Thursday, June 09, 2005

Being Unique in the Conservative Christian World

I think what bothers me about Dobson’s essay here

is what bothers me about all the Christian Conservative/ Levitican Christian attempts to support or “prove” that men and women “really are” different*.

They do it by trying to prove that all men are exactly alike, and all women are exactly alike.

In order for Mr. Dobson’s thesis to be true, every man has to be exactly like Mr. Dobson (Good Heavens, please no) and every woman has to be exactly like his wife.

In order for Mr. Dobson’s thesis to hold true, every man must be a white fundamentalist Christian male who lives in North America and holds a full-time job, and has a wife who likes the house at 85 degrees and is obsessed about remembering anniversaries.

And every woman has to be a full-time homemaker who knows that “[c]ompetition is so fierce in the workplace today, and the stresses of pleasing a boss and surviving professionally are so severe, that the home needs to be a haven to which a man can return."

And we all have to be Fundamentalist Christians who buy the story that God created woman out of man’s rib – that this isn’t a myth, that it actually happened – and that Eve was given to Adam to be his help-meet and that, even though God designed woman to be man’s life-long companion, he messed up and designed her so badly that men and women don’t even like houses at the same temperature, or live the same number of years, or want the same sorts of things out of life. (Hmm. Not a very smart God you have there, James.)

And we all have to be the sort of reader who won’t notice, much less blink at, these contradictions.

Or the one, at the very end, where, after Dobson has told us that all men and all women are exactly like this – men are different from women, yes, that’s true, but all men are just like all other men and all women are just like all other women—right after he’s spent an entire essay telling us that, he says we should celebrate our “uniqueness!”

Right. So long as we act exactly like James Dobson, and his wife, we can be as unique as we want to be.

That’s the world the Conservative Christians want for us.

*Oh, and by the way? No liberal is saying men and women are exactly alike. No liberal has ever said that. Liberals believe men and women should be treated equally under the law, and should be given equal access to the goods of society. Liberals believe -- hey, get this, James -- that women, like men, are human beings, and should be treated like human beings. But exactly alike? What gave you the impression that the party of diversity was interested in making people exactly alike? That would be your side of the aisle, bud. The "liberals believe men and women are exactly alike" is a typical winger strawman, and can we please shut up about it?

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