Feminism, misogyny, and husband management

I’m a big fan of Dr. Helen, and I very much appreciate her efforts as a fellow critic of male-bashing. But one of her threads last week troubled me, for several reasons.

In a post titled “The Well-Managed Husband?”, Dr. Helen collects some nasty bits of advice that a couple of men’s rights sites say women are getting on manipulating their husbands to obtain the desired results. Then, she refers to a post by a web diarist who calls himself a “Mad Suburban Dad”, expressing his dismay when he overhears his wife’s phone conversation with her sister about how “well-managed” a friend’s husband is. According to “Mad Dad”‘s narrative, quoted by Dr. Helen:

“A well-managed husband does not realize he is being managed, nor do his friends,” she said. “Usually, the only other person who can tell he is well managed is a woman who also has a well-managed husband or boyfriend.” Then I asked the question that I am afraid to ask and even more afraid to hear the answer to: “So, if you know your friend’s husband is ‘well managed,’ does that mean I’m ‘well-managed’ too?” I asked with trepedation.

Mad Mom gets this silly grin and says: “Excuse me, I have got to go to the bathroom.”

Dr. Helen comments:

Say what? If I was MadDad and I heard this, I would have been livid. No trepedation, no humiliating strikes like MadDad talks about (check out post 4-4), no asking women on my site for comments, no, nope, nada. Just a simple statement from me to this prize of a wife, “I hear you talking like that or trying to manipulate me like that again and I am out of here.”

And I would mean it.

A number of posters in Dr. Helen’s comments thread (which quickly turns to woman-bashing, or at least American-woman-bashing) blame this supposedly pervasive “husband management” on “feminists,” “gender feminists,” “misandrist attitudes and behavior,” and the like. (All of which goes unquestioned by Dr. Helen.) But in fact, it is anti-feminist traditionalists, not feminists, who embrace female manipulation of men as a positive value — a way women can wield power and achieve what they want without “becoming like men.” For instance, in the 2004 book, Taking Sex Differences Seriously, Stephen Rhoads writes:

Indeed, it’s still quite common to hear of small, feminine women who have their strong, masculine husbands “wrapped around their little fingers.” Happy women rule indirectly. They can rule because their husbands love and want to please them. They can also rule because, as psychological studies have demonstrated, women can read men better than men can read women. What matters, then, is only that men be the ostensible heads of households. In such cases, both parties emerge happy.

I have yet to read Harvey Mansfield’s new book, Manliness (highly acclaimed in the conservative press), but I suspect he gives the same advice. In a November 3, 1997 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Prof. Mansfield opined that “gentle” feminine authority should “defer to the manly sort”, and added:

This does not mean that men have to decide, only that they have to appear to decide.

And it was not a feminist but conservative pop radio doyenne Dr. Laura who had written a book with the repulsive title, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.

There is another issue as well. “Mad Dad’s” diary post goes on to say:

“I think of our marriage as a corporation. I may be the CEO, but you are the Chairman.”
I realize Mad Mom is also the Chief Financial Officer, the Executive Secretary and the Chief Operating Officer too. But, hey, that was the deal we struck when we decided I would keep my job which required a gazillion hours a week, while she stayed at home.
“I mean, I know you have a lot of the responsibility around the house, but that was the agreement we made when you quit your job.” I said. “That was a mutual decision.”
“So what are you worried about,” said Mad Mom, as she gets down on the floor to help five-year old E with her puzzle. “You are still the head of the family.”
“Yeah,” E said. “And mommy is the neck.”
Thinking Mad Mom had been insulted I said, “That’s okay E, because the neck is just below the head.”
“I know,” E said. “And mommy told auntie that the neck controls the head, telling it which way to turn.”

It seems to me that “Mad Mom’s” manipulative ways are more than well-matched by “Dad’s” unrepentant male chauvinism. Doesn’t this fact merit a comment from Dr. Helen, too? Personally, if I was married to a guy who ever told our child that I was “below him,” I’d be out of there myself.

131 Comments

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131 responses to “Feminism, misogyny, and husband management

  1. smilerz

    Anyone, man or woman, that claims to not attempting to manipulate their signifigant other at some level is lying or delusional.

    In any long term you get to know your partner very well so you know which buttons to push to get your way. I don’t understand the hype.

  2. mythago

    In any meaningful long-term relationship, you avoid pushing those buttons because you want to treat your partner as, well, a partner.

    I use the generic-you, here, of course; I understand that some people prefer relationships that are manipulative and adversarial, but I can’t understand it myself.

    Cathy, great post, but I suspect you will be irritating many of your supporters; it’s no fun to stop blaming feminists in favor of admitting that manipulation and hostility is the flip side of “vive le difference”.

  3. Luke

    For what it’s worth, American women have long been regarded by Europeans — certainly throughout the 19th century — as unusually bossy in relation to their husbands; you see it in literature, the novels of Henry James for example, or wherever the two cultures are compared.

    Then there is that scene in a Woody Allen movie, I forget which one, in which Woody is explaining to his six-year-old son that yes, of course, he is boss around the house. For instance he (Woody) always controls the remote; Mommy by contrast decides things like where we are going to live, who our friends are, etc.

  4. Revenant

    It seems to me that “Mad Mom’s” manipulative ways are more than well-matched by “Dad’s” unrepentant male chauvinism. Doesn’t this fact merit a comment from Dr. Helen, too? Personally, if I was married to a guy who ever told our child that I was “below him,” I’d be out of there myself

    I don’t see the “unrepentant male chauvinism” you’re referring to. While we’re only hearing the guy’s side of the story, it sounds like he views his wife as an equal partner in the marriage (references to mutual decisions, concerns about “insulting” mommy by calling her “the neck”, etc) but that, by mutual agreement, as the sole breadwinner he’s supposed to be the one in charge. I.e., that he *does* have greater authority than his wife in decision-making matters, as compensation for him being the one who has to spend long hours working away from his wife and children. If that is indeed the deal he and his wife had agreed upon than it isn’t chauvinistic for him to expect her to hold up her end of the bargain.

    Anyway, smilerz is correct that partners always manipulate each other. But it isn’t supposed to be an overt thing. I don’t think I know a woman who wouldn’t be outraged if her husband referred to her as “well-managed”, implied that she was under his thumb, or that sort of thing. That is, to me, a lot more insulting that being referred to a being slightly subordinate because it infantilizes the subject — it implies that the subject is SO easy to manipulate that it doesn’t even matter if he knows he’s being manipulated. It is also a little creepy to *think* of one’s partner as “well-managed”, in my opinion. The closest I’ve ever gotten to that is thinking “cool, she’ll let me do what I want”.

  5. Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this as a corrective to the over-the-top female bashing Dr. Helen seems to host ad naseum these days. She claims it’s just a corrective to all the male bashing in society today, but I don’t buy it: I don’t listen to or tolerate women who say all men are bastards, so why should I tolerate men who say that all women are greedy and selfish?

  6. Anonymous

    It is pretty funny that the anti-feminists were jumping on this one. That dynamic, of men ordering women around to get their way and women manipulating men to get their way, was something I never liked in the traditional marriages I grew up around. Even though the power in the relationship generally ended up about equal, it always felt dishonest to me. I never bought the idea (passed on by mother and grandmother) that men’s egos were so fragile you had to protect them by pretending things weren’t so equal.

    Being in a lesbian relationship makes it easier, for me at least, not to fall into that dynamic. Manipulation really isn’t necessary for us. We discuss, lay out pros and cons, negotiate, and compromise.

    Granted, I have dated manipulative women. But when people use my buttons against me, it just makes me angry. I didn’t date that kind very long.

    Z

  7. John Doe

    I’m given to wonder whatever happened to the idea of mutually respectful partnership? Why does either have to manipulate or order the other? Oh, there will be some, for sure, but as soon as you’re discussing and planning it, you’re not practising good partnership.

    But either way, Ms. Young & Dr. Helen, please don’t get into a tiff over this; the both of you are, by and large, remarkably sane people in this screwed up era and I’d hate to see you fall out.

  8. Joan

    Cathy, have you read Dr. Laura’s book? I haven’t, but from what I’ve read about it, it’s not about “managing” husbands, it’s about treating them with respect. The title is repulsive, but the point is that so many women constantly cut down their husbands that they need a reminder that just because they’re married to these guys doesn’t make them dirt to be walked all over.

    I’ve witnessed my share of manipulative relationships and I find them abhorrent. I don’t want to comment on Dr. Helen’s thread or the other post because I haven’t read them, and I don’t want to! All I can say is, ick. Haven’t we outgrown these idiotic headgames yet?

  9. Jim

    “But in fact, it is anti-feminist traditionalists, not feminists, who embrace female manipulation of men as a positive value — a way women can wield power and achieve what they want without “becoming like men.”

    The problem with this is the huge number of male-bashing “womyn” who call themselves “feminists” and have in fact so polluted and degraded that good name that it now carries a very negative semantic load, so much so that when young women deny that they are feminist, they often explain why by saying that they are not man-haters.

    Real feminsts should rejoice at the “over-the-top female-bashing” because it represents men moving away from the old gender roles and norms of behavior, to real gender equality. In the past if a woman slapped a man, or was verbally abusive to him, he was just supposed to be a big guy and suck it up. Now men are seeing through that and expecting equality and not finding it, either in society at large or in the courts. This is true with regard to domestic violence, both in reporting by the police and in statute – VAWA is explicitly discriminatory – in the discussion around male underachievenment in schools, and most horribly in matters of child custody and parenting.

    The dishonesty coming from the other side does not help the discussion – charges of female-bashing when the “bashing” is simple criticism, manipulative swipes about men “whining” and wonderment at phyisacl violence where someone has tried to separate a father from his children in the same person who would take it for granted in a mother.

    The anger you are observing among many men reminds me very much of the anger among women in the 60’s. It is a beginning of something larger, and if it is welcomed instead of resisted, it can be constructive, just as before.

  10. Helen

    John Doe,

    Glad you think we are sane but Ms. Young and I can disagree and not be “in a tiff.” It is simply a difference of opinion. I admire and read much of her work such as “Ceasefire” and will continue to do so.

  11. Cathy Young

    Thanks, Helen. (I was going to send you a link to this post but am glad to see you got here first.) I don’t consider this a “tiff” either, and continue to admire Dr. Helen for all the good work.

  12. Katherine

    Cathy –

    You are right on the money about this. It’s the traditionalists who get off on mythologizing women as expert manipulators of their husbands. I married a man who comes from a very traditional Mormon family, and whenever I visit the in-laws I’m amazed at how this dynamic works out. They are constantly reinforcing the idea that men are more important and “in charge”, but that women really run the show by managing things in a covert manner. It’s a never-ending source of jokes, stories, and general hilarity for them. When in comes to the household, men might support it and think they’re in charge, but it’s women who really decide everything.

    In fact, my mother-in-law even has a needlepoint, framed decoration on the wall that says “When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. When Papa ain’t happy, ain’t nobody cares.” I can’t imagine living in a home with a sign on the wall joking that no one cares about me, but this is rather taken for granted in many traditional families (if you’re a man). Dad is the technical head of the family and the breadwinner, but Mom is real center, the one everyone cares about, and the one who controls everything through manipulation.

    Feminists might be just as much of a pain in the ass for their spouses, but it’s much more likely to come in the form of overt confrontation, not covert “spousal management”.

  13. Jim

    Katherine,

    You pointing something out about Mormon culture that Marmot’s Hole wrote about Korean culture. I agree.

    I think a lot of the misandrist style of psuedo-feminism I was talking about above is simply traditionalists tricked out in a more fashionable disguise.

  14. Lori Heine

    The whole concept of “managing” your partner is dehumanizing to the person, regardless of gender.

    My mother was pretty much your typical heterosexual housewife, and she had a terrible opinion of men. I grew up hearing what idiots they were, how we had to lie to them because they needed to live in an egotistical fantasy-world, etc. And this was a woman who had no use for “feminism,” per se, at all.

    I was such a tomboy, I thought the things little girls did were boring. This meant that I hung around boys a lot growing up, and I think I got to know what makes guys tick probably better than my mom — for all her own girlhood tea-parties with dolls — ever did.

    Women are socialized, from an early age, to lie to and manipulate men. Most of the women I know are far more blatantly sexist that their male counterparts. One of the biggest sources of emotional pain, for many of the men I know, is that they know women hold them in contempt and have no idea what to do about it.

    I may not be interested in them sexually or romantically (could this even have something to do with it?), but I always respect men enough to level with them. Those who have been raised to believe that frank women are “ball-busters” may initially dislike this, but after a while a lot of them come to appreciate it.

    So many of the modern books on relationships between the sexes seem to want to treat men and women as if we are from two separate planets. This distorts and exaggerates natural differences between the sexes, and it ends up making us even more suspicious of one another than we probably ever were.

  15. Acksiom

    Yah, uh, Cathy. . .?

    Could you please be different from virtually every single other person whom I have ever seen accuse people of ‘woman-bashing’, and actually cite some examples of exactly what you are referring to, along with objective explanations as to why those are examples of ‘bashing’, per se, rather than just mere simple criticism?

    It would make for such a nice change from the usual.

    Frankly, at this point, I wouldn’t bother asking if it were anyone but you, or a very few other pundits, except to make a rhetorical point about those who make such accusations, and their lack of integrity and accountability. But in your case, I actually have some hope of receiving not only an acknowledgment, but a meaningful reply as well.

  16. Cathy Young

    acksiom: you want examples? I’ll give you examples.

    Mercurior:

    yes there are a few wonderful women in america, but its like panning for gold, luckily i found mine, she is more of a mans rights activist than me, she has seen how some women are. and she is disgusted by them. but she feels as if she doesnt belong there because of the users around her and her father. she feels more at home 5000 miles from there.

    there is a perception that the majority of american women and its spreading to the rest of the world. that women only want walking wallets. it may be wrong, but the feminists who created this perception, are doing nothing to counter act it.

    Specialopsdude:

    … I am 30, never married, and doubtful to find a non-manipulative ggrrrrl power woman in the states worth marrying. I just want a lady who embraces feminine qualities. Why is it so ard (sic) to find them in America?

    (Of course, the irony, once again, is that manipulativeness is traditionally defined as a “feminine quality.” A lot of the men’s rights folks in the thread seem to be mixing dominant, “ball-busting,” “gender-feminist” women with manipulative ones. In fact, manipulation is the opposite of bossiness.)

    Or how about this:

    I know very few guys who would marry their wives again. Most love their wives and families, but admit to feeling deceived and manipulated.

    or this, from jw:

    I have a friend who says “If you give Jane Average the choice of happiness or treating males badly, she will choose treating males badly.” The REALLY scarey thing is I cannot disprove his idea.

    And please don’t tell me that this is “criticism.” It would be bashing if directed at males. (Try this one on for size: “If you give Joe Average a chance at happiness or mistreating women, he’ll choose mistreating women.”) It’s bashing when directed at females or anyone else. Period.

  17. Revenant

    Cathy,

    I know very few guys who would marry their wives again. Most love their wives and families, but admit to feeling deceived and manipulated.

    I don’t agree with you that this is an example of “woman-bashing”. It seems to accurately reflect the experience of many, perhaps most, of the married men I know. Generally speaking, the single guys I know (myself included) are a lot happier with their lives than the married guys are.

    Supposedly over half of marriages end in divorce, and presumably some percentage of the remainder stay together for reasons having nothing to do with love. The idea that most married men regreat having gotten married doesn’t seem like such a shocking one.

    It would be bashing if directed at males.

    True for most of the comments you quoted but not, I think, for the one above. I wouldn’t feel like men were being bashed if someone told me that most married women wish they hadn’t gotten married. It’s probably true!

  18. mythago

    as the sole breadwinner he’s supposed to be the one in charge. I.e., that he *does* have greater authority than his wife in decision-making matters, as compensation for him being the one who has to spend long hours working away from his wife and children

    I am really trying to follow the notion that being the sole breadwinner is so awful that one is entitled to be “compensated” by having greater authority in the household.

    And I also don’t follow that if both partners appear happy in a sexist or chauvinistic relationship, it therefore isn’t sexist or chauvinist.

    By the way, the “men think they rule, women manipulate” dynamic in traditional cultures was the whole point of The Handmaid’s Tale.

  19. Revenant

    I am really trying to follow the notion that being the sole breadwinner is so awful that one is entitled to be “compensated” by having greater authority in the household.

    First of all, the evidence available is that the couple *agreed* that that would be the guy’s compensation. So it doesn’t matter if it makes sense to *you* or not — the point is that it apparently made sense to the wife when she agreed to it.

    As for your inability to identify with being the sole breadwinner being bad, well, I guess that depends on whether you’d rather be around your coworkers or your family. Personally I think there’s a reason for the old observation that nobody’s last words were ever “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”.

    And I also don’t follow that if both partners appear happy in a sexist or chauvinistic relationship, it therefore isn’t sexist or chauvinist.

    Nobody’s saying that, so I can see why it is hard for you to follow. You’re making the mistake of assuming that “unequal authority” is synonymous with chauvinism, but that isn’t the case. It would be male chauvinism for the guy to view himself as “CEO” just because he’s a guy, but there’s no evidence offered that he’s doing that. It is not chauvinism for him to view himself as “CEO” if he and his wife agreed that he’d be “CEO”, nor is it chauvinism for him to be bitter that his wife isn’t holding up her end of the bargain.

  20. Cathy Young

    Not sure I “get” the argument that the sole breadwinner deserves greater decisionmaking authority as a reward for his sacrifice. Many people see work outside the home as psychologically rewarding. So one could just as plausibly argue that full-time homemakers should be rewarded with greater decisionmaking power in the home as a reward for setting aside a career (and actually knowing more about the day-to-day functioning of the household).

    As for “Mad Dad’s” chauvinism: I would say that someone who seeks to counter a perceived insult to his wife by pointing out that she is “only slightly below” him does not strike me as non-chauvinistic. ;)

    Rev — I agree with you that the “most men wouldn’t marry their wives again” quote is iffy. (I remember seeing a poll which found that most mothers say that they wouldn’t have had children if they had to do it over again!) However, but I think that since it pointedly includes one gender only, I’d put it on the “bashing” side of the ledger.

  21. mythago

    Personally I think there’s a reason for the old observation that nobody’s last words were ever “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”.

    I don’t think anybody’s last words were ever “I wish I’d spent more time scraping applesauce off the ceiling,” either.

    And what Cathy said about MadDad’s chauvinism. Funny how nobody suggests that a breadwinner dad prefers the company of his co-workers to that of his wife and children.

  22. Revenant

    one could just as plausibly argue that full-time homemakers should be rewarded with greater decisionmaking power in the home as a reward for setting aside a career

    It varies from couple to couple, of course. But the guy wrote:

    that was the deal we struck when we decided I would keep my job which required a gazillion hours a week, while she stayed at home.

    That doesn’t sound like a guy who views a career as more rewarding than homemaking. It sounds like a guy who took the less-desirable job in exchange for certain concessions. Nothing in what he wrote suggests to me that his wife was career-oriented and viewed motherhood as a sacrifice. And as I noted earlier, I don’t think it is chauvinistic to expect to be deferred to if that was the agreement.

    Based on the guy’s description of his situation, in exchange for earning all of the money, he gets to make none of the decisions. His role seems to be restricted to that of “ATM Machine”. I know a lot of men who feel like they’re in the same situation.

    Mythago,

    I don’t think anybody’s last words were ever “I wish I’d spent more time scraping applesauce off the ceiling,” either.

    A lot of people’s last words have been “I wish I’d spent more time with my children”. Child-rearing is no more unpleasant than most careers and a good deal more emotionally rewarding. And personally I’d rather clean applesauce off the ceiling than sit through another goddamned meeting about Our Corporate Mission. And I actually *like* my job!

  23. mythago

    That doesn’t sound like a guy who views a career as more rewarding than homemaking.

    Out of context and by itself? No. If you read the whole story, it takes on a bit of a different character. Especially when he apparently believes that while he works ‘a gazillion hours’, his wife is just, like, hanging around the house.

    A lot of people’s last words hav been “I wish I’d spent more time with my children”

    I don’t think many people’s last words are “I wish I had stayed home with them full-time, doing most of the caretaking, including the tedious, repetitive parts, rather than being out in the adult world of work.”

    As for the joys of scraping applesauce (or worse) off the ceiling, let’s just say it’s a lot easier to clap your hands and say “That sure beats working!” if you’re not the person who has to do it.

  24. Revenant

    Especially when he apparently believes that while he works ‘a gazillion hours’, his wife is just, like, hanging around the house.

    I see no indication that he believes his wife is “just hanging around the house”, but it does seem that he doesn’t buy into the modern, but silly, idea that homemaking is as tough as a full-time career.

    I don’t think many people’s last words are “I wish I had stayed home with them full-time, doing most of the caretaking, including the tedious, repetitive parts, rather than being out in the adult world of work.”

    Because of course the “adult world of work” has no “tedious, repetitive parts”. It’s just fun and games from 8am to 6pm.

    And… “full-time”? Please. This isn’t the 19th century. It takes maybe ten to fifteen hours a week to cook, clean, and otherwise keep house. That’s how couples who both work are able to get by without a full-time maid. And I’ve never known a household with a “stay at home mom” (or dad) where the working partner didn’t have to help with the chores in some way.

    it’s a lot easier to clap your hands and say “That sure beats working!” if you’re not the person who has to do it.

    Which is exactly how so many homemakers delude themselves into thinking that what they do is as tough as a career. :)

  25. peter hoh

    If I have my wits about me, I will make sure that my last words are, “I wish I spent more time at the office.”

    As for the quote: I know very few guys who would marry their wives again. Most love their wives and families, but admit to feeling deceived and manipulated.

    Sounds misogynist to me. Maybe I hang out in the wrong circles, but no man has ever told me that he felt deceived and manipulated by marriage. Nor have any of my male friends ever suggested that he would not marry his wife again. I suspect the writer is refering to his divorced friends in the “woe is me” support group at the local tavern.

    Go ahead, accuse me of male bashing.

  26. jw

    I really object most strongly with the idea that it is traditionsalists who object to women’s bad behavior! Maybe some do … yet most of the men who object are objecting to bad behavior PERIOD.

    How many books (and TV shows) exist to teach women how to control their husbands? Hundreds for sure … maybe more. That is bad behavior, period, end of senetence.

    In the thread under discussion I commented on the fury over a Doc Love article at feministing.com/. Women today seem –at least appear to– get into a fury over any critique of women while in the same breath demanding the right to promote real contempt for all males! Why? Answer that one and we’re one step closer to making real progress.

    We will not make any progress without giving males the right to offer real critiscm of females AND backing off on women’s demand to offer grossly unfair critique of all males.

    Ceasefire Cathy wrote. It’s a good idea. When will it happen?

  27. jw

    Cathy quoted me saying:
    “or this, from jw:

    I have a friend who says “If you give Jane Average the choice of happiness or treating males badly, she will choose treating males badly.” The REALLY scarey thing is I cannot disprove his idea.”

    Here you are both right and wrong.

    I do have a friend who thinks like that. He is wrong, I know that.

    When saying that the real scarey thing is that I cannot disprove him I speak the truth of my own experience, while KNOWING that he is wrong.

    I’m as aware as possible that I’ve been damaged by a few women’s extremely bad behavior AND society’s demand that no male could even in theory be hurt by a woman’s bad behavior AND society’s demand that I should shut up and suck it up.

    So Cathy, Yes, you are right and NO you are wrong.

    Plus, I think that you are being over sensitive in this one. I know that I am far too sensitive to society’s pride in the harm done to survivors of female sex offenders. I know it through and through.

    Could it be that you are sensitive in the same way to what you see as women bashing? It is worth thinking about.

  28. Jeff

    A point made by a prior poster nails it: “I don’t think I know a woman who wouldn’t be outraged if her husband referred to her as “well-managed”, implied that she was under his thumb, or that sort of thing.”

    I mostly agree with you and disagree with Helen in the sense that some amount of manipulation is done by about everyone in a relationship. But I did find it incredibly disrespectful of the wife to brag about “managing” her husband.

  29. Joan

    Not to sidetrack the discussion, but I have to respond to revenant’s comment: the modern, but silly, idea that homemaking is as tough as a full-time career.

    I worked for over 15 years as a software developer before I became a full time stay-at-home mom, so I’ve lived in both worlds. Hands down, it’s easier to go into the office every day. Yes, there’s tedium to be dealt with, and office politics, but the thing about a job? You can leave it and go home. When you’re at home, you don’t ever get to leave it. (Except if you take a vacation, but since invariably the kids come too, it’s not comparable.)

    I would never call homemaking a career, because obviously it’s not — no salary, no career. But I can tell you I spend a lot more than 15 hours a week cleaning, shopping, cooking, helping with homework, driving around, making appointments, and everything else I do to keep things on an even keel. (Do you know how much laundry a 5-person family can generate?) My kids are small and things will lighten up when they’re all in school all day, but even then, the idea that I could do everything in 15 hours a week is laughable. And that’s not even glancing at the countless hours where I don’t have to be doing anything but someone needs to be there to supervise the kids. (That explains my blog-commenting time.)

    The real challenge of being at home with kids is the mental one. You want to talk about a grind? There’s no escaping children who need to be fed, clothed, bathed, educated, and otherwise cared for, except during their sleeping and school hours. I love my kids but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thrilled last week when my youngest was finally able to fasten his own seat belt in the car. I encourage my kids’ independence for my own sake as much as for theirs.

    Mad Dad acknowledges that his wife is CFO and COO as well as Executive Secretary. I think that’s a pretty accurate description of many stay-at-home parents. Sure, there are a few hours every day (maybe) where the parent’s role could be covered by a baby-sitter, but for the majority of the time, no way.

    And that’s not even getting into the quality-of-care issues and recent research that supports the idea that children who spend the first 3 years of their lives at home with a parent do remarkably better than little ones who spend their early years in day care.

  30. mythago

    but it does seem that he doesn’t buy into the modern, but silly, idea that homemaking is as tough as a full-time career

    Again, revenant, I’ve been a homemaker and now have a full-time career, so I’m not fooled by the “pity us poor breadwinners” line. Save it for Mrs. Revenant. ;)

    And I’m still not getting how breadwinner = deserves more household authority. Is the claim that money buys power? Or that power is allotted by hours worked? If that’s so, I’m sure you’d agree that we need to actually compare the number of hours worked by each person in a particular household–including childcare, not just cleaning–and whoever racks up the longer timecard gets to call the shots. Because goodness knows, we wouldn’t want a marriage that’s a partnership.

    YMMV, but I tend to follow the old observation that marriage is a 75%/25% split and it works when you’re the 75% about as often as the 25%. I know that it sure works a lot better than if I swaggered home and said “Honey, I work so darn hard at the office that you need to make me the head of the household.”

  31. SGT Ted

    Men that I know aren’t afraid of frank women or refer to them as “ballbusters”. I prefer a frank up front woman, which is why I married one. What pisses men off is when women expect men to be mindreaders and then treat them like crap when they aren’t. Many men are NOT sensitive New Age guys, in touch with their feelings etc. And why the hell should we? We’re not girls. Also, what many men are mad about is the double standard that exists in both culture and written into law. This leads many women to think that they are entitled to everything at the expense of their men and relationship.

    If you actually listen to Dr Lauras show, you hear many many women who expect their man to be perfect at the expense of being good, lots of women with an unrealistic sense of entitlement over men and women who treat their men as if they were an employee rather than a partner. And alot of these women are not housemouse types. They are from all walks of life and the central theme is one of selfishness and entitlement at the expense of others. They are the modern schizophrenic American Princess who want to be in charge, be independant and then expect to be taken care of absolutely by a subservient husband. Thats what European men are talking about. Alot of American women seem to think that in order to be confident and frank means you have to be a bitch to accomplish that. I see it all the time in the military. The type I truly despise is the female says she just wants to be treated like “one of the guys” but when the guys tell a dirty joke or make an offensive comment in their presence they want them to be punished, arrested, fired, or all three.

  32. mythago

    Many men are NOT sensitive New Age guys, in touch with their feelings etc. And why the hell should we? We’re not girls.

    Why do you think that “girls” are the only ones who know what they’re feeling, or that sensitive new-age types prefer women to play passive-aggressive mind games?

    Those games, by the way, are exactly what Cathy was talking about; they’re the traditionalist female method of “managing” men.

  33. SGT Ted

    I dont think women are the only ones who understand what they are feeling. Its just that when the feelings become paramount, it screws things up. Also, men respond to signals that women send, whether its overt or covert. Thats biology I suppose. Men dont think the way women do; its not part of male culture. Look at the differences between interactions of children of same sex and how they apply and respond to peer group pressures. I notice theres no “misandry” in the post title. Theres plenty of evidence in the modern culture for mysandry. Look at the number of sitcoms where the man as a central character, is portrayed as a bumbling, loveable idiot and the wife, and sometimes the kids themselves,are the sharp ones. Where a large percentage of women think it is perfectly acceptable to physically assault a man. One sided sexual harrassment laws. One sided divorce law.One sided laws towards pyhsical violence: when women do it its Self Defense or Battered Wife Syndrome. When men do it its Blaming the Victim or Domestic Violence. Its feminacentric. Consider this statement by Hillary! “Women have always been the primary victims of war.” huh? I guess the dead and maimed guys don’t count? Equal protection under the law anyone? Women get title IX and men get to be drafted. Saying that men have all the power because theres men in high positions in government and business is like saying that because most women do the shopping that they have all the food and clothes. Anyway Im rambling now…

  34. Revenant

    Again, revenant, I’ve been a homemaker and now have a full-time career, so I’m not fooled by the “pity us poor breadwinners” line.

    It does not take forty hours a week to keep a house looking nice and get meals prepared. If it did, I would be living in a filthy pit and starving to death, because I haven’t GOT forty spare hours a week to keep things looking nice. Nor did it take my parents (who both worked) forty hours a week between them to keep the house in order and take care of us kids.

    Yes, caring for children takes time. But caring for your children is a hell of a lot more rewarding than ANY job. And the stay-at-home is only solely responsible for the children while the breadwinner is out of the house anyway.

    Save it for Mrs. Revenant. ;)

    If the future Mrs. Revenant views things that way, the future Mrs. Revenant will be the one working in an office all week while *I* stay home with the kids. Of course, I can count on zero hands then number of women I know who’d be happy with that arrangement.

    As for the earlier poster who commented that the good thing about a career is that you get to leave work and come home… um, how is that the good thing? Being at home is more enjoyable than being at work. As for “not being able to leave”, my sister (who is a homemaker with a young son) spends more time out and about than I do. There’s this great new invention called “the car”, you see.

    And I’m still not getting how breadwinner = deserves more household authority.

    Mythago, I’m tired of explaining this to you, so this will be the last time: I have never said the breadwinner deserves more authority. The couple in question *agreed* that the breadwinner would have more authority. So the man in question (not ALL men, just this one) absolutely deserved more authority, because that was the deal that was made between him and his wife. If his wife didn’t want things to work that way she should have been honest about it.

    I’m sure you’d agree that we need to actually compare the number of hours worked by each person in a particular household

    Unless the breadwinner gets to sit on his butt when he gets home instead of helping with the chores and kids, it is mathematically impossible for the homemaker to work more hours than the breadwinner.

    Because goodness knows, we wouldn’t want a marriage that’s a partnership.

    Well, the wife in question certainly doesn’t, or she wouldn’t be bragging about her “well-managed husband”. That’s not the way you talk about an equal.

  35. AprilPNW

    Joan said:

    “I worked for over 15 years as a software developer before I became a full time stay-at-home mom, so I’ve lived in both worlds. Hands down, it’s easier to go into the office every day.”

    Joan – I enjoyed your post and found your viewpoint very informative. You see, I chose not to have children at quite a young age, and have supported myself throughout my adulthood. I’ve always thought that being a SAHM was EASIER than working for the following reasons. You comments on my thoughts would be appreciated:

    A SAHM mom is, or should be, “the boss” over her young charges. You make the rules and the buck stops with you. You have full creative control over the “project” of raising your kids. Want to be micro-managing and strict? You get to do that. Want to be touchy-feely and home school your kids? You can do that too. Very few of us who work ONLY get to experience that kind of authority and control over something comparatively complex and challenging. We are generally under the thumb of some barely competent manager (if you are lucky) or, worse, some kind of psycho abusive boss (I’ve seen way too many women w/out the spine to stand up to such people, or are clearly too scared to look for another job).

    Like a SAHM, most office drones deal with a certain amount of unreasonable, demanding, completely insane behavior from clients they deal with. I tend to believe that dealing with this kind of behavior would be much “easier” to take from young children, as opposed to a highly educated adult that should know better. True or not? Given how truly demoralizing some work environments are, can you say that SAHM’s experience similar negative feelings…outside of simply being tired?

    Another aspect of the work/career path is that you can experience quite an upsetting change in your environment very quickly and w/out notice: a new boss, extra duties, or total downsizing. While I understand that any married SAHM could find themselves a divorcee, I don’t think your own young children would be “firing” or “downsizing” you.

    Finally – so many workers have hellish commutes these days. My partner of 11 years is constantly complaining that his commute in heavy urban traffic is more stressful than his job as an engineer! A SAHM? Roll outta bed – you’re at work!

    Would love to hear your input. Thanks!

  36. The Navigator

    Revenant,
    “Unless the breadwinner gets to sit on his butt when he gets home instead of helping with the chores and kids, it is mathematically impossible for the homemaker to work more hours than the breadwinner.”

    You’re a very smart person, I’ve observed, but I think if you take a step back you’ll concede that that’s not true.

    Ex.
    Breadwinner office M-F, 9-5 = 40 hrs
    home Sun-Sat, 6:30 – 8:30 = 14 hrs
    total 54 hrs

    Homemaker office zero
    home Sun-Sat, 8-8 = 84 hrs
    total 84 hrs

    I know, you think it’s ridiculously implausible that the breadwinner only contributes two hours a day. I assure you it’s not – I know of families where the man felt that raising the kids wasn’t his job, and didn’t help at all.

    I would guess that the average present-day American breadwinner would do more than that, but I still don’t know if they’d come out equal.

    Anyway, your claim was that it is mathematically impossible. I hope you’ll agree you misspoke there.

  37. Joan

    Revenant:As for the earlier poster who commented that the good thing about a career is that you get to leave work and come home… um, how is that the good thing?

    When you work outside of the home, you can leave your work at work. When your work is in your home, you’re always working. This is a huge problem for anyone who works from home, not just stay-at-home parents. Your work can easily take over your life.

    If you think that being out-and-about with young children, running errands or even taking them to the park or to a playdate, is “time off” from the responsibilities of being an at-home parent, you’re sadly mistaken. At home, you can relax a bit because you know the lay of the land and you know what trouble the kids can get into. When you’re out of the house, constant vigilance is required. You think it’s fun to take a 3-year-old who’s in the midst of toilet training shopping with you? Believe me, you quickly learn the location of every public bathroom, and you learn to time your shopping trips precisely.

    Yes, I’m not in the house all that much — I once described my life as a “driving around mom” as opposed to a “stay at home mom.” But the responsibility goes with the children, not the location — unlike a typical career-type job. If you count childcare hours it is a mathematical certainty that the stay-at-home parent puts in longer hours, simply because there’s no commute. (Obviously, once the kids are in school full time, this changes, and that’s why many moms look for part-time jobs.)

    Obviously it’s more fun to spend time with your family than to spend time in your office. (If it’s not, you’ve got big problems.) But when you spend all day, every day, at home with the kids, or out with the kids, it’s not the same thing as seeing them for an hour in the morning and a few more hours in the evening before they go to bed. The biggest challenge is not being worn out by it, because kids are notoriously stubborn about trying to get what they want, and it takes a lot of energy and creativity to counter that.

    My parents spent a lot less time with me and my siblings when we were kids than I spend with my children, it’s true. It’s also true that you don’t need 40 hours a week to keep a house. But you do need more time to shop for, cook for, bathe, clothe, feed, and nurture children than you do for adults. How many meals, including snacks, are you responsible for each day? I prepare about 20, and that takes a considerable amount of time. And all my kids are old enough to feed themselves now — we won’t even get into how time-consuming it is to feed infants and toddlers.

    I’m home all day, my husband works. I think he works harder than I do, but he thinks I work harder than he does. It doesn’t matter at all, though, since we’ve long agreed on which tasks are his and which are mine, and if either one of us needs a hand, all we do is ask. I know my husband does a lot more with our kids than a lot of other fathers do, but it’s not because I make him do it, it’s because he wants to. I don’t expect him to read my mind and I don’t have to read his, either. We talk; it works for us.

    I do consider my husband the head of the household, but that doesn’t mean I consider myself inferior to him. We make important decisions together, and if there’s something to be decided that’s in the gray area between important and trivial, we discuss that, too. But the bottom line is that I trust my husband to do what’s best for our family, just as he trusts me the same way. This isn’t a competition, after all.

  38. Joan

    April, you ask some really good questions! The upsides of being a SAHM far outweigh the downsides, IMO, but there are downsides, especially for anyone who has been professionally accomplished for many years before transitioning to being an at-home parent.

    You talked about being any kind of “manager” you want, and not having a boss, as an upside. That’s true to a certain extent, and I don’t want to make assumptions about what you’re really thinking, but the reality is, you cannot control your children. You have to teach them to control themselves. You cannot make a baby stop crying, you can only comfort a crying baby, or try to. And in spite of the libraries full of parenting books, there really isn’t any book that will tell what you need to know, when you need to know it. If you’re lucky and have friends and family around, you’ve got live resources that can help you. If you’re like me and have a continent between you and everyone else you love besides your husband, the isolation can be overwhelming.

    We all start out as parents with ideas and good intentions. Such parenting plans rarely survive contact with the child, just as battle plans rarely survive contact with the enemy. And that’s just for the stuff you’ve thought about. It’s a constant process of adaptation and change, working toward the goal of raising a capable adult. It is 100% certain that things will come up that you’ve never even considered, and you have to deal with those, too. I think I do a pretty good job of maintaining the illusion of control, but really, my family gets along by mutual agreement.

    You are right, there’s job security, you’re not going to be laid off or fired. But there are many other things that add to stress, in ways that working in an office never will. When your kid has a bad day and cries because she has no friends, it’s unlike anything you’ll ever experience in an office. Your co-workers don’t routinely break your heart the way kids can, sometimes casually and without thinking. When your co-workers get sick, you hope they get well soon. When your kids get sick, it hurts you. I don’t know a parent that wouldn’t willingly take all the suffering their children experience, just to spare their kids the pain.

    And something else I’ve experienced: I’ve been dealing with serious illness for about 2 and a half years now, and have needed several surgeries and other treatments. It has been no fun for me, but it has been hard on the kids, too. I constantly rail against how unfair it is to them that I can’t do everything I want to, with them. It’s hard for me not to think about my limitations with bitterness, even though the kids accept that I do what I can, when I can.

    The flip side of the job security card is the lack of flexibility. With a job, if you’re not happy, you can look around and get another one. For the vast majority of parents, it doesn’t matter how screwed up our kids are, we will always love them and try to help them. There’s no turning away.

    You are right about the no-commute thing, though — that’s something I’ve always appreciated.

  39. Revenant

    navigator,

    I said that it was mathematically impossible for the homemaker to work longer hours unless the breadwinner was allowed to sit on his ass and not do anything when he got home. So offering up an example of the breadwinner sitting on his ass when he gets home does nothing to demonstrate that my claim isn’t true.

    You say you’ve known families wherein the breadwinner did none of the work keeping house or managing the kids. I’ll take you at your word on that, but I’ve never had a friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance whose family worked that way. Hell, even my grandfather — who was about as old-school as you can get on the parenting front — took care of all the yardwork, repairs around the house, maintaining the car, disciplining the kids, etc. So suffice it to say that I find your scenario, wherein the breadwinner gets thirty hours of free time a week while his partner is working away right beside him at home, to be pretty ridiculous. I don’t even think the husbands in The Stepford Wives got that much free time. :)

  40. Anonymous

    “When you work outside of the home, you can leave your work at work. When your work is in your home, you’re always working. This is a huge problem for anyone who works from home, not just stay-at-home parents. Your work can easily take over your life.”

    Great posts, Joan. As a former-professional-turned-SAHM, I say you’ve hit the nail on the head. I said exactly the same thing once to friends of ours who were considering adopting–that the one drawback of parenting is that the work day never really comes to an end. They looked stunned and said they’d never thought of it that way. Last I heard they had scrapped the plan.

    “At home, you can relax a bit because you know the lay of the land and you know what trouble the kids can get into. When you’re out of the house, constant vigilance is required.”

    Precisely! Add to that the wrestling with car seats, strollers, baby carriers, diaper bags and other necessary gear that happens at each stop.

    “But you do need more time to shop for, cook for, bathe, clothe, feed, and nurture children than you do for adults. How many meals, including snacks, are you responsible for each day? I prepare about 20, and that takes a considerable amount of time. And all my kids are old enough to feed themselves now — we won’t even get into how time-consuming it is to feed infants and toddlers.”

    Been there, done ALL that.

    Thanks for your contribution.

    Anne

  41. William Woolsey

    It seemed to me from the context here that the husband isn’t a 9-5 kind of guy. The deal was that he would be one of those ambitious, come in early, leave late, work weekends kind of guy who hopes to rise up the hierarchy and make lots of money for the family. The wife would stay home and manage family affairs. Pesonally, not a life I would choose, but some people really want fancy material things.

    Anyway, many of the posters seem to assume that the wife’s efforts at “management” of her husband involve some kind of adversarial relationship. That is, she is somehow trying to benefit herself at his expense. Shouldn’t people at least consider the possibility that she is seeking his happiness too?

    Consider the possibility that we are thinking of a true life partnership–two fleshes becoming one. Something like that. The goal is the happiness and well being of the entire family. There may be conflicting views about exactly how that is to be obtained.

    I am very skeptical of the ability of the political system to paternalistically make people happy. On the other hand, I think one’s spouse may well know enough to accomplish that. Giving one or both parties power to use force is a bad idea because of the possibility of abuse. But “management” for the spouses own good–I don’t know that it is a bad thing.

    By the way, many husbands “manage” their wives by saying, “yes dear,” “oh, sorry dear,” “you look so pretty dear,” “I love you so much.” While this might partly be aimed at avoiding bad consequences, there is also some interest in making their wife happy. While many men may not have much interest in expressing feelings because they just have to let it out and share, the last statement may well be true.

  42. AprilPNW

    Joan:

    Thank you for elaborating so well! Did everybody see this? An exchange between a SAHM and a childless “career” woman that was terribly civil! (I put career in quotes as I don’t consider being a paralegal a career).

    I’ll pick one nit:

    “When you work outside of the home, you can leave your work at work… “

    I think this is ONLY true of hourly employees that are off the clock once they leave work. Professionals that are “non exempt” can feel “owned” by their employers. For example, I see a bit of this with the 2 young female attorneys at our office. Neither has children, but I can see how the stress of developing professionally is taking a toll on them – and I know they don’t stop thinking about their jobs over the weekend – because they have admitted as much. Plus, I think for the entire year they have been here, they have complained constantly about insomnia and other stress related physical problems. For youngsters…they come off as a pretty unhealthy pair, and I attribute that to the fact they are bearing a lot mentally.

  43. Revenant

    William,

    Shouldn’t people at least consider the possibility that she is seeking his happiness too?

    The concern with the “well-managed husband” idea isn’t the motives of the manager, but the relationship that it implies. The notion that haples husbands might need “management” by their wives in order to achieve the happiness they couldn’t find on their own infantilizes the husband. If you think another adult should do something for his own good, you TELL the other adult that. You don’t trick them into doing it — that’s how you deal with small children.

    No woman would stand for being talked about that way by a man. Hell, they make Lifetime TV movies about husbands who talk that way about their wives, if you know what I mean.

  44. reader_iam

    I’ve worked full-time; I have stayed home with kid; both my husband and I now work at (he as a telecommuting employee, me with freelance stuff). They all of their drawbacks and advantages; they all have their own challenges.

    I’d like to make one little point that I haven’t seen about how much time it takes to keep up the house etc.

    One of the reasons that my parents, who both worked full time PLUS had playing gigs and taught private lessons, could keep up was that everyone was out of the house for a significant portion of the day/week. (That, and I had a serious roster of chores.) The same thing is more or less true with two working parents and kids in day-care/school etc.

    When people are home all day, whether as SAHMs with kids or even at-home workers, they are also able to make messes all day. The kitchen gets used more. So do the bathrooms. And blah, blah, blah.

    So the picture is a little bit different than the stark contrast that has been set up, IMHO, but experienced one.

    The lack of commute is nice, yes. But it’s absolutely true that you’re basically never “off” (of course, we compound that by our work-arrangment choice).

    In any case, my immediate reaction to all this? Neither my husband nor I have the time for these manipulations, either way, much less to talk to other people about it. And thank goodness for that.

    My husband does get more say about certain scheduling issues, but only because since he’s an employee of a large corporation so his time is more rigidly accounted. When he was consulting and I was the one who was accountable to an outside employer, I got call more of those shots.

    Seems like common sense to me.

  45. colagirl

    I suspect that you wouldn’t find a woman who would “stand for being talked about like that by a man” because a husband and wife who *would* have such an arrangement is more likely to be one in which the husband simply gives orders and the wife obeys.

    My former college roommate was a conservative Christian with very traditional ideas about male female relationships. (She also had father issues, but that’s another story). The man she fell in love with and ended up marrying was *very* into the “man as head of the household” thing, the “big strong dominant man/helpless protected female” dynamic. (And *he* had self-esteem issues, but again–another story.) It was very clear and very overt in their relationship that he expected to be the one in charge and he was the one who made the decisions, albeit after listening to her input. (Frankly, the way he talked to her made me a little sick to listen to it–I would have punched his teeth in. My *parents* didn’t even talk to me like that.) This dynamic was fully backed up and supported by their church and minister. At their wedding, I listened carefully–the minister did not make my friend vow to “obey” her husband, but he did deliver a thirty-minute-long sermon on how it’s the woman’s job to defer to the man in a marriage, ending with the sentence, “And in their future marriage, she will always have the last word: ‘Yes, my dear.'”

    So, again, you might not find a woman who would stand for listening to her husband talk about how he had a “managed” wife, but perhaps that is because in a relationship following traditional gender roles, the man is accorded much more direct control and doesn’t need to resort to manipulation.

  46. colagirl

    Oh, and one more thing:

    When you work outside of the home, you can leave your work at work. When your work is in your home, you’re always working. This is a huge problem for anyone who works from home, not just stay-at-home parents. Your work can easily take over your life.

    Totally agree. That’s true for students too. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be a student *and* be a parent at the same time. Thank god I don’t have kids.

  47. Revenant

    So, again, you might not find a woman who would stand for listening to her husband talk about how he had a “managed” wife, but perhaps that is because in a relationship following traditional gender roles, the man is accorded much more direct control and doesn’t need to resort to manipulation.

    I don’t see the parallel, really. In the “traditional” scenario the man is advertising his intentions, so women unhappy with a subservient role know not to marry him. That’s quite different from tricking a man who expects to be treated as an equal into accepting a marriage in which he’s subservient.

    Certainly if a woman expected to call the shots in our marriage I’d like to know that up front, so I could call off the wedding and save the expense of a divorce later.

  48. mythago

    Of course, I can count on zero hands then number of women I know who’d be happy with that arrangement.

    You need to get out more, then. I know plenty of women who would be, or actually are, happy with that arrangement. I’m far from the only female breadwinner with an SAH spouse out there, judging by the comments in this thread alone.

    And yes, you have been conflating the issues of “what the spouses decide” with “the breadwinner ought to have more authority”, by referring to giving the breadwinner more authority as a ‘concession’ to the fact that the breadwinner supposedly works harder and so on.

    A SAHM mom is, or should be, “the boss” over her young charges.

    april, I don’t mean this as a slam, but you really come across as someone with no children and no experience rearing them. Being “the boss” doesn’t mean your young charges behave perfectly, any more than being a manager means your subordinates behave perfectly. And let’s face it, at work, while I don’t control my co-workers as much as I could control my children, I also don’t have to keep my co-workers from getting into the maple syrup, teach them to use the potty, clean up their messes or prepare their meals. I don’t have to get them ready for work in the morning, either.

  49. Gibbie the labrat

    I’m a recently married and graduated (PhD) male, so given that limited background. I think husband management is a crock of nasty stuff. I am very keen on knowing if I am trying to be manipulated and nothing pushes my buttons worse. Maybe some men can tolerate manipulation, but I surely won’t. At this stage in my life, i consider myself experienced enough and desirable enough both personally and professional to not put up with that kind of BS. I think women would say that stuff to make them sound better to their peers, but how silly do you think their husbands are? Either they are incredibly naive or know they are being manipulated. The other thing is that turnabout works too. I think in a good relationship you would not manipulate your partner if you dont’ want them to leave.

  50. Richard Bennett

    I don’t think there’s much debate about the fact that the general sentiment among American feminists today holds men to be the inferior sex. After all, there’s a mountain of literature blaming men for war and all forms of violence, destruction, and oppression and another mountain arguing that women need to enter the workplace and the halls of government in order to make society more gentle and civilized. The tradition behind this literature goes back to the pre-feminist days when women were regarded as too perfect and too refined to worry about the rough-and-tumble of politics and all that stuff.

    Suffragettes simply turned this sentiment upside down by arguing that women’s superior moral sense made them more rather than less well-suited to run things.

    Today we often see a coalition of traditionalists and feminists to deprive men of rights in various ways, anything from restricting porn (Dworkin/McKinnon and the Religious Right) to depriving divorced fathers of contact with their children.

    So just because traditionalists are on one side of a gender issue doesn’t mean “feminists” are on the other.

    That being said, the idea that a wife feels that she has to “manage” her husband doesn’t offend me. We’ve all had relationships with people who needed to be managed from time to time, that’s just life and not a form of oppression.

  51. Stephanie

    My parents were best friends. That didn’t mean there weren’t fireworks at times — having children pretty much garantees those — but they never had ‘management’ issues. So when I went looking for a mate I searched for a friend I could spend the rest of my life with, a companion and an equal. I was lucky because I got all of that and more. After all these years we’re still on fire, although a bit tired after long days at our respective jobs — his paying, mine as a SAHM. We’ve both worked and taken our turns as house-spouse — whatever choice benefited the family more at the time. I know there are relationships out there that are founded on manipulation, deceit, and lack of respect for a mate but quite frankly, I’ve never understood them. Why settle for fool’s gold when it’s possible to have the real thing with less effort over the long run? I have to say that it’s very comforting to wake up with someone who has seen me at my absolute worst and loves me anyway. Who else would get me bubble bath and two new batteries for my Makita?

  52. Revenant

    you have been conflating the issues of “what the spouses decide” with “the breadwinner ought to have more authority”, by referring to giving the breadwinner more authority as a ‘concession’ to the fact that the breadwinner supposedly works harder and so on.

    That the man made a concession is a simple fact — he agreed to do something he didn’t want to do. That’s a concession. Maybe you wouldn’t view it as a concession were you him or his wife, but that’s not relevant to this discussion.

    As for your allegation that I “conflated” the two things, that’s just poor reading comprehension on your part. The man agreed to make a concession in exchange for his wife making a concession of her own — namely, agreeing that he would be “in charge”. She then reneged on her end of the deal. So I’m not “conflating” anything — I’m just observing the simple fact, based on the available information, that this couple had an agreement that being a breadwinner merits greater authority.

  53. Anonymous

    The Slave’s Happiness

    The lemon-coloured MG skids across the road and the woman driver brings it to a somewhat uncertain halt. She gets out and finds her left front tyre flat. Without wasting a moment she prepares to fix it: she looks towards the passing cars as if expecting someone. Recognising this standard international sign of woman in distress (“weak female let down my by male technology”), a station wagon draws up. The driver sees what is wrong at a glance and says comfortingly, “Don’t worry. We’ll fix that in a jiffy.”

    To prove his determination, he asks for her jack. He does not ask if she is capable of changing the tyre herself because he knows – she is about thirty, smartly dressed and made-up – that she is not.

    Since she cannot find a jack, he fetches his own, together with his other tools. Five minutes later the job is done and the punctured tyre properly stowed. His hands are covered with grease. She offers him an embroidered handkerchief, which he politely refuses. He has a rag for such occasions in his tool box.

    The woman thanks him profusely, apologising for her “typically feminine” helplessness. She might have been there till dusk, she says, had he not stopped. He makes no reply and, as she gets back into the car, gallantly shuts the door for her. Through the wound-down window he advises her to have her tyre patched at once and she promises to get her petrol station attendant to see to it that very evening. Then she drives off.

    As the man collects his tools and goes back to his own car, he wishes he could wash his hands. His shoes – he has been standing in the mud while changing the tyre – are not as clean as they should be (he is a salesman). What is more he will have to hurry to keep his next appointment. As he starts the engine he thinks, “Women! One’s more stupid than the next”. He wonders what she would have done if he had not been there to help. He puts his foot on the accelerator and drives off – faster than usual. There is the delay to make up. After a while he starts to hum to himself.

    In a way, he is happy.

    Almost any man would have behaved in the same way – and so would most women. Without thinking, simply because men are men and women are so different from them, a woman will make use of a man whenever there is the opportunity. What else could the woman have done when her car broke down? She has been taught to get a man help. Thanks to his knowledge, he was able to change the tyre quickly – and at no cost to herself. True, he ruined his clothes, put his business in jeopardy and endangered his own life by driving too fast afterwards. Had he found something else wrong with her car, however, he would have repaired that, too. That is what his knowledge of cars is for! Why should a woman learn to change a flat tyre when the opposite sex (half the world’s population) is able and willing to do it for her?

    Women let men work for them, think for them and take on their responsibilities – in fact, they exploit them.

    Since men are strong, intelligent and imaginative, while women are weak, unimaginative and stupid, why isn’t it men who exploit women?

    Could it be that strength, intelligence and imagination are not prerequisites for power but merely qualifications for slavery?

    Could it be that the world is not being ruled by experts but by beings who are not fit for anything else – by women?

    And if this is so, how do women manage it so that their victims do not feel themselves cheated and humiliated, but rather believe to be themselves what they are least of all – masters of the universe?

    How do women manage to instill in men this sense of pride and superiority that inspires them to ever greater achievements?

    Why are women never unmasked?

    Chapter 1, The Slave’s Happiness
    Ester Vilar, The Manipulated Man

  54. jw

    I’ve been the working spouse supporting a SAHM and the stay at home father being supported by a working mom: Been a fulltime single father too. I’m now a homemaker.

    The at home role is a lot easier in a great many different ways, even though the hours are indeed longer. I think this may be an individual thing. For some one way is easier, for others the other way is easier.

    What I object to is the feminist cant that because I object to the bad behavior of so many women, I am somehow wanting to push back to days of female subjugation: That idea, which is so very common, is sexism at its nastiest.

    To me, it is far more likely that the people screaming “traditionalist” want male subjugation: For that is something which is indeed happening in our culture.

  55. ada47

    Great post, Cathy.

    I’m tempted to day that people get the marriage they deserve. People who buy into traditional gender roles in marriate, with heads and necks, managementment and manipulation, are cheatign themselves out of the benefits of true partnership.

    This does sound a bit glib, and probably is, overlooking the fact that many men and women don’t have real positive models for true marital partnership, that education, class status and economic circumstances are truly limiting factors. But for those of us lucky enough to have choices, we get what we chose to have.

  56. Lori Heine

    That’s the essence of freedom: the right to get what you ask for.

    The reason so few people are libertarians is that they want what they ask for, but they don’t want to face the consequences when it turns out to be not quite what they thought it would be.

    There are a great many people in America who are simply too childish to be able to handle freedom. The best way to save society would probably be to go back to arranged marriages.

    I don’t think I’ll hold my breath until this catches on.

  57. zed

    Good lord, this is depressing. I wonder how many people on their death beds look back and say “I wish I had spent more time arguing about who had it worse.”

    The dishonesty coming from the other side does not help the discussion – charges of female-bashing when the “bashing” is simple criticism, manipulative swipes about men “whining”

    People who buy into traditional gender roles in marriate, with heads and necks, managementment and manipulation, are cheatign themselves out of the benefits of true partnership.

    Having looked for a “true partnership” for about 30 years before I simply gave up and decided to stay single, I would agree wholeheartedly with the 2nd of these 2 quotes. However, slogging through several dozen posts where the same argument which has raged for the past 3 decades simply continues to be beaten although the horse is long dead, makes anything like a “true partnership” seem like the tooth fairy – a pretty fiction – and make me quite glad that I never settled for an arrangement with someone who held me in such contempt that she thought I needed to be “managed.”

    I don’t think the gender dialogue will ever make any progress as long as any criticism of women is dismissed as “bashing” while we live in a culture where women buy “All men are bastards” knife blocks and “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” T-shirts, and articles are published with titles like “Men’s egos are like ice – fun to crush.”

    Oversensitivity to men’s criticism of women fits into a long term pattern of double standards which is one of the most consistent complaints you will hear from men. If a woman criticizes male behavior, she is “empowered” (what a tiresome and overused word), while when a man cricizes women he is accused of “backlashing” or “wanting to send women back to the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.”

    In this whole long battle of attrition, I see little if any empathy or compassion. The battle lines were drawn long ago, and the gender war seems to have become a trench war where both sides lob word grenades at each other from their entrenched points of view.

    In the end, rather than install a time clock in my personal life, meticulously record every moment of any kind of activity, and invite in a mediator from the NLRB determine the “comparable worth” of every second expended, I have opted to earn my own money, keep my own house, and forego children. I have a perfectly equal relationship with every woman in the world in similar circumstances – I do 100% of the work, pay 100% of the bills, and make 100% of the decisions for my household, and she does the same. 100% divided by 2 households is EXACTLY 50.00000000000%, to as many decimal places as one wants to carry it.

    However, there is an old saying among the people I come from that 2 people working together can accomplish more than 3 people working alone. In this runaway emphasis on “ee-kwal-i-tee” any and all understanding of cooperation, real partnership, and letting people contribute what they are best at and valuing that contribution as giving their whole, has been lost.

    I contend that we are all much the poorer for it.

  58. mythago

    There are a great many people in America who are simply too childish to be able to handle freedom. The best way to save society would probably be to go back to arranged marriages.

    Because, naturally, you would be among the class of marriage-arrangers rather than those who are deemed too “childish” to make those decisions for yourself?

    That the man made a concession is a simple fact — he agreed to do something he didn’t want to do.

    I don’t see the word ‘concession’ anywhere in the post Cathy quoted. I see that they “struck a deal”–MadMom asks him what he’s worried about, as he’s still the head of the household.

  59. Anonymous

    Well, perhaps, mythago, he would be a better choice than the finger-wagging feminists who seem to be in every aspect of daily life, legislating “equality” as long as it benefits women.

  60. Anonymous

    Feminism has already won the cultural battle for supremacy because men and women now quite uncritically accept the premise that they are natural adversaries.

    This came about when feminists successfully scammed the notion that gender relations could be understood as a kind of neo-Marxist class warfare, with men as evil oppressors and women as exploited victims.

    Ms. Gloria Steinham spoke truthfully when she asserted that “the personal is political.”

    Unfortunately, gender politics makes a poor foundation for a viable domestic partnership, and our 50% plus divorce rate tells that story.

    It’s simply not possible to negotiate a truly intimate adult relationship with a woman who has been infantilized by feminist dogma.

    No thinking man wants to marry a petulant child masquerading as an adult.

    Hence the “trench warfare” alluded to above.

  61. drumgurl

    A man may find that he is manipulated because he married the hottest chick who would have him, rather than looking for a true partnership. And a woman may find herself unhappy because she married the richest man who would have her, rather than looking for a true partnership. That’s called stupid people getting what they deserve.

    I don’t believe we have to have manipulation in our relationships, not even a little. Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t think my relationship has any. I don’t think my fiance and I are from another planet. We actually have a lot in common, despite having different genders.

    Mad Dad has a valid point. His wife needs to be called out on her manipulative ways. But he did choose a subservient woman, and that’s what subservient women do — they manipulate.

  62. Anonymous

    Having been a counsellor to couples for over 20 years I can categorically claim that the very idea that women are more ‘in touch with their feelings’ than men are is sheer nonsense.

    Most average people, women and men, can hardly name their feelings correctly, let alone understand them, instead they simply react along with them – a bit like hanging on a tiger’s tail most often.

    The idea that men do not ‘feel’ as accurately or as well or as deeply or as understandingly as woman is a female hubristic myth. Men simply do these things in a masculine way. That women ‘listen’ to their feelings more and better than men do is simply not borne out in practice or evidence. That the way women ‘express their feelings’ is somehow better than men’s ways is also a hubristic myth. It simply gives a sense of unwarranted superiority.

    It is more manipulation based on the mendacity of gender value hyping.

    There is a world of difference between considerately expressing authentic feeling and expressing ‘more’, more loudly, more demandingly, more manipulatively, more ignorantly.

  63. fourthwire

    >>>>>>A man may find that he is manipulated because he married the hottest chick who would have him, rather than looking for a true partnership. And a woman may find herself unhappy because she married the richest man who would have her, rather than looking for a true partnership. That’s called stupid people getting what they deserve.< <<<

    LOL…. plenty of ignorant assumptions there, redneck feminist.

    First of all, by and large women generally try to attract the richest men that they can find and men generally try to attract the hottest women that they can afford.

    Secondly, your assumption that people ought to find a “true partnership” (which is generally feminist nonsense, repackaged to look pretty) is absurd.

    When the car breaks down, or there are intruders downstairs after midnight, most women are generally not willing to stand up as equal partners.

    I’m sure that there are equally valid examples where men aren’t interested in “true partnerships”, as well.

    Your assumption that people who are not interested in your “true partnerships” are stupid is amusingly naive, at best…… and downright ignorant in general.

    If most women actually WERE interested in “true partnerships”, then they would not support feminazi concepts that strip men of their civil rights through divorce, the scumsuckers at “family courts”, VAWA, etc.

    “Stupid people getting what they deserve” – that’s rich. The nation has PLENTY of stupid people, but only dimwitted feminazis believe that men attracted to aesthetically pleasing women and women attracted to affluent men implies “stupidity”.

    >>>>>I don’t believe we have to have manipulation in our relationships, not even a little.< <<<

    LOL…. we do NOT “have to have manipulation in our relationships” any more than we “need” domestic violence in our relationships.

    Manipulation of spouses rises out of opportunistic indivdiuals, greedy individuals, self-centered indivdiuals, and a few other reasons.

    >>>>Mad Dad has a valid point. His wife needs to be called out on her manipulative ways. But he did choose a subservient woman, and that’s what subservient women do — they manipulate.< <<<

    Actually, you are pretty damned ignorant of men and women if you believe that “subservient women” are the only manipulators.

    In fact, blaming “subservient women” for manipulation of husbands skirts the opportunistic, self-centered, ego-centric, feminist-hyped motives for manipulation of men by women.

    Here’s a clue, and one that you badly seem to need.

    “subservient” women might ALSO manipulate their husbands, but so might those lazy, ball-busting, loudmouthed types as well…….

    ….. and I defy you to state otherwise, without earning a fair degree of derision.

    You need to understand your “sisters” a bit better, and the effects of several decades of feminist propaganda, the mainstream media all teaching women that they are ENTITLED to manipulate men (and worse!) by dint of being born with a vagina.

  64. Lori Heine

    “Because, naturally, you would be among the class of marriage-arrangers rather than those who are deemed too “childish” to make those decisions for yourself?”

    No, my dear Mythago. Since I am a lesbian, I am most certainly NEVER going to be among the class of marriage-arrangers — I am one of the ones deemed too childish to make those decisions for myself.

    My comment was intended to be sarcastic. Evidently sarcasm is lost on you.

    Before passing a self-righteous and stereotypical judgment on individuals who comment here, you might want to make sure you know at least a little bit about them.

  65. Izabela

    aw, come on. A bit of banter about the head and neck and such a serious analysis of power structures. Let’s relax, read a humourous post and laugh a bit.

  66. Anonymous

    “Men that I know aren’t afraid of frank women or refer to them as “ballbusters”.”
    Here here. Have you ever heard a man complaining about how women are too direct? Or do men complain about how women are not direct enough?

  67. drumgurl

    Gee whiz, fourthwire. I was trying to get someone’s panty in a wad, and it worked. I was *trying* to be a bit misogynist to see who would holla. I figured it would be a feminist, but it ended up being an anti. Funny.

    I was half-serious on the partnership thing, though. Am I naive? Well I already admitted that. But I’ve been dating my fiance for five years and I *do* think we have a partnership that is not based on manipulation. That doesn’t mean two people have to be equal in every way. (When did I say that?) He is stronger than I am, but I own guns and am not afraid to confront an intruder. So what! That has about nothing to do with our relationship. Especially since I’m a backwoods hick and will probably never have to deal with an intruder.

    But I still keep the guns around. They’re fun.

  68. drumgurl

    Oh, and I don’t buy into the “sisterhood”. :Barf:

  69. Chris

    My my. What it takes to cause elevated levels of estrogen and testosterone across America.
    Following these posts, I predict a mini baby boom, because all these hormones will lead to someone manipulation someone else into bed for…shhhh..SEX

  70. Chris

    manipulate , not manipulation…geez, see even I’m hormonal

  71. fourthwire

    >>>>Gee whiz, fourthwire. I was trying to get someone’s panty in a wad, and it worked.< <<

    Oonly if those panties were your own, redneck feminist…

    >>>>He is stronger than I am, but I own guns and am not afraid to confront an intruder.< <<

    Confronting intruders is generally not one of those “tasks” that women press hard for “equality” on……

    …… particularly in the dead of night.

    But hey, if you like firearms, then we share an interest, since I am a firearms collector.

    >>>>Oh, and I don’t buy into the “sisterhood”. :Barf:< <<

    You are certainly not a bona fide feminazi; you have failed to express the thought that men are your worst enemies and oppressors (men are generaly card-carrying members of the dreaded “patriarchy”, after all!).

    Besides that, you seem to have a sense of humor.

    Rock on, baby.

  72. drumgurl

    Well… okay then.

    P.S. Wearing thongs prevents those nasty wads. ;)

  73. Elusive Wapiti

    Mythago wrote:

    “we need to actually compare the number of hours worked by each person in a particular household–including childcare, not just cleaning–and whoever racks up the longer timecard gets to call the shots.”

    I realize that you are skewering the concept of whomever makes the most $$ makes the rules Myth, and I tend to agree with you on the hazards of assigning relative decision-making power based on the size of the paycheck.

    However, I’ve squared off with you on the topic of household contribution many times in the past. The data bears out the fact that both partners in a household make equal contributions to maintenance of the household. This is despite the common but false belief among homemakers that they work harder simply because they think so.

    Navigator wrote:

    “Breadwinner office M-F, 9-5 = 40 hrs
    home Sun-Sat, 6:30 – 8:30 = 14 hrs
    total 54 hrs

    Homemaker office zero
    home Sun-Sat, 8-8 = 84 hrs
    total 84 hrs

    Your math is faulty. You conveniently underreported breadwinner hours worked (45 is the US avg workweek, and this skews low due to part-time women), disregarded breadwinner commute time to work (~2.5 avg hrs week), disregarded homemaker “off time” whe he/she is idle (I estimate 10.5 hrs/week due to naps alone); and assumed that the breadwinner does not relieve/assist SAH spouse with childcare when he/she is home. It evens out when these considerations are taken into account.

    Colagirl wrote:

    “Frankly, the way he talked to her made me a little sick to listen to it–I would have punched his teeth in”

    Careful. If you are partnered with a truly equalitarian man–and not a chauvinistic one that goes easy on women because you are, well, a woman–your violence may be met with equal violence, and if you are unlucky, a trip to jail. However, since arrest and imprisonment is unlikely for women in DV cases, even though women are the aggressor in close to 50-odd percent% of the DV incidents, so I guess you have that going for you.

    Mythago again:

    “You need to get out more, then. I know plenty of women who would be, or actually are, happy with that arrangement”

    That may be, but your anecdote is a statistical anomaly. SAHDs account for only 2% of stay-at-home spouses. Your immediate social circle notwithstanding, few women are willing to pay for their own dates, let alone support a man.

    So much for “equality”.

    Sgt Ted…amen brother. Paper tiger feminists nearly always run to “daddy” when their feelings are hurt.

  74. Anonymous

    “I know,” E said. “And mommy told auntie that the neck controls the head, telling it which way to turn.”

    Actually it’s the brain that controls the neck and tells it which way to turn. And the brain is in the head.

    A person can still live without a neck (as war wounded/accident victims will tell you) but no one can survive without a head.

  75. mythago

    That may be, but your anecdote is a statistical anomaly.

    So is revenant’s. His immediate social circle notwithstanding, even you provide a figure of 2% of SAH parents being fathers. That’s greater than the zero he anecdotally proposes.

    The data bears out the fact that both partners in a household make equal contributions to maintenance of the household.

    Even setting aside childcare–yet again–you’re proving my point. If MadDad is working ‘a gazillion hours’, then by your data, so is his wife. It’s not a matter of MadDad making a concession to do more or easier work, as they’re clearly making equal contributions–so what is there about the breadwinner’s equal contribution that shows the breadwinner should be head of household?

  76. AprilPNW

    Revenant said:

    “april, I don’t mean this as a slam, but you really come across as someone with no children and no experience rearing them. Being “the boss” doesn’t mean your young charges behave perfectly, any more than being a manager means your subordinates behave perfectly.”

    LOL! No kidding – tell me somthing I DON’T know! If there was ever a woman more ill suited to motherhood – I haven’t met her.

    My response is though I’ve never had kids, I WAS one once, and can draw on my own experience. My parents WERE the power when I was growing up – no questions asked. Though I’ll agree that **outcomes** as a result of wielding power may be different, the powerful get to wield it all the same. So as far as the power balance goes – I’m still convinced that parents get to wield a lot more of it than most workers do. Whether or not they are succesful – that’ another issue entirely.

  77. AprilPNW

    Redneck Feminist said:

    “A man may find that he is manipulated because he married the hottest chick who would have him, rather than looking for a true partnership. And a woman may find herself unhappy because she married the richest man who would have her, rather than looking for a true partnership. That’s called stupid people getting what they deserve.”

    This passage gets my vote for the most profound statement in the discussion.

  78. mythago

    My comment was intended to be sarcastic.

    Then you probably should have phrased it sarcastically, rather than writing is as though you were seriously throwing up your hands at the foolishness of the sheeple.

    Do you really think being a lesbian means you couldn’t possibly in that group of people who thinks they are in the genius minority that ought properly to be ruling the world? (Hey, you and Plato.)

  79. fourthwire

    >>>>>>>”A man may find that he is manipulated because he married the hottest chick who would have him, rather than looking for a true partnership. And a woman may find herself unhappy because she married the richest man who would have her, rather than looking for a true partnership. That’s called stupid people getting what they deserve.”

    This passage gets my vote for the most profound statement in the discussion.< <<<<

    Actually, rather than being “profound”, it’s a typically ditzy statement by someone (usually female or a vaginized male) who does not understand typical men’s motivations, nor their priorities.

    In fact, there’s absolutely NOTHING stupid about men choosing attractive women or women choosing affluent men as mates.

    Whether such behavior is learned or hardwired is less relevant than the fact that it’s less “stupid” than you seem to be, based on your post.

    So….. if you find such idiocy to be “profound”, you would likely be awestruck at those objects called “books”…..;-)

    What one individual might call a “true partnership” might be “indentured servitude” to another……

    …. and that’s simply one of the more obvious hints of cluelessness in such a statement, mind you.

    Guys simply do not get erections for “true partnerships” – and if a man does not find a woman to be attractive, then what’s the point of marrying? And if a man finds a woman only mildly attractive, what’s the point of marrying?

    HE and possibly SHE will simply wind up contributing to the 50% to 75% divorce rate (depending on demographics).

    Stuff the “true partnership” idiocy – unless you are writing for Hallmark, perhaps.

  80. Elusive Wapiti

    Spaketh Mythago:

    “even you provide a figure of 2% of SAH parents being fathers. That’s greater than the zero he anecdotally proposes. “

    Yes, 2% (it’s actually 1.5 in the data that I found%, but I rounded up for sake of argument)is not “statistically zero”. However, the rate of SAHD’s in Revenent’s social sphere is much closer to the real rate of SAHD-ism in the population at large than the abberantly large number in your circle of friends. And I don’t think that’ll change anytime soon, since women are very loathe to date down. Furthermore, even professional women who make stacks of money insist on making the man pay for their dates. Not exactly the iconoclastic attitude required of a woman who would schlep herself off to work and support a haus-herr. For all their blusterly talk of equality, feminists are still stuck in “man-pays-for-the-privilege-of-dating-me” gear. What nonsense.

    “It’s not a matter of MadDad making a concession to do more or easier work,”

    On the contrary, I get the impression that MadDad resents the fact that he works his behind off while his ingrate wife gets to have the much more rewarding work of raising kids. And if he’s working more than 40-45 hrs/week, then chances are quite high that, as an individual, he’s putting in more time supporting the household than is his smug wife.

    Also, housework and even childcare is not difficult. Mind-numbingly boring at times, requiring discipline and stamina at times, but it’s not hard. Personally, if Mrs. Wapiti and I concluded that we would be financially better off if I stayed home with the fawns, I’d jump at the chance. Women don’t know how well they have it. The grass is definitely not greener on the other side.

    Lastly, as I’ve shown you several times, childcare must be included for breadwinners’ and SAH spouses’ household contributions to even up…otherwise, SAH spouses fall far behind in the labor comparison.

    “so what is there about the breadwinner’s equal contribution that shows the breadwinner should be head of household?”

    Myth, as I stated in my previous post, I agree with you on this point. I personally don’t think that the position of head-of-household should be tied to breadwinning. They are usually positively correlated, but one does not necessarily follow the other.

    Cathy, while quoting Doc Helen:

    “”I hear you talking like that or trying to manipulate me like that again and I am out of here.””

    I don’t think that’s a reasonable option for MadDad in this situation. Men are very aware of the fact that middle- and upper-class SAHMs have their man-slaves by the short and curlies in modern marriage. And the Mad family has a MadChild…if he rocks the boat too much, he’ll be among the 75-80% of divorced men with children who’s own wife gutted their marriage.

    I don’t think he could threaten her like this and really make it stick. MadMom, and at least some of her female friends/relations, appear to be condescending and exceedingly disrespectful as well as manipulative. A married man’s nightmare. I’m afraid he’s over a barrel and he knows it.

    His frustration at being managed is symptomatic of this realization.

  81. mythago

    than the abberantly large number in your circle of friends

    That’s funny; I don’t recall providing a number. I also don’t recall seeing any evidence for your proposition that professional women universally insist men pay for sex, er, I mean dates, or that feminists are just as (if not more) interested in a breadwinner/SAH marriage as their traditionalist sisters.

    It might also help to consider that it’s not just women making those choices. How many men would really be eager to give up breadwinning to be full-time at-home dads? Is a woman who eagerly seeks out a Mr. June Cleaver type any more likely to find a match than the man who wants to meet up with a Ms. Ward Cleaver? (On the totally anecdotal front, I’ve found that there are far more men who say they want to be at home than are actually comfortable with that role in reality.)

    Women don’t know how well they have it. The grass is definitely not greener on the other side.

    Have you been on both sides? If not, then how do you know that the grass is greener on the “women’s” side?

  82. jw

    mythago said: (On the totally anecdotal front, I’ve found that there are far more men who say they want to be at home than are actually comfortable with that role in reality.)

    Welllll, that’s a bit complex.

    Many men do say they want to get the chance to be the stay at home. The thing is, there are not enough women willing to be the sole support worker for the roughly one third of males who are willing to be the stay at home.

    Men can want to be a SAHF all they want … the math doesn’t give that want a chance of becomming reality.

    The best way of seeing the thing is to look at brain-sex, that is if looking at traditional sex roles answering the question “how many of each sex fit these roles?”

    The answers come down to:

    males: 50% and 70% think like men
    females: 50% and 70% think like men
    males: 20% to 30% think like women
    females: 20% to 30% think like men
    Both: 2% to 20% do not match the traditional sex roles

    There’s a lot of good science to back up the concepts of brain-sex.

    If you are a male who thinks like a female, the odds of finding a female who thinks like a male are a lot smaller than the reverse. You’re involved in a ttougher search when dating. The reverse also applies.

    After the biology, one must add in socialization. We’ve all been socialized to fit our sex, rather than our brain-sex. It takes a tough person to throw off the socilaization.

    So a person needs be careful when making vast sweping statements. There’s too much good math out there saying that these statements have serious problems.

  83. mythago

    Many men do say they want to get the chance to be the stay at home. The thing is, there are not enough women willing to be the sole support worker for the roughly one third of males who are willing to be the stay at home.

    I don’t know where you’re pulling your numbers from, but again, it makes no sense to pretend that we’d have a nation of SAHDs if not for those stubborn women.

  84. Lori Heine

    “Do you really think being a lesbian means you couldn’t possibly in that group of people who thinks they are in the genius minority that ought properly to be ruling the world? (Hey, you and Plato.)”

    I suppose, Mythy, that I could THINK I ought to be doing whatever I want. If you believe that a class of people millions are trying to write out of the Constitution are actually IN A POSITION TO DO SO, then you are living at the bottom of Alice’s rabbit-hole.

    I, like most Libertarians, do not believe that a minority ought to “rule” anything. We simply don’t believe the majority ought to be able to crush it out of existence, either.

  85. Revenant

    Aprilpnw,

    Revenant said:

    april, I don’t mean this as a slam, but you really come across as someone with no children and no experience rearing them

    It was Mythago who said that, not me. :)

  86. Revenant

    even you provide a figure of 2% of SAH parents being fathers. That’s greater than the zero he anecdotally proposes.

    I didn’t propose a rate of zero, anecdotally or otherwise. I said I didn’t know any women who’d be content to work while their husband stayed home with the kids. We were discussing my hypothetical spouse and which of us would be the stay-at-home.

    Given that less than 1% of married couples are (a) single-income with (b) the father staying at home, it is hardly surprising that I don’t know any women who’d want such an arrangement. That enormous a gender imbalance suggests strong preferences on the part of men and/or women.

    That’s funny; I don’t recall providing a number.

    No, but you said you knew “plenty of women” who’d be happy with that arrangement. Unless you personally know the marriage preferences of many hundreds of people it is statistically anomalous for you to know that many women with that preference.

  87. Darleen

    However, since arrest and imprisonment is unlikely for women in DV cases, even though women are the aggressor in close to 50-odd percent% of the DV incidents

    I should ask for a source on that but hey, why should I rain on your assertions?

    I’ve worked at a CA DA office for close to 8 years. Yes, women CLOSE to “equal” as initiators of DV (which INCLUDES things like shoving, causing damage to your partner’s property and tearing the phone out of the wall to prevent a call to the police)..however, when it comes to who gets injured, women are much more likely suffer greater injuries. If I were to approximate on our filings (keep in mind that a significant number of police reports are never filed on due to either insufficient evidence – he said/she said with no visible injuries – or mutual combat) that women make up about 30-40% of the misdemeanor filings and only about 10-15% of the felony filings. ALSO, DV in CA includes same-sex couples.

  88. Anonymous

    Wow. There is a lot of venom in the comments. I am getting the impression that some of the commenter’s seem to define ‘feminists’ as ‘women who do stuff guys hate’ rather than women who have a certain set of views related to gender equality. I thought this error was Cathy’s point… Passive-aggressive and manipulative traditionalist women aren’t feminists. To this, I would add that Cosmo (the magazine, not the drink) toting Princesses, who treat their boyfriends like it is a privilege to date them, are not feminists either. All the feminists I know, even the really, really annoying ones, function quite independently, can take care of themselves, and most do actually have a basic knowledge of auto maintenance.

    I agree that this culture has become progressively less guy friendly. I think that is a shame, and I have often stuck up for guys when the girls at the office start male-bashing. But just because some women use their greater freedom to behave badly, it does not follow that rigid traditional gender roles were a great thing and that feminism shouldn’t have happened. I like my job and my independence, and I know I wouldn’t have those if it weren’t for the feminists. Although there certainly have been strains of misandry in the feminist movement, man hating is by no means limited to feminists. If the mistreatment of males makes you angry, then go after ALL misandrists, not just the feminist ones.

    Z

  89. Anonymous

    Quick correction for clarity-

    To this, I would add that Cosmo (the magazine, not the drink) toting Princesses, who behave like their boyfriends are privileged to date them, are not feminists either.

    Z

  90. fourthwire

    >>>>I am getting the impression that some of the commenter’s seem to define ‘feminists’ as ‘women who do stuff guys hate’ rather than women who have a certain set of views related to gender equality. I thought this error was Cathy’s point…< <<<<<

    Indeed some “feminists” do strive mostly for gender equality. Women like Wendy McElroy seem to personify this sort.

    Other “feminists” strive mostly to generate hatred for any human born with a penis instead of a vagina. Women like Andrea Dworkin (the one who never quite clearly wrote or said that “all men are rapists” seem to personify that sort.

    To make matters even less clear-cut, some “feminists”, the ones that I would describe as “misandrist bitches” CLAIM to be working for gender equality as cover for their actual focus, which is to generate hatred for and oppression of any human born with a penis instead of a vagina.

    “radical feminists”, “gender feminists”, “feminazis” all pretty much describe feminists who would prefer to wage war against men and boys.

    They don’t particularly WANT equality, they want to inspire fear of, and hatred for men, and to deprive men of their civil rights, particularly if women’s rights can be enhanced as a result.

    Any woman can call herself a “feminist” and any woman can CLAIM to want “equal rights”.

    Many if not most women seem to want “equal rights” without tying those “equal rights” to “equal responsibilities”…..

    ….. and certainly choose WHICH “rights” they actually want.

    When is the LAST time that you heard feminists fighting for the right to be included in draft registration, for example?

    Then there are those women who do not publicly IDENTIFY themselves as “feminists” but who quietly support those “feminists'” efforts, even those efforts that harm men, children, and families………

    …… BECAUSE THOSE INDIVIDUAL WOMEN WISH TO ENJOY special privileges afforded women as a result of the efforts of “feminists”.

    >>>>>Passive-aggressive and manipulative traditionalist women aren’t feminists.< <<<

    Which moron told you THAT nonsense, and why do you choose to believe her?

    Passive-aggressive and manipulative women can be “feminists”…. or not, regardless of feminist propaganda.

    >>>>But just because some women use their greater freedom to behave badly, it does not follow that rigid traditional gender roles were a great thing and that feminism shouldn’t have happened.< <<<

    Again, more idiocy from you. “Rigid” roles may not have been great for everyone. But “traditional gender roles” certainly are the cornerstone of most societies.

    The Chinese want to keep feminism’s corrosive influence AWAY from their nation, for example. I don’t particularly agree with their form of government, but they are NOT stupid.

    China’s leaders see the havoc being wreaked on America that millions of broken families, pussified men, boys without fathers growing up to be thugs, substance abusers, and girls without fathers becoming “breeders” that feminists have either created or contributed to………

    ….. often under the guise of “women’s rights”.

    As to whether feminism SHOULD have happened, that’s of less interest than whether feminism should have been focused on creating women’s equality WITHOUT lowering the quality of life for men and children, or trampling on men’s and children’s civil rights.

    >>>To this, I would add that Cosmo (the magazine, not the drink) toting Princesses, who treat their boyfriends like it is a privilege to date them, are not feminists either.< <<

    Having never picked up the damned thing, I couldn’t comment on that particular point, except to add that there’s no reason why those “Cosmo toting Princesses” can call themselves “feminists” or not without regard to your opinion….. or mine.

    >>>>I like my job and my independence, and I know I wouldn’t have those if it weren’t for the feminists.< <<<

    You are a BENEFICIARY of feminists. That’s not particularly news.

    Most Americans born with a vagina are beneficiaries of feminist policy, and many of those are simultaneously victims of feminist policy (such as those career women in their thirties and forties who are puzzled about why men are not throwing themselves at those women for marriage and reproduction).

    Mind you, there were beneficiaries of the Nazis, beneficiaries of Mao’s bloody purges, etc.

    That characteristic has more to do with individuals’ fortunes than any inherent justice or fairness involved.

    >>>>>Although there certainly have been strains of misandry in the feminist movement, man hating is by no means limited to feminists.< <<<

    Yes, it’s pretty obvious even to the most brain-dead that “there certainly have been strains of misandry in the feminist movement”.

    In fact, those “strains of misandry” are openly evident among the pillars of feminist policy by scumbags like Kim Gandy of N.O.W., for example, unless you happen to be either hopelessly naive and rather stupid.

    Typically those scumbuckets prefer to lie, misrepresent, intimidate, and use every dirty trick in the political book in their efforts to characterize anyone born with a penis in a negative, hateful, or oppressive manner………..

    ……. all the while claiming to be in favor of women’s rights.

    >>>>If the mistreatment of males makes you angry, then go after ALL misandrists, not just the feminist ones.< <<<

    I agree. Scumbag male politicians like Joe Biden regularly pander to feminists through legislation such as VAWA, and other misandrist policy.

    Other men mistakenly continue the concept of “chivalry” for women in general.

    Many men fall for feminazi propaganda that women MUST BE perpetual victims.

    But let’s be VERY, VERY clear: Misandrist feminists lead forces committed to hatred for, and fear of men and boys, first and foremost.

    Identifying those vermin for their actual motives and efforts, then marginalizing them to the very cesspools of society are first priority to anyone who wishes American society to stabilize, and men’s, women’s, and children’s quality of life, health, and welfare to improve.

    http://www.mensnewsdaily.com

  91. Roving Thundercloud

    fourthwire wrote:

    “In fact, there’s absolutely NOTHING stupid about men choosing attractive women or women choosing affluent men as mates.”

    It is stupid if they then expect that relationship to be fulfilling in any other dimension other than sexual or financial, respectively.

    “What one individual might call a “true partnership” might be “indentured servitude” to another……”

    Anyone who can’t see the difference between these opposites is, to use one of fourthwire’s favorite words, stupid, or at least clueluess.

    “Guys simply do not get erections for “true partnerships” – and if a man does not find a woman to be attractive, then what’s the point of marrying?”

    Again, if you’re only marrying for one criterion (erection), then you’re stupid to believe you’ll be happy in any of the other dimensions of the relationship.

    Do you really want to marry every chick you think is hot? Or, when it comes to choosing to link your entire life to one person, wouldn’t it be wiser to consider a few more criteria? ‘Cuz nobody’s very hot for very long.

  92. Roving Thundercloud

    I wonder if the fact that there are so few SAHDs has anything to do with the fact that, even if they work in the same company doing the same job, the mom’s pay is not likely to be as generous as the dad’s?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of men who think they’d like to stay at home balk when they realize they’d have to do it on their wives’ lesser income.

    For every mom who hates the thought of being a slave to childcare and housework and every dad who’s willing to take it on, how many wind up changing their minds because of this financial penalty?

  93. fourthwire

    >>>”In fact, there’s absolutely NOTHING stupid about men choosing attractive women or women choosing affluent men as mates.”

    It is stupid if they then expect that relationship to be fulfilling in any other dimension other than sexual or financial, respectively.< <<

    It is MUCH MORE STUPID if the respective parties expect that their relationship can be “fulfilling” if the respective parties’ expectations for attractiveness or affluence were not realized.

    Let me be VERY clear: sex is vitally important to most men.

    No amount of Viagra can make an unattractive woman sexually appealing.

    Great sex IS only part of a marriage, but to most men, sex is a damned important part.

    Finances are vitally important to most men AND women, although women hoping to marry are generally impressed (or not) with a man’s wallet size/bank account/stock portfolio or not……..

    ….. even affluent career women, who can easily support themselves!

    Now…. what do you believe happens to most marriages with poor or no sex and threadbare (or worse!) finances? Do you need me to provide more clues?

    >>>>Anyone who can’t see the difference between these opposites is, to use one of fourthwire’s favorite words, stupid, or at least clueluess.< <<<

    Focus please, my furry Rhodes Scholar: What amounts to “true partnership” for some individuals IS “indentured servitude” to others.

    Have someone a bit brighter than you seem to be help you to work out those details….

    >>>>Again, if you’re only marrying for one criterion (erection), then you’re stupid to believe you’ll be happy in any of the other dimensions of the relationship.< <<<

    Again, if anyone fails on the criteria involving sexual satisfaction, THEN WHY WOULD ANY GUY WANT TO BE MARRIED TO THAT INDIVIDUAL, my intellectual superstar?

    >>>>Do you really want to marry every chick you think is hot?< <<<

    “Would I really want to marry any chick that I believe is NOT?”, is the more relevant question.

    >>>>>Or, when it comes to choosing to link your entire life to one person, wouldn’t it be wiser to consider a few more criteria?< <<<

    First of all, the percentage of individuals “linked” to others through marriage for their “entire life” is falling, as you ought to know.

    More importantly, which moron told you that men ought to IGNORE “a few more criteria”?

    You seem to believe that placing priority on men’s affluence and women’s attractiveness precludes ANY attention to other criteria.

    Here’s a newsflash for you – neither preclude other criteria, but both are important to the point where failure to provide satisfaction on either point ought to preclude marriage to the invidual men and women involved.

    >>>>>’Cuz nobody’s very hot for very long.< <<<<<

    That WOULD explain the phenomenon why very affluent men tend to “trade up” for “newer, hotter models”, wouldn’t it……

  94. fourthwire

    >>>>>I wonder if the fact that there are so few SAHDs has anything to do with the fact that, even if they work in the same company doing the same job, the mom’s pay is not likely to be as generous as the dad’s?< <<<

    LOL….. It has more to do with the fact that most women are not willing to support a SAHD, no matter how much or how little those women are being paid.

    As I pointed out earlier, even relatively affluent career women – executives have typically strong preference to marry men of higher earning power than they…….

    …… which unfortunately tends to limit their chances of marriage, since such men are typically interested in younger, hotter women.

  95. Revenant

    I wonder if the fact that there are so few SAHDs has anything to do with the fact that, even if they work in the same company doing the same job, the mom’s pay is not likely to be as generous as the dad’s?

    If they work for the same company doing the same job, their pay is almost guaranteed to be roughly equal (assuming both are also the same age, put in the same hours, and have the same qualifications and experience). The gender gap in salaries within a given job is, controlling for other factors, very small and not evenly distributed.

    The salary gap mainly stems from things like experience (as women are more likely to be the primary caregiver for children, the average woman has less career experience than a man of the same age) and choice of occupation (e.g. most teachers are women, most stockbrokers are men).

  96. zed

    Darleen said…

    “However, since arrest and imprisonment is unlikely for women in DV cases, even though women are the aggressor in close to 50-odd percent% of the DV incidents”

    I should ask for a source on that but hey, why should I rain on your assertions?

    “REFERENCES EXAMINING ASSAULTS BY WOMEN ON THEIR SPOUSES OR MALE PARTNERS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Martin S. Fiebert
    Department of Psychology
    California State University, Long Beach

    SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 175 scholarly investigations: 139 empirical studies and 36 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 164,600.”

    http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

    Rain away.

    I’ve worked at a CA DA office for close to 8 years. Yes, women CLOSE to “equal” as initiators of DV ..however, when it comes to who gets (hurt?), women are much more likely suffer greater injuries.

    Well, most men know that when one picks a fight, it doesn’t always go to one’s advantage. Perhaps if women initiated fewer fights, they would get injured less. I certainly follow that rule – if I don’t want a fight, and the consequences which frequently result, not starting one has proven to be an astonishingly effective way to get that result.

  97. Roving Thundercloud

    Sigh. Fourthwire’s main argument is that anyone who disagrees is stupid, moronic, idiotic, clueless, needs a newsflash, blah blah blah. The main point of this technique (and of SHOUTING in all caps) being to get others to back down and shut up.

    What a lonely world to inhabit, in which all women are gold-diggers and all men are ruled by their penises.

    Well, I wouldn’t want to appear silent, for fear of seeming to agree with Fourthwire, but neither do I want to feed a playground troll. So I guess I’ll have to risk appearing chastened by such incredible wisdom, and rely on the rest of the conversants to know better. ;-)

  98. fourthwire

    >>>>igh. Fourthwire’s main argument is that anyone who disagrees is stupid, moronic, idiotic, clueless, needs a newsflash, blah blah blah.< <<<

    ….. only to “geniuses” like yourself who disagree AND happen to be “stupid, moronic, idiotic, clueless, and need a newsflash.;-)

    Try to keep up, if you can.

    >>>>The main point of this technique (and of SHOUTING in all caps) being to get others to back down and shut up.< <<<

    Wrong again, my intellectual superstar.

    I wouldn’t DREAM of ever asking individuals like yourself to “back down and shut up”.

    You’re too damned entertaining while you provide target practice, if you are actually interested in the truth.

    In fact, I believe that “geniuses” like yourself are not challenged, teased, and made the butt of others ‘ laughter enough………

    ……. not for having DIFFERENT opinions, mind you……..

    …… but rather for being STUPID (and likely proud of it!).

    Let me know if you require me to use smaller words to get that point across.

    >>>>>What a lonely world to inhabit, in which all women are gold-diggers and all men are ruled by their penises.< <<<<

    Only for those people who CHOOSE to be lonely, it is……….

    BTW, you are the one using the words “all women” and “all men”, not I.

    At any rate, MANY women ARE gold-diggers, and MOST men certainly experience at least as much enjoyment through their penises as women do through their own genitals.

    Or haven’t you notice?….;-)

    >>>>>>Well, I wouldn’t want to appear silent, for fear of seeming to agree with Fourthwire, but neither do I want to feed a playground troll.< <<<<<

    No doubt the concept of “playground troll” consists of those individuals quite a bit brighter than you seem to be, or who dare question your dimwitted assertions…..

    At any rate, I accept your surrender, my intellectual powerhouse.

    Frankly you don’t seem like the type who could manage to “stay silent” if your very life depended on it!…;-)

    >>>>>>So I guess I’ll have to risk appearing chastened by such incredible wisdom, and rely on the rest of the conversants to know better. ;-)< <<<<

    More likely you don’t enjoy feeling humiliated by others laughing at your intellectual shortcomings….;-)

    Hey, keep trying. You provide both a fat target when you attempt to make any sense, not to mention good entertainment, Roving Thundercloud.

  99. Elusive Wapiti

    “How many men would really be eager to give up breadwinning to be full-time at-home dads?”

    Anywhere from 53 to 38, depending on age bracket. Of course, it’s one thing to say you’d do something, quite another to actually do it.

    “Is a woman who eagerly seeks out a Mr. June Cleaver type any more likely to find a match than the man who wants to meet up with a Ms. Ward Cleaver?”

    Probably not, but that’s more due to the tendency of women to refuse to date down or enter into a relationship knowing that they’d have support a man, than on the relative scarcity of men who’d be willing to be June Cleaver if you posed the question to him.

    “(On the totally anecdotal front, I’ve found that there are far more men who say they want to be at home than are actually comfortable with that role in reality.)”

    I found that I needed some sort of outside-the-home engagement to be 100% comfortable in the role as SAHD.

    “Have you been on both sides? If not, then how do you know that the grass is greener on the “women’s” side?”

    Yes, I have. And I know that you have. Any other questions?

    Zed,

    Thanks for the assist with the DV stats while I was away.

  100. Anonymous

    Now I understand Alas‘ commenting policy!

    Besides all the people making Cathy’s point for her, about how traditional roles (as all there is) are pretty crappy for women and men, separately and together, the one thing that’s really striking is the degree to which gender reactionaries – from MRAs to SSM opponents – increasingly flaunt this dire, dystopian, dreary view of love/marriage/romantic relationships. Not just, for example, guys outraged and disraught at the loss of never-recognized privileges (often serving to compensate for economic /political /etc/ inferiority) going on about how women are evil haters, but the simplified big bazoongas!! / big wallet!! model of relationships. (Not to mention the bizarre screeds that have issued forth insisting that marriage really has nothing to do with love, just, essentially, societal reproduction, so gay marriage would destory us all!!!). It’s so bizarrely out of the mainstream . .

    “a vaginized male)”

    This phrase gets my vote as the most disturbing (and psychologically telling!) phrase of the whole discussion!

    (Although “brain-sex” runs a close second. I get the idea, but still, the pictures it conjures up . . . ick.

    -Dan S.

  101. fourthwire

    >>>>”a vaginized male)”

    This phrase gets my vote as the most disturbing (and psychologically telling!) phrase of the whole discussion!< <<<

    Perhaps you ought to hide your head under the covers if you are so easily “disturbed”, my psychologically-gifted one……..

    ……. and those scary words will disappear of their own volition, perhaps.;-)

    “vaginized males” refer to those boys who grow up without fathers – born to single mothers, and particularly to those single mothers who don’t give a rat’s ass about their childrens’ futures (only about their own selfish, self-centered satisfaction or attempts at such).

    Such “vaginized” boys, growing up without positive family male role models, show up as a disproportionate percentage of prison inmates, DV cases, substance abuse, poverty and other social cases, my psychological genius.

    Don’t believe me – check for yourself, with Google.

    “vaginized males” don’t know how to recognize or demonstrate the finer qualities of men’s life passions, participate in typically male-oriented activities involving outdoor activities, sports, closely follow and participate in typical men’s interests, and don’t know how to consistently behave as productive, happy, strong, exploration-minded, independent MEN.

    “vaginized males” don’t know how to stand up to misandrists or misogynists, and certainly would be powerless to defend their wives/girlfriends/loved ones/children/elderly or anyone else preyed upon by predatory types in scenarios involving personal danger or crisis.

    Not to put too fine a point on the matter, many “vaginized males” likely believe that they have to piss while sitting down, no doubt.

    Let me know if you require further clarification, Dan S.

  102. jw

    mythago said:

    “I don’t know where you’re pulling your numbers from, but again, it makes no sense to pretend that we’d have a nation of SAHDs if not for those stubborn women.”

    I never said that and never would.

    The SAHF problem is not a factor of women or men per se, but of male and female biology together with overall socialization of both sexes.

    We should have about a third of our stay at homes being men: That gives us the best odds of having the superior parent being the stay at home. We actually have somewhere between 1% and 12% of stay at homes being men, (depending on where you are). That’s too low, given a society which wants to drop our child abuse rate to the minimum possible (given the other factors which apply).

    roving thundercloud said:

    “For every mom who hates the thought of being a slave to childcare and housework and every dad who’s willing to take it on, how many wind up changing their minds because of this financial penalty?”

    The problem is they don’t make the choice even in the also common circumstance where females are paid more than males. Don’t ever forget that out of the 25,000 some odd job classes, there are 40 some odd where females are routinely paid more than males, PhD Engineeers being one of those.

    It’s more complex than it appears.

    One must look at both biology and socialization to understand what is happening and what changes must be made in order to get the optimum mix.

    Throwing around outdated myths will not solve the problem. The pay gap, AS PRESENTED, is very much an outdated myth.

  103. Gus

    Men are generally more stupid about women that vice versa. As a female professor of law at a state university e-mailed me, “All women are devious.”
    Ever since I made this discovery on my own before the the professor’s comment, I have let women go on thinking that they were “pulling a fast one” on me.
    It is not a batlle worth fighting.
    However I haven’t had a serious relationship of any kind with a woman since my discovery either.
    There comes a point in any elationship, whether romantic, parent-child of friendship when the truth becomes obvious.
    Whether it is by a slip of the tongue or a certain pattern of acting, the relationship is irrevocably changed.
    If the relationship is “meaningful”, then there is a very frank heart-to-heart talk.
    After that there can be a life-long charade or the end of the relationship.
    You cannot always “fake it”.

  104. Roving Thundercloud

    Well, shoot. I wish someone would tell MY workplace that the gender pay gap is a thing of the past.

    My spouse and I are expecting a child, and we’ve talked about who should stay home those first few years…financially, it makes more sense for me to do so, since I make less than my spouse does, even though we work at the same place doing the same tasks (we work for different departments, but share an office).

    Frankly, I’m not sure we can make it on either salary alone. However, because we have a reasonable, kind, and affectionate partnership, my spouse is willing to let our household take the extra financial hit if I stay at work instead.

    But then it would seem that we’re quite the anomaly, judging from the original posting and the following commentary. Let’s see…married fifteen years, even though still pretty broke, and neither of us is a fashion model. Shouldn’t we have dumped each other long ago in pursuit of bigger wallets/bigger tits? Guess I’ll just have to settle for a great friendship with fabulous sex. (Hint to the young folks: practice makes perfect.)

  105. Anonymous

    FYI, fourthwire:

    Which moron told you THAT nonsense, and why do you choose to believe her?

    Again, more idiocy from you.

    …unless you happen to be either hopelessly naive and rather stupid.

    This is argumentum ad hominem. From the following site on logical fallacies:

    “This is the error of attacking the character or motives of a person who has stated an idea, rather than the idea itself.”

    http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/
    fallacies.html#Argumentum%20ad
    %20hominem

    I would advise checking out the site. It may help you learn how to use logic to debate, rather than just raw emotion as is evident from phrases like these: “misandrist bitches”, “pussified”, “scumbuckets”, “vermin”, “negative, hateful, or oppressive manner”, etc. Also, because opinion isn’t fact, it would be helpful if you actually cited some credible sources to back some of your claims.

    Finally, on one hand you praise traditional gender roles and decry career women:
    But “traditional gender roles” certainly are the cornerstone of most societies….victims of feminist policy (such as those career women in their thirties and forties who are puzzled about why men are not throwing themselves at those women for marriage and reproduction).

    On the other hand, you appear to be somewhat favorable to feminists that are pushing for true gender equality (as evidenced by the surprising lack of obscenities and insults in this paragraph):
    Indeed some “feminists” do strive mostly for gender equality. Women like Wendy McElroy seem to personify this sort.

    That seems fairly contradictory. Care to explain what you think women’s roles should be in society and in the work place?

    Z

  106. Revenant

    Finally, on one hand you praise traditional gender roles and decry career women:

    I think what he’s getting at is that many feminists push the whole “career woman” thing even though a lot of women would rather stay home and raise kids. Both the feminist movement and the traditionalist movement have fixed ideas of the correct way for women to behave (“have a career” and “stay home and raise kids”, respectively). Neither has a good track record for supporting the idea that people should do what makes them happy.

  107. Anonymous

    Rev,

    Neither has a good track record for supporting the idea that people should do what makes them happy.

    This is something I completely agree with. I hope that is what he is getting at, because this actually makes sense.

    Z

  108. mythago

    I think what he’s getting at is that many feminists push the whole “career woman” thing even though a lot of women would rather stay home and raise kids.

    Sure. We live in a society that prizes career and financial success, and gives head-pats to those who find fulfillment in other things.

    Yes, I have. And I know that you have. Any other questions?

    Sure. Why all the stuff about how easy women have it and the implication that plenty of men, but very few women, would happily switch sides?

  109. Revenant

    Sure. We live in a society that prizes career and financial success, and gives head-pats to those who find fulfillment in other things.

    We do? Few careers earn the careerist any sort of recognition. Most people work thirty or forty years at a half-dozen different jobs and aren’t long remembered at any of them. How does that compare to childrens’ memories of their mother’s loving care?

    Women perceive careers as “prized” because the feminist movement pushed the idea that they were prized — that, because almost all men have careers, “equality” must mean “women having careers” too. But most men don’t prize their careers. We work to earn money, and that’s about it. Sure, we take pride in what we do, but a career isn’t necessary to feel that sensation.

  110. Anonymous

    Rev,

    She is talking about how people treat you, your status, in social situations. Off the top of my head I can’t point to a study of this, but I have experienced what she is referring to. One of the first things people ask you when you are introduced is ‘What do you do for a living?’. When I was a poorly paid therapist, the response was ‘Aw! That is so nice!’ (virtual head pat, conversation closed) I’ve seen the same thing with the stay at home Mom’s that I know.

    Now that I am a statistician, the response is usually, ‘Wow!’ or ‘Whoa!’. People genuinely interested, tend to ask lots of questions about what I do, and some even admit to being a tad bit intimidated. The respect I am automatically accorded, along with the associated presumption of intelligence and competence, is so nice and so different from what I was used to. It is hard to describe the attitude shift. I wish I could explain it better.

    Z

  111. zed

    “Sure. We live in a society that prizes career and financial success, and gives head-pats to those who find fulfillment in other things.”

    “Head pats” as opposed to what? financial success?

    Revenant
    said…

    “We do? Few careers earn the careerist any sort of recognition. Most people work thirty or forty years at a half-dozen different jobs and aren’t long remembered at any of them. How does that compare to childrens’ memories of their mother’s loving care?

    Women perceive careers as “prized” because the feminist movement pushed the idea that they were prized — that, because almost all men have careers, “equality” must mean “women having careers” too. But most men don’t prize their careers. We work to earn money, and that’s about it.”

    Most people don’t have “careers”, they have jobs – dull, stupid, boring, meaningless jobs. The whole concept of “career” is a middle and upper class pretension. The satisfaction gained from being a C level manager whose job consists mostly of shuffling papers from one side of the desk to the other and helping one’s supervisor get promoted by taking credit for your work is vastly over-rated.

    As the old saying goes – a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.

    Which means that I really do need to express my gratitude to the con artists who hoaxed entire generations of women into believing that slaving away for the greater glory of some a**hole like Ken Lay so he could keep his $700 million was so much better than being able to shape the growth of a wonderous human being discovering the world with their assistance and guidance. Without the social pressures to support a wife and kids, I no longer have to work those 60-70-80 hour weeks, and can have many great days fishing.

    Overall it would have been a very good deal if they had not also been so bent on assassinating my character, calling me “rapist” and “abuser” and every other offensive name in the book, and convincing women of my cohort to distrust me, fear me, use me, and hold me in general contempt.

  112. Anonymous

    It really saddens me to see all the generalizations bring thrown-around and that everyone has such a dim view of marriage.

    According to everything I’ve read, marriage is either “oppression” or it’s “manipulation”. It’s impossible to find a decent marriage because men won’t allow it, because women won’t allow it, because men are power-mad pigs, because women are victims of _______. Yeesh!

    I should probably say a little bit about myself: I’m married and I think it’s been working-out pretty well. I’m going to write in gender-neutral terms to describe how I see my own marriage:

    I consider myself to be on the same team as my spouse. My spouse acts as if s/he’s on the same team as me. Together, we form a pretty united front against the world. We divide the labor according to what we consider to be satisfactory. I pay for half of the expenses, my spouse pays for the other half. I enjoy– truly enjoy– seeing my spouse happy. My spouse is great with money, hardworking and very responsible– my parents love my spouse, and I think I could not have made a better choice.

    Now that being said, I feel really, REALLY sorry for people who can’t (or won’t let themselves) have what I have– people who wear cynical or ideological blinders that prevent them from having a basic faith in people. And I especially feel sorry for those who would view my relationship as being based on cheating my spouse or as something inherently unwholesome or oppressive.

    Somewhere along the line– and I’m not sure when or where– people began to see marriage as a power-struggle instead of a pair of people on the same team who want to enrich each other’s lives.

    I’d would have been happy to give more details about the nature of my relationship, but I’m afraid that providing more information would piss-off a significant group of people who frequent this board.

  113. Revenant

    Now that I am a statistician, the response is usually, ‘Wow!’ or ‘Whoa!’. People genuinely interested

    If people were disinterested in your therapist job and interested in your statistician job that doesn’t say much about how prized a career is. It isn’t like “statistician” is widely known as a high-paying or high-status job compared to being a therapist — in fact, I suspect most people would guess that the latter pays a lot more, since bills for therapy are notoriously high while statistics come free on the daily newscasts.

    If people express more interest in your job as a statistician that is probably because they’re not quite sure what you do. I’m a software engineer — generally considered a fairly high-paying job — and nobody, aside from other technical types, ever expresses much interest in what I do for a living. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ve had the exact same “That’s nice” conversation you mention above at least two or three dozen times. If you say “I’m a stay-at-home mom” and people fail to follow up that doesn’t indicate that they don’t value what you do. It indicates that they’re not interested in hearing you talk about what you do, because they pretty much already know.

    The respect I am automatically accorded, along with the associated presumption of intelligence and competence, is so nice and so different from what I was used to.

    I suspect that’s a side effect of the modern attitude, which the feminist movement did a lot to promote, that intelligent, competent women don’t decide to be stay-at-home moms.

    Besides, most people don’t work jobs that are associated with being smart, simply because most people aren’t smart. The average woman isn’t deciding between being a stay-at-home mom and being a college professor. She’s deciding between being a mom and working in sales and marketing, or as a teacher, or in retail, or some other generic middle-class job. I seriously doubt a woman who pushes paper in Accounts Payable finds people any more interested in what she does for a living than she would if she was at home with the kids.

  114. fourthwire

    >>>>FYI, fourthwire:
    Which moron told you THAT nonsense, and why do you choose to believe her?
    Again, more idiocy from you.
    …unless you happen to be either hopelessly naive and rather stupid.
    This is argumentum ad hominem.< <<<<

    Actually, it’s accurately addressing spades for those characteristics prominently displayed.

    Such blunt descriptions practically guarantee my offending the politically correct (for whom I have little but contempt under any circumstance that you care to name!).

    YOU might choose to address individual morons as if they were Nobel Prize winners (or vice versa).

    I certainly will not.

    I address intelligent individuals as ……. (drum roll, please!)……..

    ….intelligent individuals, but treat morons and scumbags as morons and scumbags. That particular quirk no doubt qualifies me as a “really nasty bastard” in their eyes.;-)

    >>>>>It may help you learn how to use logic to debate, rather than just raw emotion as is evident from phrases like these: “misandrist bitches”, “pussified”, “scumbuckets”, “vermin”, “negative, hateful, or oppressive manner”, etc.< <<<<

    Why would you choose to actually believe that my utter contempt for morons, scumbags, and similar ilk is equivalent to my logical arguments against their assertions?

    And you just might address your own logical shortcomings, if you are believe that logic precludes the use of words such as “misandrist bitches”, “pussified”, “scumbuckets”, “vermin”, “negative, hateful, or oppressive manner”.

    Perhaps you enjoy sugar-coating concepts, issues, and your own words, filtering out meaning, just in case it offends someone.

    I am indifferent whether the politically-correct are offended, unless they are incautious enough to attempt to admonish me, of course.

    >>>>Also, because opinion isn’t fact, it would be helpful if you actually cited some credible sources to back some of your claims.< <<<

    You will have to do your own searches for “credible sources” to support my opinions or facts.

    Those sources may not be accurately covered by “Womyn’s Studies” textbooks, of course.

    You are welcome to be as “helpful” as you wish…..

    …. but if you have difficulties accurately recognizing common phenomenon and issues in the world around you, then expect to be continuously amazed, confused, and disappointed, as the case may be.

    >>>>Finally, on one hand you praise traditional gender roles and decry career women:
    But “traditional gender roles” certainly are the cornerstone of most societies….victims of feminist policy (such as those career women in their thirties and forties who are puzzled about why men are not throwing themselves at those women for marriage and reproduction).

    On the other hand, you appear to be somewhat favorable to feminists that are pushing for true gender equality (as evidenced by the surprising lack of obscenities and insults in this paragraph):
    Indeed some “feminists” do strive mostly for gender equality. Women like Wendy McElroy seem to personify this sort.

    That seems fairly contradictory.< <<<<<<<<<<

    LOL……. I can well imagine your confusion, particularly if you have been ideologically programmed.

    The short answer is that you are simply fooling yourself if the above-mentioned points seem “fairly contradictory”.

    For starters, I generally only insult those individuals who richly deserve to be insulted, in my own opinion, as I have already pointed out.

    Hypocrites and the chronically hard-of-thinking are at the top of the list of such individuals, IMO.

    If you consider descriptive words like “moron” or “misandrist bitches” to be “obscenities”, then I am indeed amused.

    Neither word is politically correct, but both words provide specific meanings that are applicable to many individuals.

    If you don’t know what a “moron” is, then you are welcome to consider yourself one (just teasing).

    If you don’t know what a “misandrist bitch” is, then attend a N.O.W. meeting, stand up at the start of their meeting, and explain aloud how you love and appreciate men and believe that American men should be treated according to the same standards of justice, and regard for their general civil rights, and family rights as American women generally enjoy.

    You will likely be immediately presented with multiple examples of “misandrist bitches” for your observation and analysis……..;-)

    Back to the points you mention:

    You quote my words as “decrying career women” when actually I am pointing out an issue that haunts many of the older ones on a daily basis:

    Those career women desperately trying to find men to father children believed feminazi propaganda that they were “entitled to have it all”: careers, husbands, children, leisure time, comfortable homes, prestige, affluence, equality and more.

    Many of those same career women did not hear the clock ticking and have passed their expiration dates,………

    …….or did not bother to notice that their own wishes did not necessarily take into account men’s wishes.

    Many of those same women will have to console themselves with their careers, cats…. and their nephews and nieces (if their brothers and sisters had children).

    That’s an observation. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with “decrying career women”.

    Those career women who did not necessarily want or need husbands and children or were simply NOT fooled into believing that they were “entitled” to “have it all” are not likely to be complaining, at least on that particular point.

    Regarding “traditional gender roles”, you are welcome to try to defy reality, common sense, and history, but the fact is that “traditional gender roles” are likelier to guarantee a society, nation, or culture’s stability and prosperity than radical feminists would have you believe.

    As I pointed out, current Chinese political leadership are many things, but they are NOT stupid: they don’t want the corrosive nature of radical feminist ideology in their nation because it undermines those societies that it infests. Think of it as the societal equivalent of the AIDS virus.

    They understand this phenomenon from observing the havoc that gender feminism has played on Western nations’ societies.

    That’s just one of the reasons that they control their citizens’ Internet access to a degree, mind you.

    As for those feminists who truly believe in gender equality (such as Wendy MacElroy, f.ex.), those “feminists” are generally arguing FOR men’s rights and men’s interests on those issues involving boys, men, fathers, and families………

    …….. which is of course dramatically different from the views, perspectives, attitudes, and endeavors of those sorry misandrist bitches generally known as “radical feminists”, “gender feminists”, “feminazis”, and other monikers.

    Those women who truly want “equal rights” (and not simply favorable discrimination) and who believe that “equal rights” ought to be closely linked with “equal responsibilities” are the BEST sort of feminist, in my opinion.

    Wendy MacElroy is one of those women.

    She is one of those feminists who questions why pregnant women are given legal alternatives when they become pregnant, including why women are legally entitled to:
    1) carry infants to birth and willingly become parents if it suits them
    2) abort the fetus
    3) carry infants to birth and place those infants in foster homes for adoption
    4) abandon the infant within 72 hours of birth at a hospital or fire house, no questions asked

    ……… while men impregnating those women are given the choice of pay,pay,pay or go to jail whether they have chosen to become parents or not.

    So…. Which sort of feminist pressures for laws that allow women to change their minds about incurring parental responsibilities or related costs but allows men to be defrauded and their money confiscated simply to cater to and support women’s biological urges to breed?

    Equal rights AND equal responsibilities for the two sexes are NOT the focus of gender feminists’/radical feminists’/feminazis’ efforts and ideology.

    Hatred for that part of the human population born with a penis instead of a vagina is their focus, as mentioned previously.

    Many of those women who enjoy rights and privileges afforded to them through feminists’ efforts do not care to face the same levels of responsibilities that men face.

    Apparently actual “equality” can be a real bitch,….. such as when the Senate or House starts talking about bringing back the military draft, for example.

    >>>>>>>> Care to explain what you think women’s roles should be in society and in the work place?< <<<<

    Certainly, if you would care to explain WHY you want to know what I believe women’s roles should be in society and in the workplace.

  115. fourthwire

    “Neither word is politically correct, but both words provide specific meanings that are applicable to many individuals.”

    ….should read……

    Neither phrase is politicaly correct, but both phrases provide specific meanings that are applicable to many individuals.

  116. Darleen

    zed

    Go take a gander at FBI stats

    A man who is the victim of violence will in the majority of cases be the victim of another man.

    A woman victim is, majority of cases, the victim of a man.

    That woman who “initiates” domestic violence (like sweeping his computer to the floor, never touching him) is being counted “the same” as the guy who belts her with a closed fist and breaks her jaw.

    Again. Felony DV filings are majority male perps. For no other reason that they tend to beat the shit out of women at much higher rates then vice versa.

  117. fourthwire

    >>>>A man who is the victim of violence will in the majority of cases be the victim of another man.< <<<

    Agreed.

    >>>>A woman victim is, majority of cases, the victim of a man.< <<

    Also agreed.

    >>>>That woman who “initiates” domestic violence (like sweeping his computer to the floor, never touching him) is being counted “the same” as the guy who belts her with a closed fist and breaks her jaw.< <<<

    No doubt, but that man who “initiates” domestic violence (like sweeping her cosmetics to the floor, never touching her) is being counted “the same” as the gal who sticks a butcher knife in a guy.

    >>>>Again. Felony DV filings are majority male perps. For no other reason that they tend to beat the shit out of women at much higher rates then vice versa.< <<<

    43% of DV cases ARE actually initiated by women.

    DV assaults on men are under-reported since men are typically not rewarded for reporting DV, or even taken seriously in many cases.

    In fact, in some states, men who are attacked by violent wives and spouses and call 911 are arrested themselves……..

    ….. thanks to sexist laws that demand that the larger spouse (typically the man) be automatically arrested.

    Some of those DV cases initiated by women do not include significant bodily harm to their victims.

    Then there are those DV cases where the male victim winds up in the morgue because the woman chose to use any handy nearby weapon, including but not limited to guns, knives, automobiles, or other deadly weapons.

    There are differences in DV cases according to the sexes of the victims, but not enough to take the attacks on one sex more seriously than attacks on the other sex.

  118. Revenant

    Felony DV filings are majority male perps. For no other reason that they tend to beat the shit out of women at much higher rates then vice versa

    Well, there ARE more reasons than just that one. Men are reluctant to admit they “got their ass kicked by a girl”, for starters. On top of that, police are less likely to take woman-on-man violence as seriously as man-on-women violence; ditto for the local district attorneys.

    There’s also the issue of physical asymmetry; the average woman is significantly smaller and lighter than the average man, and therefore less able to damage him with fists and feet. Most men can physically restrain their partner if she goes nuts, while the reverse isn’t true.

  119. zed

    Darlene,

    Like I frequently say, the gender war has become a trench war with people dug in to their entrenched positions lobbing statistics at each other. Mark Twain once observed that there are 3 kinds of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics. If a person is lying on the floor dead and there are brains sprayed all over the walls from playing Russian Roulette, the observation that 83.333% of the cylinders of the gun were actually not loaded could not possibly be more irrelevant.

    Go tell Matt Winkler Jeffrey Freeman that they aren’t really dead because in “a majority of cases” men are the perps. Go tell Andrea Yates’s 5 children that they are not dead because their mother actually just swept their computers off their desks. Go tell the little girl who bled to death after the mother chopped her arms off that she isn’t dead because because the mother “never really touched” her.

    Go tell them that there is absolutely no reason to discuss, address, or even acknowledge female violence because “A woman victim is, majority of cases, the victim of a man.” Go tell the several pregnant women who have been killed and their babies cut out of their bodies that the people who did this to them were actually men in drag. Go tell the little boy that was beaten to death by his mother’s lesbian lover because he refused to call her “daddy” that his murderer should actually be counted as a man because “the majority of perps are male” and because since “gender is only a social construct” that his murderer was “constructing” herself as a male anyway.

    But don’t bother continuing to throw statistics and strawmen at me in an attempt to confuse the issue and imply that the only issues of violence that we have to worry about is male on female violence.

    You asked for citations, I gave them to you.

    If you insist on denying and minimizing the issues by throwing up the strawman of “sweeping his computer onto the floor and never touching him” as being characteristic of women’s violence, while “belting her with a closed fist and breaking her jaw” is what “male violence” always is, then you are exhibit A of why there is a gender war and why it will never end until it escalates to real all out war.

    It’s fascinating to listen to the arguments women put forth on these issues. If even one woman gets raped, it is too many. But, no matter how many men, children, or even other women that women beat up, maim, and murder, it is insignificant and can’t be discussed because “A woman victim is, majority of cases, the victim of a man.”

    So, Darlene, men are beginning to follow the lead of their “moral superiors” and have the same level of concern about violence which happens to “other people” as women do – none.
    Unless and until women start to take the issues seriously, and stop refuting men who point out that women have a role in the problem of violence, that problem is simply going to grow. VAWA X can consume the entire federal budget and every man who is not a prison guard or a cop can be in prison and there can be no men left to claim that they are the majority of perps, and there will still be violence because women absolutely refuse to address their own role in it.

    Because, as everyone knows, women are always victims and “you can’t blame a victim.”

  120. Anonymous

    fourthwire-

    So the whole rant about PC, that is the strawman fallacy (another logic error), from the site I gave you yesterday:

    “Straw man. This is the fallacy of refuting a caricatured or extreme version of somebody’s argument, rather than the actual argument they’ve made.”

    I didn’t say anything about your words being offensive or that their use necessarily precludes logic, I SAID that you were being more emotional than logical. (You are raging, not debating.) I presented your words as examples, because that is clearly emotionally loaded language.

    To use logic, you make a statement, and then you actually back up it up. Facts are best (something that has been studied and proven to be reasonably true from a reliable source). Observations are ok, too. However, what you have to do with observations is just describe, without prejudging, as much as possible. Your arguments about why some feminists are OK (the Wendy MacElroy stuff) fell more in line with this.

    Z

  121. Anonymous

    Rev,

    I worked for a non-profit, mainly with children (male and female) who had been sexually abused. My job was more like charity/social work. So when people would say, ‘Aw! That’s nice!’, it wouldn’t usually be with the tone that says, ‘I’m really not interested in your job.’ The tone was a little more condescending. More like, ‘Its so sweet of you to help those poor little disadvantaged people!’ Again it is really hard to describe. I mimic it exactly, but not with typed text.

    It may be true that feminism’s push to devalue being a stay-at-home mom may be a factor in why some of my SAHM friends get the same sort of attitude. (That is a black mark on feminism, IMHO.)

    It is also entirely possible that people are more interested in my job, because they don’t know what I do. Plus, people tend to be interested in medical research, so when they find out I work in that field, that may be a factor too.

    However, I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to explaining why people assume I am intelligent and don’t necessarily assume the same from my SAHM friends. My education and job requires it, theirs doesn’t. Feminism certainly didn’t invent that attitude. Prior to women’s suffrage and feminist movements, it was assumed that women simply weren’t smart or capable enough to work outside the home. I am neither saying that they are treated as less capable, anymore, just because they are women, nor am I saying that SAHM can’t be an incredibly intelligent women. I am saying that unless your job screams ‘intelligent’, people won’t automatically treat you like you are. Lots of other jobs have that issue, too.

    Z

  122. fourthwire

    >>>>I didn’t say anything about your words being offensive or that their use necessarily precludes logic, I SAID that you were being more emotional than logical.< <<<

    Actually, you did not SAY anything, unless you have been holding discussions with your monitor and your keyboard replied back.

    And you apparently remain clueless about the degree of logic versus emotion in my words. Perhaps you’re trying to think with your ovaries?

    Perhaps you simply aren’t very good at understanding logic…;-)

    >>>>>You are raging, not debating.)< <<<

    And you are apparently trying to guess with your head rammed so far up your rectum that your grey cells are dying off.

    Here’s a clue, one that you badly seem to need: if I were “raging”, then my keyboard would likely be smashed, not to mention my monitor and CPU.

    >>>>I presented your words as examples, because that is clearly emotionally loaded language.< <<

    That works out nicely, since feminazi-inspired misandry clearly results in emotionally loaded attacks on men and boys.

    >>>>To use logic, you make a statement, and then you actually back up it up. Facts are best (something that has been studied and proven to be reasonably true from a reliable source).< <<<

    LOL….. don’t you trouble your purty little head one bit about the concepts of “logic” and “facts”, unless you enjoy being laughed at.

    You’re only creating more entertainment by pretending that you have an IQ higher than that of a bucket of pond water.

    >>>>Observations are ok, too.< <<

    Gee, ya think? Well, THAT’S a relief! I would have certainly lost sleep without your reassurance on that point….;-)

    >>>>However, what you have to do with observations is just describe, without prejudging, as much as possible.

    Actually, I “have to do” nothing of the sort, my intellectual powerhouse.

    Which moron told you that you have any power whatsoever to determine how my posts ought to be written?……

    ….. and just why were you stupid enough to believe her?

    If debate following to your particular personal preferences was not required to build up misandry and gender apartheid in America, I doubt that similar personal preferences are necessary to tear those rancid legacies of feminiss down, either.

    >>>>>Your arguments about why some feminists are OK (the Wendy MacElroy stuff) fell more in line with this.< <<<

    I don’t give a rat’s ass concerning whether you believe that my arguments concerning why some feminists are “OK” or not.

    Wendy McElroy did not and does not support feminazi scumbuckets that wage war on America’s boys and men, whether you believe she’s “OK” or not.

    Let me know if I need to use smaller words for you to understand my opinions, observations, facts, and perspectives.

  123. Revenant

    The tone was a little more condescending. More like, ‘Its so sweet of you to help those poor little disadvantaged people!’ Again it is really hard to describe. I mimic it exactly, but not with typed text.

    Are you sure it was really condescending, and not actual approval of your helping the disadvantaged? It just seems strange that that many people would look down on you for helping abused children for a living. That doesn’t mesh with the culture I see around me. Certainly there are subcultures in which a person’s worth is judged by their net income, but that’s not a commonly-held value in my experience.

  124. Lori Heine

    “I’d would have been happy to give more details about the nature of my relationship, but I’m afraid that providing more information would piss-off a significant group of people who frequent this board.”

    Unfortunately, Anonymous, you are probably right. They might learn something positive from it.

    Unhappy people want to blame others for their unhappiness. They don’t want to hear how happy people achieved happiness in life.

    One thing I’ve noticed about happy couples is that they don’t blame other people for their problems. The whole concept of “management” of one’s partner or spouse is based upon the idea that that person is an adversary, whose will must be opposed to one’s own and whose happiness can only be achieved at their significant other’s expense.

    What a thoroughly diseased view of marriage.

  125. zed

    The whole concept of “management” of one’s partner or spouse is based upon the idea that that person is an adversary, whose will must be opposed to one’s own and whose happiness can only be achieved at their significant other’s expense.

    What a thoroughly diseased view of marriage.

    Aint that the truth!!

  126. mythago

    What lori said. It’s especially sad that so many people seem to prefer that kind of marriage; they get some kind of adreline or sexual charge out of ‘sleeping with the enemy’ instead of making a life with a friend.

    How does that compare to childrens’ memories of their mother’s loving care?

    Children don’t really appreciate the work their parents did for them until they’re older and, in many cases, have children of their own (hence the title of one of Erma Bombeck’s books). And nobody pays the bills by saying “But my kids were happy that I gave up work for them!”

    Feminism didn’t create the notion that being SAH is silly. Being at home with the children was always seen as inferior and certainly not as worthy of recognition as having a job or a career; the difference was that because women were inferior and certainly not up to the Manly World of Work, they were seen as fit for little else. Feminism initially attacked the idea of women’s inferiority; naturally, it followed that women shouldn’t limit themselves to housecleaning and childrearing.

    After all, for all the men swearing up and down that they’d jump at the chance to be SAH, they really truly would, how many men actually work to make that a viable choice? How many seek a wife whose income can support the family, or say “Honey, let’s plan things so that in a few years, we can switch off?” Can any of you bemoaning the career world tell me that you are doing something to make your dream a reality?

  127. Anonymous

    “Feminism didn’t create the notion that being SAH is silly. Being at home with the children was always seen as inferior and certainly not as worthy of recognition as having a job or a career”

    Shorter Mythago: True, we feminists have spent many decades calling homemakers a bunch of brainwashed saps and idiots, but that doesn’t matter because /everyone/ knows homemakers are a bunch of brainwashed saps and idiots.

  128. mythago

    Shorter anonymous: Everything was perfect until feminism came along.

    But I’m sure anonymous would be an SAH dad in a second, if only his greedy, evil wife would release her death-grip on the box of bonbons and the TV remote.

  129. Anonymous

    “But I’m sure anonymous would be an SAH dad in a second, if only his greedy, evil wife would release her death-grip on the box of bonbons and the TV remote.”

    How interesting that you assume I must be a man.

  130. Revenant

    Children don’t really appreciate the work their parents did for them until they’re older and, in many cases, have children of their own (hence the title of one of Erma Bombeck’s books).

    Children don’t fully appreciate what their parents did for them until they’re older, sure. But most children aren’t ungrateful snots, except maybe during junior high.

    In any case, even if children don’t really appreciate their parents until the kids reach their 20s or 30s, that’s still a good fifty years of appreciation and love. Try finding an employer who, a mere five years after you leave the company, even gives a shit that you ever existed. Sure, maybe work gives you status in certain circles, but few jobs leave any lasting impression on the world that’s tied to you. A person who devotes twenty years to raising children is left with children who love and remember them. A person who devotes twenty years to becoming a hotshot salesman is forgotten instantly as soon as his replacement is hired. Sure, the salesman gets money, but half of it goes to his wife anyway. I can’t think of any job whose non-monetary benefits are greater than those of raising children.

  131. Jade

    In the thread above, I detect some of the hurt of stay at home mothers who have experienced the hurt of the prevailing world view – that what they do is somehow not worthy or hard.

    I’ve been a doctor in training pulling call every third night in the ICU and I’ve been a mom with two small children. When you pull a tough night of call your friends sympathize and you get to go home and rest eventually. You are sleep deprived for the one night. When you have a child who is nursing or a cycle of illness keeping first one and then the other up at night, you are sleep deprived for many nights with no relief in sight. And even your own friends and family may not understand the incredible stress you are under.

    Knowing what I know now, when I see a woman with small children struggling in public, I sometimes offer assistance or some friendly support.

    Why is it so necessary to divide the world into “us” and “them?” It seems to me that this thread is mostly about how people want to be respected and treated with compassion, whether man or woman, whether SAH or working.

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