This blog is about parenting–chiefly about my experiences, thoughts, and helpful hints on raising children, along with the occasional humorous piece. Every now and again, however, I step into what may be called “relationship territory,” as in this piece, this one about troubleshooting one’s husband, this one, and this one. Parenting is not the main focus of these posts, so why are they on the blog?
One reason is that this is my blog, and I like to write about what interests me; certainly, consideration of the roles and relationships between men and women in contemporary America is interesting. I grew up in a household in which “feminist” was always considered a dirty word, but found in adulthood that I’d absorbed a great deal of feminist ways of thinking without realizing it–specifically, pedestalizing women; believing that men should fix romantic relationships by endlessly accommodating women’s feelings; thinking that one shouldn’t actively search out a romantic relationship because you should have a full and complete life on your own, which may be what God intended for you; and ignorance of some of the causes of lowered marriage rates.
My husband introduced me to Dalrock’s blog, which has just concluded, but whose first five or so years are full of valuable posts that help make sense of contemporary relations between the sexes. I didn’t agree with everything Dalrock wrote, and still less with everything the commenters wrote (especially as time went on), but there are some excellent insights both into the larger State of Things and into my own blind spots. Dalrock eventually ran out of things to say and has stopped posting, but I hope he will maintain his archive. Currently, I enjoy reading Boxer’s blog (note that he sometimes uses crude language and says unkind things about Christians; however, he’s funny, clever even when he’s playing the fool, and genuinely considers other perspectives), Sigma Frame, Gunner Q, and Derek Ramsey’s blog (very thoughtful). Even when I disagree with these men’s posts, there’s often something to be gained from them. ETA: I also like to read The Transformed Wife.
There is another reason for occasionally straying from questions of diapers and schooling into how feminism has affected (infected?) the relations between men and women, and it’s obvious with just a little thought: You need bits from a man and a woman to make a baby, and the baby’s got to be housed in the woman for several months. The baby then has to be raised by someone, and its development is greatly affected by who that someone is and what his or her relations are with others. A child who grows up in his mother’s household, visits his father occasionally, and watches his parents date and perhaps remarry is learning something different about relationships than a child who grows up together with his biological parents. Parental abuse and abandonment matter; adoption matters; being raised by two men or two women matters; growing up with feminist or patriarchal parents matters. Therefore, considering the natures of men, women, and relationships is pertinent to parenting, which does not occur in a vacuum.
Finally, our children will grow up and inherit a certain kind of world. In order to prepare them to succeed in this world, we must have an accurate idea of its conditions and challenges. My sons should be warned about false rape accusations, misandryst family courts, and church cultures that pretend to uphold the family but are really ready to side with women in most cases. My daughter should be warned that men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos, her fertility has unrelenting temporal limits, and that many men may be gun-shy of marriage because feminism has poisoned the well so badly.
I’m only eight years into marriage, but I haven’t yet found it hard. Life is hard, but marriage has made it easier, and more joyful. Obviously, circumstances such as death, disability, or financial trouble would strain our relations, but we both know we’re in it for the long haul and we’re happy to be so. I’m immensely grateful to be parenting my kids along with my husband, and sharing his goals and vision. My children exist in the context of my marriage, and for this reason I think it’s appropriate, once in a while, to consider relations between the adults who are responsible for making and raising babies.