Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Freedom?

This interesting article , sent to me by a reader (thank you!), explores the ugly face of a slogan we are all expected to bow to – "freedom of choice". Not a week passes by without me hearing, "but it's thanks to feminism you can now do whatever you want, you can go to college, get a career, marry anyone you want and get a divorce whenever you want"… I know it sounds appealing to some. But what about other "freedoms", which are mentioned less often?

Here's a snippet:

"We are also free to become useless in our homes. We now hire maid services, landscapers, pool cleaners, painters, interior decorators, cooks, nannies, teachers and tutors, caterers, therapists, party planners, massage therapists, laundry services, etc., while losing every intuitive instinct of our female natures. "

"We are free to completely ignore the FACT that our children are SUFFERING with mean-spirited and incompetent mothers – children who are hungry, starved for attention, and mistreated by non-stop extracurricular sports regimens, drive-thru bags of dangerous food, teachers and public school indoctrination camps, completely ignored spiritual needs, and disrespect and contempt of their children’s fathers."

I must tell you I like the alternative much better:

"We need to educate our children in the home. We need to eliminate family debt and to stock and store our home pantries and family supplies. We need to reconnect to our biological and intuitive natures, and with that said, we must reconnect to our spiritual natures and needs as women. We must be ultimately careful that we do not become what we loathe."

32 comments:

Terry said...

People often neglect to mention many of the evils that attach themselves to the idea of "freedom of choice." It is sad that seemingly intelligent, rational, thinking women don't realize that when we use our freedom to live an unrestrained, selfish lifestyle we no longer live in freedom- but bondage. This article paints a clear and frightening picture of what that bondage looks like. We see it all around us everyday, and not many people appear alarmed by it. We are a nation in need of prayer, repentance, and deliverance. May God show mercy to our children.

Jia said...

Amen girl! I love how you worded this! We don't need all that crap. We may have freedom but it comes with responsibility!

Oh, and the ocassional massage is okay. We Therapists need the cash too! LOL!

StBasil said...

Very good post! If only all women would see so clearly.

Pax Christi tecum.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the article-- my main issue with it is that I have a HUGE problem with the idea that child support payments are a tool of women to bankrupt men.

One of my friends works with a state agency that docks men's paychecks for long overdue child support payments. Usually, as soon as the men are found, they quit their job so they don't have to pay to support their own children.

Meanwhile, the mothers have to feed their children-- with or without the help of the father.

Thanks,
Emily

UltraCrepidarian said...

One of the problems with the modern tendency to want to overthrow the classical patterns of family life, is that the alternative hasn't been thought through. Throwing off the burden of personal responsibility is supposed to usher in a whole new world, "automagically" as if you could just throw away everything and start over, and not think it all through, and expect it to all just work better than whatever happened before. Whatever. Just let people do whatever they want. It'll be GREAT. The problem is that however broken a culture or a tradition might seem to you, you can't just throw it away, and start over and this time it will be better. Because human nature hasn't changed.

People want to attribute all the ills of society to the wrong cause.
Tradition. Religion. Culture. Whatever.

So they throw out all these things without bothering to discover the actual nature of the problem.

Those who return to a natural pattern of relationship to each other, a natural pattern of organization within a human family, and the natural (God-given) orientation of the heart towards God (Hear O Israel!) then we've got something to build on.

:-)

Warren

Meg W. said...

Anna, thanks for including this. I liked the excerpts you included in your post. When I went to the original link however and read the entire article, while I do agree (mostly) with everything the author wrote, she comes across to me in a hostile way. Some of the things she seemingly criticized are not bad in and of themselves, e.g. acrylic nails. Come on! Are we really getting mad at women with fake nails?! Now I would be concerned if a mom/wife was totally obsessed with her image and likewise anything else that takes her away from her duties at home. I just wish the author could have kept her tone under control. I personally feel her tone was the only thing that was truly conveyed!

Jordin said...

"We need to reconnect to our biological and intuitive natures."

Amen! I liked this part! In a recent discussion, a classmate argued that women have no "mother's instinct" or biological nature. What a lie! I'm so glad God made us to WANT to take care of our homes and children.

Rebekah S. said...

Amen, sister! :) So very very true! I couldn't agree more. After I finish this comment, I'm going to be sure to go read the rest of that article!

Something that so few people seem to understand is that not one good thing has come from feminism! Not one. In her absolutely wonderful article entitled "You Don't Know Feminism, Jennie Chancey writes, "Being opposed to spouse abuse did not start with the feminists. Being in favor of fair inheritance and property ownership laws for women did not start with the feminists. Being opposed to rape and incest did not start with the feminists. As we’ve pointed out in our FAQs[on their website, LAF], the Bible was already there (see “Myths of Feminism Exploded”)." All of the supposed
"good" that has come from feminism really didn't come from feminism at all! Therefore, it is quite clear in the light of Scripture and in the history and ideologies of feminism, that feminism is nothing but bad and very dangerous and detrimental to women and to our society as a whole.

"We need to reconnect to our biological and intuitive natures," Amen! When girls are little, they immensely enjoy dressing up in big skirts and dresses, enjoy playing with and caring for baby dolls, enjoy playing in toy kitchens and toy homes, etc. Why? Because that's how God wired women! They are to desire to be distinctly feminine, to be mothers of many blessings, and to work in the home and not somewhere outside of it. The Lord instilled these desires in females, and He commanded that females obey these commands (i.e. be homemakers, etc.). Poor girls are so confused today when they grow up playing with their toy kitchens and their doll houses and then are told that this kind of work and play is nothing but worthless drudgery, is stupid, is not what they're supposed to be doing, etc. These poor girls! Not only is feminism non Scriptural, but it is also anti woman, despite popular belief. Feminism is not pro-woman at all, though it would like to be known as such. In my history of feminism article (which I will get to you, Anna! I'm SO sorry for the wait), I will expose the true history of feminism. What you (and others) learn may surprise you! Feminism has always been and will always ever be anti-Scriptural, anti-woman, and anti-Christian society. Not one good thing has come from feminism, and nothing good will ever come from it.


Sorry for my rambling. :) Hope you're having a blessed and peaceful day!

By His grace and for His glory,
Rebekah

Rebekah S. said...

That's so true about public (and private)schools being indoctrination camps. In So Much More, the Botkins point out the sad truths of public and private schools (and colleges). For instance, when someone is in a teacher's college so that they can be a teacher themselves, they have to answer essays, etc. in the way that those colleges want them to(such as agreeing with evolution, humanism, feminism, Marxism, etc.). If they don't do that, and if they attempt to answer the essays, etc. Biblically, then they will fail the class and will not be allowed to graduate. That's why it's so important that we home educate our children. And you know what I've wondered? If we're so against sending our children to public and private schools for fear of indoctrination, then what makes us think that it's ok, fine and good to send them to college(either the local, community one, or to one far away)?? They will be just as much, if not more so, indoctrinated there as they will be in public and private schools!

Also, it has been proven numerous times by studies and statistics that homeschooled students are receiving a far better education than those in public and private schools.

Rebekah S. said...

Amen, Terry! I'm so tired of hearing "God bless America!". It's high time that we should be saying, "America, bless God!"

Mrs. Brigham said...

Have you ever read Nancy Levant's book? If not, I highly recommend it. I first read it while I was sorting through the madness that I had allowed my life to become, and her fascinating writings really did open my eyes to so much.

Alexandra said...

Great article, thanks for sharing. Your quotes get to the heart of it...familypriorities need to be realigned especially for the health and well being of our children.

Krystyna said...

The author paints a dire picture America.

Two things jump out at me from this this article. One is the tone that Meg W. mentioned (although I beg to differ about the fake nails - awful things ;)), but I suppose that might be the autor's strategy. It's not effective for me, but then I'm not the target audience.

The second thing is that both you and the author seem to be setting up a false opposition between freedom of choice, which would implicate the "depraved" way of life described in the article, and the "homemaker" way of life. As if choosing "freedom of choice" meant that one automatically starts leading a "depraved" way of life. (Although I suppose that some may consider anything that differs from the "homemaker" model as depraved.)

As for the main point, of course freedom means freedom to do stupid things as well. I'm curious about your suggestions to remedy this - obviously (by writing your blog) you are trying to change the current culture. Would you suggest legal changes too?

Terry said...

Hey, Anna, I'm back! I was just reading over the responses to this article and was moved to comment again.
While I agree with Emily that men are certainly responsible for providing for the children they father, the fact is that 2/3 of divorces are initiated by the wife. And I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that many of these divorces are sparked by the unrealistic expectations and unreasonable demands on men influenced largely by the modern feminist movement, abuse and infidelity not withstanding. If more of us were willing to work out our marital problems there would be much less need for child support payments to begin with. As to Meg's point about fake nails being an unneccesary and trivial issue to include in the piece. I agree with her. In part. There was an angry undercurrent to the piece and taken out of context, that point did seem frivolous. I think the author was trying to paint a picture of the exaggerated importance women put on such superficial things, with more focus on outward appearance than on the things that matter most, which the Bible warns us about in 1 Peter chapter 3. As a mother of teenage girls, I have to say that sometimes it makes me angry that our culture places such a high value on things that shouldn't matter- body shape, weight, fashion, etc. It's just one more thing our girls have to contend with in an already coarse culture.

Michelle said...

*applause* very pointed post as always. I would give anything for an older woman to come alongside and teach me the old ways of doing things - canning, gardening (or at least how to keep a garden alive), efficient cleaning, how to make do with less!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog. While I don't always agree with you, I respect your desire to refrain from finger pointing and name calling. Your blog is an interesting insight on the life of a young woman who has embraced a lifestyle that is counter cultural. I wish you the best.
Amanda A

Anonymous said...

Terry,
I don't really understand what 2/3 of divorces being initiated by women has to do with it. Divorced or not, men have a responsibility to support their children, and child support payments are the least they can do. I guess my objection is, like others, to the tone of the article. The author sounded angry-- very angry-- with women who expect child support payments or have acrylic nails or dyed hair.

:)
Emily

Rebekah S. said...

"but it's thanks to feminism you can now do whatever you want, you can go to college, get a career, marry anyone you want and get a divorce whenever you want"

How horrible! This is so un Scriptural!! We are not free to do whatever we want, and will never be! We, if we're Christians, are called on to obey God's each and every command, and to live as the Bible tells us to! And Scripture also says that we are not to "marry anyone we want"! It says, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers."! No ifs, ands, or buts. Also, Scripture commands women to be homemakers-they're aren't supposed to have careers outside of the home! This is commanded for the good and protection of the women, and for the good of society as a whole! And, God hates divorce! The Scriptures say that divorce(for reasons apart from sexuall immorality) is a sin. And, on the subject of going to college, the Scriptures have a lot to say on that as well! A woman is not to be an independant person, out on her own somewhere. "The head of the woman is the man." Prior to marriage, a woman is to be under the headship, leadership, authority, protection and love of her father. She is then to be under the headship, etc. of her husband once she's married. There is to be no in between time. This, as well, is for the woman's protection and good. Numbers 30 speaks a lot on this subject. And, colleges are places of horribly unbiblical indoctrination, so why should anyone go there in the first place? You can get a far better and higher education by taking correspondence courses, reading college level(and beyond) books, or even doing accelerated distance learning, all from home. It's far safer, offers a better education, and is the far more biblical route! It's a win-win situation all around. :)

All of this as well shows just how bad, wrong, unbiblical and detrimental feminism really is.

Rebekah S. said...

Me too, Jordin!

Elizabeth said...

Interesting! Thank you for posting this, Anna!

Kaysie said...

Hello Anna,

I have really enjoyed reading your posts and feeding on your insight.
Thank you for sharing your amazing heart with us all. You are a gifted writer! :)

Thank you so much.

Kaysie
alabasterboxblog.blogspot.com

PhDCow said...

"We are free to completely ignore the FACT that our children are SUFFERING with mean-spirited and incompetent mothers – children who are hungry, starved for attention, and mistreated by non-stop extracurricular sports regimens, drive-thru bags of dangerous food, teachers and public school indoctrination camps, completely ignored spiritual needs, and disrespect and contempt of their children’s fathers."

Ouch! Talk about hyperbole!

I'm a working mother and I don't think I'm that incompetent when it comes to raising my children. No mother is perfect, working or staying at home.

The thing I like least about this article is how it pits one group of women against another. Women should be supportive of each other's choices, whatever they may be, rather than tearing them down.

Leann said...

good point my dear.its like all things that start out with good intention,s and then end up messing things up worse.I remember one wise person said.
why did God take woman out of man,s side?to make sure he knew she was his partner not his maid.and God saw them as equel I his eyes.
thats why we stand side by side when we marry.instead of the woman groveling at his feet.we both stand side by side in Gods site.

A. Martin said...

I didn’t like this article at all. Levant speaks of personal responsibility even while castigating “American women” for their frivolous vanity. “Sadly,” she says, “this list has become the typical ‘home’ scenario for America’s children and husbands.”

It’s clear by her statements that Levant is firmly ensconced in an upper middle-class environment – and I have a hard time believing that she hasn’t assimilated in some fashion, if only through her overweening arrogance.

Her idea that most women are, for example, free to hire maids, cooks, and caterers is shockingly out of touch with reality. She mentions this ‘maid-cleaned home’ more than once, accusing women of both indolence and careerism; of meticulous attention to detail and incompetence.

Levant then goes on to insult women who suffer from mental illness: “Today’s American female is free to be an idiot – a shallow, self-involved, pathologically vain, completely incompetent, and angry person – angry to the tune of making the anti-depressant industry the largest profit maker, bar none, for big pharma. Stupid is what stupid does.”

No doubt anti-depressants are over-prescribed, but it is no way the place of Mrs. Nancy Levant to determine who should and should not be taking certain medications. Stupid indeed.

At one point, she says, ”facts are facts,” and yet fails to cite a single piece of hard evidence or statistic to back her extravagant claims. I certainly hope her book – the one she plugs twice in her article - is better researched and better written.

In short, that piece of writing is nothing more than a giant grab bag filled to the brim with a frothing hatred for anything at all with which Levant personally disagrees.

USAincognito said...

I read this article and was disturbed by the tone in which the author wrote it. I disagree. The majority of families (and women) are not as she has described.

Mimi said...

Anna,
it is so true that we need to put this freedom kick that the world is on into perspective...
our freedom stops at the point when it begins to come at a cost to someone or something else...
we are not free to cause damage to another's property or to another's welfare or lively hood...
and we are not free to make the choice to end another's life by abortion... our freedom stops the moment we become pregnant!!!
good post today!!! :-)

Julie said...

I didn't get the impression that the author was specifically against any aspects of health/beauty or wellbeing (we all want to look nice!) But rather that she was against the culture that has forced these things upon us as "must do's" or "must have's". There is nothing wrong with looking nice and feminine but when it comes to the stage where you dont feel attractive unless you are stick thin and have fake books/nails/whatever then thats something different. I think she was just trying to get the point across that the media wants us to feel that unless we have all these things then we are worthless and that it is not for us, as godly woman to feel like that. I dont think she was targeting general female hygiene/upkeep and looking nice for your husband :)

Oh yes, and in regards to feminism, it hasnt done much with these female beauty ideals has it? I mean, we are supposed to be "free" and can do/feel what we want, but we are still at the mercy of the media and the fashion world. Go figure!

Luckily we have the Bible as a guide on feminine beauty :)

Thanks for the interesting post Anna.

Best wishes
Julie, Norway

mm said...

Anna,

I would agree with krystyna to an extent. The article does have some good points, but its argumentation is somewhat one-sided. It makes the assumption that all because a particular freedom exists, it must and will always be used in the sinful, excessive way it describes.

We would, I think, agree that a woman’s family and home comes before her outside pursuits, if any. However, the exact balance is not something that can or should be dictated, rather it is for each couple to determine themselves (with the wife submitting to the husband in the final analysis) based on the circumstances of their individual family. For instance whether a family choose to use a ‘maid service’ (assuming they can afford one) is really no one’s business but their own. Most families in the bible that could afford them employed household servants.

If we argue based on the logic that women who appreciate the ability to be involved outside of the home but necessarily be the kind who neglect their families and go after the sins of the world, how is that any different from those who argue that women who want to stay home are necessarily lazy and unproductive?

Buffy said...

I do believe in freedom of choice, but I don't think we have it now. Women are just being forced to do different things than they were 100 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I have not read the article yet, but feel I must comment on Terry's point about the divorce statistics.(Wow! I did not know that 2/3 were initiated by the wife.) I have to join her "on the limb" she's gone out on, & say that I agree with her perception of why these stats are so high. I am witnessing such a sad situation in my own extended family....& the push for more money from the ex-husband by the ex-wife is a pitiful thing to see. Unrealistic expectations, unreasonable demands, yes indeed. And it's a shame. Of course, who suffers the most?...the children.

I can still picture my mother, standing at the sink peeling vegetables, telling me (I think I was about 6 years old) that it was her job to spend my father's earnings wisely, & it was the same as a slap in his face if she didn't. He made a very modest income (construction laborer), but the two of them together gave us a rather comfortable life. Only after I grew up did I learn about the scary times for them, & how they sheltered us from that. They are dead now, may God rest them, but I still feel so much love & appreciation for them, & how they didn't spend time whining about what they, themselves, would never have.

Brenda

neuropoet3 said...

Anna,
You've had quite a few comments on this one. :) I wanted to comment on one of them:

"I do believe in freedom of choice, but I don't think we have it now. Women are just being forced to do different things than they were 100 years ago."

Sadly, this is all too true. While women are not necessarily "forced" by law to do certain things anymore - circumstances and society often leave them with "no choice" in any given situation. For instance the young women I know who had abortions didn't believe they had any other choice (I have yet to meet a woman scarred by this kind of traumatic incident who felt like she could make any other choice) - so much so that the new number one killer of pregnant women in our country is homicide - not complications with the pregnancy, or accidents of some kind -- homicide. A young woman wants to make the choice to keep her baby, and so she is killed (often by the child's father).

I also know many young women who would love to "stay at home" but are "forced" to work outside the home in order to have enough money to meet the basic needs of their family. While it is very true that "career women" often look down on women who "stay home" - the tide is beginning to turn. Now that so many women "have" to work, being able to stay home is slowly beginning to be seen as a privilege - something only middle to upper class women are able to even consider doing. There are so many women who would love to stay home and raise their children if they had the opportunity - I try not to take it for granted.

Still, our society (particularly through feminism) leads women to believe that they have been given some kind of "freedom" by being pushed to have a career and the like. This thought process goes on to tell those of us who find ourselves feeling fulfilled by motherhood and homemaking that we are not only somehow "inferior", but we are somehow "letting down" women everywhere. I find is so strange that the people who are hardest on women are other women - I don't know what it is in our nature that makes us so "mean" to each other. It happens as children and continues into adulthood. It makes me wonder if women have always been this way towards each other, or if this is another result of "feminist" ideals... Perhaps women have always tended to be "mean" to each other and "feminism" just gave us more ammunition?

~Jenny

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anna for posting all these comments and not the one's that just agree with your point of view.