Lately women around the web have inspired a wave of pearl clutching by urging their fellow wives to submit to their husbands. Thanks Michelle Bachman! How novel. How downright quaint. Everything that is old is new again and what won't we do for attention, right? Well guess what. Women submitting to a man, especially out of religious obligation, is not only counter-productive for human rights, it's not even natural.
Me, I believe people are just animals who can talk, so let's look at our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, the apes. They live in tribes that look like this: One "king" ape surrounded by a harem of female apes and babies. For years (male, of course) anthropologists assumed the king of the tribe was worshiped and doted upon by his lady wives. Every time a new male tries to swoop in, the females are the ones chasing him off, presumably out of loyalty to the big daddy. Aw, patriarchy. WRONG.
A female anthropologist named Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (not a typo!) wrote a book in 1999 called Mother Nature that changed the face of my brain. I drooled over every page of it in college and emerged a firm believer in the natural matriarchy. Women rule the world. We don't overcome our disadvantaged gender to reach equality. We are the natural rulers who gracefully allow the men of our species the illusion of control for the benefit of all.
The female apes don't give a boo about the "king" ape. They chase off intruding males because all they need is one male ape. Two are trouble. A new male ape is a risk to their established offspring, a source of violence against themselves and their sisters, a nuisance to peace and a bearer of new germs. Seriously, who wants to clean up after two guys or listen to them argue? Good thing modern homes have man caves.
And so they chase him off. Female ape loyalty is to their offspring, not the man in their life.
Life out of the jungle is more complicated. Religion, a form of social control, mandated that women submit to their husbands for centuries. Due to the gleeful work of feminists in the past 50 years, these religious woman-down rules are a faded memory. You may choose to follow the old doctrines, interpret them how you see fit, or chuck them altogether. Choices are awesome! But that leaves us confused. Centuries of a powerful religion telling women we are the second gender is no easy thing to shake in just two generations.
But think about it. If the natural way for a home to be set up is with the man as head of household, would there really be a need to create religious rules to establish that? Would the Bible really need to tell women to submit to their husbands? I mean, if the man being in charge of the house was as natural as people trying to kill each other or covet each other's wives, the bible would say "thou shalt not kill, covet or argue when daddy says no running in the house".
In my home, I run this. Yes, I'm a stay-at-home mother and I love my big, foxy husband to death, but this is mom's house. Mine. We take off our shoes, we eat the dinner I cook and never for one second do I feel under submission. Well. There might be those 20 minutes a day when the lights go out. WINK. So dirty. But seriously, submitting to a man is just ridiculous.
And don't even tell me submit and respect are the same thing. Just say respect in the first place and I'll high five it.
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