Friday, February 7, 2014

From Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on "Duck Dynasty" to Vatican Enablers Attacking U.N. Report: Protection of Heterosexual Male Power and Privilege as Nexus

Here's what fascinates me in this Media Matters video in which Gretchen Carlson of Fox News interviews Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Wendy Griffith about "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson and his anti-gay comments:

Boteach says, "We have to stop making religion in America about bashing gays," and no one appears to object.

But when he goes on to say, "See, the problem in America is that we overlook all the heterosexual guys who are raping women one in five," all hell breaks loose.

The problem with religion in America today is clearly both about bashing gays and about protecting heterosexual male power and privilege. The two are intrinsically connected.

But when people go there--to the underlying objective of the gay bashing, which is the screening of heterosexual male power and privilege from all analysis or critique--hell breaks loose. And isn't that fascinating to note?

In her book Out of the Depths: Women’s Experience of Evil and Salvation, trans. and intro. Ann Patrick Ware (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002), Catholic feminist theologian (and nun) Ivone Gebara states,

Institutionalized violence against women is not just one specific act of violence but a social arrangement, a cultural construct geared to degrade one pole of humanity and exalt the other (81).

And she also notes,

In one sense, patriarchy is a societal form of male narcissism (a love of anything that is like me), manifest in every cultural, political, and religious institution. Thus it is easier for men to fight for any other cause of social justice than for the cause of equal rights for women (141).

I think neither of these observations is beside the point as we think about why we're not permitted to observe that gay bashing is deeply rooted in systems that enforce heterosexual male power and privilege--since the ultimate objective of those systems is to keep the feminine (as in women and males seen as feminized) under total subjection to the masculine.

It is hardly beside the point, is it, that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, about whose recent report media enablers of the Vatican are now going ballistic, is chaired by a woman--Kirsten Sandberg? Read the heated rhetoric of Catholic Vatican enablers about how "gender ideology" drives the U.N. Committee's work, and about the "ignorance," "gross misunderstanding," and "arrogance" that inform this work, and, if your eyes are open even a tiny bit, you'll realize that you're reading a thinly disguised screed about uppity women.

And what they must not be allowed to say. Not to men. Not to an institution headed by men, which protects heterosexual male power and privilege. 

And this is, of course, precisely why so many "mainstream" journalists are willing to take seriously these kinds of malicious, immature, misogynistic screeds written by Catholic journalists to defend the Vatican's indefensible handling of child abuse cases: those "mainstream" journalists have every bit as much invested in keeping uppity women in their places as do Catholic officials and their Catholic journalistic enablers.

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