I don’t subscribe to Chronicles to read simplistic misogynistic trash like Aaron D. Wolf’s “Pro-Choice Christians” (Views, November 2008), in which he reduces Sarah Palin and all women to a “function”—that of wife and mother.  This article is written in the same redneck spirit as the effigy of Palin hung in West Hollywood (see CBS News’s “Halloween Palin Prop Sparks Controversy in WeHo”).  Women are people; and “people” have skills other than those connected with their genitals.

Respect for women as people is one of the basic principles of Christianity.  The misogynistic point of view that allegedly glorifies “wife and mother” but in actual fact reduces women to sexual slavery to the male gender’s [sic] relentless biological drive to frame everything in terms of sex was specifically battled by Christ.  Christianity is the only world religion that consistently combats the male libido and its compulsion to herd women into the small confines of sexual chattel roles.  The Christian religion gave birth to the spiritual medieval chivalric attitudes toward women—because it was women who followed Christ, funded him, fed him, hosted Christian gatherings in their homes, and stood at the base of the cross when most of His male disciples had fled.  Christianity is the only religion that expressly forbade men’s polygamy and their shedding women like so many Kleenex by divorcing them at will.  Christ defended an adulteress by telling men to pay attention to their own numerous adulteries.  Christ was pro-woman—in an era (like the one Aaron Wolf still lives in mentally) in which women were scorned—a scorn that persists to this day in the Arab Mideast and other areas of the world as yet uninfluenced by the morally superior Christian religion.  If Christ accepted the support of women around Him without telling them to go home and tend to their children, no one should assume the mantle of knowing better than Christ.  Shame on you, Aaron Wolf.

—Maureen Cote
Arlington, VA

Mr. Wolf Replies:

Miss Cote uses an important term: redneck—one whose neck is red from working in the sun.  This applies especially to farm workers and, because the South has had lots of them, Southerners.  As a scion of Arkansas and Tennessee farmers who has a small farm himself, I’ll wear it.  Apparently, in places like WeHo, redneck means someone who hangs female political candidates in effigy.  I’ve never heard a story from any of my kin about such activities—and I’ve heard some humdingers.

Did I ever tell you the one about Great-Grandma Kee during the Depression?  Now Great-Grandma was a veritable chef.  As an orphan, she’d been adopted by this German family that made her into something of a slave.  She’d learned how to cook just about anything.  She and Great-Grandpa had this little place next to the train stop in Paragould, and it had lots of peach trees.  She’d make this peach cobbler that’d knock Paula Deen’s socks off.

Bang-bang-bang came the knock at the door one day when Great-Grandpa was out there redneckin’ it up in the cotton fields.  Don’t get that—it’s just them hobos, somebody said.  “No,” said Great-Grandma, “we are Christians.  ‘Charity never faileth.’” (She’d read that somewhere.)

“Ma’am, would ye have any work need-in’ done at your place?”

“Nawsir, none that I can think of.  Wait—I do have some hot peach cobbler that needs eatin’.”

“Thank you.  God bless you, Ma’am.  We’ll be on our way then.”

I named my daughter after Mrs. Andrew Kee (that’s how she signed).  But during those precious years when she was still living, I never heard Miss Nora Mae say that she didn’t feel like a person because her skills were underutilized.