Kitchen Cuttings

The women in my family talk about marble rolling

pins and marriage with the humor of stubbed toes.

“Keep that cast iron skillet handy,” they say

in the presence of a new husband.

My grandma tells the story of the woman who rose

at midnight to prepare a meal on demand

for her slurring husband and his posse of drunk friends.

My mother hears this story and her head shakes, carries

three generations of “No, no, no,” though not

unwounded. The women in my family believe

a skirt above the knee is a sign scrawled across my

body, an invitation and an opening for every loss.

They tell stories about the Bukovinian ancestor

who, one moon-shine night, cut off his wife’s baby finger.

And the same day their voices strain with fear of women

standing high in pulpits, believing God’s voice would break

such vessels. I carry the dangers they stir

deep while autumn promise simmers

on the stove. The women in my family talk about marriage

and rolling pins, their voices the color of bruised apples.

Sarah Wallace graduated in 2018 from the Burman University English and Scholars programs. She is currently a master’s student in English and Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9264
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i think the thread i see running through this interesting poem is all too true: no matter how bad things get, conservative women want to be dominated and subjugated…they want the world that MH has created for them…

i think back on what i saw as a child in s. africa, on what i could understand of the waning days of apartheid…there were blacks who saw their entire value in terms of their perceived value of the whites who fed, housed and employed them…the more magnificent their white masters lived, the more important they felt…to try to get them to see that they had value outside of their masters was an impossibility…they were incapable of responding to the idea that equality and freedom were good things…

conservative women need to be rescued…someone with credibility needs to awaken the notion among them that women have gifts that can be empowered by the holy spirit for use in the church and elsewhere outside of the control of the men they know…their destiny isn’t only in being a wife and mother, as worthy as these options are…sadly, egw, whose remarkable and largely revolutionary writings literally brim with this truth, has been unsuccessful…

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I’m not a woman, so I thought I might search the internet for forums that address the question: “What do women REALLY want from men?” First of all, what do women find attractive in men. At the referenced site, I found something interesting.

Girls and women find STRONG MEN, A BIT TALLER AND OLDER THAN THEMSELVES, irresistible.


  1. notsosimple19 wrote:Well, let’s see… in a perfect world? Tall, slighty built, and GREAT smelling. I prefer guys with dark hair and eyes, but that’s just me. Strong jawlines and hands are super attractive, so are muscular arms. Abs don’t matter that much, at least to me. Nice smile and teeth, strong chest and shoulders. And… warm, literally.

  2. Anjaa wrote:Physically attractive things are; friendly eyes, happy smile, perfect teeth, propotional nose, masculine jaw. Then wide shoulders, strong arms, nice chest, not too much hair. Good ass, strong legs and feet and hands which are looked after.

  3. baileydonn wrote:The three most attractive things for me are a goofy guy who likes to joke around, the ability to protect me (big, tall, preferably muscular?), and a love for Jesus. Get that and you’ve got me. I actually live in a super safe town haha. I don’t mean literally to protect me, but for him to look like the dominant person, or just masculine in a sense. I don’t want a skinny wimpy guy, okay?


You get the picture.

The root problem is NOT an inherent Stockholm Syndrome in women, but the inability of men to act out a very simple principle: that they were made to be STRONG against enemies but KIND towards their family. Women do NOT hate men. A woman just wishes that her man would mercilessly beat up anyone who seeks to harm her, but love and cherish and support and provide for her. Eph. 5:22-33

As simple as that. Given that, a woman would follow a man to the ends of the earth.

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Wonderful comment, Jeremy…well said.

" The root problem is NOT an inherent Stockholm Syndrome in women, but the inability of men to act out a very simple principle: that they were made to be STRONG against enemies but KIND towards their family. Women do NOT hate men. A woman just wishes that her man would mercilessly beat up anyone who seeks to harm her, but love and cherish and support and provide for her. Eph. 5:22-33

As simple as that. Given that, a woman would follow a man to the ends of the earth."

I agree with some of this, James…but not the “mercilessly beat up” part. I think a mutual feeling of love, respect, and support is what is needed for both partners.

i think it’s it’s an attitude of willful laziness that leads conservative women to forfeit all responsibility to develop and express what could be important gifts they may have that the church needs…MH allows them to feel good about burying these gifts in the ground…of course MH allows conservative men to occupy pedestals of power and control without having to acknowledge that they’re discriminating against those who may very well be more gifted them…

the dynamics inherent in MH prevents discovery that could readily topple it…it’s a system of suppression that’s insulated against any remedy…

as for Eph 5:22-23, while paul taught husband headship, as did other inspired leaders, like moses, egw and peter, he also taught that marriage isn’t necessarily the be all and end all for everyone, eg. 1 Cor 7:7-9, 27, 32-33, 38, 39-40…egw takes this teaching a step further when she says:

“In this age of the world, as the scenes of earth’s history are soon to close and we are about to enter upon the time of trouble such as never was, the fewer the marriages contracted, the better for all, both men and women.” 5T:366.

but there’s no chance that this kind of teaching can have any impact on conservative women…it doesn’t have much impact even on progressive women…

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" their voices the color of bruised apples."

Yes, “bruised”. Life circumstances has taught them that their only choices are in submissive and subservient roles that become abusive. I saw this in my mother’s and grandmother’s generation…fortunately, far less in mine. I pray even lesser in those that have followed me. True spirituality and education are the keys to making this happen.

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Well, I’m happy to hear a woman’s thoughts about what a woman wishes of the man in her life. It is not good at all that men pontificate on those things.

There is something else that puzzles me: that women prefer men to lead. They prefer male supervisors, managers and pastors. I’ve heard women confess that; and it used to strike me as strange. But there is an obscure passage in the Bible, from ancient times, where this very sentiment is expressed.


When Israel was ruled by Jabin, King of Canaan, Deborah held counsel among the Hebrews. In the process of time, she called to Barak and advised him to set an army against Jabin’s army. He asked her to go with him to the place, to which she responded, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera (general of Jabin’s army) into the hand of a woman.” Judges 4:9.

She was saying to man, “LEAD!” His deference to her resulted in her retort against his weakness, “into the hands of a woman.” And so it was. Jael, Heber’s wife, captured Sisera. On that day, the war ended in Israel’s favour.


The root of the misery in this world seems to be in the heart of MEN. They were given the mantle of leadership, representatives of God on earth (Rom. 5:15), but seem unable to differentiate foe from friend. Why would a man ill-treat his wife or children? That’s just stupid: ref. Chris Watts.

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" There is something else that puzzles me: that women prefer men to lead. They prefer male supervisors, managers and pastors."

I don’t know what women you know, James…but I know quite a few and none of them would agree they “prefer” men to lead. In fact, if I said this to them, they would be incredulous and laugh.

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it probably depends on the culture and mindset of the women you know…i see a lot of women in my church like what james is describing…

my church has been called the most conservative church in canada…even people from newfoundland have complained about my church…yet it’s standing room only on most sabbaths - you can’t argue with success I guess…

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Yes, I am sure that it does depend on culture and mindset of the women. Women that I know are a potpourri of ages and backgrounds and not all of them very religious (they might say “spiritual” thought). None of them would agree with his statement…it would sound perfectly medieval to them.

It is true that “birds of a feather flock together”…perhaps this is the attraction/value (conservatism) in your church?

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it’s hard to say…when i first joined, way back in 1993, the church was at least 99% white, mostly german, with a few ukrainians…the church was totally conservative, traditional, and very much into egw…and at that time the church was full, but you could count on finding a seat even if you were a little late…

now we have a lot of people from kenya, brazil and s. america, plus a few fillipinos and asians, and a big contingent of whites who aren’t particularly ethnic…even with the extensive renovations we’ve built over the past ten yrs, and that has given us more room, its very crowded…good luck on finding a seat if you aren’t early…

but with all of this influx of new people (i think we’re around 1,200 now), we’re still quite conservative compared to most american, and even other canadian, churches i’ve visited…we’re still really into egw and the three angels’ messages…most people i know believe TW is a hero…everybody avoids talking about WO, if they even know it’s an issue…over the yrs, the biggest conflicts we’ve had has been over music styles, but this isn’t there now…our past senior pastor has established that any kind of rock or pop music, or drums, isn’t going to fly in my church, so there isn’t much of a struggle, although some of the pianists do try to push the envelope…on the flip side, people like me avoid heavy classical, so as not to stir up controversy and resentment…

i would say that most people are trying to fit in with others, even if they are on the progressive side at home…and we do have lots of people who are progressives at home…but in church and SS, we avoid what we know is going to be controversial…topics like WO and homosexuality are implied, rather than explicitly stated…we don’t really have crusaders stirring up the pot…people are all friends, and in some cases, we’re decades-old friends…we haven’t had race conflicts, music conflicts, or doctrinal conflicts…instead we’ve focussed on being a great church…we do a lot for our kids and young people, as well as the community, and there are always new baptisms…we just planted a new off-shoot church…

but we’ve been fortunate in having great pastors over the yrs (our last senior pastor’s wife was also a pastor, although she rarely spoke, and never in terms of a formal sermon), along with an excellent elders team who understand the congregation well…one of our elders has been a woman, but she now seems to be retired…but even when she was active, she never officiated during communion…our communions are all-male…we just ordained a new elder, and the service was all-male…our new senior pastor is youngish, and russian…his gorgeous wife grew up in the church, to romanian parents, and is known and loved by all…they now have two lively little boys…

i think central is enjoying a very good period now…i wouldn’t want to see it change…

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I could see why you are content there. It struck me that what you described in your church was more or less what most SDA churches are like without the extra “baggage/rules” of late coming from the GC. I am happy that you like your church, Jeremy.

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That’s the difference. Whereas you know quite a few, I know quite a lot.

  1. I know it’s A LOT because the majority of the world’s Christians are Catholics of the old millennium kind.

  2. Secondly, any woman going regularly to church and finding Christ attractive is immediately presented with the ideal of Christ over the Church as the true model of marriage, and is more likely than not to hope for that ideal in her own life.

  3. Thirdly, generally, from a purely worldly perspective, women tend to prefer men who are successful and capable, industrious and forward-looking; whereas men do NOT look for those qualities in a woman. It speaks to something deeper than this passing cultural fad of “feminism” augmented by incessant media commentary.

Kathy Caprino, Senior Contributor to Forbes Magazine, in her articleWhat Is Feminism, And Why Do So Many Women And Men Hate It?” lists these five reasons (think about No.1 & 4 especially):

  1. Feminism has been associated with strong, forceful and angry women, and our society continues to punish forceful women. (So much recent data and research has proved this.)

  2. Many people fear that feminism will mean that men will eventually lose out – of power, influence, impact, authority, and control, and economic opportunities.

  3. Many people believe that feminists want to control the world and put men down.

  4. Many people fear that feminism will overturn time-honored traditions, religious beliefs and established gender roles, and that feels scary and wrong.

  5. Many people fear that feminism will bring about negative shifts in relationships, marriage, society, culture, power and authority dynamics, and in business, job and economic opportunities if and when women are on an equal footing with men.

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" I know it’s A LOT because the majority of the world’s Christians are Catholics of the old millennium kind."

James, I was referring to the women of the Post Modern world in which I live. I do not know or was referring to those who live in mostly Developing Worlds.

"Secondly, any woman going regularly to church and finding Christ attractive is immediately presented with the ideal of Christ over the Church as the true model of marriage, and is more likely than not to hope for that ideal in her own life."

I don’t know any of these women, James, and I attended SDA churches most of my life. Sounds perfectly Victorian…do they also desire Hope Chests and sets of silver? :wink:

"Thirdly, generally, from a purely worldly perspective, women tend to prefer men who are successful and capable, industrious and forward-looking; whereas men do NOT look for those qualities in a woman. It speaks to something deeper than this passing cultural fad of “feminism” augmented by incessant media commentary."

This is your most ludicrous statement so far…so very untrue. My husband has worked in business for over 30 years now with very capable men and women. They tend to marry each other and the men are very much looking for “successful, capable, industrious, and forward thinking.” I am starting to think that you don’t know too many of these “successful” types. :slight_smile:

I agree with your list…“fear” is in 3 out of the 5. Fear isn’t always rational and many men like to hold on to their “power and control”…such as we see currently in the SDA church.

When you say “women of the post-modern world,” what do you mean? According to Vatican statistics, quoted by the BBC, about a third of the 1.2 billion Catholics are North American and European. That is about 250 million, near the population of the USA, about SEVEN times the population of Canada.

Also, it is rather strange that you would contrast “women of the post-modern world” against a supposed group living in “mostly Developing Worlds”. The USA had an opportunity to elect a woman as president in 2016, but instead elected a misogynistic philanderer and serial liar, unapologetically thrice unfaithful to his three wives; whereas even the Buddhist and Muslim Myanmar was “progressive” enough to elect a woman, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Is post-modernism to be defined by the character of Donald Trump?

See the Washington Post: “White evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, exit polls show”

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*"Also, it is rather strange that you would contrast “ women of the post-modern world ” against a supposed group living in “ mostly Developing Worlds"

I don’t know why you would think it is so…I was pretty clear in my comment. Let me give it one more shot- most of those “Catholics of the old millennium kind” usually live in very conservative areas such as the Developing Worlds and NOT in the Developed Worlds. Post Modernism usually is relegated to the Developed Worlds, also. Hope this clears it up.

The USA had an opportunity to elect a woman as president in 2016, but instead elected a misogynistic philanderer and serial liar, unapologetically unfaithful to his three wives, one after the other; whereas even the Buddhist and Muslim Myanmar was “progressive” enough to elect a woman, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Is post-modernism to be defined by the character of Donald Trump seeing he is of the “Developed Worlds”? See the Washington Post: “White evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, exit polls show

See also Wikipedia on Conservatism in the USA: “According to a 2014 poll, 38% of American voters identify as conservative or very conservative, 34% as moderate, 24% as liberal or very liberal. These percentages were fairly constant from 1990-2009." It is even more pronounced in the Republican party: "70% self-identified as conservative, 24% as moderate, and 5% as liberal.” But what is this “conservatism” all about? What does the term mean in reality? Again, from the same article, Russell Kirk developed six canons of conservatism, which Gerald J. Russello described as follows:

  1. A belief in a transcendent order, which Kirk described variously as based in tradition, divine revelation, or natural law;

  2. An affection for the “variety and mystery” of human existence;

  3. A conviction that society requires orders and classes that emphasize “natural” distinctions;

  4. A belief that property and freedom are closely linked;

  5. A faith in custom, convention, and prescription, and

  6. A recognition that innovation must be tied to existing traditions and customs, which entails a respect for the political value of prudence


I put all this together to show you that, GIVEN your statement that you “know quite a few [women] and none of them would agree they “prefer” men to lead. In fact, if I said this to them, they would be incredulous and laugh,” that you are actually living in a bubble, blithely unaware of the true American reality.

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Who gets elected…and why, is different than how most people live in American society in their private lives. The US is still a Post Modern society where you or I like it- or not.

The issue of not having a female president yet in the US aptly displays how entrenched the “Good ole boys club” still is. We can all thank sexism for this…but it will only be a matter of time before (a female president) this occurs. It took a very long time to get a black man as a president and it may take longer for a female.

Given what you comment on here…I am living far more into the mainstream of American life than you. You appear to have belief system of the 1950’s…perhaps a bit earlier. And we haven’t even touched the fact that your religious beliefs are quite “conservative” beyond most of what I have even seen in the average SDA. Talk about living in a “bubble”. :wink:

Besides…if the church schisms…then you can create this “perfect” SDA world that you desire. Good luck.

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