There’s a lot of buzz this morning about “speaking our truth” brought on by recent events in the entertainment industry and by a speech given by Oprah Winfrey last night. Within that speech Oprah talked about this being “our time,” meaning “women’s time;” time to burst forth as individuals and as a collective group, drawing a line–declaring that we aren’t going to take the male-dominated power plays (to put it lightly) anymore. She spoke about standing up and fearlessly saying, it happened to . . “me too.”
As a blogger who represents housewives of often (but not always) male-lead homes and who are there by choice, this viewpoint would seemingly put us at odds for this particular stand. It would seem that we would have to sit this one out, but it’s not so.
Housewives are the strongest women that I know, and being a housewife in a male-lead home does not in any way mean that we are open to being bullied or belittled. We are not granting permission to our husbands for them to be abusive to us mentally, physically, financially, or emotionally. What we represent are women who have made the decision to honor a certain drive in ourselves that allows us to focus on being a nurturing wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. We have chosen to focus on the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping family close and traditions alive. We have opted to make a career out of home- and family-keeping. We have not opted to be doormats.
I seldom bring religion into my blog posts because I believe in coexisting with all religions, but I feel compelled to quote the bible here because Proverbs 31 does such an excellent job of describing a beautifully dedicated housewife and I believe that any woman who dedicates her life to her family is described here–regardless of her spiritual center. Note that it says a wife is of noble character. Her husband is proud of her. She is not sitting home eating bon bons. She is industrious. She is creative. She is charitable, strong, and dignified. She is wise, and she is adored. She is well loved.
The Wife of Noble Character
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Nowhere in there does it say that she is weak. She is dumb. Or that she is to sit and take what a power-drunk, abusive man might dish out.
When we speak of male-dominated or male-lead homes, please be clear that what we mean is that the husband has final say in matters that can’t be agreed upon. Everything should be discussed. Every wife’s opinion should be heard on all matters. But ultimately if an agreement can’t be made, it is the husband’s responsibility, with his family’s entire welfare on his conscience, to make the final decision for how to proceed. A good man understands his responsibility as just that. He doesn’t abuse that privilege. He respects the woman who concedes authority to him. He acknowledges how difficult that can be. And he expresses gratitude to her for allowing him to prove his leadership with her full trust.
If you are not in a healthy marriage or relationship arrangement, please seek help. Please do not hesitate to stand up and say “me too.” There is no shame in giving something your all but not having that effort reciprocated–no shame on your part, that is. There is no shame in asking for help. You are not at fault. You are not a failure. Your current living arrangement is failing, not you. If you stand by and allow abuse to continue, that IS on you. There are resources available to help you and to protect you. I know it’s scary as heck, but summon that strength that I know you have.
If you or your children are being abused in any way, please contact www.thehotline.org (Domestic Abuse Hotline) for confidential help. Please note the following:
Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
Final note: Often times when we post things like this there are comments from women who are being abused and who are seeking help. Please note that neither we (living far from you) or any of our readers can help you. Posting here actually puts you in greater danger. You must seek help from a local authority and that number and website above can put you into the right hands. Therefore, comments seeking assistance that are posted below will be deleted. Not to be mean. To protect you. Call the resources above!
Now. If this is speaking to you, go. Pick up the phone. Say “It’s happening to me too.”