Tag Archives: women

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.

Commandments Concerning Women


When it shall come to pass that there shall be born into thy household a girl child then thou shall with all diligence teach her the commandments which I give unto thee this day that she be not a blot upon thee or thy church or the university in thy basement.

For women are a deep ditch and a narrow pit, tempting men perpetually to eat of the forbidden fruit. For so fell Eden and likewise fell Brother Tim’s Sunday School class when that little hussy had her way with him. Be always therefore watching and praying. And depending on which woman you’re watching you may need to pray even the more. Amen.

And upon thy wives and upon thy daughters and upon thy daughter’s daughters thou shalt with all diligence exercise “headship” (which we are pretty sure involves never doing the dishes). For in the day that they shall cause some young preacher boy to stumble and ruin his ministry then shall the congregation look at the women of thy house with derision and recall that one time when you let them wear pants to play in the snow and thy shame shall be great.

But if thou thyself should fall into the trap of a woman’s wiles be not downcast no greatly discouraged. It’s her fault and everybody knows it. For women were created in the beginning for the purpose that they should be a stumbling block to men (and sometimes also useful for housework.)

But concerning men we have no real commandment. Men are awesome except that they’re suckers for women.

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements p 69.

Keepers at Home

Fundamentalists no longer literally keep their women barefoot and pregnant  (or at least not barefoot) but they do tend to want to keep them at home. After all, “keepers at home” is what Paul said, right? Of course, he also gave rules for how a man should treat his slaves, so there may be a wee bit of a cultural gap there. But cultural context is for liberals and feminists, amen?

After all, the Proverbs 31 woman is the perfect example of  a keeper at home. Yeah, she bought and sold goods but that was a…uh…home based business! And all that stuff about her traipsing around buying and selling real estate is…um…well, I’m sure it’s a lot more complicated in the original Hebrew and a fundamentalist pastor can set it all straight if given half a chance.

Turns out there are a lot of women doing all kinds of stuff in the Bible: Deborah, Lydia, Priscilla, Phoebe, Mary, Tryphaena, Typhosa and Persis to name a few. And other than being judges, businesswomen, deaconesses, and apostles, I’m sure none of them would ever have dreamed of putting on shoes and leaving the house.