The following was originally published on faithgateway.com, check out the site for the full article!
“The happiest day of my life was when they said, ‘It’s a boy!’” That one comment, uttered by her father in front of a group at church, altered the course of Janet’s* life. Today Janet is a friend and colleague at Moody Radio. But at the time her father made that statement she was just twelve years old and desperate to win her father’s love and attention, which her younger brother, Skip, seemed to enjoy.
When he was angry with her, her father would yank her hair, slap her face, or play a sadistic game where he’d push her little finger into her hand until she was writhing on the floor. Yet Janet learned at an early age that performance could sometimes win her the attention she craved. She became an extremely high achiever, scoring at the top of her class and winning school competitions. But her father’s comment that day dashed her hopes of ever truly winning his unconditional love and affirmation.
“What has Skip done?” she recalled thinking. “I make A’s. I’ve won art contests. [I play] the flute. I’ve done all this stuff… Just because he’s a boy?” In that moment, Janet said she realized that no matter what grades she achieved or awards she accumulated, her father would always value her less because she was female. And from that day forward, when Janet told me her story, I felt deep compassion for her. I was blessed to have a father who loved and affirmed me, and never made me feel inferior or despised because I was a woman. But Janet was a victim of a very cruel and vicious misogyny – a hatred directed at her by someone close simply because of her gender.
We hear a lot about misogyny today, which literally means hatred of woman. Often those using the term are feminists speaking out against male oppression of women — decrying things like sexual assault, domestic abuse, or gender-based job discrimination. Yet misogyny exists in a form that’s much more stealth, and therefore often goes undetected. This is a hatred of the feminine, and shockingly, its perpetrators are not only men – but frequently women.
Julie explains more about gender and sexuality in her upcoming book “Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood.” Order now!
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