Pastor Wilson has a response of sorts up to some of my recent posts.
In the meantime, my original 21 theses had apparently been responded to here, which I just now read in the writing of this post, and I am afraid my response to the corporal punishment aficionados was taken as an assertion on my part that any disagreement with me from my right must be coming from wife beaters. Such poisoning the well would be a bad thing, and so for any readers who were disappointed in what they considered charitably to be uncharacteristic squid ink, please know that I did not do this thing. I was not responding to any possible conservative critic in that second post. I was responding a particular problem in my own comment thread.
While it is true the only conservative critics Wilson acknowledged in And Now a Brief Word for the Wife Beaters were wifebeaters, the post wasn’t solely a reply to wifebeaters. Wilson spent roughly half of the wifebeaters post responding to feminists who objected to his assertion that submission was an erotic necessity, and even a bit of energy criticizing complementarians on the topic of headship. The wifebeaters post was not a response to a specific group of wifebeating critics, it was a response to critics in general*. Either way, by repeatedly focusing on what I can only assume is a strong Wilsonian** streak of wifebeatery, Wilson did in fact poison the well. We are now in our third (out of three in the series) post by Wilson on submission that chums the waters with accusations that men who believe in headship are really just abusers. This is textbook well poisoning, not that it is a difficult maneuver to pull off. Whenever the topic of submission comes up, if you want to nuke the discussion simply imply that men who believe in headship are likely wife abusers. The women reading will get their feminist dander up, and the men reading will flee from the idea of headship and submission in terror. Calm, rational discussion of headship and submission is now impossible, even for the few who are wise enough to try to look past the bait. Note that you can repeat this pattern as often as you like, and it even works when you yourself are the one who brought up the topic of headship and submission in the first place. Wilson either doesn’t understand how this works, or is intentionally and repeatedly poisoning the well.
This brings us to Wilson’s odd attack on some women’s hairstyles and fashion choices (emphasis mine):
…words like patriarchy do have accumulated cultural connotations, and those connotations are not simply manufactured by the feminists. In other words, biblical practice is caricatured by the feminists, sure enough, but there are more than a few self-professed advocates of the biblical understanding who do their level best to live out the caricature.
So this means that when you come across some rabid feminist online who was brought up in a prairie muffin jumper, and who had her hair in a bun for a couple decades, but who is now a lesbian queer theorist, we have to keep in mind the fact that when she attacks the patriarchy as an absurdity, she is quite possibly doing so as someone who grew up in the middle of such absurdity, frequently presented to her on a daily basis and in technicolor. In other words, she is not necessarily hallucinating. What she is rejecting is actually out there.
…Their mistake is that they (too conveniently perhaps) ascribe the errors they have known personally to absolutely everyone who ascribes to the label they reject. She grew up with her mother browbeaten and harassed by her jerk of a father, the kind who would use Ephesians 5 as a club, and so she simply asserts that any married couple that seeks to live out Ephesians 5 must be doing exactly the same thing her parents did.
Wilson is either being catty here, or he is implying that such hairstyles and clothes on a woman are a sign of an abusive husband (or both). The term prairie muffin jumper threw me for a bit of a loop, as while I’m familiar with the basic form of cattiness I’ve never heard that particular term. Long time readers of this blog will recall a similar snide comment by a different blogger:
And that I tend to strongly disagree with the flavor of “trads” who think that women shouldn’t be educated or pursue careers while single. This is for the simple reason that I find educated and accomplished women far more interesting than those whose only accomplishments are long hair, lack of makeup and prairie skirts.
So I had heard of prairie skirts, but not prairie muffin jumpers. However, a search of the term immediately brought up the Prairie Muffin Manifesto, where the author explained why she chose to embrace this term:
What is a Prairie Muffin? I borrowed the term from R.C. Sproul, Jr. who jokingly and lovingly called his wife a Prairie Muffin (note: R.C. Sproul, Jr. has nothing to do with the writing of this manifesto). This was in response to those who make snide and derogatory remarks about those of us who choose a quiet life, diligently pursuing our biblical role as women and protecting the innocence of our children. Some women have been caricatured as denim jumper-wearing, Little House on the Prairie-worshiping, baby machines who never trim their hair or wear makeup. Like the Americans who bore the name Yankee Doodle as a badge of honor rather than be cowed by the enemy who used it in a derogatory way, the name Prairie Muffin is meant to convey the message that we are sticking to our convictions despite the silly labels people try to stick on us.
This is all I have to share about the post, as Wilson explained in the end that he will come back to the substantive questions in a future post. I look forward to his clarifications on the issues I raised, especially in my response to his first post in the series.
*For clarity, Wilson’s wifebeaters post was written before my response to his 21 Theses on Submission in Marriage, so the wifebeaters post could not have been a response to me. However, when I wrote my initial post on the series I had not yet noticed his wifebeaters post defending his 21 theses.
**I’m not referring to Wilson himself here, but referring to Wilson’s comment section, following Wilson’s pattern with the term Dalrockian.