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Spinoff: religion and choice - Page 7

post #121 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
That is a beautiful poem, Mahdokht!


Cougarmilk, with all due respect, I have a feeling based on threads that I have read here that some Christian women who cover their heads would disagree with you. I don't doubt that you were told or read somewhere that this is the fact, but remember that religious practices can have different meanings to different people.
I am in close proximity to a large community of Amish and Mennonite. I have discussed the issue with many people in these communities and they cite a verse in Corinthians as their reason for covering. It is a symbol of their submission rather than modesty.

I have a Jewish heritage (among others,) and Jewish women who cover do out of modesty, Muslim women I know cover out of modesty, but the Christians I know cover as a symbol of submission. Generally, these very same women are very modest as well.
post #122 of 243
Quote:
Yes, the spousal relationship can be viewed as similar to the parent-child relationship, but if the basis for the parent's right to coerce the child is the child's inherent (by virtue of being a child) inability to have the capacity to make certain choices for himself, then in order for this to transfer to a spousal relationship, you would have to assert that women, as a class, also have some sort of inability or incapacity for personal decision-making, which men, as a class, do not have.
Precisely. As I understood it from my readings, the patriarchal interpretation of wifely submission is that the man is somehow more "fit" to be the spiritual head.

Again, look at the list of commands, or suggestions, or whatever you want to call them: women are not to teach a man and not to speak in church. The woman submits to the man and the man submits to Jesus (If it was an org chart it would be Jesus at the top, then the husband, then the wife.) If the woman is not somehow less "fit" for spiritual authority, why these commands?

Remember Occam's razor? The simplest answer to that question is that God wants men to be the head because somehow men are more fit for headship (it's their nature, it's how God made them, whatever). It takes a whole lot more effort to come up with an interpretation of those commands that does not include an element of male "fitness" for spiritual authority. I know people do have other interpretations, and that's fine, but I don't think you can throw out the patriarchal interpretation and say it is a perversion of the scripture when it actually fits the scripture and logic very well.

Maybe you can give us your take on it: I know that you consider submission to your husband to be beneficial for you, an expression of unconditional trust and love in your partner. Which I do understand and think it's wonderful for you. But if that is the case, why not mutual submission between husbands and wives?

Quote:
It is presented as a command, but nowhere does it say that the command should be *enforced.* It says "wives, submit yourselves to your husbands," but it doesn't say "husbands, force your wives to submit to you."
In my church they didn't say "we will force you to obey the Bible's commands" but rather "you are not a good Christian if you do not obey the Bible's commands". Now we're back the issue of is that coercion? I took religion very seriously as a youngster, and as far as I could see my only choices were between being a good christian or a bad christian (= lukewarm = being spit out of Jesus' mouth).
post #123 of 243
Quote:
I am in close proximity to a large community of Amish and Mennonite. I have discussed the issue with many people in these communities and they cite a verse in Corinthians as their reason for covering. It is a symbol of their submission rather than modesty.
Right. So you know about how the Amish and the Mennonites who cover view it. That still leaves out a lot of Christian women who cover. I've read threads here of Christian women discussing covering and they were talking about how it is a symbol and reminder of their commitment to God. Husbands or fathers weren't mentioned.
post #124 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
If you are choosing to submit, with the stipulation that there be NO abuse whatsoever, are you really submitting?
I think so. It's a hierarchy of values--you have a commitment to submit to your husband, but you have other duties and commitments that may supersede that. But when they are not in conflict, your commitment to your husband would take precedence.
I am new to this idea of submissiveness. I come from a family where the men were invited to give the their two cents on any household decision but once in a blue moon...so bear with me, eh?

From what you say here it sounds to me like you can decide when to let your husband take the lead and when to tell him to shove off...is that right? So what IS the heirarchy? Is it god, children, husband, yourself? Or do you get to rank higher than your husband?

What I mean is: do you submit when it suits you, in other words when you agree with him anyway, or you when you really couldn't care either way, or do you find yourself often struggling to accept his decisions...in which case I gotta ask: Why would one take Peter's word (it was peter you mentioned, right?) over the rest of the bible that teaches us to listen to the voice of god in your heart?

I know this sounds cheeky...I'm sincerely just trying to wrap my head around it so I hope you don't mind me picking your brain...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I would love it if feminists acknowledged that all women are capable of making their own choices, including the choice to be submissive wives. Unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon. You can be a submissive wife and support women's rights, though.
I guess the nuts and bolts of it, particularly for people struggling with reaching a balance between equal rights for women and submissiveness, lies in the basis of the choice...does it come from listening to your heart and finding peace with your choices, or does it come from fear and apprehension of the unknown? If you feel you fall into the category of the first, then like Madohkt's beautiful poem portrays so well, sod them all. I know a lot of feminists who think I'm a sell out because I wear high-heels, or I have a push-up bra, that I use my femininity to my advantage...but at the end of the day I'd be right there on the picket lines, right there at the sit-ins, and right there with the clip board in my hands at the petition drives to secure and hold on to my rights as a woman in this world, and that's a priority that IMO even god doesn't get to bump, cause I KNOW my maker wouldn't want me to, no matter what an ancient tome of tales professes.

So can you be submissive and support women's rights? I guess that depends on the hierarchy...where does your support for Women's rights lie in the grand scheme of things, above or below your husband's wishes...KWIM?
post #125 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
I agree completely
People make choices for themselves according to where they are in their lives, the knowledge they have, the needs they want to fulfil etc. They should all be allowed to continue to do so, and feel empowered. I am making the choice to speak out against the idea that there is a god up there telling women to submit to their husbands. Women can make the choice to agree with me or not.
Yes, they can. But how is your giving advice against wife submission, which people can choose to accept or reject, different fron a church giving advice in favor of wife submission, which people can choose to accept or reject, but which you're considering to be limiting of choices?
post #126 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougarmilk
I am in close proximity to a large community of Amish and Mennonite. I have discussed the issue with many people in these communities and they cite a verse in Corinthians as their reason for covering. It is a symbol of their submission rather than modesty.

I have a Jewish heritage (among others,) and Jewish women who cover do out of modesty, Muslim women I know cover out of modesty, but the Christians I know cover as a symbol of submission. Generally, these very same women are very modest as well.
It's generally considered a sign of submission to God, not submission to a man. I've never heard it described in the context of submission to a man.
post #127 of 243
Quote:
Yes, they can. But how is your giving advice against wife submission, which people can choose to accept or reject, different fron a church giving advice in favor of wife submission, which people can choose to accept or reject, but which you're considering to be limiting of choices?
I thought we'd already covered this one. It's different in that when mamajama gives advice it's just one human being to another; when the church gives advice it is often(certainly in my experience) portrayed as God's Will For Your Life Look It Says So Right Here In The Bible Which Is God's Infallible Word. Quite simply, it packs more punch.
post #128 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
Precisely. As I understood it from my readings, the patriarchal interpretation of wifely submission is that the man is somehow more "fit" to be the spiritual head.

Again, look at the list of commands, or suggestions, or whatever you want to call them: women are not to teach a man and not to speak in church. The woman submits to the man and the man submits to Jesus (If it was an org chart it would be Jesus at the top, then the husband, then the wife.) If the woman is not somehow less "fit" for spiritual authority, why these commands?

Remember Occam's razor? The simplest answer to that question is that God wants men to be the head because somehow men are more fit for headship (it's their nature, it's how God made them, whatever). It takes a whole lot more effort to come up with an interpretation of those commands that does not include an element of male "fitness" for spiritual authority. I know people do have other interpretations, and that's fine, but I don't think you can throw out the patriarchal interpretation and say it is a perversion of the scripture when it actually fits the scripture and logic very well.

Maybe you can give us your take on it: I know that you consider submission to your husband to be beneficial for you, an expression of unconditional trust and love in your partner. Which I do understand and think it's wonderful for you. But if that is the case, why not mutual submission between husbands and wives?
The case could be made, but you would have to ask (or I would anyway ) why? What is it that is supposedly inherent in femininity that would prohibit us from making decisions? In the case of children, we know that underage brains are not fully formed and that children generally lack the life experience needed to make sound choices. So what do women lack? In former times it was believed that if a woman thought too hard, her brain would draw blood away from her uterus and make her infertile. But obviously today we know that that is not the case. So what would be the reasoning behind the idea of women's inherently inferior decision-making?

From a theological standpoint, if both men and women are created in the image of God, then logically one should not have greater capacity than the other, right? And the Bible doesn't contradict this, for example, the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31 is a smart businesswoman and a wise speaker. There are other examples too but I can't think of them right now.

As I understand it, the prohibition on women being church leaders is because women go through cycles of ritual impurity during which she wouldn't go into the church anyway. Not anything to do with spiritual inferiority.

We do practice mutual submission, but sometimes there needs to be a final decision-maker when mutual submission and consensus don't work out. As to why the final decision-maker should be the man and not the woman, I'm not really sure. It's not explained scripturally so I think we're supposed to figure it out for ourselves. Personally, I think it's fair that each sex has a privilege--women's privilege is pregnancy and nursing, an men's privilege is being the head of the household. And for myself, you couldn't pay me enough to switch! And of course, the privileges also come with responsibilities. Maybe it would be unfair to the woman to put the responsibility of pregnancy *and* of being in charge of a household all on her? I don't know. I don't think it has anything to do with spiritual inferiority though.

Quote:
In my church they didn't say "we will force you to obey the Bible's commands" but rather "you are not a good Christian if you do not obey the Bible's commands". Now we're back the issue of is that coercion? I took religion very seriously as a youngster, and as far as I could see my only choices were between being a good christian or a bad christian (= lukewarm = being spit out of Jesus' mouth).
Maybe it just gets back to a fundamental theological difference, because I was taught that all of the Biblical commands were for the benefit of humans--it's not that it matters so much to God how we live our lives, but that God knows how humans work best and gives advice via scripture accordingly. Not that you were a bad Christian for not following the commands, but that you were making it harder on yourself.
post #129 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
I thought we'd already covered this one. It's different in that when mamajama gives advice it's just one human being to another; when the church gives advice it is often(certainly in my experience) portrayed as God's Will For Your Life Look It Says So Right Here In The Bible Which Is God's Infallible Word. Quite simply, it packs more punch.
I'm sure it can, but I think This Is the Way to Be Liberated, And Anyone Living Differently Is Oppressed can pack a lot of punch, too.
post #130 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber
I am new to this idea of submissiveness. I come from a family where the men were invited to give the their two cents on any household decision but once in a blue moon...so bear with me, eh?

From what you say here it sounds to me like you can decide when to let your husband take the lead and when to tell him to shove off...is that right? So what IS the heirarchy? Is it god, children, husband, yourself? Or do you get to rank higher than your husband?

What I mean is: do you submit when it suits you, in other words when you agree with him anyway, or you when you really couldn't care either way, or do you find yourself often struggling to accept his decisions...in which case I gotta ask: Why would one take Peter's word (it was peter you mentioned, right?) over the rest of the bible that teaches us to listen to the voice of god in your heart?

I know this sounds cheeky...I'm sincerely just trying to wrap my head around it so I hope you don't mind me picking your brain...
Well, from a Christian standpoint, every person's first obligation is to God. So if my dh wanted me to do something that I understood to be immoral, I would not be obligated to submit to that. And I think that where underage children are involved, an adult's obligation to those children supersedes her obligation to another adult, for various reasons. But after that, yes I would put my dh before myself, because I believe that a marriage requires that kind of commitment.

Usually we try to find a mutually agreeable solution, but if that doesn't work, I do try to submit to whatever dh decides even if it's different from what I would have decided. I'm not very good at it, but I do make an effort.

Quote:
I guess the nuts and bolts of it, particularly for people struggling with reaching a balance between equal rights for women and submissiveness, lies in the basis of the choice...does it come from listening to your heart and finding peace with your choices, or does it come from fear and apprehension of the unknown? If you feel you fall into the category of the first, then like Madohkt's beautiful poem portrays so well, sod them all. I know a lot of feminists who think I'm a sell out because I wear high-heels, or I have a push-up bra, that I use my femininity to my advantage...but at the end of the day I'd be right there on the picket lines, right there at the sit-ins, and right there with the clip board in my hands at the petition drives to secure and hold on to my rights as a woman in this world, and that's a priority that IMO even god doesn't get to bump, cause I KNOW my maker wouldn't want me to, no matter what an ancient tome of tales professes.

So can you be submissive and support women's rights? I guess that depends on the hierarchy...where does your support for Women's rights lie in the grand scheme of things, above or below your husband's wishes...KWIM?
Well, in my case it isn't an issue because dh also supports women's rights. And I think you can absolutely support women's rights without agreeing with feminist ideology. I sign petitions and go to rallies and do voter registration drives for our rights, especially medical freedom which is my pet cause. I think it's a huge misconception that those of us who live a certain way don't support others' rights to live differently if they so choose.
post #131 of 243
Quote:
So what would be the reasoning behind the idea of women's inherently inferior decision-making?
Well, exactly. But when you and your husband can't come to a mutally agreeable solution, he gets the final say. Why?If neither man nor woman are inherently inferior in making decisions, doesn't it follow that the person with more knowledge in the matter should get the final say?

This is one of the problems of wife submission: in our day and age, few people would want to make the case that women are inferior at making decisions. But without that assumption, wife submission as the "way that works best" for all people just doesn't make sense. (Note I didn't say, the way that works best for some people, because I do believe it can be the best way for some people; but NOT for *all* people.) I remember a thread a while back about this and after several pages of discussion none of the submissive wives could come up with a solid (non-biblical) reason for the command. Even your best guess - that the woman's privelege is childbearing and the man's privelege is being the head of the household - certainly doesn't apply to *all* people, as there are couples who choose not to or are unable to have children. So is submission still the best model for the woman in that case?

It's odd when you think about it. The vast majority of God's commands line up with our common sense: Do not steal because that is hurting others. Do not envy because that is hurting ourselves. Do not be a stumbling block to others because that is hurting the cohesiveness of the community. Etc etc. But when it comes to wife submission, no one can explain it outside of the fact that it is commanded in the Bible so it must be best.

I would submit to you (no pun intended ) that the reason why no one can explain it is because it is based on the patriarchal idea that men are superior at making spiritual decisions. It would have made perfect sense back in Paul's time.

Quote:
As I understand it, the prohibition on women being church leaders is because women go through cycles of ritual impurity during which she wouldn't go into the church anyway. Not anything to do with spiritual inferiority.
I question this. Paul was preaching to the Gentiles, not the Jews. Why would they be following Jewish rules of ritual purity? And even if you are right, why is it still being followed in many churches today? I can't think of a single christian church that follows laws of ritual impurity, but most churches are leery of women pastors.
post #132 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I'm sure it can, but I think This Is the Way to Be Liberated, And Anyone Living Differently Is Oppressed can pack a lot of punch, too.
Only if it is coming from an authority figure who you respect. I know that back in my christian days the opinion of my pastor mattered a heck of a lot more to me than the opinion of a feminist.
post #133 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I'm sure it can, but I think This Is the Way to Be Liberated, And Anyone Living Differently Is Oppressed can pack a lot of punch, too.
Brigianna, it saddens me slightly to think after all this discussion and time we've put into carefully wording our posts, that this is how you have paraphrased my stance.

As I said I know many people in Dom/sub relationships and I don't see them as oppressed. Under the umbrella of that particular lifestyle, there is no gender specification dictating who must always be submissive. Indvidual couples decide for themselves--many switch roles, experiment with power dynamics etc. The problem I have is with the implied threat and manipulation involved with christian female submission. Upon the shoulders of the women lies the weight of the church dictating that she must submit her will in order to be satisfying the requirements of a christian woman. I was raised long enough in the church to know that it is not simplistic or overly dramatic to say that behind every commandment, rule, suggestion or guideline put forth by the men in cloth, there lies the threat of eternal damnation. I am not packing that kind of heat behind my opinions. I know that people can live their entire lives in relative happiness believing that they are less worthy, less spiritually strong, less than their partners. They will die beleiving they lived right. That's cool. They're not going to the Hell of Mamajama for believeing that.

See, the thing is, there is a certain logic to submission. The relationship will be smoother and more peaceful if one person submits their will to the other as a general rule. Of course it will be! I have heard women say, "once I submitted, our marriage improved, we fought less, my husband was happier with me and therefor I was happier". That's great but why is the happiness of the woman dependant on how much she submits? Why must she put aside her god-given talent and potential?

Then there are the folks that say that happiness is overrated (!). That basically striving to be happy in this life is a secular pursute and that this life is but a platform of sacrifice in order to reach God's side. To them I say "Well what about the men then?" If the woman gets to suffer and sacrifice for her man, where is his chance to do so? Where is his chance to be humble? Working a job in order to financially support a household is not that tough if every detail of the household is being taken care of. I know this from experience as a single parent. If I had someone to cook, clean and look after my kids I'd be *stoked*!

In short, I do think that a woman is being oppressed within the christian religion if her interpretation of the bible tells her that she must submit her will to a man in order to please God (the opposite of pleasing God is making him angry which, if I remember correctly from years of sunday school, you do *not* want to do). I am not saying that my way is The Way to be Liberated. I'm not *that* empowered . But I know through experience and study that many women are blatantly subjugated by certain powerful members of the christian faith and that interpretation oppresses them and makes no logical or theological sense.
post #134 of 243
This is all philisophical anyway because I find that in actually engaging with the sub. wives on this board, it seems that they actually have far more egalitarian relationships with their spouse than the average Fundamentalist Christian Submissive Wife would have. (I try not to let that affect my emotions because I am often tempted to let them have it for supporting something potentially really dangerous by proprting to be doing it themslelves, when they're actually not doing it themselves. It seems really irresponsible to me personally.) Those who seem to have the more strictly submissive relationships seem to really shy away from these discussions and/or seem sorely undeducated on the subject beyond a few quotes from their bible. And I can bet that most women in purely Fundamentalist Sub. Wives relationships in the strictest sense would have neither the leisure nor the permission to engage in a venue such as this. The whole "planting seeds" thing and all.
post #135 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
They're not going to the Hell of Mamajama for believeing that.
So then, what CAN one do to go the Hell of Mamajama, because it sounds like a really cool place!

I bet they play disco.
post #136 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
Well, exactly. But when you and your husband can't come to a mutally agreeable solution, he gets the final say. Why?If neither man nor woman are inherently inferior in making decisions, doesn't it follow that the person with more knowledge in the matter should get the final say?
But what about when both people have equal knowledge? And it's an either/or issue that can't be compromised halfway? That's why I think it's better to have a designated final-decision-maker. It can also be more efficient. You know the saying about a camel being a horse designed by a committee? Sometimes it's just better to have a leader, especially in a large family I think.

Quote:
This is one of the problems of wife submission: in our day and age, few people would want to make the case that women are inferior at making decisions. But without that assumption, wife submission as the "way that works best" for all people just doesn't make sense. (Note I didn't say, the way that works best for some people, because I do believe it can be the best way for some people; but NOT for *all* people.) I remember a thread a while back about this and after several pages of discussion none of the submissive wives could come up with a solid (non-biblical) reason for the command. Even your best guess - that the woman's privelege is childbearing and the man's privelege is being the head of the household - certainly doesn't apply to *all* people, as there are couples who choose not to or are unable to have children. So is submission still the best model for the woman in that case?
I think so--the ability to bear children is still a woman's natural state, even if a medical condition prevents her from doing so. And if she chooses not to have children, she's choosing not to excercize her privilege (as is her right of course). But she would of course have to make that determination for herself.

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It's odd when you think about it. The vast majority of God's commands line up with our common sense: Do not steal because that is hurting others. Do not envy because that is hurting ourselves. Do not be a stumbling block to others because that is hurting the cohesiveness of the community. Etc etc. But when it comes to wife submission, no one can explain it outside of the fact that it is commanded in the Bible so it must be best.
Some of them line up with common sense, but "common sense" is largely influenced by culture. But if you believe that the Bible is divinely inspired, then that really is reason enough, although you can speculate about why that might be.

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I would submit to you (no pun intended ) that the reason why no one can explain it is because it is based on the patriarchal idea that men are superior at making spiritual decisions. It would have made perfect sense back in Paul's time.
It could be, but what about the other verses that go against that idea, asserting spiritual equality, i.e. "we are all one in Christ"?

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I question this. Paul was preaching to the Gentiles, not the Jews. Why would they be following Jewish rules of ritual purity? And even if you are right, why is it still being followed in many churches today? I can't think of a single christian church that follows laws of ritual impurity, but most churches are leery of women pastors.
Almost all Christians followed the laws of ritual purity through the Middle Ages and later. Some still do. But they certainly would have during Paul's time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
Only if it is coming from an authority figure who you respect. I know that back in my christian days the opinion of my pastor mattered a heck of a lot more to me than the opinion of a feminist.
True, I guess it depends on the individual. I know that personally I don't really care if someone says that I'm immoral or sinful or some such, but I get very offended (unreasonably no doubt) at the suggestion that I'm somehow un-liberated. But I understand that with other people it would be different. I don't think that one is *inherently* more forceful, though, because it depends on individual sensitivity.
post #137 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
But what about when both people have equal knowledge? And it's an either/or issue that can't be compromised halfway? That's why I think it's better to have a designated final-decision-maker. It can also be more efficient. You know the saying about a camel being a horse designed by a committee? Sometimes it's just better to have a leader, especially in a large family I think.
Sure this makes sense in some cases. But why the dictate that the female must take the submisive role. That aspect goes from logic to oppression.
post #138 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
Brigianna, it saddens me slightly to think after all this discussion and time we've put into carefully wording our posts, that this is how you have paraphrased my stance.
Okay, I'm sorry for mischaracterizing your views. But there *are* people who feel that way (which they are entitled to) and some of them do hold sway over public policy (which scares me). I hope you understand that many of us are acting in *reaction* to what we see as very real threats on our rights.

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As I said I know many people in Dom/sub relationships and I don't see them as oppressed. Under the umbrella of that particular lifestyle, there is no gender specification dictating who must always be submissive. Indvidual couples decide for themselves--many switch roles, experiment with power dynamics etc. The problem I have is with the implied threat and manipulation involved with christian female submission. Upon the shoulders of the women lies the weight of the church dictating that she must submit her will in order to be satisfying the requirements of a christian woman. I was raised long enough in the church to know that it is not simplistic or overly dramatic to say that behind every commandment, rule, suggestion or guideline put forth by the men in cloth, there lies the threat of eternal damnation.
What if two men in cloth disagree? They can't both be right (well, maybe they can, but not for our limited earthly purposes). And if one cleric says that it is necessary for a woman to submit to her husband, and another says that it isn't, isn't it, at best, a toss up as to whom you're going to believe? That's one of the things I don't get about the religious-teaching-as-coercion theory--when there are so many different churches and clerics and viewpoints out there, there's no monopoly in the theological marketplace of ideas, so I don't see how one cleric or church or viewpoint can hold that much influence.

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I am not packing that kind of heat behind my opinions. I know that people can live their entire lives in relative happiness believing that they are less worthy, less spiritually strong, less than their partners. They will die beleiving they lived right. That's cool. They're not going to the Hell of Mamajama for believeing that.
Okay, but *why* would you assume that a submissive wife believes that she's less than her partner? I'm not less than my dh. None of the submissive wives I know personally think of themselves as less than their spouses. I don't doubt that there are some who do, but it's hardly a fair generalization of all submissive wives.

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See, the thing is, there is a certain logic to submission. The relationship will be smoother and more peaceful if one person submits their will to the other as a general rule. Of course it will be! I have heard women say, "once I submitted, our marriage improved, we fought less, my husband was happier with me and therefor I was happier". That's great but why is the happiness of the woman dependant on how much she submits? Why must she put aside her god-given talent and potential?
Who says she has to put aside her God-given talent and potential? She's just using her talent and potential with the family as a whole in mind rather than using it exclusively for herself (not to say that mainstream wives use their talent and potential exclusively for themselves, but I'm talking about a difference of mentality).

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Then there are the folks that say that happiness is overrated (!). That basically striving to be happy in this life is a secular pursute and that this life is but a platform of sacrifice in order to reach God's side. To them I say "Well what about the men then?" If the woman gets to suffer and sacrifice for her man, where is his chance to do so? Where is his chance to be humble? Working a job in order to financially support a household is not that tough if every detail of the household is being taken care of. I know this from experience as a single parent. If I had someone to cook, clean and look after my kids I'd be *stoked*!
I think a lot of woh spouses of sah parents would disagree with you that it's not that difficult, but in any case, leading the household is also a sacrifice, because he has to make decisions that are best for everybody rather than necessarily best for him. If men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church--remember (in our beliefs) Christ died for the church. So a man should be willing to make any sacrifice, literally including death, for his family.

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In short, I do think that a woman is being oppressed within the christian religion if her interpretation of the bible tells her that she must submit her will to a man in order to please God (the opposite of pleasing God is making him angry which, if I remember correctly from years of sunday school, you do *not* want to do). I am not saying that my way is The Way to be Liberated. I'm not *that* empowered . But I know through experience and study that many women are blatantly subjugated by certain powerful members of the christian faith and that interpretation oppresses them and makes no logical or theological sense.
Well, that gets back to the idea of whether an "interpretation" can oppress anybody, if people have a choice as to their religious beliefs and their degree of observance, but of course if you don't think that they do, than it certainly would be oppressive, as would any doctrine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
This is all philisophical anyway because I find that in actually engaging with the sub. wives on this board, it seems that they actually have far more egalitarian relationships with their spouse than the average Fundamentalist Christian Submissive Wife would have. (I try not to let that affect my emotions because I am often tempted to let them have it for supporting something potentially really dangerous by proprting to be doing it themslelves, when they're actually not doing it themselves. It seems really irresponsible to me personally.)
Oddly enough this is how I feel about those who call themselves feminists but say "feminism is about choice." : It may be about choice *to you* but to a lot of people it's about a high degree of paternalism (maternalism?), and IMO you should clarify which kind you're talking about before you claim the label.

Quote:
Those who seem to have the more strictly submissive relationships seem to really shy away from these discussions and/or seem sorely undeducated on the subject beyond a few quotes from their bible. And I can bet that most women in purely Fundamentalist Sub. Wives relationships in the strictest sense would have neither the leisure nor the permission to engage in a venue such as this. The whole "planting seeds" thing and all.
I don't think so; I've met several submissive wives over the internet including on mulitifaith sites. But I know there are some who don't believe in much interaction with outsiders.
post #139 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
Sure this makes sense in some cases. But why the dictate that the female must take the submisive role. That aspect goes from logic to oppression.
I don't think it's oppression either way unless it's forced, but in any case, there's no reason given; it's open to interpretation. I thought it might be an issue of equal privileges (the woman getting to bear children and the man getting to head the household), but that's just a guess, not a reason.
post #140 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I don't think it's oppression either way unless it's forced, but in any case, there's no reason given; it's open to interpretation. I thought it might be an issue of equal privileges (the woman getting to bear children and the man getting to head the household), but that's just a guess, not a reason.
I have really really enjoyed reading this conversation.....you have all articulated yourselves so well. I have wanted to join in but haven't had the time.

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this one though...given the status of women in the 1st century is is really at all likely that what was really meant was that childbearing was a "privilege" of women and thus men get to have another "equal" privilege like being the head of household??? I am scratching my head at that one. I believe the "only" interpretation can be a patriarchal view of women's spiritual inferiority. (I mean seriously, women had very little "rights" to speak of at the time)

I think the essence of the question is not the issue of forced/not forced but why is it that the "interpretation" (from the beginning) is that men should be the "head of household"?? What is it about men that makes them the logical "head of household"? When someone can give me a logical answer to that question I will feel truly enlightened
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