Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Do men have a responsibility not to marry feminists?

I want to highlight three posts that I found on The Thinking Housewife.

Here’s the first one, that explains what a non-feminist is.

Excerpt:

It appears to be increasingly common for women to superficially disavow feminism. That means, when asked if they are feminist, they say, “No, I’m not a feminist.” But saying so doesn’t necessarily make it so. I can say I don’t notice cold weather, but if I wear a coat, obviously I do.

What does it take for a woman not to be a feminist? She must explicitly and publicly reject feminist principles. A woman who is not a feminist would openly criticize and judge women who unilaterally divorce their husbands. She would not remain silent. She would criticize the glorification of career and the glorification of absentee mothering (even a woman who has a career can in this sense be anti-feminist). She would denounce hiring preferences for women and support preferences for men. She would never criticize her husband publicly, even to her closest friends, because to do so is to show disrespect for him and contempt for his authority. She would, within her own social context, encourage and approve of femininity.

I’m not saying that a woman would do nothing else but harp against feminism, but that all this would be part of her life. Saying she is not a feminist means nothing. If a woman tolerates feminism everywhere, she is wearing the feminist coat.

Here’s the second one by a Thinking Housewife reader, that explains what can happen when a man foolishly chooses a feminist to take on the roles of wife and mother.

Excerpt:

My husband and I are always sad when I go to my brother’s home. My sister-in-law is the typical “modern woman” and her marriage to my brother is a microcosm of the feminist absurdity you write about. She never cooks, and as a result her son is a very poor eater and is overweight, even though he is only three. It makes me sad to know that he never gets to make cookies with his mom and he hasn’t learned how to sit through a meal. They just give him juice all day to keep him quiet. The whole family was recently at a hotel together for an event, and when we were in a gift store, she found a gag-gift apron that said, “When I said ‘I do,’ I didn’t mean the cooking.” She showed it to my brother laughing, and I turned to my mom and said that apron is only funny if it isn’t true.

My sister-in-law works full-time, and the children have been in daycare since they were three months old. My nephew is a sweet boy, but his only interest lies in television and movies and what’s more disturbing is that when he is hurt or sad, he seeks comfort from males because his dad is the only one who really takes care of him. While his sister was being born, he stayed at my mom’s. My brother and I went to help. My nephew got upset and asked me to pick him up, but after I picked him up he reached for my brother saying, “I want a man.” My brother and I were really disturbed by this. His mother is a woman who did not change her name when she got married, did not combine bank accounts, and claims that because she carried her son for nine months, it is now the responsibility of my brother to do the rest. My mom saw her knowingly leave her son in a soiled diaper for over an hour, waiting for my brother to come home. My mom didn’t do it because she got into this stalemate where she thought it might appear rude if she did it herself.

My brother is a nice guy, but he seems sad all the time. It seems like these “modern” marriages that claim to be about partnerships are really just about exploiting men. The woman gets to work if she wants, she gets to have as many or as few children as she wants and then she gets to have someone else raise those kids. She doesn’t have to cook or clean, but gets the benefit of having a working husband. They seriously seem to be more like roommates than spouses.

[...]One time my sister-in-law kept telling me about all these movies she likes, and I kept telling her I don’t really watch much TV these days. Finally, I said, “Look, I’m home with the kids all day and when my husband gets home and the kids are finally in bed, we really just want to have some quiet time to talk.”

Her response was that my brother often wants to talk when he gets home, but she just ignores him and watches “American Idol.”

Here’s the third one, which explains why men do stupid things like marry feminists.

Excerpt:

Emily D.’s story is indeed very sad. In my experience, however, hardcore feminists are pretty outspoken about it, or they express opinions and attitudes that give away their position quite clearly to those around them. Didn’t her husband observe any of these characteristics when they were dating? I find it hard to believe that her attitude was a total surprise to him. Either she had certain extraordinary qualities (great physical beauty, perhaps) or, more likely, offered certain “benefits” that he valued so much at the time that he was willing to overlook her extreme feminism.

When I was at university (mid-to-late 1990’s), I remember that the girls with the most active social lives were the liberal feminist types. My more conservative friends and I rarely ever got asked out on dates even though we were average-to-pretty in terms of looks. There were times when I was tempted to turn liberal feminist too. They had all the fun and the male attention.

This is a truism, but maybe it needs to be said: Men who are serious about marrying women who will make good wives and mothers need to look for and date women with those qualities and practice the self-restraint that such women require of them. My experience at university has given me little sympathy for men who take advantage of the sexual license feminists offer and who then later complain about how they ended up with a feminist wife.

I am chaste. I am telling you men – be chaste until you marry. Do not compromise your judgment with sex. A woman’s physical beauty is no guarantee of her ability to be a good wife and a good mother.Willingness to hook-up with you is  no guarantee of her ability to be a good wife and mother.

Maybe we should review some courting rules to help men to avoid becoming miserable.

Do not believe anything they say to you, because women adapt to men and say what men want to hear. Demand that she read hard books on complicated things like astronomy and economics and education policy. Demand that she write about what she reads. Demand life experiences that show that she has sympathy with things like capitalism and apologetics. Demand a track record of past activism in defense of marriage, the unborn, parental rights, Christianity and small government. Make moral judgments of her constantly and tell her the judgments so you can see how she responds to being judged. Hold her accountable for every mistake she makes – demand that she have a plan to change so that the mistake isn’t made again. Push all kinds of moral obligations onto her. Put her in charge of taking care of your pet, your garden, your car, and anything else that can be used to test her to see if she can handle responsibilities. Talk constantly about your desires and feelings. Complain about feminism and female nature all the time. Burden her up with the stories of your hard work day and how hard it is to be a man. Express your concerns about women who withhold sex, put on weight, and spend too much, after they get married. Demand that she engage all of her non-Christian friends and relatives so that they make progress towards better worldviews. Monitor her performance in debates to see how well she can reason and research evidence for her views. Harp on something you like to take care of, like your car, your pet, or your garden – and watch to see whether she shows an interest in it or considers it a rival to be taken away so that she is the only thing to get your attention.

The only way to test a woman for marriage and parenting is to… test a woman for marriage and parenting. And physical attraction is not a good way to test a woman for the roles of wife and mother.

As always, I think the default position for men in this society, given where things stand legally and financially, is not to marry at all. The only women you should even think of marrying are women who are actively opposing socialism, feminism, Darwinism, atheism, and any other -isms that are hostile to authentic Christian living. You will probably be miserable and wretched, but at least you can be miserable and wretched together – and you won’t have to worry about her stabbing you in the back and undermining your enterprises.

I wrote before about my views on who is to blame when a relationship goes wrong.

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28 Responses

  1. PW says:

    Sensing a little overstatement in the courting guidelines… :) Do the book reports need to conform to Turabian or MLA?? But in all seriousness, I know first-hand the pain that comes from dating a woman without really knowing who she is. Ouch. Not that I didn’t ASK who she was… but as you wrote, people often say what they think you want to hear. When I started dating my wife, I definitely took more time to test her answers. If anyone, male or female, resents being tested, it shows arrogance. If someone is offering you the next sixty years of their life, they deserve to know with certainty who you are and what you stand for.

    • Oh, she doesn’t have to write a BOOK. Even blog comments or blog posts or e-mails will do.

      I agree. Yes, testing is hard. I can hardly wait for my female commenters to tear into me for talking about how hard I test women. But honestly, why should I hand my children a mother who has no interest in answering their questions about God, checking their homework, protecting them from the public schools, etc.? And why should I take on a wife who has no interest in what my needs and feelings are?

  2. McSpinster says:

    Surely, you are familiar with Jesus injunction against Judging Others, W, in
    Mt. 7.1-5:
    37 ¶ Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
    38 give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
    39 ¶ And he spake a parable unto them; Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? Mt. 15.14
    40 The disciple is not above his master: Mt. 10.24, 25 · Joh. 13.16 ; 15.20 but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
    41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

  3. SC says:

    WK, I’ve follow this blog and like the material on it (generally) and as a christian woman, I understand where you are coming from on some points. (However, some of the theological points I am in deep disagreement with.)

    However, the reason why you probably haven’t found that woman(if she exists) is probably due to the fact that THAT type of woman would never trust some who expected all of that at first met. It’s like a tide-wave! Your list doesn’t even sound like a wife! It sounds like at best a guard dog (or lawyer) or at worst – a robot.

    You go on and on about men needs, and while it is important, men should also be aware of woman’s need as well. There should not be a competition between the genders, on what should and shouldn’t be done.

    And quite frankly, this radical form of feminism you fight against exists because men in the past and present have failed (horribly so) in their duties and responsibilities. The feminism of today is simply a reactionary defense to the abuse, by become the abuser.

    • That would be pretty cool if my wife were some sort of transformer-like robot. She could transform into a lawyer and attack the annoying professors and politicians who pass anti-family and anti-Christian laws, then transform into a guard dog and bite their ankles if they leave us alone to raise our children the way we want to raise them, with our own money.

      Well, I’ve decided. I will get married to the female Autobot. Where is she?

      Is this her?

      By the way, that stuff isn’t all for the FIRST MEET, that would be like the sixth month.

  4. McSpinster says:

    Yeah, but what your courting rules above don’t square with it. But no worries, dear: if you follow your own advice, you will most certainly be able to extend the “not marrying as a default position” that you advocate for men in this society well past your thirties into middle-age.

  5. Jeanie says:

    WK – McSpinster is correct – you can plan on enjoying celibacy for the rest of your days at this rate.

    You don’t want a submissive wife with the traits your listing. It looks more like, in your *demands* and plans for excessive criticism of her flaws (real or imagined), you want a wife that you can emotionally beat into greater submission before she has a chance to show those traits. And it appears you want to *demand* that she be demonstratively loud and aggressive toward the outside world in her agreement with each and every one of your values. You want a trophy and, guaranteed, any female that aggressive in so many areas of ideal toward the outside world will not have one bit of energy left for you and your children.

    Maybe you should re-read Ephesians 5, then concentrate on being the man that a lady who shares your values would desire to spend her life with. Don’t you realise that your described dream girl has possibly read your post – and has felt totally slapped in the face (right before gagging) at how you think a man should handle himself in courtship?

    • I actually had the post proof-read before publishing by a woman I really respect and she didn’t find anything odd in it, and I thought she would.

      Regarding the flaws, it’s a well known thing that happens in marriage where men cannot criticize anything about their wives. The courtship is the time to see how a woman takes constructive criticism, whether she follows the man’s lead, and whether she sees her future husband’s opinions as valuable.

      Still, I am sorry if I offended you.

  6. Anon says:

    Yes, good Christian men do have a responsibility not to marry feminists

    Let the feminists take their own medicine marrying men of this world.

  7. Jeanie says:

    No you didn’t offend me :) .. Your approach did – or, rather, I was kind of aghast. lol

    Bringing up things about a mate or prospective mate that are bothersome is a good thing, if it’s constructive. But the apparent manner in which your writing termed that it ought to be done didn’t come across as a wish for constructiveness but instead as a means to find out just how excessively far it can be pushed. E.g. If gravy were a character trait and if my late husband had told me while he was courting me that I might improve things by withholding the sage and adding the rosemary to the gravy, I’d go with it without a problem. But if he’d told me that he didn’t like the gravy and that I should come up with something better to please him, I’d be thinking he should show leadership by minding his manners and either have it or leave it without complaining.

    I’ve had a FB conversation with you and, coming out of that conversation, I really don’t think that you would behave quite like you came across to me in your post. I read it twice to make sure I wasn’t reading into it and decided I wasn’t. But, on the other hand, I take a lot of words in the literal, face-value sense. Someone else who takes the same words more figuratively would see it differently.

  8. Marshall Art says:

    I wish my wife took constructive criticism better. She usually goes on the defensive. That wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t seem to have no problem criticizing ME. Overall, it’s no longer as bad as it once was. What bothered me was that the critiques usually involved something I had already dealt with on my own and felt like I was imparting useful info. In fact, that’s how I learned of this “fault”. I thought I was helping and she got defensive. Eventually, I told her I’m not moved by her defensiveness (though I was) and that I won’t let her “fail” for her own good, as well as for the good of anyone else connected to her action, like me. The choice was, will she accept the kind manner in which I do it, or would she prefer a total lack of tact and in a public manner?

    Another thing about judging and criticism is that it is a way of determining where either side can fill in or complement the other. A way to understand weak areas that might affect serious issues later in the relationship.

    Also, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume WK does not regard women as objects or as tools not worthy of expectations of their own for him; that his idea of manhood and husbands complements what he expects of a woman. I should think most women have their own ideas, and both men AND women should know with certainty if their potential partners match up to those expectations before anything serious takes place.

    The only area I might disagree is in the degree to which a woman must meet those standards. Can we find a perfect fit in a largely off-the-rack world? Along with our expectations should probably be a priority, with some not as mandatory as others.

    • I’m not aiming for a perfect fit, and this is not something I would pull immediately after meeting someone. I’m specifically aiming to detect feminists early on by making them lose their temper.

    • Mary says:

      Hmmm…

      WK, I wonder that you didn’t upbraid Marshall for complaining about his wife. After all, since he *chose* her and he should have tested for her ability to take criticism when courting her, he now forfeits the right to complain about anything she does to him in marriage and anything she does to him becomes *his* fault. Double standard perhaps…?

      Marshall, no offense meant. I’m trying to challenge WK here. While I do think you should have tested her for the ability to take criticism, I don’t think she is now absolved of all responsibility in her treatment of you.

      • Marshall Art says:

        Actually, Mary, that little tale took place before we were married. I got the point across and the situation improved enough in my mind so as not to be an issue. To put it another way, it’s not something that gets between us even if it sometimes occurs because she now knows her response is not justified. Now her “defensiveness” is more like a request for clarification.

        One of the things that I found attractive about my wife was her sense of independence. She wasn’t a needy person. She was more than willing to continue life on her own, raising her kids in the manner she thought proper and generally carrying on with life. She wanted, but did not feel she needed, a husband. I really liked that. It’s nicer to be loved by choice than need or coercion of any kind.

        But that independence did mean she thought she could do anything, and while that is true, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee proficiency. As I would remark on ways to do better a job she just completed, my intention was “Wow! You did a great job, but…” and that “but” would become an issue. She acted as if nothing came before it and that I was crappin’ on her efforts. It turned out that she would often get feedback from her family that questioned the fact that she actually accomplished her goal by herself. When she thought she’d get “Well done!”, she’d get “You did this?” as if she wasn’t capable. They didn’t mean anything by it, but over the years, it hurt as she felt they should have eventually figured out she was not just a girly-girl.

        Sorry for the long-winded explanation. I don’t want to further compound the wrong impression I apparently left in my earlier comment.

  9. Retha says:

    Comment about Thinking housewife:
    With all the sense she is talking, (about motherhood, femininity, men’s choices) she also talks a lot of things which I cannot agree with, and even one point that is simply an untrue sentence, regardless of what you think about a woman’s place.

    What does it take for a woman not to be a feminist? She must explicitly and publicly reject feminist principles.

    Thinking Housewife should think again about that. I’ll give a similar sentence, to show why it is grammatically impossible to agree: “What does it take for someone not to be a Christian? He must explicitly and publicly reject Christian principles.”
    Second point, I cannot, like her, criticize the glorification of career. A woman, like a man, should do whatever is before her to the best of her ability. Not all women are married or have children, and the New Testament expressly teaches that it is better to not marry, so you can concentrate on God better. It is a myth to see serving God and your job (wether it is her jobs of raising a family and loving a husband, or a career, or a dead-end job) as seperate things.Doing your tasks to the best of your ability is part of serving God! And Proverbs 31 glorifies a succesful business woman. Even so, mothers (of underage children) belong at home with them. And preschools are a lot worse than most moms think (I have made myself unpopular by stating that opininion on mums at home and preschools openly). Many husbands actually want their wifes to work for money too, and as long as there are no children I believe that a wife could submit to that choice of his too.

    She would denounce hiring preferences for women and support preferences for men.

    I am pretty glad that this particular woman is not interested in the business world. I denounce hiring preferences. Period. Hiring preferences, except preference for whoever is the superior candidate, just harms the company. If imposed from the inside of the company, the company get less competitive. If imposed by government, the country gets poorer. Goverments should not be large enough for affirmative action type laws.

    My experience at university has given me little sympathy for men who take advantage of the sexual license feminists offer and who then later complain about how they ended up with a feminist wife.

    Amen, amen! That is my favorite part of all you quoted from her. Choices have consequences.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Retha

      I think I’d like to address some of our concerns because I think I get where both you and WK come from. So, here goes…

      I think you missed the “NOT” in the comment on declarations re feminism. In order to NOT be a feminist a woman needs to publicly and explicitly reject feminism.

      “Second point, I cannot, like her, criticize the glorification of career.”

      I know what you mean about a woman doing whatever task she has before her to the best of her ability. I think what she means is the glorification of a career outside the home as somehow better than being a stay-at-home mom.

      Oh and the bit you like best is the bit I like best too! :)

  10. Retha says:

    Comment about WK’s responses:

    Demand a track record of past activism in defense of marriage, the unborn, parental rights, Christianity and small government.

    Wintery, you realize of course that many of the current anti-feminst women absolutely cannot meet that demand? They believe that political activism is only for men, that it is not feminine to defend the unborn, Christianity or small government.

    Complain about feminism and female nature all the time.

    “Complain about feminism”- no problem. “Complain about female nature”- would you want to marry a woman who complain about male nature all the time?

    You will probably be miserable and wretched, but at least you can be miserable and wretched together

    Perhaps a woman who values joy as a fruit of the spirit will feel that she should rather get another man, as you do not meet her requirements for a Christian man?

    • Mary says:

      “Wintery, you realize of course that many of the current anti-feminst women absolutely cannot meet that demand? They believe that political activism is only for men, that it is not feminine to defend the unborn, Christianity or small government.”

      This is soooo true. And I think that many men who are themselves weak on these issues find women with strongly held opinions on these matters to be intimidating. They like women who are less well informed than they are so they can feel unchallenged in their ignorance.

      As for complaints about “female nature”, I think WK could have probably expressed it better. But I think what he means is expressing concerns with traps into which women easily fall. And this is valid, so long as it’s balanced by an acknowledgment of the traps into which men typically fall. I think WK does that. In fact this post is a call to men to resist the trap of choosing women based purely in sex appeal, to istead be rigorous in their total assessment of women.

      When it comes to joy, I agree that it should be part of the fruit of the Spirit. I think this is just WK’s way of saying marriage is still difficult, what with anti-christian, anti-marriage, anti-family legislation, etc.

      • Retha says:

        Mary, this is, of course, a challenge to expand WK’s thinking, not a way to belittle him. Perhaps, explaining how his words is understood even helps him express himself better in future.

        • Now Retha, you know that I am only taking about careers being bad for mothers with younger children, right? Single women should definitely have careers, and maybe mothers with children old enough for (non-public) schools.

          • Love & Respect says:

            Some wives, who would be mothers, do not find that they have many options, other than taking government assistance or joining the ranks of the working poor, than to continue in their career after a child arrives. Some of them have researched it thoroughly and, with their husband, decided that employing a trusted caregiver was the best choice for their family. Some of those husbands make a low income because they went to college to study the Bible, where he met and married his spouse, who now helps support their lifestyle (read – we own a house, let it be forbid) and his ministry, as she went on to pursue further education. Also, she was chaste her entire life until their wedding day. By this article’s logic, she is a feminist whom he should never have married, and the husband and the children must be miserable indeed. My point – be careful whom you condemn. We love each other more today than we did ten years ago when we met.

          • Retha says:

            You were not taken to task at all about working women. My only comments on careerwomen were comments on “Thinking Housewife” whom you quoted.

          • Retha says:

            My other comment was for Wintery, this one is for Love&Respect:

            Amen to that. I especially agree with “be careful who you condemn.” People have called me, a virgin who believes in gender roles and submitting to a husband, a feminist on the internet when I do not believe every word in every anti-feminist rant.
            The primary quality of much of these anti-feminist women (I’ve never spoken on the Internet to Thinking Housewife specifically) is judgementalness. Not all judgement is wrong, but they use the bad kind of judgement.

  11. McSpinster says:

    “A lasting marriage does not always signal a happy marriage. Plenty of miserable couples have stayed together for children, religion or other practical reasons.

    But for many couples, it’s just not enough to stay together. They want a relationship that is meaningful and satisfying. In short, they want a sustainable marriage.”

    These are the opening paragraphs of a NYTimes article on SUSTAINABLE LOVE: The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me’ Marriage

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/weekinreview/02parkerpope.html?hpw

    Worth reading for an understanding on why couples stay together or split up. Worth reading, whether you’re interested in marriage or already married.

    Worth reading for an understanding on why couples stay together or split up.

  12. wbmoore says:

    I did not test my ex-wife. I was a new Christian when we married and she was supposedly a Christian. I did not realize I needed to test her as God had used her to cause me to come to Christ.

    Now I am a single dad.

    I am testing for biblical qualities and I think there are a number of women who meet those qualifications. But one has to be careful because so many people will tell you want they think you want to hear. Also, you have to be blatant about what you want, so the feminists will not even begin to consider you an option. That narrows the field quickly.

  13. [...] This is some sage advice from ‘Wintery Knight‘ for men: “The only way to test a woman for marriage and parenting is to… test a [...]

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