Revisiting the Wilson-Evans debates

One of the stupider–at least rhetorically–things Wilson said is his view that

In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.

When I first read Fidelity I didn’t catch that (or I did and it was eight years ago and I have since forgotten).   I understand why feminists like Rachael Held Evans got angry.  Admittedly, this sounds degrading to women.    I am not defending Wilson, but I want to see how this debate plays out and issue a warning that while Wilson’s language might be stupid, his position is by no means the most demeaning among the debaters.

(It did provide fodder for some hilarious memes)

penetrates

What Wilson Probably Meant (But Didn’t Say)

If you have read Lewis’s Space Trilogy, he develops the idea that maleness-femaleness cannot simply be reduced to sexual genitalia.  It is part of our very being (and maybe the cosmos, since one can find male-female dualisms in nature).  “Equality,” whatever that word means, cannot simply be achieved with legislation or feminist propaganda. Even if it were achieved, it wold make harmony impossible.   God’s universe doesn’t change because Congress gets angry.   Did Wilson intend all of that?  Who knows?  I think Lewis is right and Wilson probably should have quoted Lewis.

Let’s continue with the line that Wilson is wrong on this point.  I hold that he is.  I hold that he is because this will show that his feminist opponents–by their own words–are more degrading to women. Fast-forward to the 50 Shades of Grey Debate.   Wilson makes the point that sexual morality (even between male and female) is defined ultimately–to the degree such a definition can be given–by God, not by “mutual consent.”  Like Wilson or not, I think that is a truism in Christian ethics.    He quotes Evans as saying,

Just a few interactions though. Rachel Held Evans says this–and lest someone think I am taking Evans’ words out of context, the background to this is the 50 Shades novel, which Jared Wilson rebutted by the above reference to Fidelity:

“Note: I get that some folks enjoy getting ‘conquered’ to some degree in bed. That’s fine. Do what you both enjoy. But this should be a mutual decision, pleasurable to both parties, and it is certainly not required by God-ordained gender roles.”

I think both Wilson and Evans in this context are using “conquered” in the sense of bondage.  True, Wilson used the language of “conquer” in Fidelity, but since Evans and Wilson have now moved the conversation to 50 Shadesit seems the definition of conquer has shifted to more–well, you get the idea.   Wilson then makes an interesting observation,

So the problem is not the language I used about penetration or conquest, but rather who is in charge of the whole thing. The objectors have wanted to slander me by pretending that I put the man in charge of it, but I most emphatically do not. What I actually do (as she accidentally acknowledges here) is to say that God is in charge of it.

I’ve long since given away (Or thrown away) my copy of Fidelity, so I’ll have to take his word for it.  He continues,

It also means that I believe that mutually-agreed-upon rape games in marriage are out. Mutual consent is necessary in godly marital sex (1 Cor. 7:4), but mutual consent is not the final authority. Mutual consent is required by God, but mutual consent is not God

If mutual consent were the final authority, then there is no reason why a married couple could not decide to read 50 Shades together.

Again, it’s hard to argue with this (and I still think his language his poorly chosen).  Let’s go back to one of Evans’ quotes,

“Note: I get that some folks enjoy getting ‘conquered’ to some degree in bed. That’s fine. Do what you both enjoy. But this should be a mutual decision, pleasurable to both parties, and it is certainly not required by God-ordained gender roles.”

Wilson rejects this line of thinking.  So I ask you, “At the end of the day, which person believes that women-bondage is okay?”  Of course Evans will reject this, but given her language its hard to see what else she meant.

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2 comments on “Revisiting the Wilson-Evans debates

  1. olivianus says:

    “In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.”

    >>>ROFL!!!!! I know its a little over the top but that is one of the most awesome things I have read in my life!!!!!! Oh yes. I m now complete.

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