Mary Kassian's claim that complementarian teaching is misrepresented by non-complementarians, and the misrepresentation is what is argued against, and thus is a straw man (woman) argument, says a lot about Mary Kassian, and possibly about her husband, close friends, and her church, but not much else. See Hannah's article: http://eaandfaith.blogspot.com/2011/04/fannie-feminist-and-other-scary-straw.html The fact is, complementarians are not just insisting that wives become doormats, (although they deny subjection makes a wife into a doormat) they are pushing wives to joyfully make themselves into plush, comfortable-to-walk-on doormats, or even into plush, beautiful, priceless Persian carpets specifically designed to give husbands tread-on pleasure.
Kassian seems to have forgotten that most, if not all, of the Christian women who write against patriarchy and husband authority were in fact greatly harmed and even devastated by that very teaching. They know it was caused by husband authority beliefs because their husbands told them so—frequently—often ranting while they did so. These wives did as was taught and demanded of them, and suffered for it. They know many women have been killed by their spouses, and that their own lives have been spared. Their writing and arguments are clearly NOT straw-woman arguments. They KNOW what they are talking about because they lived it and fought to free themselves from the suffocating grave-clothes of complementarianism, of wife denigration, of husband privilege and elitism. And the men who fight complementarianism, also experienced the harsh realities of homes where the doctrine was pounded into the victims' heads.
Kassian's argument that complementarianism is misrepresented, suggests that either she is not very submissive, or that her husband makes most decisions with her and not for her, which is not the experience of those real women her argument misrepresents and ends up denigrating as non-existent straw women. It also suggests that most couples she knows, also do not practice what complementarians teach via pulpit, books, articles, Bible study, Sunday School class, and peer pressure. So while she, herself, does not practice what she preaches to the point that it is foreign to her, she still demands that other women joyfully make themselves into plush doormats and plush priceless Persian carpets for their husbands' to denigrate, manipulate, & dominate for their own pleasure and comfort.
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See www.wanetadawn.com A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.
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