Who giveth this Woman

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Lowly Layman, Mar 28, 2022.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    The error of over-generalization cuts both ways. But then, the way I read it I got the impression that a certain amount of hyperbole was intended by Stalwart, so perhaps we could cut him some slack for the inexactitude.
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Of course the truth of the European Occupation of Australia is that most of them did not want to be here. This was perhaps summed up inthe little known ditty delivered by George Barrington (Gentleman Pickpocket, and later 1st Constanble at Parrramatta) at Farm cove.

    True Patriots we for be it understood
    We left our country for our country's good!

    It seems most likely that Aboriginal people have been here for a very long time, before Jesus, before Moses, and before Abraham, indeed before the Pyramids, and quite likely before the great flood. They represent the oldest surviving living cultural tradition anywhere on the planet.

    Nuragunya.jpg


    The real truth of the future of Australia is that it will be found in a path of reconciliation, not domination, not confrontation, but genuine reconciliation. When the Dutch Sea Captian and explorer Willem de Vlamingh sailed up a river on the West Coast of Australia, that he would ultimately call the Swan River, on the 10th of January 1697 he encountered the improbabe, neigh even the impossible, for he found thousands and thousands of Black Swans.

    The late 1st Century Roman Poet Juvenal is generally credited with the earliest written reference to the Black Swan and like so much of his work it was satirical.

    He characterised something as being ”a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan” by which he pretty much meant what we might mean when we say it was “as scarce as hens teeth”. As far as we know hens do not have teeth and as far as the non-Australian parts of the world at his time knew there was no such thing as a Black Swan. It is not the only saying of Juvenal we remember. “Who guards the guardians” is another one of his. The phrase Black Swan passed into European use and used to describe things that did not exist.

    European scientists also went about establishing the credentials of a swan and were able to determine ‘scientifically’ that all swans were white.

    In the end we know that we do not know what we do not know.

    Yet I am pretty confident of this, the power that rolls the spider grass through the Nullabor, the breath that winds itself around the anthills of Arnehm Land, and whistles in the gum leaves in the coastal regions of theisland continent, is the same power that whirled the sands in the deserts of Kadesh. The Spirit spoken of the the dream time stories is the same spirit who hovered over the waters as creationb was begun.

    God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    That's OK! they celebrate Columbus Day, and it seems the nearest he got to the USA was Mexico!
     
  4. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot to unpack here. The first is that Marxism is a Western Cultural ideal. Marxism is not anti-West, it is intrinsically Western, which is why many Eastern communists reject the term and say they are "Maoist" not "Maoist-Marxist" like someone in Russia might say they are a "Marxist-Leninist". It is anti-liberal and anti-capitalist, both of which are also Western ideas, but liberalism is opposed to western conservatism and that certainly doesn't make liberalism anti-western. Western ideologies can attack other western ideologies.

    That aside, the view that women and others were treated as less than full legal individuals is not a marxist idea. It's a liberal idea. It's found in the writings of Mill, Mazzini and Paine. To some extent it's even an idea developed by Conservatives like Burke (but not detailing it as a bad thing). It manifests in the French revolution with the "active/passive citizen" distinction that formalised that some citizens were capable of being full individuals, some could not to be trusted to be capable of acting as independent individuals (the unlanded, the illiterate), and some were incapable of ever being full individuals (women, men under the age of 25, blacks). That's codified with legal justification for the split in the first French constitution two decades before Marx is born. The idea comes from the Roman citizenship concept of optimo iure, that citizens could only be entitled to all their legal rights when they didn't have debts, or were not able to be dominated by another person. Marx didn't give a stuff about the legal recognition of women, his innovation was 'materialism'. What mattered was your material conditions, not your political conditions. This is what caused the conflicts between socialists and liberals in the revolutions of 1848 - because they battled each other on the "Political question" versus the "Social question" while the Conservatives united and swept the revolutions aside. Middle-class liberals wanted political rights, whilst the working poor wanted things like the right to work and social security.

    This of course is why the feminist movement was born out of the middle class, not the working class. Why the leading feminist thinkers for most of history have been liberals not socialists (Wollstonecraft, Harriet Taylor Mill, Susan B. Anthony, etc.).

    I'm aware most of the populace were not full legal individuals, I literally said that. Half the post you're replying to details that. So I'm not 'allowing' an 'untrue' worldview inadvertently into my thinking. You've completely missed the point. I'm saying it's an accurate description of historical reality. Yes plenty of men were also not full legal individuals, just like I said. That is correct. So we're in agreement that women were not full legal individuals (among others). What are you arguing about? Why would I withdraw that moniker when we both agree it's a statement of fact?

    On property you didn't rebut anything. I literally told you how they were treated as property. Women were exchanged for alliances, political favours and money. That makes them a form of property. To argue they were not means you need to prove that wasn't a historical reality, but I'm sure we agree it of course was. There's plenty of non-living forms of property you can own that you cannot destroy at will, or resell (and just for clarity, you certainly can't kill your pet at will in Australia and I'd be shocked if you could in the US). That doesn't cease to make it property. Obviously the restrictions around how you can treat your daughter are going to be stricter than how you can treat a heritage listed building. Women could be sold to a husband, as in literally exchanged for money where the woman had no agency over her own destiny. That the husband could not then re-sell her or execute her does not mean that she was not viewed and treated as an asset. To say I have the absolute rights to sell something, but I can't call that a property transaction is absurd.

    And you were threatening if other people didn't reign in their language you would be the one offended.

    You talk about a gross caricature of nuanced facts on the ground and then immediately spit out a gross caricature of nuanced facts on the ground. Australians are not painted as evil colonizers by anything other than a fringe minority of irrelevant radicals. Students are not taught that Aboriginals are saintly and immaculate. Only a few years ago someone published a factually deceitful book called "Black Emu", that described of how Aboriginal societies were agricultural and they had cities but the 'white man' had covered it up so they could justify seizing their land. It developed some popular momentum before being resoundingly refuted and rebuffed by a collection of left wing academics you would likely label as "neo-marxist" for lying and distorting truth. Australians love to denigrate both our colonial forefathers and the traditional custodians, it's a part of the weird Australian ethos. Here's a bit from an extremely popular and well received pop-history book on Australia called "Girt" on indigenous culture:

    Aborigines rapidly spread across the continent, snacking on the biggest animals they could find as they went. The removal of all the giant herbivores about 47,000 years ago led to the rapid growth of thick underbrush, in which the increasingly nervous smaller animals were able to hide. The aborigines solved this problem by torching the whole continent, destroying most of Australia's rainforests in the process. Many Aboriginal people regard themselves as custodians of the land who have always lived in balance with nature. The get a little tetchy when accused of megafaunal genocide and continental arson. ​

    Here's a bit from A.D. Hope's poem Australia that is exemplified as one of the core poems that depict the Australian national identity.
    Without songs, architecture, history:
    The emotions and superstitions of younger lands,
    Her rivers of water drown among inland sands,
    The river of her immense stupidity
    Floods her monotonous tribes from Cairns to Perth.
    Does that sound like a "saintly and immaculate" description? No. Because no Australian is so arrogant to enjoy the description of saintly or immaculate, indigenous or not. Aboriginal Australians are not treated as "noble savages" nor are they seen as "enlightened nomads". They're just people, like anyone else. And like all people, many of their cultural traditions are valuable and worth preserving. Lots to love, plenty to dislike. Their treatment of women is worth leaving behind. Their intense respect for tradition and conservation is worth admiring. Their culture is neither brutish nor worthless, and assuming it contains nothing of value because your culture is already perfected is a recipe for cultural stagnation and despair. Importantly there is no "Western Culture", there are "Western Cultures". Italian culture is foreign to me, despite also being Western. Australian culture has already integrated numerous elements of Indigenous Australian culture that there's no way to get out, along with Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Lebanese, and Irish cultures. If Australian culture is worth emulating then so too are (elements) of all of those cultures. Australians are not pure cultural descendents of some Western cultural ubermensch, we're a mutt culture, forged by impoverished undesirables, criminals and immigrants - and all for the better.
     
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  5. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Correct. But you isolating the women part of it, and using it to construct an oppression narrative, is.

    Just like, in the US both the blacks and the whites were lynched, but carefully citing only the black lynchings to construct an oppression narrative around black lynchings, is.

    The question is not only what is fact and what isn’t, but which facts are selectively chosen, in order to construct a special lop-sided narrative that fits marxist frameworks. So you citing women as less than full legal individuals, by itself, is an example of this. It makes pretend as if women were specially chosen, for this historic special persecution across centuries, of being denied full legal status when others had it. Feminist marxists in the US do this all day long.

    And anyway, this secular legal history is in an altogether separate category from the spiritual oversight of the husband in the home. The one is a legal category, the other is a ghostly and spiritual category instituted by God and baked into the foundations of the world, and human nature, from the very beginning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
  6. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    I didn't cite women being exclusive examples. I literally spoke about everyone in the same post. You're getting mad that I spoke about women, period - not that I pretended women were the only persecuted group, because I didn't. If I did that still wouldn't be a marxist worldview - women's political and legal agency is not what Marx cared about. Even if they had full rights he still would have been mad because all Marxists care about is a woman's material conditions.

    What I said was:
    What part of that is selectively constructing a lop-sided narrative that makes pretend that women were specially chosen?

    More importantly the whole point of this exercise was to decipher the cultural context of medieval Europe when the giving away tradition was inserted into the wedding liturgy. Obviously talking about the experiences of women is all that matters in that context, because that's the specific thing we're talking about right now. Understanding how unlanded male orphans were treated is irrelevant to understanding why women were given away.
     
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  7. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It isn't a medieval tradition though. We have records of the rites of matrimony from the early Church. It's exactly the same way. All the church fathers teach that the man is the spiritual head of his household, and the woman comes under his spiritual rule when she weds him (ie. this transfer occurs from the father to the husband). Then you have the exact same dynamic in the New Testament. The man decides to follow Jesus, and then "his whole household" is baptized, ie. the wife along with the children. And then we have this in the Old Testament as well. It is the men who travel to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices for the family.

    So the entire context of the Christian faith, going back five thousand years, is one of male spiritual rule in his home. The question about 'giving away' is really a minor tangent in that, addressing the rule in a new family, given that its prior existence among the parents. And it's done by the transfer of the spiritual rule of entire household, (which is just the wife in that moment), from the father to the husband.
     
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  8. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    So it is simply a defence of patriarchy, which you argue is indelibly linked to the proclaimation of good news, or have I not understood your position?
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Spiritual patriarchy, right.
     
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  10. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    I've read a lot of the Church Fathers writings. I've yet to run into one talking about giving away the bride in marriage. Feel free to prove me wrong, but I'm pretty skeptical there's any record of an early Church rite of matrimony with any words, let alone words to the effect of "I give this woman".

    The giving away ceremony only started in Britain in the 1500s. I doubt we invented it, it probably predates that in another country, but it seems unlikely it is ancient and widespread across the whole Roman Empire if we only began doing it mid-reformation. That is relevant because it helps us understand why they introduced it into the marriage ceremony. Why were they suddenly unsatisfied with the previous rite? Was it because there was a reformist movement to highlight the individual that has spiritual headship in the household? Was there some new wave of heresy they needed to formally reject like that which prompted the Nicene Creed being added into the liturgy? Or was it simply a reflection of cultural attitudes towards women, and their role in society, and it was added to provide meaning for the families present not satisfy the clergy.

    The words reflect a cultural period when women were seen as an asset held by the father and then transferred to the husband. This is no longer the case, and so it makes sense to change the words from "who gives this woman" to "who brings this woman", and allow flexibility in who walks the bride down the aisle. Wedding ceremonies are more than just religious ceremonies. There have always been parts of the ceremony divorced from any genuine religious importance. The giving away is one of those parts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
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  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I also want to note that the marriage liturgy of 1662 was a significant advance for women in its day. That is found directly before the 'who giveth ...' question, where the wife 2b is specifically asked the direct equivalent question as the man and required to answer in her own voice. The import of this was intended profoundly to ensure that women were not married off against their will, and treated as chattle. This represented an significant step forward for women.
     
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  12. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Never trust someone who blindly trusts
    Autocorrect
     
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  13. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    What do we want?
    Auto Carrot.
    When do we want it?
    Cow!
     
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  14. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    :D
     
  15. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me of an irreverent meme... ;)

    [​IMG]