Recently, R&B artist Fantasia inspired a lot of conversation and debate around her perspective that women need to be let the man be the head of the household. She went on to say that we often lose men because we’re trying to be the man in the relationship, instead of allowing the man to be the head.  In true internet fashion, everyone chimed in. Folks were posting bible verses, dictionary screenshots and giving dissertations about the historical and cultural implications of submission.

While we all have our perspective and opinions, we can all agree that relationship dynamics are complex and if we’re lucky, they grow, evolve and progress over time.  But one idea that I think hinders that growth, evolution, and progress of relationships is the idea that another imperfect human being is superior to the other. Submission implies that one person is superior and the other inferior person submits to the superior one. Submission implies that one person is the leader and the other is the follower. Submission implies that one person has supreme authority and the other person does not. Submission implies that one person is the alpha and the other is the beta.

In my opinion, the idea of submitting to someone simply because they have a penis is fucking ridiculous!  It’s about as ridiculous as the idea that people with white skin are superior to people of color. In fact, submission reminds me of slavery and racism and all the other fucked up social, political and economic constructs that have kept us divided. It is patriarchal, sexist bull shit.

I know that a lot of these ideals come from biblical principles and Christian models of marriage. I grew up in the church so I am all too familiar with this idea that wives should submit to their husbands.  Although there are plenty of couples who make this model work, IT IS NOT THE GOLD STANDARD in sustaining a healthy, happy relationship. There are just as many couples who practice partnership and equality (not submission) in their union who have gone on to have wonderful relationships, full of mutual respect and mutual.

At the end of the day, couples decide how they want to govern their relationships and their households. What works for one couple may not work for another.  Although some healthy debate has been had as a result of Fantasia’s interview, the real question we should be asking is, “Why does love require a hierarchy?” We have hierarchies in politics, in our communities, at work, at school……can’t we just be free to love and accept each other as equal partners without having a designated “head of household?”