Ruthie Dean and her husband must be popular. I had never heard of them until I saw an opinion piece on the Fox News site, called, Sixteen things every woman should Know how how to say to a man.
I was baited in by the title, thinking it would at least be standard churchian fare about saying some respectful-ish things to husbands. Turns out it was a list of ways women need to learn to say no to the advances of men who are only after one thing, along with a dose of female self esteem building and a little bit of she don’t need no man-isms. If I had to pick one that illustrates the vibe of the whole list it would be,
My __________ is really important to me (career, faith, children, etc). Don’t be a chameleon morphing your desires onto the man of the moment. Learn to stand up for who you are and what you believe in. Don’t apologize for being you. A relationship is never worth compromising the core of who you are. (emphasis mine)
Ostensibly a Christian relationship guru-ette, Ruthie falls flat with the sentence I have underlined in the above quote. Contrary to pop-modern evangelical feminist nonsense so common today, a relationship, THE relationship, that one which results in marriage and , ahem, the two becoming one, is exactly about compromising the core of who you are.
Ruthie and her husband Michael (She describes him as a mustache enthusiast.Nope, I don’t get that either.) have written a book together, called Real Men Don’t Text. Its a predictable man-up-you-Peter-Pan-boys-and-start-treating-these-wome-like-they-deserve-to-be-treated-because-they-are-all-God’s-special-snowflakes-and-you-are-mean-and only want one thing.
At her site there are articles with a treasure trove of pedestrian evangelical princess type advice written by both her and her lift-chasing husband. A couple of examples…
Ruthie says she had jury duty and she learned something about women. The plaintiff was a female and she was suing an insurance company. The jury was comprised of men and women. The plaintiff upset the women because she demonstrably lied. Ruthie seemed put out that the woman “made sure they knew” she was in full time ministry. We can see how that would be upsetting…..I guess. So Ruthie was elected foreman and they paid the woman’s medical bills and a smidgen of pain and suffering compensation. the female jurors had been hard on the female plaintiff, while the men wanted to be more generous.
What was Ruthie’s take away? It was captured in a quote from her uncle who is a defense attorney. He said women are harder on women. Ruthie agreed.
How tragically true.
We’re quite hard on each other, aren’t we?
She goes on to decry a woman at a baby shower who was pointing out that another woman, by working full time, was neglecting her kids and they were acting out. She lays out her perception of what is expected of the fragile fledglings.
Here’s what it feels like to be a woman: we have to thin, eat kale when we really just want Oreos, kick the business world’s rear all the while having shiny hair, white teeth, a firm butt, and a killer wardrobe. We have pressure to choose between staying home or continuing to work, squeeze in time to cook healthy meals, and be up for hosting dinner guests at any time. It’s exhausting enough without going around tearing each other down.
Our world would be different if we as women made an effort to speak kindness, give one another the benefit of the doubt, choose to love rather than criticize, and seek unity not division.
She is correct in a sense. Women are seemingly always gunning for one another. The problem is not, however, that women hold each other to account. The problem is that they hold each other to account in an effort to lift themselves up. Its not helpful. It is vindictive. It has another facet as well. It is done purely to rationalize their own choices. For the same reason, they do NOT hold one another to account on things that clearly do matter. It is the same base motive causing her to take umbrage at the attack on a working mom that causes her to not be critical of a woman taking leave of her husband so that6 she can be all she can be…..minus him. In both choices, one to be critical and one to not be critical, she, Ruthie, if faced with either dilemma…..working a lot outside the home or jettisoning her husband, she gets to follow heart and suffer no feelings of guilt. Whatever you want girl.
Michael the mustache enthusiast falls into line with his own writing. He is clearly able to pull lifts from both inside and outside the marriage. Some lifts are written out right there in the comments section.
Reading around the site you are given the information that Ruthie was a carousel rider in college, trying to, as she puts it, rescue bad boyz. Credit to her for plainly stating so. Credit stops there. She and her husband have decided that the bad boyz were the reason she did what she did, and they are going to, by-golly, see to it that a man (a mustached man no less) tells young men they need to, yep, man up and marry the sluts.
Regarding sex, he claims,
I love what Brett McKay says on his blog The Art of Manliness:
Married men are having better and more frequent sex than their single buddies who go to clubs each weekend trolling for a woman who is willing to take them home. . . . Married sex is even better than cohabitation sex: 50 percent of married men find their sex life physically and emotionally fulfilling, compared to only 38 percent of cohabiting couples.
See that? It is pretty clever. The comparison in the opening line is stated, then supported with something utterly different. Those who read here know that I am not selling sex out of wedlock. But I am calling bullshit bullshit. If you spend any time reading about Christian married sex you know it is not a scenario in which the sexual union holds its requisite primacy, as a normative state, by the numbers. In fact, even the most feminized ministries like FL and FoTF write that Christian married sex is not in a good state, presently. They go on to blame men….but that’s a different point.
Here, Michael uses a quote that says cohabitation sex is not as satisfying as married sex to assert that men who go pick up women at bars for weekend sex are less sexually satisfied than their married counterparts. My issue is not to refute him on his claim, necessarily. it is to say the writer played a female communication trick. And I caught him. So when he (Michael) claims
Marriage equals more frequent, better sex. Simple.
I cannot let it slide, no matter how high his lift took him. Michael really needs to check his facts. Something is not so just because he says so.
He writes in another post called “Men, Stop praying and start Asking” that Christian women are giving up on dating….or, gasp, dating men who are not Christians. Scandalous.
Christian men are needed to step up in this area. (Novel idea, I know.)
He explains that he was afraid to ask women out, and that he spent too much time in prayer about finding the right girl and not enough time asking girls out. his cause and effect are backwards. The good Christian men are not asking the churchian women out because the churchian women are doing the same thing his own wife confessed to doing. They are CHOOSING to date men who, as she aptly put it, eschew organized religion. They are doing this though for reasons different than what she sold him. She convinced Michael it was a rescue effort. She says she would take the men to church outings and such thinking they would come around.
The men were chosen because they were hot and desirable. They were taken about to the church picnics for two reasons. Arm candy, and to rationalize to herself that she had him on the path to rehabilitation. he would no doubt one day say, “we don’t need to have sex dear, lets go buy some devotionals and pray about setting a wedding date”.
Ruthie is prolific, writing for Christianity Today and other mainstream churchian publications. There is too much at the site for me to parse and make a decent effort at unpacking in a more ordered way, given that I can no longer blog from work due to new security measures. I hope another blogger picks this up and takes it further than I am able to because it is poster-boy/girl typical of where the minds and hearts of young married churchian women are today.
How tragically true.
We’re quite hard on each other, aren’t we?