How Religion Helps Men Evade Personal Responsibility

From Pandagon @ Raw Story:

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I posted at XX Factor about this website where women set out to shame “homewreckers”, i.e. women who slept with or even “stole” boyfriends or husbands who presumably had a monogamous commitment to another woman. It’s a brief post that doesn’t mention the blog of the woman—titled I’m In Love With A Serial Cheater—who started this shaming site, but I ended up reading many blog posts from it because, to be frank, the experience of being a woman who has completely absconded any personal dignity and is so devoted to even the most grotesque sexism is really alien to me. I began to almost feel sorry for the blogger, whose shitbag of a husband is clearly enjoying the hell out of having his wife and his mistress fight relentlessly over him. The only thing he has to do for the pleasure is occasionally pretend to be mildly sorry, but honestly not even that, because the blogger is 100% clear that she believes that he has no choice but to fuck a woman who offers. It’s mind-boggling and distressing to realize how many women have completely bought into the notion that a man’s only as good as his options.

But what I didn’t really touch on in the Slate post is the role religion plays in all this. The blogger printed a letter from a reader that really shows how religious beliefs that men are leaders and women are submissive helpmeets do not, in fact, encourage male responsibility. In fact, they do they opposite. Here’s an excerpt from the letter, titled “Open Letter To The Homewrecker”.

You don’t know my husband. I know him inside and out 14 years’ worth of mostly ups and a few downs that made us. 47 years that made him. His family, his needs, his desires, his weaknesses and his strengths. You don’t know him. You know what he tells you of himself. What he pretends to be in a dirty little secret world. It’s in his heart to serve the Lord and lead his family as a Kingdom Man, but his flesh is weak. Satan preys on him to distract and destroy and you are but one of many of the enemy’s tricks. Yes, TRICKS. My husband is caught in a spiritual battle and he is losing as you continue providing satanic ammunition. Manipulative texts, dirty pictures and Satan laughs at both of you and the destruction you seek to deliver. No, you don’t know my husband. If you did, you would know that he will not leave me. Not for the kids’ sake or child support but because he LOVES me in a way you will never know. In a deep and eternal way that doesn’t stop even if our relationship did. He desires me in a way he never has anyone else. I provide a sense of safety, stability, warmth, passion and freedom that no one else will. Unconditional love and acceptance in the safety of his covenant of a family. If you knew my husband you would know the juvenile infatuation that prompts him to reach for you will prompt him to reach for another if he was without you. That the chemical reaction in his brain is nothing more than a horny-teenage impulse and is unstable at best. The deep, abiding and familiar love he seeks he has at home. That when he is truly alone, it’s his family, not his harem that he misses. If you knew my husband you would know that romantic texts and sweet nothings are his player’s lines. Not his love language. He speaks his love in his actions – love is an action word for him. He shows it in making sure his family is taken care of in every way. All his empty words might get you to send one more dirty video or maybe get him laid, but he will tire of you soon. If you knew my husband you would want the best for him. You would want him to listen to the Spirit and God and move in the direction he moves him, which is not anywhere near you, my dear. You don’t know him.

Despite the fact that this woman believes that her husband is the “leader” of her family, the responsibility to hold the family together doesn’t belong to him, but to some random woman that he apparently has to fuck because men supposedly have no self-control. This always amazes me, the way that people with sexist beliefs both think that men can’t handle even the basic responsibility of keeping a promise but nonetheless are supposed to be the leaders while women are supposed to be followers. The bad logic of that should be screamingly obvious, and yet people don’t see it.

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