Here is my feeling on submitting to your husband- it is inevitable. Wills are made of iron & men have more iron than women.
Still, it annoys me when submission is made into a moral accomplishment. Is falling down the stairs an accomplishment? What about riding down a mountain in a grocery cart? I don’t see anything particularly noble about yielding to someone else. It is more a practical choice.
I don’t like it to be sugar coated either. The happy submissive wife holding a tray of cookies. In real life, submission is an extreme sport. Like surfing. Giant waves come at you and there is nothing you can do to change them, just learn how to not get knocked down. Maybe there is value in living that way.
I recently read the autobiography of Bin Laden’s wife and couldn’t believe how much her life resembled mine. She must follow her husband around and not ask questions. When he comes he comes, when he goes he goes. Things blow up and she isn’t supposed to cry. He moves her to a frozen mountain top with no water or electricity and she doesn’t complain. Only once does she make a request from him- that he spend more time with his boys. He complies by encouraging them to become suicide bombers.
What resonates with me most about all this is that conservative propaganda leads people to believe you submit to your husband in exchange for security. False! There is little security in it. For Bin Laden’s wife, machine guns, bombs & grenades were everywhere. Even if your husband doesn’t lead a militia, full dependence puts you in a precarious position. If he leaves you or you leave him, you are doomed. Yet the odds are over 50% this will happen. If he goes insane you are also doomed. The odds are probably high for this as well. I recently took a poll of women asking what percentage of men- that they have known behind closed doors- were decent & the response averaged out to around 5%. So the probability of dependency meaning security plus home sweet home cookie platters is somewhere around 2%*. And you have little control over whether you end up in this 2% or not. From what I can tell, men are like movies. We can watch them but not impact what happens on the screen. Following a man’s will is not for the faint of heart.
Men seem to think women are obsessed with empowerment and proving they can do what a man can do. But I don’t know any women like this. So called “empowerment” usually serves the more humble purpose of not dying & ensuring your kids survive as well. I imagine most women would prefer decorating cookies for their loving husband to working in a sausage factory making ends meet. They just aren’t in the mood to play russian roulette when the odds are 98% not in their favor.
And it is really really hard to be both the empowered woman and the not-empowered woman at the same time. To devote oneself to home, wife & motherhood while also having a high-powered law career to fall back on.
There are definitely advantages to being a traditional obedient wife. You lose one type of freedom but gain another. The freedom of not having the spend the majority of your energy making a living. This allows you to devote yourself to what you find most meaningful. Maybe you will raise kids. Maybe you will learn to fly. I don’t think being a submissive/dependent wife is a bad option. But it troubles me that the cultural forces which promote it are the same one’s unwilling to acknowledge its true risks & challenges. Conservatives say things like “ a woman can’t be abused unless she wants to cause otherwise she would leave.” Well, how do they figure that? How does a person with no access to resources or survival skills just walk out the door?
This is why conservatives annoy me even though I am one. They are not realistic at all when it comes to women. They love to say that women abuse men just as much as men abuse women. But how exactly? Normally they fall back on the idea that women must be doing some super subtle form of invisible evil which ends up being the exact equivalent to all the dastardly deeds men quite obviously perform in the world. I don’t believe this at all. At the risk of giving someone a hernia, I do believe men are more “bad” than women. Because the masculine principle relates to power. The feminine principle relates to love. There is a reason the taliban is male. It’s not a coincidence.
So what is the solution? I don’t know. Submit to your husband or to your boss at the sausage plant. Her choice. Personally, I avoid the smell of sausage at all costs.