Asking Michele Bachmann if she is a “submissive wife”

Michele Bachmann was asked if she was a “Submissive Wife” during the GOP debate on August 11.  

She answered that “submission” means “respect.”   Some people on complementarian blog sites seem to think that she gave an egalitarian answer. 

I have received emails that indicate that she is not in any shape or form egalitarian, and that she is indeed a “submissive wife.”  

The floor is open for debate:

1. How do you feel about a woman who is running for President of the United States, being asked about a “submissive wife comment” that she made some time in the past?

2. Why do we need to know if a presidential candidate is a “submissive wife” and would it affect her duties as president of the United States?

3. How would having the first woman president being a “submissive wife” affect our Christian women’s equality movement?

This is sure to be an emotional question.  What we might think about the Tea Party, or the Republicans, or Democrats is not the question here and should not be addressed.  This is a Christian women’s equality question, and should be handled as such on this post.

Please read this article by Jocelyn Andersen which explains this very well.

My blog was mentioned in an article called “on Christian Feminism” on Someones Water Lily blog last week.  I am always grateful when new people find bWe Baptist Women for Equality.  Thank you all so much for reading and commenting.

Will you join us and speak out for equality for Christian women?

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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12 Responses to Asking Michele Bachmann if she is a “submissive wife”

  1. At first I didn’t know where the comment came from, because the media tends to twist things out of shape.

    I found the video, and as far as I’m concerned she answered the question one way in church – then another way in the debate. That sent up a red flag for me.

    She maybe a soft comp, because she certainly isn’t one of the extreme sorts. She seems very put together I will admit. How is her husband going to effect her decision making – outside healthy spousal relationship – if she buys into the ‘headship’ or ‘authority’ theme. Would she change her mind on certain decisions because of his role?

    The video in question tends to show how she will do as he says mode, and yet in Iowa she said it was respect. It confused me, and made me feel something isn’t right here.


  2. Paula Fether says:

    Personally, I am tired of the presumption that only the religious right has been a problem. I don’t remember the source, but when a leader of the subversive left was asked back in the 60s about the position women would hold in his organization, his answer was “prone”.

    The myth of right-only misogyny needs to die. We have already seen how the leftist org’s like NOW have been eerily silent in the face of misogynistic media until they couldn’t stand it any more; they never cared about the vicious slander of Sarah Palin or even their own Hillary Clinton. They only use women who are part of their ideology, then throw them away when they’re no longer needed. At least the right is honest about it.

    Power and corruption and prejudice know no “left” or “right”. I’m so sick of everyone presuming the vaunted “religious right” is such a big scary thing while completely ignoring the same (or worse) behavior of the left and its vulgar, bitter, open hatred of conservative women. Both parties are on the same globalist agenda, and they’re all misogynists.


  3. kbonikowsky says:

    I thought she should have out together a better response before hand. Something to reassure the public like: I am running for President, not my husband. Regardless of how we choose to live as spouses, I can assure you it will not affect my capacity to lead this country.

    Side note: NOW has spoken up this week in defense of Bachmann:


  4. Jess says:

    I wish she had been able to answer the question in a more polished way. Even if she believes in some form of submission to her husband’s leadership in the home, she should have made the distinction clear between her home life and her job. Even complementarian women who work don’t call their husbands on the phone to ask for their help in making decisions on the job. There are several theological conservatives, like Tim Keller of The Gospel Coalition, who keep church and home authority in a separate category from civil authority. God used Deborah as a civil judge and she was married. I don’t think she was consulting her hubby while sitting under the palm tree! She didn’t have a cell phone!


  5. Mabel says:

    Thank you Shirley for introducing Someones Water Lily blog. I enjoyed it. When Michele B. claimed submission means respect, she is spinning. If submission is respect, shouldn’t husbands be submissive to wives too? CBMW argues that submission in marriage is only the wife’s business. Southern Baptists will have you SIGN a document committing to submit “joyfully” too. CBMW claims there’s separation between home and work. Jesse told us Tim Keller says there is a separate church authority, home authority and civil authority. Who decides how she should use the rest of her time other than the “normal” 40 hour work week? Can he requires that she not come home late? does her job authority trump his home authority? Who believes that work never interferes with home life? THere are 2 things wrong in this picture: firstly, submission in modern English means obedience, so to say wives must submit to husbands but husbands don’t have to submit to wives is an indefensible argument; secondly, it completely ignores Jesus’ teaching that there should not be hierarchy among His followers, and Paul’s teaching that we should submit to each other. As far as authority is concerned, the only bible verse that mentions authority and marriage in the same breath is 1 Cor. 7:4.


  6. Kristen says:

    “Tim Keller says there is a separate church authority, home authority and civil authority.”

    Which, of course, is an anachronistic reading-in of a modern concept into the Biblical one. In New Testament times each home was also an economic unit, with a patriarch in absolute authority over his slaves, wives and children. Caeser was considered the ultimate Patriarch. His will could trump that of each individual home patriarch. And he was also considered to be divine.

    I don’t think Paul envisioned church leaders as having authority in the sense people understood authority at that time, at all. Leadership and authority are not the same thing.

    But in any event, there is no need to bring forward any ancient authority structures that happen to be mentioned in the Bible, as if those structures themselves were God’s eternal will for all mankind. And that includes husband authority.

    I do see a conflict between wifely submission as Michelle Bachmann understands it, and being President of the United States– even if she doesn’t think her husband has jurisdiction outside his rule of the family. Is she accustomed to thinking for herself, to making snap decisions without having to consult a man first, or to coming to her own conclusions about what to believe based on the facts and not what someone tells her she is supposed to think?


  7. Mabel says:

    Of Michele Bachmann’s answer, Denny Burk says:
    “Of course the term implies respect, but it goes beyond that and requires wives to subordinate themselves to the leadership of their husbands. ”
    Remember, SUBORDINATION!!!!! That’s what submission means. God is sexist, read your bible, I heard loud and clear.


  8. Kristen says:


    If that is the case, then we would not, technically, be electing Michelle at all, but her husband. If he decided to tell her what Presidential decision to make on an issue, she’d have to obey. We could only hope that he would decide to stay out of it, because if he didn’t, she’d be stuck. It doesn’t seem like a good setup at all for the highest office in the land to be held by a rooster-pecked woman. (If a man can be hen-pecked, then a woman can be rooster-pecked, right?)


  9. Mabel says:

    Kristen, LOL! If one cannot elect Michele, one cannot elect Sarah Palin either, yet Sarah Palin was embraced by many patriarchalists. They just wave the magic wand of separation of home and job to make all inconsistencies go away. In their arsenal are magic wands of many kinds: equal but different role is the biggest of them all.


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