Monday, August 08, 2005

Critiquing a Critique

I'm a bit old-fashioned (well, a lot old-fashioned!), especially about home and family values. I am not a feminist, in the sense that I hate men and think women ought to be out working in a high-powered career to prove their value. To ease your mind, I do believe that women should be valued and cared for, as should all people. As a Christian woman, I believe that my value comes from my acceptance by God and in being a wife and mother above all else. All that explains why I like the site Ladies Against Feminism. I love their promotion of godly womanhood, although I don't necessarily agree with everything on their site.

Having said that, today I found A Friendly Critique of FlyLady, by Miss Michele Hagerman. There were some points that I agreed with, but a few of them I wanted to address here. I felt that they were a little unbalanced.

The first one is concerning FlyLady's Christianity.
She seems to be more of a deist, or perhaps she is just trying to reach the widest audience possible without offending anyone’s religious sensibilities.

I am what many would consider a religious fanatic. I believe what I do because I'm convinced it's right - I wouldn't believe it if I didn't feel it was right! The vast majority of what I read is indeed of a Christian nature and most of that is of my denominational preference, but I do believe we can gain knowledge and help from other sources. No, FlyLady doesn't believe like I do, and I disagree with much that she says along religious lines. But I don't subscribe to FlyLady for her religious instruction - I subscribe for the homemaking help. The things I don't agree with, I ignore. It's like eating watermelon: I eat the good stuff and spit out the seeds.

The question of "finally loving yourself" was also raised. This statement I agree with:
There is a fine line between taking care of yourself and making sure you don’t get too stressed out on one hand and putting yourself first all the time.

There is indeed a fine line here. I have been a member of FlyLady for 5 years, and I honestly don't believe that FlyLady is advocating putting yourself first all the time. She often gives the example of using the oxygen mask in an airplane emergency: the stewardess instructs you to put on your own mask first so that you will be able to help those around you. If you're in trouble, you can't be of use to others. I agree with this idea. I believe we must take care of ourselves in order to care for our homes and families. I don't feel that that's "putting yourself first all the time." Any woman who does feel that this is a license to put herself first has the wrong idea of FlyLady!

Miss Hagerman also takes slight issue with calling our notebooks "Control Journals."
But even calling your schedule notebook a “control journal” speaks of wanting to have more control than we have.

This is just a slight issue, but I have to disagree! In I Timothy 5:14, women are instructed to "guide the house." That means to rule your house! Not ruling in that you're the boss, but ruling it in that you know what needs to be done and you see that it gets done. There's a balance between being in rigid, inflexible control and having a guide to follow so that the normal interruptions of life don't send you into a tailspin. Nothing says you have to call your notebook a Control Journal; but there's nothing inherently wrong with calling it that, either!

I strive for balance in my life. I believe there's much to be gained from FlyLady, which Miss Hagerman stated clearly at the end of her article. I'm thankful that FlyLady's e-mail list was there when I needed it. Miss Hagerman said that FlyLady is a mixed bag, and I do agree with that. Just have some balance!

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