Worthwhile Reads: More on Vision Forum and Titanic

Julie Ingersoll is at it again, this time taking on Vision Forum’s Titanic 100: International Centennial Event, taking place this weekend, with her article, Biblical Patriarchy Advocates Celebrate Titanic 100th with “Women and Children First” Theme.

Take a minute to compare these two quotes, the first from Vision Forum’s video on preparing what to wear to the Edwardian Tea that will be held at the event and the second from Ingersoll’s article:

Spend just over two days singing, remembering, reenacting and celebrating a virtue that modern man has forgotten—the duty of men to be the protectors of women and children. Join us … as we honor the legacy of chivalry demonstrated on the R.M.S Titanic.

In biblical patriarchy, the refrain of “women and children first” hides an agenda whereby the women are “first” only insofar as they keep their place which is subordinate to men. I wrote about the fallout when they don’t in my book, Evangelical Christian Women. And in Quiverfull, Religion Dispatches’ Kathryn Joyce showed, tragically, a biblical woman is also “first” to take the blame for marital problems, “first” to be excommunicated as part of church discipline, “first” to serve her father and then her husband in his vision for dominion.

Worthwhile Reads: An Eclectic Assortment
Oh Yeah, That's Totally Repentance
Is That the Best You Can Do, WORLD?
Vision Forum Ministries (but not Inc.) Shutters Its Doors
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Can I go to a historic Edwardian costume party in accurate period dress and drink tea WITHOUT the icky sexism and creepy revisionism of a tragic historic event? Because that actually sounds like fun!

    Something tells me that Kate Winslet’s cleavage-y evening gowns would not be welcome at this event. Although wouldn’t it be awesome if someone showed up buck naked in nothing but a diamond necklace?

    • MadGastronomer

      I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t have any idea what Winslet wore, but actual Edwardian evening gowns got really low cut. See also: all of the evening gowns and dinner dresses worn in Downton Abbey. Mostly actual cleavage (as in a crease between breasts) was not seen a lot because women wore minimizing undergarments, but that’s the only reason.

      …No, I’m not a historical costuming nerd, not at all.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        lol, oh me neither! :-P

        Even ladies’ daywear (which is realistically what women would be wearing to an afternoon tea) from that era would hardly pass the modesty standards that VF seems to promote. It was definitely cut to show and enhance curves, even if it didn’t show much skin. Corsets narrowed the waist to enhance the hourglass figure, not to mention the corsets worn in that era actually had a long busk in the front that basically forced a woman to walk with her butt sticking out! (to replace the bustle that had been worn in late 19th century dress). Those corsets were in their last days by 1912 but still worn. Hiding a woman’s shape to prevent men from “stumbling” was definitely not the aim of fashionable women’s attire in 1912, cleavage or no!

        And speaking of Downtown Abbey, I’m really surprised they used an image from that show in their promotional materials. It’s a conservative show in a lot of ways but it does feature one heroine who has sex before marriage, and another who supports women’s suffrage and conducts a love affair with an anti-war socialist behind her father’s back and then marries him against his wishes!

  • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

    Even better, historically accurate rational dress! lol

    • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

      ^ Oops, meant that as a reply to Petticoat Philosopher’s comment.

  • Persephone

    Yes, the men on the RMS Titanic did show true chivalry: they helped the upper class women and children onto the lifeboats, poor/lower class women and children were helped last or not at all. They also kept people off the lifeboats that could have fit so that the “better” persons on board would not be uncomfortable or crowded.

    Every time I hear the word chivalry as something good I want to smack them upside the head. Chivalry boiled down to upper class men being nice to upper class women. Lower class women were fair game for rape, abuse, even murder.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Nice to upperclass women as long as they behaved themselves and knew their places, that is. Alice Paul and her cohorts were mostly upper and upper-middle-class women and they certainly didn’t get very “nice” treatment! (At least I don’t consider street harassment, imprisonment, and prison violence very “nice.”)

    • http://kagerato.net kagerato

      People who idealize the past often forget the horrors that were associated with it. Just knowing that chivalry was strongly connected with feudalism and the middle ages should be enough to tell it probably wasn’t a good thing, on the whole.

  • Rebecca Newman

    Downtown Abby also portrayed kissing between gays – although that gay servant is evil, so I don’t know if that makes it acceptable to Vision Forum et al. And I feel like over all there is a feminist undercurrent in the show – the fact that Mary cannot inherit the estate as a woman is shown as grossly unfair, as indeed it was.

    I would gladly trade the “chivalry” of the Titanic days for the glories of being a modern woman, thank you very much. The thought that the talents and aspirations of a woman are may be just as available as those of her fellow man exhilarates me! What, you want me to give that up for the days of Downtown Abby because of chivalry? I grew up in a Vision Forum-embracing household and I would sooner die than return to being a second-rate person whose natural brightness and thirst for learning caused great suspicion since that would hardly enhance my fate of being a submissive wife.