Before I move into quotations from this book, I want to say two things. First, what is it with women advising other women to submit? In addition to Elizabeth Handford’s work and now Debi Pearl’s work, my mother also read a book by Elisabeth Elliot on femininity and wifely submission (not sure which). I don’t get this on two levels. For one thing, if women are supposed to be homemakers I’m not sure how that fits with them being bestselling authors and writing authoritative books filled with scripture and theological reasoning. For another thing, what possesses these women to tell other women to lead lives of female submission? It’s like the slave telling other slaves to be happy and obey their masters. Wha…?
Second, even as she poured over books like these and did her best to emulate them my entire childhood, and continuing into the present, my mother has since wanted to assure me that she’s not a doormat. And it’s true, she was always a very strong woman who made her voice heard. But regardless of whether she has ever practiced wifely submission to the extreme that Handford and others urged her too, there’s a serious inconsistency between (a) praising books telling women to be doormats and doing her best to follow what their authors say and (b) insisting that she is not a doormat and shouldn’t be seen as such. She may have never allowed herself to be a doormat, but if she really believed what was said in books like Handford’s, she was trying to be one all the same.
Rather than offering step by step analysis, I’m simply going to offer some quotes provided in the review I found. The quotes speak for themselves.