Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time Warp

I am a bibliophile. To be more exact, I am an unabashed and avid book reader. Mostly, I stumble along picking selections that appeal for no particular reason, or because a friend has given a good review, or just to be plain contrary. I have been known to read a book simply because a huge uproar that riles against the content is warning of an impending moral apocalypse.

But occasionally, I find myself reading a book mentioned in a text book as an example of a style, time period or school of thought. This is what prompted a deeper reading of Mill’s The Subjection of Women. I have actually heard this book derided from pulpits. But I never dared to read it, when I subscribed to many of the fundamental underpinnings of hyper patriarchy.

Admittedly, I was enticed to this selection by my contemporary viewpoint of the status of women in the right fringe American church pews. In truth, my viewpoint of the status of women in most hyper-religious and hyper patriarchal scenarios (Christian or other) is much better explained by an author from the late 1800s.

The words leapt off the pages! I feel as though many women in the hyper-patriarchal community today are living in a time warp. Here are excerpts that prompted me to fully read the work:

“Men do not want solely the obedience of women, they want their sentiments. All men, except the most brutish, desire to have, in the woman most nearly connected with them, not a forced slave but a willing one, not a slave merely, but a favorite. They have therefore put everything in practice to enslave their minds.”

“All women are brought up from the very earliest years in the belief that their ideal of character is the very opposite to that of men; not self-will and government by self-control, but submission and yielding to the control of others.”

“….that it is their nature to live for others, to make complete abnegation of themselves, and have no life but in their affections. And by their affections are meant the only ones they are allowed to have-those to the men whom they are connected, or the children who constitute an additional and indefeasible tie between them and a man.”

Now before you brand me a man hater, slow your roll. Okay?

I have no qualms with a proper interpretation of biblical mutual submission. I have no problem with headship in a marriage. What I decry is a twisted application and a misguided following of subjugation. I rail against a woman's destiny and life plan being determined for her. I know of a few women that choose this lifestyle with eyes wide open. But I know of many more that languish in hopelessness.

For clarity, I provide this virtual time warp.

Domestic Felicity

A Merry Future Homemaker

Take your time……… I’ll be here to finish up after you return from 1869.

Yes, you read right. Yes, you understood.

Granted, these are examples of women that purport happiness in their lives. It may be so. For their sakes, I do hope that they are truly happy. That is all I wish for all women. That they may be happy in their choices. And that they have choices.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. At least for the hyper patriarchal families out there, it is circa 1869. Sad, isn’t it?

Those books that you've been warned away from are out there. What are you waiting for?

*Originally posted at Da Bees Knees 10/05/08*

I Choose

I love my friends. After a long telephone conversation, with much venting of pain and frustration on my part, I sat thinking.

My friend was patient, understanding and nonjudgemental. She was encouraging and yet spoke her mind.

She heard me.

But more importantly, I heard her. I heard her well reasoned wisdom for stepping back, stepping away and choosing to hold onto her hard won peace.

I choose to listen. My reaction is my choice.

Love for Enemies

Matthew 5:43-48

43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

*Originally posted at Da Bees Knees 10/22/08*

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NOT Esther

I cannot believe the hubris on display that is named Sarah Palin. I mean, really. Really?

Incredulously, this person is still on the political stage. No matter that her fifteen minutes of shame fame should have expired long ago; she continues to surface like oil on water… and just as slick.

And now, she is asking the public at large to applaud her non-performance and desertion of duties as a “maverick-y” move of political genius. In an interview she says:

“We have so many people who offer advice, but I’m going to continue to be, whether some of ‘em like it or not, pretty darn independent, and not get wrapped up into a strong political machine that hasn’t been extremely successful in some ways,” she said on Fox News Channel. "I want to work, right now, for people who are going to work in office or out of office for the right things. Those principles that built up America, those who are inspired by the values of America, and will not deride or apologize for the values we hold as Americans. I’m gonna work for those people.”

Um… okay. Does she know that work is…. Work?

Now, I should give credit where credit is due. There are some things in which Sarah excels. No one else can create and deliver such unintelligible sentence structures. Her rambles and folksy swagger are legendary.

Also too, *wink* Sarah is hard to beat on reliability in drawing a crowd for political rallies. That is where her talent lies. Certainly there is money to be had on the political speech circuit. Perhaps her plan is to parlay her popularity among the disenchanted fringe of the conservative movement into becoming their solid pick for the final immolation of the GOP as we know it. It is quite possible that Sarah will be the sword upon which the GOP throws itself.

However, I get the idea that Sarah is doing a bit of religious “dog whistling” as it were with her summation of her political aspirations and status. She states that “all options are on the table” for her future. She seems to believe that she is destined to save American Conservatism (as defined by Sarah and her ilk).

The only thing missing from her last news conference was her proclamation that “for such a time as this” she was stepping down to effect a change that only she can make in America. Her self-sacrificing stance, meant to invoke the Old Testament heroine, Esther:

"You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it.”

Sarah has more political lives than a cat. It’s highly unlikely that this move will cause an early demise to her thus far underwhelming political career. And for that, perhaps the Democratic Party should be thankful.