Over at Her.meneutics, they’ve been discussing Christian cliches. One of them is the idea of referring to your wife as ‘my smokin’ hot bride’. Karen Prior has two objections:
- Calling your wife your ‘bride’ betrays a silly insistence that she is sweet, young and virginal, as she was at the altar; it infantilizes her rather than celebrating her maturity.
- Calling your wife ‘smokin’ hot’ places emphasis on her sexiness. It makes beauty her primary virtue.
I’m familiar with this sort of cliche. In Australia, we have a more toned down version, ‘my hot wife’ or ‘my bride’ rather than ‘my smokin’ hot bride’. Have you seen it on Facebook and Twitter?
I hadn’t thought before of ‘bride’ being a negative term to use. I had always read it as a term that speaks of being just as enraptured with your wife as on your wedding day. However, I have objected to calling wives ‘hot’ on FB for some time.
I commented on this to a friend, that while plenty of men referred to their wives as ‘hot’ few called them ‘kind’ or ‘clever’. He responded that the only reason I objected was because my identity was built on being clever rather than being good looking. While that’s reasonably insulting to me, how much more to the ‘hot’ women, as if being ‘hot’ is their defining feature!
The thing is, the men I know who refer to their wives as ‘hot’ on FB do actually appreciate other things about them. So why is ‘hot’ the front-running description? One suggestion is that it’s male competition about who has the hottest wife (and, apparently, can shriek the loudest about it). However, I suspect there are at least two other, far more well-intentioned reasons:
- Calling your wife ‘hot’ is actually a reaction against the Christian stereotype of boring, unsexy marriages. (Of course, there’s the question of whether the success of your marriage in this regard needs to be broadcast on FB.)
- It’s also affirming that she continues to be alluring to him. Driscoll’s post about pastor’s wives who let themselves go has now been removed, but Bobbie Houston’s Kingdom Women Love and Value their Sexuality (formerly ‘Kingdom Women Love Sex’) carries similar ideas of the link between beauty and spirituality.
For mums who feel stressed out by the pressures of being at home trying to get their children to sleep/poop/eat, etc being called ‘hot’ may be wonderfully affirming. Her husband does see her as more than a live-in maid or nanny.
But something about it still grates on me. Perhaps because the companionship dimension of marriage is missing; the idea of doing life together, side by side, is overlooked..
What do you think? Would you be happy to refer to your wife/be referred to as a bride? or hot? How do you feel when you see it done?
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.