From Connections: Consider it discussion

By Darlene Warren

BIG SANDY, Texas--When I first began working with Connections in February 1999, I was given only two directives concerning my lead-in column: Keep it light, and don't preach.

Nearly four years have come and gone, and I think I have adhered to those guidelines pretty closely for the most part. If at any juncture of this writing you read something that could possibly be construed as preaching, deal with it.

Lest I be labeled as a women's "lipper," let me just say I don't have any desire to preach and wouldn't even be touching on this subject if I hadn't been pushed to the absolute brink of my civility. Don't think of this as preaching. Think of this as a means of sloughing off the negativity and outright insults that have been hurled at me and all the other women in the Churches of God.

There have appeared within the pages of Connections some perplexing advertisements. As members of the Journal and Connections staff, we can and we have refused certain advertising that we considered inappropriate for print. But we also take pride in the fact that we are an outlet that allows for differing opinions and, hopefully, stimulating discussion. Advertisers have the right to say what they feel (within guidelines). After all, they pay good money to do so.

On the other hand, I also have the right to respond to their writings. I realize I am playing right into their hands and possibly giving them more publicity by addressing the issue, but in the weighing of the balance I've chosen this course. Consider it discussion.

Does your mother know you talk like that?

My working with Connections means a lot of material passes through my hands on its way up the journalistic ladder. Consequently I've noticed a disturbing trend developing among a few men associated with the Churches of God. I certainly don't want to believe it involves more than a handful. The trend I'm referring to is an attack on women in general, calling them not only the weaker physical vessel (a quite obvious truth) but the weaker mental vessel as well.

What is this supposed to mean? This is scary stuff. What are we dealing with here? Who are they talking about? There have been references to women as "mules," "monkeys" and other ugly names. Fellows, that's just plain rude.

Special friends

The Feast of Tabernacles has just ended. Two very special friends of mine gave me a Feast gift I will never forget. They invited me on an "adventure."

I was to show up at a given time and location. From there we switched vehicles and I was driven to a place I had never been.

We pulled into a parking lot of a small shopping center. After finding a parking space that faced a deserted building, I followed my friend's lead and exited the car.

But my friend didn't head toward the deserted building (thankfully); she did a 180 and headed the other direction.

I soon figured out we were either headed for the naval recruiting station or Nails by Lee. What a relief! At my age I'm not sure I could have passed the physical.

As it turned out, that adventure was a Feast gift of a manicure and pedicure. As someone who had never had either one, I was shocked beyond belief. They made me feel like a queen, someone special.

To you men out there who would say it was a vain and frivolous act: Yeah, maybe it was. Deal with it. And you know what? My husband was in on the whole thing. The only John I attracted with my bright red toenail polish was my own.

Sometimes I feel myself spinning like a top after reading the articles and letters submitted to this paper. In one breath we, as women, are accused of having "butchy-type," "lesbian" hairdos. (Where are these people?) In the next we are admonished to refrain from wearing shoes with high heels because "it feminizes the gait" and "appeals to the chivalrous or machismo nature of many men." And the problem is?

Don't mess with the Duke

Is there anyone out there that actually believes that wearing pointed-toed shoes makes you a phallic worshiper? Thank God people like Louis L'Amour and John Wayne aren't around to hear that. The boots they wore had pointed toes and high heels.

Do you know why? Because when you're on the back of a horse, you've got to be able to get your foot in and out of a stirrup as quickly and as smoothly as possible in times of emergency. The experienced rider always holds his heel lower than his toes to avoid having his foot slip right through the stirrup, hence the need for a taller heel.

I somehow doubt that John Wayne wore tall heels so his "calves would appear more delineated and therefore sexier." If men have different reasons for doing certain things, is it totally irrational to assume women have different reasons for doing certain things?

Stimulating discussion

In the Bible there are many accounts of women going through extensive "beauty treatments." Esther spent 12 months being bathed in oils, treated with perfumes and "other things" that probably made the king feel macho. There are also places in the Bible that refer to harlots "with painted eyes," but they also wore perfume.

Wearing makeup and perfume doesn't equate with harlotry. That's like saying prostitutes brush their teeth every day, therefore we shouldn't.

If you men would like to run some tests for yourselves on the effects of makeup on your own wives, check out my daughter's Web site, (They also sell perfumes.) If by chance your wives start hanging out on street corners, the Mary Kay Corp. has a very generous return policy.

Whew! I feel better already. Preaching, uh, I mean open discussion can be quite stimulating.

The August 2002 issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

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