17 August 2011

The Easy Out

‘But the Lord says, be submissive, wives, you are to be submissive to your husband.’ – Ephesians 5:22–24, √† la Michele Bachmann

I don’t want to go too deeply into semantics.  Although there are those who claim the contrary, there really are big, huge, enormous and consequential differences between the meanings of the words ‘Respect’ and ‘Submission.’ The former is commonly defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.  The latter is ‘the act of submitting to the power of another.

Much like Michele Bachmann, Tea Party candidate for President and winner of the recent Iowa straw poll, I respect my husband and I believe he respects me. I do not, however, submit to him, unless, of course, he were to insist that I do something I want to do anyway, in which case, why not?  For instance, if he were ever to order me to go on a shopping spree, or command me to take a day off and check into a spa, or require that I must allow him to whisk me off on a romantic weekend – in all those instances he would find me as submissive as a kitten. There are maybe a couple other examples that come to mind too, but I’m just not going to go there.

But – and it’s a big but, when it comes to submission as a general concept governing the relationship of married women to their husbands, then I do have a problem. I especially have a problem with a submissive wife running for President of the United States, who believes she should submit to (or let’s face it, even respect) a man who runs a clinic to convert gays to non-gays. Of course, as she has a habit of doing, Bachmann has already backtracked on her words and stated she meant mutual respect: uh, duh…

Nonetheless, it’s that the submissive concept appeals to certain women at all, be they evangelicals, Tea Party members or any other that most frightens me. Michele Bachmann is who she is. (That, in my opinion, is a dangerous fanatic and utter nutter.) I can safely dismiss her since I refuse to entertain for one second the notion that such a bigot could ever get elected President.

Still, Bachmann does have many followers, women who obviously like the concept of submission. You have to wonder why. The only reason I can fathom is that submission is the easier option.  A submissive wife bears little, if any, responsibility for her actions. She goes from the little girl who obeys Daddy to the little wifey who obeys her husband.  Such women never grow up. They are not responsible for their own actions. The one who submits is not one who must bear the consequences of her decisions. She doesn’t have to make any. Hence she makes no mistakes; she learns nothing and never becomes a responsible adult. It’s an easy out where you get to throw up your hands and say ‘I had nothing to do with it.’ Nothing because it’s what my husband wanted or even what God willed. It’s the blame game, passing the buck, or just plain copping out. The thing is, when those thrown high hands belong to the President of the United States, then we all bear the consequences. If that doesn’t frighten all women, at least all those outside of Stepford, then it should.

08 August 2011

Long, Lazy & Life of Pi

Dear Readers: It has been a while. We left off last with emergency preparations and a well-provisioned sailboat for a Corsican holiday.

Fortunately, the extensive drills prior to departure were precautionary only. Nobody fell overboard. No emergency distress signals were emitted. The EPIRB rested firmly in its holder. Yes, we did see a whale on the crossing, albeit at a distance far too far away to smell. In short, the M-family made it back from Corsica intact– luckily still in the midst of long, lazy days of summer. And hence the reason for the radio silence - there’s just something about slowing down that makes it too easy to grind to a halt.

I must admit that being a self employed blogger, I have (am) the nicest boss. Sometimes too nice, in that there aren’t great repercussions if new posts remain unwritten. (O.K, my hits do go down, but hopefully that is reversible.) Said boss might wave a stick, but I know she won’t wield it too hard. All of which makes it difficult to get back to work. Still, the writing nags – a little conscience saying here’s an idea - you could write about this, you should write about that. A bit annoying, but I realize I missed blogging, and it’s been gratifying to hear from readers that they have too.

The sailing holiday itself was fun. Not the greatest-vacation-we’ve-ever-had-fun, but a good first trip that taught us a lot. It began perfectly - swimming and snorkeling in crystal waters, barbeques at sunset, nights anchored in quiet bays. Corsica ‘isle de beaut√©’ did not disappoint. 

The weather did. Deceptively at first – hard to believe that warm sunny days without a cloud in the sky could hide such menace. Menace known as Le Mistral. I didn’t realize our magnificent planet could generate that much wind without once stopping to inhale. It blew for almost the next ten of the total fourteen days. The resulting white-capped waves meant either we were stuck in port or one of us (guess!) was seasick.

It wasn’t all that bad – actually the first storm was kind of exciting. We found shelter in the tiny bay of Girolata, which looked almost exactly like the lagoon in Gilligan’s Island. Not a port but a protected mooring. Protected on almost 300 degrees – very unlucky that the wind blew straight from the 60 degrees facing open sea. The beach consisted of a couple shacks and a few surprisingly good restaurants. No Internet, sporadic cell phone, access by land only via two hours on a quad bike, which was highly NOT recommended for tourists. So we were stuck.

It was a bit of a shock, to say the least, to be so completely cut off. Our usual family pace, whether at work or play, tends to be pretty frenetic. And all of a sudden it wasn’t. No places to go, no sites to see beyond white-capped water and a small island inlet. We went on some beautiful hikes and ate a lot.

But we also discovered some ways to pass the time that seldom happen in the ‘connected’ world. Monopoly, for example, is great at whiling away the hours – though with all the M & A’s the M-men came up with, I’m not sure it was the game Parker Bros intended. The boys attempted the almost obsolete, classic boy art of whittling driftwood, and learned it’s maybe not the best idea on heaving seas. They even listened to me read aloud from Life of Pi, one of my most favorite books that I thought rather appropriate for our first sailing adventure. It’s amazing what kids will do when there are no friends around to bear witness. 
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