Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why do "conservatives" sound so much like feminists?

It's really starting to both annoy and amuse me. In all the hooplah about the Palin nomination (and now the teen pregnancy) coming from the conservative side, I'm noticing something startling: they sound a lot like feminists. Oh, of course, they wouldn't admit it. And they certainly don't sound like feminists when they are saying that Governor Palin should stay home full time, and/or that her daughter's pregnancy is a result of the mother being outside of the home.

How do they sound like feminists?

They really don't act as if the role of the father is at all important. They ignore Governor Palin's husband entirely, unless it is to feel sorry for him for having an "unsubmissive" wife. His presence in the home, or his absence from it, seems to have --- at least based on what they are writing --- no influence on the children at all. Or at least it's not even significant enough to mention. He's not even significant enough to mention.

No one asks, where was the father? No one asks, should he have been more involved in his daughter's life? Could her pregnancy be a sign that he has failed her in some way?

No one asks these questions because...well, despite giving the rare lip service to the contrary, no one really thinks the role of the father is that important in the home. Most complementarians and patriarchalists really don't think that marriage and the raising of children is that tremendously important. Oh, sure, it is very important for women --- for them, it is their highest (and should be only) calling. But men have far more important work, dominion work, grand vision work. Being a husband and father is not a calling. It is something to be done as a sideline, almost like a hobby. Of course, the husband/father had better make sure he is "in charge", but no one really expects a father to make all that significant of a difference. Oh, sure, they'll tell women that they need to get married and that children need fathers, and that everyone needs to submit to the husband/father, but when they place blame for things wrong in the family, it's the wife/mother who gets blamed. That's where the buck almost always seems to stop. The husband/father escapes their notice.

And that's very telling.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting into words what I was thinking. . .

    I know that no one can replace me as mother in my children's lives. However, we have been oh-so-blessed to have my husband be active in daily parenting and homeschooling in a way that isn't possible for most families. His role in our family has been CRUCIAL.

    I find it ironic and irksome that the same people who trumpet the father as the "head of the home" in theory, are vitriolic about families where fathers are actually active and involved in daily tasks (especially when it includes mothers being outside of the home.)