Good morning, good morning! I thought I’d just cruise by this whole thing one more time, and then perhaps we can let it dwindle into extinction. Sound good? Here’s the thing. There are obviously many, many feathers in the air, and the likelihood of this post calming everyone down may be slim to none. But – there are clearly several groups of people following along on this, and so I’ll parcel out my responses and address the groups individually.
Group 1: People who agreed with me, and who get it
Hello there. Cheery wave.
Group 2: Rachel Held Evans fans, who found this blog accidentally and who were passionately offended by my remarks
Hello there. Cheery wave. Actually, we’re in completely different camps – and one or two very controversial blog posts are probably not enough to clearly understand where we at Femina are coming from. But suffice it to say that we’re not the oppressed, trodden-upon women that we’ve been caricatured as being. Submission doesn’t have to look like slavery . . . true submission never does. And to be perfectly honest, this is a much more fun place to stand than over in the camp where there’s a lot of indignation and hurt feelings. Seriously – things are a lot more cheerful over here. Come by and hang out for a while and I think you’ll see what I mean.
Group 3: “I’m totally confused. I’d like to be on your side here, but why on earth did you hit that bee’s nest, why on earth did you hit it so hard, and I have a pit in my stomach about the whole thing.”
OK – you’re the group I really wanted to talk to. My guess is that you’re probably 80% of the crowd, and you’re the ones not commenting. Am I right? So here’s the deal. Let’s walk through this a bit more slowly. Rachel Held Evans is a feminist egalitarian who, among other things, refers to God in the feminine, is defensive of homosexuality, and whose forthcoming book involves her taking all the biblical commands to women, following them as literally as possible and then showing how ridiculous they all are. She’s a woman who has made her name by being a bit of a shock-jock. She talks rough and tough, and gets all crass on the guys she’s going after. But here’s the thing. She also makes her living by professionally getting her feelings hurt. Most of the tag lines for her posts could be, “They’re being mean to us women” or, “They’re being mean to them and I’m the gutsy one who will stick up for the underdog.” But she always plays the underdog card. She’s become a pro at grabbing her knee and falling down in front of the ref – but usually on behalf of someone else. She manages to achieve a “don’t mess with me” attitude along with a “you’re hurting my feelings” message. In case you missed the irony, that’s really funny. It’s also really hard to argue with.
Some people thought I was being incredibly demeaning to women in my post – objecting to all the stereotypical imagery I used. “Stamping her little foot,” “Smelling salts,” “Squeaky voice,” etc. But here’s the thing – I was actually making a point with that. If she doesn’t like the stereotypical “little woman” thing . . . then she should stop being the stereotypical little woman. She’s ready to cry and get her feelings hurt at the drop of a hat, and she does so because it’s very hard for a man to argue with a woman who’s pulling that trick. It’s effective. (But it’s also doing the very thing that she objects to men saying about women.) Then she’s ready to flip-flop into a “how dare you” mood as soon as that suits her purpose. Also hard for a man to argue with. She’s perfected the art of seizing the moral high ground by falling down and acting wounded. If she truly was a weak little woman – well, of course I wouldn’t have gone after her the way I did. But to be honest, she’s not a weak little woman. Her tactics are incredibly conniving, and honestly I think she’s doing an amazing disservice to women by acting like this.
So why go after her at all? Like I said, she makes her living by getting her feelings hurt – usually on behalf of someone else. In this case she chose my dad as the target. She was full-on in wounded mode . . . on behalf of women who are used and abused by men like him and by his teachings. So who would be the biggest victims in her opinion? Well clearly, if her accusations were true, the biggest victims of Dad’s evil misogynist ways would be me, my sister, and my mom. And to be honest, her tactics make it very hard for a man to go after her – she’s very good at flipping things around and making him look like a bully. So I thought I’d have a go. I have no problem giving the Russian arm bar to a woman who’s spent the last decade rolling on the floor grabbing her knee, and is now claiming that it was my dad who knocked her down.
If what she said about Dad were true, then the women influenced by his teachings would be weak, downtrodden victims, desperately needing her champion voice to come along and liberate us. My post was intended to show that’s not the case, and that no matter how much she rolls around on the floor, I’m not buying it.
Lastly – a number of you pointed out that I didn’t interact with her actual arguments. True. That wasn’t my point. My dad has very ably done that here, here, and here. Jared Wilson has very ably done that here. They didn’t need me to come along and add my two cents. The only thing I wanted to accomplish was to have someone out there loudly point out what this woman is doing. That’s not something a man can easily do – she’ll spin it to make him look like a big meany. And people are trying to make it out that I’m the big meany . . . but that’s fine. I’m a big girl. I can take it. And I promise I won’t fall down and cry.
One more thing. I posted this in the comments yesterday, but in case you missed it I’m cut and pasting it here!
Aloha to the great swirling internet world! I can’t respond to everyone’s thoughts, so I won’t even try . . . but let me toss out a general footnote or two to the conversation.
First – to all the people who feel that I’m wounded, hurt, angry, bitter, or in pain: I appreciate your concern (to those who were concerned)- but I’m awfully afraid you have the wrong takeaway. Try re-reading the post, but this time read it with an overlay of “funny”.
Second – To the people who thought I was bragging about learning formal logic etc. That wasn’t my intention at all. Not bragging – pointing out that my father wasn’t the oppressive ogre that some people are imagining him to be. I’ve heard men say that women don’t need an education because they only need to be able to have babies and mop floors . . . but my dad isn’t one of them.
Third – I enjoy it that people are actually trying to paint me as a misogynist. Good one guys.
Fourth – and I repeat myself, I haven’t been angry or had my feelings hurt all day. Jolly as can be over here. I’ve been the daughter of Doug Wilson long enough to hear him accused of pretty much everything under the sun. I’m pretty used to it now. Once, I was solemnly informed that he forced our whole congregation to make their own toothbrushes. (Not true – but a rather awesome thing to accuse him of.) A ripe little story circulated a while back that he charged my husband $70,000 to marry me. (Not true.) I’ve been informed that he’s a racist. (Not true.) I’ve been told he is a drunk, who spends his weekends down at the bars. (Not true.) I’ve been told he’s a misogynist, a perjurer, a Neo-Nazi, and a skunk. (Not true on all counts.)
But just because it doesn’t make me cry and get wounded when I hear those things doesn’t make them ok to say. And when I hear a woman accusing him of being misogynist, and one who promotes rape at that, I don’t mind stepping out and saying what I think about it. But again, do re-read it and realize that I’m as chirpy as the day is long over here. Let’s remember that RHE was the one who specifically stated that everyone’s first step in responding to Doug Wilson should be to “get angry.” That was her approach, not mine.