Now that the profession of psychotherapy has largely been feminized, men are refusing therapy. Even when their wives ask them to go for couples counseling.
By feminized, I do not mean that all talk therapists are women, but so many of them now are that male therapists are just as likely to ask their male patients to talk about their feelings, to bare their souls as are their female counterparts.
Apparently, this is more evident when wives ask their husbands to go to couples counseling. The men know it’s a trap. They know that their wives will have home field advantage. They know that they will be at a distinct disadvantage. They know that they are going to be manipulated. They know that they will be held accountable for whatever is going wrong in their marriages. They know, for certain that they will not be respected as men.
In that they are right. They should refuse to go.
And yet, in some cases they are browbeaten and threatened into going anyway. In itself this is a sign of disrespect. They are right to refuse, but they may have to go anyway.
Besides, most of the research suggests that couples counseling does not work very well anyway, so why waste family resources?
Of course, one needs to ask whether the attitudes of feminized therapists derive from science or from ideology. Are therapists trying to teach men to be better husbands or to get in touch with their feminine sides? It’s not the same. You can’t do both at once.
If feminism, through Gloria Steinem taught women to become the men they wanted to marry, doesn’t that imply—as the night follows the day—that their husbands should become the women their wives do not want to be.
Or else, as Gloria Steinem famously said:
We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.
Even when therapists--at least the ones Elizabeth Bernstein talks to-- try to make therapy more male-friendly, they still fall back on the old habit of asking men to open up and to talk about their feelings.
It’s never about reality or practicality… it’s always about your soul.
She discusses the approach favored by Dr. Gary Brooks:
During the couples sessions, Dr. Brooks explains to the wife that his job as a therapist is to help the man articulate his feelings. He encourages the man to tell his wife what has been bothering him. He makes sure the couple talks about things that the man is doing right in the relationship, to make sure the woman recognizes these things.
Most men understand that this little mind game is an attempt to manipulate them. It is not about making them more fulfilled emotionally. The real issues lie elsewhere. They are so obscure that Bernstein does not even mention them.
Look at it from the Steinem angle: if wives want their husbands to be more like the women they do not want to be, that is, like homemakers, they know that they should not be straightforward and direct about it. They cannot force their husbands to do more housework, to come home early from work to bathe the baby, to share all household responsibilities equally… as feminism demands.
So, they use a more roundabout approach. They ask the man to express his feelings. Then they express their feelings. At some point, the hapless husband will learn how to feel empathy for a woman’s condition, for her miserable life as a housewife, for the pain she feels when she has to care for her children.
Once he gets in touch with her feelings, he will work less, spend more time at home, miss job promotions and bonuses. In all he will sacrifice his career path to her ideology.
In other words, men are right to refuse to go to couples counseling. Perhaps wives should go to counseling themselves to learn about why they want to make their husbands into something they themselves do not want to be.