Riding the brake

Opus notes that Gregoire has realized that sex sells:

she has a book or three to sell and with such salacious titles as Thirty One Days to Great Sex, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and Honey I don’t have a Headache Tonight, you can see that this woman is selling a form of snake-oil and not without success as the second of these is at number 3,559 on [insert name of long south American river] .com. Getting God to give a plug for your book (blurb on dust-cover – ‘I could not put it down’ – God) is surely the ultimate in endorsements.

But this goes beyond mere clever marketing.  Gregoire is clearly obsessed with sex, and deeply conflicted about it.  When it comes to sex she and her readers have one foot on the gas and another on the brake. You can see this from her books as well as the posts on her blog. There is a great deal of energy on using sex as a weapon, including when, how, and why to deny sex. The other side to this is all of the energy coming from the deep fear that they will overplay this card and as I described in Frigidity and power, lose their power. What if he watches porn, or even Game of Thrones while I’m denying sex? Then my V will lose its power over him! How do I overcome my own frigidity? If I’m frigid, my V has no power!

They’ve turned having sex into a Rube Goldberg contraption.  But all of this works because the audience is already there.  They already know how to use sex as a weapon, and they already have deep fears that by doing this they risk losing the very power they are trying to wield.  They already sensed that misusing sex was making them frigid.  Gregoire and her readers can rationalize to themselves that this is all about healthy Christian sexuality, despite the sea of red flags.  Many husbands probably foolishly encourage their wives to read Gregoire, based on the promise of fixing their frigid wife.

See also:  A Tale of Two Beaches

Posted in Frigidity, Sheila Gregoire, Ugly Feminists | 34 Comments

Meet your new master: Her feelings

In the discussion of Sandwich strike preachinginthewilderness commented on one of Sheila Gregoire’s most recent blog posts:

Yesterday she was encouraging her thousands of christian women to make sure they withhold sex or make their husbands sleep on the couch or take the kids and leave if the husbands watches TV with nudity or violence. I don’t know even where to begin…

The post he is referring to is Wifey Wednesday: My Husband Watches Nudity on TV, and it is actually even worse than he describes.  While the sin of watching the wrong TV shows is the headline topic, what Gregoire is really teaching her readers is:

  1. A wife’s job is to make sure her husband never sins, and punish him whenever he does sin.  This is so important that she created a large graphic to burn this message home.  Teaching from the Book of Oprah, Gregoire explains that wives should constantly be on the lookout for things their husband might be doing which Jesus would not approve of and find ways to make their husbands’ lives miserable until they stop.  Anything less and the wife is failing in her God given role.  She summarizes this with the question “What are you tolerating that Jesus wouldn’t?”
  2. This isn’t really about sin, but the wife’s feelings*.  If a wife feels unloved, she is commanded by God to punish her husband.

Rule number one is:

1. Focus on your feelings, rather than the infraction.

Elsewhere in the article she explains what this means:

Focus the conversation on your reaction to the show, not on whether he should be watching it

If you focus the conversation around “it’s pornography and you shouldn’t be watching it”, then you’ll get into an argument about whether or not it really qualifies, and you can’t win that.

Instead, talk about the real issue, which is this: “I feel disrespected and humiliated when you watch that, and I don’t know why you want to do something which makes me feel disrespected and humiliated. When you watch that, I feel sad. I feel ugly. I feel like you don’t care about me and don’t really love me.

Gregoire lists a variety of punishments wives should use against their husbands whenever their feelings are hurt.  These range from the wife breaking things she associates with her hurt feelings (like the TV), to making him sleep on the couch, denying sex, or leaving with the children.  She also does a dance around threatening divorce.  She doesn’t say to threaten divorce, but she strongly suggests that not imposing these other punishments will ultimately lead to divorce.  This leaves divorce as the reserve threat while claiming not to be supporting divorce:

I wonder how many divorces could have been avoided if people used good conflict resolution early and stopped tolerating things that are wrong?

We start tolerating little things, these little things escalate, and soon we have a huge problem.

You don’t have to make things into World War III, but some things just need to be done for the good of the marriage, and for the good of your husband’s soul. Not everything is that big a deal, of course, but some things are. And the principle here isn’t just the nudity; it’s the fact that he’s choosing to hurt her terribly. That can’t be tolerated, either.

This is all textbook wake-up call theology.  However, with the exception of Joel and Kathy Davisson I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it spelled out so shamelessly as Gregoire does. This model not only inverts Scripture** but also leaves both the husband and wife at the mercy of the wife’s emotions, which makes them both miserable.


*Don’t worry about the fact that these two messages are contradictory.   Gregoire doesn’t, and neither do the women who read her blog.

**Not only does Gregoire teach wives to do the opposite of what the Apostles Peter and Paul teach wives in the Bible, but her inverted view of headship is quite strong (even if we leave out Gregoire’s doctrine of emotions as divine compass).  Gregoire clearly believes in a very robust interpretation of headship;  she just wants to reorder the roles.

Posted in Attacking headship, Book of Oprah, Marriage, Rationalization Hamster, Sheila Gregoire, Threatpoint, Ugly Feminists, Wake-up call | 232 Comments

Feminist: Men don’t complain enough when taking over tasks from women.

Hat Tip Instapundit.  In her WaPo article Why don’t dads complain about parenthood like moms do? Samantha Rodman describes what she calls an alarming trend:

It seems like women are being publicly applauded for complaining about parenthood. And dads, well, aren’t. At all.

Rodman is delighted that women now feel freer than ever to complain.  But she is deeply troubled that while men are taking on more and more of the responsibilities feminist women have shunned, men aren’t doing it right.  Specifically, men are not complaining about these responsibilities like women do:

Imagine being at a play date and hearing someone say, “God, I needed a drink all day today. The kids were behaving terribly, I couldn’t deal.” You’re picturing a mom, right?

However, what if the speaker is a dad? The question is moot because I have yet to hear a dad complain this openly and honestly about his kids, and this is not for lack of trying. Dads don’t even take the conversational bait. If asked to commiserate about parenting, the average mom breathes a sigh of relief and sits forward in her seat, but the average dad looks around like he’s on Candid Camera and gives a vague answer about having lots of fun sitting around watching dance class through a two way mirror for the 15th week in a row.

What has not yet dawned on feminists is that men not complaining didn’t mean men got a better deal than women.  It is just that men are far less likely to complain.  Most men understand that bitching, moaning, and being miserly with love is ugly.  On the other hand, complaining about anything, everything, and even nothing is at the core of feminism.

Not surprisingly, Rodman sees confession sites like Scary Mommy as hallmarks of feminist progress.  Let it all hang out is the new slogan for motherhood, and being true to yourself is now the ultimate maternal virtue.  She is delighted at the thought of her daughters growing up to not be ashamed to be terrible mothers, liberated from the feminist arch-enemy, guilt.

Mommy guilt seems to be on its way out, shepherded by the honesty in the blogosphere and, more recently, by books like All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. The mom confessional zeitgeist has grown so dramatically that it is barely a trend anymore. Rather, it’s ushering in of a new era of honesty and self-disclosure for moms. This is all wonderful news, and I hope that mommy guilt is vestigial by the time my daughters may decide to become moms.

But in a baffling twist, weak men (who aren’t brave enough to bitch) and evil society are ruining it all.

Note: I am not judging any of these behaviors. I’m saying this: Tell me what the reaction would be if a dad talked about yelling too much and smoking pot in front of his kids.

If Daddy is going to be an equal parent, then Scary Daddy needs to be recognized and supported too.

Posted in Philosophy of Feminism, Scary Mommy, Ugly Feminists, Weak men screwing feminism up | 168 Comments

Gregoire vs Valenti

Rollo commented on the similarities between Sheila Gregoire and Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing.

Let’s play the one degree of feminist separation:


“But…I’m not a feminist. I’m a Strong Independent Christian Woman®”

I touched on this in the original post, but it is worth showing a few bits side by side. The similarity between Gregoire’s funeral sandwich rant in Faith Today and Valenti’s Christmas rant at The Guardian is uncanny:

Valenti on feminist resentment: (actual title) No, I will NOT wrap all the presents. Why are women still responsible for the holiday joy?

Gregoire on feminist resentment:  (paraphrase) No, I will NOT make all the sandwiches. Why are women still responsible for feeding mourners?


Valenti on gendered expectations:

We all know that women do the majority of domestic work like child care, housework and cooking. But the holidays bring on a whole new set of gendered expectations…

Gregoire on gendered expectations:

…I must have missed the Sunday School lesson when they taught girls how to make funeral sandwiches…


Valenti on feminist guilt:

But we know that, if a present doesn’t get somewhere on time (if at all), if the cookies for the school’s holiday bake-off are store-bought, or your family holiday cards arrive just shy of February, it’s not men who get looked at askance.

Gregoire on feminist guilt:

I’m talking about hating guilt.

And when someone I don’t know from our church passes away, I invariably receive that guilt-inducing phone call: Can you make sandwiches for the funeral?


Valenti on society needing to recognize feminist progress:

After decades of feminist progress, women are still considered primarily responsible for an entire family’s holiday joy.

Gregoire on the church needing to recognize feminist progress:

Women have become busier, but church life hasn’t adapted to this new reality.

Posted in Jessica Valenti, Sheila Gregoire, Ugly Feminists | 63 Comments

Sandwich strike

I happened to be on Shiela Gregoire’s blog the other day and noticed one of her top trending posts was from a year ago, titled When Women Start Saying “No” to Church Activities.  As Gregoire explains, this is a column* she wrote for Faith Today, Canada’s largest Christian magazine.  It opens with:

I hate it when someone from our church family dies.

I’m not talking about hating grief. Grief is a normal part of life. I’m talking about hating guilt.

And when someone I don’t know from our church passes away, I invariably receive that guilt-inducing phone call: Can you make sandwiches for the funeral?

I must have missed the Sunday School lesson when they taught girls how to make funeral sandwiches…

The premise of the column is that women in the church are working too hard while men coast.  In order to right the situation women need to collectively stop saying “yes” when asked to do things like make sandwiches:

…this dysfunctional system can’t right itself until the over-functioning people start saying no.

Looking around, I think we’re just about at that point. Women are just too tired, and few men will willingly take on the jobs women have been doing in the background for years. If churches want to support the women in their midst, then, they will start adapting to the new reality.

Gregoire frames this as being asked to do too much, but the reality is it isn’t the amount of work which offends her but the kinds of work she and other women are being asked to do.  Her feminist obsession with getting men to make sandwiches and casseroles and take an equal interest in decorating the church for Easter and Christmas is transparent.  The entire column is riddled with feminist clichés;  the harried super mom who manages to do it all, the lazy husband, guilt, the “new reality” etc.  Like her secular counterparts Jessica Valenti and Margaret Sanger, Gregoire is resentful of being a woman and deeply envious of men.

Gregoire’s burning resentment of cooking and cleaning and all things womanly didn’t end when she traded in her graduate work in women’s studies for the title of Christian wife and mother.  To confirm this, you need look no farther than the title of her blog:

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum  …when you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother.

In her book by the same name Gregoire explains that biblical headship and submission means wives need to give their husbands lists of housework to do:

My husband is motivated by lists. If I just tell him I would like him to help clean up after dinner, he doesn’t know what to do. But if there is a list of daily and weekly chores on the fridge, and he can see what is left to be done, he’s like a Tasmanian devil whirling around the house, cleaning.

But no amount of twirling, decorating, or sandwich making by her husband or the men of the church will make Gregoire’s torment go away.  So long as she resents being a woman she will be consumed with envy of men.

*You can see the original print version of the column here.

Posted in Envy, Sheila Gregoire, Ugly Feminists | 108 Comments