I really am tired of society's putting so much responsibility on women to improve male-female relationships. Let me start with church. Since my experiences are pretty much in the Black church, specifically Baptists, that's who I am specifically critiquing. I am so sick of sermons telling women to be submissive, chiding us that our husbands need r-e-s-p-e-c-t and that if they were getting it, they would be better men, better husbands, better fathers, yadda yadda yadda. I'm not saying I don't agree that men should be respected by their wives, but it seems there is far too much imbalance in the messages. Black preachers would have you believe that if a woman would simply learn to speak sweetly and bat her eyelashes, everything else will fall into place. Doesn't matter how he behaves or what he does, just SUBMIT and OBEY. The rhetoric can be so harsh and guilt provoking that it is ridiculous. But when is the last time you heard a sermon taking a man to task for failing to love his wife as Christ loves the church? When is the last time a minister raked men over the coals for speaking harshly to their wives and/or children and failing to live up to their God given responsibilities?
I might come off as a raving, anti-God, male-bashing feminist, but this couldn't be further from the truth. I love God with all my heart. I am actually pretty old-fashioned and conservative. I do believe in the concept of submission. But I also believe it has been so distorted that it is simply a tool to oppress women and not God's original intent. In the world as it should be, a man is obedient and submissive to God and loves his wife so much that he would lay down his life for her, always putting her needs above his own. That's not me, that's the bible. If a man were truly loving a woman on these standards, what woman would have a problem submitting to this? But too often men want to run around like cavemen, thumping their chests and demanding to be put first without holding up their end of the bargain. And too often, in my humble opinion, the church tacitly approves such barbaric behavior by preaching one-sided sermons OR if they are adventurous enough to address the male role, it is a watered down version of the fire and brimstone launched at the woman.
Then there's the media. Why is there article after article telling women how to keep things "fresh" and sexy, but nothing for the men? OK, maybe I am missing it since I don't read men's magazines, but in "netural" mags like Ebony, the articles are geared toward helping women "keep" their man. Well why not help my man learn how to keep me? I think this rant started because I saw an article "helping" women prepare for Valentine's Day, urging us to "keep it fresh and sexy". So often the message is that our men will stray because we don't stay thin, perfectly manicured with perfectly coiffed hair day in day out. But does anybody challenge them to drop the love handles? Who chides the men about the spare tire they have put on? Again, too much responsibility is given to the woman for all that occurs in a relationship.
Women shouldn't be left to keep love alive by themselves. Men need to be reminded far more often that what they did to catch a woman, they need to do twice as much to keep her. A little less chiding for women to submit and a lot more urging men to be legit....maybe then families could truly prosper.
There are two sides to every story--tell them both. I'm just sayin'----