Of masculinity & abusive breeding grounds.

Masculinity

I’ve been offline quite a lot the past week. It’s been a busy time at work and in my personal life as well. So I didn’t hear about the recent tragedy in Isla Vista until late Saturday evening, and the more I learn about it, the more sobering it is. Hännah Ettinger captures my feelings rather perfectly in her post from yesterday:

Yesterday’s shooting didn’t leave me as shaken as it should have, like other shooting that happened have. Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora. Those haunt me in their very senselessness. The mystery of why. They’re unforgettable because the motives are unknowable.

Yesterday’s shooting made perfect sense

Dianna Anderson further expounds upon it in her essay “On Purity Culture, Violence Against Women, and Disbelief As Patriarchy:”

Men grow up in a culture that simultaneously tells them that “getting the girl” is some manly men do and that manhood is inextricably tied with violent acts. The Men’s Rights Movement, in its extremes, has developed a methodology of treating women as objects who exist either to give men sex or to undermine their deserved right to sex, children, and power. Being an “Alpha Male,” in Men’s Rights terminology, means being the manliest of men – which requires using women for sex, being the provider of the household, and asserting your rightful place at the top.

I’ve often commented to myself, when I read the work of complementarian ministers, especially those talking about manhood, that they sound like MRA’s. Especially in studying purity culture for my forthcoming book, I’ve come across biblical exegesis that sounds very like Men’s Rights discussion simply bathed in “biblical” justification. Owen Strachan’s famous post about “man fails,” for example, could easily be a post on the Men’s Rights subreddit.

In this drive to prove themselves as manly men, women become collateral damage. Three women die each day as the result of domestic violence [PDF]. Many more end up in emergency rooms. Some end up on the news, the victims of men they had rejected previously. This is not an isolated phenomenon. This pattern of violence is the result of a culture that says that only valuable thing about a woman is what she can do for men.

And “Biblical” evangelicals do not escape from this culture. Women in the purity movement serve as vessels for Christian children, as objects that must keep themselves pure for a father, a husband, and a specifically male God. There is no escaping the ways in which evangelical theology defines women solely by their relationships to men, objectifying them first as single women whose worth is determined by their sexual activity and then as wives, whose goodness as wives is determined by whether or not they can keep their virile, manly husband from “straying.”

I can’t help but see what Dianna noted here reflected in the assemblies.

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Notable Brethren: Scott Blair, former elder at Southeast Bible Chapel & former manager of Greenwood Hills Bible Camp, pleads guilty to sex crimes against children.

Content note: childhood sexual assault and brief descriptions of said assaults.

I’m so very grateful that Southeast Bible Chapel cut ties with him when he was discovered. That gives me hope.

My thoughts go out to his victims and his family. I wish for peace and healing, as best as is possible.


A former Springfield church elder is accused of sex crimes against two children. Prosecutors charged 59-year-old Scott Blair with seven felonies including child molestation and statutory sodomy.

Prosecutors said for almost a decade, Scott Blair preyed on young family members. Investigators said both of his victims were under the age of 10.

“Our office takes an aggressive stance against child abuse cases and sexual abuse cases and whenever we can corroborate a child’s account, we’ll file a charge,” explained Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson. “The children in this case are known to the offender which is often the common scenario.”

According to court documents, Blair inappropriately touched one girl several times at his Springfield house. She told investigators the abuse occurred when she was between the ages of six and eight years old. The victim, who is now a teenager, said Blair had also kissed her with his mouth open. The girl said the abuse stopped after she turned nine.

The second victim told investigators Blair did similar things to her within the past year. She also was between the ages of six and eight.

“What that indicates, as is often the case, many times offenders have a preference for an age group that they prey upon,” said Patterson.

Blair used to be one of the elders of the Southeast Bible Chapel. After members found out about the allegations, they cut ties with the man they once considered a leader.

In court documents, investigators wrote Blair admitted to inappropriately touching the children. When detectives asked him if there were other victims or other instances of similar behavior, Blair described an event with another family member when he was 11-years-old.

Although charges are filed, prosecutors said this is only the beginning of a long process. Wednesday, Blair posted a $25,000 bond. Thursday, he is scheduled to be booked, have his mug shot taken, and then released from the Greene County Jail.

For the victims, the process of healing, may take a lifetime.

“Oftentimes this plagues a person,” said Patterson. “And troubles them throughout their adult life.”

If convicted on all seven counts, Scott Blair could be sentenced to life in prison.

Source, February 6, 2013

He plead guilty October of the same year.

A Springfield man pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing two young girls.

Source, October 23, 2013