“Surrendered” Wives ??

While visiting the blog “The Journey Out“, I happened to come across this disturbing article posted in “Feministing.Com” on a book called, “The Surrendered Wife”. 
Here’s the opening on it:

Remember that book, The Surrendered Wife, that came out a while ago and got all sorts of press because it basically told women that the key to happiness in marriage was to shut-the-fuck-up?Well it seems that some folks are taking it wa-ay seriously.

This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my last post – about growing up with double standards that were reinforced by my father, my mother, and the church. 

Another really sad thing is, I think this is the book a few of my close girlfriends (who fairly recently became serious Christians) were reading and getting in to.  They didn’t discuss it too much with me, because they knew I wasn’t into religion and thought I would “poo poo” it.  Man, were THEY right! 

What little I just did learn about it was appauling!   I can’t believe this book would be so popular today, and feel sorry for all the young girls who will be taught their place in society by their own parents and church with the assistance of it. 

I also found this article on it by Leanne Bell.  I am not familiar with who she is, but, I liked her article on this book .  The following is an excerpt from it:

It’s a shame Mrs. Doyle thinks women can’t balance a chequebook and be great lovers too. It’s a shame that she believes holding an opinion and voicing it will ruin her marriage. It’s even sadder to think that she believes going back to the fifties when women had to work too hard for too little respect is the answer.

The answer is not to surrender to anything. The answer is to fortify yourself. Be the strongest, most vibrant invidual you can be. Embrace your sexuality and enjoy it, don’t consider for a second abdicating the wealth of your personality and the value of your character in order to maintain a facade of a marriage to a man who doesn’t appreciate what he has. And don’t dare teach your daughters to grow up with such low expectations, such little self-esteem, such dismal hopes for happiness in marriage.

Mrs. Doyle doesn’t understand that surrendering your body amounts to prostitution, that surrendering your autonomy is as good a being in prison, and that surrendering your mind is slow, sure, mental death.

Amen Sister!



2 Responses to ““Surrendered” Wives ??”

  1. credible Says:

    When you read the book yourself, what did you think? I’m curious.

  2. samanthamj Says:

    I think you probably already know that I did not read the whole book. So you are most likely thinking I have no clue what I’m complaining about. But, I did read the first chapter (because it’s available free online ), and many reviews of the book, and I heard more about the book from my Christian friends (who raved about it).

    I have no desire to read the whole book. Matter of fact, I don’t think I could stomach it! I barely made it through the first chapter without almost rolling my eyes out of their sockets. 😛

    Laura Doyle talks as if every wife is a “nag”, “shrew”, and major control-freak. Nice. We’re off to a great start. I love name calling. (However, it’s funny that my one Christian friend that really liked this book pretty much DID fit that description – so, I bet her husband was very glad she read this book. LOL)

    No.. Respect should go both ways. And I believe that true respect is earned… not just forked over because you want “peace”.

    It SHOULD be OBVIOUS that it’s not good to control, demean , nag and criticize your spouse. do we really need a book to tell us that? It should also be obvious that this respect should go both ways. But that part is conveniently left OUT of the book.

    I don’t think the answer is telling women to basically “put up and shut up” – and that is exactly what I feel that the book suggests. I know Laura Doyle insists that it doesn’t tell women to “dumb down” – but, here are a just a few excerpts from the first chapter:

    “So what does it mean to respect your partner? It means that you accept his choices, big and small, even if you don’t agree with them.”

    Really? So we should not voice our own opinions or feelings? How is that respectful to the woman? Can’t we express ourselves AND be respectful???

    “Respect means that when he takes the wrong freeway exit you don’t correct him by telling him where to turn. It means that if he keeps going in the wrong direction you will go past the state line and still not correct what he’s doing. In fact, no matter what your husband does, you will not try to teach, improve, or correct him.
    That is the essence of a surrendered wife.”

    Huh? So, we should drive to Nebraska if he is lost? That’s just plain absurd! How insecure is a man who can’t handle hearing, “uh oh.. I think you passed our exit”.

    and then she quotes (as if it’s a POSITIVE quote):

    “You see an awful lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.
    – Erica Jong”

    Soooo… we SHOULD act dumb so our men will want us? Again… how freaking INSECURE is her husband???

    Then, it talks a lot about apologizing for being disrespectful all the time… and making sure you don’t explain WHY you felt the way you felt… just apologize… always… whether you mean it or not. ?!? She says:

    “Since there’s no respectful way to tell your husband that he did something you consider stupid, a surrendered wife would simply not say anything.”

    Again… so, the wife should just keep her mouth shut, right? And what about the husband? I imagine this is not the same advice for him at all… I’m sure he’d be doing her a favor by correcting her? Instructing her? Teaching her a thing or two… UGH>.

    Laura Doyle insists that the husband handle all the finances by himself without any input from his wife? Huh? So, I should work my ass off.. hand over my paycheck… get an ALLOWANCE… and not even question or worry about a thing. How the hell is this fair to the husband OR the wife?

    The chauvanistic absurdity goes on and on. It’s ridiculous.

    She seems to have confused the meaning of “respect” with “rolling over and playing dead”… and the year for 1928. Why the hell should women want to go back to a time when they had no rights… no voice… etc., etc.?? I supose husband’s never cheated back then either… (ha! ya right!)

    Whelp? You asked what I think about the book? Basically, there you have it. And, again, I agree with the comments of Leanne Bell that I posted above…

    “The answer is not to surrender to anything. The answer is to fortify yourself. Be the strongest, most vibrant individual you can be.”


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