Sunday, June 19, 2016

Husband Bashers Anonymous

Feminism has allowed women to find their voice. Not a strong confident voice, but a whiny complaining voice. The object of their complaints is invariably: the husband.

Amy Klein has written a long disquisition about whiny wives for New York Magazine. We are grateful to her for exposing this dark side of the feminist revolution: boundless contempt for men.

Today’s women, Klein suggests, are compulsive husband-bashers. If the behavior is compulsive it is certainly not going to be limited to coffee dates with one’s girlfriends. There is no way it is not going to contaminate one’s marriage. If it is compulsive it is an addiction, something to be treated, not indulged.

All of this husband-bashing has created a hostile cultural environment. It also suggests that women’s rights are really code for men’s wrongs.  Women, and feminists in particular, spend too much time trash talking the men in their lives. At times, they trash talk men who would never be in their lives.

This produces blowback. Most men will not sit idly by while they are being diminished and demeaned, disrespected and insulted. They respond. They might not hit back—gentlemen do not hit ladies—but there are many different ways to restore one’s self-respect.

Of course, feminists will rejoin that they must complain about men because they have suffered oppression for millennia. Now they are rebelling against the patriarchy and giving as good as they got.

Feminists ought to understand that the best way to induce someone to treat you well is to treat him well. Remember the Golden Rule. It says: do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It doesn’t say: do unto others as others have done unto you. The latter creates a cycle of mutual hostility and recriminations. As I said: a hostile cultural environment.

Why are so many liberated women unhappy with their husbands? From whence cometh the contempt?

It is easy to see. Feminists have taught women to expect certain things from a modern marriage. They have taught women to live their lives as though in a fictional world, the world of perfectly shared chores and perfect equality. For many women it is a shared fantasy, one that their girlfriends all share but that only their girlfriends share.

Yet, men are not living in the same fictional world. So, they resist; they fight back; they mess up. They demonstrate on a daily basis that they are doing domestic chores under duress. Women who fail to get the message whine, moan and complain… thus, damaging their marriages.

Klein shows how these attitudes come about. In her own special case:

Sometimes I too want to kill my husband because he can sleep through the night rather than having to wake up to nurse.

So, she resents her husband because he cannot nurse a baby. Is there a better example of mindless whining? Is this her husband’s fault? Or is the fault of the ideologues who turned her mind into mush? Where did she get the idea that she had to fight a culture war against a patriarchal God who burdened women with lactating breasts, but who spared men the indignity? She is offended by reality and rather than enjoy feeding her child, she lashes out at her husband for getting a good night’s sleep. This is not going to make her: wife of the year.

Of course, she has added a list of her husband’s other faults. These latter cannot be attributed to gross anatomy:

He doesn’t actually know what food to pack in the baby’s bag. He puts her diaper on so loosely, she poops all over the crib. He leaves the precious breast-milk bottle out to spoil after putting her to bed. Etc. And so I complain. 

Then, she says that she does not want to get in his face about these things, because that would surely damage her marriage. As bright as she thinks she is, she does not understand that holding him up for ridicule in New York Magazine will probably not help her marriage. It will, however, get her points with the sisterhood. If she wants to be married to the sisterhood, this is a good idea. If she wants to stay married to her husband, it isn’t.

Of course, when the guys at her husband’s work read about it they will be happy to hear that he has not been domesticated and they will sympathize with him for being married to such a harpy.

Yet, when the unmarried women at his work read about her whining, they will see a window of opportunity. Now they can commiserate with him and declare: If you were my husband I would never let you change a diaper.

Game, set and match.

It will be fun, years from now, to see how many of Klein’s friends’ marriages survive. One suspects that the number will not be very high.

For our edification, Klein offers some other examples of women who have found their whiny voice and who express themselves on man-bashing websites:

Here’s a representative example from a fellow mom:

“DH [Dear Hubby] decided to take the baby for a walk this morning and I came home to find my one-month-old slumped over in her carriage. Poor kid probably hit her head on every bump. Then I discover he’s got her wearing two different socks….”

An especially poetic entry:

Husband -
* promises to do dishes*
* watches TV*
*falls asleep”
*gets up to pee*
*tells me not to remind him because he knows*
[…repeats 1-4]
“I’m just really dizzy, I feel like I should go to bed…”
Me—“Oh totally fine. You can do the dishes tomorrow.”
[picture of tony but messy kitchen, sink filled with detritus]

These men are not competent housewives. They are, as I suggested, not living up to the proper feminist standards.

Klein explains:

The specifics of the complaints may differ, but the discontent is the same: My (pick one) lazy/inept/thoughtless husband is a real idiot/jerk/asshole who doesn’t have a clue about taking care of our kids/house/life, while I, the martyred wife and mother, have to do everything.

Husband-bashing is such an integral part of the mommy boards that the posts require no introduction…

But, many of these men are competent on the job. Point which makes no sense to the feminist mindset:

“Women tell their husbands, ‘I’d like you to do this, this, and this,’” Barr says, noting that they often treat their husbands like the babysitter or nanny, but they’re pissed when he doesn’t follow the exact instructions — bath, book, bed.

Are men actually idiots? Are these guys who manage to run their own businesses or show up to someone else’s workplace and competently carry their careers suddenly unable to slap a PB&J sandwich together just because they got married and had kids? Or are we just taking our cues from pop culture?

No, you are not taking cues from popular culture. Your mind has been taken over by an ideology that blinds you to reality.

These women fail to notice that the men who can change diapers and slap together sandwiches are not world beaters and are not doing well at their careers. But, they are more likely to cheat on their wives.

Someone should organize a group for these women. They can call it: Husband Bashers Anonymous.


Ares Olympus said...

Oh, what a sad topic for fathers day!

I wonder what lesson I'm supposed to take from this topic? I suppose the lesson is "Feminism sucks." We could call this blog "Feminist Bashers Anonymous" except for the Anonymous part, and the risk I'll get my comment deleted.

Yet complaining about complaining is a warped idea. Complaining or critics in general allow themselves to be divine judges upon others, while their own transgressions are irreproachable. Oh, let's not forget about complaining about complaining about complaing like I might be doing.

Overall for me the question is "What do we do with negative emotions?" If society says "Find someone to blame" that's a satisfying answer for a while, but as Stuart shows, picking someone close to you is a bad idea.

So we can take Stuart's advice of the golden rule, but what does the golden rule say about resentment? If it is "your problem" then the golden rule might say "don't burden others with your problems", and that itself creates more resentment because others are allowed to talk about things you are not allowed to talk about.

Anyway, I just don't know if I can blame feminism. It makes more sense, as Stuart does other times, to blame "Therapy culture" that says we shouldn't suppress anything, and that every stray negative feeling needs expression or it'll fester or something.

I imagine there must be a balance between discretion and disclosure, and each has risks when done unskillfully. But that is such a boring conclusion, no to blame and all that.

Anonymous said...

Ares -

Offered in the spirit of constructive criticism:

"An intellectual is a person who has been educated beyond his competence."

Ares Olympus said...

Anon, my primary skill might be fact-checking, which I didn't gain from my education, but in frustrated defense against all the B.S. on facebook perhaps.

Incidentally, the closest I could find to your quote comes from A.C. Clarke, although a slight variation:

“My favourite definition of an intellectual: 'Someone who has been educated beyond his/her intelligence.'” ― Arthur C. Clarke, from 3001: The Final Odyssey

Competence might fit better, less cynical, as we might assume incompetence is curable, and comes from practice and experiencing the limits of your knowledge.

Dennis said...


Even a tertiary check of fact checking sites denotes that they are overwhelmingly leftist or liberal and biased especially when it comes to politics. So much for being a fact checker. They cannot be trusted.

Will be busy enjoying the fact that my son and his three children are visiting for a couple of weeks and are a joyous experience. As much time as they spend in the pool one would think they would get tired, but alas no. Sometimes one forgets what a joy it is to be a grandfather.

Have fun.

JayneI said...

Years ago I had had enough of listening to myself complain about and to my husband.

So I chose to disconnect from those issues, and every time I felt like correcting him I just smiled or laughed. It was sort of the golden rule.

It helps perhaps that because I am a perfectionist, lapsed perfectionist, housecleaning is not my strong suit.

Wow, the payoff in our relationship, though we both fairly damaged individuals, the payoff has been astounding. And grows every year.

I am happy with it.

Rick Monihan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RM said...

Even in otherwise good relationships, husband-bashing can become pretty standard. My father has a terrific relationship with his wife. However, after many years of marriage (he's 80), he's ceased to fight her on anything. Alone, I will hear how he's tired of having to read her mind, so he just does as he's told.
20 years ago, I distinctly remember him leaving an event to meet his wife even though he didn't want to. His reply was "I'm tired of fighting the battles. It's better to just give in."

The result? He now does nothing for himself. This past weekend, on Father's Day, it was great to see him and have a nice time at lunch and watching baseball. But even my stepmother replied that his lack of desire to travel anywhere is deeply rooted in how she has managed his affairs. She recently went away for 3 days and came home to find that he'd not eaten anything in the refrigerator, but gone out and bought hot dogs and ice cream regularly. Why? Because he didn't want to risk messing up the house.

Her response? "That's the monster I created and now I have to live with it." At least she's aware of her role. So few people are.

My wife recently got very angry at me for....doing nothing. Literally. It's not like there was something she wanted me to do and I didn't do it. It's that I chose to take some time off from doing anything. "You've got time on your hands, so use it to get things done."
I replied "I do things ALL THE TIME, I just want to take a break today."
Hers: "I do things all the time too, that's no excuse."

She then proceeded to spend 4 hours playing a game on her computer. Not in retaliation. That's what doing something all the time means to her. She comes home, drops her shoes at the door and scarf on the table. I bring them upstairs. If she's hungry, she might make dinner if she doesn't ask me to make it. Otherwise, if she's not hungry, I'm on my own. If I make something I like that she doesn't, she asks "why did you make that? There's XY and Z in the refrigerator."

I am convinced the culture of man-bashing has ruined more relationships simply because it's a serious pain in the ass to keep putting up with this.

"You never say anything good about me." To be honest, I keep telling what a great mom she has been, how great she is at her job (which she hates so that's not a compliment) and that our house is in great shape (it is, but she doesn't believe it). I should compliment her looks more, but when I do she says "are you trying to tell me something?" or huffs and doesn't take me seriously.

It's a no-win game. I won't become like my father, and give in, but I'm refusing to play.

Sam L. said...

Anon at 9:29: The late Brother Dave Gardner (Southern stand-up comic) finished with "beyond his ability to learn."