Double Standards Gone Horribly Wrong
Our society is full of double standards. We can all think of about a dozen off the top of our heads without pausing. That is not the premise from which I write (but if there are double standards — legitimate ones, not some personal crusade to undo years of bitter memories), but in light of this story breaking: http://hiphopwired.com/2013/05/15/75-year-old-pimp-busted-for-running-prostitution-ring-out-of-senior-living-complex-video/#sthash.Fuj7jOKs.dpbs, I began thinking even more deeply about something that has bothered me for years.
The church is often good for telling women that they should be “chaste,” “pure,” “virginal” and what not, but rarely do you ever see men in the church held to that same standard. Why is that? It goes beyond paternalism, because women often make up anywhere from two-thirds to as much as 90% of most congregations — regardless of denomination, with the exception of possibly Catholic; where the demographics are a bit less skewed — in the United States. One could clamor and complain about mind control from “religions who simply seek to control others,” but I believe the issue is even deeper than that.
For generations, the church espoused the thinking that a woman should not be out looking for a man to marry, that she should (in a manner of speaking), sit back and just let life “happen” and “let him find you.” I personally do not agree with this. Women have a purpose to fulfill in this life, just as men do. And while women who marry and become wives are help meets to their husband (the action is to be reciprocal back to the wife from the husband also, which you will not hear churches preach regularly), there are going to be women who never get married; whether by choice, or by orchestration by God. One’s life is no more complete or worthwhile if they marry or never marry at all. Too often, the church places this undue pressure upon women to tie up their overall self-worth into whether or not they marry. I do not agree with this, and never have.
Men, on the other hand, are rarely held to this same standard. What? Is a woman supposed to sit back and wait for him to sow his “wild oats” until he’s 58 and just tired of doing so? And once he’s “tired” of doing so, is it with an STD or two in tow? What about children everywhere? And then he’s just bored with life, only wanting to sit in front of the TV set and occasionally pop a blue pill or two, and never really be into going out and doing things that his young concubine is into? (Let’s face it, guys who do this usually have that view on a woman who agrees to even marry his selfish ass to begin with.)
How is that fair? Women are supposed to just sit back and wait for a man (or collectively, men) who never come around at all? All this, while ducking and dodging the wolves whose only intent is to catch some weak-willed or not-yet-delivered ex-harlot slipping so he can smash easily? I was over the singles ministry for three years at a church that I used to attend. Believe me, that last scenario occurs frequently, and much more than even some pew-warmers believe.
Going back to the point about women simply sitting back and waiting, there is active “waiting” (if that’s what you want to call it) and there’s the passive sort. Kudos to the congregations whose pastors/bishops preach active “waiting”, because there is a purpose to fulfill while single, regardless of whether you are a man or woman. Sitting around and living in the church 6 days a week (unless, by some chance, it is your calling), makes little sense, isn’t practical or pragmatic, is counter-intuitive, and most of all, those who tend to be this way are usually super-spiritual and are next to impossible to relate with.
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, if that is your persuasion (i.e. Christian who lives using the Bible as their guide), but don’t throw practicality out of the window. Women are not prohibited from speaking to men and sparking up conversation first. You cannot play Ruth to his Boaz in every single situation. Not every man is scanning the landscape to find a Ruth. Some are so consumed with doing what they’ve ultimately been called to do that sometimes women have to be the first one to speak up and get his attention. Notice this does not say, “Women should be the ones who initiate everything from conversation to the relationship developing.”
If we are going to have (necessary) progression in some areas socially — and like the aforementioned double standards, we can name several instances in which progression was necessary and others that are anything but “PROGRESSION” — then we cannot pick and choose when we are going to be 1957 old school and 2013 “progressive,” when the inclination to jump back to the old fashioned way, and seamlessly jump into 2013 seems to curiously center around situations where one seeks to avoid any sense of rejection or disappointment. Most of you know where I am going with that last statement.
But to see a 75-year old man pimping veritable children at a senior center? Agh. Just makes me wonder now that we have two or three generations of “Milk Pilferers” who never buy the proverbial cow — what incentive do most men have to be more like Boaz and less like the 75-year old pimp?