There’s a very good post on Emotional Abuse and Your Faith about Mary Kassian’s teaching at the True Woman Conference(2008) entitled “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”. You can read the entire post here and listen to Kassian’s talk, which is about how modern women fancy themselves liberated from the patriarchy of the 1950’s, and that somehow this is a bad thing…somehow.
Hannah’s post does a great job of going through each point and shedding light on the fact that while Kassian uses the 1950’s era as an example of “the good ole days” for morals and gender roles, she completely ignores the negative aspects of the times. It’s a good post and you should read it; it will make you think, and that’s a great thing!
There is one thing from the video that Hannah didn’t comment on, though. If you take the time to watch the video, let me draw your attention to the section from 3:38-4:00, during which Kassian refers to an advertisement in which a woman is being dragged off a beach by two policemen because she is dressed immodestly. The woman is depicted as shouting, “Someday, we’ll be able to wear any bathing suit we want!” (She also mentions women having their own cigarettes, but it’s a cigarette ad, so that part doesn’t concern me.)
What does concern me that is that Mary Kassian is depicting the woman’s desire to wear “any bathing suit” she wants as a bad thing. What in the world? Has she ever heard of the Taliban?? How women in Afghanistan would be beaten with sticks by the Taliban if their ankles showed below their burqas? Does Mary Kassian really want women to follow some dress code of modesty at public beaches and swimming pools? Is this the kind of world she would have us living in? Should law enforcement be able to dictate what women wear? It’s absolutely ridiculous and I just cannot understand the point she’s trying to make here. There are women all over the world, right now, fighting for basic rights that we take for granted. Being able to choose your own wardrobe would be one of those rights. Do we Christians really want to take a stand against women being able to choose what they wear?
This is just one of the problems I have with Kassian’s teaching about the “good ole days”. There were so many problems during that era, so much denial and pain. Let’s not pretend it’s a golden era we’ve lost, and if only we’d follow the rules then everything would be rainbows and butterflies. This is a lie. It is a lie that women should not have control over their lives, their wardrobes, and their career choices.(Of course, I acknowledge God’s ultimate sovereignty in our lives; I simply believe that women should have the same autonomy that men have typically enjoyed.) Again, I recommend Hannah’s post, as she goes through all the problems with Kassian’s view that the ’50’s were a superior decade than the current one, another lie.