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Evangelical Sexism

March 5, 2009

I’m currently reading Remaking the Godly Marriage: Gender Negotiation in Evangelical Families by John P. Bartkowski. It is a good, albeit somewhat dry book about the gap between evangelical marriage propaganda and actual evangelical marriage practices.

Bartkowski quotes Tim LaHaye’s How to Be Happy Though Married:

The most important [danger of dual-earner arrangements] is that if the wife works and keeps her money separate from her husband’s, it breeds a feeling of independence and self-sufficiency which God did not intend a married woman to have…. I am convinced that one of the reasons young married couples divorce so readily is because the wife is not economically dependent on her husband.

There are so many things I could say about this, but I’ll restrain myself. I’ll settle for offering my own translation of the last sentence:

It used to be the case that women in abusive relationships couldn’t leave their husbands because they were economically dependent on them. Unfortunately, the fact that more and more women are getting jobs is making it easier for them to escape their oppression.

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