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Old 10-24-2007, 10:17 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean

The type of thinking that says we're all to serve one another? No. The type of thinking that says and emphasizes "wives submit to your husbands", yes.
I was speaking of the "wives submit..." line of thinking.

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean

Yes, I went back and reread both what Mrs. S wrote and what nathan1977 replied and I see what you mean. I confess, perhaps I was being a bit snarky (and if I was I apologize) but I think I was responding to the larger overall dialogue and how his weighing in was treated. As far as I could tell from his larger post, nathan1977 was agreeing that this school's take on women's "roles" is pretty whack and yet, I felt he was attacked anyway (that "why is it you religious people. . ." comment really stuck in my craw because I'm what you might call a religious person and I don't subscribe to ANY of the views held by this school). I felt like he was being criticized based on who he is and his known reputation for taking conservative positions and so it was assumed that deep down he must really agree with the views of this school in Texas. Which I felt was really unfair.

But perhaps I was assuming too much, and that wasn't wise on my part, I admitt. After all, we all know what assuming makes out of you and me . . .

See I didn't get the sense that Nathan neccesarily disagreed with the school, maybe I missed that part. I do understand that Nathan believes in the submitting of both ways like Christ did, but it was the literal take that it still has to be the woman who does this and the man that does this that I was questioning him about. This isn't the first time Nathan has agreed with these rigid boxes and not followed up. So that's where the "why is it that religious people...".

Because I understand the idea of the husband and wife submitting to each other. But it's when it's taken literally from the Bible and the gender roles are defined that way is what I have a problem with...


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Originally posted by maycocksean

Well, I'm not that someone. But like you, I'd like to hear the answers to these questions too. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's anyone on this thread (yet) who's willing to cop to believing in rigid old-school gender roles.
Oh they cop to it, but then never come back to explain how or why they implement them in their own lives...
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:22 AM   #47
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Originally posted by maycocksean

Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's anyone on this thread (yet) who's willing to cop to believing in rigid old-school gender roles.
It's a line of thinking that's been expressed on this forum in one way or another several times before. Sexist and patronizing comments are nothing new, and where gender roles are concerned you'll get a more subtle sort of commentary, but really, it takes you back to the same thing.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:40 AM   #48
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Oh they cop to it, but then never come back to explain how or why they implement them in their own lives...
You can only implement that in real life if you're married. Some of the conservative posters here aren't married, and if they are, you'd be hard pressed to find many real life wives who put up with that kind of crap.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:54 AM   #49
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I think there was something once along the lines of God made women for the purpose of ironing clothes (I take some license for purpose of this thread, if I remember correctly the word God was never used but the rest of the gist was the same).

I have no problem ironing his (not God's, the generic guy) clothes as long as he irons his own and mine (and as long as he doesn't think it's ordained by God that I do so or mandated for any non-religious reason that I find sexist and offensive), but I do know that God didn't create me for that purpose.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:27 AM   #50
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Originally posted by yolland
I'm also wondering what people imagine a "truly equal" marriage in which the woman is a homemaker should look like, and how they imagine that to clearly differ from what an "old-school gender roles" marriage looks like.


my guess is that a "truly equal" marriage would probably look different from the one these girls are being prepared for. the "truly equal" marriage doesn't have a gender-determined template and set list of expectations, duties, and check lists that you could prepare for in a college class.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #51
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on a side note: i'm glad to see there is still opportunities for single-sex liberal arts education. i'm not a fan of the curriculum, however the women enrolled are getting the opportunity for a single-sex classroom environment that they can really thrive in.

i mourned with my friend, who is an alumni of RMWC when they went co-ed and tore that school apart.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:30 PM   #52
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It's still pretty rampant in churches, though, at least in my - admittedly limited - experience of Southern baptist churches. Women are expected to be these meek, mild, submissive creatures who hobble about on dangerous heels and paint their faces for the pleasure of a man's eye. I'm not going to discuss the hats and the hair. It's enough to make a tomboy stark, raving mad to hear these women yapping about how fulfilled they are - I personally rather doubt it, but, well, okay, if that's what floats your boat, go for it. Just don't be surprised when I eyeball you sidewise as you gossip about the probable sexual orientation of the woman who doesn't go in for all that blarney, and doesn't listen to vapid suggestions on how to apply makeup - which, by the way, I happen to be better at than you are, a fact you would have known if you'd bothered to find out.

But I admit I'm bitterly against gender roles, period - I don't like them, and I won't bow to them, and I most especially will not support them, because they're stupid, and they poison kids against their very selves with their uncomprehending rigidity.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:56 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the "truly equal" marriage doesn't have a gender-determined template and set list of expectations, duties, and check lists that you could prepare for in a college class.
Of course it's a given with the group we're talking about that the decision as to who will be the homemaker (and that someone will be at all, for that matter) is tied into a belief that God created men and women for different family roles. So, yes, the mutual personal motivations for breaking the roles down in that way are different. What I was asking, though, is how a "truly equal" marriage in which the woman is a homemaker (since it seems everyone claims to believe such things could exist) would look different in practice. If one spouse is a homemaker, after all, then by definition that means they'll be doing most of the childcare and housework right there, no matter what the motivation for that choice was. So how would an "equal" homemaker's life look different from a "sexist and patronizing" one (without getting into unsupported assumptions that a "Godly Woman's" husband by definition thinks his wife is a moron, sex toy, slave or hysteric, etc.)?
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:09 PM   #54
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My notion of an equal homemaker's life would include mutual respect, respect from the other that the homemaker is performing work that is real work and is tiring and important and all of that, and still have the other person doing a fair share of the housework and child care and being engaged in what is going on in the household.

I just can't stand that saying that a husband/so "helps around the house", and I have actually heard a time or two that he "babysits"-what the? Even with a stay at home female homemaker, a husband/man is a father and equal parent-not a babysitter. It's that stuff that comes from a notion that certain things are "women's work" that I can't stand. An equal homemaker's life wouldn't include that for me, it's about attitude as well as behavior.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:01 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
My notion of an equal homemaker's life would include mutual respect, respect from the other that the homemaker is performing work that is real work and is tiring and important and all of that, and still have the other person doing a fair share of the housework and child care and being engaged in what is going on in the household.
So does the model of marriage and family described in the article clearly rule those things out? It is inconceivable that these women's husbands/future husbands respect their wives and the work they do, help out with children and chores when they're home, and are engaged in household decisions?

I just wonder if in reacting adversely to the idea of "God-ordained" distinct roles for men and women as spouses and parents, we aren't being a bit too hasty in our assumptions about how the actual people involved understand their choices, themselves and each other. Bono's shades mentioned finding the "glorious inequalities" phrase "Orwellian"--to me it sounded more like Erma Bombeck. An "Orwellian" scenario would be where the government forbids women to work outside the home, imposes a Kinder, Küche, Kirche regimen on them, then tries to paper over the loss of women's liberty to pursue the kinds of social positions they want and believe in with propaganda about "glorious inequalities"--which would likely be a bit more grim-sounding than anecdotes about gripes felt towards one's working husband "while I'm changing diapers and getting poop all over me."

I do of course appreciate that when you have, or recently have had, a society-at-large in which such family role arrangements are an enforced norm, that tends to give rise to perceptions that people of a given sex are categorically less capable of doing the opposite sex's work and can't be trusted with it, compounded by 'in-group,' gender-specific socialization customs that develop in relative isolation over time and further enhance the (convenient) perception that integration is infeasible, as well as lopsided parental leave policies and so forth. So you then get everything from 'glass ceilings' for women in the business world, to suspicious tenure discrepancies along gender lines in universities, to husbands who claim to be thumbs-up for working wives but still expect their own to do the lion's share of housework, to stay-at-home dads who are simultaneously assumed to be weak-willed wimps yet also untrustworthy to supervise other people's little girls. 'Soft' or structural/institutional discrimination of the sort that succeeds the legalized kind, as a sociologist might say.

At the same time, that 'freedom to' which was so critical to second-wave feminism also includes freedom to be a homemaker, including for reasons of personal religious belief (as opposed to being forced to do it, either through direct coercion, or indirectly through ensuring that other avenues of opportunity are cut off). I don't see much evidence that what's described in the article meets either of those 'forced to do it' definitions. Nor do I see much evidence that an 'inferior' status is being ascribed to the work (homemaking) the women in question choose to do--although it's easy enough to project one onto that, since most of the rest of us are accustomed to thinking of 'freedom to' in terms of 'freedom from' the (enforced version of the) model of marriage and family they've chosen...and perhaps even to blaming people who choose to follow it for the kinds of discrimination the rest of us encounter in following other models.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:30 PM   #56
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It doesn't rule those things out and it's not inconceivable, but the impression I get from that article is that it is so lopsided and the women are doing all the sacrificing and the compromising. Nothing about it seems mutual to me, but of course it could be the slant of the article. The best thing for the writer to do would have been to interview the husbands, and if they would have been candid well it would be easier to form an opinion beyond the initial one.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:36 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

I was speaking of the "wives submit..." line of thinking.

This isn't the first time Nathan has agreed with these rigid boxes and not followed up.
Some of us don't pore over Interference every hour of the day. (Some of us have jobs that don't allow for endless blue crack procrastination.) I'm genuinely surprised that one post has created such animosity, and sad that such judgmentalism has come from it, particularly from people who make such a virtue of non-judgment.

A couple of thoughts here.

MrsS said: "Personally I don't think saying "we're all here to serve each other" is a justification for any mentality that women are here for the purpose of serving men, and certainly not that singular purpose."

You would have to assume that I somehow put less of a priority on men being here to serve women. And that would be a mistake. For the record, I do think that Christian husbands are called ultimately to serve their wives, and I do think that Christian wives are called to serve their husbands. It's not an either/or, but a both/and. Does anyone really not think that the ways that we are built as men and women apply themselves in different ways in the marriage? Equality does not necessarily mean sameness -- after all, as the old saying goes, we're one, but not the same. If you want to argue otherwise, you've got about 10,000 years (or however long humans have been around) of biological, chemical, emotional (and, for some, spiritual) history going against you. Is everyone going to fit into a box? Of course not -- but there's a principle of servanthood that is at work, which manifest differently in men and women because we are different creatures. That's what the Scriptures exhort for Christian husbands and wives, and that's what I was getting at.

BVS said: "I do understand that Nathan believes in the submitting of both ways like Christ did, but it was the literal take that it still has to be the woman who does this and the man that does this that I was questioning him about."

Do I take the Bible literally when it says that I am supposed to lay down my life for my wife? Yes, I do. Every day, I'm supposed to make sure that her well-being is my primary concern. That's how I submit to my wife -- by putting her needs above my own. I like how our pastor puts it -- "if everyone focuses on everyone else's needs, everyone's needs are met." Nowhere should that be more true than in a marriage relationship. Is it always? No. But is that the principle's fault?

Does the Bible get into the literal ins-and-outs of who does the washing up, who cooks, who cleans? No, and honestly, I don't think God cares who does what. It's the attitude, the principle, that He cares about. ("God looks on the heart," as it says in 1 Samuel.) Each marriage has to sort out the best way for it to work. Sometimes I wash dishes. Sometimes my wife washes dishes. Sometimes my wife cooks. Sometimes I cook (actually, not often -- I'm lousy at it). Sometimes I have managed the household finances. Right now she does, but regardless, we have always made our financial decisions together. Right now, I'm the full-time breadwinner. That means certain things for the family right now, but there have been times where my wife was the full-time breadwinner and I wasn't. That meant something different for the family. You fill in the gaps to make it work, but if you're more interested in your own happiness than in taking care of the people around you, you're in for a rough ride. This is why I get particularly frustrated with husbands who don't reciprocate the servanthood of their wives, and why that's a particular priority of mine in the husband/wife relationships that my wife and I counsel.

BVS said: "I just think he conveinently avoided addressing some of the pitfalls of this type of thinking by giving the nice neat "love all" answer."

It's not convenient at all. It's not neat. And that's kind of where the rubber meets the road, isn't it? A life of servitude -- to your spouse, to your children, to your coworkers, to your employers, to the random homeless guy you meet on the street -- is the most inconvenient of all. I personally think genuine servanthood starts in the home, because the people in your family are the ones closest to you -- and oftentimes the ones hardest to serve.

People are railing against these women because they are volunteering to place a value on certain activities that are important to them -- and, presumably, to someone they would like to marry. Is it important to me that my wife knows how to iron? No, but there are some people for whom it might be. My father-in-law worked for 10 years drilling holes 19 hours a day to provide for his family. He needed someone who could keep the house together. That's not my life, but it's someone's. Who am I to pass judgment on what someone else thinks is important, or how someone else's marriage works? If these women are saying that it's important to them to prepare for that someday, what's the problem in that? Are they wrong for doing so? Who are we to say? Is it easier to judge and make fun of other people who are making their own choices about where their own lives are going and what they want out of their own marriages?

While we're on the topic, I think yolland raised a very good point with the question, "I'm also wondering what people imagine a "truly equal" marriage in which the woman is a homemaker should look like, and how they imagine that to clearly differ from what an "old-school gender roles" marriage looks like." Would someone like to tackle that?

What I hear in this thread that I strongly agree with is that exploitative relationships are wrong, and that Christian husbands who exploit their wives' submission without paying attention to the fact that Paul spends three times as much text talking to husbands about their roles are wrong. (As my father told me growing up, "Your job isn't to make sure you have a Godly wife. Your job is to make sure you are a Godly husband.") All of this I fundamentally agree with.




PS. All I can say is, my respect for yolland grows with each post I read.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:57 PM   #58
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i think all anyone wants is for individuals to be able to make their own choices in life, and for their talents and interests (and plain old sense of obligation to see a job done) to determine how they fufill their roles as partners.

that's all.

and it doesn't seem as if this particular class assumes that there's any choice to begin with. women do one thing, and men do another. yes, it is indeed someone's choice whether or not to take that class, but it's existence blies the existence of the life of rigid, old-school gender roles that are actively preserved by institutions of higher learning. no one's saying that they shouldn't be, but people are perfectly free to level whatever citicisms they want at these attitudes and point out that such notions of gender-determinism has been the source of exploitation for, say, 10,000 years. the idea that "men are like this/women are like that" is not only wrong, but potentially harmful. there's nothing inherently wrong when, say, a women is far more interested in her toddler than her husband, or when a man is far more excited to teach his child to drive than his wife. but it's the notion that such things are timeless, timetested, set-in-stone, and not just eternal, but Blessed and Godly, that it becomes a problem, for if you fail to live up to these notions -- say you're a woman and you don't like babies, say you're a man and you can't fix a sink for shit -- then there's not just something wrong with you, but that you're failing God in some way.

that's all.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:08 PM   #59
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Originally posted by nathan1977

People are railing against these women because they are volunteering to place a value on certain activities that are important to them -- and, presumably, to someone they would like to marry. I
I'm not railing against them. If they want to sew buttons and set tables, that's their prerogative. I'm just confused about why on earth this is part of the curriculum at an institution of higher learning and the idea it counts towards your degree baffles me as well. But then again I always felt that institutions like that existed to teach the students how to participate in critical thinking, not how to bake muffins.

They can do whatever they want. Not like I'm financing their tuition.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:31 PM   #60
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Originally posted by Irvine511
it doesn't seem as if this particular class assumes that there's any choice to begin with.
I guess I missed the part in the article where the college was forcing women to take this class and excluding them from all others. It's an option. Don't we like giving people choices?

Quote:
it's existence blies the existence of the life of rigid, old-school gender roles that are actively preserved by institutions of higher learning.
Because some students wanted to pursue a curriculum in home management?

Quote:
the idea that "men are like this/women are like that" is not only wrong, but potentially harmful.
This reminds me of the conversation in "Life of Brian," which I've quoted before:
Judith: [on Stan's desire to be a mother] Here! I've got an idea: Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb - which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans' - but that he can have the *right* to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother... sister, sorry.
Reg: What's the *point*?
Francis: What?
Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.

Quote:
it's the notion that such things are timeless, timetested, set-in-stone, and not just eternal, but Blessed and Godly, that it becomes a problem, for if you fail to live up to these notions -- say you're a woman and you don't like babies, say you're a man and you can't fix a sink for shit -- then there's not just something wrong with you, but that you're failing God in some way.
I guess I missed the passage of Scripture where God ordered men to fix sinks.
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