Laura bring us this month’s post.

(Read Elaine’s post from this month if you haven’t already. I’m taking her theme and running with it because it’s awesome and also the skies have been grey for a week and inspiration is short.)

I grew up thinking that getting married someday would make me a bad feminist. I couldn’t have articulated it this way, but somehow I felt (despite the evidence of my parents’ marriage, which did not work this way at all) that inherent in the vows was some variety of male dominance. I decided I would never get married so I would never have to submit to a man.

(I have to pause here and say that my excellent husband told me before we were even actually dating that equality in our relationship was a top priority for him, so don’t read this as a rant against him.)

We were engaged for a year and a half. Until about a week and a half before our wedding, I agonized over what to do about my last name. On the one hand, I love my maiden name. (It shows up in Shakespeare and means “ax wolf” in Old English. How much cooler could it possibly get?) On the other hand, we’ve always wanted to adopt and having a last name the whole family shares feels like an important symbolic gesture in those circumstances. I badly wanted to defy those people who told me that it would be wrong not to take my husband’s name—that it indicated a lack of true commitment to him and isn’t it in the Bible somewhere that wives are supposed to do that? (It’s so not, just in case anyone reading is similarly disillusioned.) In the end, I did take his name. Because I wanted to. But I often feel like I need to explain my reasons.

I do most of the cooking in our household—and it’s hard for me to admit that sometimes. It feels like I’m somehow failing independent women everywhere when I confess that I enjoy making a meal for my husband. But somehow, somewhere, my subconscious got the idea that strong women just aren’t supposed to do that.

Ever since being around too many people who interpreted it badly, the very word “submit” gives me the shivers. I’m deeply uncomfortable with the idea that I would ever submit to my husband, whether Ephesians tells me to or not. But that fact is that I do. And he submits to me. It’s how marriage works.

I want to defy convention. Break molds. Show anyone who cares that I don’t need any man. And at the same time I want to be with my husband. And have children. And bake lots of cookies. And I hate shoveling the driveway.

Somewhere along the line I decided that it would be just as stupid to not do things or enjoy things because they’re expected as it would be to do things only because they’re expected. But I still feel myself inclined to apologize when I do the expected thing. I guess that just means we’re not there yet.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Right?? It’s so upsetting that I’ve sub-consciously been led to believe that true strength is the same as utter independence from all humankind.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      And I can’t figure out where exactly that feeling came from. Or totally shake it.

      Reply

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