Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What has Michele Bachmann got that third-wave feminists haven’t got?

First, take a look at this video of Michele Bachmann discussing her little debate with Democrat Arlen Specter, and keep a count of the things that she does that strike you as admirable.

What do we learn from this video?

My biggest problem in trying to get along with SOME women is the fact that I feel enormous pressure to only say things that women agree with. They only want to hear compliments, never criticisms. But I don’t like that – I want the freedom to be myself and to say whatever I want.

In a recent post that I was talking about William Lane Craig’s advice on how to have a happy marriage. He recommended that couples learn how to argue properly. And I think in that video we learn several tips on how to argue properly.

Here are some questions to ask about this video:

  • Does Michele feel offended or victimized during the debate?
  • Does Michele lose her temper during the debate?
  • Does Michele make gender an issue during the debate?
  • Does Michele focus more on arguments/evidence or feelings/motives?
  • Does Michele accept apologies and try to move on?

For me, a fun thing to do with a woman is to get into a good argument without having to censor myself. This happened to me recently where I was getting into some very long debates with a woman I really liked and the more I was able to be myself and have her not censor me, the more I just wanted to grab her and hug her. It became a really powerful feeling that I had a LOT of trouble resisting.

I distinctly remember at one point we were having a real scrap and I was pleading with her every hour to see whether she was feeling OK with the degree of sustained disagreement that we were engaging in, and I’ll never ever forget what she said. She said that she was fine, but that she was willing to stop if I needed a break. We had been debating a bunch of things for about three hours. (a typical date)

The experience of being myself and being accepted is so different than what I hear other men saying about women that it really makes me sad. It turns out that men lie a lot to women in relationships – telling them what they want to hear and hiding their real views in order to get sex. I just think this is demeaning to women and men. A much better idea is to argue it out with her and treat her as an equal.

And that doesn’t mean that there is no place for feelings. I remember one day this woman tried to clobber me on some obscure point of theology and she took a very adversarial tack. And I was surprised that I just felt wounded and attacked, so I asked her to adjust her approach, and she did. So I do think that there is a time for talking about feelings, but not to use them as an argument.

I think that when a person is hurt (male or female), the thing to do is to get the other person a gift, and have them sit down with the gift and then you explain to them that you love them and that something they said or did hurt you and explain how it made you feel. But I don’t think that hurt feelings should be used as a substitute for an argument in a debate. Debates should be about truth, not who “wins”.

So the main point I am trying to make is that the way that a woman approaches debates can actually be a powerful way of getting a man to really like her. The experience of being able to be yourself with a woman and to express your views in a heated discussion without getting attacked or censored by her is exciting and addictive. It makes a man like a woman because he feels that she understands him.

Consider these wise words:

There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.
– Winston Churchill

Women have the capacity to make a man like them without having to resort to sex.  One last point – I also think that the experience of leading another person to try something new that’s morally good or serves God’s interests can also be a bonding experience.

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13 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    “We had been debating a bunch of things for about three hours. (a typical date)”

    Dude? Tell me you don’t do this on your first date.

    • It’s not me, she’s the amazing one. I mean this woman will totally ROCK YOUR WORLD. Oh I could tell you all such a story about how I met this woman. She left a comment on my blog and I sent her an e-mail message thanking her from her comment. I asked her a small question about something she knew quite a bit about and got a huge 2000 word response back. Oh, it was dreamy! I read it to all my friends! (All my friends bugged me to see everything she wrote, and my parents too). Anyway, eventually we got up to 4 hours of talking on weeknights and 6 hours on Saturday. We would listen to Jennifer Roback Morse lectures together and talk about them, and she would read Tom Sowell books, 4 in two months (on her own) – and not just Basic Economics but A Conflict of Visions. She got me a big white chess piece statue that I have on my desk. She put it in a gift bag with white and black wrapping paper. (My colors) One time, she phoned me at work on Saturday and we talked for 7 hours and she went through 3 cordless phones. Anyway, I should not say more than that, other than to say that this woman is totally totally amazing and I wish I could clone her and give a copy to all my single Christian friends. I could go on and on and on about her, and often I do. Everyone in my office knew about her and my co-workers often complained when I would cancel lunches with them to write to her instead. And she’s very very trusting and vulnerable and generous and funny and easy to get along with. Nothing ever goes wrong with her, she’s always sensible and reliable. I can’t really talk about other things, but she is just sooooo feminine. OH MY GOODNESS, you would not believe how feminine. And chaste! Oh, she never made me feel that my own chastity was the slightest bit out of place… for her, all of the chivalry and courtesy was NORMAL.

      The trouble with me is that I sometimes meet these amazing women, like the wife of my friend Andrew, and then I compare the these angelic women to normal women and feel very little pressure to settle down unless I get someone almost perfect. I know they exist – I’ve met TWO of them!

  2. Stephen says:

    Michele is looking her best here…verbally and physically. Va va Voom!

  3. Marshall Art says:

    You can hope a woman will be the way you describe your “debate opponent”, but it can’t be forced upon anyone. To wait for such a woman, who also has the goods in other respects, could mean a lonely life. One must deal with who the person is and I caution you against judging on the few characteristics you’ve mentioned. You seem like the type who would take the time (I took seven years before marrying my wife–at least two or three should be sufficient) in order to allow as much of each other to be revealed for proper evaluation. Those first 6-12 months are easily clouded with something apart from objectivity. That makes for a bad scene. (I say this not assuming anything about plans you may or may not have with this lady of which you speak.)

    For sure, dropping pretense and being honest can be done in tactful ways. Sometimes to be one’s self totally is what blows it. One’s self might be a jerk.

    Bachman showed that she’s feels good about herself, or at least isn’t a weanie. Excellent trait for someone in her position, but awesome for any woman to possess. My wife sometimes assumes she’s falling short with me, but in general isn’t defensive about what she believes or thinks. (By that she sometimes assumes that if I’m not talkative that perhaps she did something to piss me off. I always assure her that I’ll let her know before I get pissed, but it happens anyway.)

    In any case, if this lady is available, it sounds like you should definitely cultivate that relationship, especially since Bachman is taken. The chick sounds like she wouldn’t mind finding out she’s your second choice. Just take down most of your Michelle Bachman posters.

  4. Drew says:

    I think you have sort of a twisted mind. Although your suggestions about how to argue appropriately are correct, it’s not good to get so turned on by disagreement! If you disagree with a woman so much that your dates are spent arguing then you may wind up with someone who doesn’t have sufficient commonalities. And lest you say that commonalities don’t matter at all — that a woman should simply defer to her husband in every disagreement — I think women should judge men by commonalities because these are the men to whom they will be surrendering part of their sovereignty. Proper disagreement is good and necessary, but commonality reduces the temptation to improperly disagree so it’s important also.

    • Thanks Drew. I don’t really care if she agrees with me, I just want the freedom to be able to make my case and have her listen and fight back! What I find is that after I make my case, I am usually so happy and filled with adoration that I’ll just do whatever she wants anyway. The main thing is that I don’t have to censor myself. And that I can have these discussions. What is really fun is when I’m able to convince her to make adjustments strictly on the merits – not based on commonalities. I don’t like looking at people as set in stone. If she is right, I should change my view, and if I am right, she should change her view. Everyone laughs at me and says women aren’t like that, but she was like that to some degree, although she resisted changing her mind on other non-propositional things that were related to my plan. I think the main difficulty is that I did not believe that she had the skills necessary to do the kinds of things I wanted to do, and she was not willing to get go get them.

      Once while we were out for a walk, I tried to break the ice by asking her a stupid shallow question and she interrupted me to explain that shallow topics made her uneasy, and could we talk about something interesting instead. Seriously, this happened. She hated to talk about shallow stuff on the phone, too. I always tried to plan out a list of topics in advance and that worked really well. You know how everyone says not to ask too many questions on the first date? She loved to answer those difficult questions.

  5. Tsungai says:

    Wow! I’m blown away by all your articles on women, their roles in marriage and courtship. I’m going through a divorce and I want to do things right next time around. I am a re-marrier, there it’s out. I know that will ruffle some theological feathers out there. You are VERY knowledgeable and while I am more comfortable with taking bite size chunks of apologetics here and there, I am interested in marriage,sex, raising children and BIBLICAL COURTSHIP. Please direct me to relevant websites and blogs. I’ve done google searches on courtship after divorce and for the most part I’m getting stuff on DATING and DATING SITES (!) and theological arguments about whether I should be considering re- marriage in the first place. I don’t need any of that. I take full responsibility for marrying a non-believing man because I was pregnant after fornicating with him even though I called myself a Christian. I am not going down that road again. And if you have any books you wanna offload- I’m a VORACIOUS reader- do let me know and I’ll pay the shipping/postage to my side of the world. Brother, just point me in the right direction of hard hitting, no compromise books and sites who will set me straight and groom to be a good wife to that Godly man.
    And for goodness sake’s DO marry that woman you have been blessed with by God and continue to be a role model on successful courtship and showing people that IT WORKS!

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