John Knox og opgøret med det kvindelige regime
July 27, 2009 by Hammerschmidt
John Knox (1510-1572) var en skotsk præst og en af de banebrydende kræfter bag reformationen i Skotland.
I 1558 skrev han skriftet "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women" imod kvinder som regenter. Her tænkes først og fremmest på kvinder som statsoverhoveder, men hans synspunkt gælder ledende stillinger generelt. Baggrunden var bl.a. at både England og Skotland havde kvindelige regenter på dén tid (dronningerne Mary Stuart og Mary Tudor) og han bekæmpede deres styre og disses ødelæggende konsekvenser for samfundet, først og fremmest ud fra bibelens kvindesyn, men lige så meget via rationelle argumeneter og henvisning til mandens og kvindens natur. I Skotland førte dronning Tudors styre til et tilbageslag for reformationen og moderniseringen, idet hun genindførte den konservative romerske katolicisme og dermed ødelagde meget af Knox' fremadsynede arbejde.
John Knox kan betragtes som en slags foregangsmand imod de første strøg af feminismen, som Europa oplevede dengang, selvom dette begreb selvfølgelig først kom senere. Han kunne godt se hvad det medfører at give kvinder kommandoen over statskassen, retsvæsen og hæren og advarede imod hvilke konskvenser det kunne få for samfundet, hvis mænd lod sig dirigere af kvinder.
Jeg har udvalgt en række passager, som jeg synes nogenlunde indfanger tankegangen:
"(...) how abominable before God is the empire or rule of a wicked woman (yea, of a traitress and bastard); and what may a people or nation, left destitute of a lawful head, do by the authority of God's word in electing and appointing common rulers and magistrates. That isle (alas!) for the contempt and horrible abuse of God's mercies offered, and for the shameful revolting to Satan from Christ Jesus, and from his gospel once professed, does justly merit to be left in the hands of their own counsel, and so to come to confusion and bondage of strangers."
"We see our country set forth for a prey to foreign nations; we hear [of] the blood of our brethren, the members of Christ Jesus, most cruelly to be shed; and the monstrous empire [government] of a cruel woman (the secret counsel of God excepted) we know to be the only occasion of all those miseries; and yet with silence we pass the time, as though the matter did nothing appertain to us."
Her forudser John Knox måske det, der senere blev til politisk korrekthed; han forklarer hvorfor han udgiver anonymt, vel vidende at dronningen på tronen sikkert ikke vil tillade ham at sige hvad han mener og forfølge ham. Præcis som i dag, hvor det offentlige kvindesamfund holder protester fra at bruge deres ytringsfrihed (muhammedtegninger, antifeminisme osv.):
"I am assured that God has revealed to some in this our age, that it is more than a monster in nature that a woman shall reign and have empire above man. And yet, with us all there is such silence, as if God therewith were nothing offended. I know the natural man, enemy to God, shall find many causes why no such doctrine ought to be published in these our dangerous days: first, for that it may seem to tend to sedition; secondarily, it shall be dangerous, not only to the writer or publisher, but also to all such as shall read the writings, or favour this truth spoken; and last, it shall not amend the chief offenders, partly because it shall never come to their ears, and partly because they will not be admonished in such cases."
"For we are debtors to more than princes: to wit, to the multitude of our brethren, of whom, no doubt, a great number have heretofore offended by error and ignorance, giving their suffrages, consent, and help to establish women in their kingdoms and empires, not understanding how abominable, odious, and detestable is all such usurped authority in the presence of God. And therefore must the truth be plainly spoken, that the simple and rude multitude may be admonished.
And as concerning the danger which may hereof ensue, I am not altogether so brutish and insensible, but that I have laid my account, what the finishing of the work may cost me for my own part. First, I am not ignorant how difficult and dangerous it is to speak against a common error, especially when the ambitious minds of men and women are called to the obedience of God's simple commandment. For to the most part of men, whatsoever antiquity has received appears lawful and godly. And secondarily, I look to have more adversaries, not only of the ignorant multitude, but also of the wise, politic, and quiet spirits of the world so that as well shall such as ought to maintain the truth and verity of God become enemies to me in this case, as shall the princes and ambitious persons who, to maintain their unjust tyranny, do always study to suppress the same. And thus I am most certainly persuaded that my labour shall not escape reprehension of many."
"To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature; contumely [an insult] to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice."
"And first, where I affirm the empire of a woman to be a thing repugnant to nature, I mean not only that God, by the order of his creation, has spoiled [deprived] woman of authority and dominion, but also that man has seen, proved, and pronounced just causes why it should be. Man, I say, in many other cases, does in this behalf see very clearly. For the causes are so manifest, that they cannot be hid. For who can deny but it is repugnant to nature, that the blind shall be appointed to lead and conduct such as do see? That the weak, the sick, and impotent persons shall nourish and keep the whole and strong? And finally, that the foolish, mad, and frenetic shall govern the discreet, and give counsel to such as be sober of mind? And such be all women, compared unto man in bearing of authority. For their sight in civil regiment is but blindness; their strength, weakness; their counsel, foolishness; and judgment, frenzy, if it be rightly considered."
"Nature, I say, does paint them forth to be weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish; and experience has declared them to be inconstant, variable, cruel, lacking the spirit of counsel and regiment. And these notable faults have men in all ages espied in that kind, for the which not only they have removed women from rule and authority, but also some have thought that men subject to the counsel or empire of their wives were unworthy of public office."
"Yea, they further should pronounce, that where women reign or be in authority, that there must needs vanity be preferred to virtue, ambition and pride to temperance and modesty; and finally, that avarice, the mother of all mischief, must needs devour equity and justice."
"First, I say, that woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man, not to rule and command him. As St. Paul does reason in these words: "Man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. And man was not created for the cause of the woman, but the woman for the cause of man; and therefore ought the woman to have a power upon her head" [1 Cor. 11:8-10] (that is, a cover in sign of subjection)."
"And what, I pray you, is more able to cause a woman to forget her own condition, than if she is lifted up in authority above man? It is a very difficult thing to a man (be he never so constant) promoted to honours, not to be tickled somewhat with pride (for the wind of vain glory does easily carry up the dry dust of the earth). But as for woman, it is no more possible that she, being set aloft in authority above man, shall resist the motions of pride, than it is able to the weak reed, or to the turning weathercock, not to bow or turn at the vehemence of the inconstant wind. And therefore the same writer expressly forbids all women to intermeddle with the office of man."
"But woman can never be the best governor, by reason that she, being spoiled [deprived] of the spirit of regiment, can never attain to that degree to be called or judged a good governor; because in the nature of all [every] woman lurks such vices as in good governors are not tolerable." Which the same writer expresses in these words, "Womankind," says he, "is rash and fool-hardy; and their covetousness is like the gulf of hell, that is insatiable." And therefore in another place, he wills that woman shall have nothing to do in judgment, in common affairs, or in the regiment of the commonwealth (because she is impatient of troubles), but that she shall live in tranquility and quietness."
"Men, I say, should not only pronounce this body to be a monster, but assuredly they might conclude that such a body could not long endure. And no less monstrous is the body of that commonwealth where a woman bears empire; for either it does lack a lawful head (as in very deed it does), or else there is an idol exalted in the place of the true head."
"Finally, they are so destitute of understanding and judgment, that although they know that there is a liberty and freedom which their predecessors have enjoyed, yet are they compelled to bow their necks under the yoke of Satan, and of his proud mistress, pestilent Papists and proud Spaniards. And yet they cannot consider, that where a woman reigns and Papists bear authority, that there Satan must needs be president of the council."
"First, they ought to remove from honour and authority that monster in nature: so I call a woman clad in the habit of a man, yea, a woman against nature reigning above man. Secondarily, if any presume to defend that impiety, they ought not to fear, first to pronounce, and then after to execute against them the sentence of death. If any man is afraid to violate the oath of obedience which they have made to such monsters, let them be most assuredly persuaded, that as the beginning of their oaths (proceeding from ignorance) was sin, so is the obstinate purpose to keep the same nothing but plain rebellion against God."
"(...)for assuredly her empire and reign is a wall without foundation. I mean the same of the authority of all women. It has been underpropped this blind time that is past, with the foolishness of people, and with the wicked laws of ignorant and tyrannical princes. But the fire of God's word is already laid to those rotten props (I include the pope's law with the rest), and presently they burn, albeit we espy not the flame. When they are consumed (as shortly they will be, for stubble and dry timber cannot endure the fire), that rotten wall, the usurped and unjust empire of women, shall fall by itself in despite of all men, to the destruction of so many as shall labour to uphold it. And therefore let all men be advertised, for the trumpet has once blown."