Monday, January 29, 2007

Aggressive femininity

This is somewhat of a companion post to my previous one of today.

Some years ago, the small ultra-conservative church we were attending at the time decided to undertake a lengthy home Bible study series on women's head coverings. We delved into it as deeply as we could, studying all pertinent Scripture passages, consulting commentaries, reading articles and books, even listening to sermon tapes. At the end of this lengthy study, our pastor voiced a serious caution, and explained why he didn't want the women to start wearing head coverings to church just yet. He was afraid that maybe, as a church, our motives and hearts weren't exactly pure. As he put it, he was afraid too many of us had the attitude of, "Take that, you feminists! We wear head coverings! And, as soon as we leave here, we're going home to conceive more babies with our husbands, so there!"

It was true. Some of us were, in fact, guilty of aggressive femininity, and our husbands were guilty for encouraging this attitude in us.

Many of my readers could no doubt name websites and blogs that promote this same sort of in-your-face hostility. We've read entire websites whose sole purpose is to mock and deride anything remotely smacking of feminism. We've encountered the strident prairie muffins who wave their skirts menacingly in the direction of any who dare profess a liking for something that isn't all ruffles and Victorian lace. We've read the diatribes likening those who don't sew all their own clothes to witches in old fairy tales.

And those are just the women. The men, sometimes, are even worse. "My wife is a real woman!" they shout with much vigorous chest-beating. "She is far too wonderful and godly and sweet to ever _________!" [Fill in the blank with whatever it is that godly women supposedly don't do, whether it is write a blog, speak a word out loud in church, drive a car, wear pants, speak above a meek whisper, cut her hair, look a man in the eye, or serve store-bought bread.]

Never mind that this sweet, bread baking paragon of demure feminine virtue has just finished loudly denouncing several other women as Jezebels, or that she is doing her best --- under the guise of advocating submission --- to stir up other wives to blatant rebellion against their husbands. [One example: "The next time he asks you to take over the bill-paying, you need to put your foot down and remind him that he is the leader, not you! Otherwise you are in sin. Make him lead --- it is the husband who is supposed to pay the bills, so don't you dare do it, no matter what he says!"]

We live in crazy, mixed-up times. May God protect us all.


  1. LOL! I can relate to this post. I really appreciate you writing on this topic. I have run into this many times. I have come to accept the fact that I will always be a "Jezzie" in some eyes. It no longer bothers me anymore. It actually makes me laugh. Laughing is good medicine. People take themselves way too seriously. I don't have time to wonder if everyone is properly dressed, is acting submissive to their own husbands or is doing things different than I do them. I have too much to do with my own sins and walk with God. I know many women who proclaim how submissive and meek and quiet they are but they are anything but that when you disagree with them. Surely that demeanor that makes them a good wife would trickle over into how they treat other people? At least one would think so.

  2. Oh, boy. . . Can you guess the influence of some of the authors I read at 15-16-17??? Called myself an anti-feminist and smirked at a history prof saying I was "somewhat of a feminist" when I was using feminst theory against the feminists. . . Thankfully my husband has long been a moderating influence in my life. . . I need a man like him.