So today someone close to me sent me a link to the blog at Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage...a marriage ministry headed up by Mark Gungor, something I'd never heard of until today. I'm not going to critique his advice to those that are married--his specialty. This though, was sent to me by a single friend and I WILL critique his treatment of women and men...and before anyone cries "You have to read his stuff and attend his lectures and watch his DVDs 20 times in slo-mo before you really get what he's saying!", I charge that if, after reading 10 blog posts, I don't understand the root of what he's trying to say, the fault is his, not mine.
The two posts that stuck out to me were
- one explaining that wives should learn to understand that men aren't clean creatures, and constant expectations of them to pick up and keep things neat and tidy are equivalent to efforts to turn them into women.
- a second citing passages in Ezekiel 16 stating that women who sleep with men for free are "lower" than prostitutes...basically, at least get paid for it (a joke I've made a couple of times myself).
The second...I...straight up, he doesn't even mention men...men...the gender that is known to be the bigger proponent of sex. The gender that funds the prostitution industry. Are they not prostitutes too when they engage in sex outside of marriage? Perhaps a bigger deal than that though, the nature of the post makes me question his intentions. It's harsh. There's a disclaimer a bit of the way through, but even prior to that, the words and accusations are heavy ESPECIALLY considering that most of his audience will look very harshly on prostitution.
Me personally, I'm not easily offended and am far from one to shrink at satire. I freaked a former boyfriend out at my admiration of Swift's "A Modest Proposal"...which I kinda get...joking about roasting young children for dinner is pretty harsh...but through it all, I never doubted that Swift's extreme sarcasm was a direct and proportionate response to the horrible treatment of children in his time. Mr. Gungor though, I have to doubt his intentions. Why? Because he's admitted in other posts that women are sensitive and emotional. If you want to help someone out of a situation you see as damning, you don't do it with language like that. Swift was talking to his enemies. Gungor is speaking to his flock and I see no hint of concern for the heart of the women who may be reading.
After spending some good time on his site, I thought of a video I'd run across in the currently hot but fading "Sh*t X Says" meme. The one in question is "Sh*t Guys Don't Say". (Warnings on a bit of profanity and simulated sex.) Basically, men don't pick up after themselves, talk about their feelings and only eat unhealthy food...tired old stereotypes that I hope more men will be offended by. I also though, found a response from a man who supports breaking the presentation of male stereotypes in the media (both the video and response can be found here). I find the correlation disturbing...the secular and the sacred defending and supporting the same bad behavior.
I find his writing dangerous. Why? Because there are bits of truth mixed in with I think is an ulterior motive. I know there's a movement within the Church now against wives holding jobs (completely ignoring Proverbs 31) and I do believe that the subtext that set me on edge stems out of that same vein.