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July 04, 2006

What The Fuck Is A Prairie Muffin?

I can't tell if this is for real or if it's a spoof. I'm betting it's for real.

What is a Prairie Muffin? It's a term of endearment for a good, Godly, housewife. Husbands are referred to as "Prairie Dawgs". All I can think of for that is that arcade game where you smack a mallet on the critter's head before it pops out of another hole.

I've known a few Prairie Muffins. They are holier-than-thou, and they wear long, ugly bathing suits to the beach. They keep their mouths shut in a demure, patronizing fashion. They pray to be grateful that they live "simple" lives even though they are jealous of those who have more than they do and are more accomplished than they are.

This Prairie Muffin Manifesto is too good to pass up. It's forty-four comments long, so I'll only pick on the ones that made me laugh the most. My comments are in bold.

2) Prairie Muffins are helpmeets to their husbands, seeking creative and practical ways to further their husbands' callings and aid them in their dominion responsibilities.

    Prairie Muffins place their own desires aside to encourage their husbands in their hobbies and careers. Since the dominion of the husband is The World and The Family, they must obey his every command, even if they don't agree with it. After all, The Husband is the head of the household. What he says, goes.

3) Prairie Muffins are aware that God is in control of their ability to conceive and bear children, and they are content to allow Him to bless them as He chooses in this area.

    So by the time the Prairie Muffin has a tenth Mini-Me growing inside her uterus, she prays to God to tie her tubes with Divine Intervention so that she doesn't have to deal with a pack of brats begging for attention every five minutes.

5) Prairie Muffins improve their intellect and knowledge as they have opportunity, first by seeking wisdom from God's word, then by reading good books and other materials which help them to make informed opinions about a wide variety of subjects.

    Prairie Muffins read Daddy Dobson and Ann Coulter. They don't go near Ursula Le Guin or J. K Rowling, lest their heads explode.

6) Prairie Muffins dress modestly and in a feminine manner.

7) Prairie Muffins protect the innocence of their children, until such a time their children are mature enough to be exposed to potentially-harmful cultural influences.

    Prairie Muffins homeschool so that their children aren't exposed to Satanic influences, such as critical thinking and opposing points of view.

9) Prairie Muffins do not reflect badly on their husbands by neglecting their appearance; they work with the clay God has given, molding it into an attractive package for the pleasure of their husbands.

    See Number 6. These women are in serious need of flattering clothing.

11) Prairie Muffins own aprons and they know how to use them.

    How much you want to bet that a Prairie Muffin would never be caught dead greeting her Prairie Dawg at the door wearing only that apron?

12) Prairie Muffins prefer others above themselves, seeking to serve God by serving others, especially members of their own household.

    A common Christian wife recommendation. Prairie Muffins place their own needs on the back burner to cater to their ten kids and their Prairie Dawg's demands for dinner on the table the moment he gets home.

17) Prairie Muffins place their husbands' needs and desires above other obligations, arranging their schedules and responsibilities so that they do not neglect the one who provides for and protects them and their children.

    Wait a minute, what happens to the ten kids who are demanding another helping of mac 'n cheese and for someone to fix the computer when little Hezekiah, Jr., hasn't killed enough nonbelievers while playing Left Behind: Eternal Forces? Wouldn't teaching little Hezekiah that smiting nonbelievers is a good thing is more important than picking up God's Head Of The Family's smelly socks from the floor?

18) Prairie Muffins are fiercely submissive to God and to their husbands.

    How many husbands does a Prairie Muffin have?

20) Prairie Muffins make significant economic contributions to their households in many ways. They are careful with the hard-earned money that their husbands bring home, wisely weighing expenditures to ensure that they stretch the dollars as far as they can go, without being parsimonious. They also may help their husbands in their husbands' callings or bring money into their households through homecentered business under their husbands' authority, as long as that activity does not detract from their very important homekeeping duties.

    Prairie Muffins water down the generic shampoo they buy so that it lasts longer. With ten kids, you have to scrimp! And don't let crocheting versions of The Ten Commandments that you sell for five bucks a pop at the annual church bazaar interfere with keeping a clean, Christian home!

21) Prairie Muffins recognize that all good gifts come from the Father of Lights (James 1:17) and they also realize their privileged position as "home despot," thus they are grateful to God and their husbands for enabling them to engage in the wonderful role of homekeeper.

    Prairie Muffins pray daily that they learn to submit to their Godly role as homekeeper, despite feelings from Satan that there is more to life than submitting to their husbands, wearing tents to the beach, and herding a pack of ten shrieking kids so that they don't get lost in the street. By the way, I nicknamed Home Depot "Home Despot".

22) Prairie Muffins try to maintain a peaceful environment for their families by keeping their voices quiet and their tones gentle as much as possible.

    Prairie Muffins never argue with their Prairie Dawgs, even when they have good reason to be upset. After all, the Prairie Dawg is the head of the household, and what he says, goes.

23) While Prairie Muffins seek to have a multitude of wise counselors, they are careful not to elevate mere men and women to a position where they are tempted to idolize those whom they admire. They also are aware that all have weaknesses, and they accept this reality without discarding the good teaching of those godly people who may occasionally stumble in their weakness or with whom we sometimes must disagree.

    God forbid a Prairie Muffin learn to question what mere humans have told her. She should pray to God when she learns that a minister in her church has molested boys, or that a good, Christian wife Prairie Muffin who has been her friend for ten years is getting divorced because her good, Prairie Dawg husband had been cheating on her, and he's fighting her for custody and he won't pay child support.

25) Prairie Muffins are tough on themselves, but forgiving of the faults and differences of others, without sacrificing their commitment to truth and righteousness. This is sometimes a difficult balance, but one which Prairie Muffins strive to keep.

27) The letter "P" at the beginning of their names should be the only similarity between Prairie Mufffins and Pharisees. Never should the Prairie Muffin haughtily pray, "Thank God I am not like that...(fill in the blank)." Rather, she should always say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." This is not to say that obedience to God's law is not important, however. Prairie Muffins gratefully accept the yoke that Christ places on them, and they seek to have the mind of Christ with the godly perspective which sees the burdens of our Lord as truly light; He is the One who gives us strength to carry those burdens, and He is even the One who carries them.

    25 and 27 contradict each other. Prairie Muffins are given Godly permission to look down on others they disapprove of. These two give Prairie Muffins the right to be self-righteous.

28) Prairie Muffins mind their own business. While that business may include encouraging other women "to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored," it most emphatically excludes encouraging other women to run ahead of or resist the authority of their husbands or elders in pursuit of any PM distinctive.

    See 26 and 27.

30) "Home, Sweet Home" is more than just a sentimental saying for the Prairie Muffin. Her home is the center of the Prairie Muffin's activities. Of course, she needs to occasionally go away from home to engage in various activities related to her calling, but her focus is on making home a haven for her husband and children and using it to glorify God in whatever ministry to others He may call her. She is content in her home and does not see it as a prison from which she constantly must escape. She wisely rules over her domain by keeping busy in her full-time calling as homekeeper. Chocolate bon-bons may be a rare indulgence, but Prairie Muffins don't have the time or inclination to waste their lives on soap operas or other inane and inappropriate entertainment.

    Number 30 wouldn't exist if lots of Prairie Muffins didn't see their homes as "a prison". Those women are questioning their own choices. I'm not a Prairie Muffin, but I don't like soap operas either. I'd rather watch a special on National Geographic about how maggots are used to clean wounds. That beats "General Hospital" any day in my book. Also, Prairie Muffins crave chocolate bon-bons, but they are told to resist Satan's temptation of food lust, lest their heads explode.

33) Prairie Muffins are not clingy, they are clinging. There are many things in this world that it is tempting to grasp, even good things such as our homes, our marriages and our children. Our hands need to be firmly planted in the Savior's hand, not clinging to those things which are good gifts from Him, but clinging to His will for our lives. When those good things are sometimes taken away, we must accept what is better, knowing that our loving Father wants what is best for us.

    Prairie Muffins have lost their homes, their marriages, and their children. Number 33 admits that Prairie Muffins have been divorced, and sometimes lose custody of their children. Blame it on the Prairie Muffin - she must not have submitted well enough to her Godly Prairie Dawg and to God. Otherwise she wouldn't be divorced, and wondering how she can bring in enough money selling crocheted Ten Commandments to pay the mortgage, utilities, and food every month. Number 33 also admits that Prairie Muffins also want "things". Prairie Muffins should resist wanting a plasma TV, even though her kids watch one at that Pharisee neighbor's house, and they want one now. Tell the kids the ten year old TV is fine, and don't allow them to be tempted by Pharisees anymore, and forbid them from staying friends with those kids. Not that a Prairie Muffin would allow her kids to befriend Pharisees anyway.

36) Prairie Muffins are happy to be girls—they rejoice in the distinctives which God sovereignly bestowed on them which make them feminine. They are also happy that their husbands are masculine, and they do not diminish that masculinity by harping on habits which emanate from the fact that boys will be boys, even when they grow up. In addition, Prairie Muffins are careful not to use their feminine, hormotional weaknesses to excuse sinful attitudes and actions, but learn to depend more and more on God's grace and strength in the midst of any monthly trials.

    Prairie Muffins never complain about the smelly socks their Prairie Dawgs have left on the floor. They never complain that he doesn't help clean up after the dog, and that the boys keep pulling the heads off their sisters dolls. Boys will be boys, even when the boys are their husbands. They keep their Godly mouths shut, and clean up after their Godly men silently. After all, that's their job as Dawg's Helpmeet. Or they train their daughters to clean up after their brothers and their father, since that would prepare them for their Godly, wifely role. Plus, when Prairie Muffins have their periods, they should never speak out of line, lest their hormones get the better of them.

40) The women who will have the greatest impact on the world, those who will have the greatest influence on history, are those "well-behaved" women who faithfully serve God in their daily lives, seeking His approval rather than the world's admiration. Prairie Muffins know that while engaging in the kingdom-building work in their homes of loving, training and disciplining their children, the world may not express its approval, but it will be turned upside down.

    "Well-behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

41) Self-fulfillment is not a motivation for the Prairie Muffin. As time flies by, she senses the urgency for living a "real" life, really living life for eternity. Our goal should be to please ourselves less and please God more: our pleasure should be pleasing God.

    Number 41 just admitted that Prairie Muffins want more than being servants to their husband and their ten kids. It's not Godly to want a "real life".

42) We are reminded in Proverbs 10:19, "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." Prairie Muffins must refrain from being mouthy, including online. It is not our place to always set everyone straight or tell everything we know. In fact, Proverbs also warns us not to answer a fool according to his folly (Proverbs 26:4), so pray for wisdom before unleashing your opinions like any fool with a keyboard. This entreaty to restraint particularly applies to battles of which you have no part. She who has ears to hear, read carefully the admonitions of the great Puritan preacher, Matthew Poole, on the issue of detraction, an admonition that is never more timely though written hundreds of years ago. Then go back to Proverbs, starting with chapter one, because if you want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, then that's the place to begin.

    Prairie Dogs are often mouthy, including online. I know. I've seen it myself. Prairie Muffins see those who disagree with them as "fools". See 25 and 27.

44) As we pour out our lives in service to God and our families, we do not measure success by the visible return on that investment, as if we are accountants keeping record on a balance sheet. In the economy of God's kingdom, our sacrifices are of great value, even though we may not see all the benefits now, or even in this life. We mustn't regret any effort given in service to our Savior, and we ought to follow the example of Paul who rejoiced to be "poured out as a drink offering" (II Timothy 4:6), knowing that in pouring himself out on the sacrifice and service of the faith of others, he did not labor in vain (Phillipians 2:16-17).

    Prairie Muffins are told that accomplishment outside their Godly spheres is not Christian. Resist achieving success, ladies, no matter how much you enjoy it and like it.

Posted on July 4, 2006 at 01:57 PM | Permalink


Very easy to pick on people who you know aren't going to fight back, isn't it? You almost sound jealous.

Posted by: Sapphire at Jul 4, 2006 6:39:25 PM

Giggle. Prairie muffin.

When I was a tweener, I was into all things horses. The "prairie muffin" term reminds me of "meadow muffin", which is what we called a horse turd.

Posted by: txfeminist at Jul 4, 2006 6:50:41 PM

Thats what I've heard em called. Horse or cow turds are prairie muffins.

I can't believe noone pointed that out to her.

where the fuck does this person live?

Posted by: pheeno at Jul 4, 2006 7:26:57 PM

Dang it, it's raining. So much for the bonfire on the beach tonight.

I always heard them referred to as "cow patties". "Prairie Muffin" is a new one for me. Too bad they didn't take that into consideration before naming themselves "prairie muffins".

Posted by: The Countess at Jul 4, 2006 7:54:28 PM

18) Prairie Muffins are fiercely submissive to God and to their husbands.

How many husbands does a Prairie Muffin have?

Hey, it beats "Prairie Muffins submit to their husband," doesn't it?

Trish, if you think the Manifesto is bad, read Carmon's response to a meme asking what the greatest historical mistake was in her opinion. She said it was women's suffrage, and subsequently the comment thread oscillated between echoing the sentiment that women shouldn't vote and debating whether the Bible condones property qualifications.

Posted by: Alon Levy at Jul 4, 2006 8:09:47 PM

Gee, seems Jesus had quite a lot to say about poverty and the like. Or doesn't her Bible contain those passages?

Posted by: silverside at Jul 4, 2006 9:07:06 PM

cow patties and prairie muffins...heard them both.

Yipee I a, Yippe I a, Cow Pattie. She roared into town to find the man that
killed her daddy, Yippeee I a, Cow Pattie.

Posted by: pheeno at Jul 4, 2006 10:35:11 PM

Jesus didn't say anything about voting, did he?

Posted by: Alon Levy at Jul 4, 2006 11:29:11 PM

Awesome swimsuit. Designed by Taliban?

Posted by: Dennis at Jul 5, 2006 12:09:26 AM

Scary swimsuit, Dennis. Scary!

Designed by Laura Ingalls. LOL

Posted by: The Countess at Jul 5, 2006 8:02:33 AM

I have my own theory about all these ladies who sublimate their need for recognition and achievement, particularly those who believe in "cheerful submission" to their husbands. All healthy human beings chafe under the domination of others, male or female, whether it's under a boss, a husband, whatever. So that anger and frustration will come out somewhere. These ladies may smile "sweet" when they're under scrutiny, but the hostility will be vented somewhere else. Probably in a lot of underhanded backstabbing manoevers.

We have a religious wacko woman at work purports to believe this stuff. She has a fair amount of education (business/accountant) and her husband is blue collar. She might be "submissive" at home, but around here she's obnoxious. And I think all that biting her tongue at home is the direct cause.

Posted by: silverside at Jul 5, 2006 10:45:53 AM

I found a splinter Catholic blogsite written by a man insisting that women need to be modestly dressed so as not to tempt men (puleeze--like we don't get tempted, and like men can't control themselves). He did make a comment that cracked me up--he said that being modest didn't mean being frumpy, and and that we could leave the frumpy frontier look to the Protestants.

Posted by: Sheelzebub at Jul 5, 2006 10:57:06 AM

Oh, Trish, the woman on that Prarie Muffin site acknowledged it was a term of denigration, and that the Manifesto was her attempt to reclaim it. I'm not sure if she knows about it being a euphemism for cowpoo, however.

Posted by: Sheelzebub at Jul 5, 2006 10:59:29 AM

I wasn't sure if it was a spoof or not. The thing is, I know that there are people who really follow that kind of advice. It's scary.

Posted by: The Countess at Jul 5, 2006 11:23:25 AM

"hormotional weakness" -- love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!
I couldn't keep a straight face either, for thinking "horse turd"... Ye gads!

Posted by: Val at Jul 5, 2006 7:11:42 PM

I just found a great Bible quote you can use/abuse with fathers rights people of the "Biblical" persuasion. It was on a website dealing with mothers coerced into adoption.


Seems like it could be utilized for a variety of purposes in terms of mothers and social/economic justice. Plus, I just love the rhetorical flourishes of the Book of Job. Apart from its religious context, it's just a great story, and great writing. In fact, it was part of the curriculum of a literature class I took many years ago.

Posted by: silverside at Jul 5, 2006 10:21:41 PM

They don't like Little House on the Prairie and Little Women. I understand the Little Women and feminism but what is wrong with Laura and Pa and all?

Posted by: phoenix_mj at Jul 7, 2006 12:27:16 AM

I dunno, but it makes me think of this:


Posted by: belledame222 at Jul 7, 2006 9:16:50 PM

btw, creepy as i find the manifesto, i notice that site includes links (first one i clicked at random) to at least one leftie evangelical:


maybe they're not all that one-note.

Posted by: belledame222 at Jul 7, 2006 9:32:05 PM

then again...Howard Phillips. and, and, and...eeesh.

o well.

Posted by: belledame222 at Jul 7, 2006 9:43:48 PM

Maybe it was because Ma and Pa had no sons, so Laura ended up doing a lot of "man's" work? (But she worked like a horse regardless, whether in or out of the house.) There was also a segment in The First Four Years where she and Almanzo were getting married, and she specifically asked that the word "obey" be removed from the ceremony. Almanzo had no objection whatever, he said he would not ask a woman to obey him anyway. She had some reservations about marrying a farmer, too. Not sure if anything in there can be construed as feminist, but maybe it doesn't fit in with the prairie muffin thing. Same with the secular humanist complaint, you can find it in there but it's pretty watered down. PMs might object because the Christianity was also watered down (?) Just some thoughts.

Posted by: Sparkles at Jul 8, 2006 8:12:41 PM


I've been writing about Prairie Muffins in my LJ lately. I'm a Catholic feminist (we do exist) and I'm waiting for my other Catholic feminist friends to weigh in on this.

Posted by: Tepintzin at Jul 15, 2006 9:40:27 PM

OMGZ, it's Tepintzin! Hi! Anyway, I agree with what you said in your LJ. The "PMs" are just using religion to justify being fat, lazy, mindless slobs that never have to think for themselves. Personally, I don't want to live in a world where my sole purpose is to get married and crap out as many kids as possible. That's just boring!

Posted by: Android raptor at Jul 23, 2006 1:18:14 AM