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: Let’s Talk in Circles!
Steve Is a Man: On Minecraft and Gender
The Modesty Rules—Not So Simple, Really
CTNAHM: Don’t Command Your Wife to Obey
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.

  • NeaDods

    This is the kind of thing that I think Debi refers to as being “treated like a queen” – when Michael actually asks her what she wants and listens.

    The problem is neither one of them, in their sick, sad world of women as doormats and men as violent animals, is grasping that this “treat like a queen” is actually “treat like a human being” – and that if both spouses do it, she’s not going to feel enslaved and he’s not going to feel that by the grace of his wife he’s not chained in a doghouse. But if people start thinking silly things like THAT, there goes the Pearl philosophy!

    • attackfish

      Leaving aside the ridiculous “women are, men are” proscriptions in Michael’s book, there’s a lot of advice here that is… Okay, if there is open communication between the spouses, so that a man can ask his wife for feedback as Michael instructs. But Debi’s book is all about how giving that feedback is disrespect and wicked. They don’t fit together.

      • Sally

        And as good as his advice is to ask the wife, he does say to do it “if you are in doubt.” So any man who is following Michaels advice closely doesn’t have to ask his wife for feedback unless he admits he might not already know her thoughts.

      • Trollface McGee

        And real men aren’t supposed to have doubts, and Godly women aren’t supposed to give their opinions even if their husbands ask – it’s like, “lets take this communication thing and make it needlessly complicated and inefficient.”

      • Rachel Heston-Davis

        This, attackfish. This.

      • Guest

        Maybe it was a sales technique.

        First Debi writes a book that urges women to become smiley passive-aggressive zombies who never communicate, and when the decent husbands out there are inevitably unhappy in such a fake empty relationship, they’ll have to come back to buy Michael’s book just to figure out how to cope.

  • attackfish

    Again with the predator/prey analogy. Michael is sure fond of it. But I got to tell you, if I were a rabbit in a field of foxes, I would not be looking for that one special fox to love and protect me.

    The animals used in this analogy are probably unintentionally pretty fitting. In many species of foxes, the male fox is very involved in the rearing of kits, and both mom and dad take care of the kids while the other hunts. And rabbits of course, breed like rabbits.

    What interests me about the predator/prey analogy, aside from the sheer disgust it elicits in me, is that it is such a huge part of the repertoire of pickup artists, and also evolutionary psychologists, attempting to find a pseudo-scientific reason to treat women like they always have instead of a religious one. In my experience at least, evolutionary psychology is really popular among young atheist men. The Pearls also employ actual scientifically proven techniques in “To Train Up a Child” in the form of conditioning. They twist it of course to some of the most warped ends imaginable, but it is at it’s base a known psychological phenomenon they’re using. The way the Pearls use science and pseudo-science and wrap it up as religion is fascinating.

    • Sally

      I agree that the men as predators and protectors is really strange. I’ve always wondered how exactly are the men, who are away at work, in the fields, or at war directly protecting their own wives? They can’t be in two places at once! In all those situations, women have to protect themselves much of the time. And even when the man is right there, unless he’s carrying (which is dangerous in and of itself), his presence being protective is an illusion. He’s not bullet proof, so anyone with a gun could control any couple at any time. Men get mugged all the time in my town. They’re the ones walking late at night in the dark alone. There are probably fewer women to mug under those conditions because women don’t tend to walk alone then, but men, under the illusion that they’re less vulnerable do. But they’re no less vulnerable and they’re cash and electronics spend just like a woman’s.

      • attackfish

        Do the Pearls subscribe to the doctrine of covering, which is to say that a woman being under a man’s authority is spiritually protected even when he isn’t there?

        The whole predator and protector thing is really a perfect recipe for abuse. It tells controlling, violent men that their desires are part of being a normal man, and it tells women, well he protects you from all the other men. Look how much worse it could be.

      • Sally

        Good point on the recipe for abuse. I don’t know about the doctrine of covering. I will say it doesn’t sound like Michael is alluding to such a doctrine, imo. He seems to be explaining men to men the way Debi explains women to women (telling them their nature as if they don’t already know their own nature). Unless he’s building up to explaining the covering doctrine yet to come, he seems to have already missed an opportunity to make a case for it, because the case he is making is really lame. It will be interesting to see if he goes for the covering doctrine in the end.

      • attackfish

        It really says something that they spend so much time telling men and women that “you are this way.” If such roles were really natural, we wouldn’t have to have them drummed into us. We would fall into them automatically.

        Could you try not to use the word lame? As a woman with disabilities, it’s insulting to see a synonym for disabled used to mean pathetic.

      • Sally


      • attackfish

        Thank you.

      • Alexis

        And this is why I love the forum here on LJF. Polite, respectful discussion and people not attacking each other even when they disagree. Thank you, Sally and attackfish, for that.

      • Randomosity

        Sounds like a protection racket to me.

      • attackfish

        That’s always how it looked to little non-Christian me, too. Obey your father/husband or the demons will get you. “Oh you really should obey me. It would be a shame for something to happen to you, like SATAN POSSESSING YOUR DECEITFUL SOUL!”

      • Randomosity

        Such a shame that men prey on women. Obey me and I’ll pray FOR you instead of preying ON you. And if you don’t obey perfectly, then I’ll be back to being the predator. You didn’t pay your protection obedience.

      • attackfish

        I think it’s a little more subtle than that. The protection wasn’t something a man did, just something that was. Being under a man’s authority, even if he does nothing conveys, according to this doctrine, a level of spiritual protection from supernatural evil. If you disobey or leave and forgo that protection, you’re on your own. Not only is it a nice little threat, no matter how bad he is, wouldn’t demonic possession be worse? But it also provides a handy tool to blame a woman or child who develops, say a mental or physical illness, that could be interpreted as demonic in nature. “You just weren’t submissive enough. Being sick is your own fault.”

      • TLC

        A great way to produce terror in a Christian is to talk about “being in God’s will.” This is a common theme in fundagelical churches. I used to spend hours upon hours praying I would be in God’s will, examining every microparticle of my life to be sure I wasn’t disobedient, and trying to follow each and every rule and Bible verse. Because if you got “out of God’s will,” you would then take yourself out from under God’s protection and open yourself to all kinds of demonic attack.

        After I left the church, my online pastor pointed out what a load of complete CRAP this is. If you’re a parent and your child refuses to drink his milk, do you no longer yank him out of the way if he’s about to get hit by a car? NO! He also pointed out that God is a big enough God who WANTS us to make choices, and He can handle it if we pick plan B or C. Or don’t make a choice at all.

        In the context of the Pearls, then, if a woman were not submissive enough, she would be “out of God’s will” and then open to all the havoc that came her way, and might even deserve it — according to them.

        In the end, this “in God’s will” stuff is just another lovely mind control technique created by humans. Because if you’re busy examining every part of your own life while cowering in fear, you won’t have time to examine what your preachers are saying, or challenge it.

        BTW, as I was writing the example above about protecting a child I was also going to say, “Would you push them outside to live in the cold with no food or shelter?” And then I remembered that yes, the Pearls’ followers actually do this. :-( So they can be “obedient”, and remain under God’s “protection.”

      • TLC

        Oops. Sorry. Bad placement of my frowny face. Disqus won’t let me edit. :-(

      • attackfish

        BTW, as I was writing the example above about protecting a child I was
        also going to say, “Would you push them outside to live in the cold with
        no food or shelter?” And then I remembered that yes, the Pearls’
        followers actually do this. :-( So they can be “obedient”, and remain
        under God’s “protection.”

        It seems to me that the Pearls have made a god in their own image.

      • Snipe

        My dad was really into the mantle of protection idea. He never wanted me to go anywhere without telling him where I would be and exactly when I would be back. I spent years in fear that something awful would happen if I took a detour on the way to a given destination.

      • attackfish

        Oh, wow, I’m so sorry. That sounds like a horrible way to live, even if everyone involved is well meaning.

      • Snipe

        You are right. It was horrible, and I didn’t feel protected. If
        anything, I felt more vulnerable. I felt as though demons and
        bad people were always waiting for me to deviate and there was nothing I could do except stay under the ‘protection’. There was, of course, the implicit understanding that I would never be capable of independence, which was very depressing. I know that my dad’s
        intentions were good, but there were a lot of things that I’ve had to
        unlearn as a result of his philosophies.

        Where did you hear about this doctrine? Were you subject to it as well?

      • attackfish

        That really does sound horrific, and I just don’t understand how anyone can tell their kids that. As a disabled kid growing up in California, I was on the wrong end of a whole lot of victim blaming, and this sounds like a system designed to make it so much easier to do to anyone who has something go wrong.

        No, I am the daughter of an agnostic father and a liberal Jewish mother. Both my parents gave me as much independence as they could growing up, given my severe physical limitations. Hell, their reaction to me coming out as bisexual and finding out that I had dated with a lot more people in high school than the two they had met, they just happened to be girls (and oh yeah, I’ve had sex) was “oh thank God, we were so afraid you had no social life! No, I first heard about this idea from a friend in girl scouts in high school whose parents sent her to a small Evangelical private school. Me, with my customary tact at fifteen told her it was bullsh*t. It’s also come up on “No Longer Quivering” a few times.

    • persephone

      Evolutionary psychology makes me so angry. You’re right on the money: it’s patriarchy and rape culture dressed up with a socially acceptable label. I ripped up a guy’s EP argument on another site with the magic of logic. He was a whiny little jerkwad.

      • attackfish

        Every time I try to engage with an EP adherent, and try to explain about how the paleolithic that EP envisions has been debunked since the seventies, or that modern hunter gatherers don’t work anything like they suppose, or that these traits that they claim are universal are purely Western, and these cultures over here believe the opposite about women, etc. I’m dismissed because my little lady brain can’t cope with “real science”.

      • persephone

        I have no problem going below the belt when that happens. These types are close-minded and will not change, so you can’t approach them that way. Make your point, and when they start getting belittling go below the belt, impugning their manhood, lack of a package, and obvious insecurity in dealing with women. And then laugh at them when they get angry.

      • attackfish

        I mostly just ask them if they’re that wedded to treating women like crap that they’re willing to engage in magical thinking to justify it to themselves. The Atheist ones especially really hate that accusation.

      • Helix Luco

        oh, of course someone with no knowledge of anthropology or the way foragers actually work can guess exactly how our ancestors evolved! no experiments or research needed, how convenient! how reasonable and perfectly logical!

      • attackfish

        It’s infuriating, it really is.

    • ZeldasCrown

      And it’s weird too, because foxes and rabbits don’t associate in any other way than one hunting the other. Foxes never protect rabbits, and I have yet to hear about a rabbit-fox hybrid. Foxes mate with foxes, and rabbits mate with rabbits, so take that as you will.

  • Sally

    “There is a balance. The wife needs to know he will die for her but will not enslave her.”

    “In fulfilling your needs, don’t deprive her of fulfilling hers.”
    Reinforcing my impression that Michael is trying to clean up the mess that is CTNAHM without admitting it to us, or even to himself [thus the admonitions for women not to read this book and if they're reading it anyway, not to try to hold the husband accountable for what Michael says to the men (stated in previous sections).]

    • Sally

      That comment would have made more sense if I’d typed CTBAHM (that he’s trying to clean up, imo).

  • Jaded

    ‘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.’

    So the solution to this is keep them in that position? Strange, I was going to suggest empowering the women so they feel like they can go out and work which means that they can provide their own food and shelter if their husbands lack the ability to provide.

    But that’s sensible, so I probably shouldn’t have thought of it.

    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.

    So he’s supposed to not be controlling but at the same time, make sure her clothes are appropriate.

    Am I the only one who would find my significant other doing that to be super controlling?

    • Rachel Heston-Davis

      “So the solution to this is keep them in that position?”

      BAM. That is exactly what annoyed me about this section.

    • shuttergirl46q

      As a woman who has worked all of her adult life in a male-dominated career fields, I must say the men I’ve worked with treated me with the respect I deserved as a person and a colleague. I rarely felt vulnerable; I worked hard to be where I was and did my job successfully. The few times I felt in danger, I stood up for myself. It’s amazing how people respect a person, man or woman, when he or she demands it.

    • ako

      Am I the only one who would find my significant other doing that to be super controlling?

      You aren’t. I wouldn’t object to my significant other offering me some advice on things like fashion, since I’m terrible at working out what clothes work together (A woman who’s not good at or interested in fashion? How can I be?), but only for specific occasions, and only as advice. If they were all “No, too sexy, you are not allowed to wear that!”, I’d be super creeped out.

  • That Other Jean

    Back at the beginning, Michael wrote approvingly about something that seriously bothers me:

    “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!”

    When men take pride in protecting the honor of their wives, mothers, or sisters, they also feel entitled to take offense when what other men say about their wives, mothers, or sisters proves to be true. As we still see, this sense of entitlement may lead to abuse and “honor killings.” Never, ever, a good thing, whether the person being beaten or killed is a man or a woman.

    • smrnda

      The problem is, in this case, men aren’t so much concerned with women as people but with this abstract concept of ‘honor’ where women are just tokens for gaining status.

      I also think that this type of ‘honor defending’ is in decline in the civilized world.

      • Lyric

        Well, that’s somewhat of a definition problem to me. It would be nice to define “the civilized world” as “a place in which people are not killed for arbitrary or bullshit reasons.” Unfortunately, that means that we don’t really have a lot of civilized world.

      • smrnda

        I should have picked a better term, or just pointed out that it’s becoming rarer almost everywhere, except among people who want to bring back the good old days.

    • Brennan

      This. I’m certain Michael won’t even acknowledge that angle, but I was disturbed enough when he crowed about “fights and acts of manslaughter.” Seriously, if murdering people who talk sh!t about their mothers is “part of men’s nature” then men are psychopaths. And Michael is pretty good evidence for that theory as he seems to be encouraging and even celebrating the behavior.

    • shuttergirl46q

      Michael realizes pride is a sin, right?

  • Gillianren

    For a while during my pregnancy, I was mall-walking three times a week for exercise. (It was winter in Western Washington. The mall is warm and dry!) Not once was I bothered by a man other than overenthusiastic J. C. Penney’s employees trying to make a sale. I didn’t look pregnant, either (I only gained fourteen pounds the whole pregnancy, in part because I was getting exercise and reducing how overweight I was), so I still, to Michael’s perspective, must have looked like a target. Guess men aren’t the evil predators he implies they must be at all times after all!

  • Alice

    I am surprised he even acknowledges that men can be controlling and overbearing. It would have been nice if he had given some examples of what a controlling person looks like. Communication is a good idea, but I doubt it would be very effective in this subculture since he’s spent a lot of time convincing men that women have feeble lady-brains and can’t trust their emotions. AND Debi has spent so much time teaching women they can’t trust their emotions or express unhappiness.

    It is well-established that Michael makes up his own definitions for words, so he probably doesn’t think a husband is controlling until it gets to the point where the wife can’t move a muscle or breathe without permission. Just look at what Debi says about the “Command Man.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2013/03/ctbhhm-the-command-man-tames-the-shrew.html

    • TLC

      Oh, I so agree! What Michael would define as “controlling,” and Debi’s definition, are probably VERY far removed from what most normal humans would call “controlling”. I personally feel that this whole “submissive” lifestyle is demeaning and controlling; they just see it as “normal”.

  • Brennan

    Speaking as a female martial artist, I’ve found that the very concept of a woman as a protector is . . . strangely fraught for some people. Take my own parents, for instance. Back when I was still in college, I used to drive down to visit my older brother, who was living and working in a Rust-Belt city known for its violence. We rarely ventured out of his neighborhood, which was basically yuppie-ville, so I wasn’t particularly worried. It was a different story for my mother. More than once, I overheard her sternly order my brother not to “let” me walk alone after dark. Okay, solid advice for anyone, and that’s not something I make a habit of. But:
    1) This was in January. 5:30 was “after dark.”
    2) I love my brother dearly, but he hasn’t “let” or “not let” me do anything since I was nine.
    3) Again, I love him to death, but he is not the person you want as your sole defender against the forces of evil. This was the kid who got picked on from fourth grade to tenth grade because he refused to fight back, the kid who has never punched so much as a pillow, the kid who was bullied by a boy four years his junior. If, God forbid, something had happened on the mean streets of gentrified yuppie-ville, the safest option would be for him to get behind me while I put ten years of hard-won training to the test. And he’s man enough to admit that.
    Try explaining any of this to my mother, though. She knows both of us very well, but still sees us as her helpless baby girl and big, strong first-born son. That’s what she wants to see.

    I guess I thought of this because over on NLQ I read a quote by one of the patriarchy dudes (Colin Campbell maybe? Too lazy to look it up.) talking about a fictional man dating Sarah, a fictional black belt, who gets attacked while out with his date. Patriarchy Dude was . . . not even arguing, but just stating as fact that it was Fictional Dude’s duty and hard-wired nature to jump out in front of Sarah and lay down his life for her, even though she could have easily handled the situation without getting hurt. I think this was presented by Patriarchy Dude as a self-evident truth to explain why women shouldn’t join the military or something of that nature. So, speaking on behalf of all the other Sarahs out there . . . Dudes, don’t do this. You’ll be dead and it’ll be your stupid fault, and we’ll have to cry and testify in court and go to therapy and someday we’ll get cathartic release by nominating you for a Darwin Award. If your girl can protect you and the situation arises, let her do it. Your balls will not fall off, I promise.

    • smrnda

      The problem with the ‘don’t go to X place when it’s dark’ is assuming that danger is always lurking in… I dunno, on the wrong side of the tracks, whereas real danger might be a very normal looking guy looking to slip something in your drink.

      I think the Black Belt example might have been John Piper. All said, putting on a performance of being a heroic manly man that ends up with you *dead* isn’t courage, its idiocy which now leaves the woman in the example without a lifetime of support.

      This is something that I think about as well since I’ve studied martial arts and hand to hand combat… pretty much my entire life. I’m not very large slightly over five feet and about 105 at present maybe, but I feel that your average man is probably not going to do much good in a self-defense situations. The other thing is, seriously, the stranger in the dark alley isn’t something that comes up very often.

      • Brennan

        Yes, this also. The mugger/rapist/axe murderer in the bushes is largely a boogieman used to control some and give others the *appearance* of safety. And this example (like the Titanic) gets trotted out a lot to reinforce the supposedly innate heroism of men and helplessness of women.
        Also, *high-fives* for another tiny martial artist! I feel like there’s some inherent bad-assery in regularly agreeing to be hit by folks a foot taller than you, which those tall folks just don’t understand.

      • TLC

        I posted a story about this below. It happened at about 7 p.m. on a Saturday is a nice suburb in broad daylight.

        BTW, “bad-assery” is one of my new favorite phrases! Do you think if I slipped it into the government bid proposal I’m writing, it would make it through the editing process? ;-D

      • Brennan

        There’s only one way to find out! ;-)

  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    “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.”

    I have often wondered this very thing! I don’t know how to answer :/ However, what I DO know is that the answer to this question need not be threatening to women’s autonomy. People seem to believe that if you can prove any kind of general gender difference, then you have proved that the genders have completely separate roles and should be in a hierarchy. I do not think separate roles, or hierarchy, logically follow from the mere admission that some things about women and men might generally be different.

    If anything, it makes LESS sense for God to have instituted hierarchy if men and women are different. If he made them different, then it stands to reason those differences of input are needed in life, and having a hierarchy silences half the side, therefore crippling the diversity of opinions he originally intended.

    Sadly, thinking doesn’t quite get that developed in the Pearl home.

  • shuttergirl46q

    Pearl ticks me off because he seems to think wars are free-for-all brawls, when they require quite a bit of restraint and strategy, much like a chess match. The better leader is the one who thinks twice and hits once — and checks his pride at the door.

    • smrnda

      I notice that most of these big tough patriarchy men haven’t served in the military; some of them are the right age to be Vietnam vets, but they probably dodged the draft at some unaccredited “Bible College” (this seems to be the case with Michael Pearl). People who show no restraint can get themselves and *lots of other people killed* in combat.

  • TLC

    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 wish, for once, that these men could disconnect “going out alone” from “lust” and being “immodest.” Yes, there are dangers for anyone who goes out alone in some areas; that usually has nothing to do with the way people are dressed.

    Example: One night I went alone to my Big Box Retail Mart to buy groceries because I had an opportunity to do so without my very busy son (he was 7 or 8 at that time). I had on knee length shorts and a t-shirt: nice and clean, but nothing special.

    I got trapped in a short aisle in front of two young men in their early 20s who were quite a bit bigger than me and were making fun of me and threatening me. The woman in front of me, who was blocking my only exit,was absolutely clueless as to what was going on. I had to ask her to move 4 times before she finally did. The young men followed me around the rest of my shopping trip, still making fun of me and threatening me. Finally, when I got to the front of the store where there were a bunch of people, I screamed as loud as I could for them to F*** OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE! Which they did.

    But even though I was trembling and crying when I checked out, and the clerks and the security guards saw this, not one of them stepped forward to help me. As a result, I no longer shop there unless they have something I can’t get elsewhere. I do not go there at night.

    Was this about male and female? No, because a female trapped me just like the males did. The male clerks and guards ignored me just as much as the females. Was this about “lust”? No, I seriously doubt that 20-year-old men are experiencing sexual desire for a 40-something mom in knit shorts. They were enjoying the fear and intimidation MUCH more.

    It would have been WONDERFUL to have a protector, male or female, in this situation.

    • shuttergirl46q

      You were your protector. You spoke up for yourself and ended that situation. It’s a real shame no one else would help you, but what you wrote proved that you can and do help yourself. Bravo.

      • TLC

        Thank you so much! And this highlights something else about this “submissive” lifestyle that is so sad and frustrating: women are never taught to take care of themselves, provide for themselves and their families, defend themselves, or protect themselves. I have often wondered what happens in one of these giant quiverfull families if the father/husband leaves, dies or is killed. Anyone out there have any insight?

      • Snipe

        The families probably experience the same thing as the individual children that grow up and move out. If they’re lucky, they don’t become victims, but I doubt that many of them are equipped to deal with real-world violence and conflict.

      • Jolie

        Family story:

        My great-grandpa was a prosecutor. His wife, my great-grandma, was a lawyer; which as you can imagine was not exactly common in the 30′s in Eastern Europe. (When she first started practice, she was one of the only 2 female lawyers in her town; and also at law school, before, she had been one of the only 2 women in her year).

        After WW2, our country became a communist dictatorship. Not wanting to (and quite likely also not being able to) remain a prosecutor in such a regime, my great-grandpa decided to join the bar and become a lawyer himself. My great-grandma has been offered a deal: she could renounce the profession, allowing her husband to join the bar in her place. The vast majority of women in her position would have accepted- being a lawyer, after all, was profitable enough for my great-grandpa to support his wife and daughter; besides, in the deeply sexist society they lived in, a male lawyer would always make more money than a female lawyer. She refused.

        Less than two years later, she lost her husband to cancer. So she went on and supported her family as primary breadwinner. It has not been easy- but we can only imagine what hardships she would have endured if she had taken the deal.

    • smrnda

      Wow, that’s horrible, and a horrible example of the bystander effect. Your point is solid though – harassing women isn’t about lust, sexual attraction or desire, it’s about power, control and sadism and making women uncomfortable in public.

    • Snipe

      Good on ya for standing up to those creeps. It sounds like a miserable experience, but you did what you had to do and came out okay.

  • Mogg

    I’m going out shopping alone now. Just sayin’.

  • AAAtheist

    Michael identifies the problem (before perverting it):

    “… Women feel vulnerable in a man’s world [my emphases] …”

    Here’s a possible solution, Michael. Why don’t we create a world that belongs to everyone so that women won’t be vulnerable?

    Patriarchy’s the problem and feminism’s the solution, right? So simple, yet so discounted.