CTNAHM: Don’t Let Your Woman Shop Alone!!

A Guest Post by Aletha

Originally Posted on Yllom Mormon

Created To Need A Help Meet, pp. 47—48

We are still going through reasons why men need women. Today we’re discovering that women need protection—not just protection, but the protection of men!

I Need to Be Her Protector

You were created to protect your wife. Just as women are created to nurture, men are created to protect. There is a need met in a man when his woman looks to him for protection. And there is a need met in the woman when she sees her husband’s readiness to protect her. There have been innumerable fights and acts of manslaughter over men defending the honor of their wives, mothers, or sisters. It gets to be a matter of pride. “Nobody says that about my mother!” Pow!

Once again, Michael takes a good point, and genders it. Both men and women are capable of protecting each other. I love my husband, but he is a string bean. If we were mugged in an alley, I would shove him behind me and use the karate I was taught in 3rd grade. My philosophy is there’s no reason for both of us to get hurt, just for the sake of chivalry. Also, once again, nurturing isn’t a free gift with production of a uterus. Though he does have a point in that it can be sweet when a man is ready to protect a woman. I appreciate it when I hear a noise in the middle of the night and my guy makes sure the doors are locked. I don’t know if men feel equally warmfuzzy when women want to protect them. And if they don’t, how much of it is culture based (women and children first!). Sound off in the comments.

Hmmm. Michael never specifies protecting women from what? Other men? Dangerous ideas? Snakes? Floods? Everything?

Women feel vulnerable in a man’s world, like a rabbit in a field of foxes. Women who depend on their husbands’ ability to provide food and shelter feel at risk when their husbands do not demonstrate an ability to provide. And men mature when given family responsibilities, or they should!

Wow. First, rabbits are prey for foxes. Foxes have an instinctual desire to eat rabbits. We raise rabbits, and they have 2 instincts when facing a predator: run or stay still. Is Michael saying that men lie in wait to prey on poor, vulnerable women? Women that have few instincts or survival skills? Women should not feel vulnerable in the world. It’s not a man’s world-it’s a people’s world. Bad things happen when you start dividing the world into me/them, him/her, black/white, etc. He brings a good point when he says that women who depend on men for survival feel at risk when their husbands don’t provide. Once again, this could go both ways. If the woman is the main breadwinner, her spouse would probably get tetchy if the paychecks stopped coming . . . I do agree that men (people) mature when given any responsibility, not just familial.

A good husband will not want his wife out at night in compromising or risky situations, like shopping alone. A man with a good and honest heart will not want his wife dressing immodestly, knowing that other men will lust after her.

I’m failing to see how shopping alone is a risky situation. Or compromising. I don’t know how many affairs Michael has known to happen in the produce aisle, but I’m guessing it can’t be many. And modesty! Oh, this is bringing back Mormon flashbacks. I was taught women should dress modestly (shoulder to knee), because it shows self-respect, and men will think vile thoughts if you don’t. Click here for a great article about freeing oneself from Mormon modesty. That digression aside, here again, Michael and Mormondom agree. I wonder what he would say to that! As a side note, women should dress how they want, and men should be accountable for their thoughts. Women: no matter what you wear, it’s not your fault how men think.

Also, on the subject of protection, I had originally posted that I was pro-chivalry, but a commentator convinced me otherwise. She made the point that chivalry is very one-sided. Then she said she prefers consideration—and I whole heartedly agree. In the words of commentator Angela (who summarizes chivalry v. consideration far better than I could): “I prefer consideration because it goes both ways and allows women to reciprocate. To be considerate a man or a woman can choose to give up their seat to someone who is elderly, pregnant or has a greater need. If a man and a woman are both approaching a door consideration would dictate that the person who is nearest or least burdened should open it for the other.”

Some men are smothering in their protection, becoming possessive in a way that leaves women feeling controlled, the opposite of being protected. Other men are careless and indifferent, leaving the wife feeling he doesn’t care much what happens to her. There is a balance. The wife needs to know he will die for her but will not enslave her.

This paragraph is interesting. Partially because I agree with it; there is a balance between controlling and indifference. Partially because it seems such an easy fix. Wives, if you feel smothered or ignored, tell your husband! Explain what he’s doing that smothers/ignores you and how it affects you. Husbands, listen and adapt. (Not just husbands and wives, but any marriage, partnership, relationship. Heck, even childrearing.) The trick to finding a balance in this, or any relational situation, is communication. Yet, Michael has yet to promote this radical idea. Seriously. We’re 47 pages in, and I have yet to read “talk to your wife and work something out that is acceptable to both parties”. Ugh.

Men, we need to protect our wives, but we cannot take away their humanity in the name of keeping them safe. It is all about the feelings we communicated. Do we make the lady in our life feel cherished and safe, or do we make her feel used and controlled? If you are in doubt, ask her. In fulfilling your needs, don’t deprive her of fulfilling hers.

Good gravy. Michael sounds so . . . reasonable. And look! There it is—ask your wife! It’s a good thing I’m sitting down, otherwise there would probably be an Aletha-sized dent in the floor right now. Overall, I think Michael makes good points this section. It’s just really odd to me when I agree with Michael. Because I’m afraid that next section he’ll say something that completely ruins it.

CTNAHM: Eve and Her Gullible Female Nature
CTNAHM: Don't Command Your Wife to Obey
CTNAHM: Obey vs. Submit
CTNAHM: Love Never Enslaves!
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.