Women and Family

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short piece I wrote after reading a chapter from a Christian living book titled "The Christian Confrotns His Culture". Pretty scary stuff.

Submitted: July 10, 2009

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Submitted: July 10, 2009

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Every now and then I come across books, articles, and literature of different sorts that make me gasp, then gasp again, and then burst out into laughter. Today I found one such book. In The Christian Confronts His Culture, by Richard Fowler and H. Wayne House, many controversial movements such as abortion, homosexuality, and feminism are discussed and dissected from a Christian fundamentalist point of view.

In the chapter concerning feminism (which is what I’ll focus on), the authors take great pains in order to ensure their readers that both men and women are equal in God’s eyes. Both authors conclude their thoughts on equality by stating, “The wife is equal with the husband in every way and can relate to him at every level of his being.” Sounds good so far right? The tone of the chapter quickly changed when the authors introduced the idea that the Bible, “Exhorts the Christian family to operate under… a chain of authority…to insure harmony in the home.” Later both authors diagrammed the ideal family placing the HUSBAND as “The head of wife; chief authority over children.” On the other hand, the WIFE is degradingly granted the inferior position of, “The helper of the husband; secondary authority over children.” To sum it up quickly; the husband is equal to his wife in every way except when it comes to authority of the household—the place where the husband holds absolute authority. To the author’s credit, they do say that they view being the head of the household similar to being the “Head of the Mississippi River” (Side Note: Does anyone know what that means?)

Completely stunning isn’t it? Did these authors expect their readers to be completely retarded or just to have short term memory loss? They preach equality at the beginning, then totally flip a switch and rant about how the man is to be the dictator of the house hold. Doesn’t that seem to contradict their original statements of, “The wife is equal with the husband in every way and can relate to him at every level of his being.”?

Both Fowler and Wayne House seem to view that a husband and wife being “…Positioned equally” is a modern “Emerging Distortion”. In another one of their charts the authors assume that if the family isn’t patriarchal and happens to be “dual-archal” that “that might lead to anarchy” within the family. Well isn’t that statement somewhat vague? I suspect, by anarchy, that the authors mean chaos. It’s possible though, that the authors mean that there would be no authority within the household, which doesn’t necessarily mean chaos. Either way, their theory is entirely ridiculous. It’s illogical to think, that because the husband isn’t the absolute authority, and that he shares responsibility with his spouse, the relationship would dissolve. Is a relationship not reliant on shared responsibilities and principles? I might be alone in my thinking, but it seems to me that declaring one member of a relationship dictator over another, might lead to more problems. Abuse could be justified, on the grounds that the dominant member of the relationship was exhorting his authority over his wife, or children.

In the mind of the authors, married women should be subjugated to their house during the day, spending at least 30% of their week (50 hours), tending to “Domestic work”. I suppose this idea goes hand-in-hand with the view that, “No role differentiation” between men and women, is a distorted one. But ladies, don’t let this view depress you, the authors aren’t totally against women in the work place! They even put in one of their pie charts that “Outside employment is possible”. Apparently it’s against God, to be a married woman in the work place. I guess working to support your family, is only alright with God, if you’re a man.

Does it seem funny to you that these views are said to be held by men, who believe in a loving, fair, and compassionate God? I find it funny. If that’s what God, truly espouses, he doesn’t seem very fair to me at all. Nor does he seem compassionate. Nor does he seem loving. But I don’t think God believes what these men say he does. In-fact, I believe just the opposite. I believe these authors are the ones with the distorted views. They cling on to primitive and chauvinistic views held by even our most medieval counterparts. I wouldn’t be surprised if both Richard Fowler and H. Wayne house deep down agreed with Daisy Buchanan’s summarization of what a girl should be, “…a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”


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