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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Times, They Are A-Strangin'

Seminary President Paige Patterson and his wife, Dorothy -- who goes by Mrs. Paige Patterson [no duh?] -- view the homemaking curriculum as a way to spread the Christian faith.

In their vision, graduates will create such gracious homes that strangers will take note. Their marriages will be so harmonious, other women will ask how they manage. By modeling traditional values, they will inspire friends and neighbors to read the Bible and then, perhaps, to follow the Lord.

I read the above excerpt at Aetiology regarding the bizarre new curriculum at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, but you have to read the entire article to believe it. It reads like a Gong-Show reject:

God values men and women equally, any student here will tell you. It's just that he's given them different responsibilities in life: Men make decisions. Women make dinner.

This fall, the internationally known seminary -- a century-old training ground for Southern Baptists -- began reinforcing those traditional gender roles with college classes in homemaking. The academic program, open only to women, includes lectures on laundering stubborn stains and a lab in baking chocolate-chip cookies.

Philosophical courses such as "Biblical Model for the Home and Family" teach that God expects wives to graciously submit to their husbands' leadership. A model house, to be completed by next fall, will allow women to get credit toward bachelor's degrees by learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.

As offensive as this is to thinking women, I have always suspected that this "gracefully submit" bullshit is really all about controlling and emasculating the men. And, to my not-surprise, it turns out that all this passive-aggressive suckiness is for the emotional manipulation of men:

Laney Homan, 30, drew excited murmurs with her talk on meal planning, complete with a recipe for a surefire "freezer pleaser" -- a triple batch of meatloaf (secret ingredient: oatmeal). Thanks to a computerized system for generating grocery lists, Homan said, "I've actually trained my husband to shop for me.

"Laughing, she threw her palms toward the heavens and added: "Praise Jesus!"

How very "submissive." Add to this the disgusting sight of women talking of their role as homeschooler for their children, with the requisite Godly Calculus and a good dose of mincing, worse-than-quiche creationism thrown in, and you can just about imagine what a barrel of monkeys childhood is going to be for the average boy (and the average tomboy, as I was) under this femin-nancy dictatorship. But the men are starting to get wise to these tricks - they're even starting to (gasp!) think for themselves - carefully:

Many male graduate students at Southwestern take a class in masculine leadership, where they are admonished to put their wives' needs before their own even as they flex their authority. [Does this sound suspicious to you?] But there's no broader curriculum on a husband's role, leading Dusty Deevers, 30, to wonder what he and other male students might be missing. Labs on mowing the lawn? Trimming hedges? Balancing a checkbook? "Many, many men would be well-served by something like that," Deevers said.

Andy Cecrle, 42, takes it one step further: He would like to see a homemaking class for men, or at least a survival boot camp. He happens to know his way around the house and is proud that he changes his children's diapers. But he knows many guys don't even have a clue how to start the washer.

"What if my wife is sick and my kids need clean clothes? It may not hurt to have some basic tips," Cecrle said. Then he added cautiously: "A lot of people would take great exception to what I'm saying."

Felts is one of them. The whole point of taking college-level homemaking, she said, is to ensure that her husband won't ever feel that he has to darn a sock or do the laundry. Those are her jobs. [emphasis mine]

Yep. First it's helping the wife with the poopy kid - then it's running the dishwasher when the wife is sick - and the next thing you know, you have a flour-fingered pinko liberal male on your hands! Aaauuuughhh! ;-)

Crack the whip - er, the whipped cream, ladies. Don't let up on the emotional blackma - I mean the emotional mauvemail one instant!

(Shimmies to Aetiology and to Vladimir Nabokov. Bitch-slap to SWTS.)

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Blogger Joshua said...

So basically the course goal is training women to be the Dick Cheney to their husband's George Bush?

"Why, yes, honey, of course you're the Decider. Now put on the blue tie I picked out for you, there's a good boy."

Creeeeeeeepy with a capital creep.

October 12, 2007 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This stuff is dangerous. I had a client whose husband and pastor convinced her that telling the truth in a deposition about seeing a psychologist would violate her Christianity - by admitting that she had consulted with an agent of Satan - the psychologist.

I am 100% serious - the case dealt with tenure and breaking tenure as a part of implementation of NCLB. Three years of work was lost because the spouse deferred to her husband in all matters earthly......and lied under oath. This client had five (5) degrees and (6) teaching certifications - and a bad case of magical thinking.

Religion of this type destroys - not just a woman's career or her self worth - but the greater effect is upon others who lost out on a potential precedent-setting case.

October 13, 2007 9:30 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Let me back up here and say that I do think there's a real need for Americans to re-learn basic skills, such as cooking, sewing, and simple repairs. We have become slaves to Taco Bell, Menards, Pump'n'Munch and that kind of crap. We have gone from a producer nation to a consumer one, and it's gotten to the point where our money is being stolen from us by our inability to work simple crafts - and also, the loss of such skills coincided with an upturn in societal crime and bored, unsupervised youth hanging out on the street corner. I think that might be fueling this "return to the home" idea. People want to feel useful again - they want to tap into homespun creativity again.

Which is fine, except for this sharp delineation of gender roles - something that is unnecessary and destructive, as Anonymous said. A frustrated career woman forcing herself to be a domestic goddess is 1) denying her essential natural personality, and 2) going to become an embittered tyrant in the domestic sphere. Well, good luck to the husband in such a home. He doesn't get to run the washing machine, even if he needs to because the wife is now depressed and addicted to antidepressants. It's a recipe for disaster.

I have always ended up somehow with men who cook, do their own laundry, keep things relatively clean, etc. I don't mind doing household chores for them, because I enjoy that stuff. I went through a Little House on the Prairie phase like a lot of little girls (just remember what a tomboy Laura Ingalls really was, in comparison to her femmy sister, Mary). People need to find a mix that works for them, instead of applying some chocolate-chip cookie cutter to their lives.

October 13, 2007 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I should enrole for this. But one question does come up, how is it to be decided which female type will be the head of the other female type? 'Tis a bit of a pickle. Oh damn, go this route and you keep the sticky argument of butch/femme. Alas, I cannot look to baptists to help solve this.


October 13, 2007 11:35 AM  
Anonymous 386sx said...

"What if my wife is sick and my kids need clean clothes?"

Look at the washer and figure out how to turn it on. Maybe ask one of the kids or something. Maybe they can help with that. :P

"A lot of people would take great exception to what I'm saying."

That's because you and they are in a crazy looney cult that destroys your minds. :D

October 16, 2007 1:23 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Pathetic, isn't it? That he feels the need to verbally protect himself in advance for advocating that men learn how to run a machine that, Camille Paglia would shout to the skies, "men invented!"

(And thanks for that, by the way. That and the clothes dryer were great liberating inventions for women.)

October 16, 2007 5:05 PM  

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