For the past week I’ve participated in a lively exchange on the issue of female submission in romantic relationships. The source of the conflict was a V-log posting by Shanel Cooper (no relation … that I know of anyway) entitled Your Power is in Submission…
Judging by the comments posted, I am apparently in the minority in my thinking. Many of the male posters cosigned in droves. They were quite excited to find a woman willing to submit to men, and who was openly encouraging other women to do the same.
I couldn’t get on board with the nonsense.
Breaking Down Female Submission
First of all, the references to submission in “a relationship” were inaccurate. Though I am not religious, even I know that the Bible specifically references “wife” and “husband” when it instructs on submission. This fact automatically rules out all those wanna be the boss baby daddy knucklehead types who think that all females should categorically submit to all males. For those women that ascribe to the doctrine of female submission, be sure that you limit your submission to the one man that steps up and makes you his wife.
However, female submission is not something I advocate for women at all. I heard from several men and women online and offline that perhaps I was looking at the whole thing wrong, that submission wasn’t always negative, and that it means that a couple is cooperating. In reality the words “cooperation” and “submission” have two entirely different meanings:
Submission: (1) the act of submitting, yielding, or surrendering; (2) the quality or condition of being submissive; resignation; obedience; meekness; (3) the act of submitting to the authority or control of another: “Oppression that cannot be overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission” (Simone Weil); (4) the condition of having submitted to the power of someone else; (5) the condition of being submissive, humble, or compliant.
Cooperation: (1) an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action; (2) to work or act together; (3) to assist or be willing to assist. However, cooperation may be coerced (forced), voluntary (freely chosen), or even unintentional, and consequently individuals and groups might cooperate even though they have few goals or values in common. Examples are wars, families, jobs, schools and prisons… any institution or organization of which individuals are a part due to free will and their own choice, by law, or by force.
In other words, a man might gain a woman’s cooperation and/or submission by physically assaulting her, threatening to assault her, by threatening to take her children from her, or even to leave her. This type of manipulation happens frequently when the male’s primary goal is to gain the upper hand, to feel powerful, and to have others submit to his desires and will… to WIN.
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Category: Women's Issues