Should a Woman Pursue a Man?

Should women pursue a man?

Apparently Mark Driscoll thinks a woman shouldn’t.

I think that this assumption is faulty on several different levels:

  1. The assumption that women shouldn’t pursue a man is against feminism. It also implies that a woman is not capable of choosing who she wants to date and pursuing that person.
  2. It’s also assuming that courtship is right, and the only way to enter a relationship. This is unbiblical and controlling teaching.
  3. It assumes that nice guys, shy guys, or guys who don’t pursue are “cowards,” have “no balls,” and are never going to take initiative in life. (Copied directly from a facebook discussion on the subject).

In my opinion and from discussing this very issue with many of my guy friends, most men like to be pursued. Yes, this means that some people’s interpretation of the Bible is faulty (duh) and that He’s Just Not That Into You is not 100% correct. Contrary to what some people tell you, I’ve found out that guys like it when a girl takes initiative and asks them out on a date.

Does that mean that all men who don’t pursue are “cowards,” or have “no balls?” No! In fact, I’m dating a guy who’s on the shy side when it comes to women and I couldn’t be happier with his characteristics. He’s thoughtful, sensitive, but he’s also really passionate about obtaining his dreams and treating me well. I’d say we sort of mutually pursued each other—it wasn’t completely one-sided on either of our ends. I just heartily disagree with people who assume the worst about “shy guys” or “nice men.” Nice guys aren’t boring. They’re not doomed to be passive all their life. Nice guys deserve a chance!

The language directed toward men in this debate is strongly emasculating to men. Saying he’s a coward if he doesn’t go after a girl he likes, or that he has no balls is really critical and insulting. You’re figuratively castrating a man with your words.

Now, what if a woman wants to pursue a man? Is she a dictator? Does she emasculate the man by taking away his power to pursue and “grow into his manhood?” My answer is no for many reasons. One, if a man’s personality indicates he’s more shy and doesn’t pursue, I think Christianity should butt out and let him be. They should celebrate the fact that that man is different from other men, and being different is great.

A woman who pursues a man is simply saying “I know you’re pursuing me, but I’m going to make the choice who I like and want to date.” IMO I think women who are aggressive aren’t a dictator and that’s a real scary line to be skating–calling women dictators because they don’t want to go back to the 1950’s and let a man rule their life.

The premise that women shouldn’t pursue oppresses women based on some out dated unbiblical teaching that assumes what Elisabeth Elliot assumes: that men are Gods, men are rulers over women. Or as Mary Daly put it, if God is male, then male is God. Thus, patriarchal religion, which turns to patriarchal society, which is responsible for the oppression of women, the under representation of women who are educated world wide (especially in third-world countries and on the subject of contraceptives). Women are oppressed by this archaic teaching!

Women, do you ever think twice about the fact that there are no birth control pills for men? Do you ever wonder why women in third-world countries have several children, even though they can’t afford them? In some places in the world, some women are not allowed to choose to plan their families, and they’re not educated on subjects as these because their governments make it illegal. (See Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown for more information on contraceptive education in Third-World countries)

On another note, I’ve been pursued many times by men who were interested in marrying me or courting me (yes, I used to follow that teaching). I’ve also been pursued by guys who I’ve met through friends or school. Many times, they pursue me because they like the “idea” of me, or they’re looking for a pretty ornament to walk around with. I’ve pursued men because I know what I want in a man. Macho isn’t what I want. If that means that I have to kill a bug, or make a decision from time to time, then I’m happy with that. I like killing bugs. Mice, on the other hand, I can’t deal with. I’ve been really unsettled in the past by men who try to pursue me based on what little they know about me. Sometimes they see me as just a pretty girl, who’s sweet and think they can handle me. They can’t. I can tell, and I know myself pretty well, so I know when I see a look in a guys eyes like they want me that that aggressive look is nothing more than desperation and trying to appease society by marrying the “good little wife” who will be forever pretty, who will always do their laundry and always clean up their messes. I’m NOT that woman. I’m an educated, ambitious woman who has a 10 year goal she’s striving after.

I’ve written about courtship before, so I’m going to refrain from it here. But I think it’s wrong. I think courtship is really outdated and fear-driven. There’s nothing “Biblical” about it. It’s another way that many pastors (and even parents) choose to take away freedoms from young adults.

Things I found online

This Christian blogger has raked Mark Driscoll against the coals quite finely over this Tweet:

mark driscoll is a douchebag_thumb

She writes an awesome post, which you should check out and then nails him with this:

Not all of us have the daddy issues or broken background that makes your brand of leadership attractive. Some of us don’t find shame to be a spiritual motivator…Why not seek some professional counsel for some of these issues?  Why not humbly and prayerfully consider if there are some areas where you need growth?  (emphasis my own)

She then acknowledges that even though she knows and loves people associated with Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 network of churches, she cautions them:

Note: I realize that I am going to have some readers who are Driscoll fans, or who belong to his Acts 29 network of churches. I have many people in my life who I respect who are a part of Acts 29. So let me say this: I started this post thinking I was addressing an annoying shock-jock pastor. As I went deeper in reading his quotes and watching videos, I became deeply disturbed. I now suspect that he is a misogynist with a personality disorder and some serious issues with sex and women. If you belong to a church that is affiliated with Driscoll. I URGE you to do your research about this man. The links above are a good place to start. If you are also troubled . . . speak up. Hold him to accountability. He’s a charismatic guy and is described by many as a bully, and it’s time for people to stand up and say, ENOUGH. (emphasis my own, again)

 

Bravo! I’m so glad to hear people in the Christian community standing up to Driscoll, despite his apparent popularity. Yes, Driscoll is ruining the image of Christianity, and it is time people started standing up to him and pointing out what he’s doing wrong. Oh, and it’s a woman calling him out on his bullshit. Even MORE awesome! Go Kristen!

(h/t) to Stuff Christian Culture Likes for the link

Speaking of Stuff Christian Culture Likes, I just found Stephanie Drury via an amazon.com review of Driscoll’s book (which apparently just came out…I don’t follow Driscoll’s books):

I meet a lot of people who have significant spiritual and emotional wounding, and I’ve gotten to hear the stories of many people who have been involved at Mark Driscoll’s church here in Seattle (Mars Hill). The stories out of there cause me so much concern. What I hear about gender roles and authoritarianism manages to surprise me and make me cry even after six years of hearing them on a fairly regular basis.

I think Stephanie sums up how we all feel. Driscoll’s hatred makes us want to cry because we are baffled how many people love his style.
Then, the author (Alisa Valdes) of the newly published book The Feminist and the Cowboywrote a very heartfelt blog post about how she wanted to come clean with her readers and let them know that she isn’t with the cowboy anymore. She said some of the horrible reviews had made her see what she wrote was actually not what she intended to write, and she’s deeply disturbed by it all now:
…While I set out to write a memoir that was a love letter to a man I was deeply in love with, a man who challenged me in myriad ways, a man who changed my life profoundly, a man I respected and honored greatly at the time, what I actually wrote was a handbook for women on how to fall in love with a manipulative, controlling, abusive narcissist.
Unfortunately, the blog post which she wrote the above in has now been taken down, but you can read some of it in this condescending post here.
As a writer, I wish Alisa all the best during her book launch. I’m sure this will actually be a very emotionally challenging launch for her, but I’m sure she will come to realize that it’s okay to write about you feel and have those feelings change. After all, we writers are human and one of our greatest strengths is our ability to tap into our feelings and create stories around them. I know I have written about my life in a way that felt very authentic at the time, but is something I wouldn’t write today. I’ve even written about ex-boyfriends and former lovers in a way that maybe villainized them too harshly or put them on a pedestal. Maybe an embarrassingly high pedestal.  Luckily, my feelings weren’t intensified by a number of negative reviews and the pressure of your whole career being affected.  I hope Alisa knows that history is filled with sonnets and stories and letters to lovers from writers who would probably change a lot of their writing, if they could.
Life is not a fairy tale, after all, and no one’s love lives are perfect.
Best wishes on your book sales, Alisa.
big_thefeministandthecowboy