I lived through the 2016 election. I know exactly why the term “internalized misogyny” exists.
I watched firsthand as American women walked into voting booths all over the country with matches hidden in their pockets, setting flame to the last 50 years of our hard-earned progress. I stood by, shocked, as those same happy idiots shunned Women’s Equality, sending us all to the back of the line, where I presume they want us to wait our turn to speak for the next three years. (Not happening. Clearly.)
After watching all of this unfold last November, my heart was angry. But after a while, it just turned cold. That’s a defense mechanism, I suppose, but it’s effective.
Because nothing shocks me anymore, y’all. Nothing.
That is, until this week when a girlfriend sent me a message with a link to a certain Facebook page.
“Can you believe this lady?” she asked, which I assumed was a rhetorical question until I actually clicked through.
“The Transformed Wife,” which for clarity’s sake should probably be renamed “Steaming Pile of Female Self-Loathing” — because, seriously, I don’t know who the heck taught this woman to hate herself so much, but she’s refined in the art of inward oppression.
Anyway, what this writer believed before she “transformed” remains unclear, but what she closely resembles now is a Someecards cartoon character. You know the one? The ’60s housewife holding a roasted turkey, wearing an apron with perfectly curled hair and a lipstick smile?
The image itself is supposed to be a punchline because nobody actually subscribes to that “Make Me a Sandwich” brand of patriarchy anymore.
Enter: The Transformed Wife, who on her page openly ponders those rogue, godless women who spend a “boatload on an expensive education” when, really, they should focus on becoming “keepers at home with meek and quiet spirits…not demanding anything from their husbands, but living in submission to their leadership.”
No, I’m not making this up.
This woman is dang serious about this “keeper of the home” business, so much so that she grinds her holy battle axe (the Lord’s work, y’all!) on everyone from college students, to working mothers, to women who have the audacity to refuse their spouses in the bedroom. I never thought I’d live to see the day that a woman would use scripture to justify marital rape, but here we are.
Her page is an overflowing Porta Potty of very dangerous misogyny, propped up by some warped brand of Christianity that I, as a believer in Jesus, couldn’t swallow with a thousand sugary teaspoons. But, sadly, there’s plenty of folks who follow along.
And because I know this all sounds unbelievable — like, surely a woman couldn’t believe this garbage? — well, I brought receipts. I present for your consideration, proof of why feminism is so. damn. necessary.
Ladies and gentleman, Exhibit A, in which marital rape must be tolerated. Because Jesus?
Exhibit B, because really, why do women think we are more knowledgeable than men? Do we have something to prove?
Exhibit C, in which the question is presented: Should a woman still stay at home, even if she is better educated than her spouse? Spoiler alert: Brainy McWiferson needs to get her butt back in the kitchen and shut up, according to The Transformed Wife.
I could do this all day. There are 20 more exhibits where this came from, but they are all sitting in a file named “Don’t Forget to Check the Turkey, Mary Katherine!” in case I get too distracted from my domestic duties while typing this.
Silly women. We have to be reminded from time to time.
I used to wonder why feminists were angry. But this is exactly why.
With the wage gap, the devastating statistics regarding domestic violence, and the impossibly high cost of reasonable child care, it is emotionally exhausting fighting for gender equality in this country.
And then comes a sucker-punch realization: Sometimes we are fighting against our own. Sometimes it’s women dead set on oppressing themselves. And sadly, they refuse to go down alone.
Misery loves company.
For a minute, I sat and wondered why this “Transformed Wife” had such a substantial following. But then I realized: There are certain things she says that resonate. And just like the best lies, her message of religious oppression is wrapped up neatly in relatable little blankets.
There certainly are women who enjoy keeping house, supporting their husbands, and maintaining “traditional” roles in their family unit. Women who believe their highest calling is bringing up babies and keeping a neat and lovely home. There is nothing wrong with this. These women answer an honorable calling and to them I say, “Brava!” Pursue your happiness, mamas!
There are also career women whose professions fill their cups, making them happy and more fulfilled as mothers. And they also deserve high fives. Pursue your happiness, mamas!
As any good feminist will tell you, that’s all we truly desire: For every single one of us, as different as we are, to have equal opportunities to pursue our joy, without hindrance. Even if that means people like The Transformed Wife have an open space to share their offensive, dangerous nonsense.
(We marched for her, too, you see.)
Perhaps one day this Transformed Wife will wake up from the patriarchal prison she created for herself. And when she walks across that self-imposed cell and straight out of that unlocked door…
She can thank a feminist.
Because while she was busy teaching women how to lock themselves away, we were busy collecting the damn keys.