Things Men Say to Female Writers

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A few days ago, a male content creator shared about the criticism he receives from fellow men when he addresses poor behavior by men without caveats.

According to his critics, adding “not all men” or “some men” in his commentary would make it clear to everyone that he’s not referring to all man/not all men act poorly.1

This male creator’s update reminded me of my own Facebook post, where I had discussed the pushback I’ve received for calling out poor behavior in marriage and suggesting women don’t have to put up with it.

things men say to female writers

Here’s what I posted on Facebook.

~

Isn’t it funny how some men will love a teaching…until the teaching tells them to take responsibility for their beliefs and behavior and unlearn stuff that props up immaturity and privilege?

When I was the “typical” marriage blogger, men loved my writing. I don’t recall ever receiving an email or message from a man that did not include a version of “Thank you for the work you’re doing.”

At that time, I was focused on helping wives take responsibility for themselves, and many men took my approach as “Yeah, tell her. Tell her where and how she’s wrong. And how our marriage is waiting for her to fix herself.”

A few years ago, I began to rethink how I taught, and two years ago, I changed. See Why I’ve Deleted My Books, Courses, and Over 200 Blog Posts Nowadays, I focus on clarity, concentrating on what a healthy marriage is and is not.

Guess who doesn’t like that? Mens. Not all men, of course. (See how we do that.) But most of the men who have written to me express disapproval. In fact, some of the men who wrote to tell me they love my writing and books wrote me to say they didn’t like what I do now.

But guess who loves what I write now? Women! Not all women because some think I’m bad for Christian marriages, but by far, the majority of women feel seen, supported, and believed.

My newest book, Courage: Reflections and Liberation for the Hurting Soul, is about women roaring. I want women to feel believed and affirmed in their journey of accepting that their agency and autonomy are God-given and worth protecting. Check out “Courage” on Amazon I PDF

Courage: Reflections and Liberation for the Hurting Soul

Things Men say to Female Writers: Why I Do What I Do

Recently, on separate occasions, some male readers asked whether I’m married to an abusive husband or if I’m divorced. (Answer to both is “no.”)

Due to the context in which the questions were asked and how they were phrased, it appeared as though the men believed these (presumed) experiences were impacting my views of marriage negatively.2

When survivors of abuse and chronic hurt in relationship vocalize their trauma or difficulties, they are often accused of being unforgiving, bitter, or hostile towards marriage.

Reading the emails and knowing what I know now, here’s what I think Christians need to remember:

  • You can be happily married and an ally to those in chronically hurting marriages.
  • You can be separated or divorced and believe a safe honoring healthy marriages are a good thing.
  • You can be single and have a high view of marriage.3

These things are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, discussions around safety or what Christ has to say about harmful unrepentance and hardheartedness are SO RARE in our circles that we instantly feel uncomfortable when these discussions arise and immediately seek to assign “cause.”

Christians will “worry” or question motives when someone takes a stand against marginalization and oppression. We move so fast that you’d think liberation and restoration are alien concepts in Scripture. (They are not. See Luke 4:18-19.)

To me, our nervousness and pushback prove we need to discuss these topics more

We need to talk about addictions and betrayal that fly through families like a wrecking ball. We need to expose hard-core neglect of a spouse and children and call it what it is: cruel, inhumane and abhorrent to God.

We need to have regular dialogue around two-facedness, coercive control, and power imbalances in relationships, and all the “Christian” teachings and beliefs that prop them up. 

We need to hear regular sermons that detail and explain intimate partner terrorism, what God (and the law of the land) says about them, and the recourse for victims. We need to normalize a compassionate, accurate view of divorce, why it exists, and why it’s mercy, not a curse. 

things men say to female writers

We need more of these conversations, not less. 

And we need to understand why the church can’t just sit back and expect victims to be the sole educators:

  1. It’s a ridiculous amount of labor to put on one group of people
  2. We’re the body of Christ, meaning we don’t exist in parts, meaning the body takes care of the whole
  3. Harm continues to go unchecked because unharmed people haven’t cared enough and it’s made the whole body sick.

Undoubtedly, the church is a stranger to the parts of ourselves that are hurting. It’s on us to change so that our hurting parts (hurting individuals) have safety to heal and rebuild (and the unrepentant are held accountable.)

We must educate ourselves and grow in awareness and curiosity so we stop presuming that calling out unhealth is an attack on good people and systems.

There’s a standard: Being a Christ follower is not a free-for-all. Love is accountable. Love is justice work and liberation work. Marriage and other close relationships are not where decency (the bare minimum in relationships btw) goes to die.

Liberation and life are what Christ is about, and if we say we love Him, His mission will be our mission. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,  because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19.


FOOTNOTES:

1. His name is Cyzor (Facebook), and the consensus was that most people understood that when he spoke on a specific topic and referred to men, he was referring to men that pertained to that topic, not all men on the planet.

2. I can’t tell everyone’s motives, but I can discern patterns of people who prefer to by-pass rather than engage the hurt and trauma of others.

3. You can be single and not desire marriage. Here, I’m exploring the idea that picking a side doesn’t mean you have a low view of marriage.


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