Many modern women cringe at the thought of submission and find the thought of “submitting” to a man degrading. In the right context, however, submission can actually be empowering for some women.
Fifty Shades of Grey quickly became massively popular, and for many, this soft porn about sexual submission was incredibly enticing. Modern society didn’t look twice at anyone for their enthusiasm over the novels or movies, and while I admit I didn’t read or see any of them, the idea of submission seemed to be one of the primary themes of the series.
Modern Day, Socially Acceptable Submission
I find it ironic that the over the top, almost violent sexual submission that was so readily accepted by modern societal standards seems to be a more degrading form of submission than the traditional idea of a wife submitting to her husband, yet the latter is the type of submission mocked by many.
The seemingly extreme physical and sexual submission that is demonstrated in the series appears at face value to be incredibly degrading as it seems to emphasize male dominance, with little regard to respecting women or recognizing the beautiful aspects unique to women.
The fleshly desires of a man seem to be the underlying cause for control, rather than a desire to cherish, protect, or empower a woman through her submission. When the desire for control is one-sided and self-serving, it is anything but empowering.
When the desire for control is one-sided and self-serving, it is anything but empowering.
I am therefore not talking about this kind of blind submission on the part of the woman, nor am I discussing a controlling man’s need to dominate a woman in any regard, especially when the need to do so is only self-serving or intrinsically degrading. In order for women to find submission truly empowering, they must be submitting to a man who has their best intentions at heart.
This requires a deep and true love, one that is both selfless and sacrificial. A man receives authority not because he demands it or needs a sense of control just for the sake of control, but rather because he seeks to lead, protect, and therefore empower a woman to think and act in a way in which she can truly live out her potential.
Giving Up Control
As an incredibly controlling person, I fully understand the difficulty over the idea of submission. I am the typical Type A, oldest child who secretly believes that my way is the best way. I like lists, schedules, and plans, and thrive off of a routine that I have control over.
I get anxious when things don’t go exactly as expected, and I have a difficult time letting go of all of the “to-do’s” I feel responsible for completing. Let me just tell you…this. Is. Exhausting. It is a tiring way to live, feeling like everything is my responsibility, that I am in charge of everything, and that it all depends on me. It’s more than just tiring, it’s unrealistic and prideful.
I know deep down that I am not in complete control, and everything is not totally dependent upon me, but man I sure do try and fool myself into thinking this is the truth. The desire or need to control isn’t an issue that is uniquely my own and is one that seems much more prevalent in women than in men. While there are certainly controlling men out there, females are generally the ones seeking extreme control over even the smallest aspects of their own lives. This is a problem then, that as women, we should be trying to remedy.
While there are certainly controlling men out there, females are generally the ones seeking extreme control over even the smallest aspects of their own lives.
I’m by no means saying that we give up, but this is the point for which some women, myself included, can find submission empowering. As much as I would like to think I can handle everything on my own, I know that I can’t. It’s not that I’m weak or incapable; in fact, I believe myself to be quite the opposite.
I take on a lot and have always been in leadership positions or roles of authority in all the jobs I’ve worked. While I am a hard worker capable of handling a great deal, I know that there are skills I lack and parts of my personality that make me less suited for some tasks.
Knowing You Have Someone You Can Trust
As much as I would like to think that I can do it all alone, and do it all well, I know that this is simply not the case. Constantly trying to become this perfect person who can do it all is exhausting and impossible, and quite frankly a disservice to myself and those around me.
When stretched too thin, I sacrifice myself and the well-being of others. Submission, however, eases that pressure in addition to allowing someone else, who often times has a skill set different than my own, the ability to solve problems and tasks in a way different and sometimes better than I would have done on my own.
When stretched too thin, I sacrifice myself and the well-being of others.
Although this is certainly applicable to situations in which I would give up control to anyone, it is particularly applicable to situations in which I choose to give up control to a man, particularly my husband. It begins with knowing that my husband has the best interests of myself, our family, and our future at heart. He respects me and loves me in a selfless and sacrificial way.
When I “submit” to him, I defer to his judgment and give over the control I am so often wildly grasping for. Giving over the control and submitting is not something I am forced to do, but rather a choice that I willingly make, knowing that I can trust him to take care of the smallest to the most significant of things. It is empowering to know that I have another person who I can trust and turn to, even when I (sometimes foolishly) believe that I could handle it on my own.
It is empowering to know that I have another person who I can trust and turn to, even when I (sometimes foolishly) believe that I could handle it on my own.
The reminder that I do not have total control, and that I can seek help enables me to better take on the tasks or responsibilities that I excel at, and defer to someone else for the ones that aren’t my area of strength.
Submitting to my husband and seeking his guidance and opinion doesn’t stifle me, but empowers me to be the best version of myself, a version which often requires the support and guidance of another. Trusting his leadership takes a great deal of the burden from me, and actually empowers and enables both of us to use our strengths and work together to tackle all that life may throw at us.