Division between women. Patriarchal religion edition.

I was having a conversation with my closest real life friend, she was telling me about how she was proud of herself for setting boundaries and holding them with the latest XY that she is dating when one of her adult kids beeped in. It was late, I was tired and I wanted to make sure that she knew how much I support her, so I sent her this text…

…and this was her response…

I was taken aback. How did we get here?

I say “fuck” a lot. I say “goddamn”. I say fucker, dick, asshole, I use a lot of colorful language unless I am in a professional setting or if there are children around. This woman has known me since October, she knows exactly how I sound.

The “more bad stuff” that she is referencing is in relation to the issues that I have had this past week with my power and water due to the criminal contractor destroying my main power line.

Apparently, I didn’t inadvertently hire an incompetent XY, I was being punished by her loving, all knowing god.

I have opinions on where her sudden policing of my language came from and why she brought that up now, I think that it’s based in triangulation, which black circe brings up for discussion here, it’s an interesting analysis and easily observable, especially since she gives examples and names the process.

The specifics of general triangulation is its own post for another day, though.

In this particular case, the triangle that I am noticing is patriarchal religion being at the pinnacle of the triangle, with the remaining 2 points of the triangle being religious women and atheist/non believing women.

Patriarchal religion is just one more thing to prevent class solidarity between women, which is why I try so hard to overcome it. I am the atheist who will listen to endless sermons disguised as casual conversations, I will laugh when threatened with eternal hellfire by your loving, compassionate god, especially when the threat comes right after the declaration of his great, immeasurable love for me.

But you know. I am getting tired.

My sister’s answer to everything is the LAWD. Her particular Christianity is very personal and it’s perfect. Nothing bad ever happens to her because she has learned how to listen to her god, and no one else is capable of doing that. If only women would tune into her god like she does, then they wouldn’t die of cancer, or be victims of violent males, or be poor, because god really wants to make your life good, but you have to be able to reCiEve iT and anyone who is not receiving safety, wealth and perfect health is just refusing to receive the LAWD’s free gifts.

One week ago, I brought a rescue puppy to live with me, cleotis and peazy. Apparently, this is contrary to the LAWD’s “timing”, per my sister’s direct line to her non-existent god.

Not once has she asked about the puppy. Not once has she said anything remotely positive or joyful about one of the very, very few joyful events that I have had in this past year.

She has said that “the LAWD’s timing is everything”. She has said that she can no longer watch videos of cleotis, anymore, because she is so incredibly sad that I have replaced cleotis with a puppy.

She has said that there will always be puppies available and that getting a puppy when cleotis is so old is like “bringing a 20 year old into a nursing home.” (If you understand this comparison, please let me know what the fuck it’s supposed to mean.)

The condescending attitude, the clicking of her tongue, the shaking of her head, while explaining to poor, godless me has pushed me to the fucking breaking point. She feels such agonizing, arrogant pity for me, who has a failed second marriage because I kept her god out of it, who is depressed, tired, and angry because I just refuse to let her god fix everything for me.

Last night (Friday), she was telling me about a woman in her 70s who is taking care of her older sister and her mother without any help, and how this woman was trying to get assistance for their care. I started to say something, I don’t even know what it was, when she cut me off to tell me that I was wrong.

Maybe I was wrong. But she couldn’t possibly know that, I hadn’t been able to complete the first sentence.

So I listened to her talk, asking the occasional question, and when she ran out of topics, I said that I was going to bed.

She asked if I was mad, I said no, and when she pressed, I said that she hadn’t let me finish my point, that she did that a lot, and that I was happy to let her talk and I would just listen. She replied that she knew exactly what I was going to say.

How is that possible? I don’t even know exactly what I was going to say.

What a dreadful bore all people must be, when you know exactly what they are going to say, even before they, themselves, know.

Then she did that thing, that big sigh, that long-suffering “go ahead and say whatever you were going to say” and I declined because I am just tired.

But then, you know, I am the asshole because I acCusEd her of “cutting me off” and she offered to listen to whatever dreadful, boring, godless drivel I was going to spout, but I am just a big old baby who is being difficult.

I am tired of pretending that some women are not insufferable assholes when they are obviously insufferable assholes, and Christianity breeds a very specific kind of insufferable asshole.

My sister doesn’t know me, I don’t know her, I thought that we were 2 adults that were getting to know each other based on the commonality of our parents. I am interested in her life, in her job, in her friends, how she spends her free time.

She is not interested in me. At all. She hasn’t asked to read a single thing that I write, I sent her one single post (Jackie’s memorial post), if she read it, I don’t know it, because she never mentioned it. When I mentioned once that Mr Jayne never was interested in reading anything that I wrote, her response was why would he be interested? He was married to me, he already knew what I thought about things, that it’s ridiculous to expect him to read anything that I write.

She once told me that worth comes from her god, and that people without her god couldn’t possibly have purpose because purpose and worth only come from her god. I told her that was bullshit, that I absolutely do have worth and purpose, only to have her tell me that she never said that I was worthless and purposeless.

Why do religious women insist on using religion as a bludgeon against other women?

I have watched religious women fight amongst themselves about their position within patriarchal religious hierarchies and it’s as heartbreaking as it is stupid.

Centering patriarchal religion is centering males. It’s a waste of time and energy. I am refusing to participate, and that includes sitting passively waiting for religious women to finish reading me for filth so that I can try to find any bit of common ground with them.

While those women will always have my solidarity, they will no longer be getting my time, energy, support or affection. (I am talking about this specific group of religious women, not all of them, to be clear).


21 thoughts on “Division between women. Patriarchal religion edition.

  1. This is a problem peculiar to America, I think. We had secular issues between Prods and Fenians where I grew up, but literally nobody cared if you swore, including using the word God as part of that swearing.

    I knew nobody who would have dreamed of lecturing on the subject of religion, until I lived in America for a few years, many years ago. And I don’t think the subject of religion has ever been raised with any of my friends in the last 20 years. I know my bff in these parts was raised atheist, and she’s the only person of my age group that I know who was raised atheist. But I couldn’t honestly tell you what any of my friend’s religious views are. One of them sometimes wears an ankh as jewellery.

    In a previous post you talked about female friends. I have always had female friends. I had a group of friends in my 20s who met up at my instigation once a week for drinking and gossiping purposes. To avoid male attention we did this in our various flats and houses. When we went out (which we did a lot back then) men always intruded, and some of our group always played up to that. So our once a week meet ups were strictly women only, and all about hanging out together as females. I’m still friends with the girl I met in nursery school, 50 years ago, though these days it’s online. I’ve always had a small group of women I hang with, and though I’ve been really lazy about keeping up with my friends in the last few years, I can still scare up four or five women to hang out and talk shit and laugh with from time to time.

    Anyway, it’s not to say I don’t understand how the patriarchy divides women, both actively and surreptitiously, and is in no way meant to denigrate your own experience, but I think there’s definitely something cultural/geographical going on here too. It’s not as overt here, at least certainly not re religion.

    People crapping on about gods and religions are just considered really bad mannered both here and where I grew up.

    Also, in a previous post you mentioned your sister giving you shit for buying a puppy. To which I say – not her place, nor her problem. Also, your lovely dog would have been so lonesome with the loss of the others, I think she probably loves having a little more company. And I hope her joyous energy lifts all three of you up.

    It was EXACTLY the right time to buy a puppy – and I know that this is true because you made that decision for yourself.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are correct, this religion thing is uniquely and deeply entrenched into culture here in the states in a way that other countries do not have, except for maybe Ireland.

      I am jealous that you have so many good female friends in real life, I have mostly given up. The women that I know online have sustained me in so many ways, I will just have to be satisfied with that. It would just be so nice to have one non religious female friend. Maybe one day I will find her.

      I love my puppy, and one thing-she is a rescue, I didn’t buy her. As a matter of fact, the rescue that she came from is the only one that I have ever come across that is run by a male. And he was giving the puppies away to anyone with a good veterinarian reference.

      Now, I normally would have made a cash donation to the rescue, but I didn’t this time because he seemed to be very well off. If it had been a woman, I would have donated regardless, but I am dead set on giving money to any male for any reason. He will always have more resources than me, so I just collected my free puppy and said thank you.

      I don’t know if I can continue my relationship with my sister. I have no plans of talking to her anytime soon. Most days, I am just barely treading water, it seems like. I just can’t deal with the judgment. Also, I fucking love cleotis. I would never do anything to hurt her, and of course, there is an adjustment period when you bring a puppy in to live with a dog and a chicken. She kept referring to cleotis as “the underdog”, like I am trading cleotis in for a new model. I don’t deserve that bullshit. I won’t put up with it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You definitely do not deserve that bullshit. Sometimes it is better just to avoid people who hurt us, no matter who they are.

        I think your calm knowledge, the understanding that you are right and she is wrong about your philosophy of life must drive her batshit. She has to niggle and niggle because if she thinks about it logically, your stance on life is so much more right than her own. It sounds to me like she has to make you less than you are, because she knows you are more than she is. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

        I am lucky indeed with my friends. I always found it quite easy to talk to pretty much anyone, and some of them stuck around.

        Yes, my last few animals have been rescue, there are so many animals who need homes. And I do not blame you for deciding not to give a donation. Like you said, he’s got more than you.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay… I have one point (a query really) which I believe hasn’t already been addressed by any other commenter: Your friend thinks that her God is jealous of your friendship?!? Oh, and that she is now clairvoyant? Is that an ecumenical matter too – or is that more of a personal skillset of hers?

    I now feel fortunate to have been born in my country and state, because we have the greatest percentage of atheists in pretty much the entire Western world…
    Anyway, hopefully you are able to move past this “misunderstanding”. Also, past the issue of the incuriousness. That bit was rather mind-blowing too, along with the nursing home analogy. I’m still awaiting some early morning caffeine so I honestly have *nothing* right now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a Christian for over 40 years, I never understood the JEALOUS GAWD deal, except in that he is supposed to be first, above everything and everyone else, which really just makes him an asshole, and Christians hate it when another Christian points that out.

      I think that we have moved past the misunderstanding, but you know, the incuriousness that you mentioned always, always irritates me because it’s actually anti intellectualism, that’s all that “faith” is, it’s believing idiotic things because someone above you in the hierarchy says that you should believe it, and that it’s bad (SIN) to question.

      Christianity is so entrenched into culture in the states, it’s endlessly frustrating to have it rule everything, it absolutely does rule. Everyone. And every action. That’s what it’s meant to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh God! As Germaine said in the comment below, “God damn” doesn’t mean you are cursing God!!!! I always understood that “God damn ” means you are describing the object as a cursed one or an irritating one, or just putting an emphasis on it (like asking “What on earth is this?” instead of “What is this?”).

    If your friend refuses to get it or believe it, may be you can try telling her that she has finished doing her duty (of informing you of what she thinks is wrath-inviting), and is hence absolved of all responsibilities concerning it, and she can stop worrying about what will happen if she doesn’t force you to stop saying that damn adjective.. (I guess you might have already tried it. In case you didn’t or she didn’t quite get it..). I’m sorry about your sister too. It’s sad to have to hear all this when she is just becoming a friend again… Duckie is so cute and funny, and as everyone else said, it is the best time for getting her in – there is absolutely nothing wrong at all. I’m baffled how anyone could ever reach such a conclusion..

    Another thing – your friend must understand that atheists are actually better than fanatics (especially of religions that encourage physical violence on non-believers). I live in a Christian-minority country (hindu majority, and we have a buddhist majority neighbor, which is also quite anti-Christian, and had inficted brutal violence on Christians and other minorities – so much for professing buddhism!). The hindu supremacist gangs here are swelling up, and their ideology is fast spreading, They had always inflicted violence of Christians and Muslims. But now they have become more emboldened as they have their folks in the government. Guess who is taking on those hindu fanatics and trying to argue on behalf of Christians & Muslims? It is the atheists – the ones born in hindu families, but don’t actually follow any religion. Even though they don’t profess any religion, they can see what is wrong, and they are standing up against it – they are now like one of God’s chosen instruments/channels to send protection to the oppressed. May be your friend is ignorant about the sufferings of Christians in other nations, and doesn’t know the dynamics between Christians & atheists elsewhere. She has a lot to learn. If you like to, you can raise this point with her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing about the atheists standing up for Christians, and it makes perfect sense to me. On a social level, I don’t care what religion any woman is, I will still help her as I can, with offering a ride if I see her walking, for one example. On a personal level, I don’t care, either, until it is wielded at me in order to change my behavior or let me know that I am a dirty heathen bound for hell.

      I had a conversation with her this morning wherein I told her that I would like her to keep her god’s opinions of me to herself, unless she wanted me to tell her exactly what I think about her beliefs, which is only fair. If she is going to insist on disrespecting me in such a condescending manner, then she is inviting my opinion, and it will hurt her feelings, and I really don’t want to do that.

      I am sorry that you are a religious minority in your country. Stay safe, and always protect yourself, as much as you are able.

      And duckie definitely is the most adorable puppy, thank you for noticing. She has been here only one week, she has mastered the dog door (which is very heavy for her size), she has mastered the steps, both up and down (which are very big for her size), she can sit on command, she has mostly mastered house training, and she is best friends with the rooster. Crate training is going well, too, although it still makes her mad to be confined that way, even for very brief periods.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad that Ducky is besties with your rooster! I’m sure he will prove a staunch ally, indeed, he might benefit from the arrangement too once Ducky (ducky?) is all grown up. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Probably shouldn’t have read this just now. Already having a shit weekend to end all shit weekends what with finally getting my mother to the hospital for her first cataract op and then it didn’t happen because … well, shit happens in my shitty life.

    BUT. First things first. You do not need me to tell you this but this is the PERFECT time for a puppy to join the household. Apologies, Jayne, I know she’s your sister but she could not be more fucking wrong about your timing. Not that it’s any of her business but she is just flat out WRONG. I mean, FFS! Dog loving people do this all the time. What fucking planet is she on? This is perfectly normal. Cleotis will have been missing Jackie. Now she has a little ‘un to get to know. She’ll be fine. She might find the puppy a bit irritating to begin with (too much energy, over-excited etc) but they’ll settle down and sort it out between them.


    As for fucking Christianity. I have always been interested in religion and faith and prayer. But I don’t really buy any of it, at least not as presented to us by any of the major faiths. Or any of the faiths, really. I do like some of the 20th century Jesuits who are able to accommodate admiration for or acceptance of Eastern religion with their Catholic faith but mostly I find monotheism to be unhelpful, at best, and destructive, at worst.

    I wonder what your sister would have to say about the racism I encountered when I used to go to church. I spent 15 years of my adult life going to church (don’t fucking ask!!) and found it to be mostly negative. I did hear some good sermons. I do think there is something in prayer. Not as in it does anything. I just mean, there are certain collective things that humans do that are interesting and / or helpful and prayer is one them. Maybe. Ish.

    I encountered so much racism, hostility, indifference, unhelpfulness. I had people ask me why I was even there since, ‘you clearly don’t believe in God’ So many things wrong with that statement I couldn’t even get started. I got that one a lot. It basically means I refuse to conform and they can’t fucking handle that. Otoh, I used to tell them that god made me this way and that soon shut the fuckers up. They would criticise my every utterance re god and prayer and I would tell them it was between me and god and they didn’t like that, either. Conform or fuck off. Those are the only options.

    One time I was chatting to a woman in the ‘coffee and chat’ bit after the service. I’d already established contact with this woman prior to turning up at this church and had already had quite a few conversations with her which made me – foolishly – think that she would be able to cope with a little bit of ‘push’ from me. I made a very low-key comment about my uncertainty about whether Jesus really was the son of god (there was a context for all of this, it really should not have been an issue). Anyway, I said it and she literally physically stepped back from me. As if I was the spawn of the devil. She suggested I speak to the vicar (I already had done that, he was fucking useless). As if I needed the services of an exorcist.

    I used to go to churches across many different denominations. There is more that unites them than there is that separates them but they all refuse to see it. They all cling desperately to the things that they do that are different to the church 20 minutes down the road. From a human psychology point of view it’s all fascinating stuff. The bible is full of interesting insights into human psychology (but also depressing for that reason).

    The very first time I went to church I wanted to drop to the floor and howl like a mad hyena. They all looked like a bunch of pagans. With little white robes and hoods. Processing hither and yon. It was fucking hilarious. But there is no sense of humour allowed in Christianity, as far as I can see. I often wanted to laugh my head off but knew I couldn’t. I often wanted to stick my hand up during a sermon or during communal prayer and say, ‘no,hang on, that’s bollocks, makes no sense, can we just think about that for a moment?’ But that is not allowed.

    I foolishly went to some bible study sessions. Thinking, you know, that we would try to, uh, study it. Oh no. The purpose is to sit there and praise every word. We were reading Paul, he was being a dick but, no, apparently it was all wonderful and inspiring (it wasn’t). In the general conversation I had mentioned being from a single parent family. Also mentioned having gone to a church school. Whereupon one of the so-called Christian women in the group sat there and actually said TO MY FACE, ‘oh, it’s good that you went to a church school. At least that way you got some values instilled into you.’

    She actually fucking said that.

    Jayne, I’m making this all about me. That’s because I really can’t address the content of your post. It’s all so horrific and yet so predictable. I agree with every word you’ve written. I’m practically exploding over here. That’s really all I can say. Brilliant post from you, beautifully written as always. But if I try to actually address any of it directly I’ll probably burst a blood vessel. Just know you have my sympathy and support across the ether.

    I am a heathen. I decided – or realised – that when I was a child. I don’t know what force could ever make me embrace monotheism. Church Christians certainly won’t ever do it.

    And goddamn is a great word. I’m not giving that up any time soon.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The church certainly is racist, and homophobic, misogynist, and here in the states, they are very much a capitalist institution, a real money making machine.

      And Paul was very much a dick.

      “OH, that’s good that you went to a church school, at least that way you got some VALUES INSTILLED INTO YOU.”

      Really? Just. I have no words. “Christian values” is a fucking oxymoron.

      The puppy has been here for 7 days, and cleotis has started correcting her, which is good. Peazy chicken started correcting her on day one, and she now respects his boundaries, with very little help from me, although I still supervise closely. I have no doubt that cleotis will end up loving her, especially once she calms down a bit. As for me, I am greatly enjoying getting to know her.

      I am happy to see you, as always, and thank you for your words. Your comment was not all about you, and even if it were, I would still enjoy it.

      I am sorry that your mother didn’t get her cataract surgery, did she get to reschedule?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Zuli, I’m sorry things have been so awry for you..:(
      With covid drama as the excuse, hospitals are acting like kings or something these days. I hope your mom gets the surgery and gets good care & healing soon.. XO dear.
      Many times, it looks like “organized religion” has become worse than no religion – people don’t seem to have a connection with their Creator, but rather take pride in memorizing someone’s exegesis and parroting it, and judging people like you who seek more clarity (by asking honest questions). It is a sorry state of affairs. I’m not a “people person” – though I talk a lot in the comments here, I’m very much an introvert IRL. But among the few religious people that I came across, the vast majority are like that. Like Lord Jesus Christ said, “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

      I’m utterly shocked at what the woman in the group said to you. (“>> “oh, it’s good that you went to a church school. At least that way you got some values instilled into you.”). Apart from being an obviously stupid remark, it clearly shows she had never read even up to the 2nd chapter of Romans, despite claiming loudly to be Christian. Romans 2:14&15 clearly say that [some of] the “outsiders” ARE MORE moral than the inside ones, as they follow their conscience. This is not just comparing Jews & Gentiles – anyone who follows their conscience would definitely bear better fruits than someone who claims to be Christian or Jewish, but doesn’t do the right thing (Just checkout the previous verse – Romans:2:13 ).

      As long as these people have no trouble in their lives, they’ll still be clinging to their stupid ideas. Hardship is a good teacher – it might (yeah, only *might*) jolt them from their stupor and teach them. For example, many women order other women in their Christian groups to tolerate even extreme domestic violence, and even judge the victims if their husband isn’t changing. They’ll remain that way TILL the same thing happens to them or their daughter. Or, when hard times come, and their Church friends forsake them, but a Samaritan helps them, it might jolt them out of their frog-in-the-well syndrome. They *might* learn, if their head is not filled with clay. But a lot of people seem to have a head full of clay, so that is no guarantee. Sigh. We just have to ignore them, and not let them affect our relationship with God our creator.

      Wish you all the best for everything dear. Take care!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Wait so your Christian friend not only doesn’t understand that “goddamn” isn’t damning god, it’s essentially asking God to damn things for you (can you tell her it’s your version of prayer?), but she thinks her omniscient god will be more mad about you acknowledging his power and asking for assistance than he will be about her openly calling him jealous, angry, and sensitive? It literally sounds like an abusive relationship. Interesting, that.

    I don’t understand how anyone can be actually religious, especially women. I’m so sorry these are your closest non-canine friends. I’m in a similar boat out here in Washington. It’s so difficult to make friends as an adult, especially a feminist atheist who doesn’t like or want children!

    I admire you so much, Jayne!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Germaine.😘

      I don’t think that I have met an atheist or anyone non-religious in my real life. I am OK with my own company, and that of my dogs, but I am lonely for female companionship, sometimes. It’s disturbing that my closest friend thinks that her god is punishing me over the use of a fucking word. You would think that my use of the word, Jesus, would “hurt her heart” for her dainty sky daddy more than goddamn, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I explained this to her, about the usage of “goddamned” and she understood it. And she hasn’t mentioned it again, not even in jest, as she used to do frequently, and I am sure that I haven’t stopped saying it, lol.

      Thanks, Germaine, that was very useful information.


  6. “Why do religious women insist on using religion as a bludgeon against other women?”

    Yeah, I got nothin on that, as a pretty-much-born-that-way bog-standard pagan. I just watched a metric shit-ton of that mess go down amongst some GC feminists online. The aggressors seemed totally unaware that they were acting out a very old in-caste/out-caste patriarchal script. Go figure.

    I think we invent religions to engage the numinous. Then we codify some of them into Big Religions as an irresistible method of social control. You know how that goes.

    As for me, I don’t think god is what we think god is — because as soon as we think we know what god is, we’ve lost the plot. That’s just the way consciousness seems to work.

    And of course it was the right time to bring that puppy home. Your gut and your heart told you so, right? Your intuition? That’s god, baby. Squoosh that puppy girl for me. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I call myself an atheist because even the dimmest people understand what that means, I am probably closer to agnostic. Maybe there is a creator, maybe it’s aliens, maybe there’s an afterlife, I just don’t care, I have no way of knowing these things, anyway. I don’t need an instruction manual to live as a decent person, and frankly, to think that a bunch of xy need a book to tell them that they should act decently, and this is the only reason that they don’t run around openly stealing, murdering and raping, is frightening, and should make even the dumbest of the dumbasses question their value systems and morality codes.

      And I spend most of my time smooshing cleotis and the best puppy ever. But I will do it a little extra and tell them it’s from you.🥰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I totally get it. My own checkbox (seriously, like on paperwork) is “not religious.”

        True story (forgot where I read this) — somebody interviewing a senior Buddhist monk on the reality of Buddhist hell: “Yeah, we made that up to encourage morality.” QED. ❤️🐶🐶🐔❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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