As with most things, Jehovah’s Witnesses will take their cues on women and domestic violence from the Watchtower Society. Before we dive in, a short review about a woman’s role at the Kingdom Hall is in order.
As I mentioned in a previous article, women who are Jehovah’s Witnesses are told to be in subjection to their fathers and then their husbands after marriage. Women may not teach in the presence of men or perform other duties reserved for men without wearing some sort of head covering as a sign of deference. They are not allowed to give public talks or handle microphones during meetings at a Kingdom Hall. Their only role in meetings is a public demonstration, given at just one of their five weekly meetings (fun!), where the sisters role play for a few minutes. (It’s not a fun kind of role play, so don’t even go there.) These performances were almost identical to a much dreaded part of my morning sales meetings when I worked at a local department store some years ago, except that men and women were treated equally at the store. And we got paid.
Elders are not supposed to talk to congregation sisters in private without a chaperone. This is usually another elder or, in some situations, a woman’s husband or father. I was told by at least three elders at my former Kingdom Hall that this was standard procedure and was intended to prevent sisters from crying rape or trying to “come on” to an elder. Because … you know … chicks, I guess. The elders were not required to do this when talking to a brother, however.
From Watchtower 11/15/91 page 21-22 paragraph 14
It is inadvisable for an elder to make a shepherding call on a sister alone. The elder should be accompanied by another elder or a ministerial servant.
From Watchtower 2/15/93 page 15 paragraph 12
In developed countries some have fallen into Satan’s trap by often being with a member of the opposite sex and without a third person present—such as regularly being in the confined intimacy of a car for driving lessons. Elders doing shepherding calls also need to exercise caution so as not to be alone with a sister when counseling her. Conversations can become emotionally charged and result in an embarrassing situation for both parties.—Compare Mark 6:7; Acts 15:40.
I’m sure some elders at some Kingdom Halls might be willing to bend these rules under certain circumstances, but this policy tells you a few things about the way Jehovah’s Witnesses view (and value) women. Not as much as the Watchtower article I’m about to discuss below, however.
Continue reading How Do Jehovah’s Witnesses View Women And Domestic Violence? →
Samantha White is a Detroit native and the Founder/Artistic Director for Shakespeare in Detroit – a new theater company dedicated to using The Bard to improve the quality of life in the city.
This month we’re talking education and the arts.
There is a long list of studies showing the value of the arts in education. And we’re going to talk with someone who is actively trying to bring the arts back to Detroit and Michigan.
Our special guest is Samantha White. She is the Founder/Artistic Director for Shakespeare in Detroit Theater Company. The theater company pioneered the first free outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s work, featuring an all local cast, during their production of “Othello” at Grand Circus Park this past summer.
Shakespeare in Detroit
When she is not in the director’s chair, White is a theater instructor with the YMCA Boll’s Y-Arts program where she visits local schools and engages youth between the ages of 5 and 17 with Shakespeare and theater. In addition, she oversees a volunteer theater project, Shakespeare Against Cancer, where she facilitates local actors to perform vignettes as a respite for children during their chemotherapy sessions.
Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.
Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary. You can RSVP at our Meetup Event, our Facebook Page, or our Google Plus Page.
I hope to see you all there!