Well, all that biblical wifely submission bullcrapola had to cross over into the mainstream sooner or later, I guess. Half a century after Betty Friedan set the world straight, the backlash has come full circle and we have things like the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary‘s concentration in homemaking and the pre-housewife training "toy" for 3-year-olds called the Rose Petal Cottage. [Insert shudders here].
Now since I lack the energy or urge to cut off my hair, change my name to Rob (short for Robot, my new favorite name) and start identifying as transgender, the only recourse I have left is to offer my unique scathing commentary, which I offer between jaunts to campus for undergraduate logic class (I am a superstar at it, obviously), dissertating (or at any rate getting harangued by random German visiting scholars for my as-yet-imaginary diss being "problematic" and "irritating"), keeping back the teeming tide of needy first-year students (for whom I yesterday unwisely capitulated and read two rough paper drafts). The best part of the Homemaking major is the course called "The Value of a Child," for which I can only hope the answer is always "$3.50." The Rose Petal Cottage is more depressing, in that it is much more insidious and aimed at a wider demographic (it’s not like the fundie whackjob biddies in Southwestern were ever going to be Dr. House)–as Salon’s Broadsheet pointed out, the "Cottage" offers the extra purchase of many pink-tinted accoutrements, none of which is a book, thus leading the future grown women of America to believe that the only thing to do in a house is arrange furniture, launder poopy diapers and bake muffins.
The now-somewhat-flaccidifying Fundie Voting Bloc (nominee Giuliani, anyone?) would have this reality in a second, armies of "Help Meets" declining to worry their pretty little heads about things like the war in Iraq and algebra, and while that surely makes me depressed, it does give me hope that all of this repression of the intellectual and artistic gifts and aspirations of girls (the best part about the commercial for the Rose Petal Cottage is, as Broadsheet points out, that it helps "contain" a little girl’s imagination–AS IF THAT IS A GOOD FUCKING THING) will lead to a resurgence of diagnoses of Hysteria, which will then lead to a resurgence of medically-issued vibrators for Christian fundamentalists, which will lead to orgies and swinger parties and the 60s and 70s all over again.
In the meantime, let’s just hope that after seven years of Pres. H. R. Clinton, pre-women can clamor not for the Rose Petal Cottage, but for the Li’l Ballbuster’s CEO Cubicle (with scale-sized male assistant to demean and three different pairs of kiddie-plastic pointy Manolos).