A strong Christian woman embarks on a radical life experiment-a year of biblical womanhood.
Strong and committed in her faith-but frustrated by the inconsistencies she saw in her evangelical culture's view of women-Rachel Held Evans became an independent woman. But, intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans had a crazy idea:What if I took "biblical womanhood" literally for a full year? In the next twelve months Rachel:
- Wore a scarf over her head to pray
- Called her husband "master" and stood on the roadside with a sign that said "Dan is Awesome"
- Adopted a computerized baby
- Perched on the roof for an afternoon of penance for gossiping
- Camped out in her front yard during her period
- Visited an Amish schoolhouse, a pig farm in Bolivia, and a Benedictine monastery
- Took up baking and knitting
- Interviewed a polygamist, a Quiverfull daughter, and a courtship couple
With just the right mixture of humor and insight, Evans takes readers along with her on a lively adventure. In the process she discovers that the journey itself leads her right to the heart of God.
First, I want to say to Rachel that my wife wears scarves over her head all of the time. A proper wife will not go outside the house without one on her head. In fact, we like the full burka. Nothing says oppression like a big wooly black burka in 100 degree weather. So Rachel's caricature here is a.o.k. with me.
Second, I make my wife call me "master" all the time as well, but I prefer "My Lord Protector," especially at picnics and when we're at the mall. It makes me feel so much more superior and worthy as I work out my childhood issues by oppressing others for God.
I also make my wife stand outside with signs saying I'm awesome, so again, such an accurate picture. In fact, I even make her wear a hotdog suit when it's really hot.
Third, all of our babies are computerized simply because it's exactly the same thing. You get all of the annoyances of having a baby and none of those interfering elements like experiencing love and a bond that goes beyond anything one can have in any other type of relationship. Such elements confuse us to think that babies are worth having when in fact they get in the way of our book and blogging careers.
Fourth, in addition to making her go up on a roof, I make my wife go through the streets with a sign on her saying, "Gossip," just like the Chinese government does for criminals. We must keep our women in line and that is EXACTLY how God tells us to do it. "Punish thy wife like a child by sending her onto a roof in shame" (1 NeverWrittens 6:66).
Fifth, since all complementarians are still under the Levitical ritual law code and don't view those as pictures to communicate the idea of holiness, we always make our wives leave, not just the house, but the outer limits of town whenever they are on their cycle. I find that it allows me the time to separate all of different cloth sewn together in my wardrobe.
Sixth, all we do is make trips to Amish country and pig farms. In fact, I like going to these places because no one with other views besides patriarchal ones ever go there. No one finds the culture fascinating but us and no one likes those baked treats the Amish make but us. We like the Amish because they're backward in terms of their use of electricity, and we're backward in our understanding of family roles (thanks again for the astute comparison).
Seventh, my wife bakes because she often doesn't want her family to die of starvation, but that's just us crazy complementarians. Hey, to each his own. Some people like to eat and live and others like to starve to death or order out every night for chemically-engineered food in a bag. As for knitting, my wife loves to sit in her grandma rocking chair while listening to Lawrence Welk as she knits wool sweater shorts for the kids to swim in. We don't buy clothes for a couple dollars because it's so much more economical to pay hundreds of dollars on knitting supplies to make a pair of pants.
Finally, polygamists, Quiverfull people (those evil people who obey the creation mandate), and people who don't let their kids go out with multiple hormone-driven teenagers are all equally ways men can oppress women and I plan to practice all of the above, so again, thanks for painting such an honest picture with integrity. I find that people who want to give love to as many children as God gives them and then want to put things in place that would help them guard themselves in holiness are just as oppressive as patriarchists in polygamists groups who use women and children like toilet paper. Why our women don't sacrifice all of our children for careers that would establish them among the better sex (i.e., men) is beyond me, but they just let us keep on oppressing them. I realize it's much better to just prevent human life from coming into being for self advancement and to give teenagers nothing to help them obey God in their romantic relationships, but it doesn't allow me to control everyone's lives from my living room couch. Again, thank you for knowing us so well, Rachel.
As a follow up to your book, I thought I would do one myself. It's called "A Year of Unbiblical (i.e, 'Feminist') Womanhood." It will be about my wife chopping off her hair and wearing combat boots, as she screams at every man who passes by that she hates them and wishes them dead. She'll be spitting tobacco in stores, swearing like a sailor, downing testosterone pills as she watches UFC, and interviewing Hitler, Pol Pot, and Gordon Fee in order to draw some interesting comparisons. I sure hope you find it as accurate and as generous as your understanding of our side has been.