Misogyny

Misogyny

Misogyny

Richard Hollerman

We are living in an age of labels. People use labels to categorize and particularly enjoy inventing and using Latin- or Greek-derived terms. Such is the case of misogyny.

Misogyny is defined as a term with Greek origin, meaning “hatred of or hostility toward women” or “a woman hater” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, The American Heritage College Dictionary). Viewing this through God’s viewpoint (which would be the Bible’s view), we can see that misogyny is totally opposed to the purposes of God.

Misogyny

Let’s remember that God not only created “male” in the beginning, but also “female” (Genesis 1:27; cf. 5:1-2). The woman was a special creation of God, taken from man whom He had created originally (2:18-25).

Thousands of years later, Paul wrote that “man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9). Some may mistakenly conclude from this that the woman is inferior in some way. But the apostle corrects this view by saying that neither is the woman nor the man independent of the other: “In the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God” (11:11-12).

In God our Creator’s sight, we find that both the man and the woman have great value, great importance, and great purpose on earth, and a great destiny for all eternity—through Christ Jesus our Lord.

If there happens to be someone guilty of “hatred of or hostility toward women,” that person is not viewing things through the eyes of the Lord. In fact, hatred of any human being is utterly wrong from God’s standpoint. The one guilty of hatred is actually guilty of murder, according to God’s Word (1 John 3:14-15). As followers of the Lord, we are to love and not hate all others—including women. Let’s add that we are not to hate those of other ethnic backgrounds, or religions, or colors, or origins. This is not to say that God views all people the same—for this is false. God does accept His children with a special and deep love (1 John 3:1-2, 10). But He says that we are to love all people—including even our enemies (Luke 6:27-28). Thus, we are to love women and not hate them in any way!

In our emphasizing that we (men) are not to hate members of the opposite gender, but to love them with a God-kind of love, we must emphasize certain distinctions. Without adding clarifications of truth to this discussion, many readers may receive a totally wrong understanding of misogyny and related matters.

We think that the term, misogyny, is used in our everyday speech to not only mean a “hatred of or hostility toward women,” but it means something else. Suppose that a man takes a Biblical view of gender, recognizing that both man and woman, have been created by God and are made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), it is likely that some (including virtually all radical feminists) will accuse the follower of God as being guilty of misogyny!

Feminists are likely to say that the Christian man (or woman) who holds a Biblical perspective is guilty of misogyny since he sees the woman as God does—not as humanistic, relativistic, and anti-Biblical feminists do! While the Biblical male recognizes the great importance of and unique place of woman in God’s sight and in His plan, he also recognizes that God has created the woman to fill a God-given role or place in marriage, in the family, in society, and on the earth.

Misogyny

What do we mean by this? It is utterly clear that our Creator has arranged a certain hierarchy to which we are subject. Notice this clear explanation: “I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

This says that just as God the Father is “head” over Christ the Son, likewise, “the man is the head of a woman.” Does this refer merely to the marital arrangement? Apparently not. Although the NIV understands it that way, other translations, such as the NASB, says that this hierarchy pertains to the male and the female in general. Other verses later in the chapter would uphold this view (vv. 4-16). In other words, the man (male) is “head” over the woman (female).

This Biblical teaching on proper masculine and feminine roles is found in multiple places. For instance, the wife is to be subject to her husband, even subject “to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24), whereas the husband is to love and be head over his wife (vv. 23, 25, 33). A wife is to be “subject” to her husband, “as is fitting in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18-19). She has no authority over her husband but is to practice “submissiveness” (1 Timothy 2:11-15). (This passage also seems to refer to male and female and not merely the husband and wife.) As the wife is deliberately submissive to her husband, “the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5). This arrangement is true even when the husband is an unbeliever (1 Peter 3:1-6).

We must emphasize that even though the husband is the “head” in a Scriptural marriage, we find no allowance for “hatred” of the wife at all. Those who use the term “misogyny” have it all wrong here. When one obeys God’s instructions in Scripture, this in no way suggests that the man hates his wife! Rather, we always read that the husband is to “love” his wife with a Christ-kind of love that is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the beloved (see Ephesians 5:25-33; cf. Colossians 3:18-19). There is no allowance of, no suggestion of, and no encouragement for a husband to “hate” his wife or women in general. On the contrary, he is to love his wife and all women with a self-giving love that seeks the highest good of the beloved.

We fear that when the feminist refers to misogyny, she (or he) is subtly trying to pressure the man to change from a Biblical perspective into a humanistic one. She is seeking to twist our way of thinking from patriarchy and hierarchy into an ungodly egalitarianism. In this age of humanistic thought and a rejection of God’s authority reflected in Scripture, millions of women are willing to push for egalitarianism and the woman’s “right” to be equal with the man (including the husband), compete with him in every sphere, and find her own way in this world! We find it when a woman runs for public office—including the presidency—and for many other unscriptural positions. We find this ungodly and unscriptural egalitarianism found in the business world, the educational world, the entertainment world, the political world, and even the religious world!

Misogyny

May God help us to reject the humanistic egalitarian view and renounce the loaded term “misogyny,” and have a more God-centered view of gender in marriage and the world. This is the way of truth!

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