This is a Real Poll at THE TENNESSEAN

It goes with this story about submissive Christian women, but the poll itself does not say “Should Christian women in politics be submissive?” or “Should women in some Christian sects that believe in wifely submission be submissive in their roles as politicians?” or anything resembling that.

Here’s the deal. If you, in your own marriage want to practice any form of wifely submission, as long as everyone consents and everyone is healthy and happy and safe, I don’t care. Submit away. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s not abusive, then it’s a religiously-based power-exchange kink. And I am all for kinks of all sorts, if they bring you pleasure. Go forth into the privacy of your own home and do as you like. Shoot, do it in public.

Just don’t rope me into it. I do not want to submit to anyone and I don’t want that to be an expectation put on me by my fellow Tennesseans who mistake their religiously-based power-exchange kink for how the world is. And it pisses me off that The Tennessean is not more nuanced about this.

And the story! The story starts, “For the Bible’s authors, it was pretty clear how marriage works. Men lead. Women follow.” The Bible also says that men should take multiple wives and fuck their concubines if the wives aren’t working out. Is The Tennessean going to report on that as a legitimate marriage model?

If I worked at The Tennessean, but were in all other ways myself, this poll would make me feel unwelcome, like I am not actually in the eyes of my employer a whole person, but merely a problem demographic whose behavior should be shaped by public opinion.

I respect that that’s not how women at The Tennessean claim to feel, but damn.

17 thoughts on “This is a Real Poll at THE TENNESSEAN

  1. It also endorses handing your daughter over to the people who want to rape your houseguests, so maybe don’t go along with everything in there.

  2. I’m still holding out for the “Should Slaves Obey Their Masters?” and “Should Fathers Provoke Their Children to Wrath?” polls.

    Incidentally, you get a much groovier version of Christianity if you eliminate all the writings of St. Paul, whom THE ALMIGHTY HIMSELF spoke from heaven to say should be “kicked in the prick.”

  3. Here’s an interesting poll topic that’s both topical AND bibically based: How many of you’uns blame Abraham for all the years of horror in the Middle East?

    One old man wouldn’t keep his pants on, and …

    (Another example of a woman submitting to her husband and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. Uh, thanks for the pimping, Sarai.)

  4. I like the way you describe it: “religiously-based power-exchange kink.” If that’s what gets both partners off, they should go for it. But why present it as “just the way things are supposed to be”–because the Bible says so!

    “Submission” would not only not work in most modern marriages; in fact, it would wreck most modern marriages. In a stressful world where both partners work and have equal responsibility for the home and finances, forcing the female partner to “submit” to the male partner would be disastrous. Besides, has anyone ever asked men if this is what they really want? I think only the pathologically insecure and those into BDSM would say “Yes.”

  5. Vvixen, I think the other problem I had with the article is that people seem to define submission in a bunch of different ways–everything from “he has the final decision” to “what he says is the only decision” and places in-between. So, I can’t even begin to judge what kinds of men might want it, because I’m not sure what they even mean.

    And I was glad that some people in the story brought up that it’s a two-way street–that it’s not just that wives submit to their husbands and husbands do what the fuck they want.

    But still, the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth. I mean, the woman who’s husband didn’t bother to show up for the birth of their second child? And now he gets to make all the decisions? That chilled my blood. I mean, I hope it works out for them. Maybe he just did need someone to force him to be responsible by refusing any longer to pick up his slack and this is the way to do it.

    But the idea that a person who did not even bother to appear for the birth of his child gets to be the boss anyone just because he has the penis make me want to throw up.

    Every day I would be, in the back of my mind, terrified that that was his true selfish self and this new arrangement was merely letting him be selfish in a different way but not fixing the underlying behavior. And that, at any moment, he could dick me over that hard or harder again.

  6. I don’t really need submissiveness, but I’m a terrible cook, so she should really have that going for her. Also not big on the cleaning up after the cooking, frankly.

    And I have a high sex drive, so she should be ready for that. Nice if she’s into oral, since I also like TV. And I do have to hold the remote because… well, I just do.

    But other than that. I’m so not into submissive women.

    On an unrelated note, I also can’t figure out why I’m not married.

    (Before anyone hits me, tongue is firmly in cheek. Dry humor does not always translate well on the web.)

  7. Uh.

    I read the Bible all the time. I’ve been reading the Bible for about 40 years now.

    I like to think I’m pretty well-versed in what it says.

    IT DOES NOT SAY “MEN LEAD AND WOMEN FOLLOW”. AT NO POINT DOES IT SAY THAT. It never ever makes that generalisation.

    Ever. Especially not in the chapters like, well, Judges, where the entire nation of Israel is bound to follow the decisions of Deborah.

    There are passages that talk about how a CHRISTIAN MARITAL RELATIONSHIP is to be structured. Those have absolutely no more impact for a secular society’s structure than the passages about how the church is to observe communion.

    There are passages that talk about how a Christian worship service/Bible Study is to be conducted and about how women are to comport themselves in those services. Again: very situation-specific regulations that are nowhere to be extrapolated into the larger society.

    The New Testament–because, face it, that’s what most people really mean around here when they say “Bible”–has plenty of examples of women who are leaders of businesses, even leaders within the church. Dorcas, Eunice, Priscilla, Mary Magdalene.

    I am in a Christian marriage. I am a submitter. But that is as private a part of my marriage as the type of sex we both prefer and has nothing to do with the rest of you.

    The Tennessean needs to quit believing they are the Baptist Faith And Message.

  8. Thank you for commenting on this, Coble. You’ve also explicated something I was uncomfortable with but couldn’t articulate. I do consider this to be a kink (not in a derogatory sense, but in the sense of “A behavior I like with implications for my sexuality that other may not like or be comfortable with and, before I engage in it with them, we would have to make sure that everyone was comfortable and game.”) and I find it weird as hell that the Tennessean is asking people to discuss something so private on the front page of the paper without any acknowledgment that it’s a private matter.

    Well, of course, except that they’re framing it as if it isn’t. As if whether women, in general, should “submit” (whatever that might mean) should be decided via public polling.

    Bizarre and offensive to everyone, I’d think.

  9. He’s running… for the next free buffet luncheon-slash-honorarium at the John Birch Society.

  10. Pingback: SayUncle » For real?

  11. Ephesians also kindly explains how a slave should serve his master, and lays a good foundation for how a master should treat his slaves.

    I find this refreshing, because I needed some instruction in this area. It was getting in the way of my Creationism studies.

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