The other day I pointed out that part of the benefit of DIY is the feeling of mastery that comes with it. There is a related benefit, and that is the enjoyment that comes from practicing traditional sex roles. When your wife cooks something for you, it tastes better. This is true even if what she cooks is imperfect; it is an expression of service and love. Likewise, my wife had wanted a new chest of drawers for a good while. After urging her for years to pick out one that she liked and buy it, I finally broke down and made her one.
I could have knocked out a bare bones pine chest of drawers and she would have loved it. But I wouldn’t have loved it, as I would always know I could have done better. So I made her as nice a piece as I could out of cedar. It isn’t perfect, but she prizes it more than if I had spent a few grand to buy her the best chest of drawers I could find. It tastes better because her man made it for her*.
There is a profound beauty in the pleasure we can give to one another as men and women, but our culture despises this very beauty. Feminism is founded on avoiding two virtues the ugly feminist can’t stand, feelings gratitude and love:
1. Feelings of gratitude toward men.
This is the sentiment behind the slogan:
I don’t want to have to depend on a man to…
This twisted feeling is so prevalent that we don’t even notice it. It feels normal to us that a woman would order her life around never depending on a man (or men), and therefore never risking feeling grateful to a man**. This is why every unit of our armed forces must be open to women. The number of women who supposedly benefit from opening up special forces or submarines is so minuscule it isn’t even a rounding error. But once women are in all units of the armed forces, never again will women suffer the indignity of feeling grateful to men for protecting them. Never again will they hear the unbearable words Thanks to the men who sacrificed so much for us without feminists chiming in “and women too!” This is why no unit can be left untouched, even the most elite ones.
2. Acts of service to others.
Ugly feminists likewise can’t stand the idea of serving others, especially if these acts of service come out of (and/or evoke) a feeling of love for others. They are so obsessed with not showing Christian love that they make it a priority not to serve their own families. Cooking, cleaning, and caring for their own husbands and children is a concept which is repulsive to them. Acts of service to others are in their twisted minds traps to be avoided, and many go so far as to order their entire lives around avoiding showing love to others, especially their families. These women are so gripped by miserliness they have made it a priority not to show love to their own children. When they find themselves unable to avoid an act of service and love to their families altogether, they first steel their hearts with resentment, turning their hearts to stone to avoid the feelings of selfless love they live in constant terror of developing.
Even worse, our society is so thoroughly feminist that the values of the ugly feminist have seeped into every nook and cranny of our culture. This is most easily spotted with the venom directed at women who break the ultimate taboo: women who dare to not only bake for their men, but who do so out of a genuine desire to serve. Baking for men is in our culture seen as the ultimate trap, one that every woman, even conservative Christian women, needs to be ever vigilant to avoid. It is the absolute opposite of the strong empowered woman. Sure, serve your man (if you must!), but beware the trap of baking out of a desire to please your man! The warnings are everywhere. Even Pastor Doug Wilson explains that the very idea offends his modern sensibilities in Unleashing Your Inner Fundamentalist:
A fundamentalist woman in a sun bonnet and a gingham dress, who gets a wicker basket to go pick blueberries, so she can bake her man a pie, with a golden crust, the kind he likes, may be a little bit hokey for your tastes, and certainly for mine. But at least she is trying to achieve an effect that the Bible says women should strive for — she wants to be modest and discrete. She is not trying to achieve an effect that the Bible never urges women to strive for, as in “edgy.” Or “provocative, but not too skanky for an evangelical.” She may be playing the instrument badly, but at least she is playing the right one.
The blockquote formatting makes italics in the original harder to spot, but notice the sneering emphasis on pie: “so she can bake her man a pie, with a golden crust, the kind he likes…”.
And yet, despite the fact that this ugliness thoroughly pervades our culture, the beautiful truth is that nothing is stopping women who want to bless their men from rejecting this twisted sentiment. Likewise, nothing is stopping men from blessing our women in similar ways.
*There is a caveat to this. If giving her flowers would result in resentment instead of gratitude, giving her something much more meaningful will be even worse.
**Imagine a man obsessed with ordering his life so that he never had to depend on a woman, never had to suffer feelings of gratitude for women. We would instantly spot this bitterness for the twisted sentiment that it is. Yet in women this strikes us as perfectly normal, and even a good thing. We don’t worry when a woman is gripped by this twisted sentiment, but instead when she is not gripped by it.