A controversial clip from a Maltese Christian TV programme urging wives not to refuse their husbands sex was taken grossly out of context, the show’s host has argued.
“The whole idea of the programme was to speak about what the Bible teaches about healthy marriages, which should include sex,” evangelical Pastor Jide Jetson told Lovin Malta. “Of course, sex has to be consensual and the chemistry must be there…we’re not saying husbands should rape their wives or that women should be sex slaves, only that couples should enjoy each other.”
The episode of Overcomers’ Voice, a Christian programme presented by the evangelical Destiny International Christian Assembly in Gzira, was aired on FLiving last July but went viral on Facebook last week and prompted over a thousand women to file a complaint to the Broadcasting Authority.
Pastor Jide Jetson and his co-host Pauline Attard Abela
Jetson’s co-host Pauline Attard Abela sparked outrage when she said this at the end of the show: “Jesus doesn’t like it when people have sex outside of marriage, which is why it is so ugly to see married people commit adultery and why it is so important for husbands and wives to seek each other… I must here re-emphasise how important it is for women not to refuse their husbands [sex], so as to prevent them from looking at other women. Unfortunately, men need [sex] more than women do, but women must be there for their husbands so as to preserve the purity in their relationships.”
However, Jetson insists his co-host was not advocating sexual violence.
“We’re not saying wives should give in to their husbands’ sexual advances all the time or when they’re not in the mood for it, only that sex should not not be denied all the time.”
In the same show the pastor also said men have the right to help their wives find clothes which suit their body type. However, he told Lovin Malta this too was taken out of context to make it seem he believes husbands should dictate to their wives what clothes to wear.
“If your wife or girlfriend tells you to go shopping with her, will you say no? If she asks you whether an outfit suits her, will you tell her? We’re not saying men should choose outfits for their wives, but that clothes shopping is a type of bonding for a healthy and happy relationship.”
The pastor also said men and women have different sexual priorities – husbands want their wives to respect them, while wives want their husbands to love them.
The Women for Women Facebook group, after obtaining over 1000 signatures in two days, has reported the clip to the Broadcasting Authority, on grounds it breaches laws on gender equality and women’s rights.
“While we obviously uphold the right for anyone to produce a religious programme and believe in the freedom of expression of one’s religious worship, when it comes to transmitting such messages, this goes diametrically opposite to the laws on gender equality and woman’s rights which are stipulated in Malta,” Women for Women said in their complaint.