Build-a-Bitch Workshop – Teaching Kids Sexism in School

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This is one of those enjoyable times where we get to decide between pointing and laughing, or hiding our faces in shame as a species. A co-ed Christian school in Australia separated boys and girls for some classically religious gender studies. The girls were taught about the value of not having sex 😠, and the boys were encouraged to ‘build-a-bitch’ by defining the values of girls they would prefer to mate with.

Pimps and Whores

There’s a dangerous double-standard for men and women that is honestly as difficult to defend as it is to attack, and that is dealing with female’s virginity. It is a tremendously nuanced discussion that could be had at length, attempting to describe why female virginity is valued more than male virginity, and I suspect that much of it surrounds the history of the human species as well as a hefty dose of religion.

It’s fascinating that a Christian school in Australia, however, held these values and taught them to ten-year-old children. There’s this bizarre universal belief that a man sleeping with many women is a success, while a woman sleeping with many men is a failure. Like, unless we go back to ancient Rome where a bunch of dudes are jamming it into other dude’s brown-rounds, I’m not entirely sure how that is supposed to work out.

Now, there are two possible reactions to this that I can understand with my limited brainpower. First is what the parents of the children felt when they learned of the exercise – abject horror and fury that their girls have been turned into little more than meat for boys to fuck, and that the boys are somehow allowed to sexualize girls in a school environment under adult tutelage.

Then you have our side, the more cynical side where…yeah, this generally checks out. Women are consistently referenced as objects in multiple religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) that should be controlled by their male handlers. The idea that followers of this religion are objecting to the build-a-bitch workshop is almost odd.

Let’s Reference Shit

Specifically for Christianity, both Exodus 20:17 and Deuteronomy 5:21 tag women as possessions. In Genesis 12:11-19, Abraham’s own wife is traded to the Pharaoh (because everyone knows ancient Egypt happens shortly after the beginning of the entire universe) as a form of a hot-wife (sharing of a wife for carnal desires), and then is rewarded handsomely for it. Then God punishes the Pharaoh for being tricked, and the Pharaoh returns Abraham’s wife to the rightful owner.

Damn near the entirety of the Book of Ruth shows that women are referenced as below importance to animals and physical goods. In Fundamentalism, Malise Ruthven finds that ‘nearly all religions express concern about control of female sexuality.1‘ Running back the past couple of thousand years, women have consistently gotten the short end of the stick – if they’re allowed to touch the stick at all.

This is a sticking point of the build-a-bitch workshop, along with the concerns about religion continuing to govern the moral guidelines of humanity moving forward. Humanity as a whole is so damn far ahead of these various religions, where women were regarded as livestock and slavery was the norm, that continuing to embrace said religion could be viewed as concerning 😠.

Like a Broken Record

We’re getting a bit of content under our belts, so things that we’ve gone over previously are often beneficial to touch on once again.

Adhering to a religious belief does not automatically make you sexist. This is a reflection on the ideals of multiple religious texts and how they treat women, which does not necessarily reflect immediately upon those that adhere to the religion. I’m familiar with many Christian feminists, and while I occasionally poke at them for the fun of it, their belief does not mean they cannot be feminists.

It sure as hell is an upwards battle of mental gymnastics and closing the eyes, but it’s doable.

In 2015, a bunch of religious groups gathered to block a gender equality vote in the European Parliament that would affect gender inequality ranging from childcare, contraception availability, and reproductive healthcare2. So, this isn’t necessarily gated to the time of religious texts – it’s an ongoing battle waged between women and religion.

It’s almost confusing as to why the people sending their children to these religious schools are surprised that religions are grooming girls towards their perverse ideal. What would they be doing if not conducting the build-a-bitch workshop?

  1. Ruthven, M. (2008). Fundamentalism a very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
  2. Religious lobbying threatens European Parliament vote on gender equality. National Secular Society. (2015, March 8).

Image Credit – Unseen History | ‘Demonstrators marching in the street holding signs during the March on Washington, 1963’ | Original negative by Marion S. Trikosko

1 comment
  1. The religious right has prevented the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the US. Most people here are under the assumption that it has passed.

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