[TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence and abuse. Please note: although this post focuses on abuse perpetrated by men against women within the context of heterosexual relationships, “red flags” for abuse can apply to relationships comprising partners of any gender or orientation. Resources for a diverse range of abuse and sexual assault victims appear at the end of this post.]
Some doucheweasel of the pastor species who dwells in New York City of all places—as if we don’t have enough problems here already with the entitled banksters, murderous cops, Rupert Murdoch’s legions and other assorted pimples on the ass of humanity—has helpfully assembled a list for his fellow brothers-in-Christ entitled 10 WOMEN CHRISTIAN MEN SHOULD NOT MARRY. One might imagine such a list would look something like this:
- Rebecca Watson.
- Sikivu Hutchison.
- Malala Yousafzai.
- Annie Laurie Gaylor.
- Susan Jacoby.
- Lindsay Lohan.
Okay, maybe Ms. Lohan is Christian wife material—I have no idea. But this kind of practical, specific advice is NOT, in fact, what is on offer from pastor Stephen Kim of Mustard Seed Church in New York City. No. Instead, we get ten characteristics that, should a Christian man detect in his potential mate, ought to send him running for the hills screaming “I WILL NEVER, EVER MARRY YOU!”
Loyal Readers™ will be unsurprised to learn that yours truly pegs at least nine out of ten of these features—and, depending on the age of my would-be Christian suitor, all ten. But frankly I am worried sick about ladies who might not be as fortunate as I am, and could find themselves accidentally married to a Christian d00d. Because let me tell you, at least according to the pastor, Christian men are terrible: judgmental, controlling, immature, closed-minded, comically insecure—and, less amusingly, display more than a few of the classic red flags of abusers. So I sincerely commend pastor Kim for providing this valuable public service in highlighting ten qualities women urgently need to cultivate in themselves, in order to guard against the dismal fate that is Christian wifehood.
1. The Unbeliever.
The pastor is clear that a Christian d00d marrying a non-Christian woman is strictly forbidden. The key concern here is ostensibly “idolatry,” i.e. the couple and their children turning away from the Christian god to worship other, presumably more fun and interesting gods. But if idolatry were really the concern, atheist women should still be marriageable: as a rule, we do not worship any gods. (Well, except for Lord Shiva, of course. I thought that went without saying.) The fact is, we are never going to skip off into the woods with our little Gaia and Thor in tow for a Wiccan mass and drunken orgy, unless of course the wine being served is a particularly good vintage of Provence rosé. So idolatry cannot be the real reason to warn Christian men away from unbelievers. No, it’s because these d00ds are so painfully insecure that they cower in abject terror at the very thought of an honest conversation about their beliefs. Because of their extreme emotional fragility, they strive to remain at all times inside a tight, self-referential echo chamber: unchallenged, willfully ignorant, incurious and intellectually bankrupt. You know: like a Fox News viewer.
Ladies, just get thyself some pentagram jewelry, and be troubled no more.
Amulet pendant, $7.50
Pathological narcissism: “A narcissist cannot tolerate criticism. This does not just mean that a narcissist will reject or dislike criticism, but that he will escalate and lash out in the face of it.”
2. The Divorcee.
According to pastor Kim, a second marriage is “invalid and adulterous. A divorced woman, therefore, is off limits for a Christian man–unrepentant adultery being a sin that prevents one from obtaining eternal life (1 Cor 6:9).”
Whew! Good thing I am an unrepentant adulterer! But for you unfortunate ladies who are not unrepentant adulterers, fret not. There is a fix: marry a kind, hot foreign d00d who needs a US work visa. (Preferably a wealthy one: apparently these sham marriages can be quite lucrative!) When he gets his green card you divorce him and voilà: you are officially off limits to Christian d00ds.
But really, this objection rings hollow. It sounds an awful lot like the toxic purity culture right wing Christians want to enforce on all of us.
Also: “eternal life?” Why would anyone want that? And even if you did want that, wouldn’t you much rather be a vampire? I know I sure would. Vampires are hot.
Alex Skarsgard, people. Alex Skarsgard.
Jealousy: “Jealous behavior is one of the surest signs that abuse is down the road.”
3. The Older Woman.
Whether you can claim this exemption or not depends on the relative age of the Christian d00d in question. At first I didn’t get what could possibly be the problem here, but then the pastor helpfully ‘splained:
I want to remind you that God intentionally (with good reason!) created Adam before Eve in the First Marriage. Scripture informs us that God created man first chronologically for the sake of authority! Listen: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).
Sure, that sounds totally legit.
Attracted to vulnerability: “abusive men are attracted to women much younger and/or at different developmental and maturity levels than them…He is attracted to the power imbalance in this type of relationship.”
4. The Feminist.
Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Are you instead committed to the political, economic, and social inequality of the sexes? Then ask your doctor whether Christian Marriage® is right for you!
The pastor has some, um, interesting things to say about feminism:
Any woman who tries to usurp her husband’s authority or even claims to be a co-leader with her man is gravely dishonoring the God who created her to be subject and obedient to her husband (Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1 Pet 3:1).
It seems to me if this god designed men (though not women) so inadequately that they each require a permanent personal slave, then he should be the one providing those services for the helpless creatures himself. There’s a fantastic shop on Christopher Street that sells the perfect outfits and accoutrements for that sort of thing, FYI.
Sexist attitude: “Abusers tend to enforce rigid gender roles or believe in the traditional male ‘head of the household’ role.” Also: “gender inequalities increase the risk of violence by men against women and inhibit the ability of those affected to seek protection.” Plus: “Does your partner have strong ideas about the place and position of women vs. men?” Because RUN.
5. The Sexy-Dresser.
Why yes, thank you, I will indeed show some leg and/or cleavage when I feel like it. Probably not at the grocery store or a funeral, but if it makes me feel happy and confident to wear Those Shoes or That Lipstick I’ma do it. For me. Sadly, our pastor friend does not approve:
The way that a woman is willing to expose herself says much about her heart: “And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart” (Proverbs 7:10). The text in Proverbs explains that a woman will dress in a certain way to catch a certain type of man. Don’t be that man.
What type of man pray tell is our harlot attempting to “catch”? The “type” who finds her devastatingly attractive and would dearly love to fuck her? Because clearly these are NOT qualities any woman would want in a long term partner, amirite? (!!!)
Note also the Evil Temptress vs. poor unwitting prey framing. Seems pastor Kim believes men are constitutionally incapable of finding someone sexually attractive and not acting on it. Yet in my experience, men are indeed capable of behaving better than feral dogs. Christian men? I guess not so much. So sex it up, ladies! Wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident! Just be extra careful not to unwittingly snare yourself a Christian d00d—apparently they are THE WORST.
Jealous accusations: “Has your partner jokingly or seriously complained that you were trying to attract other men/women by the way you walk, dress, or behave?” If so, STFU & Go Away® might be right for him!
6. The Loud-Mouth.
HAHAHAHA! When someone spews harmful bullshit, I speak up (if it’s safe to do so). I consider it the moral duty of a decent human being. As a woman of course, I have been cut off, interrupted, ignored and spoken over by d00ds, in professional and personal contexts, more times than I could even begin to count. Men do these things to establish status and dominance, presumably among other males, since most women think these moves are sure signs of insecure and disrespectful blowhards. Tellingly, even when women are purposefully allotted equal time to speak, the perception is that they’re actually getting far more time than an equal share. Dale Spender, Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill explain this phenomenon:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts.
Men like…pastor Kim, whom you may recall favorably citing 1 Timothy 2 above: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” Let me put it this way: the more people like pastor Kim keep talking, the louder I will get. Who knew it was so easy to repel Christian men just by speaking up? Get yourself a bullhorn, ladies, and don’t be afraid to use it.
7. The Child-Hater.
Do not marry a woman who is not willing to have children of her own. In the Christian worldview, there is absolutely no room for two married, biologically capable, human beings to remain intentionally child-less.
You know, occasionally a friend will remark on my apparent dislike for children. This observation is not accurate: I dislike assholes, and I do not discriminate based on age. If there happens to be a lot of overlap between the two—and in my neighborhood there definitely is—that is not my problem to solve. I am intentionally childless for many reasons I won’t go into here, except to say that as an unrepentant adulterer, I am absolutely overjoyed every single fucking day that I never did spawn with my abusive ex. But the pastor, he no likee:
If you are adverse towards having children, then there’s a simple remedy for that: single-hood.
By which he means celibacy, of course. Hahaha nope. He may not be aware of this, but there’s actually another simple remedy for that: it’s called birth control. So if you suspect your fiancé may be a Christian d00d, tell him you hate kids and are having your tubes tied. That should get rid of your problem.
Reproductive coercion: “coercion by male partners to become pregnant and to control the outcome of a pregnancy — has been associated with a history of both intimate partner physical and sexual violence.”
8. The Wander-Luster.
There is something very wrong with a girl who regularly needs to be “out of the home.”
Well, yes. A girl needs a safe and supportive home environment—what with being a minor and all.
The constant desire for new experiences, new places, new faces, and new forms of entertainment only serves to clearly manifest the fact that the woman has not found her rest in God. Believe it or not, Scripture speaks repeatedly about such women: “She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home” (Proverbs 7:11).
Translation: a woman’s entire world should be narrowed to her home. Otherwise, Jeezus haz a sad.
Just remember ladies: LOUD & WAYWARD FTW.
Isolation: “An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim’s ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim’s friends and family of being ‘trouble makers.’”
9. The Career Woman.
Modern American society might hate to hear this, but God made men to be the providers and women to be the nurturers of the home (in most instances). It’s okay for a woman to be a doctor, attorney, or any other professional. However, if her career is coming at the expense of her home, then something is wrong.
Ugh, here we go again with the home. The home! The home! I get it: meaningful and fulfilling work is not what a Christian d00d wants for his partner, nor does he want to be a nurturing partner at home. Ew.
The woman ought to be willing (and even desirous–to some extent) to give up her job for the sake of raising her kids in the Lord. “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander” (1 Tim 5:14).
There’s your solution right there: just don’t give a flying fuck what your enemies—for example, Southern Baptists—say about you.
Economic abuse: “a form of abuse when one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, which diminishes the victim’s capacity to support him/herself and forces him/her to depend on the perpetrator financially… Economic abuse in a domestic situation may involve: preventing a spouse from resource acquisition, such as restricting their ability to find employment, maintain or advance their careers, and acquire assets…and when victims are asked why they stay in abusive relationships, ‘lack of income’ is a common response.”
10. The Devotion-less Woman.
Is the woman having a regular, daily devotional time with her God? If she doesn’t love the Lord now, chances are, she won’t love the Lord after marriage.
OMG I loooove Lord Shiva! And I worship him with all my…er, heart! Heart.
You want to marry a girl who has an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Wait, with who now? No, I definitely don’t see myself in a compatible relationship—intimate or otherwise—with a d00d who is a petty little shit to his mom and brothers, and also to fig trees, and who calls a desperate woman and her sick child “dogs”. I mean, I FUCKING LOVE FIGS.
Jesus (not you) has to be the first man in her life.
Okay, that is not going to work out with one of these narcissists for a partner. Trust me on this.
So what have we learned? Christian men are to be studiously avoided, and there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to repel them. Also: apparently I am at least ten women in one.
Finally, remember kids: it’s feminists who have little regard for men.
RESOURCES FOR ABUSE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer or phone.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES:
US: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)/TTY 1−800−787−3224
UK: Women’s Aid: 0808 2000 247.
Australia: 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies, a global list of helplines and crisis centers.
RAPE & SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCES:
RESOURCES FOR MALE VICTIMS OF RAPE & SEXUAL ASSAULT:
MaleSurvivor. (“provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.”)
One in 6. (“Our mission is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.”)