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Old 10-22-2007, 05:32 PM   #21
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I fully agree with martha. If that's what a girl truly wants to do with her life, great, have at it, I don't care. But it shouldn't be forced upon anybody-just because some religion says this is how things should be doesn't automatically mean that it's true. The "Stepford" comparison is spot on-the way this is being handled just seems sorta...creepy to me, in a way. Like that girl who automatically gave up her career when her husband said it was time to have kids. The way that sentence was written just struck me as sounding rather controlling. It may very well have not been like that, but...yeah.

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Old 10-22-2007, 06:32 PM   #22
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^ That was the reporter's phrasing; we don't know how the woman herself put it. But as far as it goes, I agree that if that's how she experienced it, it seems like a rather deflating message for a teacher of one of these classes to be sending. Then again, I imagine anyone who's signed up for this concentration has already made a decision that naturally, as a married woman, she'd expect to stay at home once children start arriving (since the very design of the program appears to presume that).

I'm certainly not an advocate of people being forced into household models they don't believe in or want. But I also think this idea of 'it should always be a joyous choice' is unrealistically romantic. In many cases, the decision for one spouse or the other to become a homemaker stems primarily from shared strong belief in the value of having one parent always around while the children are young, not just to change diapers and scrub dirty hands but also to provide the kinds of intellectual, social and moral development foundations a good nursery school might otherwise. And when you sit down to compare career progress, salaries and personal lifetime priorities before you start to have kids, it may become mutually apparent that it makes much more logical sense for one spouse to step into that homemaker role than the other. In my experience, this is just as likely to be true of families with a homemaker dad. Often it isn't so much a question of 'Yes! This is what I've always dreamed of doing and I've never seriously considered anything else!' as agreement on mutual priorities. Again--I am NOT advocating that anyone, male or female, with a passionate, overriding desire for professional achievement let themselves be guilted or badgered into giving up their career to stay at home...those forms of contribution to society can be tremendously valuable too, and there is nothing to celebrate in the person of a deeply dissatisfied, resentful and unhappy parent and spouse who feels like s/he was humiliatingly 'demoted' to a role they didn't want, any more than there is in someone who never wanted kids reluctantly agreeing to have them to please their spouse, even though s/he resents the responsibilities it's going to add, the toll it will take on their bank account and career flexibility, etc.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:36 PM   #23
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The issue for me is the notion that women subjugating themselves to men in this way, or any way, is somehow ordered by God. I think that's a completely different issue than life choices made for other reasons, and not from any viewpoint that women are inferior beings.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:44 PM   #24
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While I don't really see the point in having credit-carrying college courses in home meal preparation, home clothesmaking, and home design (the courses in child development, nutrition and Biblical models of family make more sense), it's not like women students are required to take these courses, or for that matter to attend this particular school at all. Frankly, the article seems more mean-spirited than anything else to me.
It may technically be true that the students have a choice, but my guess is their parents have taught them from the moment they were old enough to understand anything that God has ordained that a woman is supposed to stay home and be submissive to her husband. I know, plenty of Christian parents don't teach that - my own mom's a conservative Catholic stay-at-home mom, but I always got the message I could do anything I wanted with my life career-wise - but unfortunately there are parents out there who do believe this twisted intepretation of the Bible, and homeschool their kids and otherwise limit their contact with the outside world so they don't get any conflicting messages. I know there really isn't anything you can do about it because it's a free country and parents can teach their kids anything they want about religion, but I still find it incredibly sad.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:44 PM   #25
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Originally posted by yolland
^ That was the reporter's phrasing; we don't know how the woman herself put it. But as far as it goes, I agree that if that's how she experienced it, it seems like a rather deflating message for a teacher of one of these classes to be sending.
Oh, yeah, I know that's the fault of the reporter. You (and MrsSpringsteen with her last post) just worded the concern that I was trying to get at better than I did .

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Then again, I imagine anyone who's signed up for this concentration has already made a decision that naturally, as a married woman, she'd expect to stay at home once children start arriving (since the very design of the program appears to presume that).
This is true. Good point.

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Old 10-22-2007, 06:50 PM   #26
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
The issue for me is the notion that women subjugating themselves to men in this way, or any way, is somehow ordered by God. I think that's a completely different issue than life choices made for other reasons, and not from any viewpoint that women are inferior beings.
Where does it say they're teaching that women are "inferior"? I don't really think it's warranted to assume that holding a religious belief that "God ordained" men and women to "naturally" fill different roles means one role is understood to be more glorious or "superior" than the other. These are adult women, it's not a theocratic country, and they can through their own thought processes arrive at a different set of beliefs on such matters than the one their parents held. Or not. I just don't feel any pity for them or see reason to...
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:04 PM   #27
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In many cases, the decision for one spouse or the other to become a homemaker stems primarily from shared strong belief in the value of having one parent always around while the children are young,
Yes, a choice made to benefit the family; a choice made together, a choice that makes you happy.

That's what I meant.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:23 PM   #28
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Where does it say they're teaching that women are "inferior"? I don't really think it's warranted to assume that holding a religious belief that "God ordained" men and women to "naturally" fill different roles means one role is understood to be more glorious or "superior" than the other. These are adult women, it's not a theocratic country, and they can through their own thought processes arrive at a different set of beliefs on such matters than the one their parents held. Or not. I just don't feel any pity for them or see reason to...
hmmmm I know plenty of SUPERIOR women who chose to stay home and run the house...

At least we have Martha (the other Martha) to demonstrate that you can make the BIG BUCKS being a kick-ass homemaker.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:52 PM   #29
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At least we have Martha (the other Martha) to demonstrate that you can make the BIG BUCKS being a kick-ass homemaker.
The irony. She's actually a business woman, you do realize.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:23 AM   #30
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I think you twisted the intent to avoid what MrsS was really talking about.
No. I really don't think he did.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:38 AM   #31
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I can't imagine why this would be at a university - are they accredited? These schools are places of higher learning to engage students in critical thinking, not to have them sew buttons and mop floors. But then again, I'd never attend such an institution even at the threat of death, so to each his own.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:21 AM   #32
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According to their website, this is a 21-hour concentration within a 129-hour Humanities BA program (Southwestern is, of course, a seminary school, not a regular college or university, so it only offers BAs in Humanities and Music to begin with--you don't go there to study math, political science, electrical engineering, pre-law etc.).

While I don't really see the point in having credit-carrying college courses in home meal preparation, home clothesmaking, and home design (the courses in child development, nutrition and Biblical models of family make more sense), it's not like women students are required to take these courses, or for that matter to attend this particular school at all. Frankly, the article seems more mean-spirited than anything else to me.


Where do I sign up?
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:26 AM   #33
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:37 AM   #34
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This article kind of reminds me of a couple of my older cousins who went to college just for their "MRS degree". It seems odd to me to have some of these courses offered in a college setting (they seem more appropriate for finishing or vocational school), but college is where many people meet their future spouses, so I guess I can see the logic there.

I wouldn't take the concentration or any of the courses, but if others want to, it's ok with me.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:44 AM   #35
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Remember, guys, if the Bible "says so," it's "God's will." If the Koran "says so," well, then we must send an army to "liberate them" and demand that they "modernize."
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:52 AM   #36
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Well I think when people are talking about the "glorious inequalities of life" and that women were created to be helpers, it implies some sort of inferiority. If they said and taught the same things about men there'd be an equality there. From my viewpoint inequality isn't glorious or ordered by God.

"We must fit into this role. It's so much more important than our own personal happiness."

When the men start saying things like that it will be fine.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:11 AM   #37
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No. I really don't think he did.
You don't think there's a fear that this type of thinking leads to inequality? This "role assignment" has been abused for centuries, and still is often today. To me his answer, though may be very true, wasn't exactly where the poster he quoted was going. That was my whole point. I just think he conveinently avoided addressing some of the pitfalls of this type of thinking by giving the nice neat "love all" answer.

Which I think is the right answer, but it's similar to the hate the sin, love the sinner answer we often get.

I guess I want someone who still believes in these gender roles to explain how they use these roles in their own lives and if they find them to be truly equal. And then to see how literal do they take them, can the roles be reversed, can they be divided?
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:45 PM   #38
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Well I think he did, but I await his answer before I reach that definite conclusion. 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.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:53 PM   #39
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I guess for me what it comes down to is that (unlike what was the case "for centuries") these women have real alternatives available to them. They do not have to be homemakers, they do not have to follow an interpretation of the Bible that says married women may not work outside the home, they don't even have to leave their own denomination over this, because there's a diversity of opinions within it on this issue. I think they have to be seen as accountable for their own happiness or unhappiness as a result of the view of marriage they've committed to.

As far as what these women's husbands, future husbands, and fellow seminary students not enrolled in this concentration think about men's roles and responsibilities within a marriage, none of us are really in a position to comment, because none of us know anything about what they think and say, or about what's being taught in the Christian life courses all the undergrads take. It could be anything from 'Submit to each other as the Bible says; in return for her running the household you should always put her goals and wishes for it and the children first' to 'You are the Lord and Master and should always tell your servant what to do, not ask her.' My guess is something along the former lines is far more likely, but we really don't know.

I also think any married person will tell you that whatever nominal ideology about marriage you both subscribe to, the reality is that personality, 'attitude,' inherited sensibilities and household labor arrangements peculiar to your own family of birth, and other such 'intangibles' exert a huge if not decisive influence, too. And homemaking, to a large extent, simply is what it is where perceived 'inequality' potential is concerned--if you're a homemaker, then no matter what your gender or reasons for making that choice, the reality is you won't be the one with a paycheck to show for your efforts, you won't get the same kind of specific public-sphere recognition and validation your spouse does for the work you do, and you'll probably be more vulnerable if something happens to your spouse (or they walk out on you) than you would've been if you'd both held paying jobs. That's just the way it is. At least the model of marriage these women are committing to is unambiguous about who's going to be doing most of the childcare and housework--as opposed to the all-too-common situation where both spouses start out saying 'Oh we're gonna do everything fifty-fifty, a woman can do whatever she wants in life, blah blah blah' and then once the actual crying infant is in the house, guess who feels the most pressure to scale back their work responsibilities, even though that wasn't the original (nominal) shared expectation. While I don't personally subscribe to the idea that what follows from this is that women should always be the homemakers (or that there needs to be a stay-at-home parent at all), I don't see choosing to commit oneself to this particular alternative as a "bad" way to go. What matters is that the woman chose it, she believes in it, and she can therefore meaningfully be said to be accountable for its consequences.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:31 PM   #40
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Quote:
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Well I think when people are talking about the "glorious inequalities of life" and that women were created to be helpers, it implies some sort of inferiority. If they said and taught the same things about men there'd be an equality there. From my viewpoint inequality isn't glorious or ordered by God.
I don't see how anyone could utter the phrase "glorious inequalities" with a straight face. It's downright Orwelian. It creeped me out just reading it.
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