Monday, April 30, 2012

Q and A

Painting by Belinda Byers Available from Lovely Whatevers

The following questions are from emails I have received over the years since beginning this blog and the LAF site.

Q. I can tell by the picture on this blog that you dress Victorian. I think you judge other women by the way they dress. I wear a mini skirt, high heels, have short, spikey hair and long nails. In your disapproval, you would cross over to the other side of the street if you saw me.

A. So, do you mean that the way a person dresses, determines how they judge other people? If that is true, then, does it apply to you, as well? You wear a mini skirt and have your head shorn. Does this mean you disapprove of wearing Victorian clothing? Would you cross over to the other side of the street if you saw a woman in a long dress, wearing gloves and a hat and carrying a parasol? According to your reasoning, if someone wears red, they would avoid anyone that didn't wear the same color.

 Q. Why do you only use Victorian paintings on this blog? You are just trying to force us all to wear long skirts and bring women back into the Stone Age .

A. Not all the paintings are of the Victorian era. This one in particular, which is at the head of the post,  was painted by a current artist who is living today and it was published at Allposters for sale just this year. Maybe you should contact her and ask her why she paints such pictures. Tell her we are in the 21st century now, and she should be painting girls in black leather with spikey hair, black lipstick and tattoos and rings in their tongues and belly buttons. Or maybe she should paint the scenes of women that we see every day at public beeches, all dressed up in nothing, with plenty of flesh overflowing  on less than fit bodies, to emphasize  smallness of  the piece of fabric they bought.

The beauty of the fabric and clothing of the Victorian era has been repeated several times in the 20th century. In fact, even during the 1960's, the lace blouse and long western type skirt with books was in style. In spite of any current fashion, there has always been the Victorian alternative style for women. Though it may lack the billowing sleeves and skirts, the principles of line and modesty are still there. This site features Western style clothing for women that uses some of the styles from the Victorian era, modifying them for wearing today.

 As for why I use any "Victorian" style paintings, the answer is simple: I like fabric, I collect fabric, I sew fabric, I like to go to stores and look at fabric, and the Victorian fashions have a lot more fabric in them. I think it is amazing how the artists can paint on canvas and get the garments to look like real fabric, with the folds and the shaded areas, and the color. It just amazes me how smart the 19th century (Victorian) artists like Edmund B. Leighton, Edward Johnson, Charles Haigh-Wood, Winterhalter, Daniel Ridgeway Knight, John Bagnold Burgess, and thousands of others of the period, could paint such details and accuracy and at the same time display such beauty and happiness in women, on canvas, for the world to enjoy a hundred years later. As for the Stone Age, I'm not really familiar with the fashions of that era. Did women wear a lot of cloth back then, or was it more like the 21st century?

Q. You seem to think all women should wear clothes like this, which are so impractical and out of style.
A.  I post the pictures that I like, of the styles that I like. Every blogger has that right. I am not here to appeal to everyone's tastes. I like fabric, and I like to sew, and I enjoy the old paintings. My style reflects my likes.

Q.You women are so stupid...don't you have minds of your own? I can't imagine being in subjection to a husband...A. Well then, like the preacher said in the sermons of the past section, just make sure you never get married. With an attitude like that, it is better to stay single than to ruin someone else's life. If you don't need a husband, then leave the men alone, to marry someone who does who is willing to take care him.

Q. Do you think Victorian is the only way to decorate or dress?A. No, I don't. It would be boring if I visited all my friends and they had the exact same style in decor and in clothing or hairstyle, wouldn't it? If you look carefully at the photographs of Victorian women, their clothing is different in many ways. In black and white photographs it is hard to see but the blouses and skirts are all different and so are the hats. Their homes were all very different, depending on their family income and their interests.There are lots of sites on the web that showcase the Victorian style and its beauty. We are all related to the Victorians, yet for some reason, there is a hatred of the era. I wonder what our grandmothers and great grandmothers who lived in that era would have said, had they known the disrespect the 21st century women would have for their era. 

Q. What about young girls at home?
A. Every set of parents has the right to make that decision, based on their understanding and their wisdom. Children don't have the wisdom it takes to get out in the world too early, and that is why God gives them parents as their protectors. Some parents don't care what their girls do, and others want to protect them a little more than they, themselves were protected. Some of the reasons for this are: they realize the dangers that are out there, due to their own observations when they were young, they want to provide something more fulfilling for their daughters than to send them away at an early age to fend for themselves, and some just have daughters that would rather stay home. There are probably more reasons for this focus on the home than I can list, but those are some of them.

 If you are a young girl reading this, you may not fully comprehend the feelings behind these reasons, until you have children of your own. A man or woman in the old times, and even in today's times among people like the Turks, still stay home til they get married. A man or woman leave their father and mother to be joined to their husband or wife. There wasn't an inbetween stage where kids lived wildly, getting lonely, poor, under pressure, depressed, living away from home. There will always be those who do, but they are ultimately safer at home. You don't find kids disappearing mysteriously who are with their parents or young people getting assaulted right beside their mates. It is when they are alone or with a group of friends their own age that they are in the most danger, both emotionally and physically. 

Q.Do you have to ask your husband permission for everything you do?
A. No. By the time you've lived with someone 40 years, you can read their minds.You know their likes and dislikes, and in fact, you think alike and your values are the same.

Q. Do you believe the male is superior to the female?
A. No, but the woman isn't superior to the male, either. In Christ they are heirs together in the grace of God. The woman is to marry, bear children and keep house, that the word of God be not blasphemed. The man is to work by the sweat of his brow and provide for his own family, which may also include an elderly parent or someone who is a helpless dependent. If he refuses to do this, he is called a number of "names" or labelled, in the New Testament, as someone who is derelict in his duty. Being the provider doesn't make him superior to anyone. Its really a great sacrifice for him. The woman guiding the home has a huge job. She isn't inferior just because she does that. It is just two different things. It is the feminist spin on word usage that has made women question this. A man "gets" to work outside the home and make money in a career, but a woman "has" to stay home. If it were spun the opposite, the men might rebel and stay home and be housekeepers while the women are sent to work to provide for their families. It is scary to think what would happen if men rebelled the way women have.

Q. Do you judge people's salvation based on what they wear, or how they clean their houses?
A. No, I don't. Even people with clean houses who dress modestly can be lost if they do not obey the gospel.

Q. Your husband provides for you and you do not have a job outside the home. That makes you a "kept" woman, doesn't it? A.I'm not sure what you mean by that term, but if I am one, I'm happy that it is my husband that is keeping me, and not someone else. I consider it an honor to keep our home.

Q. Aren't you aware of what people say about you elsewhere on the web? They say you lack compassion and that you are a hypocrite. A.Yes, I am aware of this, but I was not aware that any particular group or person was ever chosen as a blog compassion police, or a blog hypocrite police. They who accuse people of this publicly lack compassion themselves. There is a danger of calling someone a hypocrite, because it seems as soon as you do, you become one, yourself.I know Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, but I'm not up there with Jesus so I don't do it. I don't see where it would benefit me or my life or anyone else's to call someone a hypocrite, even if they were one. Actually in this world, it would be hard not to find hypocrites everywhere, as every person that has ever lived has been one at one time or other. If we start labelling hypocrites, we will end up with a very long list.

Q. What right do you have to say anything about shorts and bra-tops and women's clothes? A.I'm not claiming any "right," I am just making an observation: most women outside the fashion model world do not look good in these things, yet they follow the trends that were made for only those with perfect figures. Some so-called fashion "experts" loudly broadcast on television shows that skinny clothes make fat women look thinner, but it is not true. Older women especially do not look good in modern, western clothes. If people want to call me names over my observation, they need to also call Cojo some names, for titling one of his pieces on Inside Edition, "When Bad Fashion Happens to Good People."  Most of the Victorian fashions concealed women's underwear, whereas today, underwear is worn as outer-wear.

To be fair, it isn't women's fault entirely.  They buy what is available on the rack at affordable prices. They do not have dressmakers. They don't have a lot of choice. The only fault on the part of the women is that they don't know how to make good choices in clothing, and the rest of it is the fault of the fashion industry and the manufacturers. I am not saying I am completely happy with my own clothes or that I have found the perfect way to dress. When women can't sew anymore, they lose their independence and their freedom of choice and they are helplessly dependent upon what is in the stores to get something to wear, and when they are desperate, they will wear anything.

Q. There are rumors all over the web that you hate lesbians. What do you say to that? A. I don't know who the big judge out there is that was appointed to decide what I hated and what I did not. Did I say somewhere that I hated someone? Now let me ask a question that I have been wondering for awhile. Apparently there is a quota in businesses, where a certain number of minorities have to be hired, including "alternate lifestyle" people. My question is, what if one of these "alernate" people gets converted to Christ and puts away her sinful ways? Would she have to go to her employer and confess that she was no longer qualified for a minority job? To date, no one has answered my question. This is a question of ethics, also.

Q. Your children are grown, so why aren't you out working now? A. I answered that question in a recent post. Here again, I find the retirement police at work trying to decide what I should do with my life in my later years. I don't understand why they want to send a bunch of old ladies out into the workforce. Aren't there enough young women screaming for the right to work, to fill all these job opportunities? Why should I compete with them? 

Q.I totally hate what you represent. It is well known what you think about unwed mothers and single mothers and in fact you would have rejected the virgin, Mary if you had met her today. A. It is interesting how many "thought-police" are out there claiming to know what I think, or claiming to deduct what I think, or claiming that my blog leads them to know what I think. The people you are talking about are Fearful, Loud, Angry Women who look for flaws in homemaking blogs and use the excuse that they don't like what I write, as a reason to broadcast what they believe I think. Only God knows what I think. They should name their site, "FLAW" because of their constant complaints about the posts here on this blog. I don't know who appointed the "FLAW" bunch as monitors of this particular site. I didn't personally attack any one of the FLAW and never had any personal complaints about them. I don't dictate anything to anyone and people can come and go as they like. They can always take me off their blogroll if what I say irks them. There are much worse sites out there that really do hate other people and really do dictate to women what they must wear and where they can go and how they can live. Some religious groups even have clothing that is approved by their church heirarchy, and cannot wear commercial clothing. Others have their diet dictated to them by their church, and still others do not drive cars because they belong to a religion that doesn't believe in it. I don't dictate anything to anyone. This has a variety of ideas on it but it doesn't insist on its own way. FLAW insist, however, that they are right about what I think. I, on the other hand, can't insist that I know what they think. There will always be the FLAW types that will be unhappy with other sites and blogs.

Q. Don't you think you should be aware of everything people are saying about you in the blog world, in order to refute it? A. No. It is too time consuming , plus the accusations now range from being a woman hater and a child hater to being an ax murderer. Sometimes I check out these blogs but if they don't have any good recipes on them, I quickly move on. The refutations are available already in my posts on this blog, if anyone reads it carefully.I can't go around putting out all the fires that FLAWS start, and besides, if I get in an argument with anyone, they win: they are better arguers than I am.
A Familiar Walk
by Susan Rios, California

Q. You don't believe in sending daughters off to college or to work. Isn't that extreme? A. I don't know which subject you really want me to address: college or "extreme." As for college, after looking into the issue on many levels (regarding expense, time, influence, etc) I find college and "extreme" solution for just about anyone. I'm not of course, talking about studying to become a doctor or dentist, but about the general liberal arts colleges where young people are sent. I can't find any scripture in the Bible that authorizes us to do this, and most people who are honest will report the goings-on at colleges in a less than stellar light. You say I'm not in favor of college for girls: well that is not true. I'm not in favor of it for anyone, in its present system. There are classes and courses that people can take outside of the establishment that provide a far better education than the college system. It is a great big business, and it needs us to send our kids there so they can stay in business. I could perhaps write volumes about it but there are already a lot of other good articles written by other people. There also remains the flesh and blood evidence from colleges: the results it has given to women in particular. The rude comments and the Q and A mostly come from feminist college students. Colleges are dominated by feminism, even the so called Christian colleges. Churches have a lot of feminism in them, but a person could always have church with like minded people in their own home or community and avoid some of the feminist teachings. I don't see why people couldn't do the same, in the case of college. They go to school and want to learn a particular thing, but thrown in with it is all the feminist doctrine, and when they are not in class, they must still have the politically correct attitudes which are controlled in part by these feminists. Still, no matter what kind of system it is, or who is in control, I see no evidence in the Bible of sending people off to these institutions and dont see any command that says "thou shalt send thy children to college." College is big business and it needs your business to stay in business. They generally don't care who enrolls, as long as they have the money, so don't get the idea that your child is special just because he got accepted into a college.

Q. What is your answer to the accusation on other blogs, that you would despise the virgin, Mary.
A.I have contacted one of these people, who claim that it was not an accusation, but merely a "tongue-in-cheek" illustration. To that, I will say, that if it was a tongue-in-cheek piece of writing, then everything on my blog is also tongue-in-cheek, to them, and so, they have nothing further to complain about regarding my writing.
Q. I don't agree with you. I reject this.
A.Agreeing or disagreeing or rejecting, may change someone's mind, or opinion, but it does not change reality or change truth, or change facts or change history. You may or may not agree with Titus 2 or I Timothy 5:14, but it doesn't change those verses one single bit.
Q. I'm not exactly a socialist, and sometimes call myself a Christian Socialist, but I feel guilty that I am blessed with so much, while others around the world are not. Socialism seems like a compassionate way , as even Christ fed the hungry.
A.Socialist doctine sounds really good if you are young and idealistic, but the Bible does not teach it. We are not commanded in the Bible to make all people equal or give everyone an equal standard of living. The mission of Christians is never given to be eliminating poverty or equality, but to teach the gospel and save the souls of men, and live a good, clean life that will not blaspheme or discredit the word of God. To force socialism on people is to rob Christians of the opportunity to serve others in benevolence and teaching. If the state provides for everyone, there is no need for husbands to provide for wives, as the Bible teaches, and there is no need for Christians to help the needy. Providing benevolence is one way to open the door for teaching the gospel, and that can't be done if the Christians have no one to help. Socialism is taking a role that God has not authorized. He appointed men to look after their families, not the state.
Q.I would like to stay home but when I talk about it, I don't get any support. People act like I'm going back into the Dark Ages and will end up with no life.
A.The best thing to do is not waste time arguing with anyone but just prove your point by doing it.

Q. Why do you not answer questions that people put to you in public on their blogs?
A. This is my blog and I can do as I like with it. If they want to ask questions, that is what they will do, and if I dont want to be answering questions all the time, that is what I will do. Its a free blog.

Most of the questions from feminists are demanding and not necessary to helping them become wives, mothers and homemakers. Young women are worried about many things that they cannot get answers to. There are some things in life that most of us at one time or another will never get an answer to. Young people today just cannot accept life. They want to impose their own political beliefs on me and challenge me for the way I live. They ought to be quiet and get their laundry and dishes done and clean up their houses and spend the time getting their relationships with parents, husbands and children, in compliance with scripture, and quit trying to rearrange my blog.

As a blogger, I have a perfect right and liberty to put articles back into drafts and tinker with them and add to them if I like. If I want to keep an article in drafts for years, I can do that. I am not getting a salary for any of these original articles and I do not owe anyone an article. If I like it I can keep it up, but if I want to alter it I can put it in drafts and re-do it. I don't go around demanding that other bloggers explain themselves or answer my questions and I don't expect to be given demands from spoiled women who think they have a right to have answers from everyone.

If I want to reject a comment, I may, and so may they. However I often get emails demanding to know why I rejected their posts. I know that feminists often do not post everything that people try to post, yet they get so indignant if I do not post everything they write.

If you have a particular question, do the research yourself and find out for yourself rather than ask me to explain every little thing and spoon feed you an opinion. Do the studying and then reach your own conclusions about any subject matter rather than demanding answers from me about what I believe. One reason I do not answer is because of the attitude of entitlement that these feminists have. They act as self-appointed investigators who are entitled to cross-examine me. They want to entrap me by enlarging things into issues greater than what they were intended to be. I will not answer these kinds of demanding questions because of the arrogance in which they are asked. These girls lack humility and they lack understanding. It will take them awhile to see that their world is not going to go the way they want it to, and that many women will choose to stay home rather than go to college or get a career. They demand that I explain "what I mean " or my "position" on the matter. I don't need to explain it and re-explain it. There are plenty of articles here to read and I dont have to spend days and nights explaining things. They are the type of people who will not be happy with any kind of explanation, anyway, as they are arguers, practiced in sophistry. You can't ever convince them of anything, and much time is wasted that could be spent on those who are seeking the Lord's way. Surely they are educated enough to find their own answers.

Q. Judging from the fact that your style is Victorian, and that you believe in wearing skirts and dresses, I would say that you are legalistic.

A. I do not know what religious doctrine started the accusations of legalism, but they are not well-founded at all. Would they also call the Persian women legalistic because they cover their heads and wear tunics and pants? Would they call the Muslim women legalistic? What about women in India: most of them still wear the sari, a dress and shawl that covers the head. Are they being legalistic? What is legalistic about wearing the costume of your culture?

Dresses have always been part of the western culture. What is wrong with western culture as it once was, with, as the poet Robert Louis Stevenson penned, the wind blowing "like ladies skirts upon the grass." Do you think the people in the days of Robert Louis Stevenson were legalistic because the ladies skirts were long enough to hear their rustle upon the grass?

Have you seen the film, "The Electric Edwardians?" It is a silent film of just people in England walking around in the country or in town, which shows what they really looked like. Were they being legalistic because the men wore hats and tipped them at the ladies, and the ladies wore long skirts and pretty blouses? Would you say that the women in Bible times were legalistic because they wore long veils from head to foot? So I reject your accusation of legalism, as it cannot be proven.


The Belangers said...

Wow. I am amazed at how indoctrinated these women really are. I CANNOT imagine going through life wanting to be like a man, or wanting to be viewed as strong as a man, or doing things in the same way or better than men. My husband loves my little hands and little feet. He loves that I can curl into a ball and fit on his lap. God gave us roles for a reason. And we compliment each other. If everyone on earth acted like a man, then we would lose the God-given attributes that we women possess- grace, delicacy, and compassion. There would be no fragrant gardens, no cookies for hungry children after school, no made beds that look so warm and comfy, no mama's soft kisses, or the sweet scent a woman leaves in the air when passing by.

I just don't get it. I don't get why it is ok to talk about people on other blogs and come back and tell them that "everyone on the internet says xy and z about you...what do you think of THAT?!" Do we have to start worrying about the blog world becoming like high school all over again.

And for the record, I'm a 28 year old, college educated stay at home wife. I have no children as we are still undecided on whether or not we are meant to be parents. I live in Texas and in the 100 degree summers we have, I do sometimes wear capris, or long shorts (nothing super super short- at least more than half way to the knees). I also sometimes wear tops that show my full arms. And if and when we do have a child, I know I will not homeschool it. I will use my degree to supplement the school teachers and to help them with homework and learning outside the classroom, but we feel strongly that our child should get an education outside of our home as well.

Now, having said all this, you will see that there are a few things that we may disagree on- BUT you would never find me attacking you or asking you questions in the hopes of trying to instigate a fight. "Don't you know homeschooled children grow up to be weirdo kids with no socials skills", or "What do you think about everyone on the internet saying that your children are at least 3 grade levels behind?" I mean, come on. Where is that going to get anyone? And even though I wear capris, jeans,shirts with show arms, bermuda shorts, and the like, I too agree that the modesty in women has decreased in horrifying amounts. I'm tired of seeing 5 year old girls in shirts that read, "Boyfriend stealer", or "Girls, watch your guys, I'm in the room now." I mean, seriously? And normal, sane person should know that that is totally inappropriate. And I will disagree with you on this Lady Lydia- that the advertisers and designers are to blame. We I don't think they're the only ones....have you fogotten about those horibble trampy looking dolls called the "Bratz"??? If you haven't seen one, google them and be prepared to be furious. They are wildly popular with girls from 4 years on and up. And they have their own cartoon! UNBELIEVABLE, I say.

I am just so blessed and thankful that I stumbled upon your blog, which led me to other homemaking blogs, which led me to others and so on. I have good long list or 15 or so going strong and I look to you women daily for inspiration. As a matter of fact, one blog in particular has a carnival for Make your home a haven Mondays, which promotes not only waking before your family while it is still dark out (remind you of a certain Proverb??! :) )to spend some quiet time with the Lord, prepare your day to best meet the needs of your family, and pick something to do that day that will make your home feel like more of a haven. I can't begin to tell you how my relationship with my husband AND Christ has changed just by doing this. I used to think about reading all my prayer books, pray before bed, if I remembered, really want to get up for church, but never having it happen. Then these wonderful homemaking women came into my life and I thank God for them each day, as now after only one week, I find myself praying and talking to Him throughout the day, as having my house in the perfect condition for my tired hubby to come home and relax in. It is most certainly his haven, and funnily enough, it's doing that for my husband that makes me the proudest women I could be- not that lavishly framed piece of paper hung in our office that says that I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Lydia said...

Mrs. Belanger,

I can tell that the students are home for the holidays. I've received my usual ration of rude, ignorant comments. One that was a classic, I lost somehow during the confusion of Blogger's slowness and my own clicking the wrong icons. If the girl would post again, I'd like to go ahead and post it. It was on the post "Do What God Says Do and Let Him Take Care of the Rest." As I recall, she was saying she should take up lessons in doily-making and that it didn't use much intelligence to be a homemaker. I suppose these girls will gift us all during the holiday season with their insight and intelligence about how little the home matters and how much the mother contributes to her children by leaving them in the care of others, or how financially advantageous it is to be married and divorced 7 times. And, to think that they PAY thousands of dollars for this kind of thinking that they gather from some of their more liberal professors and their peers. The Christmas holidays yield quite a few of these silly comments, but the summer holidays give them more time. I don't think they should be using the web for things like that: if they were educated to get a job, then they should be busy working for their employer, not wasting his time and money by spending time ridiculing homemakers.