First Posted 16-Sep-2014
Someone saw the picture of the girl above and thought that I was subliminally confessing to making a dishonest girl out of a nameless 20-something hottie. The fantasy of a docile young woman dressed in a skimpy bikini she slowly slips off while she touches me [cough] there reads a lot like a pig trough full of porn tropes. Keyboard at the ready to tell somebody that I am a sick hypocrite who lights up other people guilty of my sins or that if I am being really honest the nameless 20-something is sleeping off last night in my bed? Be careful where you point those words of indignation. They might reveal more about you than they have any impact on me.
Shameless Hussy is an insult to some. A proper Southern woman will be polite but shoot dagger eyes at you if you infer that being a Shameless Hussy isn’t a slight against her honor. Shameless Hussy was also what we called our answering service back when Taxi Unlimited wasn’t just a forgotten legend in the history of Berkeley, Ca. The women who picked that name intended it to be a thumb in the face of women at UC Berkeley who stuck their pinkie out when they drank Earl Gray from hand-painted china. Some of these women were loose, comfortable in their sexuality and fully aware of the real power politics in play because some of the men in their lives only stuck around hoping to get lucky. These were strong, independent women who won’t go along or be docile if it meant compromising their principles.
I have an uncanny attraction to fierce, crazy women. Maybe I belong back on the therapist’s couch to talk about why a mild, servile, docile woman doesn’t do anything for me. I gave up therapy so I’ll just have to deal. To my point, though, the women in my life tend to be shameless in their adherence to discipleship in Christ and a bit intimidating. 1 Corinthians 14:34 talks about women being silent in the churches. Some authorities say that Paul was referring to noisy women who were being disruptive during meetings and worship. I hadn’t found an experience like this, like watching women at once feign horror at my lack of a filter while also encouraging me to open up. I didn’t want to argue that women should be silent in the churches because I’d never known a circumstance where this might be wise. I’ve said I’d rather deal with a noisy woman than one that is overly docile and submissive.
I think I’ve found a situation that applies to Paul’s admonition to women. I was asked by a pastor’s wife to be more open about my stuff. I’m supposed to spill all that crap I’ve spilled so many times before in counseling. I am also asked by the pastor to grow a filter, to be less forthcoming because I have offended and may offend the sensibilities of some within the group. These two just don’t play nice in my head, sorry. If I am completely forthcoming, talking about why I thought my tinnitus was a digital signal beamed to me by space aliens giving me instructions, it’s a little out there and people start getting very interested in the splotches on their shoes. I don’t show up sporting a tinfoil hat in these groups because I’ve been put in check too many times when I’ve been overly forthcoming.
Would it really help for me to confess that I still want to beat my ex-wife’s ass, even after over a decade of living apart? Who is served by giving energy to that impulse or the one that would have me wear a tinfoil hat? Yet the pastors wife wants us to spill. Almost like she’s a Jerry Springer fangirl and likes hearing us talk about robbing banks or selling drugs, selling ourselves as prostitutes, being beaten or beating others. There is no gain in this for me. I did that, in my pastor’s office as needed and in therapy for almost forty years, off and on. Why would I pull the scabs off those wounds again for public display? I’m not a bearded lady or other carnival side-show exhibit. I’m a hot mess of a man trying to live a life in the aftermath of my mess. You can’t have it both ways. Either you are ready for what comes when you ask us to spill or you are not. Either you can handle the angst, bad behavior, misspoke words, tears, flashes of anger, and other behavioral mess in a way that is healing or don’t go there.
Group counseling is done by licensed professionals because it is a non-trivial skill. With all the therapy I’ve done, group and individual, I sort of know when it’s good or not. This is not good. This is gossipy women who should know better gobbling up slop in the confessions of messed up folk and pretending to be horrified by it. I’m not sure I’m there to be further grown in Christ as I am to serve those in the room who still both wish I’d hide my scarlet letter and want it displayed prominently. In the end, we should be seeking to serve Christ and put aside our decadent love of salacious personal details. But, you probably know that. At least, I hope you do.