons that the report was not believed at first.

    Carefull examination of the early congregation shows that as congregations were formed, women played an important part there too. They took part in ministry, teaching and even hosting congregations in their homes. Of course, at that time, each congregation had more autonomy as well.

    There are layers of issues with interpreting the Bible. Questions we might need to ask are:

    1) "What did these events mean to the people who experienced them? What was happening to them socially, politically, economically, at the time?"

    2) "What did these event mean to the people who wrote down or documented the experience?What was happening to them socially, politically, economically, at the time?"

    3) "What do these events mean to the people who are reading about them?What was happening to them socially, politically, economically, at the time?"

    Answering these questions leads us to look at language (both the original languages and the one we are using now) to see where meanings of words and understanding them in mondern language line up or need to be adjusted, and to consider what these events, words, stories meant to the people in the document, not using what it would mean to us if it happened to us now, but what it meant in context for them at the time.

    One piece of information that really changed the way I read the Bible is that Jews during the time of Christ were under Roman law, and viewed as slaves. Next time you read the NT, notice how much slave language there is ~ it's not an accident.

    As far as our social structure now, White Straight Men without any perceived disability or weakness, are at the top followed by white women, black men, [I could have this off in the order] but there is a social order that is followed in the world in general, and when you shrink that down to the microcosm of a congregation it gets worse. Add on top of that lack of education and any social awareness, and it becomes what we experience as a JW today.

    They give lip service to being socially aware, but the truth is that they are not and they do nothing to encourage the congregants to become so since everything "out there" is dangerous.

    my .02 cents

    ~ bafh

  • dgp

    In reading through the thread, I think part of the issue with how women are treated and what's expected of men is because we are looking at the social structure presented in the Bible without considering the social context at the time, and through our own social structure now.

    Dgp, I agree it's more of a historical thing that purely a WTS thing. It's up to our generation and those after us to ensure women are granted more respect than they have in the past.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Yes, Jesus' treatment of women, considering his culture, is the gold/platinum standard. He stands in stark contrast to other NT males. Since his behavior is so atypical, I tend to believe the incidents recorded are truthful. From my own life and academic study of political movements, it is very painful to be the onlly to assert your rights. White men's privileges in the 1950s always irked me. I could not attend college with men. Rather, I had to attend a woman's college allied with the male college. It was across the street. The men had all the allure and power. We were breeding stock and cocktail party conversatoinalists.

    The second wave of feminism hit when white women were kicked out of the black power movement and the men in the peace movement were chauvinistic rats. Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan wrote books that articulate all my inner, confused feelings. Because of my age, I never had to stand alone. I was surrounded by sisters. Also, I was bit younger. Women four years ahead of me had the job of entering medical school and law school in large numbers.

    I'd love for JW women meet to discuss their concerns about the society; share child-raising tips; exchange recipes; discuss books. Consciousness raising would be awesome. I sat through CR meetings. Oddly, though, cr meetings stopped many women from being active in NOW rather than more active.

    We make up the majority of the religion. Women could be such a compliment to men and vice versa. The dress does not assure people. It freaks people out that aliens have landed on earth. I will admit that all the Witnesses I see are incredibly clean and well-groomed - for another century. Marriages would be so much better. Mothers could be better.

    The reality is clear. The FDLS women are well-groomed, too. Men are not doing this to women. We do it to ourselves. Men no longer have the legal power to murder us or beat us. Most worldy men want a help mate not a slave. I recall a MASH episode where a patient was very racist. Hawkeye explains that the plasma he received was discovered by a black doctor. What if the cure for all cancer could be discovered by a woman but never happened b/c she could not go to school. Women have insights that could contribute positively to WT theology. OUr interest in childlren could change the culture for their sake.

  • AGuest
    I'd love for JW women meet to discuss their concerns about the society;

    Funny you mention this, dear BOTR (peace to you!)... and I have to say that the likelihood of that occurring is slim to none. I say this because it reminds me of a situation that occurred when I first began to study in 1978. The middle-aged woman I was studying with related a story to me that was just giving her the BLUES. She was having problems with her husband, a quiet, mild-mannered "elder" who, when she was on her period, would roll over and turn away from her in bed. He would not cuddle or even touch her; to the contrary, he considered her "unclean" (according to the Law) and made no bones about letting her know that. It was devastating for her, that he could "love" her one moment, and then make her feel completely "despised" in another. So, she took the matter to the wife of the travelling Circuit Overseer who had just arrived for his periodic visit.

    She told the CO wife how she felt and suggested that "someone" bring it to the CO's attention so that he could possible give a "marriage" talk... or even speak with her husband regarding the unkind, unloving... and inappropriate... behavior (he was not "loving [his] wife as [his] own flesh" but actually causing her great despair). Know what she was told by the CO's wife?

    "Oh, yes, please feel free to talk to my husband; I've been hoping someone would talk to HIM about the same thing for years!"

    Of course, my lady was stumped (so stumped, that she shared the matter with ME... a Bible Study of only a few months!)

    I realized then (but unfortunately, wasn't swayed enough by my revelation) that some, indeed most, of the men of the WTBTS look for a certain "kind" of woman to marry: the kind that knows how to keep her mouth shut... even if she's in great pain. I also realized that many of those women... indeed, a lot of women in GENERAL... actually LOVE to "suffer" (although, not always in "silence"). It kind of gives them a "look what I did/do for YOU" type of "satisfaction". As to their spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends, etc. It makes them feel a bit superior... and "christlike" ("I am a silently suffering sheep, just like Christ!").

    Of course, it's a false position because it is not as "sacrificial" as such women want others to believe... because there is a personal payoff.

    As someone who HAS suffered... for many reasons I have to say I personally hate it; I do NOT like to suffer... and so, for the most part, I won't do it. I simply CHOOSE not to do it... for anyone (with the exception of my children when they were minors... and that which I undergo for my Lord because I'm grateful for what he did, has done, and is doing for me... and what ever I DO undergo for his name sake is nothing, IMHO, compared to what he underwent for me).

    We live in a world were "suffering" is a major tenet... and tool... of religion. And for those who claim to be "christians" and put their faith in "the Bible", PARTICULARLY those of the WTBTS, both women AND men, the following words penned by Jeremiah hold true:

    "An astonishing situation, even a horrible thing, has been brought to be in the land: the prophets themselves actually prophesy in falsehood; and as for the priests, they go subduing according to their powers. And my own people have loved [it] that way; and what will YOU men do in the finale of it?” Jeremiah 5:30, 31

    It is such false prophesying... and self-serving subduction of religious priests, et al.... that has been instrumental in placing women... and others... where they have been placed in the world. But it was NOT like that in the beginning. It was NOT like that for whites, non-whites, Israel, the poor, or even men who didn't seek power WITHIN religion. At one time, ALL were equal... with strengths of some being used to augment the weaknesses of others. These oppressive doctrines and teachings were... and ARE, however... a means for those who ascribe to them to raise THEMSELVES up... over others... ANY others that they can... to do so. They are used by both the religiously AND politically ambitious to "control" not only the masses, but those they consider "weak" for one reason or another (gender, class, physicality, intelligence, economics, whatever).

    Such ones are considered "weak"... because they "love" suffering (rather than are simply dealing with it because of the particular circumstances).

    If you LOVE to suffer, however (and some's love in based on what they believe they DESERVE)... then make no mistake: there is someone out there who will love to MAKE you suffer. You, however, may be the one allowing them to do so without any negative conscious about it whatsoever.

    Again, I bid you all peace!

    A slave of Christ,

    SA, who thought the "suffering" of WTBTS women was absolutely appalling, in light of what I was reading that Christ did... and taught. Even more so... since I have learned from him directly... what his position is with regard to women: they are just as cherished as men. Because there is neither male NOR female... separate from one another... in the spirit realm...

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