Christian feminism, a perfect storm of trouble for husbands

In the last few posts, with the help of some female contributions, I have set out some of the problems with modern complementarianism in marriage.

Lexie answers another question.

Some notes on one of Lexie’s points.

A perfect example of a lost woman.

A sketch of an argument for sexual hierarchy.

And I commented on this post on so-called mutual submission.

The reason this whole area is so important is that it impinges on so many people’s lives. Many people still enter Christian marriages, and the happiness and success of such arrangements depends heavily on whether couples are able to reach decisions; and how they do so.

There is a kernel of truth in “mutual submission” and the complementarian idea. But the deeper truth in marriage, it seems to me, is that marriage is a hierarchical relationship, with the man as head.

The reason feminists are so determined to fix the meaning of marriage theology in a feminist direction is because they know this is a crucial cultural battleground. Moreover if they can convince the sex that likes most to follow sound rules (men) that marriage is  – despite scripture and tradition both – really about a man working in aid of his wife’s self-actualisation; then they will have really achieved something.

Tell a man, with his natural tendency to self-sacrifice and rule-following, that marriage is all about serving his lady; and the poor sap will often listen. And if he is a Christian, and you can convince him, against all common sense, that the Bible tells him so; then you really have him in indentured servitude.

I have known slightly two Catholic couples in which this “mutual submission” idea was probably strong. They are both now separated.

In some ways a man is better off simply marrying a naturally submissive woman and leading her to Christianity. Because many earnest Christian women have independently convinced themselves that they should be the most important and central character in a soap opera called married life scripted by God. It might be best for men to avoid that kind of Christian feminist trap.

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21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 16, 2016 at 3:05 am

    There is a lot of good sense in this recent post:

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/marriage-structures/

    I think the point is that husbands choose how they will exercise their headship. Women are simply required to obey. The nature of their relationship can differ from more egalitarian to highly traditional. After all, St Peter in the New Testament gives Sarah, who called her husband Lord, as a possible model. Some women might positively enjoy being so-called doormats.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 16, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Lexie has just pointed this out to me:

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/13/what-women-really-want-is-the-patriarchy/

    It’s not bad but it still contains passages like this:

    “Instead of a man who says he’ll eat at the restaurant of her choice for the fifteenth time that month, she wants a man who cooks a meal she’s never tried before …”

    Really? She wants a “take-charge guy” who will boldly put on an apron … ?

    In fairness this article is written by a woman and women are not known for directness. Perhaps she really implies that he should tell her to cook for him. But of course she cannot be THAT blunt.

    Reply

    • I don’t have a problem with this, but perhaps I know too many men who love to cook. Anyway, chefs are traditionally male and being able to cook is a mark of independence. Most men worth marrying live away from home for some time before they marry, so it’s not a bad measure of their independence. Also, eating out is expensive and trendy, so cooking your date a meal could be a test of whether she’s a fusspot or a snob. And it’s reassuring for a woman to know that your kids won’t starve while you’re hospital having baby #5. I think a man cooking a meal for a woman can be completely manly in many circumstances. That said, I do think the woman should be the predominant cook in a traditional home, based on the man being the main breadwinner.

      Reply

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on April 16, 2016 at 7:18 am

        I have no problem with that. My problem was the bathetic nature of the example.

        I like cooking myself and since I am retired I cook the family dinner most weeknights. I do get my wife to serve it though.

  3. Speaking of Christian feminism, it appears that CAF has further moved into that territory: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1011743 (Stigma associated with virginity dealbreaker). The arguments (rather, ‘arguments’) are generally quite poor on the opposition side (with people like “AdamPeter” being stand-outs). I’ve never understood why they are unable to make a cogent argument, or why they rehash the same debunked arguments, or why they insist on the same fallacies (ad hominems being a favourite). I don’t know what it is, but it feels like a strain of Puritanism.

    (On a side note, the ‘No hymen, no diamond’ group seems to represent a push-back. The secular, feminist response to them sounds a lot like CAF (e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3252018/No-hymen-no-diamond-Male-activist-Facebook-group-mocked-demanding-women-virgins-married.html))

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 24, 2016 at 7:29 am

      The culture war is heating up. A LOT of women, even conservative women, realise that a movement like “no hymen: no diamond” represents a threat to their life plans.

      Personally, it was always a case of “no hymen: no diamond”.

      Reply

    • Posted by Zeta on May 25, 2016 at 11:28 am

      I might drive a car with 200,000 miles on it, but I wouldn’t buy one.

      What these women have completely failed to understand is the dirty little fact that men do have desires of their own. Ignore them at your own peril girl.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Zeta on May 25, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I am a gourmet cook and have taught several women how to cook including my wife. And whenever I want something really good I cook. For as the Indian saying goes “best cooking – own cooking, 2nd best — mother’s cooking; 3rd best cooking — wife’s cooking.” In India the men of the priestly class, Brahmins, are expected to be expert cooks as it is part of the worship procedure, etc.

    I would strongly recommend every independent man to learn how to cook and cook well and to be able to completely take care of his domicile by himself. I have lived alone for 35 years of my life and know how to do everything. I am NOT dependent on a woman for anything. I allow my wife the privilege of serving me, and she knows it is a privilege that I can take away if she upsets me (I wont let her do anything for me if I am upset with her, you should see how she reacts to that). My first wife upset me once too often. When I literally threw her out of the house I told her “I can cook, clean, do the laundry, and completely take care of my own house, what in hell do I need you for? All you do is give me aggravation.” And that was that. I put her on a plane and never saw her again.

    I recall a friend of mine who after he got divorced could not even figure out how to wash his own clothes in a washing machine. It was pathetic.

    If all a woman can provide is sex, well that can be leased out (-:

    However, because I know what it takes to keep my domicile running I appreciate everything my wife does because I have done it and I know what it takes. But she knows I don’t need her to do it as I can do it all myself and most of the time better than she can do it.

    Joke: What did Adam and Eve have the perfect marriage? Eve didn’t have to hear about how good Adam’s mother could cook. And Adam didn’t have to hear about all the other guys that Eve could have married instead. (-:

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      I am semi-retired now and my wife still works part-time. So I do cook the family dinner many nights. I have found cooking to be quite enjoyable. I still do home handyman tasks and I can report that they are harder than cooking.

      When I cook I get my wife to serve the meal. I don’t wait on women.

      As for division of labour, I do vacuum and clean kitchen surfaces but I do not mop or clean bathrooms. Nor have I ever done laundry. I don’t know how to run the washing machine. I do hang laundry out or bring it in sometimes.

      Reply

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

        Boys born in Melbourne, Australia in 1955 were not brought up to keep house!

    • Posted by Jim on May 25, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      “My first wife upset me once too often. When I literally threw her out of the house I told her “I can cook, clean, do the laundry, and completely take care of my own house, what in hell do I need you for? All you do is give me aggravation.” And that was that. I put her on a plane and never saw her again.”

      Slow clap. Good man. Never reset your heel either.

      Reply

      • Posted by Zeta on May 26, 2016 at 12:32 am

        “Never reset your heel either” Got me on that one. What is that supposed to mean? Is that an Aussie expression?

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 26, 2016 at 12:52 am

        Jim will have to explain that one. It’s not an Australian expression. Jim is an American I think.

  5. Posted by Zeta on May 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I’m older than you. (-: But if you live by yourself for 35 years like I did you learn to do everything.

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Naturally. But if I live with a woman she does the laundry.

      Reply

      • Posted by Zeta on May 25, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        Totally right, I don’t do any of the chores, but I know how to do them and am not dependent on a woman.

      • Posted by Zeta on May 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

        My point being that a man should be independent and not dependent on a woman. And that the wife should consider it a blessing to be allowed the privilege of serving her husband and managing his domicile for him, knowing that she needs him but that he doesn’t need her.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 25, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        Oh I understand your point. One typical female threat point is to dump their husbands with the housework should they leave. Women use their household skills to control men as well as to get pleasure from serving us.

        My wife started doing my washing (laundry) before we married. Women like to make themselves useful.

  6. Posted by Zeta on May 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    There is a saying in India “if you pull on the tail of a dog, when you let it go it returns to its original shape.” The following is from the wikipedia entry on gender equality in the kibbutz. It is worth reading because it shows that no matter what social engineers try the genders, in this case females, will go back to their original nature because that is how they were made to function by God. See original article for embedded links.

    Gender equality

    The role of gender equality on the kibbutz is very complex and has gone through cycles since the founding of the first kibbutzim. Since there were many different kibbutzim, women had different experiences at each particular one. Some say that women were and are completely equal to men on the kibbutz while others insist there has always been inequality.

    In the early days of the movement, kibbutzim tended to be male-dominated with significantly more male members. Nevertheless, women performed many of the same tasks as men. Both men and women worked in the fields, performed guard duty, and heavy labor.[25] However, mostly women filled the traditional female roles, such as cooking, sewing, and cleaning.

    In the first couple decades of the kibbutz there was not traditional marriage. If a man and woman wanted to get married, they went to the housing office and requested a room together. Not having traditional marriage was seen as a way to dissolve the patriarchy and give women their own standing without depending on a man (economically or socially) and was also viewed as a positive thing for the community as a whole, as communal life was the main aspect of the kibbutz.

    When the first children were born at the kibbutz, the founders were worried that this would tie the women to domestic service. They thought that the only difference between a man and a woman was that women gave birth and thus were automatically tied to the children and domestic duties. The communal dining and laundry were already a part of the kibbutz from the start. Of course they were implemented for reasons of living communally, but also to emancipate women from these duties so they were free to work in other sectors. With the arrival of the children, it was decided that they would be raised communally and sleep communally to free women to work in other fields. The desire to liberate women from traditional maternal duties was an ideological underpinning of the children’s society system. Women were “emancipated from the yoke of domestic service” in that their children were taken care of, and the laundry and cooking was done communally.

    Interestingly, women born on kibbutzim were much less reluctant to perform traditional female roles. Eventually most women gravitated towards the service sector. The second generation of women who were born on the kibbutz eventually got rid of the children’s houses and the Societies of Children. Most found that although they had a positive experience growing up in the children’s house, wanted their own children at home with them.[23]

    The documentary ‘Full Circle’ summarizes the change in the women’s view of equality on the kibbutz. The original Utopian goal of the founders was complete gender equality. Children lived in the children’s houses. Freed from domestic duties, women participated in the industrial, agricultural and economic sectors alongside men. However, in the 1960s, while the rest of the Western world demanded equality of the sexes and embraced feminism, the second generation of kibbutz born women began to return to more traditional gender roles. They rejected the ideal achieved by their grandparents and returned to domestic duties such as cooking, cleaning and taking care of children. Today, most women do not participate in the economic and industrial sectors of the kibbutz. They even embraced traditional marriage.

    Another example of the change in the original egalitarian nature of the kibbutz is that the founders of the kibbutz did not use the traditional Hebrew word for husband, ba’al (בעל, BAH-al), because the word is otherwise used to mean “master” or “owner” and implies that the wife is submissive to her dominant spouse. The granddaughters of the founders use ba’al for husband to their grandmother’s disgust.[neutrality is disputed] The granddaughters insist the grandparents are too caught up with terminology. The original egalitarian principles of gender equality have been compromised.[23]

    Statistical data proves that the majority of women work in the service and domestic sectors while men work in the production sector. According to data from the 1940s, gender equality existed neither in the domain of work nor in the area of politics in the kibbutzim of the time. For instance, in 1948, in eight kibbutzim of the Ihud, a kibbutz federation with a pragmatic socialist orientation, 78.3 percent of the women worked in services (services for adults, child care, education) as compared with 16.7 percent of the men. That same year, 15.2 percent of the women worked in production as distinct from 58.2 percent of the men. The situation was the same in political life.[31]

    By 1979, only 9 percent of the women were engaged in some type of farming activity. “[In 1979] only 12 percent of the female labor force is permanently assigned to productive branches, compared to 50 percent in 1920.” Females comprise 84 percent of the service workers and the educational workers.

    Also, although there was a “masculinization of women” at one point, there was no corresponding “feminization” of men. Women may have worked the fields, but men did not work in childcare.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz#Gender_equality

    Reply

  7. Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 26, 2016 at 8:02 am

    This may not be quite the place for this, but this is an interesting discussion of the way in which Christian groups colluded with the homosexual movement probably before they started colluding with feminism:

    http://notchesblog.com/2016/05/26/reforming-sodom-protestants-and-the-rise-of-gay-rights/

    Reply

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