The head of the woman is the man

Francine Prose in Lapham's Quarterly:

ScreenHunter_09 Dec. 23 10.18 Long before Muhammad, St. Ambrose forbade women to teach in church and John Chrysostom suggested that women be veiled in public. One early Christian philosopher after another (quite a few of them saints, such as St. Jerome) emphasized the fact that woman’s only purpose on earth, indeed her only route to salvation, was to provide her husband with children. For anything else that was necessary, for work or companionship, advice or entertainment, he would sensibly and naturally choose another man. In St. Augustine’s essay “On Marriage and Concupiscence,” the author of Confessions sounds remarkably like the Southern Baptist Convention. “Nor can it be doubted that it is more consonant with the order of nature that men should bear rule over women, than women over men. It is with this principle in view that the apostle says, ‘The head of the woman is the man,’ and ‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.’”

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