The Prairie Muffin Manifesto

“[Prairie Muffins] are also happy that their husbands are masculine, and they do not diminish that masculinity by harping on habits which emanate from the fact that boys will be boys, even when they grow up. In addition, Prairie Muffins are careful not to use their feminine, hormotional weaknesses to excuse sinful attitudes and actions, but learn to depend more and more on God’s grace and strength in the midst of any monthly trials.”

Soooo… men are totally excused for violence, boorishness, or lustfulness because “boys will be boys” but women are not allowed to use PMS as a defense for the occasional crying jag? Jesus H. Christ, these “muffins” make women responsible for every foible, but men’s sins are carte blanche to be excused.

Read the rest. I’d seen it before but only today, under the influence of lots of cold medicine, could I manage to read through the whole thing. That particular gem above was near the bottom.

Also important:

“Chocolate bon-bons may be a rare indulgence, but Prairie Muffins don’t have the time or inclination to waste their lives on soap operas or other inane and inappropriate entertainment.”

Chocolate is rare and soap operas are verboten? Count me out, ladies.

We’ve been over this one before, but, still… I can’t imagine what a horror living like that would be.

I mean, if I really want to know, I can go and check out the Muffin’s blogs. And the detailed chore lists… like the one that listed ALL the work she did during the day (the house must be sterile enough to operate in), plus all the childcare, PLUS packing and shipping (i.e. taking to the post office) all the things her husband’s eBay business sold.

Wait a second. Her husband works out of the house selling crap on eBay. Working on eBay basically requires two things: hanging out online and posting and bidding on crap on eBay, and packing/shipping/receiving packages. If she’s doing all the packing, shipping, and post office business, what the fuck is he doing all day?

And that’s the part about being a ‘muffin’ that gets a bit creepy. I feel like these women are being taken advantage of. Substituting blind faith for rational judgement seems an invitation to abuse. Now, I don’t blame the muffin–I blame the icky power-abusing dude for being, well, icky and power-abusive–but the manifesto is practically an engraved invitation.

An invitation of naiveity? I want to think a Prarie Muffin is just dumb–too full of faith to see object human nature. They think that by being as purely domesticated as possible, they will eake out some protective paternal essence from a man. They think they will be loved by their husbands as they were by their fathers–sexless, adored, venerated. But unless dear old Dad was a perv, the madonna/whore that dear husband usually salivates for is twice the girl Daddy sees.

And power–is ignored. The effect of handing off that much control of the relationship dynamic isn’t even a topic for discussion. How can it even be a relationship when one party is unrepresented?

And even if the representation is mostly just… how does a properly regarded male in this scenerio not come out the other end confused… or just as an asshole? Eventually it must get tiring to have to weigh everyone’s feelings, then make a decision. Wouldn’t you eventually just substiture your own judgment when you thought it best? And wouldn’t it get hard to tell when or what your wife wanted if she was expected to always react positively?

The gender divisions are clear for muffin families from the cradle–girls learn to sew and disinfect, boys to explore and conquer. Men are deferred to, women are keepers.

What if you’re not a keeper? What if you can’t find peace and happiness in a life of domesticity? Laura Ingalls Wilder is no heroine for a Prarie Muffin–her ideals are too close to feminism. So any girls spunkier than Little Bit (and I think that’s a lot of girls) will be unhappy. And have to be broken. How is that right, or fair?

And why am I so obsessed with this? No idea. Maybe they seem a threat to me, somehow. The happy homemaker does seem to be on the popular upswing. Maybe I think I cannot compete with a smiling Norman Rockwell wife, all trim skirt and warm smile. Or that I won’t be willing to.

Perhaps I worry that, in the practice of giving men just what they want–the pliant pleasant wife–it would become expected again. I don’t think it’s natural to go around all the time smiling and faking it. What happens when you tuck every resentment, every frustration, away inside?

Well, I guess if it’s the 50s you take a lot of Valium, then get all pissed off and start burning bras. Is it really just going around and around?

7 responses to “The Prairie Muffin Manifesto”

  1. Robust McManlyPants Says:

    They say history repeats itself, but do we really need to live in log cabins and take the right to vote from half the population to help it along?

    I can’t begin to understand someone submitting like this. You say you don’t blame the Muffins, but I think I blame everybody in that situation. If someone is happy like that, more power to them, but it seems to me like it’s just a cheap, easy way to go – easier than I can respect. As you say, just tuck away every resentment, frustration, disagreement; just tamp it all down and let the man decide and wear a smile. I think it probably seems easy to some women who choose that life, anyway, and then they wake up one morning with a bloody hatchet in their right hand and their husband’s head in the other, or the psychological equivalent. I can’t imagine many other outcomes, frankly, but that’s my own psychology intruding on the scenario.

    I am reminded of The Boyf’s favorite line ever from the Simpsons: Lisa asks Homer what to do when she feels angry, how to express it, and he says (to paraphrase), “You just take all that and you push it down, way down inside, and then one day it all comes back out and you explode – just like Daddy did that time. You remember that time when Daddy got angry?” Yeah. I imagine it’s a lot like that.

  2. Robust McManlyPants Says:

    OH, I forgot something. One of our fraternity sisters (I won’t say her name on teh intarwebs without permission, though I’ll gladly tell you in person) was told in college, by her father, that it was wrong for her to have pre-marital sex. Months later, her younger brother was allowed to have his girlfriend come over and stay with him, in his bed, for several days during Winter Break. When our sister challenged her father with this disparity, his response was simple: “Men have needs…”

    I’ll hold your hair while you puke if you’ll hold mine, sis.

  3. bascha Says:

    If someone is happy like that, more power to them, but it seems to me like it’s just a cheap, easy way to go – easier than I can respect. As you say, just tuck away every resentment, frustration, disagreement; just tamp it all down and let the man decide and wear a smile. I think it probably seems easy to some women who choose that life

    It does seem like a cheap, easy way to go, but I have to weigh that whole ‘women can do ANYTHING they want’ belief out. If I really think women get choice, then they get the choice to stay home and be obedient and stuff. It would really suck for me to make that choice (and for the poor schmuck who had to put up with my ceaseless restlessness), but some folks do want to make a home, and stay home to keep it. I feel like I have to be careful not to tread on their choice, just like I’d like them not to set my choice back, oh, 50 years.

    And it’s not just Prarie Dawn and her Dawg that are going this way. We have friends–mutual and otherwise–who have chosen ‘stay-at-home’ careers. Whether temporary or not, I gotta respect that. And, hey, I’m a bit jealous of that sort of freedom sometimes… especially when the alarm clock is going off on a work day and I’d rather pull the covers up over my head and go back to sleep! ;)

    And on the son/daughter dichotomy… oh, hells yeah. My parents were shocked–SHOCKED!–when I brought home a boy in college, and they discovered there was schtuppin’ goin’ on. My brother, however, almost got arrested for banging his 15-y.o. girlfriend (after he had turned 18) and the only real cause for alarm was that they had gotten caught at a party where there was drinking, and the alcohol might get them all in trouble with their football coach.

  4. Robust McManlyPants Says:

    Now, if someone has gone into it and chosen it willingly, I am 100% in support of that. And I totally support people who choose to do the stay-at-home thing because, by gods, there are a lot of people for whom that is really important and fulfilling and I want more people in the world to feel happy and fulfilled, however that happens. But my fear is for people who don’t get a choice – it just happens, or it’s just expected of them, and then one day there’s a big guy whose beliefs revolve around him always being right and being allowed – nay, expected – to do all the “manly” things who flips his shit because someone doesn’t feel like darning his socks right now. That scares me. But if people want it, and choose it? More power to ’em. Choice isn’t about swapping my choice for theirs, it’s about protecting both their and my choices and rights to choose, and I’m totally on board with that.

  5. bascha Says:

    I’m right there with ya! I want so badly to be all ‘you go girl’ for these, er, Muffins, but at the same time my whole being is going “Ugh! Gross!” and “But what happens after.”

    And, too, I’m totally just not sure on the kids thing–is it really right for a kid to grow up with that narrow (imagine me holding two fingers VERY close together) view of what a woman is, what a woman can be? Does their choice extend that far? Where does the mini-Muffin “right” to a “normal” childhood come in? At all? Not until s/he’s 18?

    I just don’t know. It’s just one of those… ugh–Things?

  6. A PROUD "Prairie Muffin" Says:

    I am so happy that I have the Lord on one side, and my dear husband on the other. Life is wonderful, and I’m also glad that in the world *I* live in, I do not have to deal with idiotic feminism like this blog! Wow ladies – first you use the Lord’s name in vain, then you put down the Bible (well, yea, you did – everything you are putting down is outlined as the PROPER way for a woman to act in the Holy Bible). No, I won’t be laughing when you are burning in h*ll – I’ll be sad. I’m praying for you all.

    And yes – I wear ONLY dresses, I have my hair covered, it is not cut, I do not work outside of the home, I wear no makeup, and I am PROUD to be a wife of a Godly man (and for the record, I do have denim jumpers and chickens, so I guess I am 100% a prairie muffin).

    I’d pick this life any day….

  7. Prostelitizing Reason Abolishing Myth Says:

    The problem with the so-called ‘lifestyle’ is that it is based on an inane and a wholly false text that has been translated and re-translated until it no longer even resembles the original crap from which it so readily sprung. Yes, I am talking about the Bible. Why not do something worth while with your life. Farming is a respectable occupation but being ‘godly’ is a waste of time and resources. Devote that time to thought and reason, and you might have something. Have some respect for yourself and your fellow humans. Stop giving money to a lost cause. It’s only been 2000 years. Isn’t that enough? Move on. God doesn’t exist nor did he ever. Let’s stop the abuse chain, let’s stop religion. Nothing good comes of it and these ‘muffins’ are a perfect example. Blasphemy? That should be a word no child is taught. After all, it’s a moot point when there is no god.

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