in which I think about where I've been

A few weeks ago a friend linked to this online magazine on facebook, and reading it brought back so many memories. I remember being raised to believe much of what is written therein, and I almost linked it in a wednesday wonderfulness post, but I thought that more discussion was warranted. I don't necessarily DISbelieve it all, I'm just...a little removed. (Ok honestly? The earnestness and "sweet spirit" with which it was written just brings back WAY TOO MANY memories.)
But anyway, whatever. The thing that I wanted to mention starts on page 30, and is talking about "what warrior poets are looking for in a wife." There are many virtues and qualities listed, and then comes this paragraph:
"spend your years of singleness lavishly upon Christ. You can do things right now as a young single woman that a married woman with children just CAN'T do. Study the Word of God voraciously. Give yourself in service to your King. Your future husband will love the virtues that result from such disciplines!"
The italics are mine. I guess it breaks my heart, because, you see, this is how I was raised. Good Christian girls grow up, marry good Christian guys, and have good Christian babies. And don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with that! If that's what you want, go for it. But other options were never presented. When, at 19, I wasn't married or courting (!) anyone, my dad began to worry.
Anyway. I don't think being a Christian and being a feminist are mutually exclusive. Am I crazy here? Please give me some feedback.


Jessica said…
I'm still trying to figure out where I belong. =( I never bought into the ATI mindset of courting/marriage, but I've grown up being taught that feminists are all wrong. My mama raised her two girls to be very good girls, and, while I love her, I think "being good" should be balanced with "being strong" and "being independent" and learning to speak out and think for yourself. Being a good girl has definitely created some issues I'm working through, and so it's hard for me to grasp a lot of feminist ideas at this point in my life, although I'm definitely more open to it than ever before.
fleur_delicious said…
I don't think so. I was raised Catholic by very liberal parents who thought it was okay to be straight/gay/queer, a family woman or a single woman, a career woman or a housewife, an artist, a bohemian, anything. So long as it made me happy - that was most important. I understood that the Bible was a sacred text, but that it was written by men a long time ago, and that just as we no longer observed the ban on unclean animals like pork, we no longer believed that women had to be subservient to men.

Bacon, feminism, and God in perfect harmony.
{lauryl} said…
Of course they aren't mutually exclusive. After being out of that setting for so many years, you begin to get some perspective. The biggest thing I realized is how small and cult-like the group is that conforms to that school of thought. It's a patriarchal, oppressive system, and I for one am incredibly grateful to be free.
Sarah said…
I think it largely depends on what your definition of Christian means. My personal relationship with God does not allow for a God who discriminates based on gender, so to me it is not. Even so, being raised so deeply in that culture and language, I am often a little shocked at my own internal responses to things which I realize are deeply ingrained in me to automatically be submissive and subservient.

"Bacon, feminism, and God in perfect harmony." I love this.
Sarah said…
Ok. Gasping for air here. I didn't click on the link until after I posted the comment, I just have to post some of these quotes, because it pains me to read them.

"living inside a surrendered, feminine life." feminity=surrender. oh goody.

I will not rant on the entire "taking on the husband name and abandoning my own life/identity" because that would be too long and... insane.

"drama is the great weakness of the female race" "Women are acutely interested in the small details of other peoples lives." "Men are just fine to hear the basics." Yes! All women are exactly alike! We like to chatter and braid our hair and make friends with friendship bracelets! We are the only ones idle-brained enough to cause drama! Never those deep, thoughtful masculine manly men. I wonder if this author has ever met more than, I don't know, three women? Because dontcha know, we are ALL THE SAME.

Also, fyi, Facebook, Twitter and texting are "idle gossip." Ladies, keep those eyes averted to the needlepoint.

Also, a whole section from anonymous "Warrior Poets" (wtf?) that will give you detailed instructions how to become a Warrior Poet Wife (again, WTF?).

Also, an article on praying up the perfect modest warrior wife poet feminine vase wardrobe.

Annnnd that was all I could stomach.

Wow. Um, wow.

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