Monday, August 15, 2011

I try to avoid political things, but...

There's this little brouhaha going on about Michele Bachmann and a reporter who asked her about her belief that wives should be submissive to their husbands. People who are calling foul on the question are saying that it's 'personal' and 'anti-Christian'.

Look, first of all, I don't like Michele Bachmann. I don't like her politics and I find her personality almost as grating as Sarah Palin. I don't agree with her on about a million things (ALL the things, as far as I can tell. We may not even agree that the Earth is round) and my soul would *die* if she became President. And I doubt we'd ever be friends. I know that breaks everyones hearts! :D

That being said, I think that the question was a fair one. Bachmann has made much of her evangelical Christian beliefs as she courts the religious right. It is a valid question, based on the fact that she has stated, in an interview, that the only reason she pursued a Tax Law degree was because her husband told her to and that she obeyed him because he had authority over her. She did not want to pursue the degree. She did something she disagreed with (or so it seems) because her husband told her to.

I think that's something that, theoretically, has bearing on her (God forbid!) Presidency. I know that there's always concern over the influence that the spouse of the President may exert on the President, and I think this is at least partially that. But the question becomes a little more important because we don't know, and have no real way of knowing, how much she and her husband subscribe to this belief. How does it play out in their lives? It's clearly not merely a religious context, as in he leads prayer, etc. It does impact their secular lives.

And if that works for them, then fine. I don't have to like it, or their application of it, to accept it as a lifestyle choice for them. But, and there's always that 'but'. But the possibility of that impacting the way she (God forbid!) runs the country must be explored.

It's something that she brought into the light, something that she is apparently proud of and believes in. And it's something that needs to be explored so that voters can make informed decisions.

Or that's my take on it anyway. It all boils down to this - I don't think the question was out of line. And, you know what, if she was someone else. Let's say, in a totally theoretical, this will never happen in my lifetime or the lives of my childrens children, a Muslimah. You think all the people howling about the question being asked of Bachmann wouldn't be howling that same question at the Muslimah candidate just as loud and more viciously? I think they would be. And probably worse.


  1. Do you mean what if she were elected President and answered to her husband so in a sense we got a two-for -one deal like many of us thought the Clintons were when he was in the White House yet she was acting as if she, too, had been elected?

    I can see why people would question her in order to avoid another scenario like that. I don't like electing one person and then the spouse suddenly thinking s/he has some sort of public support for proposing policy.

    That ain't so. :)

  2. Susanne,

    It's not so much a two for one as it is...they'd elect her, but it would really be her husband making all the decisions, because he's in authority over her in their relationship. So it's like having a puppet president. She gets elected on the shiny, tea party, it's a woman! factor, only it's the man behind the desk running things.

    So her husband wouldn't bother trying to propose policy to the nation, he'd just turn to her and go, 'Honey, this is what you're going to do.' There's still the laws and the restrictions on the president, and even if they didn't believe in female submission to her husband as an authority to the degree that they appear to I wouldn't vote for her because I don't agree with her, but it's still something that needs to be brought up. There are people (likely more radical than the Bachmanns, since she's running for president) in a similar mindset you honestly don't believe women should be able to vote.

  3. Aha! i see what you mean. that didn't cross my mind. I figure if a woman is running for Pres and has been a Congresswoman already, the husband/wife relationship is past that point - but maybe it's more alive than I am thinking..hmmm

  4. You'd think. But how do we know? The thing that keeps bothering me is that she only pursued a degree, one which she personally had no interest in at all from what she's said, because her husband told her to. She appears to have gone against her own wishes and beliefs in favor of those of her husband for no other reason than he's got a penis and I married him.

    Picture something you don't like. I don't know what, it doesn't matter. Then imagine Andrew telling you to do it anyway. Not because it's a life or death situation or it's actually good for you or anything like that. Just because he thinks you should do it. Would you just do it? I'm going to guess the answer would be no. In Bachmann's case, the answer would apparently be yes. Because he's the man. And that gives me problems. If it works in their personal lives, fine. It may not even, really, impact her political career. I'm not privy to the details of their lives. Again, I say, I wouldn't vote for the woman even if this wasn't a thing. Maybe for her political career, they have a different understanding. I don't know. The point, though, is that the question is legitimate and not, I think, something that was said or designed to tear her or Christianity down.

  5. I agree with you 100% on this, it is definitely a legitimate and fair question. Like you pointed out, how I understand her comment about choosing her degree, it was ONLY because her husband told her to do so. In the religious circles she moves, I think the question of submission and authority within the marriage is DEFINITELY relevant, ESPECIALLY since she's a presidential candidate.

    I think it's shameful she got away with such a vague answer.

  6. It is shameful that she got to blow it off as a 'personal' question and the behavior of the media and other people who have harrangued the reporter who asked it is shameful as well. It is a legitimate question. If I am thinking of electing this woman to be the leader of my country for four years, I think we need to know exactly how this submission and authority issue works out with her husband. If it's not a problem and it's not something that they're ashamed of, then why can't she answer the question?


    I'd love to have a female president, but I'm not going to vote for a woman just for the sake of voting for a woman. *shakes fist at the world* You cannot dazzle me with her femaleness!


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