Get married and be submissive.
That’s the name of the book – a self-help book for married women – it’s currently climbing the bestseller list in Spain.
But the Spanish version is only a translation. The original is in Italian and it’s sold over 100,000 copies.
Here are a couple of killer quotes doing the rounds on the Internet:
We [women] like humiliation because it is for a greater good.
It’s true, you’re not yet an experienced cook or a perfect housewife. What’s the problem if he tells you so? Tell him that he is right, that it’s true, that you will learn. On seeing your sweetness and your humility, your effort to change, this will also change him.
Yeah. It’s that bad.
Get Married and be Submissive was written by Italian author, public broadcaster journalist, devout Roman Catholic, wife, and mother of four (you got all that?) Costanza Miriano.
On her blog, Miriano describes the book as:
… an assemblage of letters to my friends, mostly female, about being a man or a woman, about engagement, marriage, family life, being open to life, having children, raising children, living sex as a gift of God. The letters are funny (in some bookshops they sell my books in the humour section) but the content is very serious, actually: it is the thought of the Church. The title of the book is inspired from the letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.
Women should try to be submissive, writes Paul. I thnk it means they have to be open, warm, patient, not because they are weak, but, on the contrary, because they are strong and stable, soft and confortable, they are able to put people in relation. Women who are in touch with their deep nature are shiny happy. They can give life, biologically and spiritually.
Because it’s not like a widely accepted egalitarian theological interpretation of St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians exists, or anything. No, no. Women need to be “shiny happy” and submissive to make a marriage work.
In her (very limited) defence, she has also written a book for men called Get Married and Die for Her, which is a marriage guide for men. This is her synopsis:
It is a funny reflection about the differences between men and women, the different languages they use, the different ways they think (a man does just one thing at a time, women so many!) If women tend to take control of the relation (and it is the point they have to work about), men tend to be selfish, to sleep on the couch, they don’t listen to women. The woman should be a mirror for his man, she should show him a beautiful image, she should show him that which is good and beautiful, so he can find the strength to give life for her and for their children.
So men get funny relationship anecdotes about not being able to multi-task, and women get serious advice that “humiliation is for a greater good.” Seems fair…
Needless to say, the book has attracted a fair bit of negative attention since it was first published in Italy. And, now, feminists are staging protests after the Spanish language version was published by the Archbishop of Granada. (In the interest of total transparency, you should probably know that his publishing house is also publishing Miriano’s book for men. But, we’ve already established why that’s no excuse.)
Online protest organisation Anonymous has also spoken out about the book. If you can’t speak Spanish, all you really need to know is that they don’t like it very much:
Despite the criticism, Miriano and the Archbishop have stood behind the book, saying that any criticism is “ridiculous and hypocritical” in a society that allows that much greater violence against women:
What do you think of ‘Get Married and be Submissive’?