Monday, July 20, 2015

The Male Feminist as Proud Cuckold

At first, you suspect that it’s not to be believed. So said Bird Dog atthe Maggie’s Farm blog. It feels like someone’s idea of a parody about men who pretend to be feminists. Besides, the internet has nothing more about the author Michael Sonmore than a reference to this article from New York Magazine.

So, either it’s a hoax or the author is so ashamed of his new status as cuckold that he has chosen to write under a pseudonym. Yet, for all we know he is telling his wife’s many lovers that they have nothing to fear from him. Without any help from a therapist Sonmore has rid his mind of all traces of jealousy, along with all traces of dignity and self-respect.

Besides, if he used his real name, the story would be online forever. Therefore it would likely have been found by his children and their friends when they get old enough to do internet searches.

Naturally, he wants us to know that sharing his wife with other men makes him a bona fide feminist:

As I write this, my children are asleep in their room, Loretta Lynn is on the stereo, and my wife is out on a date with a man named Paulo. It’s her second date this week; her fourth this month so far. If it goes like the others, she’ll come home in the middle of the night, crawl into bed beside me, and tell me all about how she and Paulo had sex. I won’t explode with anger or seethe with resentment. I’ll tell her it’s a hot story and I’m glad she had fun. It’s hot because she’s excited, and I’m glad because I’m a feminist.

How did things get to this point? Well, Sonmore has withdrawn from the world of work, the world of manly competition, to become a househusband. For reasons that are readily understandable he still considers himself to be working and still sees himself to be a provider. He is not providing in the traditional manly sense, he explains, but he is providing care.

If he knew how to use the language and did not feel the need to distort it in order to cover up his shame, he would say that has been nurturing his young children.

For a man who insists that he is a feminist and who proudly dons the horns of the cuckold the notion that his housework affirms his masculine identity is risible… or, it would be, if it was not so sad:

In this way, my masculine self-image was stretched but not broken. Diaper bag notwithstanding, I was still a Man. It wasn’t until my wife mentioned one evening that she’d kissed another man and liked it and wanted to do more than kiss next time that I realized how my status as a Man depended on a single fact: that my wife fucked only me. 

Sonmore does not put it this way, but we do know, from other studies, that women tend not to find househusbands very desirable. That’s the underlying and unrecognized message here: Sonmore has been acting like such a weakling that his wife does not want to fuck him anymore. She does not put it this way, but surely this is the issue here.

Sonmore does not have a real choice. Since she is supporting the family, he has no choice but to acquiesce.

He writes:

From everywhere comes the message that what I’m doing is for weaklings, losers, failures, pussies; that if I had money and status, I could keep my wife “in line”; that her self-discovery comes at the expense of my self-esteem. My open marriage has made heavy demands on my ability to silence the voice of doubt in my head, that gnawing feeling of worthlessness. But I find I can meet those demands, and that I am able to build my self-confidence out of nothing more than the basic dignity we all possess. I’m grateful to my wife for pushing us to take this leap, and whatever happens to us in the future I would do it all again. And when she comes home tonight and crawls into bed beside me with a hot story about her date with Paulo, she’ll do it all again, too. 

It has nothing to do with keeping anyone in line. It has to do with sabotaging a sexual dynamic by playing the role reversal game.

Naturally, Sonmore has larded it all over with psychobabble, but the truth does shine through.


Anonymous said...

Its a dildo fantasy written by a 48 yr. old cat lady!

"Michael Sonmore" is obviously a nom de plume.

Ares Olympus said...

Curious, I actually read the original article. This quote is interesting, showing the role reversal complete. The standard is supposed to be that men worry about physical fidelity, while women worry more about emotional fidelity. So the perhaps the implication the "dependent one" is more worried about being abandoned while the "independent one" is worried his/her hard work outside the home is earning loyality from the dependent one.

"What surprises most people is when I tell them it’s not the sex-with-other-men that bothers me. The sex is the easy part, the fun part. It’s what the sex connects to, stands for, reveals that can be difficult. I don’t want her to fall in love with anyone else, and every time she goes on a date, I confront the possibility that she might. It happened at the beginning: The first person she dated after we opened up fell hard in love with her, and my wife, overwhelmed by his ardor, tried to love him back. Watching it happen, I was confused, angry, and terrified that she wanted to leave me. She assured me she didn’t, and whatever feelings she had for him didn’t lessen what she felt for me. Believing her then was the ultimate trust exercise. We survived because eventually I did believe her, and also because I learned to trust myself."

I have a hard time judging, either the lifestyle or the honesty of the author. Is he deceiving himself? Is it temporary experiment or something that could last a lifetime? Is this really about the "househusband" part, or would this dynamic have happened anyway?

I knew one couple in an open marriage, and that began with the wife wondering if she was bisexual, so at least that holds a lower threat to a husband maybe? While a woman cousin of mine married a man who wondered if he was bisexual, and asked for permission to experiment, and she said no, and they divorced. Another woman I knew said her brother was living with a childless married woman and her husband, and he claimed he was in love with her, and the sister totally disapproved, but couldn't break this "Siren call" or see she was "using him". So children involved at least in any cases. And they all had impressive honesty in my book.

All that sort of says people like their fantasies, and you can wonder how to "control" anyone who wants something you're not, or don't care to be. And "sex" really might be a small part. What if you like to dance and your spouse does not?

Another approach is "serial monogamy" where people hit their "7 year itch" and get bored, no matter how "perfect" their spouse is. And from my direct observations, like my divorced female cousins, that seems to be more of a woman's vice than a man. With the possibility of financial independence, it seems women can "fall out of love" or other rationalization.

I admit, if I was married and childless and my spouse wanted to experiment with an open marriage, I'd be more likely say "Let's experiment with an open divorce, you do your thing and figure things out, and come back if it doesn't work out." At least life seems too short to worry about relationships, and there's lots of interesting things to do with my time.

But I admit, when there are children involved, and especially young children involved, I'm more judgemental. You shouldn't be thinking like a single person any more. Ask "If you knew your inattention would lead to your children's suffering, would you still want to do this?" But if the answer is "yes", that shows a greater suffering needs some solution, since resentful people make poor parents I think.

Michael K said...

How does he know the children are his ? DNA testing ?

Chris Carson said...

Sounds like a guy who's desperately trying to justify a situation thats totally out of his control.

Ypu don't go to the exteme of comparing infidelity to " feminism " if your OK with it from the start.

But that doesn't make what he's doing ok.

Sometimes it takes courage and sacrifice to retain your self respect.

He doesn't seem like he has much of either.

Going through life letting people shit on you is a miserable way to live.

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