(Continued from part one)
Dave’s first defence (“but complementarians actually envision two sidedness”) is inadequate, as they will certainly be willing to teach submission to a wife whose husband is not present in the class, (or present and not doing his part of the “system”) and tell a woman to do her submit part regardless of what the man does. If the complementarian message was that this is only to be done mutually, and no woman should try it alone, the defence would have had merit.
As for the second part, not all husbands who are wrong are d-bags. He could be someone who just honestly is less informed about where to invest, what school is best for your children, or even where to buy meat at the best price. And Dave really cannot claim that the system of male lead and female submission is innocent, because see what happens if we put that same couple in different systems:
The couple: The husband wants to invest the couple’s money in a scheme he believes will make money. The wife, who knows more of investments, disagrees because the scheme does not sound legitimate to her.
Complementarianism: The wife has to submit. She should ignore any Biblical advice about using what you have wisely, she should not care about the actual financial future of her children, herself and her husband, but about submission. Submission outside the military usually meant shared responsibility and loyalty, but she should wash her hands of responsibility and fail to be loyal to the long-term goals the couple could possibly have, by just giving in.
Secular Western society: She can refuse: “No, I will not sign for you to invest our money in something unwise!”
Christian egalitarianism: The wife and husband, if they cannot come to an agreement, will pray about it until they do. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” and the wife will not do something she is not sure is right.
Under the complementarian system, it could lead to financial ruin. Under secular Western values or egalitarianism, it will not. It seems to me that the system can be blamed for things, if said things will not happen under another system.
So, complementarian, if you want us to see your view as benign, please tell me how your view is a light burden, an easy yoke on a woman when her husband:
> gives enough tiring, trivial commands to keep her busy all day and half the night
> tells her to do things which degrade and objectify her
> wants her to make an unwise investment
> wants them to become members of a cult
> or simply gives some plainly selfish commands?
Can a wives-should-submit complementarianism be developed that is not a source of oppression for the wife of a demanding, degrading, unwise or selfish husband? A way of understanding submission that will not encourage the husband’s worst qualities?
Until the day complementarians got an answer for Journey*, who I will quote below, even soft complementarianism is too hard.
* “He commanded that I give up my car, my tv, my guitar, etc, I complied with only a whimper of protest. I didn’t have the rights to own things anymore. I was a wife now, and my husband was my spiritual authority. …So later, when my husband gave me lists for what I had to clean to perfection before being allowed to go to bed at night, etc, I submitted because I thought that was what God wanted. In fact, if there was anybody who was in sin, I was positive it was ME for feeling so humiliated at being given these long lists. I thought my reaction was what was sinful, not my husband treating me like a child. According to the teachings of this camp, the only time a wife has the right to say no to her husband is when he’s asking her to sin. And giving a detailed list of how the kitchen had to be completely sanitized and toothbrush-scrubbed before I could climb the stairs for bed (where he was waiting for me, ready for some action), was not sin. Right? My heart would sink to my stomach as I climbed those stairs, finally done with my job, and, get this, again, I was sure (thanks to all the books I’d read) that the problem was ME. I would be so ashamed of myself for MY sin at not being a cheerful and amorous wife.” – Journey