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-The Five Spot

Thursday, July 16, 2009

on submission

so recently i've become addicted to twitter. not sure how it happened although i think that rum punch's persistent nudging had something to do with it. now i've got something called twitterberry on my phone and i check that thang like every 5 minutes. one of my fav twitter's is @lilduval. dude is a true comedian. his tweets (i always chuckle at that word) have me literally laughing out loud while i'm sitting in the middle of a crowded courtroom waiting for my case to get called.

the other day he got on the subject of submission and amidst all the tweets for shits and giggles, he dropped some gems like:

people kill me talking bout i dont never wanna get married. thats a damn lie u just dont wanna marry who wanna marry u

yall better stop listening 2 neyo cuz we only want our sidechicks 2 "have her own" yo main yall have 2gether

and just cuz u got more than yo man doesnt mean u cant be submissive to him he is still the man.

every woman that thinks im trippin give yo self bout 2 more years of that single shit i bet u everything i just said pop back up in yo head.

this idea of submission is an interesting one. clearly lil duval has strong opinions about this submission thing. like many men he feels a woman should submit to a man and that a woman's ability to submit may depend on her material status and earning capacity vis a vis her man's. yet he doesn't really define what it means to submit although he implies it may have something to do with having "less than" the man or at least creating the appearance of "less than."

submission is something every woman thinks about at some point as she considers herself in a relationship with a man. this is especially true for black women and I say that only because I am a black woman and that's the only existence I know. cause ya'll know we black women are too independent, too bossy, make too much money and can't be bothered to listen to no man tell us what to do. or so i've been told.

but dear readers at the 5 spot, what do ya'll think. what does it mean for a woman to submit to her man/husband? should women be submitting to her man/husband?

what say ya'll?


Intrepidblackman said...

So the question is, "should women submit to their man/husband?" There are very few things that people "should" do, people should live a life of virtue..that is the first should I can think of.

Certainly if a woman/man wants to submit that is fine. There are people that are truly into D/s (Dominance and submission), but I think that most men who talk about their women submitting, need their women to submit to mask their inadequacies.

Courvoisier said...

I think that it is important for my man to feel and act like a MAN. Therefore I as his mate will encourage and allow that to happen.

When we talk about submitting in the sense of doing things against your will or better judgment, that is crazy.

I would like to consider my relationship has a partnership, but if I had to choose a leader it would my husband. I trust him to make the right decision should I decide to forefeit my vote.

Intrepidblackman said...

What does it mean to act like a Man? I lead a group of men who mentor black boys and young men in SE DC and one of the discussions we have had is what does it mean to be a man, because that is one of the two goals of our mentoring.

what does it mean to be an man and a woman? As you can guess, I do not believe to be a "man," demands that the woman submit.

Rum Punch said...

I think the word submission makes people very uncomfortable because we think of it in very limited and negative terms. It makes us think of slavery. Or of a woman bowing down and kissing a man's feet. Or of a woman not having a mind of her own or being an equal partner. And I think all these be independent songs have women twisted and conflicted.

My parents have been married for 36 years and my mama's as "strong" as they come. But make no mistake my daddy is head of the household. There is just a deference that my mother demonstrates via actions and words. There is a way that she makes him feel like he's the shit without losing herself or feeling less than.

Don't get me wrong, they talk things over, they make decisions together, sometimes my mom has to get my father to come to her side. But she does it with tact and finesse. Being "submissive" in that way is an art form. And it's an awesome thing to watch. Cause it's not easy. It's easy to be independent and think you can do it on your own even as you're with somebody. It's much harder to let some of your "pride" go and then depend and trust on another person...

Rum Punch said...

And I also wanted to say but it was getting long. This reminds me of that cosby show when elvin was still a jerk and Claire was bringing em coffee. And elvin was like I didn't think you did those kinda things. And she's all what things? Serve? As in serve your man. And then she tells him off and says she will bring him a cup of coffee like he did her this morning. Yes! That's what I think of in regards to submission. There has to be some give and take...

Anonymous said...

I don't particularly care for the word submission as it concerns a woman to a man. I'd much rather her respect the arrangement of headship and leave it at that. More women like the thought of respecting a man more than the thought of submitting to him-submission is too much like control or slavery and sometimes submission can be uneven in the relationship roles. However, respect is something that both the man and the woman can be satisfied from and it's more balanced. Only animals are to submit, but humans are to respect each other in love.

Intrepidblackman said...

Well, first let me say whatever consenting informed people agree to do is cool with me, but I remain uncomfortable with the idea of submission as you describe it.

I do not think that men, by definition, need to be the head of the household and I do not think that women need to show deference to their men. when you put it in those terms the relationship is not equal. And I'm just not comfortable with that. Certainly if that is what the woman wants, then fine. My concern is the use of "should," this implies an imperative.

Seems to me if you are a grown ass man your woman should be able to disagree/discuss things with you without you feeling threatened and needing her to stroke your ego in that way. Men being what we are, will take that to places most women do not want to go.

Anonymous said...

Men will always judge their worth to a women primarily in terms of how he can provide for her, and it's easier to measure this in material terms than in emotional terms. So throwing your independence in his face makes him feel unwanted and unnecessary.

On top of all this, many women have been hurt and become perpetually defensive. Men want some softness in a woman- you may have steely strength, but wrap it in velvet. I think submission is really about being subtle and gentle rather than direct and aggressive- that's the man's role.

Rum Punch said...

@ Brown Belle - Yes! That's nail on head stuff right there! In response to Intrepid, I don't think anyone should do anything. It's all about what you and your mate decide when going into said marriage. But I know what I speak on is what I've seen work in many marriages. And the dexterity these women have is amazing!

And let's note that the idea of submission/respect/love is a very Christian/Biblical POV - so y'all both have to be on that page if you're going to get down with it all.

But I look at America's favorite couple Jon & Kate of Jon & Kate plus 8 fame. And here is a woman who can be verbally hard on her husband, has hit him before, has gone and left the family to do book tours and give speeches. Jon quit his job to take care of the kids, but now they have nannies so he doesn't have to do the heavy lifting anymore. He is no longer really providing for the family. So what is his purpose? I agree w/ Brown Belle that today's independent, I can do it on my own woman can make a man feel unneeded. Because in reality no one, male or female should try to do it on their own. We weren't put on this Earth for that. But again that's taking it Biblical...

Localicious said...

this is long...but bear with me.

i agree with other posters that the word 'submission' has a tendency to be equated with being less, or being devalued. but i'm gonna take it from a Christian perspective since that's the context i usually have this conversation in. basically, when people quote this most famous of scriptures of Ephesians (Eph 5:22-23 to be exact) they often only talk about the first part. u know, the part that says that women must submit to the will of thier husbands. anyway, the verse directly after that has the imperative for men. so men are to love thier wives in a manner similar to how Christ loves the church. no only that, but men are to love thier wives as they love thier own bodies. now, Christ was submissive in that he put the needs of humanity above his own. (side bar: as part of the Holy Trinity Christ is as powerful as God the Father, but still acted in submission to the Father on behalf of humanity)

so where does that leave us? first, the order of things from a Christian worldview, is that God is at the head of EVERYTHING. the next thing we see is that when it is said that women should be submissive, that submission comes in the context of love and respect. so that brings us back to the claire huxtable analogy. clearly claire had it goin on (intelligent, beautiful, etc). BUT she had no problem serving others, or allowing cliff to be in charge, because neither act devalued her or made her a lesser person. the service was always in the context of love and respect that is emphasized at the end of the Ephesians scripture (Eph 5:33; NIV)

there's more i could say, but i won't since this post is already mad long! :-)

mint julep said...

i know i'm late but thanks to all for the comments.

@localicious, nail on head chile. growing up my thoughts on submission aligned with yours because of the my upbringing. and the mutuality of submission is one that few folks seem to really get. there is a corresponding role for a man to play in a woman's submission. too few men understand that.