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submission

Source: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 2016 Essence Festival / Getty

If you ask people what they think about submission in marriage, you’ll likely find that the discussion will get intense. While some will say that it’s important to a union and doesn’t mean that a wife shrinks for her spouse, there are others who look at it almost as a form of control that is outdated.

On an episode of The Real this week, the women were discussing reports that Amy Coney Barrett once had ties to a Christian religious group called People of Praise, who among many things, teach that women are meant to submit to the will of their husband, per the Bible, as well as display “total submission” to other men in the group.

That created a conversation about submission in the mainstream, with a writer claiming that submission in marriage by women doesn’t hold them back in life, using Barrett being considered for late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court as an example of that. However, Adrienne Houghton, married for nearly four years, doesn’t like the term and believes in today’s relationships, the idea of it has changed.

“The Bible was written in a different time,” she said. “There’s parts in the Bible that literally say you should stone somebody if they eat shrimp in Leviticus…there’s literally really extreme things that are said. I think God also gives us wisdom. And I think there are also other parts of the Bible that recognize how important and how essential a woman is to the world and to a marriage. It speaks on equality. For me, I just feel like the concept of me being submissive to my husband, is he not submissive to me as well? For me, I think that’s what give and take in a relationship is about.”

“This just takes us back you guys,” she added. “As women we fought so hard to be equal and viewed equal in our relationships, in our workplaces. The concept of being submissive has a negative connotation to it.”

Houghton said that it’s really all about letting one party or the other lead in different areas. And sometimes it’s nice to be able to lead out in the world, specifically in your work, but come home and allow your partner to take over. She has said herself in the past that that is something she appreciates about her own relationship with husband Israel Houghton.

“There are people who are bosses in their workplace and then they want to come home and let their husband lead. That again is their choice,” she said. “That is not them being submissive, that is them choosing that that’s what they want. It’s a difference.”

And while Houghton was all for a revised interpretation of submission that works for today’s everyday woman, Jeannie Mai is okay with the textbook.

“The actual definition of submit is ‘to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person,'” she said. “So I’m going to say right here, that I, Jeannie Mai, going into my marriage, I want to submit to my man.”

Mai is currently engaged to rapper Jeezy. The two announced their engagement back in April after going public with their relationship last summer. She has been gushing about her beau for some time now, so it’s no surprise that she’s giddy about submitting to him whenever the couple, holding off on wedding plans for now due to the pandemic, finally say “I do.” This will be her second marriage following her divorce from Freddy Harteis after 10 years together.

But where do you stand on submission? Do you lean more towards Houghton’s way of looking at it, or the textbook definition like Mai?

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