A number of posts both here and at Bobvis seem to hit on topics of the behavior of men towards women, and whether it’s cultural or not. As with any case study, there are a number of “exceptions that prove the rule”, but by and large I’ve found that men from middle-eastern or (perhaps more to the point) islam-influenced cultures have a pretty paleolithic attitude towards women. Many times, this is dressed up as insisting that the barbaric, humiliating and isolating behavior towards women constitutes some bizarre form of “freedom” for them. In reality, however, the prevailing attitude seems to be that women are (a) unable to take care of themselves, (b) unworthy of being allowed to, (c) inferior to men, and (d) largely to be neither seen nor heard (“barefoot and pregnant” at home).

This seems to have some startling parallels in the FLDS, given more by the latest round of news in which zombie-like women obviously parroting rote-memorized lines (with a very “yes. we. love. our. mother. russia” scared-of-something vibe) trot around and the FLDS, obviously wiser to the PR game, trots out dog-and-pony-show “visits” with their youngest men (who only have one wife… so far) to show how “normal” their insular society is. In reality, of course, FLDS women have no choice of husbands, no control in their own lives, and have even been referred to as “breeding stock” by the FLDS’s “prophet” Warren Jeffs.

On the Islamic side, the source seems pretty obvious – Muslims are expected to revere the “example” of the “prophet” Mohammed. The problem is, Muslim men try to follow Mohammed’s example with women. Mohammed’s track record shows up with some pretty raw abuses, including a couple of rapes he retroactively called “marriages”, plenty of sex-slave concubines, and draconian laws on divorce, proving rape, and sanctioning violence towards women that would probably even make the FLDS think twice.

Unfortunately, the FLDS parallels this pretty well. In the Islamic world, women are “theoretically” allowed veto power on whether to enter into marriage (though the reality in almost all Muslim nations is otherwise). In the FLDS, you either marry who the FLDS “prophet” says, or you’re kicked out of the group – with wives being reassigned at a whim of the “prophet” should a man happen to fall out of favor. Both groups seem to see women as primarily baby factories; both have standards of “modesty” designed around preventing a significant amount of self-expression in women as well as making it hard for them to differentiate their appearances. Salman Rushdie has famously said that “Muslim society is afraid of women’s sexuality; numerous other scholars concur, noting the incredibly pornographic verses and male-oriented idealization of “heaven” (72 beautiful ‘virgins’ that magically re-virginize and a never-softening erection to match). The FLDS ideas towards women seem similar; multiple wives in heaven with few males, women who must be “submissive” towards men at all times, etc.

In Mohammed’s time, he got plenty of men killed fighting his wars, as did most of the other tribes in the region, and so there was a pretty good abundance of “extra” women; a polygamous society necessitates behavior designed to (a) keep women “in their place” and (b) ensure that enough young men die to keep the desired (at least by the rulers) female/male ratio. Today, many young Muslim males are “encouraged” to “fight jihad against the kafir” by the older males of Muslim society, conveniently getting them out of the way for the older Muslim males to take multiple wives – even in countries where it’s against the law (the FLDS seems to have the same idea). The FLDS answer to the “young men problem” has been by simply kicking a lot of young men out into the world, not caring what happens to them after that.

In both cases, the term “submission” pops up too commonly. So common, in fact, that much of the discussion seems more like propaganda to create a “stockholm syndrome” situation; women are told that being veiled, submissive, second-class and utterly subservient is “true freedom” or “holy”, and even pitted against each other to tattle (and thus gain favor with the male of the house) if one of them shows a bit too much self-respect. Even for monogamous Muslims, the threat of taking a second wife – and relegating the current to second-class status – is all too common in Muslim society.

At root, I submit that what both groups (at least the males thereof) are really afraid of is, in fact, women being comfortable in their own self and sexuality. Too many women being confident in themselves, or realizing “I don’t have to be treated this way”, might just mean that they would stop putting up with the abusive behavior altogether.

-{Note from trumwill: I have a(nother) post coming up early next week on the FLDS raid in Texas. When that post comes up it will be an opportunity to discuss the legal angle of those raids, so lets save that discussion until then. Oh, and believe it or not, I have a post in mind for the AOC angle of religious communities and the FLDS raid, so let’s hold off on that for now, too}-


Category: Church

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7 Responses to Cavemen With Clubs

  1. Peter says:

    Polygamy in Islamic countries is actually rather uncommon. No more than 3% to 4% of marriages in these countries are polygamous, with some variation from country to country.

  2. Webmaster says:

    Peter,

    I believe your statistics are off, especially considering the “temporary marriage” bit enshrined in shari’a law.

    There’s also the continual sanctioning of “spiritual” or shari’a marriages that simply aren’t registered with the state. This is a rising problem in Europe, Canada and America as well as being incredibly on the rise (and coming back into the open) in former Soviet states like Tajikstan that have large or majority-Muslim populations. It’s also on the rise in what are considered somewhat more “mainstream” nations like Indonesia, where violent Islamists are growing in power.

    A figure around 4% honestly looks a lot like the “statistics” on the frequency of rape (which are frankly a joke given the “four male witnesses” proof requirements and the fact that a woman can be killed merely for reporting it to the authorities) in Muslim nations.

  3. Gannon says:

    What I find interesting is the fact that these men choose preferably teen girls. A man’s natural main sexual object is the teen girl, not the thirty year old woman. It’s very interesting that all these men choose to marry healthy fertile teen girls if they are freed of societies chains, which speaks volumes to what is healthy normal male heterosexual behaviour. I find it unfair to compare Islam with the FLDS though. There is a huge difference between marrying nine year old children versus fourteen year old women.

  4. trumwill says:

    It’s very interesting that all these men choose to marry healthy fertile teen girls if they are freed of societies chains,

    It’s worth noting that FLDS men have societal chains of their own. In any case, I’m working on a post about what the FLDS might say about human nature and multi-generational sexuality and whatnot, so I want to hold off until then.

  5. ecco says:

    I find this discussion somewhat difficult to discuss due to the lack of hard data. While I’m sure that there are muslims who are engaged in polygamy, do we have any evidence that their numbers are any larger than the proportion of FLDS members out of the greater mormon population? In terms of the broader discussion, if we were to go back to the 1950’s, would how we think the muslim world looks at women be any different from how our society would have? I don’t think so, but then most of my examples come from islamic societies that aren’t in political control.

  6. SFG says:

    Note that everyone discusses the suffering of the women, but the majority of men who are kicked out rarely come up.

  7. trumwill says:

    SFG,

    I will actually dig heavily into that subject in my upcoming post on the FLDS.

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