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What are the perks of submission?


YPestis

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The other thread about Lori and housework got me thinking. Are there any perks for women to submit? Some on FJ speculate that women who do this willingly must use it to deflect adult responsibilities for themselves. The world is confusing and messy, maybe they submit to avoid all that. However, does submission actually allow women to avoid the entanglements of modern life?

Dougie talk up the privilege of being a women. Women get manly men who would die for them and go anaconda hunting so the wives can sip tea at home. However, how many men today risk their lives in such a way? We don't live in the Old West, or in the Amazon rainforest. Most women in need of rescuing have EMTs and firefighters to save them, not their husbands.

The other argument is that fundie men deal with the big, bad world so their women can safely be oblivious in their little homes. However, does that actually happen? If a husband gets laid off, the wife will feel the effect. Food, utilities, kids. All this takes money that she now has to stretch for everyone.

The fact is, in a fundie world, the man's hardship is felt by his wife, but the women is prevented from taking an active role in it. She is condemned for working, for going back to school, even for disagreeing with the husband. How is it less stressful for the women to be in a submissive role? She suffers the consequences of the husband's actions, without the ability to control the situation. If her husband leaves her, she is left destitute. All the privileges are conferred on men, but the consequences still felt by the wives. There are no perks when you give up your right to make decisions. Our world do not protect women from bad consequences as we do children. Why then, is it easier in some women's view to let someone tell them what to do?

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I think it's because they are scared of hell and even if they don't always like it, once they have kids they are scared of THEM going to hell. So they feel this incredible pressure to raise their kids, especially the girls, "correctly" and full of religion so they do not grow up and feel being independent is an option. The perk of it all is heaven.

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I can't comment on all women but avoiding adult responsiblities is certainly part of the attractiveness if submission for my eldest SIL. When I met her she was in her mid twenties and was more like a child playing with dolls than an adult with two children. She had never paid a bill, only shopped occasionally and always with her husband and had never even held a bank account. I remember it being a major drama when welfare rules changed and she was forced to open her own bank account. I also remember my mother-in-law being thrilled when, after I had kids and bought some really nice clothes for them, my SIL went out and bought clothes for her kids. Until then, all her kids clothes were either hand me downs from friends or bought by my MIL. (I see nothing wrong with second hand clothes - just with someone depending on being given clothes.) Twenty years later their marriage is very different as the husband got sick of being responsible for everything.

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I agree that probably not have to take stressful decisions, not even having to give some input to the husband who might then say "but you wanted to do X, not me!", not having to deal with the hassles and responsabilities of adult life is the main "perk".

I've been reading Libby Anne's comments on Created to be his helpmeet and the only "perk" I can see of that particularly horrible brand of submission is that, sadly, it might appeal to women who are abused but don't dare to try to fix things or walk out. I can't see why anyone else would go along with Debi Pearl's ideas on marriage.

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I think the fundie lifestyle also attracts wannabe martyr types (Abigail springs to mind) who like to gain attention by showing how much they are suffering in one way or another. Based on what I have read of a lot of fundie churches, there seems to be a competition amongst the women in many congregations on who can be the most submissive, perfect wife. So there can be a peer pressure aspect to it as well.

But the price these women who buy into this lifestyle pay is too much. The fact is, her husband and/or church may at some point not be there for you, and she will need to be able to take over the reins. Even in their all hallowed golden age of Victotian times (I'm looking at you Dougie The Tool) widows had to take charge of their families and unfortunately what little work available to women paid poorly. There is no excuse for a woman wi th children to give up all control and knowledge on how to live in this society, because chances are very high she will be thr one that has to step up to the plate someday - and thr kids will likely suffer for it. Keeper of the home doesn't mean just cooking and cleaning...it means making sure that those that live there are cared for as well, no matter who brings home thr bacon.

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The thing is, these submisssion junkies have zero understanding of reality or history. For most people in most places for all of history, survival requires the arduous, constant, economically productive labor of every adult and many children in a family. A husband might provide some measure of physical protection, but the economic and social protection was mutual and much more significant. Men might have more physically risky occupations, but given the risk of mortality and disability from pregnancy and childbirth, women weren't exactly getting a good bargain there.

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Sometimes I think the perks of submission would be fabulous. But, that's only when I don't want to write my papers... Then when I finish, I come to my senses.

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With freedom come responsibility, and that is terrifying for some people.

Submission provides a position within an ordered hierarchy. The person still has to deal with the fallout from bad decisions, but the responsibility for making decisions is out of their hands. They can be perpetual victims/martyrs. If anything goes wrong, the blame can be shifted to the husband. Refraining from actively saying "told ya so" will be seen as praiseworthy self-sacrifice, so she's feel to allow him to feel guilty and use passive-aggressive methods to signal disapproval. Nothing is ever her fault, and she feels no obligation to improve matters. If her children are suffering, she's still the victim, not the adult parent who has a responsibility to change things.

[link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_Freedom]This[/link] was written in the context of the rise of Nazism, but I think it can apply to the submission of women in fundie society as well.

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Id say that the perks of submission are mainly for women who are no good at decision making because any opinion and assertiveness has been blanket trained out of them. It means they can continue acting like a child wanting to impress her daddy (except with added sex).

It also means that socially awkward men who have never had to make decisions in their life and cant talk to a woman in an equal way can still have sex and get their house cleaned, but they dont have to do any romantic stuff.

Id prefer someone to be my equal any day...

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With freedom come responsibility, and that is terrifying for some people.

Submission provides a position within an ordered hierarchy. The person still has to deal with the fallout from bad decisions, but the responsibility for making decisions is out of their hands. They can be perpetual victims/martyrs. If anything goes wrong, the blame can be shifted to the husband. Refraining from actively saying "told ya so" will be seen as praiseworthy self-sacrifice, so she's feel to allow him to feel guilty and use passive-aggressive methods to signal disapproval. Nothing is ever her fault, and she feels no obligation to improve matters. If her children are suffering, she's still the victim, not the adult parent who has a responsibility to change things.

[link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_Freedom]This[/link] was written in the context of the rise of Nazism, but I think it can apply to the submission of women in fundie society as well.

This needs to be engraved on about a million plaques and posted permanently within eye level of 99% of the world's population. In various languages, of course.

The Bible calls for spouses, and for Christians, to "submit unto each other" and to otherwise take care of the other. The whole "Biblical" Manhood and Womanhood scam is nothing more than a control tactic.

Personally, several years ago I learned the value of ceding occasional decision-making power to my The Spousal Unit, and in our case, it worked. Before embarking on a two-days-driving-one-way-just-to-get-to-our- destination car trip, I mentally decided to say, "you decide" and "whatever you think" to any question that wasn't really, really important to me.

A few hours into the trip, he asked if I wanted to take a detour that I'd talked about enthusiastically for a few weeks, but coudl live without. I said, "That's totally up to you" and to my delighted surprise, he took my route (the detour) and we did not spat until very, very late in the trip - a record for us, seriously.

About half a year later, in a marriage counseling session, the trip came up and I told him and our counselor (a male) what my plan had been. They were both surprised to learn it, but the professional had the presence of mind to ask my TSU what he thought about that, and if he'd suspected anything at all. My TSU hadn't, and he didn't take it badly a bit.

Since then, the level of conflict in our marriage has calmed down majorly, but it must be said that it's not by any means all due to ceding some decision-making power to him. I've continued in talk therapy, learning a lot of communication skills I'd never gotten around to, somehow. The big decisions are jointly made. I take my emotional temperature and survey my own needs when TSU proposes some activity or expense, and if the facts align, he's got the con, as they say.

But canid-like submission to his every whim on every aspect of life? NO perks there at all, unless one is into mental masochism.

ETA "occasional" which makes the statement accurate! :D

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I think that the major reason fundies prefer submission is : fear. If you are in charge of your own life then you will have to make choices and every single time you make a choice there is a chance you will choose wrong and if things go badly there will be a chance that it is all your fault. I think that women who gladly submit are terrified of making the wrong choice and they don't want to be blamed. If someone makes all your decisions the pressure is off. Such women get to be a saint - never wrong, never at fault - because after all they were only following someone else's (who they believe to be ordained by God to lead) orders.

I think a minor reason to agree to submission is: it is easier. You don't have to think. You can put your brain in park and just follow orders.

I think that even non fundies have times when they just want someone else to make the hard decisions. I know that this is true for me - some days are so stressful - the thought of making just one more decision is too much. Of course - when you are a non fundie you end up putting on "your big girl pants" and doing what needs to be done. I think that a large part of that ability to get up and make a choice is taught behaviour. Non fundie parents/teachers give gradually increasing amounts of responsibility to teach children/trainees how to handle the stress/make a decision. Fundies infantalize all women so they never learn how to manage the stress of being in charge. Fundies then compound the problem by drilling the idea that women can't lead into their children's heads.

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I read this on a fundie website....

"There are times that the husband may be wrong and you can gently admonish him to reconsider, but except for these moments, you need to train your will to understand than to be understood."

Why must a woman give up her voice, her thoughts, her beliefs? What makes a woman so unimportant that she needs to accept the fact that her opinions will never be fully considered when decisions need to be made regading HER life and HER children? A fundie woman has no identity, except for the one pre-ordained for her by her upbringing. I imagine that it is a very sad and lonely life at times.

I agree that the kind of woman who would be attracted to this lifestyle is probably insecure, emotionally immature, and a little lost. I see no positive outcome for a fundie wife, who will probably upon the passing of her husband, learn to submitt to her oldest son. There will never be a sense of self for these woman, and that is heartbreaking to me.

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I also believe they do it out of fear and to blame the wrong choice on someone else. Nothing is ever their fault. One of my ex-husbands wanted control of all financial aspects of our marriage. And to be honest, it was nice. For about a month. No worries. No decisions on my part. It was nice to go from being a single mom who made every. single. decision to allowing someone else to take the reins. But after one month, I could not tolerate it. It made me feel like a child. I really don't know how submissive women do it. I can't fathom such a thing. I'm too outspoken and independent for such nonsense.

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I read this on a fundie website....

"There are times that the husband may be wrong and you can gently admonish him to reconsider, but except for these moments, you need to train your will to understand than to be understood."

Why must a woman give up her voice, her thoughts, her beliefs? ... I agree that the kind of woman who would be attracted to this lifestyle is probably insecure, emotionally immature, and a little lost. I see no positive outcome for a fundie wife, who will probably upon the passing of her husband, learn to submitt to her oldest son. There will never be a sense of self for these woman, and that is heartbreaking to me.

Sadly ... and I hesitated to write this, but here goes ... I think this attitude is bubbling under the surface of every Christian gathering, no thanks to the subordinate roles that women have been assigned in almost all of the denominations.

This was brought home to me last night when a Roman Catholic friend explained his church's devotion to Mary as Queen Mother, with Jesus as King. He then tsk-tsk'ed at the Christian denoms that just greatly respect Mary but don't see her as essentially a co-redemptrix. I responded, "How ironic that even y'all [RCs] don't extend this honor to human women."

His response? "Who was the first person to see the risen Lord? It was a woman! Ah-ha, see? We honor women!"

I said, "Then why no women priests?"

His response - summarized - "Being a priest is no honor, it's a responsibility, a chore, a burden,..." etc.

I remain a member-on-paper of a conservative Lutheran church that rejects not only the notion of women clergy but of women elders and communion assistants. Some sister congregations are voting to amend their constitutions to allow only adult men as voters - and reportedly many of those votes are unanimous: women are voting against their own right to vote in congregational matters.

These are members of a denominaiton whose demographics probably show an above-average number of members with advanced degrees, careers in the professions and in management, and with at least slightly above-average household income and financial worth.

I"m not bragging, I'm saying it's not only the "crazy" dominionists and fundamentalists who treat women as second-class believers.

Apropos the term "sister" congregations - seems ironic, no? I'm guessing that it comes from referring to congregations that form from larger congregations as "daughter congregations," and that the whole idea of the congregation as female reflects the idea of Christ as bridegroom of His church. Yep - ironic, no "seems" about it.

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Sometimes I do wish I could submit or just be a fundie so I wouldn't have to deal with life. It's hard juggling everything, paying bills, ect. I think that's why they do it. Of course for me, the cure is worse than the illness.

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This thread has been bugging me since I read the title. I can't think of any perks. The idea of offloading responsibility for oneself seems a losing bargain, no matter what the appeal might be to some people.

I honestly don't know people who live with submissive wives. I have heard of them, and it is possible that some aquaintances i've known over the years might indeed be "Submissive" in this way, however, even the homemakers I knew in my childhood never talked about being or acted submissive. My husband and I could never understood what people even meant by it, really--how it would work in "real life." Thanks to these bloggers, today, we read what it is supposed to mean and two big truths come out.

1) I would not and could not live like that.

2) My husband would not and could not live like that.

Now, I"ve abdicated an occasional decision here an there (I don't care which of these three tiles we put in the basement bar area. I don't care where we go for dinner tonight. Etc.) But only when I don't care. He does the same.

Another reason to thank my parents-- this kind of crap never even came up as a suggestion on how to live in our family.

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I also think that for some women, taking part in a gender role makes them feel special. It's a role carved out just for them, that their husband is unable to fill. It makes them feel needed. Then not only does it make them feel good they are fulfilling some god-ordained rule of living, but it allows them to have excuses for why they aren't good at some things or shouldn't have to worry about certain male-dominated concerns.

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I think that the only potential perks are those of abdicating responsibility and of having a special role (as I quoted below).

I also think that for some women, taking part in a gender role makes them feel special. It's a role carved out just for them, that their husband is unable to fill. It makes them feel needed. Then not only does it make them feel good they are fulfilling some god-ordained rule of living, but it allows them to have excuses for why they aren't good at some things or shouldn't have to worry about certain male-dominated concerns.

This is a very good point.

It probably also makes things even more difficult for women who are infertile (or married to someone who is) because they don't fit in one of the biggest "roles" that women are supposed to play in these groups - bearing quivers full of children :(

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This thread has been bugging me since I read the title. I can't think of any perks. The idea of offloading responsibility for oneself seems a losing bargain, no matter what the appeal might be to some people.

I honestly don't know people who live with submissive wives. I have heard of them, and it is possible that some aquaintances i've known over the years might indeed be "Submissive" in this way, however, even the homemakers I knew in my childhood never talked about being or acted submissive. My husband and I could never understood what people even meant by it, really--how it would work in "real life." Thanks to these bloggers, today, we read what it is supposed to mean and two big truths come out.

1) I would not and could not live like that.

2) My husband would not and could not live like that.

Now, I"ve abdicated an occasional decision here an there (I don't care which of these three tiles we put in the basement bar area. I don't care where we go for dinner tonight. Etc.) But only when I don't care. He does the same.

Another reason to thank my parents-- this kind of crap never even came up as a suggestion on how to live in our family.

I don't see it as appealing, but I think that it's important to figure out why it DOES appeal to some, because it's hard to oppose something that you do not understand.

Objectively, it is a losing bargain. Never underestimate the value of psychological benefits, though. The abdication of personal responsibility is a draw for some people.

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Last week was ACT testing at the school where I teach, and during my prep hour I was making copies in the faculty workroom. A male teacher was sort of gently reprimanding our ESL teacher (who is a Russian woman) because the seating chart she had filled out for the room was backwards, and he had to redo it (which is a tedious pain in the ass).

The ESL teacher said, "Well, I had it right the first time but [different male teacher] told me to do it this way." She shrugged and added, "I don't argue with men." The women in the room at the time kind of looked at her, taken aback, and she just said, "What? I'm Russian, that's how I was raised. Plus, when something goes wrong like this, then it's not my fault!"

Which I can understand in theory, and it actually sounds kind of nice, but she ended up having to take the heat for somebody else's mistake anyway, so.....

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I don't see it as appealing, but I think that it's important to figure out why it DOES appeal to some, because it's hard to oppose something that you do not understand.

Objectively, it is a losing bargain. Never underestimate the value of psychological benefits, though. The abdication of personal responsibility is a draw for some people.

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The ESL teacher said, "Well, I had it right the first time but [different male teacher] told me to do it this way." She shrugged and added, "I don't argue with men." The women in the room at the time kind of looked at her, taken aback, and she just said, "What? I'm Russian, that's how I was raised. Plus, when something goes wrong like this, then it's not my fault!"

Which I can understand in theory, and it actually sounds kind of nice, but she ended up having to take the heat for somebody else's mistake anyway, so.....

Yeah, that is where it breaks down.

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On the other side of the token, how much pressure is on the men in this culture to provide financially, spiritually, emotionally etc (that is, if the do care about their family). I couldn't imagine the stress to feed an ever growing family on what is usually a very small salary. On top of that they have to make all the decisions not only for themselves but for another adult human being as well.

Patriarchy screws the men almost as much as the women!

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I lean toward what someone said eariler-- fear of hell if they don't do it and expectation of a reward in heaven once the misery of life is over. More and more of these people are preaching the big benefit of marriage is that it is a way for god to give you some suffering, force you to grow, etc. Or, living an easy, unexamined life of just following the past of least resistance.

I wonder. So many of the women blog about how it is sometimes difficult. I wonder how the psychological impact on the man comes out-- does it result in more or less risk taking? More external and internal blame? Does it carry over into their workplace and in what way.

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On the other side of the token, how much pressure is on the men in this culture to provide financially, spiritually, emotionally etc (that is, if the do care about their family). I couldn't imagine the stress to feed an ever growing family on what is usually a very small salary. On top of that they have to make all the decisions not only for themselves but for another adult human being as well.

Patriarchy screws the men almost as much as the women!

I see a pressure in patriarchal societies for men to constantly feel that they have to maintain this macho stance, and they live in fear of losing respect.

If you have an egalitarian relationship, someone politely disagreeing with you and pointing out that your actions or positions are wrong isn't a big deal. It's just about that one issue. If you have a patriarchal relationship, though, than everything hinges on maintaining authority. If you are a man, you feel that the slightest disobedience will rob you of your manhood and standing, and everything will fall apart. As a result, even when you clearly have a problem, you can't afford to admit it. I've seen several patriarchal meltdowns (it's not just Christian fundies), and they are not pretty. It's just a really nasty downward spiral - sort of the equivalent of a dictator trying to hold onto power while facing a potential revolution.

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