Intersectionality and Peacemaking: Gender And Naming Rape Culture #TheNewPacifism

King David, Russian icon from first quarter of...

King David, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For tonight’s post, I would like to start with a brief reflection on two different statutes in the Hebrew Bible:

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.

When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel”- Deuteronomy 17:14-20″

AND

“In you are those who dishonor their father’s bed; in you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean. In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife, another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law, and another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter. In you are people who accept bribes to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbors. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign Lord. “- Ezekiel 22:10-12

TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR RAPE CULTURE AND SEXISM

When we first meet the biblical heroine Bathsheba, she is a law-biding, faithful Israelite woman. According to the Law, in order to be a part of the religious assembly, women had to be ritually clean from that awful PMS (see passages such as Leviticus 12). Being in the presence of YHWH was a really big deal, so Bathsheba did what was required of her, and bathed. One night, a lawless man looked out from his rooftop and gazed upon Bathsheba’s body uncontrollably. He’s a man. He’s a visual creature, he could not help himself but to lust after her. She was being indecent, after all. David uses his position of authority over Bathsheba, they have sexual relations, and she gets preggers, and eventually loses the child as a consequence. David sins, the woman pays the consequence.

It has been my experience that when ever I am taught the story of King David in the variety of Christian contexts, his story is told rather uncritically. Bathsheba’s obedience to the law (her very agency) is ignored because our current USian hermeneutic would prefer to talk all about the Kings, and especially King David, so we can Jesus-juke our way out of the “Old” Testament. It is a male-centered and exclusive narrative being passed down, one that is not the whole story. Fortunately, we have the early Church Fathers those like Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian, who recognized that we could not discuss the humanity of Jesus without talking about women, that there is no way we could get to the idea in Romans of Jesus as the Davidic King without the Ruth and Bathsheba parts of our story.

In this story of David and Bathsheba, we DO NOT have a scenario as we are often told of a seductress tempting “the man after God’s own heart.” Nopers, what we have is the king’s abuse of power over a woman who was just trying to meet social expectations as well as be in the presence of her Creator (the assembly). What we have in the way that Christians learn the story of David is that of Rape Mythology. We learn that men are “WIRED” as visual creatures, and that it is the BURDEN of women to dress modestly. Purity rings are for women, cuz, well, men are born with impure thoughts, #amirite????

Rape myths saturate our culture so much that even “progressive” theology professors resort to blaming the victim for their plight. Rape mythology is harmful to both women and men. When certain men of a darker skin tone tell their experience of rape,their stories are not believed because of white supremacist mythology+rape mythology that says that only men are visual creatures, aka/hint hint, ONLY MEN HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BE PREDATORS. Sexual violence, in other words, unless all men take Jesus’ words literally and make themselves physically incapable of seeing, is part of natural masculinity. Men bear no responsibility on their actions, that’s why it’s the womenfolk who get the blame for being victims of rape as was the case with cases like in Steubenville.

As a pacifist, and as part of The New Pacifist, any political movement that does not address Rape Culture fails to be non-violent. A number of pacifists in churches and in the academy like to talk about the ideal government being “Christarchy” or a Christianized brand of Anarchy where the Church governs society.

"CHRISTARCHY YA'LL! IT'S LIKE MANARCHY ONLY WITH JESUS!"- image from the manarchy ryan gosling tumblr

“CHRISTARCHY YA’LL! IT’S LIKE MANARCHY ONLY WITH JESUS!”- image from the manarchy ryan gosling tumblr

When I was in 7th grade, I wrote a poem about silver clouds, and how someday, I may even decide to become an anarchist. It was my mother who asked, what’s an anarchist, and when I told her, she rebuked me, and now today, I see why. Anarchy, Anarcho-capitalism, Christarcho-Capitalism, whatever you call it, is nothing but a return to a dystopian feudalism. Who will be the ones to rid our society of all the contracts currently in place? And what about the police and military? Who would protect the poor and oppressed with a safety net? Oh….yeah you’d probably need violence for that, huh??? So it’s no wonder that when one of the heroes of contemporary “Christ-archists, Ron Paul (cuz, liberty, YALL!), opposes sexual harassment laws in the workplace it’s in the name of being “non-violent” to good businessmen in power. Power like King David had.

Indeed, New Pacifists must be willing to question how USian Christian culture receives the story about this shepherd boy turned monarch as well as the heroine Bathsheba. This starts with taking Bathsheba’s and David’s Jewishness seriously, and their commitment and non-commitment (in David’s instance) to the Torah. New Pacifists must reject Rape Mythology completely, and that make men accountable and that they should take responsibility for stopping rape and rape culture. It is never God’s will for anyone to be raped or to experience domestic violence, and it is never is God’s plan to make people suffer through these experiences. I offer those readers who have experienced sexual violence these words:

rape is not god’s will. sexual assault and violence is not god’s intention for your life. sexual abuse is not a part of “god’s plan.” In fact, these are violations of God’s will. God does not enjoy sin. God does not endorse domestic violence. God is good. God is hope. God is life. God is love. If you or someone you know are in these situations, please seek help, it doesn’t have to be a religious institution; but a third party is mostly always a good choice.

0 thoughts on “Intersectionality and Peacemaking: Gender And Naming Rape Culture #TheNewPacifism

  1. Kevin Daugherty

    There is so much ignorance in this article about what anarchism is. For one thing, anarchism is an anti-capitalist ideology that evolved right next to Marxism in the First International. And Christian anarchism is not about the church ruling society. See JesusRadicals.com for what Christian anarchism actually is.

    Reply
    1. h00die_R Post author

      Yes I really need anarchy whitesplained to me!! Respond to my examples without ad hom, thanks!

      P.S.

      You need to read Spivak’s critique of Marx, as well as other feminist postmarxists otherwise i regard you as the ignorant one.

      Reply
    2. J. K. Gayle

      1656 – Thomas Blount · Glossographia; or, A dictionary interpreting all such
      hard words, whether Hebrew, Greek or Latin… as are now used in our
      refined English tongue
      · 1st edition, (1 vol.).
      “Anarchism, the Doctrine, Positions or Art of those that teach anarchy; also the being itself of the people without a Prince or Ruler.”

      1818 – year Karl Marx was born.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Daugherty

        That is the origin of the term, not the origin of the political movement. As a political philosophy, anarchism comes from the 19th century, and was in dialogue with “utopian” socialists like Cabet and “scientific” socialists like Marx.

        Reply
      2. Kevin Daugherty

        Think of it like liberal and liberalism. The term “liberal” predates the political philosophy of liberalism by hundreds of years.

        Reply
        1. h00die_R Post author

          Sorta like Pax and Pacifist???? Umm so what? That’s not the point. Point I made in the post has to do with who is advocating anarchy today & who / what politicians they are backing, and those policies. Plus as I argued, marx on gender and labor value for ex., =s problematic. Of course shoving away gender concerns is convenient.

          Reply
    3. sarahoverthemoon

      See, you don’t have a monopoly on “what Christian anarchism actually is.” You can say, “Here’s our definition of Christian anarchy,” but you don’t own those words and people are using those words to do harm. Rod describes Christian anarchists he’s experienced as Ron Paul lovers who want to get rid of social safety nets because “the church will provide EVERYTHING!” If that’s not you, then this isn’t about you. Tell him, “Hey we have a different definition–what do you think about this?” But “so much ignorance?” That’s discounting his experience. I, for one, know EXACTLY the type of Christian anarchist he talks about and have been very hurt by people in this group.

      Reply
    4. Jasdye

      Rather than taking the No True Anarchist route, Kevin, I think it’s past time to show an alternative model of Christian Anarchism.- one that is built on mutuality, equality and justice for all. Because it’s obvious that R (as well as women, people with disabilities, and people of color) may have a different experience than you and may not be so trusting of going into a new place that may not be so welcoming to their voice.

      Reply
    5. Wess

      To me all this says is, I am not hearing what this article is about because I want all the terms to be defined properly — that is, in a way that accommodates me — before I will (or can?) hear what you are saying. Frankly, I see this kind of inability to receive critique and challenge from those who consider themselves “radicals” all too often.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: #TheNewPacifism: The Complete Synchroblog & Storify #NewPacifism | Political Jesus

  3. Pingback: Intersectionality And Peacemaking: Is There A Way Forward? | Political Jesus

  4. Pingback: So Anarchists call stealing from the poor “fighting sexism”? NOPE! | Political Jesus

  5. Pingback: Royal. Bodies. #StayWokeAdvent #Ferguson | Political Jesus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *