Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Submissive Wife

I'm a political buff, but rarely write about political things because that is not what this blog is about. But I wanted to bring up a question that was asked of Michelle Bachmann at the debate in Iowa.

And this is not about what you think of her although she tends to be a gaffe machine. She once said "our forebears, who worked tirelessly, men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.''

Of course, Adams was not a founding father. His father was. And the founding fathers did not work tirelessly to end slavery. Many were slave owners and they decided not to tackle the issue. They even decreed slaves to be counted as 3/5s of a person. They let Lincoln decide the issue with the Civil War. But I digress. Americans are noted for knowing their own history.

Now to my point. Yes, I am going to get there.

In a recent Washington Post profile, her older brother said, "He is her godly husband. The husband is to be the head of the wife, according to God.'' And in a 2006 speech to congregants of the Living Word Christian Center, when she stated that she pursued her degree in tax law because her husband told her to, she said, "The Lord says "Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands.' ''

So she was asked at the Iowa debate if she was submissive. She seemed to handle it well, saying, "I respect my husband. He's a wonderful godly man, and we respect each other.''

The interesting thing, though, was that the crowd booed and hissed loudly at the question.

It was another sign that being a submissive wife does not appear to be a popular thing in our society even though many submissive women are very strong women in the work place and in their careers.

Your thoughts?



  1. I think that most Americans know a lot about their history. Hoever, there are lots of things to know, and sometimes they think they remember something and it's wrong (the same as with anything else) and sometimes it blends in together.

    Michelle Bachman is an interesting case. I think it's fascinating to think about a submissive woman being (or even running as) a Presidential candidate.

    Which isn't to say I'd vote for her. But that probably wasn't the question, now was it?

  2. I don't follow American politics - and so have to rely on your brief description of the booing incident. I wonder if they were booing the question rather than the topic of submissive/dominant.

    I can't agree that submissive women are not popular - I would guess they most certainly are popular with their husbands.

    But seriously - submissive women who hold positions of power in their every day life - don't come across as submissive - so how would anyone know??

    I know that I am not seen by anyone in my vanilla life as being "submissive"....... not at all. In fact once when I said something about being submissive there was laughter and good natured ribbing ........

    So - after all that babbling - I guess I have to disagree with your theory. I don't believe society disapproves of submissive women......... now submissive men? That's a whole 'nother topic.

  3. I think we can all think of women who are intimidated by husbands that are bullies. When the average person thinks of submission I think that this is what comes to mind. What I have seen in the women I talk to here are intelligent, competent, loving women who have CHOSEN to submit (in some degree) to their husbands, usually after they are at a place in their lives where they have already shown that they can do what needs doing themselves.

    Although I'm not quoting the Bible exactly I think most people forget that 'Women submit to your husbands...' is followed by a command to the husbands to 'Love your wives as Christ loved the church.' If men truly do the second part of this I don't think many women would mind doing the first part.


  4. Americans rewrite history constantly.

    I agree with PK if a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church, then it is easier to submit to the husband.

    So if a submissive woman is elected, will her husband be making the decisions for the country? Hmmm I seem to recall some Clinton jokes here!!

  5. I do think 'submissive' women are looked down upon, well, mostly as fools....the very concept is antithetical to everything contemporary culture tells us we should be right now...equal to men in all things.

    I believe if people at work knew I made the choice I have in my marriage it would compromise their ability to respect me as their leader in the business environment. There are many misconceptions about what submissive means.

    Not that you asked, but I will add that it disturbs me that she is so tied into a fundamentalist's biblical view of life. She is not submissive because it works for her, but because it is what God says is right...that concerns me in general regarding her judgement, how black and white she seems to be in her thinking, and how she would make decisions as a leader, how she would reason things out, whether she would listen to good counsel and use her own God given brain! Sara

  6. FD,

    I watched some of the debates the other night and to me Michelle doesn't come across as very intelligent. To me, it's like she's memorized a script and she pulls out a few canned answers to anything asked of her. She's not presidential material.

    As to her answer on submission, it was incorrect Biblically. Submitting to your husband is not the same thing as respecting your husband. She was giving the politically correct answer.

    For years I would fight my husband over Paul's writings and now I have totally done a 180 degree turn. Because of my submission to him out of love and respect our marriage is wonderful. He has always treated me like Christ does the church, and just in the last few years am I finally submitting.

    I fought my submission because I didn't realize that I would be happier than I've ever been with total control given to my husband.

  7. I wonder if those same people would have had the same reaction if she said she was in an alternative lifestyle relationship? I know many women in D/s relationships who are simply submissive wives. It is acceptable to be kinky not Christian. Strange isn’t it?

  8. I don't understand why they would boo and hiss at the thought of respecting your spouse in a marriage, that just seems ridiculous to me.

    I do think that the general reaction to the idea of a woman being submissive to her husband is looked down upon. I think many people view submissive wives as being weak, even if in other areas of her life she is strong and a leader.

  9. Mr. DF

    HHmm... after reading your post and others reactions.. I guess I have a couple of my own.

    First- I have a problem about what Michelle said about why she studied tax law. Because her husband told her to. S would never tell me what to study. He would guide me.. he would suggest... he would put in his two cents... but when it comes to what you are going to "study", I think each person needs to decide. S does not want me to park my brain at the door... nor does he want me not to have my own will. What he wants me to do is respect and love him. I can't imagine that he would enjoy visiting with a brainless twit... he wants me to have thoughts of my own... not be told what to think.

    Second- I think that there were a lot of positive aspects that came to our society with the women's movement in the sixties... but one of the not so positive things is that women who choose not to "burn their bra" are thought to have no thoughts of their own... stupid and beaten, if you will. Fools as Sara said. I'm not stupid... I run a very successful business and no one in my world would believe that I get spankings as a way of being guided by my husband. There are many people in my life, though, that know that S is the boss in our marriage, easier for us because of the fact that we live in the rural south where this is not so rare. I have made different comments in our circle of vanilla friends about being spanked and it's always taken as a sexual joke. I don't care... it's all good as long as we know what is what!

    Third- I agree with Mindset and PK...Who will be running the White House, him or her? And yes... it's much easier to submit to my husband than for some because he does love me as Christ loved the Church. I believe he would throw down his live for me and that makes it ever so easy to be guided by him because I know that he has my best interest at heart.

    I know nobody asked... but have always liked Sara Palin. She seems to very intelligent... have our country's best interest at heart... and don't you know that I'll bet her HOH has the ability to put her over his knee as needed! :o)

    Thanks for asking!! :o)

  10. This happened to come on while I was visiting my parents. My mom said "Listen to this" like it was the craziest thing she had ever heard. I felt very awkward and didn't say anything.

  11. I think the problem is that people think "submission" means "inequality." JUST because a woman submits to her husband doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to be an equal or the right to make her own decisions.

    Submission is an act of love and it isn't some esoteric biblical crap that puts women down.

    That being said, I am a mini-feminist myself and I WOULD submit to my husband, but I hate that word anyway. Extremists or conservative Christians tend to think that "submission" gives men the right to order us into the kitchen and make them sandwiches.

    To that, I say, SCREW YOU.

  12. i too am not political, but the issue is a strong, intelligent, confident woman in society being submissive outside the public eye, right?

    Society has definitely done a 180 with women's rights being such a huge movement. It has taken women and made them powerful in the workplace and allowed men to become accepted homemakers.

    It is my opinion that those women who are strong, intelligent and confident people make the best submissives! After being in total control of their workplace, it must be a relief to surrender and submit. ANd, i think that for a Dom, and correct me if i am wrong, having a strong, intelligent and confident women as their submissive, is an attractive quality and it means it takes a lot of control to give up control without lessoning how amazing and accomplished the submissive is.

    Hmmm...did i go off track here? *shrugs*


  13. FD,

    It seems that you are the one in error, not Michelle Bachman. She did NOT say that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly, but that our "forebears" did. And in citing JQA as a "forebear", she is accurate in doing so, as the definition is "ancestor." Your inability to differentiate between the two seems to say more about your knowledge of language than it does about her knowledge of American history.

    BTW, JQA did work tirelessly for the end of slavery. Again, she was right.


  14. I think too often submissiveness is wrongly equated with having less value.

    The women's movement has been very empowering and allowed us to live independently as women but I think too many people cannot see that submissiveness is not mutually exclusive of independence.

    Then again, there are a lot of misconstrued views about submissiveness in society today.

  15. First, I think people were booing because they saw the question as an attack on Michele Bachmann.

    Second, she does have an alternative lifestyle. Her lifestyle as a Christian fundamentalist is distinctly not mainstream, and most "mainstream" people would have serious misgivings if they knew exactly what was involved and how deeply people in that lifestyle want to change theirs.

    As for what she actually said, the original statement is not what's at issue. What's at issue is what she said to George Stephanopoulos (

    But I'm much less concerned about whether she gets her history right and much MORE concerned about whether she gets the future right. I suspect she's going to be on the Republican ticket here in the U.S. next year. She could be running some part of your life. And if you think that you're exempt because you don't live in the U.S., then that would be a mistake.

    This is a person that believes in theocracy. The questioner brought up whether she or her husband would be in charge if she became President. The more basic question is whether she or her image of God would be in charge.

    So, I don't fault Michele Bachmann for being submissive to her husband. That's probably her most endearing quality. I just worry that she might be in charge of something. Now, that would be a disaster!

    It's a bit wonderful that in the U.S. and in many other parts of the world we have the freedom to choose a lifestyle that involves the submission of one human to another. It actually says a lot about how good our life is. We are not faced with fighting to survive. If you're dodging bullets or scouring the land for water, then you aren't in much of a position to enjoy the finer points of married life.

    But implicit in that is the choice whether to live an egalitarian lifestyle at home or not, and I think that Michele Bachmann represents the idea that you should not have that choice. What she represents is the idea that women should be submissive to their husbands not because they choose but because society chooses for them.

    That's really what we are talking about when we talk about theocracy. We are talking about some group of humans using religious doctrine to take away freedom from another group of humans.

    Does society look down on submissive wives? Perhaps many do. That's out of ignorance. But it's also a result of a revolution in thinking about the role of women in society. I think that the majority of people in the western world believe society should treat women as the equal of men. I think many of us are rightly appalled at the idea that a woman would be ordered by society to be submissive.

    As a male dominant, I would not want to live in such a society, either. It would belittle the submission that my partner gives me. When that submission comes out of choice it comes out of love. That's what makes it incredibly satisfying.

  16. What really bothers me about the whole thing, is that female politicians are held to a different standard than male politicians. They are ridiculed when they make verbal gaffes and are intellectually lacking. But they are also ridiculed when they are too smart, being referred to as manly.

    They are praised for being charming and cute, perky, with sparkling personality and delightful social skills, and are ridiculed when they are not as attractive and not blessed with the physical beauty nor social graces expected of women.

    It’s a double standard, and it keeps women as a whole in a position of second class citizenship and not to be taken seriously.

    And that’s the part that bothers me. If I have no power, and am of no value, and am a second class citizen, then of what use or value am I to Master? How can I give Him my power if I have none?

    Why on earth do we care what goes on between a married couple within their relationship? It’s not our business and no matter how loudly we say it, that will never be true.

    People in all careers of all types perform their jobs well or poorly, just because they do – not because they live a certain lifestyle.