Well, I’ve been involved in some interesting stuff here lately. I have been researching some social movements such as the christian patriarchy movement, stay at home daughters movement and the ever popular domestic discipline movement (sometimes part of the christian patriarchy movement). It’s good to at least see the culture moving towards patriarchy but i’m still seeing a lot of problems. First, some of these groups tend to be tinged with sexually explicit BDSM aspects. On some of my research adventures I’ve quite frankly felt a sudden urge to tighten up my anti-virus protection and have been really disturbed by a lot of things.
There does seem to be a lot of women out there really truly wanting to submit to their husbands and have happy homes. But the one thing I’ve seen that they are missing is that they still seem to be feminist in many aspects. For instance, I’ve gotten myself involved in a couple of conversations and following quite a few others. I’ve also been searching through blogs and websites and the one thing that I’ve noticed is that they are still feminist in the aspect of women working and nobody seems to want to talk about a husband’s responsibilities except for where keeping his wife “in line” is concerned. They promise to obey their husbands and then they march right off to work.
I responded to a posting in a group (a Christian domestic discipline group) I joined up with a week ago where a woman was talking about how her husband was disciplining her and how she can submit to him better and she was asking advice at what the other ladies and their husbands do. Then she went on to say about how she just lost her job and she was really stressed. I’ve seen this kind of conversation before and these ladies then go on to talk about how their husbands command them to do this or that before they head off to work and their husband’s discipline helps them relieve the stress they deal with at work and they will talk about having Bible studies and everything as well. I mean, something is seriously wrong here. I mean, you want your husband to spank the stress out of you that you acquired through sharing in his responsibilities? I’d rather be a feminist than deal with that! At least I could “go my own way.” I pointed out that it wasn’t her responsibility to go to work but her husband’s and his role as head of household is so that he can provide for her and their children better. So what did they say? Nothing. In fact, the group is acting like I don’t exist at all. The conversation kept on going and is still going and nobody has made mention or even cared about anything at all that I said. Some of them even wished her luck in finding a new job. But doesn’t their own Bible say it is for the man to work “by the sweat of his brow” to provide for his family and that the woman’s husband is to rule over her even though she will try to rule over him? They acknowledge the husband ruling over her part but make no mention about the man’s work to provide. Some also seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable for a boss or boyfriend to discipline a woman when only a husband (or father when she’s young) should have such a right.
Unfortunately I see these movements as some kind of game. They set out the “rules” of the game, they have names and abbreviations such as “HoH” (head of household) and things like that. They are still, however, part of the modern mainstream culture and what ultimately separates them from their BDSM loving secular egalitarian counterparts? The Bible studies where they ignore scripture and redefine it to what modern society says is right and wrong? These movements might tie in well with movements such as the men’s rights movement that wants men put in charge but still keeping the feminist ideals of women going out and holding employment regardless of their marital status.
Now I’m not going to argue about the whole men disciplining their wives thing. In truth, when it comes down to it, no authority is a real authority unless 1) it can enforce its rule with the approval of society and the law or 2) it has the power to discipline those under its rule. Everyone is disciplined by someone whether physical or not when they break a rule or law. I don’t believe that a man has any rightful authority unless he has unquestionable responsibility. I’ve seen some complain about women pressing charges for things like “marital rape” on their husbands. My thoughts? I don’t think it’s right but if men want to “go their own way” and leave women to fend for themselves then what do they expect? You can’t force yourself upon a woman and force her to bear your children when she can be forced to carry half the burden of the economic costs and you can abandon her any time you want to. You can’t put a woman “in her place” then tell her to go to work so you can sit back and and not have to worry so much. I’ve seen some women say they work full-time and then come home and cook dinner and get a beer for their husband so he can relax and watch TV! That’s insanity. That’s called exploitation. That’s called taking advantage of someone for your own benefit and to their detriment.
I think allowing men to use a little force to restrain their wives or even discipline when necessary might be appropriate and would give men both the power to protect themselves and as well protect their wives from her own foolishness and keep peace in the home. But it’s not a carte blanche to abuse a woman nor for him to push his burdens on her back so he doesn’t have as much to worry about.