Been a while. I'll update more soon. But today, this...
Finally watched Suffragette. What an amazing movie. So very powerful. (Read this all the way to the end...please)
We may have the right to vote now, but within relationships and esp. within religion (yes, evangelical Christianity included), so much is the same as in the early 1900s...so much is the same. Still so much of a power and control over women exists...a power and control that is held onto at all costs. At ALL costs.
I won't give any spoilers, but at one point the main character who has joined the fight for votes for women is with her son. He says to her, "Dad says you're not well in the head."
It seems that's always been the go-to, hasn't it? If a woman starts taking a stand concerning something a man doesn't agree with or like, she is declared 'not right in the head' and 'crazy.' So very disheartening.
So many quotes and moments in this movie that just had my gut in knots and my heart so sad...because in many ways, I've lived that the past few years.
"All my life I've been respectful and done what men told me. I know better now."
That's me. I thought that if I was just compliant and worked well with others, everything would be fine. Instead, after living my life in a way that tried to please the men in my life, they turned their backs on me. The women too...because they too are trying to live in a way that pleases the men around them. I had even always been 'one of the boys' in so many ways...didn't matter. They turned their backs on me.
This quote was everything!!...
**"We break windows. We burn things. Because war's the only language men listen to. Because you've beaten us and betrayed us and there's nothing else left."**
Of course when women get to that point and say things like that, they are said to be crazy, or making mountains out of molehills, or "that's not really what's going on here, that's just your perception," or in evangelical circles "it doesn't matter what others do to you, you behave yourself...you need to have self-control." I'm pretty sure these same people would have told Jesus the same thing when he was turning over tables...they would have been indignant and looked at him with disappointment in their eyes and scorn in their voices, just like they look at and speak to me.
"I would rather be a rebel than a slave." Again, Jesus was labeled a rebel.
"We don't want to be lawbreakers. We want to be lawmakers." These women had NO power, no autonomy...just like so many of us in the church within marriages, within relationships still today. We TRY to live peaceably...we don't make outrageous demands. But then we still are brushed aside and not respected and betrayed.
Just like the main character in the movie, we don't usually join a fight until it just won't leave us alone...until all of our attempts at staying out of that fight are foiled. I, too, used to think that if people would just tow the line and live peaceably and 'follow the specific roles for men and women' (yes, that was me), then everything would be fine. But even though I was doing all of those things, the men in my life still turned against me. The church still turned against me. Everyone who was supposed to love and respect me still turned against me. If they will do that to their own, there's no hope for others. If they will do that to someone who has given their LIFE for the work of the church and complied in every way, then they are capable of turning on anyone. Are you next?
It's so easy to do...because the women don't have any recourse. They have no source of help in a difficult situation.
The Christians say 'Well, just look to Jesus. If He doesn't intervene in this life, your reward is in heaven.'
That's not who Jesus is. HE came for the powerless. HE expects His people to *defend* the powerless instead of keeping certain groups of His people powerless. He expects His people to be a source of help in difficult situations.
Look to Jesus?
JESUS IS SAYING to the church and the men of the church, "Get. Off. Your asses. No, I did not come so you can head over women. I came to restore what was created in the Garden...equal partners. Enough of this 'God wants men to be head because they are more logical and less emotional.' Enough of this thinking that women are out to 'usurp authority'...authority that I never gave you in the first place, by the way. And enough of this thinking women are in ANY way less capable. They are not in ANY WAY less capable...not mentally, not emotionally, not spiritually. There is neither male nor female in MY kingdom...stop trying to make up your own kingdom with your own man-made power. I never gave that power to you. Now, get off your rears and work together with women...stop bullying them, stop making things up to fit your narrative, stop trying to be the hero in the story...they don't need you to rescue them...they just need you to respect them as the fully capable people they are. In short, be like ME. I would never in a million years treat them like you treat them."
Heed those words, please. Jesus didn't say those things, you say? Read your Bible. Study it. Study the culture of the time. He absolutely 'said' those things.
I'm so thankful for the women who have fought throughout the generations...fought to be heard, fought to be really listened to, fought to be seen as someone worthy of respect and equality. We still have a long way to go, sadly even in the church, where it should be the opposite...the church should be leading the way, just as Christ did for women. We still have a long way to go, but prayerfully we will get there. It might cost some of us everything, but we will not back down from what is RIGHT.