Before casting stones at actress Candace Cameron Bure for advocating the Biblical role as a 'submissive' wife in her new book, "Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose," moms should check with their kids to find out who’s viewed as the boss of their house.
"I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work,” says Ms. Cameron Bure, according to a recent interview with The International Business Times.
The former star of 1990s TV series "Full House" married ex-NHL player Valeri Bure in 1996, and is the mom of three children.
“The definition I'm using with the word 'submissive' is the biblical definition of that,” says Cameron Bure in her IBT interview. "So, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength and that’s what I chose to have in my marriage."
Having seen a TV interview with Cameron Bure on her book and her support of wives being both "submissive” and "meek" toward their husbands, I was so aggravated I nearly lost my cool when our youngest son, watching over my shoulder, judged me as “second, behind Papa.”
“Well, Pop is the boss here except when he’s not home or asleep, and then you’re in charge,” my son Quin, 10, said with a shrug. “It makes sense. Somebody’s got to be in charge.”
My proverbial glass house, now full of cracks, groaned ominously around me as I stared at the child who had just calmly lobbed the rock of perception at it.
Being the mother of four boys, for me at least, has always meant a deep sense of responsibility to raise them to be men who respect women as equals in both rights and intellect.
This statement from my youngest came straight from the parenting book of revelations.
My response was along the lines of, “What? What house do you live in?”
“The one where Pop’s the boss,” he said flatly. “What, you didn’t know that?”
I suppose Cameron Bure may be on to something when it comes to the way moms re-prioritize the importance of being seen as “the one in charge” in order to just get things done under parenting pressure.
In the same way Kate was submissive to Petruchio in Shakespeare’s "Taming of the Shrew," women and men who want to have a career working at home while raising multiple children, and keeping both the familial and marital peace, pay less attention to wearing the mantle of command than who’s wearing clean clothes to school today.
My husband, while intellectual and modern in many ways, lives by some very old-world Eastern European male-female role interpretations passed down by his father, who was very strict.
We spent years fighting over absolutely everything until one day he said, “Look, just say ‘Yes, Dear’ whether you agree or not and do what you want. I just can’t stop myself from being this way so you’re just going to have to work around me.”
It has only taken me 20 years to manage that trick about 50 percent of the time, but that seems to have been enough to put me in second place in the minds of the boys.
I wonder how many "bold" moms are seen as "meek" by their kids when they are not choosing to be biblically correct, but rather parenting using the age-old “Don’t fight in front of the children” mantra.
Therefore, the kids see moms as second in command, when she’s leading from behind like Kate in "Taming of the Shrew," or more recently the matriarch Maria Portokalos in the film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
When Quin gets home from school he’s going to watch the scene between mother Maria (played by Lanie Kazan) and daughter Fotoula "Toula" (played by Nia Vardalos), in which Maria explains how power is not always where we think it is in a family, saying, "The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants."
For me the words "submissive" and "meekness" were so powerfully negative, they drowned the message Quin got from seeing the interview with Cameron Bure, which is: make a marriage and family work by minimizing conflicts between the heads of household.
If nothing else, Cameron Bure’s views should motivate moms to make sure the "Taming of the Shrew" is on their child’s reading list so someday we can put to rest our big, fat issues over who’s in charge and focus on enjoying the stories of our lives instead.