There’s a concept that runs around the manosphere/fundie community that we need to “make” women obey their husbands/fathers by reducing their rights, reducing their access to education, etc ad nauseum.
The problem with this is severalfold:
- it’s pretty creepy to outsiders/makes a poor witness/looks culty
- this is how you enforce obedience in slaves (or children)
- this assumes malice on the part of women in excess of the normal burden of sin that each human carries
- weak/ignorant wives are not desirable partners – even in traditional marriages
- it ignores free will – the consequences and blessings thereof
Points one and two don’t require elaboration.
Point three – I have heard the theory that women bear a larger sin nature than men do. I think it’s a load of nonsense, theologically and practically. We tend to sin differently and yes, we’ve manipulated things so that much of what God calls sin, the world calls Tuesday – but we’re humans. Humans aren’t NICE. Anyone who thinks that humans are nice needs to read more history. Every era has its “excusable sins”, the things that God calls evil that the people of the day take for granted. Our era excuses a lot of feminine sin.
Point four – go look at rich men. The men who can take their choice of women. Page around in history. VERY few of them choose wives who are pudding heads. royalty occasionally excepted. Go look at the housewives at the richyrich malls (well, once COVID is over) and hang out where you can hear them…. they are women with good educations who are responsible to handle important parts of the couples’ life – quasi-social events, charity, children, homes, etc etc. My area of the country (SoCal) still has lots of housewives – women without outside careers – in this category. Other areas of the country (say, NE) run to women who have degrees and take jobs with charitable organizations … but who essentially do the same kind of work (or see that it is done, and managerial work is still work). Yes, looks are (and have always been) a priority status symbol for the rich. Looks when you wed, looks when you’re throwing the ball, looks when you get your picture in the society page in Vogue. But looks aren’t the end. No one wants a pudding head, they’re a liability, not an asset. You can’t trust ’em.
Point five – the most important point. Yes, I am foursquare behind the duty of every wife to respect and obey her husband. But in every sin (which a failure to obey is), one is sinning against God, not against a human. Go look at David, after taking Bathsheba and killing her husband, “Against You I have sinned”. Against God. Not against the dude whose wife he stole and had killed. My obedience is a reflection of my relationship with God, not my relationship with my husband. The stronger my will-to-obey-God is, the stronger my ability to obey my husband becomes. If I try to reverse this polarity, I move my awe from God and try to put it on a mortal. Bad plan, especially when you know each other’s secrets!
Trying to force women to be weak so that we will be small and easily controlled isn’t very well-thought-out. It looks easy, and speaks to the anger and hurt that some men experience when they see this modern world and the mess it’s in. Oh, women have had plenty to do with that – mea culpa! But pushing us down? That doesn’t accomplish anything at all.