Talking About Biblical Submission

Talking About Biblical Submission

Rough transcript:

Candace Cameron, former star of the show Full House — oh who am I kidding, we all know who the real star of full house was … KIMMY GIBBLER.

Candace Cameron, star of one episode of That’s So Raven and little sister to noted fundamentalist homophobe Kirk Cameron, has inexplicably made headlines by stating in a recent interview on HuffPo Live that she is “Biblically submissive” to her husband, to whom she’s been married 17 years.

She said that what she’s talking about is being meek, not weak, and she described it as “bridled control.” Because doesn’t everyone want to be the horse in their relationship? I mean, horses sure aren’t weak. Physically. And if they carry a human around on their back all day, they get a bunch of free carrots. And can you imagine a horse marrying another horse instead of its owner? Why, chaos would ensue!

This type of comment always inspires an interesting discussion in feminist circles, because on the one hand, I think most feminists want to respect a woman’s right to choose the life that works for her. On the other hand, advocating a lifestyle based on rigid, outdated, and potentially dangerous gender roles is absolutely the least feminist thing you can do. Cameron says in the interview that she would submit to her husband’s desires even if it’s to the detriment of her family. That type of situation may be working well for Cameron if her husband isn’t an asshole, but that type of thinking has helped millions of abusive assholes dominate their wives and families with God’s tacit approval. Check out blogs like No Longer Quivering, where women describe their former lives as hostages in their own homes, believing that they deserve to be treated as walking baby factories. Many ex-Muslim women describe similar circumstances of being controlled by men believing that God expected them to submit despite their misery.

And of course, there was the case of the author of the book “The Feminist and the Cowboy,” (original title: Learning to Submit) who also described how she learned to Biblically submit to her husband. After the book was printed, she announced that they were getting divorced because the cowboy was physically and emotionally abusive.

That’s why it’s great to see people openly criticizing Cameron’s remarks, like Stassa Edwards over on XO Jane describing her background in a fundamentalist family, and these commentators over on The Young Turks.

To their credit, the hosts eventually get around to saying that maybe the best relationships are balanced in terms of power and give and take, but did they really have to go through several brutal minutes of jokes that stereotype women as sex objects who use their wiles to passive aggressively get their way, no matter what?

And of course a swipe at male jocks for being idiots, naturally. Because who else would let a dumb woman control them?

So here’s a thought: let’s do away with the nonsense about women naturally being meek and submissive, and let’s not replace it with more nonsense about how women are naturally duplicitous bitches. And let’s give men a break from always needing to be the strong, protective leader, and not replace it by expecting them to be clueless meatheads.

Also, let’s let horses marry each other. Love is love, you guys.

Candace Cameron Bure on HP Live

Young Turks video

The Cowboy and the Feminist

Me on Twitter

Me on Patreon

Avatar of Rebecca Watson
Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of truthwalker

    Maybe there are men out there who would never be selfish to a woman who cannot say no to him and cannot leave him no matter how big of a dick he is, but I know from experience I’m not one of them. My wife and had a model Christian marriage. We stayed married but became atheists/humanists. I will still randomly remember things I said and did back then and apologize.

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