But this worrying over/emphasis on St Paul as the Ultimate Authority and this whole 'headship' thing... not the way it's done on this side of the water.
...that you're a bunch of decadent, death-worshiping, self-indulgent heretics and no wonder you're all being overrun by the Horde there!
Seriously, you may be on to something there. Not all, but *most* of the core Conservative Intellectual Catholic types here are *not* "cradle" but converts, and either converts from American fundamentalism, or converts from genteel Anglo-American agnosticism of various sorts ranging from "C&E C of E" types to 2nd or 3rd generation Jewish atheists rebelling against their parents a la Edith Stein, and anything in between, often including phases of "wandering" or "seeking" meaning careening from Buddhism to Rasta to Orthodox (Christian or Jewish) and all of it in an effort to find something that was a) structured and validating but b) not *too* structured, not requiring of them anything they weren't willing to give.
If you're an innately-chauvinistic guy - which is *almost* impossible not to start out as, in the US - then there's a kind of inevitable spiral towards the Church of Rome as interpreted here by the *extremely* doctrinaire Neo-Trads, which is *all about* the justification of authoritarianism by appealing to Tradition & the mystical authority of the Magisterium, and using that justified authoritarianism to recursively justify all the their own inclinations of disliking the Other (women, gays, cats, Pakistanis, jazz musicians, vegetarians, people who eat ice cream while walking down the street) and since they really can't get away from the whole Want Sex!/Hate Women! problem without making themselves eunuchs *literally*, the discriminatory bits of Christianity, and the one Church which is not only hanging on to them but also doesn't have any kind of democratic mechanism to get rid of them down the line unlike the Protestant ones, are going to exert a much stronger gravitational pull than oh, some other religion which offers the same thing but requires you to wear funny hats, too, or stop eating/drinking things you like *almost* as much as you're squicked out by the thought of women having sex with guys other than you, or guys having sex with other guys, it makes the choice a lot easier.
I think - to get Thomist here - that it's a case of two things coming from one, that is that Machismo is *so* core to Americanism that it can't not come out in religion, too, whether Protestant or Catholic, and that people will even change their religion in order to be able to hold onto their sexism unchallenged.
And if you want to be a Christian, and validate your machismo, you're pretty much stuck with invoking St. Paul, outside the Torah. And if your husband is a drunk or a gambler or whatever, so long as he isn't commanding you to commit mortal sins (ie whoring you or the kids out) then It's Your Cross To Bear Nobly - and there are all those old books of saints that are reprinted by conservative Catholic presses like TAN and Ignatius here to back that up, that you should suffer like St. Rita of Cascia
or St. Mary of the Five Wounds' mother
, nobly and patiently as Griselda until he dies and you become a nun and go on living a life of heroic self-denial.
After all, it's not *your* fault if he's a schmuck to you and the kids - but it *would* be your fault if you failed in Patience and Humility and told him off and otherwise Rebelled against his headship, seeing as he *is* God's vicar in the home.
--But of course, if he's really a Good Christian Husband, then he will love you as tenderly as he loves his own body, and thus never abuse you, so why worry about things that can't happen unless you're a selfish, rebellious unbeliever matched with another unbelieving liberal?