Being told I'd have to wear a tea towel on my head if I ever happened to pray infront of a baptised male (most indignantly if they were prepubescent), just cus...they were born male.
Being made to wear what I felt were revealing skirts (doesn't matter if theyre below the knee, trousers have that safer crotch coverage skirts will never have), just cus I was born female.
Watching simple rights being taken away from my sister and mother just because they were born female (especially from my sisters husband).
Having to walk into a KH with boys my age or younger, and see their smug look on their face that they knew they were above me.
Learning that my terrible period cramps and that a future of painful childbirth was due to Eve being the "terrible evil" and luring Adam into sin (UM HELLO, because men have absolutely no self control and it only take a woman speaking sweet nothings in his ear to lead him astray, major disservice to both sexes).
I could go on and on. Being raised female in such a sexist cult when you're a man, boy, do you have a lot of grudges.
Thankfully I view it as an education, on how to not be a controlling "alpha" male, in ways Ex-JW men cannot understand due to experience differences (not a dig at you awesome ex-jw guys, but it is true).
i completely agree. I 100% sympathize with the plight of women and I try my absolute best to empathize the best I can but I will never ever know. Misogyny is one of my hot buttons with the organization or really in life, but I cat truly honestly speak about the experience except from a third person view.
Your past explains where you are today but cannot determine where you go tomorrow.
Jehovah's Witnesses are a patriarchal society where women are to view men as their head and only men can hold positions of responsibility and teaching in the congregation. The head of a wife is her husband, and the spiritual head of a "sister" is a "brother". A female Witness is not to pray in front of a male Witness and must wear a head covering in order to pray in front of an unbaptised man or conduct a meeting in front of other sisters. This is one of the more unusual Watchtower practices, particularly as the covering of choice is often a tea towel or paper napkin. A 1930 Golden Age even claimed they may turn into men in the New System.
Although speaking against domestic violence, Watchtower articles praise women for staying with husbands despite violent abuse, and Witnesses are encouraged to stay with violent husbands except in extreme, life-threatening situations.
Well into the twenty first century, illustrations within Watchtower publications have a strange Stepford Wife feel, with women in the kitchen and men in the living room, seemingly taken directly from the 1950's.
Post by Shimmerjet on Dec 23, 2016 18:22:50 GMT -7
Women, Do You Really Know What It Means to Become One of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
BY ALEXANDRA JAMES ON FEBRUARY 7, 2015 • ( 14 COMMENTS )
If you’re a woman and one Saturday morning you hear a knock on your door, do me a huge favor and don’t answer it. I mean, if it’s the cops or one of your kids then by all means find out what they need, but if it’s obviously Jehovah’s Witnesses, please don’t open that door.
When JWs visit you, it’s easy to be impressed by their simple manner and friendly demeanor. They may show you a nice scripture and talk about god’s purpose for the earth, and leave you with a book that’s full of colorful pictures of people who are all smiles and happy. They’ll talk about how very soon the dead will come back to life, about how governments in this world have been a failure for a reason, and about how everything will be a paradise right here on earth, any day now. You may be tempted to visit their local Kingdom Hall to find out more.
Like I said, please don’t open that door.
When you visit a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you may immediately notice that all the women are in skirts and dresses. This isn’t an accident; female members in good standing are not allowed to wear pants to their meetings and in their preaching work. See this post for more. You may not own a skirt or think your legs are anyone’s business, but if you want to be a member in good standing, you’re going to need to go along with this rule. Period.
You might also notice that women do not address the audience from the stage of their Kingdom Halls, walk up and down the aisles with the microphones during audience participation parts, or hand out literature from a back counter. When an elder’s meeting is called for, no women will attend. This is because women are not allowed to teach or have any position of authority in the congregation, and are also not allowed to handle any official tasks, no matter how menial. This is true of the work done behind the scenes; at their world headquarters, women are not allowed on any of their committees that write literature or to make decisions regarding the religion overall, or serve in any other official capacity. Of course, when it comes time to clean that literature counter or podium in the Kingdom Hall, women can certainly do that.
This submissive position for women applies in any situation when a male member of the congregation is baptized, no matter his age. As an example, if you were to show up at the brief meeting they have before going out in their preaching work, you may notice a teenage boy is the one leading that meeting while older women, even those of retirement age, sit in the audience. If that teenage boy tells you what to do, you’ll be expected to fall in line. In some cases, the boy may even be a preteen. Your illustrious and successful career, years of being a mother, advanced educational degree, and overall maturity won’t matter one bit; he’s the male and you’re the female, so he’ll be in charge.
In the Home
Do you and your husband have a respectful relationship where you share the decision-making process, and you’re in charge of certain areas of the home and family? When you disagree, do you have just as much right to the “last word” as he does? Can you, at times, give him direction about how things will be done around the house, and can you make your own choices about what you wear and other such matters?
If so, be prepared to give that up if you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As I bring out in this post, husbands have the authority to “correct” their wives where they see fit, even in how she dresses and wears her hair and makeup, and to do so with “firmness.” In other words, if your husband decides that you’re wrong about something, then you’re wrong. Period. He is also outright encouraged by Jehovah’s Witnesses to be “firm” when he “corrects” you. If you try to have equal footing with your husband in order to have some say about how the household is run, you will be accused of “competing” with him; note this post. The husband has the final say in all decisions, and you as the wife will be expected to be submissive and supportive of him.
Do you personally think a woman who is being abused by her husband should leave, not just for herself but for the children also? That’s another idea you need to give up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. While their official writings say that they cannot tell a woman to stay with an abusive man, those official writings are confidential from women. Their public literature consistently encourages women to stay with abusive men, even if they’re physically abusive to them and the children; see this post. Elders often blame women for this abuse, as I bring out in this post, telling her that she obviously has not been submissive enough and must have provoked her husband.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating this attitude Jehovah’s Witnesses have toward women, note the words of Samuel Herd, who is now one of their “governing body,” or their ultimate leadership. As I bring out in this post, he has said that women’s brains are too small for leadership roles and counsels them to act dumb with their husbands.
You might also consider that if you’re accused of committing adultery, your husband is allowed to sit in on all your meetings with the elders; however, if your husband is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and outright confesses adultery, you are not only barred from his meetings with elders, but the details of those meetings are considered “confidential” from you. See this post.
Note too that Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the only grounds for divorce and remarrying is adultery on the part of the other spouse, so unless your husband cheats on you, you’ll be expected to stay with him no matter how poorly he treats you and even if he’s outright abusive. Even if he does commit adultery, don’t expect a lot of sympathy and support. The November 1, 1981, Watchtower, had the experience of a 9-year-old boy who “tackled” his own mother after his father had an affair, telling her about forgiveness and daddy being the “head of house” so she should listen to him and take him back; you can read more about that at this post. That’s right, ladies, if your husband is unfaithful then your very own prepubescent child, whose diapers you used to change and who probably still isn’t allowed to cross the street by himself, is going to give you a lecture about marriage, commitment, sexual intimacy, and how daddy somehow deserves extra forgiveness because he is your “head.” If you don’t think that type of thing would ever happen in your house, remember that you need to sit in the audience at the meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses and listen to this type of counsel being given to women.
Post by Savingmyson on Jan 30, 2017 17:28:45 GMT -7
This organisation still astounds me with their beliefs. No woman should want to be part of such a sexist cult that demeans women in so many ways. From the subservience to men to such things as placing blame on a mother for raising rapists.
I am a man the last time I checked, but I do not support these evil decrepit old men who enforce their ways upon the sheep of the congregation, and then use quotes from the bible to justify their vile actions.
Sickening and without justification!
Ladies, if you are reading this, open the door and run as far away from this evil organisation as you can!!
Jehovah’s Witnesses Holds Women Back BY LYDIA SEGEBRECHT • DECEMBER 16, 2016
LYDIA SEGEBRECHT Lydia Segebrecht is an ex-Jehovah's Witness-turned-activist to bring awareness to the harms the Jehovah's Witnesses organization is doing to families
An open letter to Serena Williams about Jehovah’s Witnesses’ treatment of women.
I want to start by applauding everything you said in your open letter that was reproduced on The Guardian website last week. As a woman, I too have experienced firsthand the inequity and unfair treatment that results from gender inequality in our society. Whilst it is true that great strides have been made in this area in recent decades, it is also true that there is still much work to do. I support and commend every sentence of your letter.
It is thus in this spirit of co-operation and progression toward gender equality that I must respectfully draw to your attention the following serious matter. Namely that you have on a number of occasions associated yourself with and promoted the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization. This organization teaches and enforces gender and social doctrines upon its members that are the exact opposite of the stance you advocated in your letter.
I speak as someone who was raised in this religion and who is intimately familiar with its rules and teachings, and with the sanctions imposed upon members should they disobey those teachings. In your letter you speak of the need to remove hurdles to a young girl’s development. Thus, I must respectfully remind you that a young girl growing up today in the religious faith we both shared will encounter the following hurdles and blockades.
All children raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly discouraged from attending higher education. Should their parents ignore this command, they may be sanctioned. If their father is an elder (a church leader) he may be removed from his position.
She will have control over her reproductive health taken from her by rules forbidding abortion and some forms of contraception, under pain of total shunning should she disobey. This includes the use of the emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the morning-after pill), sterlization is also strongly discouraged (concessions made for medical complications of pregnancy) and abortion is never allowed, even in the event of rape.
She will have her right to her sexual identity taken from her by rules forbidding same-sex relationships and sex outside of marriage, under pain of total shunning should she disobey.
She will be strongly discouraged from the pursuit of all extracurricular activities, including sports. A family that ignores this stance may face sanctions from church leaders.
The above points apply to boys as well as girls but there are additional blockades put before girls, holding them back even further.
She will encounter daily indoctrination, teaching her that she should submit to male headship in all things, be it the headship of her husband or the headship of the all male church elders. She will be taught that she is not the equal of a man, and that her primary role is that of a helper, not leader or a decision maker. She will be told that her ideal position in is in the home.
In short, it is increasingly unlikely that a young girl growing up in the religion you identify with will be able to follow in your footsteps. It is possible that she may even find herself totally shunned and thrown out of her family under official church sanction for attempting to doing so.
In fact, as a direct result of these teachings and sanctions, my own development as a woman was indeed severely curtailed. I am only now, at the age of 38, beginning my journey into higher education. And this is a normal story for someone that leaves the faith. Many never get to reclaim their education and instead are sentenced to a life of low-paid, unfulfilling work. It can take a long time to realise that as a woman you are a man’s equal and forget the years of being told the opposite.
To summarize, the problem is that you rightly encourage girls to dream big, but then endorse and promote a religious organization that demands under threat of excommunication and subsequent shunning that they remain small.
As a world-class athlete and international personality who has achieved incredible things due to your skills and determination, you are a role model for many young women and girls worldwide. Ideally, it is my hope that you might become a voice for reform within the faith you associate with, to speak out for the countless Witness girls like me who were denied their voice due to the patriarchal structure and beliefs that control the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
At the very least, I hope you will reconsider in future making statements of support for an organization that strictly enforces upon young women, sometimes by the use of total familial shunning and other psychologically damaging practices, a worldview that is completely at odds with the admirable and progressive goals that you expressed in your letter, and to which we both aspire.
As a woman / sister ASL interpreter, we were often asked to wear a head covering during interpreting.
This wasn't always the case (some rule must have changed something) and I felt rather odd standing in front of the whole congregation with some type of hat. Mainly felt foolish as it made the job of interpreting challenging. Interpreters have to use a lot of signs around the head and if you couldn't see facial expressions that made it quite difficult for the deaf to understand most of the context. Even though I was a "skilled interpreter"- bc of my vagina I had to obey these ridiculous orders. So we started using bandanas. Not as intrusive, right? Well then we were "counseled" to not wear anything flamboyant (since that would distract from Jehovah further) & to make sure we didn't get "nippy". I was mortified. I wanted to continue to help...but stopped all together where we had new brothers assigned to help the group form into a congregation...they didn't want to see vaginas up there. Deaf bible studies were questioning the head covering too much & why the good interpreters sat and let some of the less skilled males try. I have more stories- maybe next time I'm at a keyboard...
When it was our bookstudy's turn to clean the hall- all the brothers would mysteriously disappear for some random duty...leaving us sisters to clean by ourselves. It was too beneath them to clean the toilets....that much I know!
One brother even gave Mr. Be Free crap for helping with vacuuming! Fortunately Mr. Be Free is not a Neanderthal and didn't let having a penis & / or position get to his head (no pun intended). Once I knew TTATT I made sure I missed meetings on cleaning night. It actually made our overseer reach out to me to say "I notice you are missing the cleaning months more" in which I politely replied "Yes". :) So they didn't actually miss me at the meeting...just my cleaning skills. Hmm interesting.
So they lost an excellent ASL interpreter because of archaic Bronze Age gender attitudes. Why doesn't that surprise me?
I got a talking to for daring to drive a tractor while mowing the KH's large yard. Only men were supposed to drive the tractor. Funny thing, it was one of the elders who told me to go ahead and do it. An older more Neanderthal elder overruled him. Women were stuck pulling weeds in the flower beds. Yeah, screw that.
Post by Thehotone4u2 on Jun 27, 2017 20:34:17 GMT -7
The bulk of the bible was written by men in an arab culture. The middle east has always considered women to be the lesser, and the men to be superior. They have always blamed the woman for rape, condoned abuse, refused to assign them any duties.
It's no surprise that there is a double standard in the borg. It's in the bible! But, after watching all you guys' videos and reading your comments, I had no idea of the extent of it!
As a man in the congregation, I never really noticed it too much, other than the occasional head covering and the talks regime.
This is really shocking to me!! I'm glad you'all are discussing this topic though.
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to god!-Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)
Thehotone4u2: I haven't had a day off in 2 months! Hopefully I'll get some time off starting later this week. I'll start posting again. Sorry guys!
Aug 10, 2019 21:07:20 GMT -7
Shimmerjet: we miss you hotone
Aug 14, 2019 21:22:48 GMT -7
Hungryhippo: Hey!!! how is everyone?? X
Aug 15, 2019 12:50:48 GMT -7
Thehotone4u2: Hey HH! How goes the battle!
Aug 17, 2019 18:24:35 GMT -7
Arlis Scott: Hi guys, I haven't been on for awhile, just thought I would send some greetings to everyone.
Aug 19, 2019 11:30:48 GMT -7
runawaybob: Has any one seen the Face book group setup in new Zealand jws4justice? There is a web page as well jws4justice.co.nz. What do you think
Aug 21, 2019 5:41:10 GMT -7
Shimmerjet: Hi runawaybob, yep I am a member of that group, are you a kiwi? I am too, started my jw journey in Upper Hutt then moved around the lower north island for a few years trying to fade,
Aug 21, 2019 12:40:24 GMT -7
Shimmerjet: Hi HH Hotone and Arlis hope you all doing ok x
Aug 21, 2019 12:42:13 GMT -7
Thehotone4u2: Greetings RunawayBob! I love that name! Arlis! Long time no hear! HH! Wow, the gangs all here!
Aug 22, 2019 20:26:27 GMT -7
Thehotone4u2: Shimmy? Oh...Shimmy!!!
Aug 23, 2019 22:54:15 GMT -7