Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Looking for the Complementary

An interesting take on great literature. Jane Austen, anyone?

A man who leads and a woman who submits is one of the most romantic and heroic pictures of all. And deep down inside, feminists know this. Even our fallen culture reflects this. Look at what is considered "great" literature today. Look at the dime store novels that are considered romantic. Look at the movies. No truly romantic film involves the woman heroically saving the man. No work of great literature, from The Odyssey to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has the women saving the men, or even fighting alongside the men.

Feminists recognize this and cry about the “sexism” in literature, but they have yet to produce anything noteworthy of the other kind, because they know it wouldn’t sell. And the reason it wouldn’t sell is because when we look for heroes, we don’t look to watered down men and defeminized women. We don’t look for egalitarianism; we look for the complementary.

From "Looking for heroism in all the wrong places"


Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

This one has me a little stumped because when I think of all the books and movies I like, very few of them are romances. Maybe I shy away from them because I find the man leading / woman following model so unappealing.

That having been said, it occurs to me that one of the most popular romantic sagas of the 20th century was "Gone with the Wind" -- which is all about the female protagonist, Scarlett O'Hara, learning to fend for herself. Sure, I suppose on one level she, true to her upbringing, hopes for a man to dominate and care for her. (There's that um quasi-rape scene with Rhett Butler.) But she learns over time that her romantic delusions simply aren't practical and she realizes that if she wants to save her family and her land, she is going to have to do it herself.

(By the way, while I enjoyed the book, I am not condoning either Scarlett's character or the racism in the story. I am merely pointing out an example of a "romantic" book that was extremely popular despite the lack of a male savior.)

11:24 AM, April 02, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

This one has me a little stumped because when I think of all the books and movies I like, very few of them are romances. Maybe I shy away from them because I find the man leading / woman following model so unappealing.

That may be, but you cannot deny that most women love a good romance! I know I do :o)

Allow me to make a little comment about the "man leading / woman following model": to the Christian, it is not just a societal construction, but is God's designated order and represents Christ and the church. When placed in the context of our relationship with God and our Christian walk, it becomes a wonderful way of showing love to our spouse.

The husband chooses to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He is willing to lay down his life in order to protect and serve her, if need be. Likewise, the woman chooses (nowhere in Scripture does it command that the woman is to be forced!) to honor her husband as the leader of the family. She knows that her input is valued and her best interests are considered. My husband and I have a true partnership, in that we always discuss and make decisions together. But in the event of an irreconcilable difference--as long as God's Word is not being violated--I choose to put the ball in Micah's court. (At least...I should! I won't say that I always do:oP ) In accepting the decision, he accepts the responsibility for his choice as well. My ability to positively influence is better served by prayer and a calm spirit than by quarelling and nagging, insisting on my own way (can you see that I've tried this before? It doesn't work!;o)

About "Gone with the Wind", I'm not denying that it was a major hit! But when I watched the movie (several years ago now), I remember disliking it. Though Scarlett gradually becomes less self-centered, the ending holds a kind-of coldness for me. As do her relationships with men. I'll have to watch it again sometime, because I really don't remember many of the details.

12:37 PM, April 04, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

BTW, HF- This might sound funny, but I don't recommend the man leading / woman following for couples where both are non-Christians. It only works as an expression of our Christian faith and in the context of the Christ's example of love. You only have to look around to see the problems that can occur when this model is abused. (Like in the Middle East).

If both husband and wife are non-Christians, there is no point trying to follow the laws laid down in Scripture. Laws will not save. Only a relationship with Christ can do that.

12:46 PM, April 04, 2006  
Blogger The Happy Feminist said...

Well, you do explain it well. I do appreciate the distinction between an master/servant kind of marriage and a servant-leader/helpmeet kind of marriage. Obviously the latter is preferable to the former!

I should note that Scarlett is certainly not a role model or a particularly likeable person. The book is a page-turner though!

3:00 PM, April 04, 2006  

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