Lust, Part 2: The Hangover

By Sam Jolman | November 20, 2011

“Misogyny: from Greek misos ‘hatred’ + gunē ‘woman.‘  The hatred of woman.”  Websters dictionary

“No sooner had Amnon raped her than he hated her—an immense hatred. The hatred that     he felt for her was greater than the love he’d had for her.” 2 Samuel 13:15

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”  Samuel Johnson

After college, still searching for what to do with my life, I worked a tour of duty as a construction worker.  It paid my bills and let me stand shoulder to shoulder every day with men.  I needed that badly as a rather green-under-the-ears young buck myself.  I was still learning what this manhood thing was all about.  And I absolutely received my education in the best and worst of ways.

The first job they assigned me to was a massive re-roofing project at a local university.  We spent our days perched high in the air, laboring hard in the baking sun.  The university had just begun its fall semester, evidenced by the scurrying mass of college students pouring in and out of buildings like swarming ants.  This giant ant farm of course ran classes in predictable time intervals and the men on the construction crew quickly deciphered this pattern. In response, they developed their own daily ritual.  Here’s how it went:

Someone in our crew, having spotted the first trickle of students, would put down his tools and shout, “Here they come, boys!” And as if called to stand attention, the men in unison set down their tools and did an about face.  Slowly students made their way into the doors of our building, unknowingly parading themselves below our aerial view.  And this elicited a gush of commentary among the men, “Look at that body… Check out that pair… Thats a nice set… that behind is smoking…I’d like to get with that…”

The first time I witnessed this, for a few seconds I felt like a foreigner experiencing a perplexing new custom in another country.  And of course it hit me pretty quickly what was going on here.  And then I was overcome with horror, not the self righteous how-could-they kind.  I had known lust in my own heart for sure.  My horror was seeing how dark the act of lust could become.  These men were openly, brazenly objectifying these women, seemingly without any backlash of shame.  And actually, objectifying puts it mildly.  This was mutilation. They saw only body parts.    These men had become beasts.

There is more to say about lust. I said last time lust gets a man stuck, gets him enraptured with a woman, caught under a spell that keeps his heart from God.  But its not just that a woman feels slimed and a man loses a chance to worship God.  Lust never ends there.  There is always an action-reaction, left-foot-right-foot effect, a vicious undertow.  Lust has its porcelain hugging hangover as well.

Once the fruit has been eaten, the lust enjoyed, the spell gets broken pretty quickly.  You won’t need a cold shower anymore.  Two things will be there to greet a man: embarrassment and disappointment. Disappointment because he will face the fact that a woman is unable to absolve his suffering.  She is not enough to be his God.  She cannot reach into his chest and remove his suffering or sooth his aching heart.  In the right way she can be a taste of that, but the feast is always with God, as my counselor Lottie Hillard has said.  It is called fantasizing for a reason, an act that lets him escape reality only so long.  He will sober up soon enough. 

And this is made even worse by the fact that he embarrassingly ran his heart into a brick wall trying to make her a god.  He’s been played a fool.  Caught with his pants down as they say.   Jokes on you, bud. “Hey everyone, look who fell for old Helen of Troy.  Look who thought he found the fountain of life.”  Really this embarrassment could be a fledgeling form of genuine guilt, a moment to admit his own indecent act made him a fool.  And real guilt could lead him back to God.  We will get back to this in the next blog. 

But the greater temptation, the most well worn path, is to blame the woman, as in resent her, much like the first Adam with those contempt-laden words, “That woman you put here with me, she gave me the fruit.”  Can you see the wagging finger?  As Dan Allender says, contempt is the quickest way to get rid of feeling ashamed and exposed.  So a man turns to resent the woman to reduce his embarrassment. accusing her of seducing him, not owning that he abdicated himself.  Lust almost unavoidably leads to the hatred of women.  This may be its darkest most horrifying evil. 

Simone Weil said, “There are only two things piercing enough to penetrate our souls: beauty and affliction.”  What men hate in a woman is this power she possesses.  Beauty is literally an unstoppable force.  A woman’s allure, her beauty, her grace will move a man, disarm him, blow past his defenses on a beeline to his heart. And in this way a man will feel like the victim of a woman’s beauty, like he was seduced, set up.  He will feel lied to, like her beauty promised more pleasure or adventure or transcendence.  Of course there are some women who do seduce with their beauty.  Yet, a man always has the power to decide what he will be moved to do.

You may remember the story of Amnon, son of King David.  He admired his half sister Tamar’s beauty far beyond mere obsession to the point it literally made him sick.  He could not stop at just admiring her beauty.  He had to have her, consume her.  And so one day he feigned illness asking that she be sent to nurse him back to health.  And once alone he raped her.  She pleaded with him to stop, to have compassion on the devastation this would bring on her, to remember her humanness.  Only after the rape did her humanity become real to him again.  And of course, she was not enough to satisfy him.  The spell, the obsession, the worship of her broke.  “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her”  2 Samuel 2:13-15.

And with a heart full of hatred, most men seek revenge. A man will try to dominate a woman in order to feel more powerful than her beauty.  A man wants revenge on this power.  As Dan Allender says, “Lust is not about sex. Its about power.”  Lust is a man’s attempt to dominate a woman.  To strip her of her power.  Rape is the obvious picture of this.  Rape has nothing to do with sex.  The pleasure in rape lies in the momentary experience of power.  Notice how the savage brutality of war and genocide always involves murdering men and raping women.  These are not lonely soldiers looking for a little taste of love, but savages looking to slake their thirst for power. 

And notice how specific these acts of war are to the glory in each gender.  How do you dominate a man?  A man is most powerful in strength, as a defender.  So overpower his masculine strength, his ability to fight back, by killing him and thus you’ve seemingly shown your dominance over him. How do you dominate a woman in her greatest power?  Overpower her beauty, her tenderness, her nurture, her allure, her open relational heart by raping her and thus it seems you’ve won, you’ve conquered her.  Rape is a violence on her beauty and tenderness.  The murder of a woman after this is almost an after thought.

There are many other ways to take revenge on a woman, most in forms far less obvious.  I heard some staggering statistics recently about the pornography industry.  Worldwide, about 12 billion is spent annually on pornography.  Of this 12 billion, only 2 billion is spent on what is called soft porn, leaving 10 billion or over 80% being spent on violent, hardcore forms of porn.  Could the connection between lust and violence be any more clear? 

Even the church is guilty of this immense hatred of women.  St Augustine, who ravenously struggled with lust, said, “Women should not be enlightened or educated in anyway.  They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.”  Tertullian, another church father, unapologetically spewed his vitriol against women when he said, “And do you not know that you are (each) an Eve? …You are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man.” 

It persists today.  One of my wife’s best friends serves on her church’s worship team.  After church one Sunday, her pastor chastised her for her choice of outfit that day, saying that it was causing men to stumble.  She ranks as one of the most modest woman I know.  His words carried a certain conclusive scorn to them.  Little did he realize her beauty invited worship just as much as her singing. 

I dare say most men do not exude such an obvious form of hatred for women.  More commonly, it comes out when a man just withdraws emotionally from his wife, never letting her get close enough to know his heart.  Or one who constantly tells his wife she’s just too needy.  This is how I quietly hated my wife’s affectionate heart for a number of years.  It could be a man who won’t commit to a woman in a dating relationship.  Or one who won’t date period.   I’ve also met men who control the finances and never let their wives have a say in it.  And need we list how often the Biblical concept of submission gets misused in marriages to dominate women?  These are all ways to hold power over a woman, to keep her from really moving us.

All this feels like so much, doesn’t it?  This may have been the hardest blog to write. There is something about being innocent of evil that I’ve walked right up to the edge on.  My hope has been that by peering over into the dark abyss you would see enough of the evil to want to run.  Lust is a brilliant ploy of Evil to take out good men and use them for evil ends.  And few men know this is apart of the process of lust.  As a repentant woman hater, I certainly never thought my lust was this bad.

I do hope you are left more roused than accused as a man – roused more deeply to forsake lust and its sinister ends.


  • Not dating doesn't feel misogynistic it feels like protection… It does however feel easy. I love the way you think. Good to think about

  • Yes, Lee, misogyny rarely feels like hate. I dare say its rarely conscious. I certainly never knew I struggled with it until someone else named it for me…

  • Once again your transparency and wisdom is in defining a difficult subject is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. All our lives have been touched by this in one way or another, including mine. Praise God for healing and redemption.


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