Tuesday, April 06, 2010

It Is Not Yours

It's hard to even know where to start with the utter wrongness of this piece of work, given that there is so much skin-crawlingly wrong with what Hildebrand has written here; but I think that is, in fact, where I do want to start: with that central concept which seems to be where the Right and the Left have to part.

In this letter, you will notice, Hildebrand takes as a given that the young girl's body is not her own. It is God's, or it is her husband's. She herself only exists as an agent in that she is allowed to guard over the body.

That, I think, is the root of the divide. That is why true Conservatives and the Religious Right have a hard time accepting the notion of rape and being pro-Choice: they don't believe women actually exist, not in the way men do. Women are, in a real sense, only property, from their perspective, objects that belong to some real being: a man, or to God. They're a tool, made to bear children or care for their husband. They exist to serve some real person (or real God, but really, what's the difference from the Conservative POV?).

The Left, on the other hand, insists on believing that everyone is human and actual: men, women, people of color, gay people, disabled people, immigrants, people from Iraq, children, everyone. All these people exists in their own right, and as their own agents, just as much as a white guy does. None of them exist to serve the white guy, or act as the white guy's foil or backdrop or tool.

There's the issue, there's the rub.

And people like Alice Hildebrand, who thinks if she wears her leash tightly enough, and binds her daughters' feet tightly enough, she will get to be an honorary man one day and one day they will let her sit up on the plantation porch too, well, she'll find out, I guess. Probably she already has, though if that's the case, I imagine she blames herself (I shouldn't have talked back, I shouldn't have worn that dress, I should have paid attention where I was walking, who I was with, it's my fault for not asking God's protection, the excuses women find are endless).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

utterly creepy, indeed. i think i need a shower now, thank you.

Livia said...

If a "young girl" follows the rules, she can reasonably expect to be rewarded as she ages. That reward consists of the power she'll begin to accrue once she's a wife, mother, and pillar of a church.

This power will be directly correlated with her reputation for righteousness, her influence in the church, her passion for manipulation, and her ability to keep her husband and daughters in line. It will go easier for her if she has sons.

She'll need to start volunteering and teaching Sunday School early on, so the older women will accept her and agree to show her the ropes. She also needs to marry a "good Christian boy" very young, while her virginity is still fresh enough to be of interest to the congregation.

If she goes to college, it should be a Bible (aka "bridal") college. She isn't going there for scary, faith-testing academics. She's going there to marry someone whose religious commitment will bolster her position in the church.

All this goes right out the window if she ends up divorced for any reason, but of course that will never happen.

If the very idea of this life makes your skin crawl, then congratulations. You were either raised outside the fold, or you got out young.

I got out young. -L

Trina said...

All I can say is, ICK. And I said it repeatedly while reading that sexist slop.