Laundry, Dishes and Gender Roles — A Followup

Last November, salve Owen Strachan wrote a post on ‘dad-moms’: those men who take on female responsibilities like laundry, dishes and childcare. This post was then picked up by Her.meneutics where the discussion continued. Well, this month, an expanded essay on the topic appeared in The Journal For Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Two things of interest in this expanded essay. First Owen Strachan admits that complementarianism is patriarchy. He writes, “For millennia, followers of God have practiced what used to be called patriarchy and is now called complementarianism.” It’s interesting that he says this given that most complementarians try their hardest to distinguish complementarianism from patriarchy.

Second, he says that most of the response to his post was from a ‘feminine voice.’ And yet, I was blessed by seeing how many men stood up to voice their opinion about it (particularly on twitter). But it does raise the question, is this an issue only for women? Why isn’t it an issue for men? Is it not a manly enough issue for men to discuss? Do those men who disagree with Strachan no longer qualify to be ‘men’ because they supposedly have been shaped by culture rather than Scripture? What happens if it turns out that those men who don’t have a problem with ‘dad moms’ have truly based their understanding on Scripture instead of on secular culture and still arrive at their conclusion? Does that make them ‘feminine?’

So, I encourage you to read his essay. Also read my original response, as well as an example of a ‘male’ response.

  • I disagree that complementarianism necessarily leads to patriarchy. Patriarchy by definition assumes a value hierarchy. Complementarianism can have that, but it also can be viewed differently. I carry some complementarian assumptions, but draw them out to egalitarian conclusions. (We need women who preach and we need men who will serve by doing domestic chores.) In my assumptions, the differences are not role based, but relational. I’ll have to tease out my own post I guess.