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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Tuesday
Mar062012

Video: Will you just submit, already? 

Submit! SUBMIT!



My latest Momversation, for you. About the Duggars and the concept of "submitting" to one's husband. Wherein I mommunicate my feelings. I present my argumomt. I am never going to stop making fun of the name "Momversation." I'm pretty sure they love me for this.

Momscuss!

Reader Comments (41)

How is this post any different from making snarky or otherwise unkind comments about a blogger who puts themselves out there? Michelle Duggar has beliefs, she is sharing them. At not point have I heard her suggest that this is the only way to live, just that it's the way she chooses to live. If you've actually watched their show or heard them speak, you'd realize what a partnership they have. That they've defined their personal roles differently than you and your husband do? I don't know, Alice, I really didn't expect this sort of thing from you.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElise

I'm pretty sure Cate (above) means Momologue, not Momoluge (though that sounds fun! I'll have to ask my husband if I can participate!)

Let's be honest, here, Michelle Duggar. Who is REALLY running that goat rodeo at your house. Your husband? I don't think so. It's either Mama, or it's TLC (or whatever station owns the rights to your lives.)

I have no problem with people being religious, and I have no problem with religious people doing religious things. But I do have a problem with someone saying that THIS or THAT is how *I* should behave. Also, she's now a public figure, and when public figures go public (even if they're covered by prairie dresses), the public (that's us) has every right to question their logic. NOT tell them how to live, but question.

(The lights are dimming in here, too. )

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I’m bummed, no matter how many times I hit ‘refresh’, this post remains here. I wish I hadn’t seen it. It seems more mean and dismissive than warranted, with no real counter-argument to being submissive. I don’t know much about the Duggars, but I can imagine it hurts to have your hair and the way you dress criticized when you’re just doing your best to help others. Frankly, if you’ve got a happy life, a strong marriage and enjoy your kids I think sharing your secrets should be appreciated in a society where we see folks struggling with those things.

Alice, I’ve been reading for years. Your words and actions are funny, intelligent, educated and sympathetic. I’m going to pretend this wasn’t you, or that you were rushed/grumpy/truly concerned about someone misunderstanding the goal of being ‘submissive’. I’ll be back to hang out with you again after the next post. We can go back to snuggling up together on the couch (in my mind).

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Thanks for your feedback, guys. My intent was not in the least mean-spirited and I'm sorry it seemed that way. I was entirely making a joke about the advantages of being submissive. I was in no way targeting Michelle Duggar, or anyone.

I wish the parts that were earnest in the video hadn't been edited out. Like when I made the point that I didn't want to pick on Michelle Duggar, since it's her pastor who wrote that particular booklet and not her. Nor do I want to paint Christians with the same brush, because that's an awfully big group, and I don't have that big a brush. But I guess they wanted funny, so they took those parts out-- that's the way of it, I guess.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralice

For the record, I don't even know if she wears prairie dresses. It just seemed like a comfy solution for someone who's had a ton of kids.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralice

Oh, Alice. Let's snuggle. Thanks for clarifying.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Michelle Duggar has offered up her life for examination. I don't think there's anything wrong with discussing it, or disagreeing with her choices, particularly when the examination is done with compassion and gentle humor.

The fact that those choices are rooted in her religious views makes no difference to that.

Alice, I think it's a great video. Funny, thoughtful, and ultimately kind-hearted. Like all your work, actually.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroo

I'm going to be a jerk and blather on annoyingly about your argument on criticizing people's faith. It sort of went like (1) This faith subjugates a huge bunch of people (2) Therefore they must expect criticism. I guess the missing premises would be the ones where you prove Christianity subjugates everyone (yes, it did, let's face it. Is it complicated though?--Islam did. And why is China so big? Subjugation once again. So that's a little broad--Anglo culture subjugates non-Anglos for example.) Then there is (2) because they aren't being criticized for being part of a faith that subjugates but for their personal choices and values--which unfortunately are oppressive and yes, they do recommend to everyone. So I'd say they are fair game but not because they subjugate but just because they are saying 'this is really good' and you are say 'hey no, it's not.'

But it is irrelevant-- people's publicly pronounced values are always fair game for critique and in certain cases where the values are horrible, ridicule is not out of order.

In other words, I think you are safely in the zone of not being unfair to criticize them. But I don't know if it is necessary--they are such obvious targets for us urban liberal arts college graduates.

I secretly believe I would be happier with a terrifying number of children (10 might be my upper limit) and no other job but to hang out with them. That is my absurd secret, as a person with one child and a career I centered my whole life around thus far. Maybe it makes me more conflicted somehow. I can never find it in my heart to condemn the Duggars for their fecundity.

Actually, I don't watch the show so I don't know whether they actually do recommend all wives submit but I'm guessing they do. Maybe they say 'hey, it works for us but everyone is different' but I realize that's extremely unlikely.

I'm not sure why I felt it necessary to say all that. I decided to take this very hilarious film monologue of yours seriously and intellectually engage with it. Don't ask me why. I've decided to do that with people's blogs and with much cultural production--my favorite blog these days if overthinking it and I may have caught the overthinking it bug. For that I apologize but I'm still going to post this comment.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersnozma

Gosh, I really regret that comment. Maybe scratch that? I say nothing! My excuse is that I am avoiding work right now--although I realize that doesn't explain the content--Basically, I had nothing to say but wanted to post a comment so I wouldn't have to work. Sorry!

It is funny, this monologue of yours--do more of them. That's what I should have said.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersnozma

I didn't say Christianity subjugates women! Oh dear god if that's how it came out...

No, I meant the subset of Christianity that the duggars are part of, one that believes that women's hairstyles have to be submissive and men won't be able to stand it if their women get jobs.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I wish my hairstyle would fight back.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroo

I agree. My hair gives in way too easily.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralice

Alice, I am glad that you posted this video, glad that you want to engage with other moms -- even by way of humor -- on serious issues (albeit they are called momversations), and glad that you are willing to bring up the topic at all. In Christian circles the role of women is much-debated, but sadly, I think the "subset of Christianity" which demands submission (read: oppression) is getting more air time. At the risk of sounding like a crazed liberal feminist (for this is the label they put on those who disagree with their lifestyle), I think it is high time the rest of us questioned the reasoning behind a movement that belittles 50% of the population, focuses solely on Scripture passages that conveniently support their point of view, and, when taken to its logical conclusion, actually supports slavery as long as it is "done well" and perhaps even sees it as mandated by God. (Don't believe me? Check out "Quiverfull: Behind the Christian Patriarchy Movement" by Kathryn Joyce.) As harmless as it may seem, the belief system the Duggars cling to is no funny business.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney C.

I know a couple that seem to have a very good marriage and there is an element of submissiveness by the wife. One example the husband gave me was his wife, before they had kids, hated her job. He kept telling her to just quit. She felt the need to contribute financially and said that she would keep working, but the job was not good for her, and he finally put his foot down and made her quit by bringing up the "submissive" issue. I can see how that can be helpful.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine

alice, your hair looks lovely! you've been hiding it under a bushel (ha! vacation bible school song from the '70's), almost shoulder length. congrats.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlori

Um, just for the commenter who implied that Christians whitewash the submit issue but "that's what it says"... fact is, that little verse is yanked out of context by the "subsets" that wield submission like a weapon against women.

Just after those three little verses in Ephesians 5 about submitting to one's husband, come nine more directed at the husbands, about loving one's wife to the point of self-sacrifice:

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

...so, it's not a one-way submission street, as I understand it. Beware of those who quote the first three verses without mentioning the rest of the passage.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim

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