From The Huffington Post
When Rachel Held Evans’s husband, Dan, woke up one Christmas morning, he found all of his presents addressed, “To Master, from Rachel.”
“I had to call him ‘Master,’ as the Bible says wives should submit to their husbands,” Evans told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. “He was as weirded out as I was. It seems like it should be a turn-on, but it really isn’t.”
A 34-year-old evangelical Christian from Dayton, Tennessee, Evans got the idea to live her life as the Bible said women should in order to challenge the idea that anyone actually does. “A Year in Biblical Womanhood,” her new book, chronicles her experience and raises questions about the standards that women are held to in evangelical communities. Evans says she took a page from A.J.. Jacobs’s “The Year of Living Biblically,” where Jacobs lived a year according to the bible’s more general instruction on how to be.
But for Evans, she hopes to highlight how living biblically differs for women.
“I grew up in the evangelical Christian subculture and the leaders in that culture would always raise ‘biblical womanhood’ for the ideal of how women should behave,” Evans said, “They raised it for when explaining why women should be forbidden to teach in church, for not having careers. It required that you work from home, raise a family, and stay away from leadership roles.”
In her tongue-in-cheek experiment, Rachel practiced a different proverb for every month. In addition, one month she took direction from Leviticus 15, which states, “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.”
“During my period and seven days after for a total of 12 days, I was ‘ceremonially unclean,’ so that meant I couldn’t touch any men or my husband for those 12 days. I couldn’t handshake, high five, or hug anybody,” said Evans, “I couldn’t even dance with a man.”
Incidentally, Evans and her husband had to attend a wedding that month.
“People would ask us, ‘Why don’t you guys dance?’ and I’d have to say, ‘Because I’m on my period!’ It was a little bit like being caught in the tampon aisle for 12 days.”
Because Corinthians 11 says that, “If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off,” Evans covered her head and didn’t trim her hair for a year.