Saturday, November 28, 2009

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a... (PG-13 post)

I've written several posts entitled "Why this is not a Christian blog". I may even post one eventually, but they are usually prompted by some issue or topic that makes it clear to me why, even though I am a professed Christian, I nevertheless do not fit in with the Christian blogosphere. I know some readers would be delighted if the blog were less Christian, others would kinda like it to be more so, and some don't care. I yam what I yam.

But here's one of my reasons for declaring that this is not a Christian blog:

I care absolutely nothing about being a Proverbs 31 Woman.

It's not that Christian writers themselves aren't quite delightful in making respectful fun of this absolutely unreal paragon of Womanly Perfection. They really are. There are lots of books out of Christian publishing houses, from serious to funny, about how we shouldn't keep flogging ourselves for falling short of that description, how it's an ideal, nobody can live up to that... etc. etc.

Great. All well and good. But, see, there's still a problem for me. All of them, the most serious, the most delightfully amusing, all of them assume that we want to be the Proverbs 31 Woman. That we want to shoot that high, and need affirmation for the level we can realistically achieve.

And that's where I leave the building.

I'm in danger of being kind of amusing about it myself. But however much I like writing likable stuff, toning it down to make it sort of endearing does not convey my extreme dislike for the whole Christian "We are so vile and corrupt, we all deserve death and eternal flames," culture. To be more honest, I have to be ruder than that.

Here goes :

I do not give a rat's ass about achieving Proverbs 31 Womanhood. The Proverbs 31 Woman not ONLY can go jump, she can take the whiny male fantasy that spawned her right along with her.

I'm just sayin'.


Sherwood Harrington said...

I say to my wife, I say, "Why are you not working wool and flax with your hands for me?" and she looks over the tops of her glasses at me and saith, "Go do it yourself, bucko."

I still find that kind of hot.

Christy said...

I think I just fell in love with Mr. Harrington...

Mike said...

I'm looking for a Deuteronomy 25, 11-12 woman. That's the wife for me!

Catherine said...

I blot Proverbs 31 out of mind (and actually, I think it might be a metaphor kind of thing anyway).

Sherwood Harrington said...

Mike, Mrs. Fort is, I'm proud as punch to say (as long as I stay on her good side), very much one of those.

She hasn't had occasion yet to de-nad a spouse's adversary (as far as I know), but she has vaporized a foolish rooster who attacked one of her little children, years ago.

Said rooster flew at her two-year-old. She chased it off the child, walked quickly into the house, grabbed and loaded the shotgun on the wall by the door, and tracked the sucker down.

Witnesses say that the bird kept running for a few steps and around the corner of a barn before it collapsed, but, by then, Mrs. Fort was calmly putting the shotgun back on the wall inside the house.

If there's a testament that consigns a woman like that to Hell, then, please, send me there.

southernyankee said...

Gosh, Sherwood, me thinks I married me a woman like that only we don't have a shotgun. . .yet. :-)

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

We have a hammer, though.

Dann said...

Hi Ruth,

I have to wonder why there is so much invective aimed at the Proverbs 31 model of wifery....wifedom...wifehood. As a former member of team JC in the G league, I have to confess that I was not overly familiar with that portion of the Old Testament.

Yet in reading through the actual scripture here and here, I find very little to criticize. Why shouldn't women seek to be people of industry? Why shouldn't they seek to be competent? Skillful? Thoughtful of others? Supportive of their husbands?

I would respectfully suggest that those are noble objectives regardless of one's gender. Seeking those objectives and falling short of them is not unlike pursuing happiness and falling short there as well. The pursuit matters more than the conclusion.

Is the problem the scripture or the modern interpretation of that scripture?

Who suspects that a Proverbs 31 compliant wife ought to be able to dispense errant farm fowl with ease and aplomb regardless of the implement used for the task.

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

LOL! Dann, i thought someone would raise the serious questions, but i didn't really think it'd be you!

Noble objectives they are. The problem, and i admit my tendency to be contrary, is someone telling someone else what objectives to have, and to master them all.

I actually like reading Proverbs. The writer seeks to give practical advice, so i won't fault it for being about behavior and not about what's underneath, but basically, industry, competence, all that, are in themselves worthy goals in business, but in relationships they need to grow out of something more important. I'd like for 31:10 to say, "Blessed is the man whose wife loves him." And stop there. Real love is how you treat someone - the work and supportiveness are products of love, and being bad at sewing or making soup doesn't mean one loves inadequately.

My next post will wax nostalgic about the attractive, comfortable home my mother made for us, but i'll tell ya, she despised anything needle-and-thread related and never ever did any mending, except the occasional button replacement. No one complained. People have different gifts, and such lists of How To Be that
Perfection In Pearls basically say
anyone who makes less than an "A" in every single subject is falling short.

I also find the context kind of funny. This is a mother telling her son not to settle for less, which immediately makes me think, "Remember, Son, NO one will EVER equal your Sainted Mother." 8~)

Dann said...

I'm glad to have given you a chuckle, Ruth.

I'm with you when it comes to someone else thinking they should be setting objectives for me. My neck gets stiff real quick. [grin]