• Housework, Dirty Dishes, Complementarianism and Personal Anecdotes

Housework, Dirty Dishes, Complementarianism and Personal Anecdotes

In most of the relationships and marriages I have personally known, the males are the gold-diggers who sit around all day watching football, going bar-hopping during the day, or playing games on the internet all day, while their wife or girlfriend holds down a full time job, pays all the bills, and also comes home to take care of the house-work because the lazy slobby men won’t clean dishes, fold laundry, or do anything else.

Doing housework is not rooted in gender.

A lot of biblical passages complementarians point to in order to substantiate their claims are not intended to be timeless directives, but were products of their time and meant for their time period or locale only.

There’s nothing in the Bible that teaches that washing dirty dishes or cleaning laundry is “woman’s work” or that says women are better suited for, or designed by God more so than a man, to clean a dirty house ( see “Workers at home” or “keepers at home” in Titus 2:5? and “Busy at Home”: How does Titus 2:4-5 apply today? )

I am a little puzzled, then, by complementarians who keep behaving as though American women in the year 2017 are still living in the same conditions, societal expectations, or value systems as American women of the 1950s, or the ancient Greeks and Romans with whom Paul visited, wrote to, or visited.

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• A Response to the Complementarian ‘The Beauty of Womanhood Essay’ by Abagail Dodds

This essay by Mrs. Dodds is available from the John Piper “Desiring God” site, as well as an excerpt from Mrs. Dodd’s own blog:

The Beauty of Womanhood Her Uniqueness Makes Her Essential – Desiring God

The Prism of Womanhood – Hope and Stay (Dodds’ blog)

Because many Christian gender complementarians harbor false ideas about women who reject complementarianism, and adhere to false notions of what gender egalitarianism is, I wanted to clear up a few things about myself from the start.

You can see the longer version of my beliefs on my blog’s About Page. This is a shortened list:

  • I have always been conservative, both on social and political issues.
  • I do not hate motherhood, men, or marriage.
  • I used to be a Christian gender complementarian.
    … I understand complementarianism. I did not reject complementarianism because of liberalism, secular feminism, hatred of the Bible, or due to ignorance of what complementarianism is.
  • I am not a Christian-hating, abortion- supporting, hairy, bra-burning feminist, liberal, or Democrat (nor am I an atheist).
    In other words, I am not the stereotype a lot of Christian gender complementarians make women like me (ones who disagree with complementarianism) out to be.

I find most of Dodds’ piece to be disingenuous. She applies the word “complementarian” to some terms or concepts that are actually egalitarian in nature. On some points (not all), she is trying to sell a watered-down version of gender egalitarianism under the label “complementarian,” which is not honest nor accurate.

Maybe Dodds is not even aware that she is doing this: I find that a lot of complementarians, in their blog posts and discussions in comment boxes on blogs and forums, like and agree with egalitarianism, they apply egalitarian practices to their own lives or marriages (if married) in many aspects, but then they slap the label “complementarian” on these egalitarian beliefs.

Another inaccurate or deceptive tactic Dodds uses is to sprinkle the word “single” (as in unmarried) through-out her essay, while all the time, for the vast majority of the essay, defining her version of “biblical womanhood” or “femininity” to only be able to be practiced within the contexts of ‘stay at home motherhood.’

In other words, Dodds’ understanding of God- approved femaleness can really only be fully realized within the confines of married motherhood, yet she continually tosses out the word “single” in her essay, as if to say her views about femaleness are applicable to single adult women as well as to married women or to mothers. Dodds’ treatment or negligence of adult singles is a topic I will  return to later in this post.

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