The Misogyny of William Branham

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Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women. While message believers do not like to admit that William Branham was a misogynist, it is clear from his own words that he was.

What William Branham believed

William Branham taught that:

  • parents should beat their daughters if they ever went sunbathing
  • men should beat their wives if they ever smoked or wore clothes that he considered were immodest.
  • Christians should approach women wearing makeup and call them "Miss Dogmeat".
  • The only place for a woman was in the kitchen.

William Branham's comments about his deceased daughter

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It is both sad and disturbing that William Branham thought God would take his little girl [Sharon] so she wouldn't end up being a 'modern girl'.

When the Son of God shines His righteousness upon the earth, then will my little Sharon Rose rise, then when I embrace her in my arms, say, "Darling baby, God knowed best. He knowed I had no way to take care of you. He knowed what was best. Maybe you'd have got out here in some of these roadhouses, or something, and been like some of the modern girls. He took you. I know where you are now, sweetheart: with Mommy. (52-0720A)

It's obvious William Branham was biased against girls because of his father's behavior:

I was more or less bashful, and you might think this strange, but I really didn't like ladies. I haven't… Didn't like the girls at all. Because, my father, they'd go down on the river where they drink and everything, and I'd see women come up there, married women, their husbands not with them, and see how untrue they could act. I said, "If that's the way they are, I never want nothing to do with any of them." And I made my mind, that I wasn't going to never be married, never have anything to do with women, I was going to be a trapper. I love hunting and trapping. (51-0722A)

William Branham not only had a distorted view of women, he also had a distorted view of God. It's a pity he suffered such a disconnect from the true nature of God.

What the Bible says

The Bible is very clear on the position of women.

What is a "help meet"?

In Genesis 2:18, this new creation which man needs is called a helper (Hebrew - ʿēzer), which is masculine in gender, though here it is a term for woman. Any suggestion that this particular word denotes one who has only an associate or subordinate status to a senior member is refuted by the fact that most frequently this same word describes Yahweh’s relationship to Israel. He is Israel’s help(er) because he is the stronger one (see, Exod. 18:4; Deut. 33:7, 26, 29; Ps. 33:20; 115:9–11; 124:8; 146:5; etc.). The Septuagint translation of the word refers to help “from a stronger one, in no way needing help.” The word is used less frequently for human helpers, and even here, the helper is one appealed to because of superior military strength (Isa. 30:5) or superior size (Ps. 121:1). Thus, the woman in Gen. 2 delivers or saves man from his solitude.[1]

The view of the New Testament

Paul states that in Christ Jesus we are all children of God through faith:

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. [2]

The three dual categories represent the most far-reaching distinctions of ancient society and seem to have been deliberately chosen with an eye to the threefold prayer for which a pious male Jew daily thanked God: that he was not made a Gentile, a slave or a woman — categories of people debarred from certain religious privileges. It is noteworthy that in the third grouping, the words used are not the customary terms for man and woman but the more technical terms denoting male and female, thus indicating that what is in view is the general relationship between the sexes and not the specific relationship between husband and wife. [3]

It goes without saying that the road to the elimination of such divisions for the first Christians was rocky and full of pitfalls. Paul describes one example in Galatians 2:11–14, and the Judaizers were seeking to fight against this essential point of the gospel. Peter had troubles elsewhere (Acts 10:1–11:18), but eventually the church of Jerusalem was willing to say that “God has granted even [note this term!] the Gentiles repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18).

We need to observe that Paul wrote these words in a historical and social context that clearly believed in the inferiority of women. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote, for example: “The woman, says the law, is in all things inferior to the man[4]. Why else would Paul point to “neither male nor female” as his third pair of things that have been abolished in Christ?

This principle of inferiority worked itself out in many ways. Women were talked about in rude and condescending ways; they were not to be taught the law; they were to tend to their children; they were not considered reliable witnesses in court; they may have even sat in seats separate from men in synagogues.

But this was not true in the early church. Women were at times given positions of leadership (for example, Phoebe in Rom. 16:1–2 and the story of Priscilla in Acts 18).

So it was inferiority of women working itself out in religious communities that Paul opposes with this statement “neither male nor female.” In the same way that there was to be no cultural/racial distinctions and no social status prejudices, there was to be no sexual prejudice. For those who are in Christ, antagonisms, criticisms, snide remarks, subtle insinuations, and overt prejudices such as espoused by William Branham must end, for in him male and female are one. I believe that, as is the case with slavery, so with women, Paul provides an agenda that would take years for the church and society to implement properly and honorably before God.[5]

Quotes of William Branham

Following are a few quotes which show William Branham's misogynistic view of women.

Women have an extra rib?

Question: Did God make men and women, of Genesis 2:18-21?

No. I—I… as—as you'll see here, 2:18-21 now, notice: And the LORD God said, It—It is not good that… man should be alone; I will make him an help mate for him. And out of the ground the LORD… formed every beast… and so forth. Now, God made Eve from Adam's side. The woman has one more rib today in the anatomy, the make-up than man does, because a rib was taken from Adam's body. Adam had already been made and was living, and was lonesome, and then God said, "It's not good that man should live alone."[6]

Encouraged the beating of women

Walked down on the beach there and there laid them women professed to have the Holy Ghost, laying out there, stretched out before men in bathing suits. Hmm. Brother, this might make you vomit, but let me tell you something. I've got a girl coming on myself. I said, "What are you doing, lady." I said, "Isn't that — your father a minister?" Said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well..." Said, "I'm getting a suntan." I said, "If my girl ever stretches herself out like that, she's going to get a sun tanning, but it is going to be Charlie Branham's son, give her a tan with a barrel slat and bring her home." That's right. I'd tan her. She'd... Well, she'd remember it a long time too. Amen.[7]


And she pulled out a cigarette. She just shows her colors, what she is, when she does it. Now, let your face get red. And you men that'll let your wife smoke cigarettes, it shows what — who's the boss around the house. That's right. Let them lay out here in these little old beach clothes and things, lay out here before men stripped down... I've got a girl at home. She might lay out to get a suntan too. But brother, if she does, she's going to get a son-tan. It'd be Charlie Branham's son with a barrel slat behind her, bringing her home just as fast as I can bring her. That's right. I'll give her the kind of son-tanning she needs. Yes, sir. I mean that. God give us some good old... You talk about the literacy of Kentucky over here, where some of them old mammies would go back there and raise their young'ns... Why, it'd make you feel ashamed of yourself, then say, "They're ignorant." What's the matter with you? Oh, it's just...[8]


I said, "Yes, ma'am." She gave me the bill. I marked it paid. Started to hand it to her, and one of these here old jig dancers, or ever what it is, come on with that, sawing that fiddle and carrying on, and playing some kind of a little old boogie-woogie music ever what it was; and that girl put on a little old clothes there, about enough to wad a shotgun, and it was pitiful. Listen. I got two girls, and if — if they call suntan. If one of mine, if God lets me live, she'll get a suntan if she puts it on, but Charlie Branham, my daddy's son, will give her the tan with a barrel slat just as hard as I can give it to her. That's the kind of a tanning she needs. Absolutely. Out there like that, no wonder the corruption of the world. How can you men and women... You men...[9]


That's what they were doing in Sodom and Gomorrah. The natural use our bodies... The men become so plain to women today, there's not even respect. They'll hardly take off their hat, men will in front of women, and they have no respect for them at all. What did it? The women done it theirself. And you all talking about juvenile delinquency and things. I think it's parent delinquency. Some of you let your girls go out and run around all night with a cigarette-smoking, cocktail-drinking party. Come in the next morning with her clothes half off her, old make-up all over her face and that, And you call the Kentucky mothers ignorant. Write her patch down with those Dogpatch, Lil' Abner, and make fun of the Kentucky mothers. That's some of my people up in there. Let one of them girls...?... it up there and, brother, I'll tell you, she wouldn't get out of bed for six months. She'd take a hickory limb and beat what clothes she had left on her off. And if you had something like that back in the church today, you'd have better. Amen. God give us the old time mothers. I've got two girls coming. I don't know what they'll be.

And I've see them laying out on the beaches half naked before man stretching themselves out there, say they get a sun-tanning. Brother, I — I may not live. But if God lets me live and keep my right mind, if one of mine does it, she'll get a son-tanning. It'll be Mr. Branham's son with a barrel slat behind her. She'll be tanned all right. She'll know where it come from too. Yes, sir.[10]


And now, some of you talk about the illiteracy of the hillbillies up in Kentucky there. But how the old grandmas with their long bonnets and things on... You know what? They could teach some of you city people how to behave yourself. That's right. Your little Martha Ann come in of a nighttime, and mess-up all over her face, and half drunk, and smoking a cigarette, and blowing it through her nose, and the stomp her foot, and scream at you. Let her do that to one of them old Kentucky mammys one time. She'd top a hickory, boy, or take something, or a barrel slat. When she got through, she'd know who was mammy around there. If you'd do that, you wouldn't have so many wrong men, and boys and girls in the world tonight. Let one of them strip theirselves in some these old dirty clothes like you let your kids wear out here, little old shorts, and ever what they call them. And let them one time. Uh-huh. You would find out how illiterate they were. She'd beat her till she'd be so full of welts, you couldn't get the clothes over the top of them. That's what needs to be done tonight. That's right.[11]


The Bible said, Jesus said, "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart." When that sinner looks upon you and lusts after you, though he never touched you, when he answers for adultery, you are guilty of committing it with him. It's what the Bible says. Now, you can take some of these little two-by-fours if you want to, but that's what God said. That's what Christ said. Now, that's the truth. Oh, God be merciful. What must the great Holy Spirit think when He comes before the Father?

You say, "Why you picking on us women?" All right, men, here you are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear them kind of clothes, shows what he's made out of. He's not very much of a man. That's exactly right. True. He don't love her or he'd take a board and blister her with it. You know that's the truth. Now, I don't say that to be smart. I'm telling you the truth. That's right. What must the Holy Spirit think? Now, I'm going to put you both together. You that'll stay home on Wednesday night to see some old vulgar play like, "We love Sucy," or something like that, and stay out of prayer meeting, it shows what you're both made out of. That's exactly right. And that's the church. And on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and so forth, of a morning nine or ten o'clock you'll listen to some immoral person like Arthur Godfrey, with all of his dirty, ornery jokes, instead of a secret place in a room, praying and reading your Bible. That's right. You know that. And in your house that slandery, dirty, rock-and-roll, boogie-woogie stuff of Elvis Presley… There's only one difference between Elvis Presley and Judas Iscariot. Judas got thirty pieces of silver for selling out. Elvis got a few million dollars and a fleet of Cadillacs. That's all the difference.[12]


Now, you say, "Brother Branham, you're really beating us women." All right. Here you men are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear clothes like that, it shows what he's made out of. He's not much man to him, a man that would do that. God give us old fashion, borned again, sainted, godly homes. Juvenile delinquency will be no more. It isn't juvenile delinquency; it's parent delinquency. They had the old wood shed and the big hickory limb laying over the door. That's discipline in our home. All right. You say, "Now, Brother Branham, I... We shouldn't hear that kind of stuff." You should hear it. That's right.[13]


You talk about juvenile delinquency, I say it's parent delinquency. You talk about the ignorance of the Kentucky people, some of them old mammies out there... Let their daughters come home of a morning with lipstick all over their face, and hair all twisted up, and clothes half off of them, half...?... with a cigarette in their hand, they'd take a barrel slat, or one of them hickory saplings out there, and she'd know when she went out the next time. Then you say illiterate. They can teach this bunch of hoodlums how to raise children. That's... Oh, maybe I oughtn't to have said that. Well, no. I don't take it back. I said that when the Holy Spirit was anointing me. That's right, exactly right. Yes, sir. Today, huh... Oh, my.[14]

Publicly disrespectful of women

Women, there was only one woman in the Bible that ever painted her face, and that was Jezebel. And God fed her to the dogs. So if you see a woman wearing that, you can say, "How do you do, Miss Dogmeat?" That's exactly what God called her. He fed her to the dogs. Exactly right.[15]

Women should never have been allowed to drive

Well, the other day some crazy woman driver drove right in front of me, come pretty near killing two of my children. I said, "Lady." She said, "Now, you shut your mouth; I'm the one that's driving." And before I got back, twenty-six women driver's almost caused us to be killed. We kept count of it. They made a mistake when they give her a driver's license. They put her out here to voting. They put her out here to these public works. And during the time of the war, right in New York City, more illegitimate children was born in the city of New York, of prostitute women, and their husbands overseas, than there was soldiers killed in the four years of war.[16]


Go down the street, back out like that of riding the highway… We counted… I want to tell you something. And you women drivers… Listen. Billy Paul and I on this last campaign around the nation (six months), I kept a count of how many scruples on the road. And out of three hundred mishaps on the road, guess how many of them was women drivers? There was only lacking nineteen of them were men, and two hundred and eighty, or I believe two hundred eighty-one of them would be women drivers: women drivers. Now, I'm not saying there ain't good women drivers. But she'll turn any way, and you just try to get back at her. Let her be kind of nice-looking and stand there, pushing that hair up when a cop comes up. "Why," he'd say, "sure you're in the wrong." We ain't got no law. They proved that the other day in the tax suit I'm just coming through. We ain't got no laws. If there are… 130 No wonder that great Lords of England said, "Democracy was all sails, no anchor." That's right, stand on a soapbox electioneering. The democracy's rotten, and so's dictators and all the rest of them. The whole thing is rotten. There ain't but one thing for God to do: is to destroy the whole thing as He said He would do, and start anew.[17]


I said, "They oughtn't never let a woman behind a wheel." Boy, if I was there, she wouldn't do it, if I had anything to say about it. They say the women is the most safest drivers. I'm an international traveler. Me and my son, crossing this nation, put a book up in the—in the car. And every time a boo-boo was called, pulled on the road, we marked it down, "man" or "woman." And out of three hundred, there were two hundred and eight-one of them caused by women; nineteen of them by men. That's exact. Yet, she's set there and push her hair up. And she turn out like this, and make a left's right, and everything. But, oh, course, the police ain't going to say that. They got them on a police force. What a disgrace! When a woman gets from behind the table in the kitchen, in the house, taking care of her own little ministry God give her, her babies, she's out of the will of God.[18]

Some women should be shot

But I can remember when my father's still up there running, I had to be out there with water and stuff, see young ladies that wasn't over seventeen, eighteen years old, up there with men my age now, drunk. And they'd have to sober them up and give them black coffee, to get home to cook their husband's supper. Oh, something like that, I said, "I…" This was my remark then, "They're not worth a good clean bullet to kill them with it." That's right. And I hated women. That's right. And I just have to watch every move now, to keep from still thinking the same thing.[19]


When I was a little, bitty, ol' boy, up there, I'd see them women come up there on the road, and their… know their husband was out working, them up there with some guy, drunk; on the side of the road, and they'd walk them up and down the road, sober them up enough to get them home, cook their husband's supper. I said they ain't worth a clean bullet to go through them. That's right. I said they're lower than animals, would do a thing like that. And I… When I was seventeen, eighteen years old, I'd see a—a girl coming down the street, I'd cross over on the other side, I said, "That stinking viper." See? And I would have been a real hater, but when I received God in my heart, God let me know that He's got some jewels out there, He's got some real ladies. They'll not all defile themselves like that; thank God for that.ref>William Branham, 60-1209 - The Sardisean Church Age, para. 1537</ref>

Women belong in the kitchen

I predicted that women would keep demoralizing and the nation would keep falling, and they'd keep hanging to mother, or like mother like that, till they become, a woman become an idol. And after a while, that America would be ruled by a woman. Mark it and see if it's not right. A woman will take the place of a President or something, of great, some high power in America. When… I say this with respect, ladies. When a woman gets out of the kitchen, she's out of her place. That's right. That's where she belongs. Outside of that, she has no place. And now, I'm not hard on them, but I just tell what's the Truth and what the Bible. Used to be the man was the head of the house, but that was in Bible days. He isn't no more. He's the puppet, or he's the—or the babysitter or something. And now… No, they want to take care of a dog, practice birth control, and pack a little old dog around in their arms all the time, so you can run around all night.[20]

Today, women is so brassy! Every… Their husband can't even talk. They got to stick right out there, a cigarette in their hand, a pair of shorts on, doing all the talking. How a perverted race of people, she's got to be chief cook and bottle washer, everything else! When she leaves the kitchen, she leaves her place of duty, right, as a mother. Now we find out, women then stayed back and behaved theirself, acted like ladies, their head was the one who did the decisions and things.

And you try to let some man tell his wife; she say, "I'll give you to understand right now!" [Brother Branham blows—Ed.] blowing that smoke out of her mouth, looking such, how the hideous looks. I never seen such! And you can imagine out there, and stand there watch that person, discern that spirit in there, and them things; and maybe singing in a choir in some church. Oh, such a day that we're living! No wonder we're at that day! I—I hope you can catch through the lines what I'm meaning.[21]

When a woman gets from behind the table in the kitchen, in the house, taking care of her own little ministry God give her, her babies, she's out of the will of God. Put her in a pulpit, she's out of the will of God. There's no Scripture for a woman preacher. I want some man to stand and tell me that, look me in the face. There's no such a thing. That, Pentecost is the grassroots of that stuff. Never was! Adam was first formed, and then Eve. Adam was not deceived. But, yet, you do it. And you see where you got yourself? Way out here on a limb, that, you can't come back on now. But there you go. That's it. That's the world. That's what you want. That's what you want. That's what you got. See?"[22]


Footnotes

  1. Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 175–176.
  2. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ga 3:28–29.
  3. Ronald Y. K. Fung, The Epistle to the Galatians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988), 175–176.
  4. Against Apion, 2.201
  5. Scot McKnight, Galatians, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), 201–203.
  6. William Branham, 53-0729 - Questions And Answers On Genesis, para. 96
  7. 51-1003 BELIEVEST.THOU.THIS_ NEW.YORK.NY
  8. 53-0613 GOD'S.PROVIDED.WAY_ CONNERSVILLE.IN
  9. 53-1129A THE.FAITH.THAT.WAS.ONCE.DELIVERED.TO.THE.SAINTS_ WEST.PALM.BEACH.FL
  10. 56-0122 THE.JUNCTION.TIME_ STURGIS.MI
  11. 56-0728 MAKING.THE.VALLEY.FULL.OF.DITCHES_ SHREVEPORT.LA
  12. 58-0324, Hear Ye Him
  13. 58-0529 JESUS.AT.THE.DOOR_ NEW.HAVEN.CT THURSDAY
  14. 62-0714 THE.UNCERTAIN.SOUND_ SPOKANE.WA
  15. 62-0720, A Testimony On The Sea
  16. William Branham, 56-0715 - The Mark Of The Beast, para. 132
  17. William Branham, 58-0928E - The Serpent's Seed
  18. William Branham, 63-0412M - The World Is Falling Apart, para. 211
  19. William Branham, 59-0419A - My Life Story, para. 87
  20. William Branham, 56-0513 - Teaching On Moses, para. 22
  21. William Branham, 62-0706 - Jehovah-Jireh #2, para. 111-113
  22. Branham, 63-0412M - The World Is Falling Apart


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