Monday, January 19, 2015

Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too?

The article has been making rounds which illustrates what exactly is wrong with modern "conservatives". It appears that a pastor in NYC wrote a post advising Christian men which women to avoid. As usual, he got lots of "hatemail" from offended females which hastened to point out how wrong he is to state that men should have standards when choosing a wife, and that they themselves are all "in great marriages" though they are proud feminists. This is hilarious in itself and provides for great entertainment value, but I would have never mentioned it if not for one thing.

The supposedly conservative pastor makes the following point:

There is nothing wrong with a woman who works (Acts 16:14), what’s wrong is a woman who puts her career ahead of her family.  Modern American society might hate to hear this, but God made men to be the providers and women to be the nurturers of the home (in most instances).  It’s okay for a woman to be a doctor, attorney, or any other professional.  However, if her career is coming at the expense of her home, then something is wrong.  If day-care is raising her young children while she’s working, then something is wrong. 

The statement in itself is problematic. First, a homemaker works at home, every single day, or at least, she is supposed to do it. I can't believe that the good preacher uses the story of Lydia and totally ignores the command given in Titus 2 which for centuries has been understood as teaching that the married woman's job is to be a keeper at home. The Scriptures often describe people in less than ideal situations, it doesn't mean we should follow them when there are clear commands on how to behave.

A famous Bible scholar, John Gill, has the following to say about Lydia:

whether Lydia was a maid, a wife, or widow, cannot be said; it looks, however, as if she had no husband now, since she is mentioned as a trader herself

Obviously, if a woman is single she'll have no other choice but to work, unless she is independently wealthy. Further, the pastor correctly states that there are distinct sex roles, but then suddenly adds that it's OK for a woman to be a professional, unless her home life suffers because of it. How can one be "the nurturer of the home" and a doctor or a lawyer at the same time, is never explained. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

Since he is not afraid to make unpopular statements, such as the one about divorcees, he probably believes that a woman can have it all together, which makes him indistinguishable from feminists he set out to criticise. The choice isn't any more between Western tradition and feminism, instead it's between feminism of the Right or of the Left. It's like watching Tweedledum and Tweedledee fight. It's little wonder the Right keeps losing. At least, the other side comes with a whole freebies package.


  1. "Women’s empowerment and women’s abandonment are two sides of the same coin; you never get one without the other".

  2. I agree with you completely, but this way of thinking is hardly mentioned anymore. I hear everything from "I'm bored at home", "we can't afford any extras if I don't work", "we need my income for Christian school". I don't say anything because I just hear back "Easy for you to say. You can easily afford to stay home." Society is paying in big ways for mothers not being home.

  3. Did you check the site with 5000 dresses? I thought you'd like it:)

  4. I guess my point is that if you say you are a conservative Christian and antifeminist, you have to go the whole way, not just pick and choose things which you particularly like. I wouldn´t have written about it at all (and granted, I can be mistaken about the pastor´s motivation completely), but I have seen the same attitude too many times, especially, I´m afraid, among men. They all state they are antifeminist and want to have a sweet submissive wifey who cooks and cleans AND brings home a paycheck. Sorry, guys, it´s one thing or the other.

  5. Housewife from FinlandJanuary 20, 2015 at 5:44 AM

    Can this mean that feminism is starting to effect concervative circles, too? It is like he is trying to pet working women with his other hand: "good girl, you can play your little work-play if it makes no harm". But if husband has all the authority, he also MUST have all the responsibility. If wife also earns some money, why should she be submissive? I know I am oversimplifying this, wife can of course have her own money and still be submissive. But then she doesn't really have to, it is a choice that she can cast off anytime.

    I am propably making no sense.

    1. You are making a lot of sense housewife from Finland. Used to husbands had the LEGAL OBLIGATION to support their wives. He was head of household and along with that authority came the RESPONSIBILITY for his family. I have written about this many times.


  6. Housewife from FinlandJanuary 20, 2015 at 6:12 AM

    I also think he makes children too big deal. Infertility is nowadays more common than being willingly childfree. And even if people are fertile, they can have health problems that would make having children very unwise.

    And we can all have so called "Children of the Mind". Our nieces and nephews and children of our friends etc. can be our "spiritual children". When we grow older, even some grown up people can become our "children of the mind".

    I borrowed this idea from Orson Scott Card's Ender-saga (Sci-fi.). There is a monastery, where monks and nuns are married (and celibate). They educate people. The monastic order is called "Filhos da Mente de Christo", and all people they educate are their spiritual children, as they are spiritual children of Christ.

    Car himself is mormon and children seem to be very important to him. I think in this hi tried to ease people who can't or won't have children in flesh. But maybe this is also trying to both eat and save your cake.

  7. Yes, that´s what many people don´t understand: authority comes with responsibility. Also, if the wife is employed (unless she is working very part-time or having a really low paid job, which doesn´t describe a doctor or a lawyer), she is economically independent of her husband, and they both know it, so her submission is nothing more than make-believe. Female economic independence is the essence of feminism, that´s why Western governments keep pushing more women into workforce and encouraging them to work full time.

    I guess what I´m trying to say is you can´t claim you are an antifeminist if you support married women having jobs, outside of the state of necessity.

  8. If you like science fiction, you should try reading my book! It´s in English, though.

    Seriously speaking, yes, the wife´s role nowadays is reduced to being a caretaker of very small children, before they enter pre-school at the age of 3, than she is supposed to go back to work. At least, among so-called conservatives, progressives think she must keep on working, while taking a couple of weeks off for a childbirth.

  9. Oh thank you Sanne!!! Especially where you say at the end:

    "The choice isn't any more between Western tradition and feminism, instead it's between feminism of the Right or of the Left. It's like watching Tweedledum and Tweedledee fight. It's little wonder the Right keeps losing. At least, the other side comes with a whole freebies package."

    This is EXACTLY the point I've been trying to make. As I always say, conservatives these days are worse than liberals. If I'm going to be treated like a man either way then why not at least support the party that would give me some consideration as a woman, even if it is corrupt?

    But that is why I started my own cause and site, to promote something healthy and sustainable and to truly promote antifeminism in the way the term always meant until here recently.

    Thanks a million! :)

  10. I remember reading somewhere that Tweedledum and Tweedledee signified two political parties which were attacking each other, while being essentially the same:)

    1. Interesting... :) I'll have to look that up!

    2. There was nothing about it on Wiki but I remember reading years ago that the whole Alice was political satire, with the Queen of Hearts being Victoria etc:)

  11. Housewife from Finland, I don´t think in the book you mentioned it´s the case of both wanting to eat your cake and to save it. One can both see children as important (which they are, since they continue our blood lines and take care of us as we get older) and recognise the reality of the existence of single childless people and infertile couples.

  12. Housewife from FinlandJanuary 21, 2015 at 4:41 AM

    Sanne: I just noticed yesterday that you have a book and thought I should give it a try. Reading english is ok for me, only the writing is problem. :)

  13. It´s available from Amazon as paperback and from both as a paperback and a PDF.