Are JW women repressed in the org?

by Tina 67 Replies latest jw friends

  • JanH

    Well, many JW men treat their wives well. Some elders obviously treat women well and with respect. I have no reason to assume JW men are significantly more cruel to women than any other group of people one can find.

    This is essentially like claiming slavery is not repressive because there exists slave owners who treat their slaves well. In the Roman empire, it was not unheard of that masters freed their slaves (sometimes in their will), and also gave them substantial sums of money. Some such freed slaves became prominent members of the community.

    Yet, I think all would agree that the institition of slavery was cruel, inhuman and oppressive like few other institutions.

    In the same way, JW women are essentially considered the property of their husbands. Ok, he is expected to treat hos wife fairly and with love, but why should he be considered the "head" in the first place if they were really equals?

    The WT arrangment for family and the congregation gives ample opportunity for the oppression of women. That is an obvious fact. If she is repressed, or even mistreated, there is nothing she can do, since even the ultimate way out -- divorce or disassociation -- will lead to many adverse reactions and punitive measures. True, if she is grossly mistreated (how hard does the man have to hit her to qualify for this standard?) she can separate from her husband, but then she is expected to live the rest of her life unmarried. If that is not repression, what is?

    I also think back on the WT illustrations trying to justify the "headship arrangment" by arguing that every ship needs a captain. I hope those retards making up such "arguments" have never been married.

    - Jan
    "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate." - Occam

  • rob

    Oh, don't get me started! In our congregation the PO made up defined "rules" about where sisters should be. In service, women were always made to sit in the back seat. Men up front. We usually all went out to eat after the meeting on Sunday; men on one end of the table, women at the other. Ironically, our PO's name was and still is, FRED! He also had no compunction about feeling up any sister that he wanted to. I objected and was told, "It's all right. That's just how Fred is." As a single woman, I strongly objected to the "meat market mentality" induced by the disproportionate number of women to men in the org. Enough on this subject, I'm getting indigestion!

  • JT

    Sass says:

    I heard an experience one time at a convention. A daughter spoke of her abusive father who was in opposition to the "truth". The elders encouraged her mother to remain with him and be submissive. The touching end of the story was that after all those years of abuse, the family was rewadred when the father became a witness. Now if that isn't a recommendation to accept abuse, then I don't know what is


    you are correct the "JW MINDEST" is you can win him without a word despite the fact you may lose a tooth or eye in the process-

    the avg jw only deals with a case here and there of most issues

    we are dealing with the World Wide mindset of JW

    when i was growing up my mom wanted to leave my dad and i can recall every visit ended the same

    "Sister stay with him for you might win him without a word"

    and this type of mindset is the driving force behind the wt-

    the only difference today is many more sisters are simply rejected that cousel as "BS" today- unlike many of the jw women back in the 60',70' and even right into the 80's, 90's

    but now most young sisters would laugh in an elder face

    smile they are losing thier grip in more ways than they want to admit

    how sad


  • claudia

    I dont know if this is related but I think its so demeaning that a woman could have gotten df'd if she didnt scream during a rape, I mean could you imagine!!!

  • Esmeralda

    Hi All, I just wanted to pitch in my thoughts here...

    Ginny, I appreciated your relating the experience of the Muslim lady who
    took care of your child. We have a large Muslim population in our area and
    I often see the women at the shopping mall, scarves over their hair, skirts
    to the floor, even in the hottest weather.

    I think about Amish women, and others married off at such young ages, many to the
    same man, given no choice but to have baby after baby like machines of mass
    production. Forced in our day and age to go without painkillers, without
    any modern convieniences.

    Many have said that it depends on where you live how controlled you are
    as a JW women: I submit that it's even more individual than that. I believe
    that it varies on a congregation to congregation basis: depends on who you're married
    to, related to, friends with.

    I too have heard the term "elderettes" and seen them in action. Usually they
    are married to the worst of the worst of controlling men.

    So, do I believe JW women are repressed? I know that I was. But when I think
    about women in parts of the world where they are subjected to bodily mutilation
    and such, I still count myself lucky that I was able to free myself from my
    mental captors. Many women, inside the org and out, aren't so lucky.

    Still, I am disgusted by the way women are second class citizens in the organization.
    I have myself dealt with this when working on building sites and at assemblies
    and such, and will post about it soon.

    It just amazes me how many people are so shocked that many women
    are divorcing their JW husbands and leaving for new lives outside the
    organization. What did they expect? That we were going to take it forever?

    The women are a large army all right...and we're marching right out
    the door.

    *hugs* to all the amazing women who found the strength to get out, be it
    from abusive spouses or watchtower politics. You all inspire me :)


  • rem

    I have to agree that women are treated as second-class citizens within the Society.

    As an MS I was assigned to oversee a group of sisters who were processing donation acknowledgements for an assembly hall building project. It was so sad to me to see how these women were treated. Many times I would get in trouble for helping out - doing data entry, sweeping the floors, making coffee, etc. The brothers over me always said - don't do that - that's for the sisters. I felt so dumb "supervising" - basically doing nothing that I just felt compelled to chip in and be useful, but this was looked down upon. Men were not supposed to do the jobs of the women and women were not competent enough to supervise themselves.

    During the interview process for this "privilege" the elders asked me if I would have any problems giving older sisters orders. I guess I didn't know what I was in for. A few months into the job I was talked to by one of the overseers. He said I was wasting too much time helping the sisters - I should be concentrating on overseeing the office. The thing was that there was nothing to oversee! The sisters were well organized and I was basically left with nothing to do but watch. I guess the sisters couldn't be trusted by themselves.

    Some sisters didn't seem to mind that they were subject to a scrawny little pipsqueak like me, but I could tell some of the more experienced ones knew what was up. We got along well because we treated each other with respect - none of us was really the boss - I knew I was an unnecessary middle-man, but when the other overseers saw this and complained, it kinda took the fun out of the job. Some of the more experienced sisters would just roll their eyes.

    That experience left a really bad taste in my mouth regarding "theocratic order". One day I just stopped going in to "stupidvise". Shortly after I was removed as an MS. I was glad to be out of that "privilege" of service!


  • expatbrit


    Any organisation where women are not allowed to do everything that men are, is suppressing women.

    End of story, as far as I'm concerned.


  • jezebel influence
    jezebel influence

    A distinct memory i have that sums up the respect given to younger women during field service in my cong at that time was when I was about fifteen years old.

    Another female and I were in the back seat of the car,with an older(30ish)brother driving and a brother our age also in the front .They were discussing which street to turn to get to where-ever,I made a comment such as isnt that up about two blocks that way?

    The older brother looked to the young bro and said "is that alittle birdie I hear in the back seat?"

    Obviously my direction had scarred his perception of his own manhood!

    Truthfully at the time it didnt worry me,as JW women eventually develope a thicker skin for this sort of put down.

    But you cant tell me that it doesnt eventually tear down the self esteem of a woman to be constantly treated this way.I would love to go back in time and give a few people(elders included)an earfull for thier sexist and derogoratory comments to me and my family!

    Anyone selling time machines out there?????

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