It will be a contention of this site that the Western Rape Culture that feminist academics commonly claim that Western society men have created is instead simply an academic creation of their own sexual/ hormonal fantasy. It is not professed that all women have this fantasy, and it should be noted that in the latest study of university students Christian women were the majority of the participants.
The concept of sexual freedom, especially a women’s sexual freedom, was heavily promoted at the School of Theology based in the University of Auckland. According to the theory promoted in the lectures, the Bible has been used by both Christianity and Judaism to erroneously inhibit women’s sexuality and sexual experience all throughout history. They contend that women had been kept purely as sexual chattels without any say in how they lived their lives. Accordingly, it was now the churches responsibility to now free women around the world from the sexual restrictions placed on them by men using the Bible. To these Catholic nuns who taught us, the Bible gave men sexual freedom to do whatever they pleased, and women should therefore have equal sexual freedom to try every experience available to them. It should be noted that even a cursory reading of Scripture does not back these theories, unless verses or parts of verses were read in isolation from it’s cultural historical context. However, no debate was allowed in classes, especially not from a white male’s archaeological or historical perspective. One can’t help thinking that these nuns held a regret that they had chosen the wrong career for themselves.
While Judaism and Christianity were represented as being historically repressive to women in the Auckland University classes, Islam’s burkas and niqabs were promoted as offering women greater choice. They were presented as a freedom from the harsh requirements of Western culture to conform to woman’s magazines standards of glamour. They represented empowerment. To the nuns lecturing us, there was no differentiation between Christian behaviour and western culture, and there appeared to be little understanding of the consequences of NZ being a secular society. Each women should be free to make her own decisions regarding her behaviour, abortions, prostitution, and not interfere with any other woman’s choices. Abortions were necessary as the world is already overpopulated. Created by God as sexual animals, women should be free to enter relationships as they please. Prostitution empowers women financially. Power and control were recurring themes, both of which allows women to flourish. Women don’t cock-tease, men just lack self control. That’s not a woman’s fault. Together all of these things would give women control over their own lives, unlike traditional Christianity. The Bible was a man centred book so should not have influence over a woman’s sexuality.
But I have not thinking about religious things all of my life, and at the turn of the millennia I was flatting with a couple of prostitutes in central Auckland. I have seen first hand how the industry damages young women, and how easily they slip into doing things they promise they wont get involved in. How drugs can quickly lead to harder drugs, and how even though they can earn $1000 in a night, it can be gone as quickly, and they not earn anything for weeks. A flatmate got home early one morning and locked herself in her room crying for three days. I was shocked to learn many get raped by drunken drugged up clients while at work in Auckland’s premier parlours. Taxi drivers regularly take advantage of these drugged or drunken women after they finish work as they drop them home. Abortions. I’ve heard how easy it is for underage girls to use their sisters ID to get into the parlours. And then their young sisters try and hook up accepting rides with strangers in the same party manner but get horribly pack raped. They lose all respect for men and it’s hard not to blame them. But they are selling themselves as sex objects. I thought that feminism said that women were not supposed to be sex objects by men.
So me being me, and thinking that what I was hearing in these theology lectures was horse-radish, I questioned the nuns. No, I was wrong, it is a woman’s choice, apparently God gave women the same freedoms as man to experience what they wanted. But they are wreaking their lives. That’s their choice I’m told. And they would cherry pick stories from the Bible to back their claims. But when they retold these well known Bible stories in class, they always left out the part where the men were punished by God, sometimes losing everything and having their shame retold as an example NOT to follow. Essentially, these nuns were promoting women’s freedoms to act like sexual animals. When I protest that we are not animals, but created separately and differently by God, I am laughed at and reminded that science says that evolution is the truth women should be allowed to follow their natural instincts. I didn’t have the heart to tell this ageing fragile Catholic nun, who had been supported by the Church all her life, that out in the wild most animals just raped each other. Animal culture is rape culture.
But this secular academic teaching at the School of Theology, this promotion of sexual freedom, of equality of presumed power and experience, was in line with the rest of the University Arts Department (later renamed Humanities). Other examples of this sexual “equality” include the Free The Nipple campaigns recently on Auckland beaches which were promoted by Humanities/ Arts graduates throughout social media. European countries like Sweden are seen as model societies for expressing sexual freedom.
But what does this have to do with Christianity in New Zealand currently? These professors and lecturers are well published locally and internationally religious scholars. It was this academic theology taught by secular institutions that empowered the Gay and Lesbian Anti-discrimination Committee to take the Anglican Church to the Human Rights Commission to force the acceptance of homosexual clergy as role models for Christian family relationships. As in class, the Bible was to be kept out of the courtroom arguments.