A Christian mommy blogger is facing backlash after a series of her posts extolling the virtues of being a housewife were discovered online.
I'm no stranger to traditional gender roles: I grew up the son of immigrants who came from a very patriarchal society. The women were married young and usually to men who were older than them. Education and potential careers that could come as a result of that education wasn't really a life path that was generally encouraged.
That's not to say the women in my family aren't brilliant and don't bust their humps in their respective family businesses: I'm in awe at the work ethic, intelligence, class, and dedication the female members of my family inhabit. My dad's construction business wouldn't be anything without my mother's hard work, and several of my aunts are absolute badasses when it comes to managing their own respective businesses.
But there's a general understanding that it's the man who's expected to bring home the bacon and the wife who should stay home with the kids and be that maternal, stay-at-home, nurturing figure. It's not to the extent of what they'd experience "back home," but one can feel that the sentiment is still there. Heck, my wife's own family, despite her being way more capable, likable, and intelligent than I am look at me like I have nine heads when I tell them that she's going to absolutely crush it in her respective career once she decides to get back to work.
Although there are plenty of institutions that seem to have a vested interest in perpetuating the familial construct of "mom stays at home," it's hard to deny that there are several, traditional religious notions that play a part in keeping those gender-structures alive and well.
For Lori Alexander, "The Transformed Housewife" who runs a blog of the same name, that's exceedingly evident.
She pens posts from a conservative Christian point-of-view where she reconciles her identity as a housewife, homemaker, mother, and grandmother:
"The reason I have chosen the title "The Transformed Wife" is because God, through His Spirit and His Word, has transformed and will continue to transform me into the godly woman that He has called me to be."
While many are saying that it's great how much she writes about her love for her family, it's the way she writes about how she feels she needs to demonstrate that love to those she supports and dotes on that is rubbing so many people the wrong way.
In her series of handwritten posts, Lori waxes on about ideals regarding the "role" of a woman in a relationship that seems to be out of the early 1900s. What people find doubly troubling is that the assignment of this role is supposed to come from a "higher" authority, and is an incontrovertible truth that must be abided by.
In short, there are tons who read her musings and think that she's a woman who's been brainwashed into an existence of subservience.
"Even if their husbands never lift a finger to help them."
As someone who was partially raised by people who held similar ideologies, I can understand how Lori stays in the mindset, but to try and find joy in the mundane aspects of cleaning, cooking, and maintaining a home, day in, day out, and convincing yourself that this the highest purpose a woman can attain because that's what "the Lord intended."
What's even more puzzling in her note is that she somehow pans "equality and rights" as being something that's somehow, bad?
Suspending her antediluvian ideas about chores being "woman's work," there's current research that outwardly contradicts the idea that marriages are happier when one partner bears the brunt of the burden when it comes to household work.
A Pew research poll indicted that one of the most hotly contested issues between married couples that could lead to dissonance in a relationship occurs when one partner isn't pulling their weight when it comes to chores:
"Sharing household chores was in the top three highest-ranking issues associated with a successful marriage — third only to faithfulness and good sex."
That isn't the only note she's posted, however. Another journal entry cites a bible verse that teaches women to be "submissive" to their husbands. Look, if you've lived your entire life in servitude to a man simply because he was born a specific gender and want to try and justify that to yourself so you don't go insane and jump off a bridge, that's fine.
But don't try and foist that lifestyle on other women and try to convince them that that's the best way to be happy.
If you thought it couldn't get any worse: it does. She has messages not just for younger women, but older ones as well. Apparently it's her duty, as instructed by God, to help perpetuate that gender-mental-slavery to younger women so these institutions could prevail.
She also has some very specific views on how women should "rethink" their "calling."
Basically, she believes that if a woman has a dream or burning passion to do something, that it should be ignored and transitioned into being a housewife if they ever "plan on getting married."
Oh, and of course there's some misinformation and fear-mongering about birth control and daycares thrown in, because, you know, these are inherently evil machinations that displease God, somehow.
Lori also gets to the bottom of the student loan crisis: it has nothing to do with educational institutions charging exorbitant prices for low-quality education and lending companies capitalizing on this trend, but it's the work of Satan! And women are partly to blame because why the heck are they going to school in the first place? They should be raising children, and in a tent, if they have to. Silly women.
Of course, with the Lord, all things are possible. Except you know, saving the 3.1 million children who die every single year due to malnutrition and not having access to food. But the Lord had nothing to do with that, it's all the fault of these dirty women who want higher educations.
Oh, and apparently, it's the "stupidest" thing in the world to teach your daughters to be anything they want to be.
Silly woman, you're going to clean pots and pans for some dude and pump out babies for him, that's what you're going to do. And nothing else.
Understandably, her posts received tons of ire from people, including devout Christians who think that there's nothing wrong with a husband helping out around the house. They even provided biblical verses to back up their points.
Then there were some people who were all aboard the outdated-ideas-crazy-train. Get to washing those feet, ladies. Never mind the fact that Jesus was a man and he was washing people's feet, though. Oh and he was never married nor subjected women to the kind of behavior and lifestyle that Alexander was preaching.
Yes, Alyssa, and stand at your husband's attention as he pounds down his meal, and make sure not to make eye contact because his busy days of sitting down in the office and browsing memes is tough, tough work.
It's wild that there are still people out here, who have access to the internet, who think like this.