” ” Part 2 (Or, “Let me explain myself”)

I didn’t really think that there would be such controversy about my post.  The root of all this discussion is that I’m really just struggling with finding my place and purpose in my family and in my community.  I’d like to reply to what a few readers said and maybe clarify a few points that were hidden by my foggy mental state:

One reader commented about how feminism opened doors for women to have an equal opportunity for education and careers. Don’t get the impression that I am not thankful for those women and men who fought hard against the idea that women are not smart enough or worth enough to be on the same level as men.  The idea that women are inferior is one of the travesties of history (and the present) and is certainly not in line with the heart of God.  I am extremely grateful for my education and for all the opportunities that are open to me as a result of some very passionate women.

When I say feminism, I am referring to the idea that being a homemaker, stay-at-home mom, or whatever you want to call it, is a lesser option as opposed to having a career. In my opinion, what started as a movement to make women equal citizens eventually branched off into this idea that somehow a woman is worth as much as her chosen career.  I don’t know your story, maybe your mother was a slave to her family and lived in misery all her married life. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom and you feel trapped by your responsibilities. If your experience has been a painful one, then I am so sorry for you.  I know what it is like to struggle to find joy in your circumstances.  In my experience, my mother was at home with us almost my entire life.  She and my father were committed to her being able to be with us at home and run the household.  My mother never went to college or embarked on a career, but she is the most well-read, self-educated woman that I know.  My mother didn’t buy into the lie that her worth comes from how much money she makes or her status at work, and though I’m very sure that there were times that she wanted to quit, she understood the value of her service to her family and found (and still finds) joy in it.  Men and women are human, and our relationships are understandably flawed.  No family is perfect, and perfection is not what I’m seeking. What I am seeking is the best that God has for my family, and I fiercely believe that He meant for us all to have something better than what feminism says is the best.

What am I trying to say? I’ve been thinking about this and been more than a little frustrated. The problem is that you can’t climb inside my head and see all the things that are spinning around this issue. The more I say, the more one can also say “But what about this?.” I havn’t even scratched the surface when it comes to most of what some readers protested in my last post. I want to put this to rest, but I hate more than anything else to be misunderstood or misrepresented. I have strong beliefs and strong opinions, and I won’t apologize for them.  My biggest frustration which I wrote about in my last post is that I have run into so much opposition and discouragement among my circle of Christian friends. Sure, I have the right to choose to stay at home or work 1,000 hours a week, but the reality is that feminism has introduced the idea that taking care of my husband and future children is a waste of my talent. I loudly protest this idea and submit to you that based on Proverbs 31, God has a much much much much much better idea about who I am supposed to be.

So this is where I stop.  I believe that God has something much better than feminism has to offer me. I believe that the pursuit of anything outside of His purpose for me is the wrong path, and I will continue to struggle and ask questions, even if it makes me a bit unpopular. I want something more than the daily pursuit of money and status that the ideals of feminism offer me. I refuse to sacrifice my future children and my husband for the vain search for my worth outside of who God says I am.

To the Readers Who Hate My Guts:

If you believe something completely opposite of what I am defending, then I would love to exercise my brain and have some wonderful honest discussions with you. I hope you know that just because I have strong beliefs and opinions, it doesn’t mean that I hate your guts. If I have said that the way you believe or think is wrong, it still doesn’t mean that I hate your guts. With all my die-hard passion, arrogance, and other socially crippling faults, Christ loves me and demands that I love everyone regardless of whether we agree on the tenents of feminism. So, let’s be friends.

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11 Comments

Filed under Bonnie chatters endlessly

11 responses to “” ” Part 2 (Or, “Let me explain myself”)

  1. Anson Jones

    Wow i am contradicting my opinion on blogs twice in one night… i should probably rethink the fact that i don’t like a good argument. But bonnie we are two peas in a pot, i hate being misunderstood as well. I think it is awesome that you are sorting this out for yourself_ sorry my decimals are not working_ but i am happy for you because life is all about knowing who you are and where you stand in various convictions in life_ But let me put this in perspective for you___ When i am married i want my wife to stay at home with my children, at least until they are in school. But if she decides that she wants more for her life, i am not going to hold her back. If she wants to have a job where she feels like she has a purpose and a ministry… i will fully support her. I really don’t think feminism is the right word for this discussion i think it is just a matter of self worth, and yes a branch of feminism maybe, but not pure feminism. I will be the first to say that i am probably opposing you because i am sick of how Christians have a cookie cutter model of how life is supposed to be. Get married, have ten kids and go to church 17 million times a week. I am sick of it, cuz there is more out there in the world than what is going on inside of the baptist world. There is more than has God predestined us to heaven or hell, it doesn’t matter! There is more than what is the right type of bible to read, if a lost person reads the message bible i will embrace that with open arms! and there is more than calling out men and women for how they find harmony in there family, if they find it and have a godly home… then A FRIKIN MEN! I am sorry if i am more harsh in this post, but there is a time when we need to stop nit picking on how right or how wrong we can be. There is things that have a clear right and wrong, so don’t think i am turning into a truth is relevant type person… I BELIEVE THAT TRUTH IS TRUTH WHETHER I BELIEVE IT OR NOT. THE GOD OF ISAAC IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD. JESUS CHRIST IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE AND NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY HIM. truth is there and is real, so no truth is not relevant. And you do speak truth, but your opinion on this matter is not so important that this needs to continue. I love you dearly and i am sorry if i have shaken that belief, but i just want more for Christians than our petty debates. So i guess in essence you could be writing a blog about how the walls on the church should be pink and i would still give you this message. I was in the of this thing Bonnie, i know how we act around this area. We find a new subject to debate among Christians and debate it til we are blue. i am just saying there is more out there than this… Maybe God wants you to teach again… not to help with the finances, but to minister to the ladies that don’t have a loving husband like you do. Or maybe he wants you to minister to that child that only has one parent. There is so much more out there than this bubble that this bible belt of north carolina has to offer. And the only reason why my opinions have changed is because God had to bring me to a point where the things i learned at southeastern didn’t matter one bit. Where was plato or augustine when i had to restrain a child that was messed up from a neglecting mother? Where was hermaneutics when i had to walk into a house smelled like weed when the mother was expecting a baby? The world is out there, and i just am tired of seeing Christians debate over frail and somewhat insignificant matters. I do love you and your family, and that is the ONLY reason i am so lengthy and aggressive about this. I want someone that i ministered with to not see life as a burden, but see that God may have a plan of his own for her and her family. If God leads you to do this, then let it be between you and him, and write about what he is doing in your life to encourage others, not to break down there own beliefs. If someone’s belief is wrong, tell them in love to them. Don’t send a massive letter to hit everyone at once… there is no compassion and personalization in that. I think you are wrong, not in your general school of thought, but how you are going about it, but i am not starting my own blog about how i think you are wrong. i am telling you.

    I really do love you guys and if this is where God is leading you, then follow, but don’t close the doors on things that might sound intimidating, cause God will give you the grace and strength to face them.

    With love,
    Anson

  2. bottlecappie

    You know, I think where we are misunderstanding each other is in the idea that there is some sort of monolithic “feminism” that has proclaimed that being a SAHM is an unworthy persuit.

    I’m not going to argue that no feminist has ever made that assertion, because I’d be wrong. I have had to duke it out with other feminists in fact about this very issue. But I just can’t go away without letting you know that there are committed feminists who care very deeply about the work of mothering and about the fact that it is undervalued in our culture. We also care about the fact that SAHM’s are put in an incredibly vulnerable position because their work is unpaid.

    And going back even further than feminism…it was not feminists who slotted childcare, housework, and basically all the caring professions into the category of “women’s work” and then systematically devalued that work because it belongs to women. I mean, there is a lot of lip-service paid to the idea that mothering is the “most important job on earth” but it’s also unpaid work, you know?

    So the feminist mother’s movement is advocating for things like paid maternity (and paternity) leave, universal healthcare, universal childcare, tax credits for stay at home parents, social-security credits for sahp’s, and more flexible work policies for parent’s who have to (or just want to) work outside the home.

    And, just as a parting thought, I disagree with Anson up there. I think it’s great that you are putting time and effort into sorting out your thoughts around this issue. These are big life decisions, and while you really can’t know in advance how you will react to life at home full-time with children, it’s good to really think about these things rather than just blindly deciding. And it’s good to think about the reactions of friends and families, even if it’s just to come to the conclusion that they’re wrong. Writing about your thoughts has opened up a dialogue where there wasn’t one before, and that is good.

  3. i’ll just say that i didnt even read past the first sentence of the previous blog[part 1] because i thought it would piss me off. i will also just say that wether you choose to be a stay-at-home mom because thats what you believe you are called to do or wether you choose to have kids and go to work, no one should judge you either way. The heart and soul behind why you choose to do something is all that matters.

  4. Ok, so you want to know the weird thing? I actually totally understand your point, both in your last post and in this one, and I concur. Glad we agree =)

    bottlecappie: I understand what you are saying about how what Bonnie is encountering is not “true feminism”, however, she is writing about her experience. So whether or not that really ought to be called feminism is a moot point. The point is that she regularly encounters people who have been influenced by ideas that call themselves feminist (whether a misnomer or not) who believe that being a homemaker is beneath her.

    anson: the idea of a blog is that you can write down your ideas and get feedback from people who are willing to read those ideas. Sometimes that means you change your mind from your original thoughts after processing the feedback, and sometimes you find that your original ideas become more solidified. It’s kind of like the digital form of thinking aloud. I would suggest that while you think that blogging is stupid or bad or wrong or whatever descriptor you would like to use, you may not be right. If you don’t like blogs don’t read them. And certainly don’t use an online communication form to tell people not to use that online communication form. It comes off as rather strange.

  5. ravnistic

    I think what we have is a fundamental disconnect between worldviews.

    Bonnie and I are working from a worldview which claims that God created male and female. He created them with different strengths, weaknesses, talents, and most importantly roles.

    I will attempt to highlight these differences in a post. Obviously my understanding of my worldview is stronger than my understanding of an opposing view. Therefore, I would appreciate any comments or criticism in my approach to this subject.

    Brian

  6. Anson Jones

    Let me correct myself. I don’t hate blogs… I think they can serve a purpose. I think deep down inside if i disagree with someone i would rather be having an argument face to face than on the internet… So i think that is my deep seeded disdain for blogs. However, drew you are right, blogs are useful and can be used to a gaining of new ideas and opinions. It is just my personal opinion that there is right and wrong way to blog. But like i guess that is just my opinion. The one thing that i wanted to get across, and i don’t know if i succeeded or not, is this is an issue where there is really no right or wrong way to do things and yet it seems that it is being presented that way. I may be wrong, i mean lets face it i am horrible at jumping to conclusions and getting angry over them. I mean drew you should know that more than anyone after living me for almost two years 🙂 Just something about these types of blogs anger me, they always have and probably always will… much love to all.

    anson

  7. ravnistic

    The issue is that there is a right and wrong. No, it’s not set in stone, but you can’t just claim different strokes for different folks. This isn’t BBQ verses Chinese Food.

    Either god made men and women with seperate roles and abilities or he didn’t. I for one don’t buy into the idea that the only difference between a man and a woman is between their legs. God either made them male and female or he didn’t. And if he did, the question we are raising is what implications does that have in our lives and relationships? I’m sorry if standing for something upsets you, but this isn’t a matter of preference.

    Brian

  8. bottlecappie

    Drew said:

    “bottlecappie: I understand what you are saying about how what Bonnie is encountering is not “true feminism”, however, she is writing about her experience. So whether or not that really ought to be called feminism is a moot point. The point is that she regularly encounters people who have been influenced by ideas that call themselves feminist (whether a misnomer or not) who believe that being a homemaker is beneath her.”

    I guess I’m having a hard time expressing myself, because that wasn’t my point at all. What I was trying to say is that there is no “true feminism.” There are many flavors of feminism, and some are supportive of SAHM’s.

    I wasn’t trying to discount anyone’s experience, and I apologize if I came off that way. I was only trying to let y’all know that some branches of feminism are supportive of a woman’s choice not to work outside her home.

    Now, I’m a little confused as to whether or not my input is welcome or appreciated here. Brian seems to be reframing the discussion in terms of whether God created women to stay at home and raise the babies, which would mean that staying home and mothering would be the only correct choice for all women…rather than a choice that’s made on an individual level.

    Am I getting this right?

    So, if I am welcome in this discussion, I’d really like to understand where you are coming from. If not, just let me know and you’ll never see me again.

  9. Amanda Badgett

    again on what drew said:

    “bottlecappie: I understand what you are saying about how what Bonnie is encountering is not “true feminism”, however, she is writing about her experience. So whether or not that really ought to be called feminism is a moot point. The point is that she regularly encounters people who have been influenced by ideas that call themselves feminist (whether a misnomer or not) who believe that being a homemaker is beneath her.”

    Bonnie had said in the previous post that people she respected were the ones that looked down on her for wanting to teach preschool 2 days a week and be at SAHM for the others. Do these people call themselves feminists? if so, then Drew is right, this “argument” about if we should call it one thing or another could be a bit pointless.
    HOWEVER, if this “feminist view” is what Bonnie attached to these ideas because that’s what SHE thinks explains the perspective, then it is certainly not a moot point for someone to come in and say “No, that’s not typical feminism.” or “Don’t think all feminists are that way.”

    And Brian..are these “separate roles” only pertaining to who stays home and who works? bottlecappie is right..one minute we read Bonnie saying it’s not for everyone, then we read you saying that this is what God meant. And who on this blog “buys into the idea” that the only difference between man and woman is “between their legs?” as you put it. It seems like you’re just being a bit rude..

    bottlecappie, you have responded to all of these comments and posts with great respect for others and their thoughts. you are as welcome here as anyone else!

    I think THIS is what Anson was talking about (in his Ansonie way we all know and love) with blogs not always being the best communicator. Unless you meant for bottlecappie to feel unwelcome, I think it just solidifies the fact that online communication isn’t always on-target with the non-verbal indicators.

  10. bottlecappie

    The sad thing is that I’ve been reading all these Christian blogs (or blogs written by Christians) lately because I left the church years ago over many of these conflicts, and lately I’ve felt this pull in my heart to come back and try to understand and see if there’s a place in your religion for a person like me. So I’m just here trying to read and reach out and understand, but I’m feeling really judged and not really feeling much of the love that Christianity is supposed to be famous for.

    Anyway, I appreciate your response Amanda, very much.

  11. ravnistic

    bottlecappie,

    You are very welcome here. The fact that we may disagree does not change that. My heart sank when I read this comment, because this is not my intention at all. Disagreements can often get out of hand, and I’m sorry that this debate has taken such a turn that you feel that there is no place in the family of God for you. The wonderful, life-changing truth of God is that there IS a place for you in His family. I would love to continue this conversation with you, perhaps e-mail would be better. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you further about where I’m coming from. There is so much that I havn’t said on this and other related subjects that I think would clarify a few points for you. Please please please do not think that your input is not welcome, I have enjoyed your part in the discussion so much and you have expressed yourself with grace and clarity. If you’d like to take this discussion off the blog, you can reach me at bonnie_alicia@yahoo.com

    Bonnie

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