On the corner near to Seven Sisters were three male christian preachers. I stood and listened, along with the crowd of about 20 men for a little while and then asked the question … ‘what about the women’ …. This is what happened next. If you want to go to heaven you should take note!!
Very long pause …. ‘what do you mean – what about the women?’ was the response, which gives you a fair indication of where his focus lay. I mentioned that we made up 52% of the population and that I was really interested in his views on what the Bible said about women.
Out of our increasingly loud and mutually stubborn conversation which lasted for about 20 minutes, and drew an increasingly large crowd, I found out that the male preachers, and the (male) crowd, pretty much unanimously believe the following …
- homosexuality is an abomination/mental illness/not natural (no discussion of homosexual behaviour in animals was enough to counteract this as we apparently have a higher consciousness so should not be gay). He then read loudly from Leviticus 20:13
- you know the bit where the gays get stoned. Of course I accused him of homophobia, but he was ok with this charge.
- women should wear skirts not trousers. Medical scientists in the bible said so because otherwise we will get yeast infections. I laughed very loudly at this. His response was to shout at me ‘have you ever taken down your jeans and realised that you have a smelly crack?’ I have been asked many things in my life but never this. I looked him square in the eye (with everyone looking at me!!) and said loudly ‘no – have you?’ He said that yeast infections were for women not men
- men should not wear women’s clothing (again he read from the bible Deuteronomy 22:5). I asked if this was for medical reasons – what would he catch if he wore a skirt?, but he declined to answer.
- the lord wrote the bible 6000 years ago. He disagreed that it was written by a variety of men over hundreds of years.
- women are portrayed well in parts of the bible. (‘and badly in others?’ – no answer)
- women are divided into 2 types – virtuous and non-virtuous. On what basis are they divided I asked. Back to the trousers! I suggested that he was cherry picking and asked him about the biblical instruction to stone a woman to death who is found to be a non-virgin on her wedding night (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). He declined to comment other than to say that I was distracting from the messages now
- men are here to protect the women. ‘Who from?’ … ‘What do you mean who from?’ – ‘who are the men protecting the women from?’ …long pause … ‘us’ …’well maybe you should be telling men to be more respectful towards women’
- women are more free now than ever – I did mentioned the power in the hands of men within the governments of the world, the religions, the businesses etc, but apparently that doesn’t count
I ended by saying that the bible and they were sexist, misogynist and homophobic. He challenged back loudly and defiantly …. ‘ are you saying that the bible is sexist and homophobic?’ …. ‘yes and so are you’ …long pause….. (proud voice)….’yes’
What concerned me, alongside the obvious, was that the (male) crowd generally were telling me that I should listen to him. They agreed with the anti-homosexuality stance and felt that things were much worse now that previously but that it was the women’s fault for dressing that way and being promiscuous.
My idea is this – if anyone who is a feminist and/or gay wishes to join me one Saturday afternoon near Seven Sisters to jointly challenge this crap, please do let me know!!!
Contact Lisa-Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org. or through BSN eds at email@example.com