Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Christian Radio

So I admit that sometimes I listen to Christian radio.

I know that it's relatively obvious that I am a Christian from previous posts - but listening to Christian radio is like a whole other classification of Christian-ness.

I listen to this money management program in the afternoons when I got to pick up my son from school and I listen to some other stuff on occasion when the fancy strikes. I don't believe everything I hear. You've got to be SO discerning. It makes me upset, because I feel like the listener trusts this station to be all truthful and perfect and to not have an agenda - but the politics on the station are out of this world. The news broadcast only covers ultra-conservative issues - bit news is the latest pro-life rally rather than the war in Iraq or the economy or the murder down the street. Not that I like hearing bad news, but I do like hearing - well - news. (I'll probably get stoned for all this...)

Anyway, I can get past all those things, but last night I was trying to listen to music on the station, which is a rare occurrence in the first place and in the second place finding GOOD Christian music is pretty impossible - let alone merely RECENT Christian music...

ANYWAY - I was listening for the music and there was this talk program on (SURPRISE!), and I decided to listen because it was about wives loving their husbands better. I figured this was something worth hearing, so I tuned in as I drove through the icy obstacle course that was the road from my house to my destination.

It started out just fine. It talked about the needs of men vs. the needs of women and while they were somewhat questionable, I could accept them. The program said that men have three main needs: to be a hero, to have sex, and there was another one I can't remember right now. Women have two main needs: to be cherished and to be protected. I think Captivating and Wild at Heart are way better at explaining these things and not being offensive and allowing you to keep your dignity - so I would recommend them - but in spite of that, I decided I would accept these terms of needs, and continue listening to the program.

My problem with the whole thing arose when they started talking about how women should cater to men's needs. And what it meant to need "to be protected".

It went off on the whole "wives submit to your husbands" verse in the Bible, which I respect and understand and even follow - but not exactly like they described in the broadcast.

In the broadcast they talked about how since men need "to be a hero", we should allow them to be that by showing our "weakness" whenever the opportunity arises. I think I've talked in this blog before about my experiences when counseling and lifeguarding at Girl Scout Camp during a few summers in late high school and early college.

I was supervising fourth grade girls and they were playing with mice. Yes - mice from out in the middle of the woods. One of my fellow counselors said "Aren't you guys afraid of mice?" and the girl holding the mouse said, "Not really. We just pretend to when boys are around so they'll think we need them." I thought that spoke volumes about our society.

The funny part of the broadcast was that they followed up saying we needed to "show our weaknesses" and even sometimes concoct weaknesses to make our men feel more manly, by saying that women are too manipulative and we need to stop doing that. Isn't pretending to need help when you don't need it being manipulative?

I am happy to have my husband around when I can't open a jar or when there is a mouse in the house (I'm not afraid of them, but I'm not keen on being the person to deal with them, either), but I'm not going to pretend to be afraid of something I'm not afraid of. I'm afraid of plenty without pretending. Perhaps they only meant in this broadcast that we should be HONEST with our husbands, and maybe I was listening with a biased ear - but I don't think so...

The other thing that upset me was that they talked about women who are single and make something of themselves as being discontent and generally unhappy with this situation.

I am a huge believer in the GIFT of singleness.

On the broadcast they discussed how even though there were women out there who were professionals and supporting themselves, none of these women were happy with their situation.

They also explained that women who were married but were the primary breadwinners were not having their need of "being protected" met sufficiently by their men. This is offensive. Period.

I know several women who are the primary breadwinner in their home. They happen to have, for example, a law degree, while their husband is maybe a teacher, or a garbage collector, or a stay at home dad - and so they bring home the bacon, so to speak - and they have a good relationship in spite of this. I also found it offensive that they implied it was emasculating for the man to not make as much money as his spouse, and so even if we, as women, are capable of making more, we shouldn't do it, because it hurts our husband's manhood. I find this faulty on so many levels.

And this is coming from a stay at home mom.

I can see how a man would feel emasculated, but I don't think it's necessarily because he's hard wired that way - I think it's because society tells him that he needs to be the sole supporter of his family - and him letting his wife do that is wrong.

I know that the Bible talks about this - but I also know that the woman was created to be an equal partner to the man - a helper to him - if she needs to work to help the family and her husband as well, to have the lifestyle that they choose, then I don't see anything wrong with that.

I especially see nothing wrong with a single woman making her way in the world and being content with that. Or a mom who decides to work outside the home. I have friends who have tried the stay at home mom thing and totally hated every second of it. They find they are better parents when they work during the day and get to spend real quality time with their children at night.

Having been on both sides of this coin - I really get that. I stay at home now, but I admit I had more energy to do QUALITY time when I was working. Now it's something I have to really work at. When I was working, it came very naturally, as every second spent with my children was a precious commodity.

I'm not trying to say what's wrong and what's right. I think it's up to each couple what works for them, and it's certainly up to each single woman, what is right for her. I think that programming to help us to be better partners is important, but I don't think saying that a woman who is a professional cannot be fulfilled in her life without a husband who is the primary breadwinner is appropriate or accurate.

They also talked about how feminists have ruined the family and the correct relationship between men and women by saying that women should be able to choose to work outside the home. I'm outraged by this as well, of course. Feminism, with all it's foibles, is another human rights movement in it's own right. Maybe the feminists of the seventies were a little crazy - but they made great strides in opening dialogue about tons of issues that were completely taboo before: rape, domestic violence, menstruation, choices in how to give birth to your children, sexual harassment, and more. Their contribution to our society was and is VERY important. They also paved the way for the third wave of feminism, happening right now, the one where it's about what a woman chooses to be and do, rather than what she HAS to be and do, and I feel like this is a GREAT place to be. A woman can wear something feminine to work and still be respected as an equal in the professional world - that's where we are now - or at least moving steadily toward. During the second wave we had to dress like men and act like them to be treated as worthy of the workplace. Now we can contribute AS women. How amazing this new wave will be for our world!

So maybe I should just stop tuning in to that particular station, since it clashes with who I've become as a person... or maybe I should keep tuning in, but with a discerning ear... either way, just be careful what you read and listen to, and accept ultimately as truth. Everyone has an agenda.


Jeff said...

I have to say that "concocting" weakness is really a turnoff to me. One of the reasons I married Beth was that she never "concocts" weakness. (...unless she is really good at masking it.)

Robyn said...

I agree! (with what you wrote - not the radio broadcast pov...)
I grew up believing that a woman's place had to be at home, that she couldn't lead the way men could, preach, work outside the home after children, "support the family", etc. I find it very refreshing that pretty much each of the topics you've covered on your blog are things that I have had to, or currently do deal with, and entirely concur with you on! It's nice to know that there are other women out there who aren't afraid to be who God created them to be! So thanks! :)

Punup said...

So now all women who express weakness or fear are pretending or concocting it? So fear and weakness don't exist? You're wrong they do exist and they are quite normal human traits. I doubt that this idea of requiring women to deny their real fears and weaknesses will provoke the same objections as requiring them to pretend to weakness. It would seem pretense in any direction would be equally objectionable.

As far as your glorification of the wonders of feminism, I would just suggest that if you can completely ignore the hatred for half the human race that feminists have spread and encouraged, it's doubtful that you are capable of advising others.

As for your claim that fear of mice doesn't exist and is only something girls pretend to, I strongly suggest you look up the word MUSOPHOBIA before you embarrass yourself again with such an absurd assertion. I think feminist ideology has blinded you to reality.

Christians have the same right to express their views as do feminists. No one is forced to listen to their broadcasts.

May our Lord bless you

Beth22 said...

Wow, Punup, for someone who is angry about the hate you say has been generated by feminists, you sure have plenty of your own!
I have never really appreciated feminists, myself. As a teenager in the 70s, I remember quite well the havoc the changes in our society wreaked in the homes of Americans everywhere. As I matured, I have come to view it as more of a struggle somewhat akin to the Civil War. I say this because, if America had applied the principles of equality consistently in both cases, there wouldn't have been the need for fighting, and in the case of feminism,the destruction of relationships that occurred.
Missy, I would probably just give up on Christian radio. I went through this myself when I was your age, and in spite of being pretty much politically in line with conservatives at the time, found that I only liked the music that was either rock or classical, and even then, the ads bothered me.The rest of it was just too self-serving. It was "one-size-fits-all" and over the years I have come to believe firmly that God in Christ is far bigger than that.
The sad thing is that the true message Scripture has for families is clouded by this sort of claptrap. Instead of trying to create 'model' cookie-cutter families, let's seek to bring the Heart of God into our midst, and truly love one another. As I recall, Jesus Himself was born into a rather unusual family!

Missy said...

Punup - I would really encourage you to read my blog again. I think you've misunderstood some things that I spoke about and I'd like to correct that if possible. First off, I am a Christian, just not a huge fan of Christian radio. My husband is a Christian musician and the worship leader at our church. I'm a feminist, but not in the stereotypical femi-nazi sense that you seem to be describing in your post, above.

I also never claimed that the fear of mice is not real - just talked about one of my own experiences in life and how that may or may not be reflective of our society today. I, personally, am not a big fan of mice, as I stated above.

I also never said that all women who say they are afraid or weak are concocting it. In fact, I said that I, personally, have many fears without the need to concoct them. I also have my own weaknesses without having to pretend to have them.

Thanks for reading.

- Missy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...