get married + be submissive?

 

 

A dog is wiser than a woman; it does not bark at its master. — Russian Proverb

If you want to be grotesquely fascinated, check out this book of relationship advice that is on bestseller lists across Europe:

Get Married….And Be Submissive

This is not the kind of submissive involving handcuffs and paddles and black silk wrapped round your eyes. The author – who is a woman – states that

“we are not equal to men and to not recognise this is a guaranteed source of suffering”.

Therefore, ladies,

“you must submit to him. When you have to choose between what he likes and what you like, choose in his favour.”

And don’t forget that

“when your husband tells you something, you should listen as if it were God speaking”.

Because

“A woman bears ‘obedience’ written on her inside…The man, by contrast, carries the role of liberator and guide.”

For he shall liberate your inner June Cleaver:

“If you’re not an experienced cook or the perfect housewife, what’s the problem if he says so? Tell him he’s right, that it’s true, that you will learn….Women forget that they can’t have it all: working like a man and being at home like a woman. Power is not designed for women.”

But Justine, I can hear you saying, surely such a book was written in a spirit of irony! This is one person’s craven attempt for sensationalism, sales and attention!

Yet the author – a devout Catholic — comes off as quite earnest, claiming that her book resulted from letters she wrote over the years to female friends.

Closer to home, one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, Melissa Gorga, has come out with her own tome of marital wisdom called LOVE ITALIAN STYLE! The key to her apparently happy marriage is her head-over-heels submission to her husband. Melissa describes how he is, indeed, her liberator and guide:

“His style was to make corrections and to teach me from the beginning days of our marriage exactly how he envisioned our life together. Joe always says, “You got to teach someone to walk straight on the knife. If you slip, you’re going to get cut.” Even if something didn’t bother him that badly, he’d bring it up. He wanted to make sure that I knew, for example, if I ran out to CVS and he came home from work to an empty house, he didn’t like it. He’d call me and say, “I don’t care if you’re out all day long. But I don’t want to come home to an empty house.”

The routine of making dinner and keeping a clean house is how I stay grounded. It keeps me humble.

Someone might look at Joe and think, “Chauvinist pig.” He sounds like one sometimes! They might look at me and think, “Throwback.” The way I see it, Joe is cleaning up messes at work all day long—things you can’t wipe up with a sponge. That’s his job. It’s my job to clean up spilled milk. I just do it. There is simply no point to arguing about something that requires all of five seconds of my time and next to zero energy.

When gender roles are confused, sexual roles are, too. If he’s at the sink and then changing diapers, then who throws down in the bed? In our marriage, Joe is always the man, doing masculine things. I’m the woman, and I do the female things, including housework.”

Sam Owen, cited as a relationships coach and psychologist, says that the appeal of this kind of advice lies in a longing for the past. “We are a lost society when it comes to relationship roles within marriage. Due to a rapidly changing world, the desire for women and men to be seen as equal, and the drive towards having everything – children, a successful career and a happy spouse – husbands and wives are feeling confused about what their role is within the marriage and family unit, and this creates discord.”

He says: “If people are hankering for an old-fashioned marriage, it’s often because so much of it worked so well.”

I find this a curious statement. Let’s not forget that “old-fashioned marriages” took place in a world where divorce was taboo, job advertisements were divided into the His and Her sections (guess which list was longer and more lucrative), and a woman couldn’t rent an apartment or apply for a credit card or take out a bank loan without a male to co-sign.

In almost every state, men had the right to have sex with their wife at any time, whether she gave consent or not. She could not control when to have a child or how many children she would have (the pill had not been invented yet, and birth control was illegal in many places). Her husband, if he wanted, could keep her barefoot and pregnant.

Domestic abuse was a dirty secret.

Men worked and drank and smoked themselves into early graves.

It’s easy to hanker after the idea of an old-fashioned marriage. We are free to wax poetic, much like we can about unicorns; we can pretend that people married for true love and encountered nothing but happily ever afters.

And if women were presumed to lack the intellectual capacities of a man, and couldn’t or shouldn’t support themselves, it would make sense to encourage them to submit to their husbands’ superior judgment and greater worldliness and maturity. You would have no choice but to enter a parent-child kind of relationship, because the husband truly knows best.

The kind of genuine intimacy that is only possible between equals wouldn’t exist.

Which is what I think we all want, even if we’re also afraid of it or unsure of what it looks like. We want to see and be seen, love and be loved; we want to be accepted and recognized for who we are on the inside. We crave the kind of intimacy that power closes out. Polarized gender roles make it possible to function efficiently as a unit, but that doesn’t translate to an intimate relationship; it is, instead, an exchange of services (where one set is valued much more highly than the other).

When one partner must maintain power-over, neither partner is free to speak in an authentic voice. One person must use communication as a tool of control; the other must use it to accommodate, persuade, seduce, or manipulate.

Is this a recipe for happiness? Hell no. But it’s what we know, in a culture that didn’t respect women enough to give them the vote until less than a hundred years ago. And when people are confused, insecure, stressed-out or vulnerable, it’s our nature as human beings to seek what seems easy and best simply because it’s familiar. We are creatures who are not very comfortable with change.

To live in a world where women can uncouple sex and pregnancy is a radical change.

To live in a world where women as a group are attaining power – regardless of whether or not we were “designed for it” – is unprecedented, and freaking out a lot of people.

Emotional and sexual intimacy can be messy, tangled, difficult and volatile just to begin with, and we’re approaching it from a new level of possibility: partners freely choosing to be with you and to stay with you.

It ups the game. It raises the stakes. It demands that you show up more completely and more often, that you learn to speak your heart and also listen.

It demands that you risk more, and hurt when you have to so that you may grow. There is no shortcut we can take, no formula we can use, and the only paradigm we have is still very much in flux.

Which is why I think surrendered or submissive marriages are, in the end, a kind of cop-out.

Traditional gender roles are easy. Real intimacy is not.

Which doesn’t mean, by the way, that you can’t be submissive in bed if that’s what turns you on. Playing with power can be very sexy, if not always politically correct – the body wants what it wants. But when you have the ability and the freedom to say what you want, and what you don’t want, and act and be acted upon accordingly, there’s never any question as to who throws down in the bedroom. Which is probably why feminism makes for better sex.

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in fairy tales.

I just think the real ones have yet to be written.

Jan 6, 2014
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31 comments · Add Yours

I wonder how a mature modern person fails to see herself as an individual first? Women keep talking about themselves as second halves of another person, an afterthought, a servant created for someone else – men. That is so absurd. Two people are individuals first and a couple second. That’s so basic to me and obvious that I cannot even understand why women are still so confused.

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Right on Justine! There is so much frustration, loneliness and negating of the emotions (and power) of women in a marriage that adheres to such goofy notions.

A marriage that does not encourage us to be fully-formed, with a full range of emotions (and bad and good days), is not a real marriage.

I need to run out to CVS right now and I might be gone awhile! Good thing Mr. Gorga doesn’t live here!

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@IP Right. If you’re really curious, why don’t you actually ask a series of women that same question, and see what responses you get?

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So much rage to choke down!

I have no problem with people who make choices for their own lives, and even when they share those choices with the world. If a woman *wants* to live in a relationship of 24/7 D/s domesticity, that should be her choice to do so.

… but there is absolutely NO excuse for the lazy writing and lack of self-knowledge inherent in the work of a woman who attributes this desire and the way the dynamic works for her in her relationship to the natural inclinations of her entire gender. Blarg.

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agreed. justify your life all you want, just leave me (+ the sisterhood) out of it.

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My grandmother is 80 years old, and is on marriage #3.
Her first marriage was to my bio grandfather, an abusive alcoholic sonovabitch whom she divorced long before it was as accessible for women to divorce as they can now.

Her second husband was to her best friend, the man I called grandfather. He was a gentle giant of a man. They enhanced each other, they respected each other. Two whole people forming a cohesive unit. Sadly he passed.

Now her current (hubby #3) was born in 1919. He’s a man of his time, and in the beginning of their relationship – he once tried to sort of ‘put her in her place’ as a woman. Her reply, I hold with me always as a way to cope with any relationship was this: “I’ve never developed a taste for shit, and I’m not going to now.”

Bad. Ass.

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Poignant piece. I find the whole ‘Love Italian Style’ title ridiculous. A very good friend of mine lived in Italy for some years and she would spew tales of men she knew, who would boast about having mistresses and their wives knowing yet unable to make them stop. A byproduct of submission perhaps? Mrs.Gorga wisdom should really address the Italian Casanova issue. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24065878

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I have a suspicion that the bestseller status (in Spain and Italy) is due to religious (Catholic) influences, and even for those countries, I’m suspicious how submissive those women actually are. Italy has an extremely low divorce rate, but that’s only because maintaining the ‘family’ is supreme over everything else. The husbands and wives, both, are playing around. I couldn’t help notice the large number of comments (1500) underneath the (British) article, which makes me think that this book wouldn’t sell well in the rest of Europe, except for other people’s curiosity. Also, I see that Anonymous has entered this controversy.. I find this fact the most interesting of all.

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@justine musk So far the most common response I get is usually neatly tied onto Biology, genetics and (always!) some kind of divinity or Universal Law.

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@IP I 100% agree! People need to be individuals first, before they can even consider being a part of a larger unit.

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@Melissa I love your grandma! Mine worked hard but she never developed a taste either. :)

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All I can say is WOW…can people really take this advice seriously? And as far as Melissa Gorga goes, she is not in a position to give anyone advice. I could go on and on about her, but don’t want to go down that negative road!
Very interesting article, Justine!

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David Deida’s book, Intimate Communion, comes to mind when reading this. He discusses the first level relationship – the old style/man provides and woman stays home and then goes on to describe the 50/50 relationship – where women and men are equals, but much of that masculine/feminine polarity goes away and creates a lot of the confusion and issues we have today. What many haven’t heard of yet is the 3rd level relationship, called Intitmate Communion. Both partners are respected individuals – both for who they are alone but for what they bring to the relationship. Rather than each person fight to win control, the focus is on how the relationship can win – what is the best I can bring and how can I bring out the best and understand you? I believe this is this is where those unwritten fairy tales will be written.

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Love your posts, always, Justine. It’s so easy to forget all the freedoms we once lived without, but as we wax poetic about “happier days,” it’s important to have reminders about what was really going on culturally. Your courage rocks. xo

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I think that this is an incredibly interesting and important article and it is something that has made me think a little more about the entire topic.

“When one partner must maintain power-over, neither partner is free to speak in an authentic voice.”
This is absolutely true. The problem with power is that when you lose it (which always eventually happens) it’s seems instinctual to try and protect it regardless if it is better for you or not. The problem with being forcefully dominated is you are always going to be resentful to an extent regardless in reality of whether you want that power/responsibility.

“She could not control when to have a child or how many children she would have (the pill had not been invented yet, and birth control was illegal in many places). Her husband, if he wanted, could keep her barefoot and pregnant.”

“To live in a world where women can uncouple sex and pregnancy is a radical change.”

The above is completely true historically and this is the issue that modern men are facing today with the lack of options regarding reproduction. This will only be redressed when the male pill is released, and I think is eventually going to be liberating for men in this regard, although I truly hope it gets the same medical status with regards to cost and distribution as the female pill.
“One person must use communication as a tool of control; the other must use it to accommodate, persuade, seduce, or manipulate.”
I think it is more the case that the ‘controller’ uses overt/visible communication using accomodation, persuasion, seduction and manipulation (and of course intimidation, which I think is a form of manipulation).
The problem with submission is that the ‘other’ person is covertly trying to gain power and acceptance (whether they realise it or not) through accommodation, persuasion, seduction or manipulation.

Which is why I think surrendered or submissive marriages are, in the end, a kind of cop-out
Forced submissive relationships are detrimental to both parties – something that is not mutually beneficial and symbiotic is not sustainable long-term. Marriage for me is a totally different topic altogether and my take on it is exactly the same as the title of the article, the problem for me is that marriage (if it ends) legally, financially and socially is skewed (in the majority of cases) in women’s favour.

I see the submissive/dominance thing as a bit of a spectrum and no-one gender, race, religion and should be forced to fit into either the submissive or dominant role, the important thing is that the individual has the right to choose (whether male or female) where they are comfortable without the fear of reprisal, whether that is physical, legal or emotional.

There are always going to be people pining for power and others being submissive like the woman who wrote the book the article is based. Personally, I like the idea that Laura posted above. Relationships remind me of the peloton in cycling where riders take turns to lead for the betterment of the group. I know that’s where I fit.

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Whooo Hooo!! I LOVE this article! So accurate and insightful. Marriage or partnership can be a wonderful romp into equal support and discovery, the mothership into a new land of exploration into another heart, soul and mind.. Or it can be a prostitution on both parts with two people playing house in roles dictated by a fantasy rather than their own authentic selves, just to gain something in return, such as home, status and societal belonging in a bubble of manufactured “LOVE”. This kind of sacrifice for the sake of companionship is sad. It denotes a very broken human world where we are not able to come together creatively, but rather desperately in the need to stave off loneliness. The cost is outrageously damaging, on our children, society and financial world. Look at all the international marriage trade that is occurring (both male( China, Russia )and female (Cuba)) and those marriages that are based on very traditional husband wife roles and the fantasy of belonging in a club of coupledom at any spiritual cost… what a difficult act to play for life!

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I am a Christian man (not Catholic). I didn’t marry a woman so I could have some sort of life project, a piece of clay on a wheel. I didn’t marry her so I could explain to her who she was. I married her because it was so intoxicating finding out who she was, letting her reveal herself to me in her time and with her grace. I can’t figure out why any man would want to live with a “partner” they control. If I control you, the only thing I ever get from you is a reflection of myself. My wife is an amazing human being, and she was that before she ever knew I existed. I’m blessed to be able to discover her every day, for the first time.

I can only pray that the book Justine mentions is quickly forgotten. Real men want real women.

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Clear article Justine, thanks for putting it all in perspective. Women have a dirty role too in keeping other women “small” and “conformed” and “silent” and “submissive” by for example publishing junk like the books you mentioned above. But your my dear are not contributing to all that. Thank you so much.

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I worry for any daughters this woman, and other women like her, have. They are being raised to be second class citizens to men and continuing the cycle of putting their husbands before their own needs and continually suppressing those needs.

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Justine, you seem to have confused two very different things and in the process are criticizing others for doing exactly what you’re doing.

First, you’re right that “old-fashioned marriages” took place in a world without any kind of gender equality. We’ve made a lot of progress and I (and I think most of the people in the US) fully believe that women should have rights and privileges equal to men in every aspect of law and civil society.

On the other hand, no two people are equivalent. In any relationship between two people, someone will be older and someone will be younger. There will be inequalities in beauty, height, physical strength, intelligence, emotional fluency, social skills, hobbies, sex drive, tolerance for chaos, and on and on. Ask anyone, even (or perhaps especially) a pair of identical twins, and you will find that a relationship of equals is impossible to find.

Likewise, there is practically nothing you can say about “women” or “men” that is true for all women or all men. For example: “men will do anything to get a woman in bed.” Wrong! At least 1% of sexually active men want nothing to do with women; they only want to have sex with men. You have to accept that when people talk about “women” or “men” they are really talking about the feminine or masculine aspect of humans, which we all possess in varying degree. You can have a vagina and still have more masculine energy than feminine in you personality, and even then you can still enjoy getting a manicure, be a good mother, and rock a little black dress. So please accept that what is true for “women” is not necessarily true for you, or vice versa.

These women touting the benefits of being a submissive wife are not saying anything more radical than you are saying about what you believe is the proper style of relationship between a married couple, and the quotes you cited are not as strident as your denigration of them. You allow that “you can’t be submissive in bed if that’s what turns you on,” so why can’t you allow women to be submissive in the kitchen if that’s what turns them on?

Some people are cut out to start their own businesses and run companies, but most people prefer working for those people in those companies rather than starting their own. I happen to be one of the former, I want to be in charge of my career and my economic destiny, but I would never put down my girlfriends for taking a job rather than starting a business. And even in my own company, I choose to be submissive all the time. I hire people I trust who have more skill and/or expertise in some area and do what they tell me. Many hands make light work and my life just works better for me that way.

There’s a saying men use: happy wife, happy life. These women touting being submissive are saying both the same thing and its opposite. They find happiness in keeping their husband happy, so it becomes happy husband, happy wife, happy life for both. What she is saying is that her husband, instead of letting things fester and keeping his unhappiness to himself until he explodes with anger, speaks up right away when something is bothering him. I wish more men would communicate that well! And she has chosen a default response of saying “yes” and doing what it takes to keep him happy. I think if you survey happy couples and marriage counselors you will find widespread agreement with that philosophy. “There is simply no point to arguing about something that requires all of five seconds of my time and next to zero energy.” I couldn’t agree more.

It takes a lot more courage and trust to surrender to your partner than it does to keep up a battle for control. There is a lot more growth to be had from allowing yourself to be vulnerable than from guarding your autonomy. I hope and trust the women writing about surrendering to their husbands have limits, that if the husband demands the wife cut off her foot because he has a stump fetish, she won’t just say “you’re the boss, I’ll do whatever you say” and cut it off without a second thought. But if you throw away the politically charged labels, I hope you will she that she is being kind, loving, and strong and pursuing the life she wants to lead.

I am very glad you write about being an empowered woman in charge of her life. You are a role model. But please remember that there is no one right way to live and your way isn’t the only way or even the best way. It’s the way you’ve chosen. Don’t be a hater.

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Sarah, I’m hardly a hater. But I am taking a stand — that’s what opinions are about — and what concerns me here is that ‘submissive’ so easily slips into a justification for emotional abuse (which is exactly how I would characterize that LOVE ITALIAN STYLE marriage; having been in one myself, I recognize the signs, the attitude, the behavior). I also think it’s disturbing that you would draw an analogy between being an entrepreneur/working for a boss to an intimate relationship such as marriage, or imply that the art of real communication is about a struggle for control. Which is why I do think it is, indeed, a radical position for these women to take (all the more disturbing for all the social and historical support that gets thrown behind it) — and one that is damaging to all women, since we are still, as a gender, working our way out from beneath these belief systems and the legacy they’ve left embedded in our culture. When power is equally shared between the genders, then it will be a different story. And I look forward to that day…. If a book came out urging people of color to submit to the will of white people, that it would make for happier relationships, can you imagine what the reaction would be? Would it strike you as a valid argument? However you want to live your life, live your life. But if you’re going to go public with your position on relationships, I’m going to go public with mine, even if it comes off as “strident” (the word so typically used to denounce a feminist position).

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@Sarah Baker And just to make clear, if this kind of relationship was put in an entirely different context — if it actually *was* taking place in the BDSM subculture and this book was teaching eager submissives how to be a good submissive — I’d be in total support of that. :)

All best.

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Womens’ roles at home, at work and beyond have seen significant shifts in the last 100 years. Society in general and men in particular need time to come to terms with these changes. This is an ever evolving process and after major changes in a short period of time ( which 100 years is, considering what had been happening for many centuries), the system can appear a bit wobbly. I am not condoning bad behaviour from men folk but at the same time do want to highlight that the ‘frustrations’ are better viewed from a ‘bigger picture’ perspective. We still have miles to go….

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Justine I loved reading this blog post and I’ve been following the incoming comments and your reactions to them and here is my 2 cents.

Where to begin?! Well for one, no to women being submissive in their marriages or women encouraging each other to be so. According to the UN 1 in 3 women will undergo (sexual) violence in her lifetime. I agree that men and women are different but we are equal in worth.

1) I remember a friend of mine who was in the midst of her divorce, a woman with a doctoral degree and from a reasonably rich background,  she shared with her mother that at some point in her marriage she refused to continue to have sexual intercourse with her husband. This was after their marriage went sour because he regularly abused her psychologically and emotionally. My friend is a ‘liberated’ woman, she was encouraged by her parents to pursue a high level of education, to travel extensively etc. The response she got from her mother though was one of disbelief and blame; how could she have refused sexual intercourse to her husband, no wonder it all went wrong. The blame shifted from him to her like that, because she chose to do what we all should be able to do which is: only agree to sexual intercourse with explicit enthusiastic consent from all parties involved and otherwise enjoy the freedom to refuse sexual intimacy. That should not be the message mothers give their daughters; to just lay down and consent because they are married and it’s part of the duties of a wife! What use is it to tell our daughters that they can have it all; freedom, higher education, financial independence, that is until they get married, because then they’ll have to act like it’s 1950, pop a pill or drink a shot of hard liquor and hope he finishes “his” business soon.

2) I also remember another girlfriend, this was some years ago, but nevertheless, she went out with her boyfriend and apparently her boyfriend picked up on the notion that she was flirting with someone. When returning home she drove because he had  been drinking, he viciously attacked her. I visited her in the hospital a few days later after her sister called me back because I left messages on my friends voicemail and she was handling all communication. He had fractured her upper jawbone, her lower jawbone, he had broken her nose, he had fractured a vertebra in her back and some more. When she was brought to the hospital she was in such bad condition they put her to sleep with anesthetics. He was charged with attempted murder. She was never the same afterwards.

These are 2 stories of so many I’ve heard and witnessed. I formerly worked as a psychotherapist and have had the opportunity to travel to some 40 countries on 4 continents. I wish I would not have to witness these stories but this is the state of the world we live in and I refuse to turn a blind eye so I could pretend I live on a fluffy pink island with happy Stepford wives and Stepford men and Stepford Children all over the place. It never was rosy, this sickening nostalgia on how it all was when life was simple and everyone knew their place, it was not rosy. Women died in childbirth, men brought home venerial diseases, domestic violence was not criminalized, people had extramarital affairs just like nowadays, sexual abuse existed just as now, children were born out of wedlock, children died like they still die in third world countries today, there never was an “innocent” age where we had it all figured out. So the notion that traditional gender roles where women submit to their men equate bliss is nothing more but a fantasy and a dangerous one too. One that invites great imbalances.

As long as men and women continue to propagate the idea that women should submit to men, whatever the relationship, we are inviting and keeping alive a culture of (sexual) violence against girls and women. From child brides to date rapes, from acid burnings to corrective rapes, from sexual abuse to forced prostitution, from rape as a weapon of war to domestic violence, from genital mutilation to harassment.

I would want to encourage every man and woman to take a look at all the studies and facts that are available on the matter and then evaluate their own attitude and how they are contributing to the status quo or how they can be an agent of change in their family and community.

You can find data and reports on the websites of the United Nations, Amnesty International, One Billion Rising and so many more.

As women we have to first free ourselves and other women from this cultural legacy, this means changing the conversations we have with our mothers, daughters, girlfriends, colleagues etc.

If you submit to your husband you will not know love, maybe fear, resentment,  anger, yes and maybe a vague fake sentiment of comfort and safety. There will be no real intimacy in your marriage because you will hide your real self and emotions from your husband.

The other way of relating asks for presence, openness,  communication, intimacy, vulnerability and growing in emotional maturity.

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@An Lidia Thys
Males and females are treated differently from childhood. This has been very noticeable for me because both my sons have long hair and when they were younger would quite often be mistaken for girls. Whenever people realised they were boys, their manner towards them changed even in the way they spoke to them and the behaviour they expected of them. They much preferred being treated like boys as people’s attitudes to them were a lot better, even with all the ‘you should cut their hair’ comments. For real change, males and females need to be treated equally from birth.

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Thanks for writing this – I came across this via Gala Darling. I just got married myself on 1st February so equality in marriage and relationships has also been on my mind.

My partner and I have always strived to be open, communicative and sharing with each other – it hasn’t been easy at times especially with the weight of cultural conditioning, but we are both feminists (he surprises even me sometimes with how he denounces things), and both see ourselves in an equal partnership.

It’s interesting to me to look back on our journey together because we’ve been together for 13 years (met when teens), and have both done a lot of growing and maturing together. So much of that growing and maturing has involved becoming stronger as individuals, and not getting lost in the relationship. In fact I think there is more peace and contentment that comes from realising that we’re both individuals and not swallowed up by each other’s personalities/neither of us dominates.

This is what I consider a modern, true love story – something where both of you bring things to the table and there is a lot of give and take, learning and growing with each other. Not some old fashioned fairytale where Prince Charming whisks you away and takes care of everything. That puts a lot of pressure on someone (namely the man) to fit some bizarre macho role. A book that really helped me understand my own approach to marriage was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed – the sequel to Eat, Pray, Love – a feminist and modern look at marriage. It made me realise that marriage (which I’ve always been a bit wary of) – whilst an old institution – is there to be redefined, and that the best relationships are not about fitting in, but being yourself with each other.

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I’ve come across this notion before, and have read more than a handful of stories of recovering “submission wives” from fundamentalist religious sects such as the Quiverfull movement (check out “No Longer Quivering” at pathos.com to get a view from a group of bloggers on their experiences). The stories that are most unsettling are, sadly, not those of the women involved – I feel sympathetic rage on their behalf, but it is sadly not an uncommon tale to see a woman whose agency as a human being has been removed–with her UNinformed consent. The most unsettling stories come from the realization of the whole family–the husband, in particular–that the artificial hammering of people into limited, one-dimensional roles, is just as damaging and stunting to the husband as well as the wife, and extends to the children as well.

If you cannot be equal to your husband, you still seek out an equal and helpmate, and for mothers imprisoned in these situations, it usually ends up being the sons. After all, her husband is her lord and master, not her helpmeet and confidante. Similarly, the husband, being lord and master, cannot turn to his wife and say, “Help me out, I’m working out a problem and I need your help.”

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Boom. Truth. Thank you for that comment.

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If a critique/discussion of Gorga’s book that I read somewhere online is true, she claims that she has never had a bowel movement while her husband is at home. He shouldn’t have to know she does that. God forbid he should smell it; it might detract from her femininity or some such blather. She waits until he has left or, if he is at home, she goes to a McDonalds. I don’t think I need to say anything more.

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It’s true. She writes about that. Sadly.

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@Kathryn iI’m Chinese so i guess i have the right to continue with your discussion. yes i find our current system still inclined to the very traditional male/female family interaction, especially in serious business circles where men would never share a single slice of cake with their wives, mistresses or daughters. however things are changing. Perhaps due to globalization there has been a class of women are consciously intending to lead in the workplace instead of home environment. We’re fighting so I personally find Musk’s article very encouraging. Being conscious is the first step.

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