Oh dear. I have something embarrassing to report. Hang on to your hats, everyone. A woman by the name of Rachel Held Evans has been scampering about on the great wide interwebs, working herself up into a fever of feminist fury. “What has gotten this good woman so steamed up?” you may be asking yourselves. “Why is she breathing into a paper bag over on her blog and calling for her smelling salts?” Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. I’ll just go ahead and say it. It’s my dad.
Yep. Turns out, Douglas Wilson has not made a friend in Rachel Held Evans. I will have to shoot him a quick text to not get his hopes up for a Christmas card this year. I’m afraid that the Furiously-Righteous-Evans has transitioned into her squeaky voice, and we all know what happens when a woman gets squeaky. (And to be perfectly frank, this is a level of squeak rarely caught on camera since the Temperance Movement.) This subtle and yet unmistakable change in tenor almost unfailingly means that a woman is gearing up to hold a grudge of mammoth proportions, and this is what leads me to believe that my father has been scratched off her Furiously-Righteous Christmas list. In fact, she’s gone to the length of getting out her tempera paints and poster board, and is hard at work organizing a trade union strike against Douglas Wilson and all he stands for. She has sent out a call for people to write letters. She’s stamping her little foot over there on her blog, and she means business.
But here is where the Furiously-Righteous has made her bloomer. She’s honked the horn of injustice and oppression, calling all the villagers to grab their pitchforks and rush to her letter-writing-blog-commenting aid, but she’s rather unfortunately gotten her facts mixed. As she was busily shouting, “Do you see the violence inherent in the system?!?! Help! Help! I’m being Repressed!!” it turns out that she was all alone in her room and simply having a bad dream. Douglas Wilson wasn’t actually there in his scary suit with his patriarchal hat on, chasing her around with his horrible red eyes and trying to squelch her liberties . . . but the Furiously-Righteous appears to spook easily. It would be nice if we could all tastefully pretend we didn’t notice anything, and go on as if nothing had happened so as not to embarrass her. But as it turns out, she’s now gotten it thoroughly up her nose and is rather pressing the issue upon everyone’s notice. People are getting wound up. Someone from the Washington Post has tweeted about it. Boycotts and retractions are being called for.
As I understand it, Furiously-Righteous is a feminist. She doesn’t want anyone belittling the abilities or women, or telling them they aren’t as good as the men. If a condescending man was to pat her on the head and say, “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about things. You leave it to the men to do the intellectual stuff,” I imagine we would see quite a Furiously-Righteous fireworks display and a lot of smoke coming out her ears. So it would have perhaps been better for her cause if she hadn’t gone quite so public with a blog post that makes it clear to the meanest intelligence that she can’t follow an argument to save her life, and her ability to research appears to be completely nil. I mean, if you don’t want people to think you aren’t as gifted intellectually as the men, then for heaven’s sakes don’t give them blog posts in which you demonstrate your inability to think your way out of a paper bag. Just sayin’ . . .
To take an instance at random, she maintains that Douglas Wilson, “blamed egaliatarianism for the presence of rape and sexual violence in the world.” I hate to say it because I don’t want to hurt the Furiously-Righteous’ feelings, but the only thing more fat-headed than saying that egalitarianism is the cause of rape, would be to say that’s what Doug Wilson was maintaining in that excerpt. If you can’t follow an argument, do yourself a favor and refrain from loudly commenting on it. You could just smile and nod, and then people would at least think that you understood what was happening . . . rather than letting the whole world in on the news that you can’t hang with the big dogs.
I’m just throwing out a helpful hint – but next time it may be better to actually read the book before giving a public synopsis of the argument contained therein, based off of one page of text. I mean, it’s all well and good to bluff your way through and pretend you know what you’re talking about . . . but there may come a day when someone in the audience has actually read the stuff – and then you just look silly. And I’m afraid that day has come.
Dear Ms. Furiously-Righteous – you want to talk about Doug Wilson’s patriarchy? Great! Let’s chat. I’ve had a front row seat all my life. There’s nothing like doing a little research before embarking on a public campaign to smear a pastor’s reputation. I mean, I know, I know, you read a paragraph and you think you have enough ammo in your little gun to go out into the Jungles of Oppression and the Swamps of Injustice and hunt down the ever-so-power-hungry-hephalump named “Dougerwocky the Patriarch.” You’re out there with your vorpal blade, busily saying, “Snicker-Snack,” but I have to break the news to you that he’s a figment of your obviously insecure imagination, and you’re making yourself look ridiculous. Especially when you try to pass yourself off as the Voice of Women. I can tell you right now that my dad isn’t going to knock you flat – not because he can’t, but because he’s a gentleman. But there’s a woman here who’s ready to take you on. Just give me one sec while I put on my pointy stilettos, my biggest rings, and call my sister . . . and then we can step down the alley here.
I grew up with Doug Wilson as my father. He’s the one who gave me an education. He made sure that his daughters were taught formal logic, Latin, rhetoric, theology, philosophy. He’s the one who taught me not to ever take any crap off of any guy . . . or in your case, a woman. If you want to interact with his position like a big girl, fine. Read a book or two and then get back to us. But enough with the flopping for the refs and playing the victim card. It’s unbecoming, unladylike, and just embarrassing.
Update! Follow-up post here.