Femininity in the Public Sphere

“Women are the last line of defense.”

- Fire From the Heartland film trailer

The following is a letter to Christian conservative women on the subject of the Bible and women in state government.

Dear Sisters in Christ,

As I write on this chilly October morning, the media is swarming with news concerning the midterm election candidates. Citizens must be pondering how they will directly affect our nation’s leadership. The crispness in the air conjures up memories of election season two years ago – and the chaos that ensued. I submit to you not a dissertation, but an open letter imploring women to search their hearts and the Scriptures during our nation’s era of humiliating decline.

Woman is arguably the most controversial figure ever created. Pages upon lectures upon books upon pop culture magazines are obsessed with the way the woman must behave and dress and look. An entire term was coined to commemorate this ancient controversy – Querelle des Femmes, “that woman problem.” In Plato’s Republic, we can read Greek philosophers puzzling over the place of women. They noticed that although women are naturally of a more delicate and nurturing build, women are equal to men in intelligence and possess some strength and skills that the male gender lacks. Should the ladies then be allowed to have a hand in public policy? They mused.

This year marked the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guaranteed American women the right to vote nationwide. I wonder what First Lady Abigail Adams would have thought about it. I can imagine that she would have appreciated women being allowed to vote alongside their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons. Having an equal voice in the public sphere was something a smart woman like herself would love. She would also be angered at the subsequent exploitations of women that were made in the name of equality. But she wouldn’t be surprised.

Mrs. Adams once asked her husband to “remember the ladies” and their keen perception of and contribution to building the government. She also admonished him that women would one day rebel if they weren’t given a voice in the electorate. Like a practical, present-thinking man, John Adams laughed it off. Though we can only speculate, I’m particularly curious as to what would have happened if Adams had taken his wife’s advice…

Continue reading at Latitude 821 or Luke Historians.

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7 thoughts on “Femininity in the Public Sphere

  1. Azou says:

    That is…disturbing. Have you really been indoctrinated with this line of thinking?

    A woman needs permission from her husband to run for office? Men are just naturally suited for public office and will always have a step up? Not to mention the “humiliating decline” we are apparently in. A recession is hardly pleasant, but let’s hold back on the hyperbole, shall we?

    It’s also worth noting that the candidate Palin endorsed in 2009 LOST. The two governors that did won kept her at arm’s length.

    Let’s not mention the political loser with her BIGGEST endorsement: Palin herself. The fact she abandons her post, goes on quest to make as much money for herself as possible and acts as if it’s a selfless venture for America is insulting to everyone’s intelligence. That you eat it up as truth makes me question your very grip on reality. Do you really think it’s good for a governor to resign halfway through a term and proceed to churn out a book within six months? Oh, and then get a nice contract with a news channel? Followed by lots of well-paying speaking engagements?

    You do realize she can endorse candidates in office, correct? I’d say having a governor backing you is more meaningful than one ex-governor that quit to make more money.

  2. Amanda Read says:

    Azou,

    This article was not written for your crowd, so you are not going to “get it”. It was written for Christians who have mistakenly labeled women (particularly married women) running for government office as rebelling against Biblical principles.

    Obviously, running for office is a tremendous life decision. If a woman is in some way dependent upon her husband or father, it would only make sense for their concern to have a say in it. There are women who are not living in that situation, however, which would probably make this article irrelevant to them (thus, they were not really a part of the crowd I was addressing).

    The greater presence of men in government is a historical trend. It’s not an anti-woman thing – it just appears to be natural. That has nothing to do with individual suitability, however, which was my central point.

  3. Whateverman says:

    It’s “natural”?

    Would you say, then, that women shouldn’t have the right to vote? After all, it’s only natural that their place is in the home, and not making decisions important to the health and direction of this country. Is it natural that black people be kept as slaves? What about the dominance of asian cultures in science & math?

    Puh-lease. You mistake cultural trend for naturality. You’re suggesting that “change is bad, m’kay?”

  4. What exactly I wouldnt give to have your debate with you about this. You just say so many stuff that arrive from nowhere that Im pretty a number of Id have a honest shot. Your weblog is terrific visually, I indicate many people wont be bored. But other people who can see past the movies plus the layout wont be so impressed together with your generic knowledge of this subject.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Did my first comment get through?

  6. Bummer. The links are broken. I wanted to read the rest…

  7. Amanda Read says:

    Sorry about that! Eric Novak planned to relaunch the Latitude website this month.

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