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Spinoff: religion and choice - Page 9

post #161 of 243
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
That is a completely different case.
A completely different case from what? Your personal situation? Other religious groups that support wife submission? I think it's just a matter of degree.

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Those women were forced into marriage when they were too young to give meaningful consent and violently abused if they resisted.
And so? Those are tools of dominance and control. Many children are forced to do/witness unpleasant things in the name of religion. Spiritually/emotionally /psychologically harmful things. Being told Satan is always looking over your shoulder tempting you into hell is quite a burden to bear.

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Although I have met members of closed communities who sincerely believed that people in the mainstream world were "brainwashed" by advertising and consumerism and hyperindividualism. According to them, those of us on the outside don't even know we have a choice to do otherwise than acquire stuff, consume, seek to improve our status, and look out exclusively for ourselves. Of course these were all converts.
So, you do realize some people do believe in "brainwashing" on both ends of the spectrum. Yet, you seem afraid that if you even admit to yourself it exists, your freedoms will be taken away and you will be locked up somehow.

You seem to be saying, wifely submission is not an abusive state, and yet, if it is seen as abusive by "them" (PTB as in a science ficition novel) you (and others like you) will be institutionalized and abused.

I can see why this would feel scary. Choosing to submit is one thing. Being forced to submit is something else. You feel a fear that choosing to submit to your husband could lead to being forced to do it, harder, and less pleasantly, in a jail-like situation.
post #162 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
But would that be true of any other lifestyle? If the point is freedom of choice, people making different choices should not be an issue. By that token, anything anyone chooses to do could be used as an argument to force people to make the same choice.
Well lets see an example...Vegetarians choose not to eat meat. SOME people would like to ban the ability for people to eat meat...not all, but enough that they get their picture in the papers from time to time. They would like to ban fur trade, and other cruelty to animals...So, It is TRUE the choices of the vegetarians COULD be made fodder for the pundits who wish to change these laws and ban meat sales, industrial farming of animals etc., but they are NOT in a position where this is likely to happen. They do NOT have the power to change these laws, so no matter how many people choose to stop eating meat, the PTB will be unable to effect this change because the vegetarian animal rights acitivsts are the minority and it is a relatively NEW battle.

Lets try another example. Many people choose to ignore their homosexual feelings and CHOOSE to be "straight". They may not even want to deny other their right to be openly gay, but they DO give fodder to the activists who want to deny others the right to be openly homosexual, because they "prove" their point that gay people can be perfectly happy living a "normal life". With gay marriage stil not recognized in many states, I've got to ask, whose rights are in danger, those nestled happily deep inside the closet, or those trying to claw their way out?

You see it's a slippery slope. You may be free to choose it, but by choosing it you DO inherently condone those who would like to make it a forced issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
You seem to assume that thinking for oneself is a privilege of the educated classes. I don't think it is; it's a natural human ability. Even my 3 yr old can think for himself independently of what he's taught, sometimes flatly refusing to take my word for things (like "the stove is hot") and insisting on testing it himself. Of course not all people have the opportunity--for legal reasons, economic reasons, personal reasons--to do what they might otherwise choose to do, and that should not be dismissed. We should always fight for their rights. But I don't agree that lack of formal education or resources prevents people from thinking or questioning--oppression limits people's actions, not their thoughts.
Oppression is best achieved through keeping the peple ignorant. People may be able to think for themselves, but when everytime the child touches the stove their parents press their hand against the stove door until the skin burns, or everytime they THINK about defying the PTB in their lives they get held down and tortured, eventually they stop thinking for themselves.

It is very easy for you to say that a formal education and resources are of no real value...you HAVE those things, don't you? Ever been to a really impoverished place? The people who question the rules and norms are few and far between, because questioning could mean excommunication, or worse, eternal damnation. Meanwhile accepting leads to eternal paradise. They do not have the options in front of them to compare.

Freedom of thought and free will may be a god given right, but man has done his damnedest to strip the masses of it.

Look at places where a militray regime is in control, or where the government rules with an Iron Fist...Look at North Korea, China, or even Argentina in the middle of it's military regime...the people here, almost twenty years later are STILL terrified of walking down the street and being kidnapped and interogated for no particular reason...and maybe disappeared. Some people in these countries may rebel, risk imprisonment and stand uo for their beliefs, but they are NOT the average case.

Oppression and ignorance go hand in hand; you cannot have one without the other.
post #163 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
Brigianna, you seem to be so interested in picking apart my analogy that you are missing my point; missing the forest for the trees, so to speak. OK, so let's address your latest comment: in the case of a disabled child who will never be mature enough to be responsible for themselves, is that child somehow not "one in Christ" with the rest of us? Of course not. Intrinsic value and being "one in Christ" are not dependent on being able to make independent decisions. So your comments do not invalidate my argument that the patriarchal worldview is consistent with scripture and with considering all people "one in Christ". It cannot be considered a "perversion".


I just can't get your reasoning.
A) Women are barred from any position of authority over men in the church (and in other scriptures, in the marriage relationship i.e. in the home, so we've now covered the two venues where spiritual authority is most often exercised)
B) But the people who wrote those commands really think that women are just as well-suited for spiritual authority as men are. :

If women were just as fit for spiritual authority, why are they barred from church leadership? The two reasons given reinforce the idea that men are superior spiritually: they were created first, and Eve was the one who fell into disobedience. Nothing in there about purity rituals related to the woman's menstrual cycle.

Even your guess about the respective male and female privelges doesn't make logical sense. The reason why women are priveleged with bearing children is because our bodies are suited for it while men's bodies are not. We "fit" better with childbearing than men do. So why would the Bible command men to be the spiritual authority if they were not somehow better suited for it? Was it just the bone God threw to the men so they wouldn't feel too badly about not being able to bear children?
Well, the verse from Timothy specifically stated that women would be saved through childbearing, as opposed to church leadership. So maybe women are supposed to focus on childbearing rather than church leadership... it's kind of ambiguous. But there are other verses that reference deaconesses and women in other authority positions, so it clearly wasn't universally condemned.

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I certainly agree with you about this. Every movement has its extremists and in my opinion the extreme is almost always wrong.

But here's the thing: the examples you gave to support your fear of having your choice taken away from you are all things that either haven't happened (porn and breast implants have not been outlawed, and I'm scratching my head about what medical procedure has been outlawed that you can't mention; the obvious one is abortion of course, but it is generally the conservative Christians that are trying to outlaw that) or have rarely happened and are generally condemned (kidnapping children in 1953, doctors forcing medical procedures on people).
True, but there is also no law requiring women to submit to their husbands, and yet people are concerned about the prospect of it. I do think that *for Americans* the prospect of submissive wives being restricted or discriminated against is more likely than the prospect of women being forced by law to be submissive wives, given that there are many more people who are against wife submission than people who support or practice it (of course that assumes some semblance of democracy and fair elections, which may not be the case later on). And laws proposed under the guise of protecting people from themselves tend to have bipartisan support (think drug laws, prostitution laws, mandatory safety laws). I'm not saying it's looming on the horizon or anything, but I think it's worth questioning.

And the anti-choice left and the anti-choice right use almost identical rhetoric--lots of discussion of "society" and "cultural norms" and "the system," very little mention of personal freedom or personal responsibility.

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Kidnapping people out of cults is a whole thread in itself, because there IS such a thing as brainwashing but to define it and try to determine whether the people kidnapped were truly brainwashed would take this thread way OT.
That's exactly what I'm disputing--the evidence for the idea of "brainwashing" is highly disputed, so whether such a phenomenon even exists is dubious, and the arbitrariness is compounded by trying to establish who is making a free choice and who is "brainwashed." People who do this may be well-intentioned, but they're taking away people's rights and slandering people based on arbitrary pseudo-science.

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But while there may be trends which might someday possibly under the right conditions maybe develop into a movement that might possibly take away your choice (although probably not as the US has shown itself to be pretty resistant in protecting lifestyle freedoms from both the left and the right), there are trends on the side of forcing women into submission (to which the whole submissive wife philosophy contributes, whether intentionally or not) that are right now right this minute actually DOING it. So I don't understand how you can scrutinize the extremists on the feminist side and what may possibly someday come from their efforts, while essentially denying that your philosophy and lifestyle is being used right now by the extremists on the female-submission side to restrict women's rights.
Anytime anyone makes a certain choice or adopts a certain lifestyle, that could be used to attempt to force others to make the same choice. I do understand that the fact that women choose to be submissive wives can be used by people who want to impose it, but the same is true of any choice. I don't think there should be a double standard with submissive wives.

And I don't think the submissive wife philosophy itself contributes to restricting people's rights; we're not saying "every woman really wants to be a submissive wife whether she admits it or not," which *would* be an argument for restriction of rights, in the same way as many feminists' assertion that every woman wants to be "liberated" whether she admits it or realizes it or not.

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I'm not saying that the fact that others impose the lifestyle on women is a reason you shouldn't practice it; but an indication that you are aware it IS a problem and IS a motivating factor behind those of us who are leery of the submissive wife philosophy would be nice. So far you have consistently insisted that it is a lifestyle choice for you alone and has no social consequences whatsoever. No wonder you don't understand us .
I'm aware that the theocratic movement is a problem, and I do try to work against that. I know there's this trend of theocracy and authoritarianism all over the world, and I try to be aware of it and inform people of what's going on. So I can certainly understand why people who associate wife submission with that movement would be leery of it. My only point is that I believe the association between wife submission and the theocratic movements is an unfair one. Wife submission by itself has nothing to do with theocracy and really is a personal lifestyle choice without social consequences. It is theocracy that is the problem, not wife submission.
post #164 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
A completely different case from what? Your personal situation? Other religious groups that support wife submission? I think it's just a matter of degree.
Underage girls being forced into marriage is a completely different case from adult women choosing to live a certain way, even if the adult women are under social pressure from the church.

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And so? Those are tools of dominance and control. Many children are forced to do/witness unpleasant things in the name of religion. Spiritually/emotionally /psychologically harmful things. Being told Satan is always looking over your shoulder tempting you into hell is quite a burden to bear.
Is it? I guess it could be. It's really just a reminder to resist temptation, but sometimes it's easier for kids to understand an active and anthropomorphic Satan rather than a negative force or what have you. Although I can see how some kids could be scared by it.

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So, you do realize some people do believe in "brainwashing" on both ends of the spectrum. Yet, you seem afraid that if you even admit to yourself it exists, your freedoms will be taken away and you will be locked up somehow.

You seem to be saying, wifely submission is not an abusive state, and yet, if it is seen as abusive by "them" (PTB as in a science ficition novel) you (and others like you) will be institutionalized and abused.

I can see why this would feel scary. Choosing to submit is one thing. Being forced to submit is something else. You feel a fear that choosing to submit to your husband could lead to being forced to do it, harder, and less pleasantly, in a jail-like situation.
Yes, exactly, and it isn't as outlandish as you're trying to make it sound. I have lost a volunteer job for allegedly being brainwashed; I know there's a big difference between job discrimination and losing your rights, but it starts somewhere, doesn't it? All I'm trying to do is encourage people to question the implications of this ideology.
post #165 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber
Well lets see an example...Vegetarians choose not to eat meat. SOME people would like to ban the ability for people to eat meat...not all, but enough that they get their picture in the papers from time to time. They would like to ban fur trade, and other cruelty to animals...So, It is TRUE the choices of the vegetarians COULD be made fodder for the pundits who wish to change these laws and ban meat sales, industrial farming of animals etc., but they are NOT in a position where this is likely to happen. They do NOT have the power to change these laws, so no matter how many people choose to stop eating meat, the PTB will be unable to effect this change because the vegetarian animal rights acitivsts are the minority and it is a relatively NEW battle.

Lets try another example. Many people choose to ignore their homosexual feelings and CHOOSE to be "straight". They may not even want to deny other their right to be openly gay, but they DO give fodder to the activists who want to deny others the right to be openly homosexual, because they "prove" their point that gay people can be perfectly happy living a "normal life". With gay marriage stil not recognized in many states, I've got to ask, whose rights are in danger, those nestled happily deep inside the closet, or those trying to claw their way out?

You see it's a slippery slope. You may be free to choose it, but by choosing it you DO inherently condone those who would like to make it a forced issue.
So is it an obligation of vegetarians to emphasize that they support others' right to eat meat, or of people who choose not to act on their sexual desires to emphasize that they support others' right to do so? I don't think most people would assume that a vegetarian probably wants to ban meat, but it does seem to be assumed that most submissive wives want to impose it... It's a slippery slope on both sides. To what extent are people responsible for how their choices might be used?


Quote:
Oppression is best achieved through keeping the peple ignorant. People may be able to think for themselves, but when everytime the child touches the stove their parents press their hand against the stove door until the skin burns, or everytime they THINK about defying the PTB in their lives they get held down and tortured, eventually they stop thinking for themselves.

It is very easy for you to say that a formal education and resources are of no real value...you HAVE those things, don't you? Ever been to a really impoverished place? The people who question the rules and norms are few and far between, because questioning could mean excommunication, or worse, eternal damnation. Meanwhile accepting leads to eternal paradise. They do not have the options in front of them to compare.

Freedom of thought and free will may be a god given right, but man has done his damnedest to strip the masses of it.

Look at places where a militray regime is in control, or where the government rules with an Iron Fist...Look at North Korea, China, or even Argentina in the middle of it's military regime...the people here, almost twenty years later are STILL terrified of walking down the street and being kidnapped and interogated for no particular reason...and maybe disappeared. Some people in these countries may rebel, risk imprisonment and stand uo for their beliefs, but they are NOT the average case.

Oppression and ignorance go hand in hand; you cannot have one without the other.
I didn't say education and resources were of no real value, but that they are not necessary for the ability to think for oneself. People in totalitarian states may obey and conform out of fear, but that doesn't mean they actually love their governments. And the educated and the uneducated alike are oppressed by these systems. Just because people are afraid to speak out doesn't mean they actually agree with what's going on or are unable to think independently.
post #166 of 243
Quote:
Well, the verse from Timothy specifically stated that women would be saved through childbearing, as opposed to church leadership. So maybe women are supposed to focus on childbearing rather than church leadership... it's kind of ambiguous. But there are other verses that reference deaconesses and women in other authority positions, so it clearly wasn't universally condemned.
Exactly, it's ambiguous. There's an apparent contradiction between those commands and the presence of women in leadership positions in the early church. So there are two ways to deal with the ambiguity; either say that the Bible is not inerrent and that there is an actual conflict, or to maintain the Bible is inerrent and come up with an interpretation which explains the conflict. And when dealing with interpretations, there are usually several different interpretations which are all consistent with scripture, not just one. The Patriarchal interpretation happens to be one of those. And to be very honest, it seems to me the one that best fits the spirit of those particular scriptures. At least they have an explanation for why God gave that command . I don't agree with their interpretation, but it does work better in terms of logic than any others I've heard.

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True, but there is also no law requiring women to submit to their husbands, and yet people are concerned about the prospect of it. I do think that *for Americans* the prospect of submissive wives being restricted or discriminated against is more likely than the prospect of women being forced by law to be submissive wives, given that there are many more people who are against wife submission than people who support or practice it (of course that assumes some semblance of democracy and fair elections, which may not be the case later on). And laws proposed under the guise of protecting people from themselves tend to have bipartisan support (think drug laws, prostitution laws, mandatory safety laws). I'm not saying it's looming on the horizon or anything, but I think it's worth questioning.
Well for what its worth I agree with you about the prostitution and drug laws, I think those would be more effectively handled as public health issues. But I think you are muddling a little bit the separate issues of legislation and social norms. Even in our grandmothers' time, there was no law that a woman had to submit to her husband. It was just enforced though social pressure and expectations and teaching. So yes it was possible to buck the system but only very remarkable women did (just like some very remarkable people can overcome dire poverty to become wealthy). So if your concern was that social pressure might "coerce" women who really want to be submissive to not be submissive wives, I would probably agree with you that it happens sometimes; but you don't believe that people can be coerced by social pressures. As for actual physical coercion against submissive wives (i.e. laws and legislation), there has never in the history of our country been any precedent for laws regulating a consenting husband-wife relationship and there are a multitude of precedents protecting that relationship, so I do think it is an alarmist scenario. Even verbal and emotional abuse, which we probably all agree is awful, is NOT illegal; only actual physical abuse or threats of physical abuse. And look at the posters on this thread: we are a pretty liberal, deterministic bunch and we don't want laws enforcing our views. We know that the damage done by such laws would far outweigh any benefit.

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That's exactly what I'm disputing--the evidence for the idea of "brainwashing" is highly disputed, so whether such a phenomenon even exists is dubious, and the arbitrariness is compounded by trying to establish who is making a free choice and who is "brainwashed."
Hey, there's another thread for you. I can't say I know enough about it to make any judgement.

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Anytime anyone makes a certain choice or adopts a certain lifestyle, that could be used to attempt to force others to make the same choice. I do understand that the fact that women choose to be submissive wives can be used by people who want to impose it, but the same is true of any choice. I don't think there should be a double standard with submissive wives.
I understand what you are saying here. What I and hakeber have been trying to say is that there is a historical context that you need to take into account to understand why there is a double standard.

OK, an analogy. Let's say all over the world, race A had enslaved race B (I hope I'm not offending you by likening female submission to slavery, but let's face it imposed female submission is very close to slavery). This state of affairs had gone on for most of recorded history. Race B was not allowed access to the same education or other opportunities that race A got. Sometimes people of race A would abuse people of race B and it was considered a "family affair" so the law would not get involved. Etc etc. Now, in a few countries, race B finally gets liberated. Race B now has something close to equality in opportunties and choices, although there is still discrimination against them to some degree and they are still enslaved in other countries. But some people in race B happen to have found really good masters, and they voluntarily go back to having a master. Although they say that if the master ever abused them or told them to do something bad they'd leave, so it's not the same as the old slavery. Still, extremists who want to bring back race B slavery in the country use these people to show that this really is the *natural* and best state of affairs.

Do you see how the historical context makes it different from a vegetarian wanting to ban eating meat? There's no realistic threat or history involved with the meat scenario. But there is a very real threat to women's hard-won rights being eroded. I am not talking about passing a law which requires all wives to be submissive, as I think that is as alarmist a scenario as a law forbidding submissive wives; I'm talking about social attitudes and pressures which limit a woman's choices. Like, my great-grandmother was a pianist of concert caliber, but she never performed because no concert hall would think of booking a woman pianist. I don't want to go back to those days. That verse about "women will be saved through childbearing" just sends shivers down my spine because it is that attitude that limits women's choices.

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And I don't think the submissive wife philosophy itself contributes to restricting people's rights; we're not saying "every woman really wants to be a submissive wife whether she admits it or not," which *would* be an argument for restriction of rights, in the same way as many feminists' assertion that every woman wants to be "liberated" whether she admits it or realizes it or not.
There most certainly are people in the submissive wife side who say that.: You come very close yourself when you say it is *generally* the best arrangement (i.e. the arrangement that would generally make the wife the happiest i.e. if she only understood that she'd want to do it). And calling it Biblical marriage (not you, but many others on these boards), when it is understood that the Bible is considered to be the guidebook of the best way to do things, is also saying the same thing. So I don't see any difference between the feminists and the submissive wife camp here; both sides have people who think their way is best for all, and it is equally dangerous coming from either side.
post #167 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
So is it an obligation of vegetarians to emphasize that they support others' right to eat meat, or of people who choose not to act on their sexual desires to emphasize that they support others' right to do so? I don't think most people would assume that a vegetarian probably wants to ban meat, but it does seem to be assumed that most submissive wives want to impose it... It's a slippery slope on both sides. To what extent are people responsible for how their choices might be used?
Wow...so you just skip right over the REAL example of homosexual choices and cut into the red herring of vegetarianism..

Let me put it in a clear anaology for you:

Women who choose to be domineering are to women who choose to be submissive as people who choose vegetarianism are to people who choose to deny their homosexuality and pretend to be straight.

I tried to use vegetarians to show you how you are RIGHT that sometimes the choices we make have no affect whatsoever on the general public...but SOMETIMES -- like when a choice condones behavior that disempowers those who have been oppressed for centuries upon centuries -- it does have an affect on the public, and, no, you don't HAVE to make a different choice, it IS a free country for those who are lucky enough, but maybe you don't NEED to defend the choice quite so loudly, because no one is going to restrict your right to be submissive. Women who choose to be equal or even dominating are like the vegetarians, they are NOT putting your choice at risk. They are NEVER going to pass legistlation that says you CAN'T submit. On the other hand, like the homosexuals who pretend they are straight for the sake of a happy marriage or so they don't go to hell, they CAN affect the laws being made that restrict the rights of homosexuals.

So, no, you don't have to make a different choice, but if you make that choice, you really don't need to tell anyone about how great YOUR choice is, because THAT (the telling NOT the chosing) is where the feminist start getting upset...Like when you are tring to convince your child to brush his teeth, you say;"Pretty please, with sugar on top, it's going to make your teeth healthy and strong, and and..." and then you dh comes in and says; "Heck I only brush my teeth on Tuesdays...works okay for me!"

Don't you just want to smack him and say...SHUT UP! I was SOOOOOO close! Now the kid'll never listen to me.


Any questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I didn't say education and resources were of no real value, but that they are not necessary for the ability to think for oneself. People in totalitarian states may obey and conform out of fear, but that doesn't mean they actually love their governments. And the educated and the uneducated alike are oppressed by these systems. Just because people are afraid to speak out doesn't mean they actually agree with what's going on or are unable to think independently.
Okay, you're right I over simplified your words...but I still think my point stands. YOU are speaking from the point of view of an educated women with many many resources at your fingertips. Thinking skills, logic, reasoning...it may come naturallyto SOME, but don't you dare for a second think that everyone can do it...like painting or singing or doing maths, it's a talent that can only be honed or harmed by systematic education (and I'm not talking Montessori). We teach thinking skills, cognitive reasoning, and logic to highschool students at my school. We HAVE to teach many of them to think for themselves, because otherwise they just regurgitate everything we say. It is often very hard work, especially when most societies teach us to conform.

Having an education yourself, and quite possibly a natural talent for deductive thought, and living in a fairly free society you do NOT know what it is like to really BE oppressed, so it is really easy for you to say that nobody has an excuse for not using their noggin' and settin' themselves free.

Most people don't even REALIZE they are being oppressed and it is only by pure luck, or serious courage that they are able to escape if at all, afterall what's waiting for them on the other side...IF they escape...IF anyone will agree to not send them back...IF they don't starve and die...that's a lot of ifs to handle when you're already scared alone. North Korea, a country that has only been under the iron curtain for the last 53 years or so, has a population of more than 23 million people. And in the last 53 years the number of people who have risen up against the government and lived to tell the tale...0! Not a very good ratio...The few refugeees who do escape to China or Russia each year are usually returned, and if not killed to set an example of what will happen to YOU if you take matters into your own hands, sent to re-education camps where, according to unofficial reports (the only kind that exist of these camps) the people are tortured until they are shells of their former selves. Think about the societies where this has been going on for MORE than two generations. And if you think that doesn't happen right here in the states, even if to a smaller degree, you are dead wrong.

Until you have seen what real re-education and oppression can DO to a person and his her ability to form thoughts on their own, you can't say that resources and education have no affect on thought. If you grew up NEVER having been exposed to original thought, never having been given permission to think for yourself and ALWAYS being punished severely when you do, can you honestly say you wouldn't stop questioning? Isn't one of the reasons you home school because you don't want your children to be cut with same cookie cutter mold of the rest of society's children? So then it seems to me you DO believe a society can harm one's ability to think for oneself, and yet you don't admit that this is possible for adults...as if on one's eighteenth birthday someone pushes a magical button in the sky and POOF, your brain is free to think for itself.

Or, do you think the children of the Red Army were just evil? Pol Pot's kinder-killers were just nasty down to their soul? People, especially if you get them young, can be trained to use their brains in all sorts of horrifying ways, and training them to believe that they are not as capable of making decisions as any other human being is just the tip of the iceberg.

Maybe YOU choose to be YOUR brand of submissive, but what about the women of the world who do NOT make the choice, and who never even knew there was a choice to be made? How do you teach them to think for themselves and show them that they are capable of making those decisions, but then tell them they shouldn't (because God will send them to hell). If freedom of choice is what you are after than supporting a religion that tells women they OUGHT to choose to let someone else decide seems like a backwards way of getting there.
post #168 of 243
Subbing, with excited anticipation of reading this whole thread. These philosophical issues are dear to my heart and soul. The discussion of freedom of beliefs, and freedom from coercion, especially for children is poignant. I am so much enjoying reading and considering the different views espoused. I am learning a great deal.

We are discussing the application of similar issues regarding the freedom of dissenting views as it relates to the new MDC UA in Q & S.



Pat
post #169 of 243
I don't know you, but thanks!

I was going to post more views here, but self-edited b/c they were a bit too... fresh.


eta: this post no longer makes sense.
post #170 of 243
Rebekah, I really enjoyed your last post.
post #171 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
Rebekah, I really enjoyed your last post.
Thank you.
post #172 of 243
Me, too
post #173 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
Exactly, it's ambiguous. There's an apparent contradiction between those commands and the presence of women in leadership positions in the early church. So there are two ways to deal with the ambiguity; either say that the Bible is not inerrent and that there is an actual conflict, or to maintain the Bible is inerrent and come up with an interpretation which explains the conflict. And when dealing with interpretations, there are usually several different interpretations which are all consistent with scripture, not just one. The Patriarchal interpretation happens to be one of those. And to be very honest, it seems to me the one that best fits the spirit of those particular scriptures. At least they have an explanation for why God gave that command . I don't agree with their interpretation, but it does work better in terms of logic than any others I've heard.
Okay. Interpretations differ, but as far as which interpretation would seem to be more consistent with the message of Jesus, I do think the non-patriarchal interpretation is more so. But of course people can believe whatever they want.

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Well for what its worth I agree with you about the prostitution and drug laws, I think those would be more effectively handled as public health issues. But I think you are muddling a little bit the separate issues of legislation and social norms. Even in our grandmothers' time, there was no law that a woman had to submit to her husband. It was just enforced though social pressure and expectations and teaching. So yes it was possible to buck the system but only very remarkable women did (just like some very remarkable people can overcome dire poverty to become wealthy). So if your concern was that social pressure might "coerce" women who really want to be submissive to not be submissive wives, I would probably agree with you that it happens sometimes; but you don't believe that people can be coerced by social pressures. As for actual physical coercion against submissive wives (i.e. laws and legislation), there has never in the history of our country been any precedent for laws regulating a consenting husband-wife relationship and there are a multitude of precedents protecting that relationship, so I do think it is an alarmist scenario. Even verbal and emotional abuse, which we probably all agree is awful, is NOT illegal; only actual physical abuse or threats of physical abuse. And look at the posters on this thread: we are a pretty liberal, deterministic bunch and we don't want laws enforcing our views. We know that the damage done by such laws would far outweigh any benefit.
Actually, until the 20th century, there were laws of "coverture" that women were under the authority of their husbands, just as children were under the authority of their parents. It was part of English common law. Not quite the same thing as requiring wives to be submissive, but close enough. However those laws have long since been repealed or struck down. Anyway, I'm not really concerned that there would be a law passed that bans women from being submissive wives (which would be very hard to enforce anyway), but more that submissive wives would be classified as mentally ill, brainwashed, cult members, etc. and be discriminated against that way. And there is precedent that when people are classified as being unable to make free choices or when choices are classified as not being freely made, that *is* used as grounds to discriminate and restrict rights. I'm also concerned about job discrimination, slander, and such. Think about what would be said if a submissive wife ran for public office (Phyllis Schaffly doesn't count)--"oh eek she's crazy, she's brainwashed, we can't have her finger on the button!"

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Hey, there's another thread for you. I can't say I know enough about it to make any judgement.
I know better--I would get way too angry and get my happy butt banned.

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I understand what you are saying here. What I and hakeber have been trying to say is that there is a historical context that you need to take into account to understand why there is a double standard.

OK, an analogy. Let's say all over the world, race A had enslaved race B (I hope I'm not offending you by likening female submission to slavery, but let's face it imposed female submission is very close to slavery). This state of affairs had gone on for most of recorded history. Race B was not allowed access to the same education or other opportunities that race A got. Sometimes people of race A would abuse people of race B and it was considered a "family affair" so the law would not get involved. Etc etc. Now, in a few countries, race B finally gets liberated. Race B now has something close to equality in opportunties and choices, although there is still discrimination against them to some degree and they are still enslaved in other countries. But some people in race B happen to have found really good masters, and they voluntarily go back to having a master. Although they say that if the master ever abused them or told them to do something bad they'd leave, so it's not the same as the old slavery. Still, extremists who want to bring back race B slavery in the country use these people to show that this really is the *natural* and best state of affairs.

Do you see how the historical context makes it different from a vegetarian wanting to ban eating meat? There's no realistic threat or history involved with the meat scenario. But there is a very real threat to women's hard-won rights being eroded. I am not talking about passing a law which requires all wives to be submissive, as I think that is as alarmist a scenario as a law forbidding submissive wives; I'm talking about social attitudes and pressures which limit a woman's choices. Like, my great-grandmother was a pianist of concert caliber, but she never performed because no concert hall would think of booking a woman pianist. I don't want to go back to those days. That verse about "women will be saved through childbearing" just sends shivers down my spine because it is that attitude that limits women's choices.
That is true, and I don't think any of us want to go back to the "old days." But mitigating against that, I think, is first of all, the fact that the submissive wife community is extremely small compared to the population as a whole (the American population anyway; I don't know enough about the submissive community in other countries). So it's not like we're on the verge of outnumbering or outvoting anybody, and we don't have a lot of sway over the culture. Secondly, the corporations and big business aren't into wife submission and the traditional family, for their own reasons, and so they're not going to promote it. Thirdly, the majority of submissive wives see ourselves as counterculturalists. I think were it not for that element, a lot of the dynamics and rhetoric would change. I don't see traditionalist Christian submissive wives making a popular comeback in our lifetimes.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe that our rights, especially women's rights, are in danger. I just don't see wife submission as being a part of that.

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There most certainly are people in the submissive wife side who say that.: You come very close yourself when you say it is *generally* the best arrangement (i.e. the arrangement that would generally make the wife the happiest i.e. if she only understood that she'd want to do it). And calling it Biblical marriage (not you, but many others on these boards), when it is understood that the Bible is considered to be the guidebook of the best way to do things, is also saying the same thing. So I don't see any difference between the feminists and the submissive wife camp here; both sides have people who think their way is best for all, and it is equally dangerous coming from either side.
That may be true, but if someone said "I would never want to be a submissive wife," I would take her word for it, not question her mental health. That (to me) is the scary part. It's one thing to believe that your way is best or to disagree with others' choices, it's another thing to question their capacity to make choices at all.
post #174 of 243
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by hakeber
Wow...so you just skip right over the REAL example of homosexual choices and cut into the red herring of vegetarianism..

Let me put it in a clear anaology for you:

Women who choose to be domineering are to women who choose to be submissive as people who choose vegetarianism are to people who choose to deny their homosexuality and pretend to be straight.

I tried to use vegetarians to show you how you are RIGHT that sometimes the choices we make have no affect whatsoever on the general public...but SOMETIMES -- like when a choice condones behavior that disempowers those who have been oppressed for centuries upon centuries -- it does have an affect on the public, and, no, you don't HAVE to make a different choice, it IS a free country for those who are lucky enough, but maybe you don't NEED to defend the choice quite so loudly, because no one is going to restrict your right to be submissive. Women who choose to be equal or even dominating are like the vegetarians, they are NOT putting your choice at risk. They are NEVER going to pass legistlation that says you CAN'T submit. On the other hand, like the homosexuals who pretend they are straight for the sake of a happy marriage or so they don't go to hell, they CAN affect the laws being made that restrict the rights of homosexuals.
I didn't skip over it; I said that in either case, I don't agree that people who make a certain choice are responsible for those who might use them as an argument to impose said choice. And I think your analogy is a bit mistaken--in modern American society, vegetarians are a minority. Homosexuals are a minority. Submissive wives are a minority. So, vegetarians don't have the power to impose vegetarianism on omnivores; homosexuals don't have the power to impose homosexuality on heterosexuals; and submissive wives don't have the power to impose submission on mainstream wives. However, omnivores do have a certain degree of power of imposition on vegetarians (not really through laws but through things like schools and airlines not offering a meat-free option); heterosexuals do have certain power over homosexuals (through laws, social standards, and accommodations); and mainstream women do have a greater degree of power over submissive wives simply by virtue of being the culturally-sanctioned majority. This doesn't mean that any of them should change their lifestyles, but let's not deny with whom the social privilege lies.

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So, no, you don't have to make a different choice, but if you make that choice, you really don't need to tell anyone about how great YOUR choice is, because THAT (the telling NOT the chosing) is where the feminist start getting upset...Like when you are tring to convince your child to brush his teeth, you say;"Pretty please, with sugar on top, it's going to make your teeth healthy and strong, and and..." and then you dh comes in and says; "Heck I only brush my teeth on Tuesdays...works okay for me!"

Don't you just want to smack him and say...SHUT UP! I was SOOOOOO close! Now the kid'll never listen to me.


Any questions?
No, I understand completely--we are undermining your message by presenting another option. I just don't agree that that's a bad thing because, while I think that clean teeth are objectively better than dirty teeth, I don't think that the mainstream lifestyle is objectively superior to the traditionalist submissive lifestyle.

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Okay, you're right I over simplified your words...but I still think my point stands. YOU are speaking from the point of view of an educated women with many many resources at your fingertips. Thinking skills, logic, reasoning...it may come naturallyto SOME, but don't you dare for a second think that everyone can do it...like painting or singing or doing maths, it's a talent that can only be honed or harmed by systematic education (and I'm not talking Montessori). We teach thinking skills, cognitive reasoning, and logic to highschool students at my school. We HAVE to teach many of them to think for themselves, because otherwise they just regurgitate everything we say. It is often very hard work, especially when most societies teach us to conform.

Having an education yourself, and quite possibly a natural talent for deductive thought, and living in a fairly free society you do NOT know what it is like to really BE oppressed, so it is really easy for you to say that nobody has an excuse for not using their noggin' and settin' themselves free.

Most people don't even REALIZE they are being oppressed and it is only by pure luck, or serious courage that they are able to escape if at all, afterall what's waiting for them on the other side...IF they escape...IF anyone will agree to not send them back...IF they don't starve and die...that's a lot of ifs to handle when you're already scared alone. North Korea, a country that has only been under the iron curtain for the last 53 years or so, has a population of more than 23 million people. And in the last 53 years the number of people who have risen up against the government and lived to tell the tale...0! Not a very good ratio...The few refugeees who do escape to China or Russia each year are usually returned, and if not killed to set an example of what will happen to YOU if you take matters into your own hands, sent to re-education camps where, according to unofficial reports (the only kind that exist of these camps) the people are tortured until they are shells of their former selves. Think about the societies where this has been going on for MORE than two generations. And if you think that doesn't happen right here in the states, even if to a smaller degree, you are dead wrong.

Until you have seen what real re-education and oppression can DO to a person and his her ability to form thoughts on their own, you can't say that resources and education have no affect on thought.
Respectfully, you do not know my background. You do not know whether I am familiar with oppression or not. Please don't make assumptions.

And I am not saying that oppressed people can just rise up and not be oppressed anymore. Oppressors are very successful at controlling their victims through violence and intimidation and fear. That does not mean that their victims are not capable of thinking for themselves.

And I don't agree with trivializing the suffering of people who face imprisonment for their beliefs by comparing them to people who might perhaps be looked down on in church for their beliefs.

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If you grew up NEVER having been exposed to original thought, never having been given permission to think for yourself and ALWAYS being punished severely when you do, can you honestly say you wouldn't stop questioning? Isn't one of the reasons you home school because you don't want your children to be cut with same cookie cutter mold of the rest of society's children? So then it seems to me you DO believe a society can harm one's ability to think for oneself, and yet you don't admit that this is possible for adults...as if on one's eighteenth birthday someone pushes a magical button in the sky and POOF, your brain is free to think for itself.

Or, do you think the children of the Red Army were just evil? Pol Pot's kinder-killers were just nasty down to their soul? People, especially if you get them young, can be trained to use their brains in all sorts of horrifying ways, and training them to believe that they are not as capable of making decisions as any other human being is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is a fact that children are much more susceptible to influence and less capable of critical thought than adults. It isn't "poof" when you turn 18, but a 20 yr old is much more capable of thinking independently and questioning than a 5 yr old. And if an 18 yr old is old enough to vote, sign a contract, join the military, etc., by what standard is she too immature to make decisions about a marriage relationship? Or do you disagree with 18 yr olds' rights to do those other things too? Or only if they've been oppressed? Or oppressed people in general?

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Maybe YOU choose to be YOUR brand of submissive, but what about the women of the world who do NOT make the choice, and who never even knew there was a choice to be made? How do you teach them to think for themselves and show them that they are capable of making those decisions, but then tell them they shouldn't (because God will send them to hell). If freedom of choice is what you are after than supporting a religion that tells women they OUGHT to choose to let someone else decide seems like a backwards way of getting there.
I don't think so. Following that religion is a choice. If you believe in freedom of choice, I would think you would see the presentation of other options as a good thing.

As for women who are forced into submission against their will, my sympathies are with them, and I would hope that the law of wherever they happen to live would take steps to protect them. I realize this is unfortunately not always the case, and that is a great injustice. But as much as I support those women's rights, I think they are a red herring to this discussion. We're talking about women who are not forced into submission, but who some people argue are not really capable of making a free choice. Women forced into submission by law or under threat of violence are a separate topic.
post #175 of 243
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
Think about what would be said if a submissive wife ran for public office (Phyllis Schaffly doesn't count)--"oh eek she's crazy, she's brainwashed, we can't have her finger on the button!"
Honestly, how would anyone know who is really making decisions here? Wouldn't people be wanting to very seriously consider the husband's views, ideas and beliefs? :
post #176 of 243
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
I didn't skip over it; I said that in either case, I don't agree that people who make a certain choice are responsible for those who might use them as an argument to impose said choice. And I think your analogy is a bit mistaken--in modern American society, vegetarians are a minority. Homosexuals are a minority. Submissive wives are a minority. So, vegetarians don't have the power to impose vegetarianism on omnivores; homosexuals don't have the power to impose homosexuality on heterosexuals; and submissive wives don't have the power to impose submission on mainstream wives. However, omnivores do have a certain degree of power of imposition on vegetarians (not really through laws but through things like schools and airlines not offering a meat-free option); heterosexuals do have certain power over homosexuals (through laws, social standards, and accommodations); and mainstream women do have a greater degree of power over submissive wives simply by virtue of being the culturally-sanctioned majority. This doesn't mean that any of them should change their lifestyles, but let's not deny with whom the social privilege lies.
Perhaps wives who CHOOSE to submit are a "minority", and perhaps where YOU live submissiveness is a whacky new trend that people don't accept, but in the REST of the modern world, it is an old tradition, a tradition against which many many women are fighting everyday, and women do not have the power that you choose to deny yourself firmly in their hands...they are grasping at like grains of sand. Saying submissive wives are an endangered minority is like saying New York City needs more pigeons.

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Originally Posted by Brigianna
No, I understand completely--we are undermining your message by presenting another option. I just don't agree that that's a bad thing because, while I think that clean teeth are objectively better than dirty teeth, I don't think that the mainstream lifestyle is objectively superior to the traditionalist submissive lifestyle.
First of all who is "we", second of all, you seem to have missed the point of this analogy, too: In the tooth cleaning scenario, the child is the lawmaker, the mother is the women who wish to NOT submit and the husband is the women who choose to submit. I am not saying one choice is better than the other, but when a choice is purported (emphasized because THAT is the nuisance, not the choice itself) as being somehow, in anyway better, and that choice supports the ideas the lawmakers have, it limits the choices of those who wish NOT to make that choice...

I reiterate: It is NOT the making of the choice that threatens other people's choice making abilities, it is the LOUD and unnecessary announcement of that choice which causes problems, because by claiming THIS choice is the best choice, rather than just making the choice and getting on with it, you say to the lawmakers etal.; "Remember that law that you made, that said that I should have equal power over my home and family life? Well that's very nice, but we don't really need it. In fact, women would be happier if they didn't feel the pressure to do those things and could just leave it up to their more capable husbands." THIS is the message that scares women's rights activists. It doesn't mean they want you to stop choosing, but to stop telling the lawmakers that you everyone should choose it too.


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Originally Posted by Brigianna
Respectfully, you do not know my background. You do not know whether I am familiar with oppression or not. Please don't make assumptions.

And I am not saying that oppressed people can just rise up and not be oppressed anymore. Oppressors are very successful at controlling their victims through violence and intimidation and fear. That does not mean that their victims are not capable of thinking for themselves.

And I don't agree with trivializing the suffering of people who face imprisonment for their beliefs by comparing them to people who might perhaps be looked down on in church for their beliefs.
I do apologize for my error in judgement. You said you went to college, right? You live the states, right? Ipso facto, you have not been oppressed yourself. And as for your experience with oppressed people, I did assume that if you had been exposed to or interacted with oppressed people around the world or in the states you would have said something. I apologize for my assumption.

I was not trivilaizing these cases, I was drawing a connection, because it exists. North Korea is an extreme. It is horrible (though has nothing to do with religion, and more to do with seeing their families and tasting freedom, but that is neither here nor there) but it is also not too far a stretch, IMO, from women who are raised in closed off communities who are taught from a very young age that submission is the only way to connect with god and have a happy home, and that women who do otherwise are evil, where the women who do grow up and finally find the courage to leave are excommunicated, abandoned by family and if they DO come back to the fold, so the speak, are treated as a traitor and dog until they one re-earn the trust of their families, if ever. It is not trivializing it to compare them to North Korean refugees, it is magnifying a very real problem that you seem to think has no bearing whatsoever to this discussion. I think it does. Perhaps we will have to agree to disagree, but if that is the case, than you might consider re-defining what submission is to you...because if you are only submissive up to a point, the women who are submissive more fundamentally, might not understand how you are so happy and at peace and they are not...and they will probably turn to prayer to fix it instead of their local women's shelter. And that is negligent and dangerous on your behalf. Half the story is worse than no story at all.

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Originally Posted by Brigianna
It is a fact that children are much more susceptible to influence and less capable of critical thought than adults. It isn't "poof" when you turn 18, but a 20 yr old is much more capable of thinking independently and questioning than a 5 yr old. And if an 18 yr old is old enough to vote, sign a contract, join the military, etc., by what standard is she too immature to make decisions about a marriage relationship? Or do you disagree with 18 yr olds' rights to do those other things too? Or only if they've been oppressed? Or oppressed people in general?
No 18 year olds should have the right to vote. Heck, I think they should lower it to 16, along with the drinking age and the age to smoke. Joining the military I think should be raised to 25 (It's no coincidence they take them so young, an easy way to train 'em up right), only because no one deserves to be killed for their country before they've had a chance to live their own lives. (seems totally moronic to me that one can join the army and vote but they can't have a frickin' beer...but I digress) However, I think that what we learn as children does not leave us as quickly as some would like to think. At 30 (almost 31 ) I still have my parents' voices and the voices of my church and my teachers in my head commandeering my choices at many a turn...and my mother has her voices and my father his. That is all a part of who we are.

I have NEVER said a grown woman can't make choices, but she needs to be aware of the choice, and living on land that is a part of the united states is NOT enough to garauntee her that awareness. Not everyone in the US has access to the options, and if you never had an option why would you choose to do something different...and if you are eventually exposed to another option, at the age of 20, it might take a hellluva lot of courage to change, and make that choice, because you don't know jack about it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, KWIM?

So I'm not saying they CAN'T or SHOULDN'T make the choice, but that perhaps we as a nation should insist that every PERSON male and female are EDUCATED in their choices and freedoms, so that you DON'T have people making uninformed choices...I would say the same for political elections. I don't want to stop 18 yr olds from voting, but I would definitely like to educate them more on the electoral process, and the poltical platforms available to them...It's positively deplorable that students can drop History US government in grade ten in many states and then reach a voting age where they are pulling a blind lever. (Could explain why GWB got elecetd TWICE.) 18 yr olds ought to have to take a class during the month of their birthday explaining how the system works, not a class to be tested on or anything, but just a class before they get their card that explains how it works. Of course that will never happen because the way the PTB keep people from using their rights is by keeping them ignorant of them...It's just one of my many "If I ruled the world" utopian dreams. So YES, I would propose the same for women's issues, that ALL people be required no matter what their race or religion to take a class educating them on their rights and freedoms, so that when they make a choice it's an educated one and not just an interpretation of their parents, husbands, or church leaders, but of the actual laws that exist in our country.

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Originally Posted by Brigianna
I don't think so. Following that religion is a choice. If you believe in freedom of choice, I would think you would see the presentation of other options as a good thing. .
Yes, but for many the choice is NOT presented...see my plan as outlined above.
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
As for women who are forced into submission against their will, my sympathies are with them, and I would hope that the law of wherever they happen to live would take steps to protect them. I realize this is unfortunately not always the case, and that is a great injustice. But as much as I support those women's rights, I think they are a red herring to this discussion. We're talking about women who are not forced into submission, but who some people argue are not really capable of making a free choice. Women forced into submission by law or under threat of violence are a separate topic.
I don't see how they are a red herring...I thought that WAS the discussion...this last bit leaves me with not much else to say.

You said:

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how do you feel about the issue of religious freedom as a whole? If you believe some religious teachings to be inherently coercive (even if they are not forced), is it reasonable to restrict the advocacy or practice of these teachings? Is it reasonable to prevent someone from living a certain way (assuming they are harming no one but themselves) in order to protect them from themselves, if you believe that they are incapable of making their own choices? If so, where would you draw the proverbial line? On what grounds would this be decided?
(emphasis mine)

And I am trying to explain that yes I DO think choices should be up to the individual, but the line needs to be drawn when what we teach our children and others in our community is that there is only ONE right choice, that all other choices are bad/evil/hurtful to jesus, etc. and more importantly when we teach them that there IS no other choice, as many closed communities do. If you don't have the choice presented, isn't that forcing them? How can they have made the choice if they only ever got one option?

I am aware this works both ways, but one cannot help in OUR society but be exposed to images of women submitting to men throughout society, so if you are not a submissive wife you are NOT missing out on this choice. It's right there, ready for the taking and a whole LOT of men seem to think it's a real good idea. You will not have trouble finding a man who thinks a submissive wife is fab. The same is not true for women who live in closed communities or whose fathers and then later husbands have banned TV and media from the house. They are isolated and they know no choice exists for them to make. And OUR government does NOT protect them...because they are "happy" and they are adults...who chose it. Right?
post #177 of 243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber
Perhaps wives who CHOOSE to submit are a "minority", and perhaps where YOU live submissiveness is a whacky new trend that people don't accept, but in the REST of the modern world, it is an old tradition, a tradition against which many many women are fighting everyday, and women do not have the power that you choose to deny yourself firmly in their hands...they are grasping at like grains of sand. Saying submissive wives are an endangered minority is like saying New York City needs more pigeons.
In the U.S. in 2006, submissive wives are a minority. We are not in a position to outvote anyone or hold undue influence even if we wanted to. I'm not saying we're endangered, but we're certainly a small minority. In other countries it's different of course, but what we're doing isn't affecting them in any case.

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First of all who is "we", second of all, you seem to have missed the point of this analogy, too: In the tooth cleaning scenario, the child is the lawmaker, the mother is the women who wish to NOT submit and the husband is the women who choose to submit. I am not saying one choice is better than the other, but when a choice is purported (emphasized because THAT is the nuisance, not the choice itself) as being somehow, in anyway better, and that choice supports the ideas the lawmakers have, it limits the choices of those who wish NOT to make that choice...

I reiterate: It is NOT the making of the choice that threatens other people's choice making abilities, it is the LOUD and unnecessary announcement of that choice which causes problems, because by claiming THIS choice is the best choice, rather than just making the choice and getting on with it, you say to the lawmakers etal.; "Remember that law that you made, that said that I should have equal power over my home and family life? Well that's very nice, but we don't really need it. In fact, women would be happier if they didn't feel the pressure to do those things and could just leave it up to their more capable husbands." THIS is the message that scares women's rights activists. It doesn't mean they want you to stop choosing, but to stop telling the lawmakers that you everyone should choose it too.
But we are not telling lawmakers that. Some people, on both sides, are telling lawmakers that because their way is the best, people don't need the right to make different choices. But that is not true of all submissive wives. I know that my right to live as I choose is dependent on others' rights to live in a way that I wouldn't choose or that I might disagree with. Either we all have freedom of choice or none of us do.

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I do apologize for my error in judgement. You said you went to college, right? You live the states, right? Ipso facto, you have not been oppressed yourself.
By what standard? Obviously I'm not being oppressed now, but that doesn't mean I never have been. A college degree and an American passport don't inoculate you from oppression. Unless you're defining "oppression" in a different way.

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And as for your experience with oppressed people, I did assume that if you had been exposed to or interacted with oppressed people around the world or in the states you would have said something. I apologize for my assumption.
I know several people who have been oppressed, at least as it is commonly understood, and I don't believe any of them agree with the idea that people who have experienced oppression are less able to think for themselves or make choices. But I don't doubt that's a biased sample.

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I was not trivilaizing these cases, I was drawing a connection, because it exists. North Korea is an extreme. It is horrible (though has nothing to do with religion, and more to do with seeing their families and tasting freedom, but that is neither here nor there) but it is also not too far a stretch, IMO, from women who are raised in closed off communities who are taught from a very young age that submission is the only way to connect with god and have a happy home, and that women who do otherwise are evil, where the women who do grow up and finally find the courage to leave are excommunicated, abandoned by family and if they DO come back to the fold, so the speak, are treated as a traitor and dog until they one re-earn the trust of their families, if ever. It is not trivializing it to compare them to North Korean refugees, it is magnifying a very real problem that you seem to think has no bearing whatsoever to this discussion. I think it does. Perhaps we will have to agree to disagree, but if that is the case, than you might consider re-defining what submission is to you...because if you are only submissive up to a point, the women who are submissive more fundamentally, might not understand how you are so happy and at peace and they are not...and they will probably turn to prayer to fix it instead of their local women's shelter. And that is negligent and dangerous on your behalf. Half the story is worse than no story at all.
In the DPRK if you go against the government you can be imprisoned or worse. In a religiously free society if you go against the church you might be looked down on by fellow church members or family. They are not comparable.

Also, I know that closed religious communities exist in the world, but I don't think there are any closed religious communities in the U.S. Even in convents or monasteries or intentional communities, people come in and go out. People are aware of the outside world. Perhaps they're biased against it, but they're aware. And I'm *not* talking about the handful of fringe groups that keep their members in by force--we're *all* against that. But in non-violent religious communities, people are aware of the outside world.

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No 18 year olds should have the right to vote. Heck, I think they should lower it to 16, along with the drinking age and the age to smoke. Joining the military I think should be raised to 25 (It's no coincidence they take them so young, an easy way to train 'em up right), only because no one deserves to be killed for their country before they've had a chance to live their own lives. (seems totally moronic to me that one can join the army and vote but they can't have a frickin' beer...but I digress) However, I think that what we learn as children does not leave us as quickly as some would like to think. At 30 (almost 31 ) I still have my parents' voices and the voices of my church and my teachers in my head commandeering my choices at many a turn...and my mother has her voices and my father his. That is all a part of who we are.
I agree, but that doesn't mean we don't have a choice. I'm 33 and still strongly influenced by my upbringing, but I haven't accepted everything I was taught (and it's not because I went to college--I was taught a lot of things there that I rejected, too). We're all affected by our upbringing and our background and our past experiences. But our upbringing and our background and our past experiences shouldn't be used to disqualify us or dismiss our choices.

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I have NEVER said a grown woman can't make choices, but she needs to be aware of the choice, and living on land that is a part of the united states is NOT enough to garauntee her that awareness. Not everyone in the US has access to the options, and if you never had an option why would you choose to do something different...and if you are eventually exposed to another option, at the age of 20, it might take a hellluva lot of courage to change, and make that choice, because you don't know jack about it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, KWIM?
There are some things that are so widely accepted that for many people they go unquestioned. For example "vaccines are beneficial for your health" or "formal schooling is the best or only way for children to learn." And it's important for dissenting voices to stand up and say "wait a minute, that's not necessarily true." That's what early women's rights activists did when they questioned the idea that women didn't deserve to vote or own property. And that is what traditionalists are doing today, saying "wait a minute, maybe hyperindividualism isn't the only path to happiness. Maybe there are unforseen social consequences here." Not that our way is the only way or that people shouldn't have the choice to do otherwise, but just raising it for consideration. Which is I think the reason that many of us don't just make our choice and shut up about it as you suggested. We're trying to present a viable alternative, not to impose or coerce, but to question. There are some children who are actively taught that the traditionalist way is the only way and the mainstream way is evil. But many more children are passively taught (and by passively I mean by default, without any special intervention from their parents) by attending public schools, by watching TV, by following mainstream news sources (if they follow news at all) that the mainstream way is the only way and that other ways don't exist, or exist only in the context of "aren't you glad we don't have to do that anymore" (where "that" can be anything from traditional marriage to breastfeeding to using non-disposable products). Maybe if wife submission were taught in public school curricula or positively depicted in movies or talked about by Katie Couric, I might be more on your side. But it isn't.

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So I'm not saying they CAN'T or SHOULDN'T make the choice, but that perhaps we as a nation should insist that every PERSON male and female are EDUCATED in their choices and freedoms, so that you DON'T have people making uninformed choices...I would say the same for political elections. I don't want to stop 18 yr olds from voting, but I would definitely like to educate them more on the electoral process, and the poltical platforms available to them...It's positively deplorable that students can drop History US government in grade ten in many states and then reach a voting age where they are pulling a blind lever. (Could explain why GWB got elecetd TWICE.) 18 yr olds ought to have to take a class during the month of their birthday explaining how the system works, not a class to be tested on or anything, but just a class before they get their card that explains how it works. Of course that will never happen because the way the PTB keep people from using their rights is by keeping them ignorant of them...It's just one of my many "If I ruled the world" utopian dreams. So YES, I would propose the same for women's issues, that ALL people be required no matter what their race or religion to take a class educating them on their rights and freedoms, so that when they make a choice it's an educated one and not just an interpretation of their parents, husbands, or church leaders, but of the actual laws that exist in our country.
I agree. And they should also know where the idea of those rights come from, going back to the Enlightenment (which might put a dent in the myth that we were founded on "Christian values").

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I don't see how they are a red herring...I thought that WAS the discussion...this last bit leaves me with not much else to say.
I was asking about when certain choices are considered not real choices even when they aren't forced, but are influenced by background, etc. So talking about cases where people actually were literally forced against their will to do something is really a different subject.

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And I am trying to explain that yes I DO think choices should be up to the individual, but the line needs to be drawn when what we teach our children and others in our community is that there is only ONE right choice, that all other choices are bad/evil/hurtful to jesus, etc. and more importantly when we teach them that there IS no other choice, as many closed communities do. If you don't have the choice presented, isn't that forcing them? How can they have made the choice if they only ever got one option?

I am aware this works both ways, but one cannot help in OUR society but be exposed to images of women submitting to men throughout society, so if you are not a submissive wife you are NOT missing out on this choice.
But how many of those images are positive? Not many. The mainstream, the culturally accepted, the majority, the USA Today crowd, whatever you want to call it, is firmly on the hyperindividualistic side of almost everything.

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It's right there, ready for the taking and a whole LOT of men seem to think it's a real good idea. You will not have trouble finding a man who thinks a submissive wife is fab.
I'm not so sure that's true. I think most men like submissive girlfriends, but wives, not so much. They would like to boss their girlfriends around and have them comply, but when actual responsibility is involved, they want someone else to take it. Gross gross generalization of course; plenty of men aren't at all like that.

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The same is not true for women who live in closed communities or whose fathers and then later husbands have banned TV and media from the house. They are isolated and they know no choice exists for them to make.
Did these women go to school? Even private religious school? Did they live on their own at all before getting married? Do they read books? Do they have friends outside the community? Do they even go to the grocery store?

I can understand how maybe, *maybe* a woman who was raised in a cabin in the woods with no people around, homeschooled with no outside influence at all, got married while still living with her parents and moved to another cabin in the woods with her husband, never went into town, never read a book or magazine, and had no friends, could, perhaps, be ignorant of mainstream society and the fact that other options existed. However I suspect that the moment she was exposed to mainstream society, she would rebel, a bit like the stereotype of the pastor's kids being the most wild in high school.

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And OUR government does NOT protect them...because they are "happy" and they are adults...who chose it. Right?
I don't think our government particularly cares whether people are happy, but, yes, it is assumed that if you are an adult, you are capable of making your own choices and don't need to be protected from yourself (well, unless you want to put a controlled substance into your own body, or unless you're deemed "mentally ill," or unless you're on state assistance, or unless you want to ride in your car without a seatbelt, or unless you want to buy raw milk...)
post #178 of 243
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Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama
Honestly, how would anyone know who is really making decisions here? Wouldn't people be wanting to very seriously consider the husband's views, ideas and beliefs? :
Sure, but the same would be true of any politician and spouse, regardless of lifestyle or gender. If a man were running for office as an environmentalist, and his wife just happened to be the primary shareholder of Exxon-Mobil, wouldn't you at least question that? And then of course you have the example of Bill Clinton who openly campaigned on involving his wife in policy. So I don't think it makes much difference either way.
post #179 of 243
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Anyway, I'm not really concerned that there would be a law passed that bans women from being submissive wives (which would be very hard to enforce anyway), but more that submissive wives would be classified as mentally ill, brainwashed, cult members, etc. and be discriminated against that way. And there is precedent that when people are classified as being unable to make free choices or when choices are classified as not being freely made, that *is* used as grounds to discriminate and restrict rights. I'm also concerned about job discrimination, slander, and such. Think about what would be said if a submissive wife ran for public office (Phyllis Schaffly doesn't count)--"oh eek she's crazy, she's brainwashed, we can't have her finger on the button!"
I understand, but I just don't see it. As I said, given that our society recognizes that a grown woman has the right to choose to stay in an abusive (emotionally, verbally) relationship and does not classify her as mentally ill -- and that situation is one in which I think all Americans can agree is BAD -- then the submissive wife situation, which is after all supported by verses in the Bible which is still considered by the majority of Americans to be The Good Book, and the weak female/strong male stereotype is still very much a part of our culture (princess fairytales, anyone?), then even if it is considered weird it certainly isn't going to be considered "mentally ill" and no one is going to through you in an asylum. (hows that for a run-on sentence?).

And as tayndrewsmama said, it would be a valid concern to question a submissive woman who ran for president. Not because I think she's mentally ill, but because if I vote for her then I want HER to be making the decisions, not her husband. What if her husband told her to push the button?

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That may be true, but if someone said "I would never want to be a submissive wife," I would take her word for it, not question her mental health. That (to me) is the scary part. It's one thing to believe that your way is best or to disagree with others' choices, it's another thing to question their capacity to make choices at all.
I don't think any of us question that you made your choice freely, Brigianna. Or any of the submissive wives on this board. If we question whether a submissive wife made the choice freely, we are talking about the more closed off, traditionalist models (like in the Patriarchy movement that you said you couldn't understand but it does exist) where as hakeber said the choice may not have been presented. Or women in other countries where the choice definitely is not presented. So there are two separate issues: one, the issue of being submissive or not submissive, in which we both think our way is best but both recognize that an individual has the right to freely choose for themselves; and two, the issue of free choice, which we disagree on because you think that only physical factors can limit free choice but we are saying that psychological factors can limit free choice as well. And the reason why we might wonder whether a submissive wife (who we don't know well so don't understand her circumstances) might not have made a free choice, whereas submissive women probably don't wonder that about us, is because historically and objectively there are a lot more cases of women being coerced (physically and psychologically) into submission to a male than being coerced into equal decision-making power with a male. You are making comparisons but leaving out crucial context.

To emphasize the point: I venture to say that most liberals believe that women who are being emotionally and verbally abused have been "brainwashed" to an extent (don't know what else to call it) into believing they deserve it or it's their fault, and that this conditioning limits their choices i.e. makes it much harder for them to leave their abuser. But when's the last time you heard a liberal calling for emotional abuse to be a crime, or for women who are emotionally abused to be classified as mentally ill? There are a multitude of services to educate and assist abused women who ask for it but there is no equivalent of the CPS for abused women. Believing that someone has reduced decision-making capacity because of their circumstances does not automatically equal believing that person should be "saved" by government intervention. You've been asking that question for 9 pages now and we all have answered that we would be against such a thing. Heck, even in the case of out-and-out mental illness like schizophrenia or delusions, the person can only have their rights taken away if it is proved (in a court) that they are creating a physical danger to themselves or others. (I used to interpret in the courts that did those procedures.) I see how your reasoning works in theory, but when I look at actual facts I just don't see it happening.
post #180 of 243
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And then of course you have the example of Bill Clinton who openly campaigned on involving his wife in policy.
Bill Clinton didn't ever say he was "submissive" to Hilary. If he had ever said that, I wouldn't have voted for him. There is a difference between a person listening to advice from their wife/husband before making a decision, and saying they are "submissive" to their wife/husband which means they will do what their wife/husband thinks is best even if they may not agree.
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