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Spanish Archbishop Publishes Book that Orders Women to “Get Married and Be Submissive”

[Links lead to Spanish-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

Constanza Miriano interviene en el congreso «La figura del padre en las series televisivas», abril de 2013. Foto del usuario lafiguradelpadre Congreso, con licencia CC BY 2.0

Constanza Miriano takes part in a conference addressing “The depiction of fathers in TV series”, April 2013. Photo by lafiguradelpadre Congreso, under license to CC BY 2.0

Nuevo Inicio, the publishing house belonging to the Archbishop of Granada, Spain, has put out a new book entitled “Get married and be submissive”. The book, by the Italian author Constanza Miriano, is introduced on the publisher's website with these words:

…ahora es el momento de aprender la obediencia leal y generosa, la sumisión.

now is the time to learn faithful and generous obedience, to be submissive.

Constanza Miriano, journalist and married mother of four, first published the book in Italy in February 2011, where it sold 70 000 copies. On her blog, the author asserts:

el hombre debe encarnar la guía, la regla, la autoridad. La mujer debe salir de la lógica de la emancipación y abrazar con júbilo el rol de la hospitalidad y del servicio

men should embody guidance, rules, authority. Women should abandon the rhetoric of emancipation and joyfully embrace their role as attendants and caregivers. 

Constanza Miriano is inspired by the words of Saint Paul to the Ephesians, “Women, submit yourselves to your husbands.” In an interview published by Religión en Libertad, Miriano made the following statements:

San Pablo nos recuerda que a las mujeres nos gusta controlarlo todo, decir la última palabra, manipular por detrás. Ser sumisas significa, literalmente, estar por debajo para ser el apoyo de todos los miembros de la familia, para acompañar a los más débiles. Es una cualidad propiamente femenina, a pesar de lo que diga la revolución feminista.

Saint Paul reminds us that women like to control everything, have the last work, manipulate from behind. To be submissive means, literally, to be below in order to support all the members of the family, to accompany the weakest members. It is an intrinsically female quality, despite what the feminist revolution might say.

Although the book was published in Spain in July 2013, it came to the public's attention on 9 November when several news websites mentioned it. On Twitter, the words and phrases “Archbishop”, “submissive” and “get married” were trending topics throughout the day. Netizens harshly criticized the Archbishop's initiative with comments such as, ”it makes me cringe“, “It's not the 12th century, no, it's Spain in the 21st“ or “outdated and unpleasant.”

The Archbishop in tune with the times. Hoping 50 Shades of Grey isn't the only blockbuster  http://t.co/GlIQDea8Sn pic.twitter.com/9C0KNsI83r 
— Fran Martínez (@_FranciscoDavid) November 10, 2013

Tick off the box marked church so the Archbishop of Granada can publish a book that teaches women to be submissive http://t.co/zNteLmna14
— Guille #SiSePuede (@itoguille) November 9, 2013

Many tweets accused the Church of having anachronistic ideas:

“Get married and be submissive”?????? this church isn't moving ahead with life, it's being dragged along by it.
— Yolanda (@yolisanca) November 9, 2013

The Archbishop of Granada publishes a book that teaches women to be submissive!! Pathetic!! all that's missing is an owner's manual for a chastity belt!
— Arantxa Alvarez Muñi (@Aranzazucina) November 10, 2013

With news like this, I have to wonder what century we're in…
— Angelita (@AngSerr) November 10, 2013

Imagen subida a Twitter por El Caín con el comentario: «Mujer, ¡CÁSATE Y SÉ SUMISA! Misoginia subvencionada con dinero público»

[Bubble text: Get married and be submissive because the Lord said: I will multiply the suffering of your pregnancies; you will give birth in pain; you will yearn for your husband, and he will rule over you.] Image uploaded to Twitter by El Caín with the comment: “Woman, get married and be submissive! Misogyny subsidized by the public coffers.”

Others feel the book incites sexist violence: 

After, woman, learn to be submissive, comes “woman, let yourself be whipped”, no? And then the musical http://t.co/A0I5WceZG3 A real shame!
— Laura Cornejo (@lauracorama) November 10, 2013

And if he hits you, turn the other cheek, come on! The Archbishop of  #Granada publishes “Get married and be submissive  http://t.co/6NLQgbvj9Y via @andalucesdiario
— Chus Azor (@chusazor) 
November 10, 2013

Girl “Get married and be submissive.” And if he ever lays a hand on you, know that your lord and master is doing it for your own good. http://t.co/SuxXnJP6UJ
— Karloto (@KalkuMadrid) November 10, 2013

In fact, the Archbishop of Granada, Msgr Francisco Javier Martínez, who is also president of the publishing house Nuevo Inicio, is a controversial figure. In addition to being the first bishop found guilty of injury and harassment [en], he is famous for his comments against abortion, the LGBT community, and even the use of contraceptives. On 20 December 2009, the archbishop spoke these words in his homily:

El arzobispo de Granada en una imagen subida a Desmotivaciones.es por el usuario DelicateMotherFucker

The Archbishop of Granada in an image uploaded to Desmotivaciones.es by the user DelicateMotherFucker

Pero matar al niño indefenso, y que lo haga su propia madre, eso les da a los hombres, a los varones, la licencia absoluta, sin límites, de abusar del cuerpo de la mujer, porque la tragedia se la traga ella.

To kill a defenceless child, and that it should be done by its own mother, this gives men absolute license, without limits, to abuse the body of a woman, because she will have brought the tragedy upon herself.

In January of 2011, he talked about the Conquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand:

…estuvo marcada por una extraordinaria humanidad y gestos de amor a las personas a las que se incorporaba a la comunidad de la Corona española. Y ese pensamiento español fue el antecedente de los derechos humanos (…)

It was marked by an extraordinary humanity and gestures of love to all those who joined the community of the Spanish Crown. And this Spanish enlightenment was the precursor of human rights (…)

In the online press, information about the book received innumerable comments that vacillated between sarcasm and indignation. Pajarraco Blanco said the following on 20minutos.es:

Me espero mejor al próximo libro: “Monaguillo se sumiso y complaciente”.

I'm looking forward to the next book even more: “Altar boy be submissive and obliging.”

Barraca wrote in El País:

¡Qué pena, esta genial obra llega tarde a España! En efecto, hace mes y medio se suicidaba una mujer de 24 años cuyo marido la había forzado a prostituirse desde los 16. No cabe duda de que los maravillosos consejos de la Sra Miriano para asumir su condición de esclava sexual habrían transformado el calvario del ultraje continuo en orgullo de hembra sumisa.

What a pity, this great book arrived late in Spain! In fact, it was just six weeks ago that a 24-year-old woman, whose husband forced her into prostitution from the age of 16, committed suicide. There is no doubt that the wonderful advice of Mrs. Miriano to accept her condition as a sexual slave would have transformed the torment of her continued humiliation into pride at being a submissive woman.

Arros left this note on ABC.es:

Sería divertido, o incluso serio, un libro sobre el clero sumiso.

It would be entertaining, or even fitting, to have a book about a submissive clergy.

Pytykli commented on Huffington Post:

Buenooooo, yo me voy a dejar el pelo largo, para que me puedan arrastrar hasta la cueva.

Gooood, I am going to leave my hair long so they can drag me back to the cave.

And in the same publication, Juanjo Montes expressed himself like this:

Lo que más me fastidia de todo ésto es que se editen estos vergonzantes libelos fascistas y discriminatorios con el dinero de los impuestos que reciben los curillas porque alguien marca la cruz en la casilla correspondiente de la declaración del IRPF. Como siempre digo, depende de nosotros.

What angers me the most in all of this is that these embarrassing fascist and discriminatory denigrations are published with money from the taxes that the clergy receives because someone ticked off the corresponding box on their IRPF declaration [income tax form]. As I always say, it's up to us.

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