photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's My Wifely Duty to WHAT?

I'm not a mean person. I try very hard to not gossip, to not lie, to not cause mental or physical pain and to think before speaking and acting about the ramifications of my words and actions on those around me.

I love my family fiercely.

I take my employment seriously.

I believe in the idea that is America.

Other than the occasional speeding ticket, I can't think of a single law I've ever broken.

On the other hand, I am not, do not aspire to, and will never require of anyone around me to possess the personality trait of submissiveness.

Back about a hundred years ago I was a fresh-faced 19 year old engaged to be married to a parentally approved 27 year old man. I'd been sort of a wild teen and I'm sure they were just thrilled/relieved that I'd made it that far without jail time or pregnancy or both and were happy to "hand me over" to...a husband.



So we went to the obligatory "pre-marital counseling" at the Lutheran church I grew up in, part of which was going over the vows to be sure we understood what we were signing up for.

All was well until we got to "I promise to "Obey".

Wait. What? What do you mean "Obey"? And more importantly, why is the "Obey" word only in MY vows and not Bill's?

The pastor chuckled and explained patiently. See MY vows said "Obey" and his vows said "Cherish". And he smiled like that took care of that.

But of course it didn't, because this is ME we're talking about.

The THEORY and in a Perfect World, is that if a husband Cherishes his wife he respects her opinions and feelers. Therefore everything he does and decides (?!) for the family will be done and decided with everyones' good and happiness at the forefront so...obeying him wouldn't be an issue.

I continued to look at him like he'd sprouted another 2 heads, neither one human.

And I refused. Patently and outright refused to say the word "obey" in the marriage service. In the end, it was changed so both of us said "cherish".

So as a wife I Cherish my husband, I Honor my husband, I Respect my husband and I Love my husband. I'm not very good at "obeying" and for damn sure I stink at being "submissive".

And although vigorously "boo'ed" at the last debate of the field of Republican presidential hopefuls, the question posed to Michele Bachmann about how her religious belief to "be submissive unto her husband" would translate and meld into her being, yanno, the leader of the Free World, it's an important thing we need to know.

Well, she hemmed and hawed and brought up those 23 foster kids (most of whom were in her care less than a week) and tried to give us her interpretation of the word "submissive". She said it was more about respect, and love, and something else that I didn't hear because I was throwing up a little in my mouth.

But wait.

Michele is a Literal Fundamental Christian. A person who believes with all her heart that the bible in its entirety is The Word of God at face value and NOT OPEN TO INTERPRETATION.

The bible says the earth is only several thousand years old? True.

The bible says homosexuality is a burnin' in hell sin? True.

The bible says "Wives- be submissive unto your husbands"? True.

If it's in the bible- it's true and not questionable or debatable.

So lets look up "submit" ("submissive was defined as "to submit")-

www.Miriam-Webster online-

intransitive verb
a : to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender

b : to permit oneself to be subjected to something
: to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another

Pretty clear-cut. Not "to respect another's opinion" or "to give serious consideration to advice before dropping a bomb on a foreign country"- the words "respect" and "love" aren't there.

Yanno why? Because being submissive has nothing to do with respect or love and everything to do with power and strength.

People said that it was an unfair question because spouses will always talk to each other about important things, which is true and as it should be. The subtle and important difference here is if there is disagreement, Michele is duty bound to SUBMIT to her husband's opinion, advice and direction.

How a party who has serious candidates proudly announcing "If I'm elected I'll demand a loyalty oath from anyone not...white or Christian" and defend that as upholding the Constitution can seriously consider electing someone who will listen to her husband first BEFORE the law or Constitution makes no damn sense at all to me.

See? After all these years I'm still the same hell-raisin' dis-obedient troublemaker...


  1. I see you and Michele are on a first name basis...I'm a little worried! You rebel rouser you.
    I've been having trouble commenting lately so I hope you are feeling better...I hate being sick in the summer!

  2. LOL, jojo- we're only on a first name basis because I can't waste a "Mrs." or "Ms." on her...

    and the boys gauged my recovery by how quickly I'd verbally bite their heads off as they tentatively pushed my political buttons (still from across the room for safety).