Infantilization of Women

Why do women’s seminars, retreats, and conferences in fundamentalism inevitably end up with themes and content which elsewhere would be targeted at 5 to 7 year old children?

Is it that this is how fundamentalists view women’s maturity in general? Or is it that since women have no other interests than their children that childish motifs are the only way to capture their attention?

I find it extremely puzzling.

258 thoughts on “Infantilization of Women”

  1. Hmmm. Well, my wife hasn’t reported this sort of thing. She did go to a 2-day conference where they made jewelry as a craft (that wasn’t the theme of it).

    I am not sure I can say these kind of women’s conference theme are infantile. I would say they are sappy. But my wife would like any arts and crafts. She never saw a quilt shop she didn’t want to patronize. She talks about quilt shops that are several states away!

    And perhaps it may be appropriate to note the differences between the men’s more stuffy, more doctrinaire, more teachy meetings with the women’s more feel-good, more social meetings. But the women soften the stridency of the men, and appropriately so.

  2. Never have commented on here much before, but this… wow. My mom and sisters would be intellectually insulted if they had to sit through this kinda riff-raff. My mom always said she hated these things. Guess I know why now.

    1. Which prompts the query: why are they not insulted?

      The answer is probably found in their church. They are never actually intellectually or morally challenged from the pulpit or in their Sunday “Schools,” so such retreats won’t challenge them either.

      If it is possible to insult the intelligence of a fundamentalist, that person doesn’t really belong in fundamentalism. Education will usually work.

      1. Yes, rtgmath! This is so true. Nothing was so hard to take in the fundy church as the needing to pretend that stupid, irrational things were important and rational. I knew better. I knew I couldn’t agree, that in pretending, I was denying what I knew to be true and good. Who I was, a questioning and intelligent person just kept rearing it’s unsatisfied head.

  3. Dear SFL Reader:

    Might endless seminars, retreats and conferences be substitutes for hosting more needful events such as introducing your local refugee community to medical, educational, linguistic, housing and other services? Perhaps I’m just an idiot [the crowd cheers], but YHWH’s apparent preferential concern for aliens and outcasts might summons us to raise our eyes past the level of our own navels to behold a creation that he is committed to redeem in his Son.

    Sometimes I wonder if IFB ‘pastors’ believe anything

    Christian Socialist

    1. I began suspecting they were keeping our schedules so busy to prevent us from cultivating strong relationships with outsiders.

      1. Maybe it wasn’t deliberate, but keeping people constantly fatigued also generally prevents those people from thinking as clearly and rationally as they otherwise might. That could be of benefit to those who wish to retain their authority.

        1. Ben, I read something a while back about cult ops and one thing it mentioned was a deliberate scheme to keep people so busy that they were more easily controlled and manipulated. I’ll try to find the link and post it on the forum.

        2. Sleep deprivation is a classic indoctrination technique.
          (It’s also recognized as a form of torture under international law.)

      2. Yes. If you don’t associate with outsiders you are not as likely to question authority. Of course, it’s a lot harder to sucker new people to services if you don’t leave the compound once in a while.

        1. Inviting visitors was done via door-knocking, and that was just part of our busy weekly schedule. So you can add to the cul..er church without actually getting too close to outsiders.

      3. You’ve got a point there! I think that the mandatory busy busy schedule, required heavyhanded “evangelism” or rather proselytization verging on harrassment that we were taught would surely win over our families and friends, combined with weird fundy dress codes and fundy fashion and requirements to avoid: drinking (including parties with alcohol, bars, liquor stores), dancing (including parties with dancing and secular music), smoking, and just about everything else makes it darn near impossible to maintain healthy relationships with people outside fundyland.

        1. And, of course, you allow yourself to be controlled.

          When I went to BJU, I knew that was what I was getting into, and I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I had the na├»ve notion that the Authorities were Men of God and that it meant they would always seek to do the Right Thing, Regardless.

          Well, Fundystan does teach you to put your faith in men (even if they say otherwise).

          If you don’t think so, ask yourself “could I believe that Dr. Bob III would assist another pastor in covering up a sex crime and foisting off the blame onto the victim?” Or, “could I believe my (insert current MoG’s name here) could ever (insert heinous crime here)?”

          If you said “No,” then you have put your faith in men. “Good” people often do horrible things. They are as capable of such things as anyone is. So am I.

        2. When people have a vested interest in controlling you, they will do many things, even things they are ashamed of, to keep that control going. It is the fear of man.

  4. The men that run the church and have the final say on what goes on and what is ‘taught’ probably keep them in an assumed infantile state because if the women were actually given any true education within the church, not to mention any true taste of a position of authority, the men would fear the “rebellious nature of women” uprising and “stepping out of place” (which is to be silent in church and never ask questions out loud) and taking over and causing mayhem. I’m being dead serious lol These fundies are all types of controlling and vindictive. The women can be just as bad too. It’s a hen house most times. It’s ridiculous which is why I left organized religion altogether. Just an independent, thinkin’ kinda gal like that.

  5. I clicked & looked thru their pictures, very interesting. Try and find the one of the woman dressed like ‘Menopause’ she even has maxi-pads stuck to her.

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