Saturday, July 28, 2018

Clinging vines

I'd like to make one more observation about "Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos". It's a well-intentioned article that has a grain of truth. However, it reinforces a damaging stereotype of complementarianism. It plays into the popular prejudice that complmentarianism is equivalent to The Handmaid's Tale

That's because the position advocated in the article isn't complementarianism. It seems to take the position that at every stage of life, females need to be under male supervision. That reflects a quintessentially Muslim viewpoint. They remain under their father's authority (or uncles or brothers) until they marry, then authority is transferred to the husband. There's nothing in-between. 

It's not good to foster a subculture of dependance, where wives are clinging vines. For one thing, in a fallen world you never know who will let you down. 

But beyond that, some women find themselves in situations through no fault of their own where they must provide for themselves. Where they must take the lead (cf. 1 Sam 25).

I had an aunt who was a widow for 40 years. Her husband died of a heart attack when they were in their early fifties. She desperately wanted to remarry, but she just wasn't eligible. 

His premature death made her a single mom. But because she had a nursing degree to fall back on, she was able to support herself financially as well as her adolescent son. In fact, I think it was a two-income home even before her husband died. He tried to eke out a living as a TV repairman. I doubt he made enough money to support the family. She had a more stable source of income than he. 

I had another aunt who was a widow for 25 years. But because she had a doctorate in linguistics, she got a job as a college prof. She was able to provide for her needs. 

There are responsible and irresponsible men, responsible and irresponsible women. Sometimes a responsible woman marries an irresponsible man. Or sometimes they're both irresponsible, but she learns the hard way. 

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