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Thread: The Psychological Impact of Complementarian/Patriarchal Theology

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
    A dictionary definition of "sexist" to hopefully head off any objections to my usage of the word:

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of sexism

    1 :prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :discrimination against women
    2 :behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
    Seems to me that your posts display the first part of definition 1 to a nicety.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

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    Quote Originally Posted by MsJack View Post
    Wildflower -- Welcome to the forums.

    My comment isn't going to be about you. The problem here isn't you and it's gaslighting to suggest otherwise. You aren't the one teaching through words and actions that half of the human race exists to serve and be subordinate to the other. Of course that's harmful.
    Quite so - she's just teaching that half the human race is attempting to denigrate and subordinate the other half.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
    This article puts forth the idea that gender based discrimination against woman such as in Complementarianism (which is actually Patriarchy) can actually negatively change a woman's brain and yield an unhealthy self-concept. I've never posted in this forum before and I don't know if there are any psychologists who would like to give input.

    As for me, the psychological impact of "Complementarianism"/Patriarchy on me personally is my life right now. I experientially agree that the gender discriminative theology of Complementarianism "changes the way the brain processes information, disrupting, for example, the regions involved in planning and decision-making. Discrimination actually changes women’s brains". Do you agree with the article and do you think it can be reversed?

    After 30 years of Christ-devotion, studying and ministering to individuals and groups through Bible studies, I've recently stepped out of all ministry that is related to "church" to try and stop the impact I've felt has been happening to me. I've gone from a confident woman, organizing Bible studies, writing curriculum for teens and adults, leading at women's retreats to now struggling everyday with a broken heart over a church that keeps rejecting me over and over in various ways due to my gender. I felt I had to put up boundaries, to finally stop.

    And yet...I cannot leave the relationships, the people who look up to me (and my family) in my church. To leave would cause more damage. So I go to church...a shell of the person I used to be, at this point I don't even know if I could return to the "planning and decision-making" processes that used to function effortlessly. I'm so torn...and now I wonder if the changes to my brain can be reversed. And what would that look like. I just don't know.

    If you have knowledge in psychology, what do you think?

    https://www.cbeinternational.org/blo...-womens-health

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/dis...-mental-health
    I don't have any knowledge in psychology---but as an Easterner and a Muslim, I don't think (Islamic) complementarianism is always bad/discriminatory...it can be if it becomes so rigid that it falls into oppression and injustice...but it can also be a helpful guide in navigating "norms" if it is based on an understanding of rights and responsibilities founded on the principle that all humanity is of equivalent worth. This applies to all types of diversity categories...not just that based on gender...our individual and group diversity is "complementary" in that diversity promotes compassion and mercy.

    Man (male) should not be the measure women aspire to---rather, empowerment means they should find their own contributing roles in society. Therefore, just because a man is a CEO does not mean a woman must aspire to be a CEO to "be equal". This also does not mean that women cannot be a CEO---because whatever role human beings play in society---they are all of inherent equivalent worth. A society that places "value" on women/men who work and dismisses women (or men) who do not, is equally damaging to women?....

    Consider---U said "I've gone from a confident woman, organizing Bible studies, writing curriculum for teens and adults, leading at women's retreats to now struggling everyday with a broken heart over a church that keeps rejecting me over and over in various ways due to my gender." ---a confident women contributed to her community in an environment/circumstances that remained unchanged for 30 years---yet, confidence and contribution decreased because she felt over time that she did not (was not allowed to) measure up to standards set by men---so why are men her (your) standard of measure?

    In yr linked article (**see below)---it said that women in Malaysia have a lower self esteem because they stay at home---therefore they should go out and work....because men go out and work and their self-esteem is fine. There is something unbalanced about this pov. A society that places value on those who make monetary contributions (spending, taxes) and not on non-monetary contributions has already affirmed that human beings are of unequal worth--those who earn are of more value than those who do not. This is not right. Money should not be the determinant of human value---nor should power. Those who have more power (that comes through positions of leadership) should not be considered of more value than those who do not have power. The real meaning of equivalent worth is that we are of value because we are all human beings and for no other reason.

    **from article:-
    Social psychology studies indicate that there is a self-esteem gap between men and women. In 1990, two social psychologists, William and Best, conducted a fourteen-nation study to find out how men and women differ in their self-concepts. In nations such as India and Malaysia where women are expected to remain in the home as wives and mothers, women have the most negative self-concepts. In contrast, they discovered that in places like England and Finland where women are most active in the workplace and are valued participants outside the home, men and women were found to have equal levels of self-esteem.

    ---Men are not the problem---but an inadequate understanding of the value of human/humane contributions that each human being makes simply by existing as a member of that society creates distorted value judgements.
    The elderly, handicapped, homeless, travelers, immigrants, and the diversity of other human beings are contributors to our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth. They give us opportunities for compassion and mercy and for this we must be grateful.
    ....blaming men will not solve the problem of distorted value judgement...nor changing women to be "like" men or using men as a standard to measure "value".....we (society) need to learn and then teach, a better concept of equality....?....

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    I don't have any knowledge in psychology---but as an Easterner and a Muslim, I don't think (Islamic) complementarianism is always bad/discriminatory...it can be if it becomes so rigid that it falls into oppression and injustice...but it can also be a helpful guide in navigating "norms" if it is based on an understanding of rights and responsibilities founded on the principle that all humanity is of equivalent worth. This applies to all types of diversity categories...not just that based on gender...our individual and group diversity is "complementary" in that diversity promotes compassion and mercy.

    Man (male) should not be the measure women aspire to---rather, empowerment means they should find their own contributing roles in society. Therefore, just because a man is a CEO does not mean a woman must aspire to be a CEO to "be equal". This also does not mean that women cannot be a CEO---because whatever role human beings play in society---they are all of inherent equivalent worth. A society that places "value" on women/men who work and dismisses women (or men) who do not, is equally damaging to women?....

    Consider---U said "I've gone from a confident woman, organizing Bible studies, writing curriculum for teens and adults, leading at women's retreats to now struggling everyday with a broken heart over a church that keeps rejecting me over and over in various ways due to my gender." ---a confident women contributed to her community in an environment/circumstances that remained unchanged for 30 years---yet, confidence and contribution decreased because she felt over time that she did not (was not allowed to) measure up to standards set by men---so why are men her (your) standard of measure?

    In yr linked article (**see below)---it said that women in Malaysia have a lower self esteem because they stay at home---therefore they should go out and work....because men go out and work and their self-esteem is fine. There is something unbalanced about this pov. A society that places value on those who make monetary contributions (spending, taxes) and not on non-monetary contributions has already affirmed that human beings are of unequal worth--those who earn are of more value than those who do not. This is not right. Money should not be the determinant of human value---nor should power. Those who have more power (that comes through positions of leadership) should not be considered of more value than those who do not have power. The real meaning of equivalent worth is that we are of value because we are all human beings and for no other reason.

    **from article:-
    Social psychology studies indicate that there is a self-esteem gap between men and women. In 1990, two social psychologists, William and Best, conducted a fourteen-nation study to find out how men and women differ in their self-concepts. In nations such as India and Malaysia where women are expected to remain in the home as wives and mothers, women have the most negative self-concepts. In contrast, they discovered that in places like England and Finland where women are most active in the workplace and are valued participants outside the home, men and women were found to have equal levels of self-esteem.

    ---Men are not the problem---but an inadequate understanding of the value of human/humane contributions that each human being makes simply by existing as a member of that society creates distorted value judgements.
    The elderly, handicapped, homeless, travelers, immigrants, and the diversity of other human beings are contributors to our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth. They give us opportunities for compassion and mercy and for this we must be grateful.
    ....blaming men will not solve the problem of distorted value judgement...nor changing women to be "like" men or using men as a standard to measure "value".....we (society) need to learn and then teach, a better concept of equality....?....
    Under sharia, a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man's. That is inherently UNequal and discriminatory. Lipstick ain't helping that pig.
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Under sharia, a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man's. That is inherently UNequal and discriminatory. Lipstick ain't helping that pig.
    And that a husband can beat his wife, that men can have multiple wives, but women can't have multiple husbands, as well as various other issues.
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Under sharia, a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man's. That is inherently UNequal and discriminatory. Lipstick ain't helping that pig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    And that a husband can beat his wife, that men can have multiple wives, but women can't have multiple husbands, as well as various other issues.
    1) Testimony, 2) DV, 3) Polygyny....

    "Theology" of Equality:-
    In Islam, God is not gendered...

    Quran Surah Surah 4:1
    Pickthall: O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.

    Yusuf Ali: O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.

    This means that all humanity is created from a singularity (single soul) regardless of the diversity of phenotype, genetics, status, (physical/intellectual) abilities...etc.

    and more specifically Surah 33:35
    Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.

    Which means that the worth of men and women is equal in belief, in intentions, in actions, in spirituality/worship...etc

    This equality cannot be taken away by man-made laws/rules because it is an inherent "right" given by God. Any laws that infringe on this principle need to be revised. However, this equality does not mean same-ness. Women need not be made into men or measured by male standards in order to be considered worthy.

    1)Testimony---A women's tesitmony is not less than that of a man---both are equal. A privilege exists in financial/contractual disputes. Women have been given the privilege of bringing a companion for support and to prevent error. In Islam---women are/were financially independent---they had the right to keep their own names after marriage, own property and dispense with it as they saw fit---to earn and keep/invest their earnings as they saw fit and to dispose of their inheritance as they saw fit. Because some of these are financial/contractual transactions---some disputes may have required adjudication---that is why this privilege exists for women in this specific instance---it does not for non-financial witnessing such as criminal law, family law...etc (The Prophet's wife was a Businessowner/Trader)

    2)Domestic violence (DV)---This was a problematic norm in pre-Islamic society. It is still a problem in Modernity. In Islam, women can divorce....so there is no reason to tolerate any level of DV...they can divorce. Also women's assets are not subject to division of property in a divorce. (The Prophet(pbuh) himself did not encourage or engage in any form of oppression of women) Nevertheless this is an issue that Muslim women's groups and advocates are tackling today.....

    3)Polygyny---why not polyandry? In Islam, children also have rights and one of them is that of identity/name. A child (male and female) has the right to his/her family name. This is also the "right" for adopted children---they retain their names even after adoption---the adoptive parents are Guardians.
    (Polygyny is not an obligation in Islam....monogamy is perfectly acceptable.)
    Last edited by siam; 11-30-2017 at 04:58 AM.

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    The Qur'an allows, and can even be argued to command husbands to beat their wives.

    Qur'an 4:34 (Pickthall)—Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret what Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.

    Qur'an 4:34 (Shakir)—Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

    Qur'an 4:34 (Ali)—Men are the protectors And maintainers of women, Because Allah has given The one more (strength) Than the other, and because They support them From their means. Therefore the righteous women Are devoutly obedient, and guard In (the husband’s) absence What Allah would have them guard. As to those women On whose part ye fear Disloyalty and ill-conduct, Admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); But if they return to obedience, Seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

    The word "lightly" isn't in the Arabic, so Ali isn't being honest with translation here.

    The reason women have to have another person for testimony is given by Mohammed in the Sahih Hadith, and it's not what you say above.

    Sahih Muslim 142—[Muhammad said]: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense.

    Sahih Al-Bukhari 2658—The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said: "Yes." He said: "This is because of the deficiency of her mind."

    Women being inherently inferior physically, mentally, and spiritually is not equal in any meaning of the term.

    Aisha the "mother of the faithful" in Islam even attested to the fact that Muslim women were treated worse than pagan women.

    Sahih al-Bukhari 5825—Narrated Ikrima: Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, “By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this,” holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, “By Allah, O Allah’s messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa.” Allah's messenger said to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” The prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes.” The prophet said, “You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.”

    If she was just allowed to divorce this man, and go back to Rifaa, as the husband claimed she wanted, then why didn't she? According to the passage she would have had to have sex with him, which wouldn't have been possible if he really was impotent as she claims. The fact that he had sons previously in his lifetime does nothing to show that he is not impotent now. Islamic laws are not nearly as lax as you try to make them seem. So she was trapped in a marriage with a man who beat her, and who may have been impotent thus keeping her there for as long as he lived.

    Note that the beating she received was hard enough to bruise her, and Mohammed says nothing to the man about this, but chastises the women based on very faulty reasoning.
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    The Qur'an allows, and can even be argued to command husbands to beat their wives.

    Qur'an 4:34 (Pickthall)—Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret what Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.

    Qur'an 4:34 (Shakir)—Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

    Qur'an 4:34 (Ali)—Men are the protectors And maintainers of women, Because Allah has given The one more (strength) Than the other, and because They support them From their means. Therefore the righteous women Are devoutly obedient, and guard In (the husband’s) absence What Allah would have them guard. As to those women On whose part ye fear Disloyalty and ill-conduct, Admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); But if they return to obedience, Seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

    The word "lightly" isn't in the Arabic, so Ali isn't being honest with translation here.

    The reason women have to have another person for testimony is given by Mohammed in the Sahih Hadith, and it's not what you say above.

    Sahih Muslim 142—[Muhammad said]: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense.

    Sahih Al-Bukhari 2658—The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said: "Yes." He said: "This is because of the deficiency of her mind."

    Women being inherently inferior physically, mentally, and spiritually is not equal in any meaning of the term.

    Aisha the "mother of the faithful" in Islam even attested to the fact that Muslim women were treated worse than pagan women.

    Sahih al-Bukhari 5825—Narrated Ikrima: Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, “By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this,” holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, “By Allah, O Allah’s messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa.” Allah's messenger said to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” The prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes.” The prophet said, “You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.”

    If she was just allowed to divorce this man, and go back to Rifaa, as the husband claimed she wanted, then why didn't she? According to the passage she would have had to have sex with him, which wouldn't have been possible if he really was impotent as she claims. The fact that he had sons previously in his lifetime does nothing to show that he is not impotent now. Islamic laws are not nearly as lax as you try to make them seem. So she was trapped in a marriage with a man who beat her, and who may have been impotent thus keeping her there for as long as he lived.

    Note that the beating she received was hard enough to bruise her, and Mohammed says nothing to the man about this, but chastises the women based on very faulty reasoning.
    Quran 4:34, 35.
    35. (since not given above...)
    Pickthal: And if ye fear a breech between them twain (the man and wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.

    Yusuf Ali: If ye fear a breach between them twain appoint (two) arbiters one from his family and the other from hers; if they wish for peace Allah will cause their reconciliation: for Allah hath full knowledge and is acquainted with all things.

    Languages have different word usage that can change meanings for example:-
    In English the word "Strike" can change depending on usage...

    strike
    strīk/Submit
    verb
    1.
    hit forcibly and deliberately with one's hand or a weapon or other implement.
    "he raised his hand, as if to strike me"
    synonyms: bang, beat, hit; More
    2.
    (of a disaster, disease, or other unwelcome phenomenon) occur suddenly and have harmful or damaging effects on.
    "an earthquake struck the island"
    synonyms: affect, afflict, attack, hit
    "the disease is striking 3,000 people a year"
    noun
    1.
    a refusal to work organized by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer.
    "dockers voted for an all-out strike"
    synonyms: industrial action, walkout, job action, stoppage
    "a 48-hour strike"
    2.
    a sudden attack, typically a military one.
    "the threat of nuclear strikes"
    synonyms: (air) attack, assault, bombing, raid
    "a military strike"

    Some scholars may translate the word as ---to strike/to beat but as other scholars (such as Dr Amina Wadud and others) have shown, the same word used elsewhere in the Quran does not have the same meaning as strike/beat. Therefore in light of the obligation for men to protect women---to strike/to beat goes against the obligation. Verse 35 is about reconciliation and since DV can lead to divorce, the preference for usage of to strike/to beat does not fit the context of the verses. The Arabic word (idribunna/daraba) can mean "to separate" and in the context of verses 34, 35---this meaning is a better fit than to strike/beat. This is also emphasized by the opening words of each Surah "In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful". Those who prefer interpretations of harshness rather than compassion and mercy may have let pride/ego obscure God's words?....The ayah (signs/verses) of the Quran may not just be Guidance...but also a test? The words of the Quran are there in black and white---how we choose to understand the Quran can benefit our own souls or it can injure our souls---we must decide. This is made clear in Surah 90.
    Surah 90
    10:And have shown him the two ways?
    11.But he has not made haste on the path that is steep.
    12.And what can explain to you the path that is steep??
    13.It is the freeing of a slave
    14. or the giving of food on a day of privation
    15. to the orphan kinsman
    16. to the indigent down in the dust
    17. then will he be of those who believe and enjoin patience and deeds of kindness and compassion.

    ahadith: Dr Jonathan Brown has written a book "Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's legacy"

    The classification of hadith is a science. The sayings of the Prophet have a chain of narrators and there are some who are not considered reliable---for example, some scholars feel Ikrima, (who heard things second hand from Ibn Abbas) was prone to exaggeration and this effects the perception of reliability......alleged hadith that do not have isnad (chain of narration) are even more suspect.....

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