A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Neo-Chivalry

Over at the Boundless blog, there is a post by Heather Koerner in which she discusses the notion that men are supposed to protect women. I have no problem with men protecting women if women are indeed in need of men's protection. But I think that's not exactly what Heather had in mind, nor do I think it's what other contemporary Evangelical writers have in mind either. In other words, I think the idea that's being pushed by these individuals is not the idea of loving ones' neighbor or being a "good Samaritan", per se. No, I think they are pushing what I call "neo-chivalry." The idea behind this concept is that women should be equal to men in many spheres of society, whereas men should be bound to more traditional obligations of protecting women and being preferential to them in other ways. I daresay it's women "having their cake and eating it, too."

In Heather's post, she links to an article of hers ("Nurturing Protection") on Boundless' main website. I think it reveals an attitude about "chivalry" that I have discussed before (viz., in my post about the false metrics of biblical manhood). As I have said:
It's time women learn that with privilege comes responsibility. If they are in positions of influence, then they need to look to the concerns of the weak and vulnerable of both sexes, and stop focusing so much on themselves. When Jesus spoke of the needy as being the "least of these" his "brethren" (Matt. 25:31-46), he surely was not referring to women and children only. Therefore, that idea that men are required to shower preferential treatment on a woman, not on the basis of a legitimate need or a woman's demonstrated submission, but merely on the basis of her sex is showing partiality and is therefore sinful (James 2:9). Men are not lesser human beings than women that they should play the part of doormats. Women "can't have it both ways" in demanding power and protection at the same time, and no one should dare to expect a man to oblige himself to such an ungodly double-standard.
Sadly, however, Ms. Koerner seems to adamantly reject what I consider to axiomatic. So, I like to examine some of the claims put forth by Heather in her article. For starters, she writes:
Those men should have helped that woman, I thought then, because we are all humans and we protect each other.

Partially, that is right. We do have a responsibility to love our neighbors as ourselves. But now I understand that they, as men, had a unique responsibility to her, as a woman.
Unique responsibility? What obligation is that? Heather goes on to talk about how women are different from men in so many ways. True, but that misses the point. Men are indeed stronger than women many times, but that is not proof of some special obligation to women, per se. Let me illustrate my point by flipping things around for you, dear readers. What if a young woman sees an elderly man trying to hobble across the street? Should she assist him and give him some protection? The logical end of neo-chivalry is that the elderly man should fend for himself, and indeed, society seems to inculcate this very idea in men and women alike. The woman in question can either refuse to help the man, or more likely, the man will feel obliged to shun help from the very one that can give it to him. In the latter regard, men are often prone to turn down assistance from women. And we wonder why men are not open about their hurts, feelings, etc. to wives? We wonder why men reject the expressions of good will from women in their lives? We want to chalk it all up to the "male ego" but I ask where did the attitude come from? Let's be honest here. Neo-chivalry leads to pathological self-abasement in men.

Elsewhere, Heather writes, "The world's masculinity either demands to be served or refuses to be bothered." Not so fast, Ms. Koerner. Right before the Apostle Paul says that husbands are to love their wives as "Christ also loved the church," he says that wives are to submit to their husbands "as to the Lord." It sounds like the Holy Spirit demands that you serve your husband, Ms. Koerner. Unfortunately, this kind of obligation doesn't seem to be talked about very much when a discussion of biblical womanhood comes up; indeed, Heather does not make any mention of it in her article.

Anyway, Heather furnishes a quote from John Piper:
Mature masculinity senses a natural, God- given responsibility to step forward and put himself between the assailant and the woman. In doing this he becomes her servant. He is willing to suffer for her safety. He bestows honor on her. His inner sense is one of responsibility to protect her because he is a man and she is a woman.
A servant, eh? Is that how we view men? The servants of women? If that's what Mr. Piper is implying, then someone should remind this celebrated theologian of what the Apostle Paul said: "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man" (1 Cor. 11:9). Chew on that.

Ms. Koerner writes that God "has given men the great responsibility to lay down their lives just as Christ laid down His life for the church. They are to be the protectors." Is Ms. Koerner talking about Eph. 5:22-33? Actually, God has given husbands the great responsibility of loving their wives as they love their own bodies (v. 33). Let's keep it in context, folks. Why do we broaden the application of Eph. 5:22-33 with regard to men's responsibilities, but don't do so for women's responsibilities? Why all this talk about men in general indiscriminately sacrificing themselves for women, but no talk of women generally submitting to men across the board? If I am automatically deemed the protector of some female stranger just because I am a man, does she become obligated to obey me and have sex with me? Let's stop misapplying the Scriptures that are obviously talking about marriage relationships, not about gender relations in general.

Finally, Ms. Koerner gets around to discussing her end of the bargain as a woman:
But if it's a Christian man's role to protect, what is my role?

Here's where I have to make a decision and I have to be honest. My decision: Will I follow the world's model of womanhood or the Word's? My honesty: If I follow the Word, I'm going to be mocked.

So glad that Heather wants to reject the worldly ideas of womanhood and own up to her responsibilities as a woman ... or does she? What does she say that her "role" is? She says it is to "affirm, receive, and nurture." What?! Okay, let's skip past the first two for a moment and focus on the "nurture" aspect. Maybe there is something palpable about that last word. What does Ms. Koerner's article say? Well, she quotes Piper again:
"Nurture" means that a mature woman senses a responsibility not merely to receive, but to nurture and strengthen the resources of masculinity. She is to be his partner and assistant. She joins in the act of strength and shares in the process of leadership. She is, as Genesis 2:18 says, "a helper suitable for him."
Wait. What did I just read? Did Mr. Piper say, "... shares in the process of leadership"? Friends, if someone shares in the process of leadership, they have to share in the accountability of that leadership as well. As it is, godly men are not called to "share" their leadership with their wives any more than Christ shares his leadership with mortals. Let's hope that I am misunderstanding Piper because if he is saying what I think he might be saying, then he is not the complementarian that he makes himself out to be. Well, actually, inasmuch as anyone pushes neo-chivalry, they cannot be complementarians. Quasi-complementarians, perhaps, but not the real McCoy.

Anyway, what was left off the list of things a woman should give a man in return for protection? Yes, that dreaded "s" word--SUBMISSION. Let me say that a very astute poster commented on Heather's blog entry. I suggest that you read his remarks because he points out that the sacrifices men made in the past for women were conditioned on the societal expectation that a woman's station in life would be beneath that of man's. Protection = submission. It's not a hard equation to grasp, boys and girls.

Ms. Koerner's list of pseudo-obligations for women amounts to little more than saying "Good job! I'm rootin' for ya. Be ye warmed and well-fed" to the man doing the grunt work. Nah. I'm not buying it. Stop insulting my intelligence. Heather and other ladies are asking something for nothing. That's not how life works. Like I said, you can't have it both ways, gals (whether it be men protecting you, initiating relationships with you, paying for the dates, or similiar stuff). It is, generally speaking, "boats or votes." There will be real men in shining armor when there are real ladies in distress.

28 comments:

singlextianman said...

I agree with you that there does not seem to be a "unique" responsibility, but appeal to you to consider the effects of the fall in a broken world. Could you agree that one way that a man can be salt and light is to extend chivalry - regardless of gender - but which manifestations are more likely to be shown to a woman because they are more [warning to ladies: sexist comment ahead] likely, in fact to be in such need? Thus one could arrive at something like the same practical effects without the bad theology; bad theology being a harsh taskmaster and in need of spotting, of course.

Augustine would, I think, have come up with a kind of "diffuse" argument - he was forever obsessing about exactly who our duty was to - and so I suppose with my nodding familiarity with him that he would do argue that since they are in need more that they would have a greater claim; in general he thought that those "closer" to us had greater claims than those "farther" from us.

He didn't exactly live in a world where women were cherished. Our society is starting to unravel because of the aggregate effects of the old nature expressed in human behavior; if men are being attacked by the culture, women are being assaulted. I'm not saying that all women have a particular claim on my chivalry .. but I'd certainly be less than a man, as I understand that term, if I didn't have a "default" setting set on the "sensitive" end of the scale to protect women in general. As a kind of "response" to what I see in the world; not as a "responsibility" per se.

..I'm just not clear exactly how you want revolution; here. It doesn't "feel right" to pull my little umbrella of protection back in towards myself so that only those whom I have an Augustinian duty towards get the benefit of my watchful eye. Maybe you could expound a bit further?

Christina said...

He didn't exactly live in a world where women were cherished. Our society is starting to unravel because of the aggregate effects of the old nature expressed in human behavior; if men are being attacked by the culture, women are being assaulted. I'm not saying that all women have a particular claim on my chivalry .. but I'd certainly be less than a man, as I understand that term, if I didn't have a "default" setting set on the "sensitive" end of the scale to protect women in general. As a kind of "response" to what I see in the world; not as a "responsibility" per se.

I have never agreed with you more.

Anakin,

I think part of the problem with trying to define what the female responsibilities are is because we now know so much of what we are capable of. Women didn't always think they were capable of studying mathematics and acheiving the top grades in their field of study. Its hard to balance what we know we're capable of with what we perceive to be our responsibilities.

I don't think Heather is suggesting a neo-chivalry (or whatever you call it). More like pointing out that as we (women) reject the authority of men, we are rejecting our protection. Which IS true. As long as we claim to be above men's authority (by being equal with them and superior to them), then we are forfeiting our right to protection. Ergo, we can't demand this neo-chivalry, because we have not denied our claim to be equal or superior to men.

Thing is, the reasons for that protection are being destroyed, too - one of the MAIN reasons why women were those to be protected was because we were the bearers of children and the ones that began the raising of a child...that whole idea that children are better with the mother comes from the idea that a mother's place is in the home and caring for her family.

And yet men are fighting to usurp women of THAT role...demanding that they have the same right to stay home with the kids and be the primary care-givers.

Of course, the women are also rejecting that role...

(I am not by any means trying to suggest that a child is better off with a woman than man...simply that there are things that a mother offers to young children that a man simply can't fulfill - and there really is no argument against that thinking)

Christina said...

There is this following:

There once was an incredible longing in a man to have an heir - to carry on his name. I don't know what the deal with that is. In Jewish law, if the husband died without an heir, than his wife was to marry the closest male relation to her husband and produce an heir. In which case, the woman would have been the one to be cherished and protected because she is the one that will produce the heir.

Their role as caregivers and nurturers of the children she bore (that carried on the husband's family line), also was a reason to protect her.

Nowadays, a lot of men simply don't want kids. And a lot of women simply don't want to distort their figures.

Nowadays, there are a lot of men that think men are just as capable of taking care of children as women are. And there are women who simply refuse to take care of their children.

Nowadays, there's no reason to protect the women. Either from the man's point of view (as he's rejected her role in the household) or from her view (as she's rejected her role in the household).

Sounds to me that its time for women to be protecting men. Now that we have the "pregnant man", the women can work and be the bread winners and the men can stay home and have babies and take care of them.

Really, Anakin, the women aren't the only one's twisting the gender roles. And really, emasculated men aren't the only ones twisting them, either.

Christina said...

In light of what I said here:
I think part of the problem with trying to define what the female responsibilities are is because we now know so much of what we are capable of. Women didn't always think they were capable of studying mathematics and acheiving the top grades in their field of study. Its hard to balance what we know we're capable of with what we perceive to be our responsibilities.

What would you think to the end of the 2 Timothy passage where it says that "Women shall be saved through childbirth"?

I'm gonna write about this after work...but now, I'm really really late cuz you guys distract me so effectively and I MUST go to work =p

yadda yadda yadda said...

Sounds like another article written by an aging spinster trying to convince men that she is really, really ready this time to lose her perpetual sense of superiority in exchange for mere equal status. That ultimate sacrifice in of itself should be more than enough to placate the most unreasonable fears men have about marriage. I need to clear out of the area before I get ran over by that stampede of men rushing to be the first one to sign that marriage contract.

Christina said...

Sounds like another article written by an aging spinster trying to convince men that she is really, really ready this time to lose her perpetual sense of superiority in exchange for mere equal status

Careful what you say... the author of that article probably knows more about sacrificing in a relationship than you and I (assuming you are single). She's a married SAHM. This simply means she's struggling to understand the same thing you gentlemen (and myself) are trying to understand.

If you guys are so smart, what exactly do you think the "responsibilities" of women should be? That seems to be the great debate - what IS the role of a woman? And don't just say "submission". I think we've heard that one before. Its trying to understand what that actually LOOKS like and what goes with it that seems to be the issue - obviously, its not dominating the workplace...and according to some, its not having a dominant role in raising the kids, either. So what is it?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Christina wonders where women should dominate; the workplace or home with the kids?

Biblically, women don't dominate the workplace or the home, but are helpmeets and complimentary partners.

I notice how Christina, Debbie Maken, Candace Watters, etc. never examine their leadership ideas. It's always about sharing leadership. Then we have people like singlextianman saying women are being assaulted by the culture that holds them up as superior to men?

Give me a break.

Anakin Niceguy said...

SCM writes:

"I agree with you that there does not seem to be a "unique" responsibility, but appeal to you to consider the effects of the fall in a broken world. Could you agree that one way that a man can be salt and light is to extend chivalry - regardless of gender - but which manifestations are more likely to be shown to a woman because they are more [warning to ladies: sexist comment ahead] likely, in fact to be in such need? Thus one could arrive at something like the same practical effects without the bad theology; bad theology being a harsh taskmaster and in need of spotting, of course."

Yes, SCM, I agree. I was trying to affirm this very thing when I wrote:

"I have no problem with men protecting women if women are indeed in need of men's protection."

I understand that a lot of times, women will need someone to walk them to the car at night, lift heavy packages, etc. But I basically do this because I understand they really are vulnerable and I have an ability to help. That's a far cry from the sappy insistence by women executives, lawyers, etc. that men still pick up the tabs for dates.

Triton said...

Mature masculinity senses a natural, God- given responsibility to step forward and put himself between the assailant and the woman.

Balderdash. There is nothing natural about chivalry. Heather seems to think that the entire world has always looked exactly like Western Civilization.

Nature's default state is matriarchy. It takes a concerted effort, on the other hand, to create and maintain a patriarchal arrangement. Chivalry was a fad invented during the middle ages; it arose from a patriarchal system, not a natural system.

Want to see a natural society? Look to the Indian reservation, or the rain-forest, or the ghettos of the inner city. Nature's default society would leave us all in the Stone Age.

Thing is, the reasons for that protection are being destroyed, too - one of the MAIN reasons why women were those to be protected was because we were the bearers of children and the ones that began the raising of a child...that whole idea that children are better with the mother comes from the idea that a mother's place is in the home and caring for her family.

So an infertile or post-menopausal woman doesn't need to be protected by her husband? Good grief...

No, a man's duties toward his wife have nothing to do with her ability to have children.

And the whole idea that children are better off with the mother is a recent one. A century ago, the norm was for the father to win custody in cases of divorce. The opposite is now the case.

Which is better? Compare the statistics for single-father households versus single-mother households, then judge them by their respective fruits.

if i only had a brain said...

Oh look at the goddess descending from above in a cloud of glory to inform men that they have responsibilities to women. That men should share leadership with women. But if anything goes wrong then it's all the man's fault.

This is a mind blowing revelation. Some new doctrine I have never heard of before. We should give it a name. What do you call it when one group takes all the risk and the other takes only the benefits?

Sounds like a good deal for one but not the other but I just don't know how to describe it. Anybody have any ideas?

Christina said...

Anonymous,

The way you twist my words.

I know that my role is not one of authority, so give me a break, ok?

HOWEVER, sometimes you guys seem to think that there IS no role for women. What are our responsibilities? I acknowledge 100% that we don't belong in the workplace (for economic reasons as much as anything else). But sometimes I wonder if you guys even want us in the homes.

And you guys seem to be very good at misinterpreting anything anyone has to say around here if it comes out of a woman's mouth. Don't you think women that genuinely want to do what's right are a bit confused? Maybe just a bit? We're being told by society at large that we're as good as men and don't need to submit (which we disagree with because...I mean...that's OBVIOUS)...but then we have to contend with our gifts...if we're gifted with "leadership", wth do we do with that if we're told to be submissive? Then we have all these ladies talking about "YOU MUST GET MARRIED!!!" or "YOU MUST BE HAPPY SINGLE!!!" We're much more inclined to lean towards the "MUST GET MARRIED", because we have all these guys telling us that we've ruined the workplace for men, making it less likely for them to make a decent living. But if we get out of the workplace, who's gonna marry us? Cuz that seems like the only other place for women - barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen.

Personally, I have no problem with that and look forward to that day when my only boss is my husband, I can manage his finances, take care of his kids, his home, and cook him his dinner.

But THEN you have guys that don't want kids...well now what???

What exactly do you want from us?

To acknowledge you are all demi-gods and bow down and worship you? Or for us to submit to your leadership and struggle to figure out what exactly that means?

If you want the latter, then I beg you to extend a bit of grace as we attempt to figure it out. Rather scorn us for the conclusions we come up with, why don't you offer some suggestions (with some respect and compassion)? The 30 and under crowd isn't responsible for the state of things except for continuing wiht what we've been taught. If we know no other way, we have to figure it out. You do us no service to constantly barrage us with how wrong we are.

Thank you =p

And FYI - I'm sick of people calling me a feminist. I'm confused...maybe not as much as others, but I am. I know what my place is - I just haven't figured out how to excercise that place yet. But a FEMINIST, I most CERTAINLY am NOT.

Christina said...

We should give it a name. What do you call it when one group takes all the risk and the other takes only the benefits?

Who says that putting our lives in your hands is not risky?

Do you agree that men should protect women...EVER? I'm not talking about their half of the bargain...I'm talking about your's.

Ok. If you do, then what do you think it would mean if a woman gave up her right to education, gave up her right to make a living for herself, and placed herself fully in her husband's protection? Judging from what you guys are saying, she still hasn't done enough here. Now, she is fully at your mercy. What are you going to do? Extend your protection? Or tell her that she's still way off mark and doesn't deserve your protection.

Only now, she has no ability to take care of herself, so much has she placed herself in your care.

THAT'S risky. That's why mothers have taught their daughters to earn a living, to get an education, and to only get married and have children after their career is established. Because they don't think their daughters should trust men. Why? Because in our mother's generation, it was the men leaving the women, it was deadbeat dad's beating the curve - not wives trying to destroy husbands by stealing all their money.

But those wives destroying their husbands and stealing their children and money? Yeah...that's because we were taught not to trust you guys. Because men (up to that point) hadn't proven themselves trustworthy.

And you scoff at the ones that are trying to figure out the RIGHT way of doing things, knowing that this distrust thing isn't the way to go...admitting that we're supposed to submit (but what does that mean?) - why should we trust you? Seriously? When you scoff at our attempts to understand? You're only keeping us further away from the truth...because the more you scorn us, the less we trust you.

And this isn't about just trusting your husband! The trust has to start way before marriage - we need to trust that men will respect us, honor us, keep us safe from harm if we're to give up all of those things that will give us a way to support ourselves. Our fathers need to be willing to support us til marriage. Men need to be willing to marry us. Men who aren't interested in marrying us need to treat us as sisters and not as playthings.

This isn't all on one gender! Yeah, there are women out there (culture and society at large) who think women have been confined to the kitchen too long and have discovered that they can actually COMPETE with men. And they'll continue doing it, too. Because its in our make up to want to rule over you. But you know something, its gonna bring us nothing but grief - because that's our curse. Our curse is to revoke your authority and your leadership, to not trust you with our well-beings, and to try to do it ourselves...all by ourselves. "LOOK AT ME DADDY!!! I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP ANYMORE!!! I'M A BIG GIRL NOW!!!"

What gets me is that we knew this in Genesis - we knew women were going to be like this that early...

And yet Paul STILL tells you - Love them, Lead them. You have the authority.

And he beats it over our heads - women submit, women be silent, women should not teach in church, women should learn quietly, women...yada yada yada...

Cuz HE knows and GOD knows we won't want to...and we're gonna make it SO difficult on you guys - even the ones that DON'T want to will mess up and misunderstand and misinterpret. But, God help us, some of us are actually trying.

I'm one that's trying, Heather's one that's trying. Suzanne's one that's trying. So please. Give us a break.

Christina said...

Triton -

I dare you to argue with this:

From conception to 1 yr-18 months, a child is better off with the mother than the father.

Why? Well, obviously, the first 9 months the woman needs protection if the baby is to survive those 9 months. While the mother is breast feeding and weaning her child? Yup - baby better off with mum...even if you DO get a wet-nurse (a what?) or bottle-feed the child, it's own mother's breast-milk provides nutrients and protection that you can't get anywhere else.

THAT was my main case - and Craig pointed out another one on the actual boundless blog...a civilization can better survive when there's more women and fewer men.

Its why it was considered completely barbaric (and necessary for destroying a civilization) to kill women and children. Its why men would fight to protect women and children...that's their civilization's future.

Argue with that.

Now, I did like what you had to say about natural order being matriarchy. But I think that's a result of the fall...not the way God intended it (as he clearly states men are to be in authority). That was a very interesting little bit I hadn't actually thought of before :) Thanks :)

Christina said...

I just realized...

According to Paul, I shouldn't be instructing you guys or providing any input.

But if I didn't, what would you do? Continue tearing apart whatever I write on my blog and whatever Suzanne, Heather, or Candice write to educate women? As that IS our role in the church, right?

Or would you try to help us learn? Giving us some added insight and constructive criticism, helping us to view something differently?

I don't think you will. You guys are much too content proving to yourselves how we continue to screw up and misunderstand something that's never been communicated to us. Have fun with that =D

Anonymous said...

Craig's comments in the blog were incredibly insightful, and I think he's correct.

Christina, what in your endless posts do you want to hear from us men? Go find an older Christian woman who's had a long and successful marriage and learn from her, like you're supposed to.

emarel

Triton said...

Gee whiz, Christina. Settle down a bit; you're scaring your ISP. ;)

From conception to 1 yr-18 months, a child is better off with the mother than the father.

Why? Well, obviously, the first 9 months the woman needs protection if the baby is to survive those 9 months. While the mother is breast feeding and weaning her child? Yup - baby better off with mum...even if you DO get a wet-nurse (a what?) or bottle-feed the child, it's own mother's breast-milk provides nutrients and protection that you can't get anywhere else.


I don't see how a mother's breast milk is fundamentally better than a wet-nurse's. I might even extend that to include goat's milk, which is often considered the universal baby formula. I'm hardly an expert on that subject, though.

I DO believe that fathers are better disciplinarians. I believe babies respond differently to a deep male voice than they do to a female voice (and I believe secular science backs me up on that).

And, of course, there's the whole matter of mothers being more likely than fathers to murder their own children.

So, yeah, I definitely think a case can be made for a baby being better off with the father.

THAT was my main case - and Craig pointed out another one on the actual boundless blog...a civilization can better survive when there's more women and fewer men.

The more women part I understand; I can do math, after all. The fewer men part I'm not quite getting. Please elaborate.

Its why it was considered completely barbaric (and necessary for destroying a civilization) to kill women and children. Its why men would fight to protect women and children...that's their civilization's future.

You're changing the subject. What you're talking about here is war between rival tribes, not one man protecting one woman from a fellow countryman, which was the subject vis-a-vis chivalry.

Now, I did like what you had to say about natural order being matriarchy. But I think that's a result of the fall...not the way God intended it (as he clearly states men are to be in authority).

Well, lots of things are a result of the Fall. God intended for us to be immortal, too. Let's leave the pre-Fall environment for another day and instead deal with the world we have here at hand.

What are our responsibilities?

Since you keep asking this, I suppose someone ought to answer you, so I'll try.

The ideal wife is described thusly in Proverbs 31:

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.



Let's break it down a little.

Verse 11: her husband trusts her. Not just because she says "You can trust me!", but because she has, through her actions, earned his trust.

Verse 13: she sows stuff. Not reluctantly, but "with eager hands". She knows what she is doing has value, and that makes it enjoyable for her.

Verse 15: she has a natural servant's heart, even to the point of bringing the household servants their breakfasts though their stations are beneath her own.

Verse 16: she does hard work in the field in addition to her housework. This verse is also an example of a home-based business.

Verse 18: another home-based business. It's not just about housework; she has several irons in the fire.

Verse 20: she finds time to be charitable, even after all the other stuff she does.

Verse 23: her husband is respected by others. If his wife was a burden, he would be more likely to be mocked. His reputation is bolstered by his wife's good behaviour.

Verse 24: yet another home-based business.

Verse 25: she is not vain about growing old. She accepts "the days to come" with dignity.

Verse 28: her family appreciates her. This appreciation is not something that can be demanded; it must be earned the hard way. Lots of women complain about being unappreciated; few decide to work harder to earn that appreciation.

Verse 31: she has built a good reputation for herself via her good works. A good reputation is the gift a woman gives herself.



That's a good starting point. As you can see, there's more to it than just household chores. Attitude is highly important. Willingness to do hard, menial work outside. And the business sense and work ethic to make not one but several home-based businesses succeed.

All this may seem like a tall order. And I would guess that for most American women it's too tall. But there you go regardless.

Christina said...

Triton,

That's what I thought. But some guys seem to think we don't belong there, either.

Its kind of frustrating to say the least.

Now, pre-fall, post-fall doesn't matter as all of our commands were given to us post-fall. So, men in authority in spite of the natural default of civilization still remains.

All of my examples on men protecting women were WHY men USED to protect women. I was not trying to point out reasons why you should STILL protect women (other than I think your supposed to according to scripture, but I'm still unsure how this works regardless of the woman's responsibilities).

I agree, that a lot of women nowadays seriously have issues - from using their babies as baseball bats to beat their boyfriends all the way to putting them in the microwave to warm them up. I want to know WHO taught those girls to be mothers. Problem is, no one taught them.

Anonymous,

I think you'd agree that a large part of the problem here IS the older women. They are the ones that are handing down this dominant female role - women are as good as men. As for one with a successful marriage? I do - she's my mother. And I've learned many VERY good things from her. Things that even you gentlemen would shudder to think she's taught me. But that's because you don't understand our side of the story - from putting on my best face to being interpreted as lying, hiding information so that loving your wife isn't any harder than it already is...

Anonymous, if men are supposed to be teaching women scripture and then women teach the women how to be loving wives, where does the information start? It starts with the one in authority. And the ones in authority have absolutely no qualms with placing women with messed up theology in roles they never should've been in...letting them believe things that aren't in scripture. If you still think that's all the woman's fault, I'd like to point out to you a board full of men that appointed a female bishop in the episcopal church. A board full of CONSERVATIVE men who got the exact opposite of what they intended - but they put her there none-the-less.

ghost rider said...

All you guys are going to get from chicks today is blame, shame, projection, deflection, subversion, denial, superficial shallowness, vindictiveness, condescnension, false accusations and anything else they can come up with that will burn up as much of your time and energy as possible.

Twenty years ago things were bad enough to notice letting even one of them into your life would only lead to disaster. Any man who is brain dead enough to marry one of these entitlement princesses today deserves the destruction he will get tommorrow.

What their nuclear powered narcissistic egos will never wrap what little minds they have around is the fact that most men want nothing to do with them anymore. Don't go away mad just go away.

Everytime men move on, the devils herd follows. Moooo you need us, moooo you need to grow up, moooo you can't handle a strong woman, moooo stop playing video games, moooo we want to work where you do, moooo we want equal pay for not showing up to work where you do, mooo we want free day care for getting knocked up, mooooo see how strong and independent we are, moooo we want...

mgsiuab said...

“Shaming tactics.” This phrase is familiar to many Men’s Rights Activists. It conjures up the histrionic behavior of female detractors who refuse to argue their points with logic. Yet women are not the only ones guilty of using shaming tactics against men. Male gynocentrists use them, too. Shaming tactics are emotional devices meant to play on a man’s insecurities and shut down debate. They are meant to elicit sympathy for women and to demonize men who ask hard questions. Most, if not all, shaming tactics are basically ad homimem attacks.

Anyway, it might be helpful to categorize the major shaming tactics that are used against men whenever a discussion arises about feminism, men’s issues, romance, etc. The following list contains descriptions of shaming tactics, some examples of quotes employing the tactics, and even color-coded aliases for mnemonic purposes. Enjoy.

Charge of Irascibility (Code Red)

Discussion: The target is accused of having anger management issues. Whatever negative emotions he has are assumed to be unjustifiable. Examples:

“You’re bitter!”
“You need to get over your anger at women.”
“You are so negative!”
Response: Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice. It is important to remember that passive acceptance of evil is not a virtue.

Charge of Cowardice (Code Yellow)

Discussion: The target is accused of having an unjustifiable fear of interaction with women. Examples:

“You need to get over your fear.”
“Step up and take a chance like a man!”
“You’re afraid of a strong woman!”
Response: It is important to remember that there is a difference between bravery and stupidity. The only risks that reasonable people dare to take are calculated risks. One weighs the likely costs and benefits of said risks. As it is, some men are finding out that many women fail a cost-benefit analysis.

Charge of Hypersensitivity (Code Blue) - The Crybaby Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being hysterical or exaggerating the problems of men (i.e., he is accused of playing “Chicken Little”). Examples:

“Stop whining!”
“Get over it!”
“Suck it up like a man!”
“You guys don’t have it as nearly as bad as us women!”
“You’re just afraid of losing your male privileges.”
“Your fragile male ego …”
“Wow! You guys need to get a grip!”
Response: One who uses the Code Blue shaming tactic reveals a callous indifference to the humanity of men. It may be constructive to confront such an accuser and ask if a certain problem men face needs to be addressed or not (”yes” or “no”), however small it may be seem to be. If the accuser answers in the negative, it may constructive to ask why any man should care about the accuser’s welfare since the favor will obviously not be returned. If the accuser claims to be unable to do anything about the said problem, one can ask the accuser why an attack is necessary against those who are doing something about it.

Charge of Puerility (Code Green) - The Peter Pan Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being immature and/or irresponsible in some manner that reflects badly on his status as an adult male. Examples:

“Grow up!”
“You are so immature!”
“Do you live with your mother?”
“I’m not interested in boys. I’m interested in real men.”
“Men are shirking their God-given responsibility to marry and bear children.”
Response: It should be remembered that one’s sexual history, marital status, parental status, etc. are not reliable indicators of maturity and accountability. If they were, then we would not hear of white collar crime, divorce, teen sex, unplanned pregnancies, extramarital affairs, etc.

Charge of Endangerment (Code Orange) - The Elevated Threat Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being a menace in some undefined manner. This charge may be coupled with some attempt to censor the target. Examples:

“You guys are scary.”
“You make me feel afraid.”
Response: It may be constructive to point out that only bigots and tyrants are afraid of having the truth expressed to them. One may also ask why some women think they can handle leadership roles if they are so threatened by a man’s legitimate freedom of expression.

Charge of Rationalization (Code Purple) - The Sour Grapes Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of explaining away his own failures and/or dissatisfaction by blaming women for his problems. Example:

“You are just bitter because you can’t get laid.”
Response: In this case, it must be asked if it really matters how one arrives at the truth. In other words, one may submit to the accuser, “What if the grapes really are sour?” At any rate, the Code Purple shaming tactic is an example of what is called “circumstantial ad hominem.”

Charge of Fanaticism (Code Brown) - The Brown Shirts Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of subscribing to an intolerant, extremist ideology or of being devoted to an ignorant viewpoint. Examples:

“You’re one of those right-wing wackos.”
“You’re an extremist”
“You sound like the KKK.”
“… more anti-feminist zaniness”
Response: One should remember that the truth is not decided by the number of people subscribing to it. Whether or not certain ideas are “out of the mainstream” is besides the point. A correct conclusion is also not necessarily reached by embracing some middle ground between two opposing viewpoints (i.e., the logical fallacy of “False Compromise”).

Charge of Invirility (Code Lavender)

Discussion: The target’s sexual orientation or masculinity is called into question. Examples:

“Are you gay?”
“I need a real man, not a sissy.”
“You’re such a wimp.”
Response: Unless one is working for religious conservatives, it is usually of little consequence if a straight man leaves his accusers guessing about his sexual orientation.

Charge of Overgeneralization (Code Gray)

Discussion: The target is accused of making generalizations or supporting unwarranted stereotypes about women. Examples:

“I’m not like that!”
“Stop generalizing!”
“That’s a sexist stereotype!”
Response: One may point out that feminists and many other women make generalizations about men. Quotations from feminists, for example, can be easily obtained to prove this point. Also, one should note that pointing to a trend is not the same as overgeneralizing. Although not all women may have a certain characteristic, a significant amount of them might.

Charge of Misogyny (Code Black)

Discussion: The target is accused of displaying some form of unwarranted malice to a particular woman or to women in general. Examples:

“You misogynist creep!”
“Why do you hate women?”
“Do you love your mother?”
“You are insensitive to the plight of women.”
“You are mean-spirited.”
“You view women as doormats.”
“You want to roll back the rights of women!!”
“You are going to make me cry.”
Response: One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are “not a zero-sum game”). One may also ask the accuser how do they account for women who agree with the target’s viewpoints. The Code Black shaming tactic often integrates the logical fallacies of “argumentum ad misericordiam” (viz., argumentation based on pity for women) and/or “argumentum in terrorem” (viz., arousing fear about what the target wants to do to women).

Charge of Instability (Code White) - The White Padded Room Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being emotionally or mentally unstable. Examples:

“You’re unstable.”
“You have issues.”
“You need therapy.”
“Weirdo!”
Response: In response to this attack, one may point to peer-reviewed literature and then ask the accuser if the target’s mental and/or emotional condition can explain the existence of valid research on the matter.

Charge of Selfishness (Code Silver)

Discussion: This attack is self-explanatory. It is a common charge hurled at men who do not want to be bothered with romantic pursuits. Examples:

“You are so materialistic.”
“You are so greedy.”
Response: It may be beneficial to turn the accusation back on the one pressing the charge. For instance, one may retort, “So you are saying I shouldn’t spend my money on myself, but should instead spend it on a woman like you —and you accuse me of being selfish?? Just what were you planning to do for me anyway?”

Charge of Superficiality (Code Gold) - The All-That-Glitters Charge

Discussion: The charge of superficiality is usually hurled at men with regard to their mating preferences. Examples:

“If you didn’t go after bimbos, then …”
“How can you be so shallow and turn down a single mother?”
Response: Average-looking women can be just as problematic in their behavior as beautiful, “high-maintanence” women. Regarding the shallowness of women, popular media furnishes plenty of examples where petty demands are made of men by females (viz., those notorious laundry lists of things a man should/should not do for his girlfriend or wife).

Charge of Unattractiveness (Code Tan) - The Ugly Tan Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of having no romantic potential as far as women are concerned. Examples:

“I bet you are fat and ugly.”
“You can’t get laid!”
“Creep!”
“Loser!”
“Have you thought about the problem being you?”
Response: This is another example of “circumstantial ad hominem.” The target’s romantic potential ultimately does not reflect on the merit of his arguments.

Charge of Defeatism (Code Maroon)

Discussion: This shaming tactic is akin to the Charge of Irascibility and the Charge of Cowardice in that the accuser attacks the target’s negative or guarded attitude about a situation. However, the focus is not so much on the target’s anger or fear, but on the target’s supposed attitude of resignation. Examples:

“Stop being so negative.”
“You are so cynical.”
“If you refuse to have relationships with women, then you are admitting defeat.”
“C’mon! Men are doers, not quitters.”
Response: The charge of defeatism can be diffused by explaining that one is merely being realistic about a situation. Also, one can point out that asking men to just accept their mistreatment at the hands of women and society is the real attitude that is defeatist. Many men have not lost their resolve; many have lost their patience.

Threat of Withheld Affection (Code Pink) - The Pink Whip

Discussion: The target is admonished that his viewpoints or behavior will cause women to reject him as a mate. Examples:

“No woman will marry you with that attitude.”
“Creeps like you will never get laid!”
Response: This is an example of the logical fallacy “argumentum ad baculum” (the “appeal to force”). The accuser attempts to negate the validity of a position by pointing to some undesirable circumstance that will befall anyone who takes said position. Really, the only way to deal with the “Pink Whip” is to realize that a man’s happiness and worth is not based on his romantic conquests (including marriage).

Anonymous said...

Christina,

There are plenty of men, myself included, who were and are single parents from the birth of our children. Our children are better off, more realistic and more protected and cared for by single fathers than they EVER could be by single mothers.

Further, all your nonsense about men not wanting women in the workplace or the home is simply a waste of blog space.

Go use your God-given talents to become a lawyer, a rock star, or whatever. Just don't get upset when men don't want you because you didn't make marriage a priority. Don't think we don't want good women, we do. We want women who won't constantly challenge our leadership with the ever-looming threat of divorce, loss of contact with children, etc.

Women have it better than ever these days. I have absolutely no idea why you are always complaining on these boards. Women run the show these days, this is why so many men are happily living life on their own terms. We aren't in charge anymore. Even most popular Christian leaders are cheering the shared leadership of the home. Shared leadership usually means the woman is in charge. This doesn't work for most Christian men, so they don't have to be part of it.

Simple.

Christina said...

Anonymous:
Go use your God-given talents to become a lawyer, a rock star, or whatever. Just don't get upset when men don't want you because you didn't make marriage a priority. Don't think we don't want good women, we do. We want women who won't constantly challenge our leadership with the ever-looming threat of divorce, loss of contact with children, etc.

Who are you talking to here?

Certainly not me.

You seem to think that just because I'm throwing in my 2 cents here that I'm outright disagreeing with what Anakin said. I don't disagree. I just think he's being overly harsh on the woman who wrote it - who DID give up any claim to leadership when she married and opted to stay at home rather than pursue a career.

You haven't read anything I wrote or you'd know I plan on following in those footsteps (the non-career footsteps). Marriage happens to be my priority and its sabotaging my career - which is why I'm in an incredible hurry to get married...I won't have a job in a couple years if I continue making marriage a priority. And if no one marries me in that time frame, I'm SOL.

Don't project your assumptions about women in general on me. I'm not the cultural norm. To listen to some of you guys talk about christian women, I'm not in that norm, either. Yeah, I'm different. I also have a big mouth and an opinion and an education to match it. Doesn't mean I'm trying to usurp a man's authority. Just that I'm tired of listening to some of you think that ALL women are EXACTLY the same. Which they are not.

Christina said...

Women have it better than ever these days. I have absolutely no idea why you are always complaining on these boards. Women run the show these days, this is why so many men are happily living life on their own terms. We aren't in charge anymore. Even most popular Christian leaders are cheering the shared leadership of the home. Shared leadership usually means the woman is in charge. This doesn't work for most Christian men, so they don't have to be part of it.

Which women have it better than ever?

The ones that struggle daily to follow God's word? The ones that have been dreaming of having little kids running around crying out for mommy since they were FIVE YEARS OLD? The ones that dream about making a home for their husbands to come and rest? The ones that struggle every damn day with a sexual urge to match her desire for a husband and children? The ones that have talents better suited to managing a household and educating children than being stuck in a cubicle every damn day honing in on only ONE of many many skills?

Who's lucking out? Oh, that's right...the ones that think men suck, men are losers, that want everything their way, want to be the top of the corporate ladder, make their own theology...that's right...THEY are the ones that are winning.

HELLO!!! You guys haven't been the only victims here. The woman who actually WANTS to be the traditional housewife, who WANTS to be Proverbs 31 is being painted up as a "feminazi" by association of gender alone.

So what, I'm a WOMAN! God created me that way. And I'm gonna do my damndest to figure out what he wants to do with me. Cuz if no man will marry me (and thank God my boyfriend ain't one of you guys...but marriage certainly isn't guaranteed), then I've got to figure out what else to do with myself. And it ISN'T climbing that corporate ladder.

Maybe I'll go to Africa and hide from all the woman-haters and the women they think all women are like.

Anakin,

You know they are misrepresenting me. Help me out here. And I had some questions for you in my original posts before I started being attacked...could you maybe answer some of them for me?

It'd be much appreciated. Then I'll move out of the way here and write my own post about women and male authority.

De Toqueville said...

It may readily be conceived that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded, and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women.

Anakin Niceguy said...

Christina,

I see from the number of posts that you have some concern about how men here view you. Here are my observations:

1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are still in your early twenties. You come from an intact, religious family right? You might be looking at all these men with horrible third-degree burns and wondering what happened?

In a way, I believe you are coming upon the ruins of a city that was just recently burned. You missed the woman-firster blitzkrieg of the seventies through the nineties when it mowed down unsuspecting young men such as myself. We saw it happen. You are seeing the smoke and leftover fires. Difference of perspective.

2. You say, "I acknowledge 100% that we don't belong in the workplace (for economic reasons as much as anything else). But sometimes I wonder if you guys even want us in the homes." I think you are cutting and pasting the disparate opinions of several men and making it look like one incoherent mess. Indeed, it is, because you are lumping all men together. Yes, look for the commonalities, but make sure to fairly represent the individual opinions of men.

You ask what men want. I can't answer that. What Amir or Triton wants maybe a bit different from what Anakin wants. I think biology and psychology makes mothers the choice primary caregivers. I also don't see a problem with women working outside the home.

3. I'll tell you what I myself want. Consistency from a woman. If she is going to compete with men then she has to be willing to shoulder some responsibilities traditionally reserved for men. If she wants men to be the breadwinner, the knight in shining armor and the fall guy, then she needs to defer to his goals, dreams and aspirations. Real trade-offs. Real parity. Real justice. That's what I want as a man. None of the sinful showing of partiality where a select caste of human beings have the best of all choices because they were born female.

4. I also want an acknowledgment that conduct commonly regarded as inappropriate, demeaning, and dehumanizing does not suddenly become justifiable for women in how they treat men. Case in point, if it tasteless to joke about harming women, then it is tasteless to joke about harming men. If it wrong for men to play the field and jerk women around in the dating game, then it is wrong for women to do the same to men. If it is wrong for men to judge women primarily or solely on external attributes (looks or money), then it is wrong for women to judge men in the same way. If it's wrong for women to be blamed for the stupid choices men make, then it's wrong for men to be blamed for the stupid choices women make (no headship psychobabble please).

5. My worth as a man is not defined by how lucky I am with the opposite sex. Hollywood can't define it by how many women I bed. Churches can't define it by how successfully I convince a woman to take my last name.

Getting society to acknowledge true justice in this regard would be a big step towards fixing things. That's where I'm coming from Christina. Now, if you have questions for me, please spell them out in a list for me. I am not going to scour multiple posts to figure out what you just might be asking. Thanks.

Christina said...

I think Heather gave me all the information I need in her last post on Boundless.

Thanks for your response, Anakin.

singlextianman said...

My worth as a man is not defined by how lucky I am with the opposite sex. Hollywood can't define it by how many women I bed. Churches can't define it by how successfully I convince a woman to take my last name.<<

Well said.

Amir Larijani said...

At the end of the day, a woman in need is not entitled to help by the man on the basis of her womanhood.

Her vulnerability? Yes. Just as one in such a position ought to take the case of the child, or the homeless person, or anyone else who cannot defend him or herself.

But her womanhood, in and of itself, obligates her to no more protections than anyone else.

Amir Larijani said...

In a way, I believe you are coming upon the ruins of a city that was just recently burned.

You missed the woman-firster blitzkrieg of the seventies through the nineties when it mowed down unsuspecting young men such as myself. We saw it happen. You are seeing the smoke and leftover fires. Difference of perspective.


That's what the younger folks aren't getting, and no--that's not aimed so much at Christina as it is at much of her generation and even my generation.

Older folks--men and women alike--are finding themselves in a disaster and are not sure (a) how it got this bad and (b) how do we fix it and (c) how to look at the opposite sex with minimal cynicism.

The city was burned before Christina's generation came along. Hell, the fire was set while I was in diapers.