Friday, April 26, 2013

To Be or Not To Be a Wife

Among the many causes for the breakdown of American marriage is this: sloppy thinking.

For all their education, for all of their student loan debt, American intellectuals don’t know how to think.

How else to explain the fact that a woman can tell you that she wants to get married but does not want to be a wife.

This has some obvious consequences. If a wife makes it a point of feminist honor to refuse to perform the tasks or to assume the responsibilities that are associated with being a wife, this will certainly not improve the quality of her marriage.

Since women are essential to the division of household labor and the harmonious functioning of a household, a wifeless marriage produces a dysfunctional household. Many people have discovered, to their chagrin, that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Our elite intellectuals have overthought the institution of marriage. Perhaps they thought that they were engaging in an amusing exercise. Perhaps they thought that they could facilitate the revolution if they undermined the basic patriarchal institution. Whatever the reason, they have deconstructed marriage and have assaulted it with rounds of critical theory.

So, more and more couples are foregoing it altogether. After all, if marriage is just a piece of paper, as we were reliably told by the cognoscenti a few decades ago, why bother?

Strangely enough, the only people today who are clamoring to get married are those who belong to the same gender. Some have said that same-sex marriage will save the institution. In fact, it will transform the institution by disassociating it from mating.

Since a same-sex couple cannot become mother and father, they cannot become husband and wife. In what has universally been considered as a marriage, it is perfectly clear who is the husband and who is the wife. In a same-sex marriage, it is perfectly unclear.

When a woman gets married she becomes a wife. Everyone sees her as a wife. Everyone addresses her as a wife. If she zealously abhors the role of wife she should not marry.

Our best thinkers are transforming the institution of marriage. The question is: for better or for worse.

We are reliably informed that women are increasingly unhappy with their marriages. Women initiate most of the divorces in America today. When they divorce, women are less likely to remarry.

Feminists tell us that this affirms the truth of their analysis. Marriage is fatally flawed because it oppresses women.

If marriage is oppressive to women, then married women need to be in a state of permanent rebellion. In place of the old-fashioned cooperative marriage, feminism has produced the modern contentious marriage. When the kitchen becomes a battleground in the culture wars, women lose.

One continues to be impressed by the fact that feminists do not believe that they themselves bear no responsibility for the current state of American marriage.

As the old saying goes: they broke it; they own it.

Yesterday, Vicki Larson made a salient point: husbands and wives are not involved in the same marriage. It’s not so clear what she means by that, but it certainly contains a kernel of truth.

If Larson believes that being a husband and being a wife is not the same thing, one must concur. We ought to extend the notion to the fact that when Jack and Jill engage in carnal relations they are not having the same experience.

The problem with modern marriage, Larson suggests, lies in the fact that married women, aka wives, still do most of the “emotional caretaking."

She quotes from the work of two feminist sociologists:

Typical studies of the household division of labor do not begin to capture all the unpaid caring work -- for friends, extended family, schools, and religious and other community organizations -- that women disproportionately do. Nor do they capture wives' planning, organizing, and structuring of family life.

Larson adds her own commentary:

It's exhausting being the one who always has to be on top of the emotional temperature of a relationship and keep the ties to family and community going. Plus, that kind of work often goes unnoticed or undervalued -- and sometimes even resented -- which, they note, "can lead to marital tension."

One assumes that it is even more exhausting when the woman is working outside of the home.

Does anything change when the couples have contracted what they call an “equal marriage?”

Apparently not:

What about in so-called equal marriages? Nope, the wives still "tended to be the ones who monitored their own and their partners' contributions to their relationships." Even when the imbalance was duly acknowledged, nothing changed, "leading to feelings of resentment and frustration."

Of course, Larson and her experts suggest that this situation can be remedied with increased consciousness. But, didn’t increased consciousness get us into this mess in the first place. When a woman decides that being a wife is akin to being a slave or a concentration camp inmate, doesn’t this influence how she conducts herself in her marriage.

If Larson believes that women who make the kitchen into a battleground are more advanced than men, she must also be suggesting that men need to capitulate.

They can do so by shouldering more of the responsibility as emotional caretakers.

But, here’s the problem. These same serious thinkers believe that men are reptilian creatures who are congenitally incapable of caring for anyone emotionally, beginning with themselves.

I will tell you another secret. Any man who dares to take on the role of emotional caretaker will be greeted with a wave of feminine contempt whose sting will be felt for a long time to come.

Women might have been taught by feminism to resent their roles within marriage, but most of them, given the choice would prefer to keep the emotional caretaking in the hands of the person who is most capable and most competent of doing it. That would be: the wife. 

If women are better at it, that does not make it demeaning. 


Sam L. said...

"One continues to be impressed by the fact that feminists do not believe that they themselves
bear no responsibility for the current state of American marriage."

I read this as 'they do believe they bear responsibility', and I'm pretty sure they don't--it's the man's/mens' fault entirely.

The 2-word captcha is better for me, as I found the numbers sometimes hazy and indistinct.

Bobbye said...

More and more men are refusing to marry. Most can have the milk without buying the cow. A side effect of contempt for men is that feminist mothers of male children cannot hide that contempt from said children. A male teen can rebel and go full alpha, or conform and " go gay" as Cary Grant put it. Problem for mom is, a gay man is still a man.

David Foster said...

"It's exhausting being the one who always has to be on top of the emotional temperature of a relationship and keep the ties to family and community going."

The degree to which it is exhausting or not exhausting is highly dependent on an individual's personality structure, specifically the degree to which (s)he possesses strong emotional intelligence and enjoys exercising it. Evidence is that more women than men have this attribute, although there is certainly not a crisp division between the sexes.

I wonder how the emotional intelligence of academics and various writers of social matters compares with that of the population at large, and how that might influence their views.

n.n said...

So, the "new normal" is a woman breeding for the pleasure of the state, while both the man and woman labor to generate revenue to finance the state. This arrangement sounds strangely familiar. I wonder if anyone seriously considers this to be "progressive" other than in a peculiarly retrogressive way.

Women were thought to be "barefoot and pregnant."

With "progress", women are factually "barefoot, pregnant, and taxed."

Progress is simply unqualified, monotonic change.

Evolution is simply a chaotic process.

Perhaps it would have helped to qualify "progress" before following a path of corruption and dysfunction. The generational variety is highly incompatible with individual dignity and an enduring value of human life. It favors the consolidation of capital and control in minority hands, while limiting population growth through an indoctrinated (i.e. elective) genocide.

It is dreams of material, physical, and ego instant (or immediate) gratification without perceived consequences which are the impetus for a periodic dysfunctional convergence. It seems that people in America, and Western civilization generally, are not exempt from the historical cycles.

Forward... to dysfunctional convergence. A people with a better grasp of reality, and capable of self-moderating behavior, will serve as our replacements.

Dennis said...


Now one knows why I talk about the "Pink Police State," and women becoming the prize. To quote a commercial, "You come a long way baby." From being a wife, a mother a lover, partner, friend, et al to being owned and doing the state's bidding. The state buys your birth control, pays for your abortion, pays for your medical care (won't you be surprised when you find out what the the state won't pay for now,) through Affirmative action guarantees your job, ensure that the job is almost the only thing that defines you, et al. Just what are you going to do when the state tells you that if you don't do what we want we will remove your benefits and since the state runs the legal system the state will do it legally.
How free do you think you are going to be when and if the government can tell you want you can eat, what drinks you can have, what medical care you can have, what rights you can have, etc? At feminism's current rate we will be lucky to have a 100X 100 space we can live in and not be slaves, er... subjects.
One thing about being older is that there is not a lot they can take away from me. Yes, they will probably kill me in the end by refusing some medical procedure of life saving drug, but I would have known freedom. Something you would have given away a little bit at a time for next to nothing.

Dennis said...

Sorry, but these little boxes make it hard to see the totality of one's comments.

Leo G said...

and the worm turns ever so slowly.......

n.n said...


What these "feminists" fail to comprehend, is that they can have it all, but they have to be capable of moderating their behavior and setting the right priorities.

What men need to appreciate, is that women are entitled to have it all. That we each play a different role with different responsibilities at different stages of our lives.

Women, and men, dream of material, physical, and ego instant (or immediate) gratification. There are opportunists within our ranks who will promise them fulfillment, but they deceive people when they claim it is possible without consequences. Only a select minority will ever enjoy dissociation of risk, and most will not enjoy it for long.

That said, as the women go, so does the fate of our white, black, brown, whatever-color American tribe.

Dennis said...

I know that your last sentence contains a lot of truth and have thought that for quite a long time. It is why I keep hitting the personal responsibility idea and the gradual abdication thereof to the "state" as provider, defender, et al by women, especially young women.
This will, in a short time, make slaves of us all.
Power is such an illusionary goal for it tends to hoist the seekers on their on petard until the seekers are done in by it. The fact is that we can all have it all if we take the time to define what that actually means and it does have its limits because we are dealing with more than one's self. The self is almost always destructive to others. Thinking in terms of group self has the same end.

sestamibi said...

Eventually, this will have a happy ending as the Andreas of the world drink their Knob Creek and watch Antiques Roadshow into their dotage, then pass from the scene unnoticed, leaving the very conservative spawn of such as Jim and Michelle Duggar to inherit the earth. Have fun girls.