Friends, I have an update! You thought that you knew all the ways to refer to a vagina, but you were so, so wrong. Get out your pens and get ready to write this down because I know you’re going to be using it a lot:
Yes, you heard me correctly, the reason women have vaginas is to give penises a place to live. Ya know, other than a man’s underpants because clearly that’s not an appropriate place for a penis. It’s not nearly penis shaped enough. If you’re as confused as I am by this phrase, prepare to be further confused as I attempt to explain what the hell is going on in the mind of the man who coined it.
And that wonderful mind would be Pastor Mark Driscoll of the Washington megachurch Mars Hill (who comes up with these names?). In his own words:
The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.
While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.
Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home. But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not. And, though women other than your wife may look like a home, to rest there would be breaking into another man’s home. And, if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home.
This really takes the whole “objectifying women” concept to a new level, since he literally refers to women as objects repeatedly throughout this passage. And not only does he turn women into a. their vaginas and b. objects that exist for men’s penises, he also doesn’t do a whole lot for men either. As per usual in our lovely Cartesian world, your penis is not part of you: it’s just on loan. Because your body doesn’t belong to you. It’s not you. It’s just a thing that you’re in possession of and you have to follow certain rules in order to be worthy of it. Any of this sounding familiar? (cough rape culture cough).
But even all of this depressing objectification and sexual guilt isn’t the worst of this passage. What’s the worst of it is that the analogy implies that women’s bodies are the basic right of men. Having a home is a basic human right. We understand that homelessness is horrible and no one should have to be homeless. So when you turn a woman’s body into your “home”, somewhere in there is the disturbing implication that it’s your basic right to have her. I hate to break it to the dudebros out there who are convinced of this, but sex is not a universal human right. Sexuality: sure. Masturbate away! If you find a willing partner, sex away! But if you don’t have a willing partner, then I’m sorry, sex is just not on the table for you. And that’s ok.
But there comes a point in this passage where you just have to laugh because none of this makes sense. Your penis is on loan from God. But it also belongs to your wife. No don’t ask questions, just know that your junk isn’t your own and feel guilty about it. Driscoll has written elsewhere about everything he thinks is wrong with the world today and included a handy list of terms including serial whacker: “a man who uses women for sex and uses their bodies for masturbation instead of his hand”. Not that his above views contradict that in any way. Nuh uh.
Now you might think that Driscoll must be a fringe lunatic whose views are shared by no one else because they are self contradictory and highly disturbing. Unfortunately, as Libby Anne points out, Driscoll’s views are fairly common in the homeschooling world. Most people just don’t say them so blatantly. On some level we can appreciate Driscoll for making it clear just how screwy sexuality can get when it’s based entirely on guilt, shame, and rules. On the other hand, I intend to remain far, far away from him for the rest of my life.