“It is far more difficult to murder a phantom than a reality.”  – Virginia Woolf

If you have been using pornography and fantasy for any length of time, it has seeped into your brain (Pornographic Mindset) and into your very being (Pornographic Style of Relating). Since you have used porn (unconsciously or consciously) to gain power over women, you actually have given your power away. This is the irony of porn; we go to it to feel powerful, only to give our power away, being ruled by this pull to domination. Since these on-screen fantasies are no longer human, but a means to an erotic end, you, in a sense, feel as if you “need” them to be subservient and to be “less than” to use them for your selfish means. If they were equal to you, the entire fantasy structure would collapse, and you could no longer achieve the goal of orgasm and euphoria. This hatred grows as you realize your “need” for something less than you, so it turns toward contempt. The internal voice screams, “How dare something so weak have so much power over me!? I will make them pay!” So we continue to use and abuse to keep women down and our insecure sense of self in control and on top of the make-believe hierarchy.

Australian feminist and academic Germaine Greer says, “Women have very little idea of how much men hate them.” The statement is incredibly provocative, and I believe it’s meant to be evocative, to bring pause and a holy disruption, to expose. Still, it also did something else inside of me that I couldn’t quite shake. I didn’t want it to be accurate, yet I couldn’t hide its truth. I kept laughing at myself as I felt my defensiveness arise. I kept saying the dreaded line, “Not all men!.” Of course, not all men hate women, and yet, there is a fundamental hatred that exists (that I believe Greer is speaking to) that many men are so blind to and greatly benefit from.

The force is not only pornography that drives this hatred but the system that lies beneath it, patriarchy. Simply put, patriarchy is the system where men are in charge, and women are excluded from meaningful decision-making. Patriarchy is the invisible marinade we soak in for our entire lives, not even realizing it’s saturated into our bones and psyche. Our government systems, our church structures, and many of our families of origin were largely patriarchal systems (you can read more in-depth about the church and government and the power of “pornocracy”, here.) This system teaches us that women are “less” than men, even if just a little bit. Less in strength, less in capacity, less in intelligence. So we as “men” need to go out into the world and concur to “provide” for the feeble women and children at home. The entire system props up a lie that serves insecure men and keeps the brilliance of women subdued and in line to serve those in power, men.

Sadly, many women have taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker; this is called “internalized misogyny.” An example of this sad reality is the blogger and avid abuse proponent, The Transformed Wife. She commonly discourages women from having their own jobs or careers outside the home (placing them in an even more vulnerable position to be exploited), and she discourages women from getting formal education (how dare women become knowledgeable?!). She also discourages women from doing anything outside of their husband’s permission, all cloaked in the mirage of Biblical truth. Unfortunately, other uneducated readers (incredibly abusive, insecure, controlling men and vulnerable, hurting women who want to please “God”) take her message to heart and male abuse flourishes under the guise of “submission,” letting men’s sin run rampant and leaving women in a vulnerable position being lead by an underdeveloped adolescent impersonating a godly man.

Here are some example’s of her damning messages, you may need a trashcan nearby so you can hurl.

(Take a deep breath and let your blood pressure return to normal.)

For both men and women to move forward and heal, we must tell the truth of our current predicament. God is truth, so the more we tell the truth, the more we experience God. The fact is that women have been harmed and oppressed by men, and women are image bearers of God, so if we subjugate women, we subjugate the very God who made them. Advocating for equality and equity for women does not mean they will treat men the way men have treated them; women are just looking for mutuality and a place at the table for their voices to be heard and respected. We desire partnership more than dominance, to be advocates more than abusers, and to bring more resurrection instead of crucifixion to this world. Men, we have that ability, and that is our Christlike mandate.