« April 27th NC Debate Cancelled | Main | al-Zawahiri: No, Seriously, Ignore the Truthers, We Did 9/11 »
April 21, 2008

How To Lose a Guy in Ten Paragraphs

An MSNBC relationship columnist explains the key to domestic bliss is treating your husband like a misbehaving child in need of a scolding.

Here's Dr. Helen quoting her, with Dr. Helen interrupting for a chuckle:

I admit that my husband helps out more than many men, but here’s another news flash: It isn’t because he’s such a fabulously enlightened being. Left to his own devices, he would doubtless park himself in front of the TV like some sitcom male-chauvinist couch potato while I did all the work. The reason Jeremy “helps” as much as he does (an offensive terminology that itself suggests who’s really being held responsible) is simple: He doesn’t have a choice.

…So how have I accomplished this? By holding my husband’s feet to the fire every single day of our lives, of course.

Yes, dear readers, it’s true: Maintaining some semblance of parity in your marriage requires you to deploy the same kinds of nasty tactics you swore you would never stoop to as a parent but nonetheless found yourself using the minute you actually had a kid. Bribery and punishment work; so do yelling and complaining. Threats are also effective, as long as everyone knows you mean business. With husbands, tender blandishments and nooky are particularly useful, as is the withholding of the aforementioned.

[Dr. Helen:] That this chauvinistic writer is angry that her husband will not scrub the toilet bowl at her command, yet she thinks of herself as oppressed is laughable:

The fact that guys, when left to their own devices, rarely rush to offer more toilet-scrubbing and diaper-changing is not in itself surprising. As Martin Luther King Jr. once observed, “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

So why aren't women demanding something closer to parity? While many are resigned to seething in silence, the stakes are far higher than they seem to realize. When wives permit their husbands to shirk a fair share of the homemaking and parenting, not only do they themselves suffer, but chances are good that they’re also sentencing their children to a similar fate. When you have kids, everything you do teaches them how to live their own lives when they grow up. Unfortunately, all too many women are still teaching their children that “woman is the nigger of the world,” as John Lennon and Yoko Ono put it so memorably in a song lyric years ago. And what too many fathers teach their sons and daughters is that men can get away with dumping the scut work on their wives, and that women will grit their teeth and put up with it.

More:

When my husband has lingered too long over the sports section and I’m feeling overwhelmed by the number of errands that must be run, I hand him a list. “This is what I need you to do today,” I say in a tone of voice that brooks no equivocation. He may moan and groan, but the jobs get done. And while I still have to mastermind the operation — somehow he is never the one who remembers that our son needs new mosquito netting, baseball cleats, and basketball shoes for sleepaway camp…

…in my experience husbands are a lot like children. They will get away with whatever they can get away with. When you put your foot down and make it clear that you won’t take no for an answer, somehow the kids’ rooms get cleaned, the groceries bought, the laundry folded. It really does work, I promise.

Dr. Helen and Rachel Lucas disagree.

Here's Rachel, um, I mean Ms. Lucas:

Another thing I’ll be sure never to do, from now on as I fully manifest my inner bitch-martyr, is to ever stop for one fucking MINUTE to think about how I am singlehandedly causing every young man who reads my articles to run screaming in terror the minute a girl utters the word “marriage” to him. I will not worry that my words do nothing but a disservice to other women, confirming ugly stereotypes and mens’ worst fears about taking on a wife. It’s not MY problem if men are too weak and immature to sign up for a life closely resembling a forced death march.

Dr. Helen:

I have some advice for your long suffering husband, Jeremy. Next time you need something fixed around the house, your wife needs help lifting something, or you need a blowjob, resort to yelling and complaining. Threats are also effective, as long as she knows you mean business. Huff and puff and complain to all of your friends about her inadequacies and let the world know what a loser she is. Then crow about your newfound equality. Finally, call yourself a hero and write a lousy piece for Men's Health or some other men's magazine about your loser of a wife and see how your married life takes off after that. For deep down, even if Jeremy won't admit it, my guess is, just like the women mentioned in the article, he is seething inside. It's no wonder he won't scrub toilets for this woman.

It is true men are lazier about housework. This isn't fair, I guess, but there is a mitigating factor: We don't give a shit about cleanliness. Or, to be more nuanced than that, we do care about a de minimis level of basic suitability for human habitation but beyond that it's just gravy. Sometimes literally gravy, like on the floor, hardened into an attractive dollop of animal fat that makes for instant conversation starter.

Men and women simply have differing opinions as to what constitutes "clean enough." Quite frankly, doing half of what you ask in this regard is already quite a compromise, because, honestly, It looks fine to us, honey.

No, we're not just saying that. We mean that. It looks fine to us, honey.

Sink's got a bit of orange-ish mold growing around the drain? Shrug. Last time I looked it hadn't grown tentacles and began reaching out rip my face off. It's just the wonder of nature. Circle of life. Chain of being. Didn't you always say you wanted to go on nature-walks, hon? Well there you go. I made you your own private nature walk right in the head.

Soap scum building up along the rim of the tub? Um, it's soap, baby. Scum or not, it's soap. That means it's pure cleanliness, cleanliness in diatomic elemental form. Clean up the soap? What, are you crazy? That's counterproductive. If anything we should be trying to plaster the whole house in soap scum.

Women don't get this. We have a divergence of opinion on what constitutes clean (or livably messy); who says you win this argument?

And if it bothers you so much: You do it. You're the one gaining the benefit of it.

Ever here of marginal utility? Comparative advantage? It's not like I'm demanding you sit on my fucking XBOX 360 and participate in my Medal of Honor guild so I can rise up from lieutenant to captain. I know my interests are my own; why can't you accept the same thing about your interests?

And yes, I know you're using your "sarcastic voice," but as a matter of fact I did intentionally hang my dirty gym sock off the lamp-shade.

I thought it added "a punch of color" to the room -- dingy gray and three orange stripes -- and a much-needed burst of visual "pop."

If that's not your idea of decor, fine, I give you permission to move it, but don't make me move it.

You're lucky I'm willing to compromise my artistic vision of the room's ambiance for your happiness. Quite frankly that sock was the only thing pulling this whole room together.


But as to the real, bigger point: As was said of Tom in Miller's Crossing, "I've never met anyone who made being a son-of-a-bitch such a point of pride."

Feminism seems to be teaching women that narcissism, unpleasantness, selfishness, and hectoring, nagging, domineering, insufferable behavior are somehow virtues to be praised.


digg this
posted by Ace at 09:30 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Insomniac - Not Disappointed, Just Angry: "99 Who said "failure is just an opportunity to beg ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine. All Honor & Glory to Kekistan! : "107. Heh.....she charges extra if you want the tir ..."

Danny D.: ">> peter north would like a word That little ..."

The Tranniegalactic Yoko Ono Art & Musical Interlude Appreciation Society, AoSHQ Colony: "[i]But those are ONTs for another time Posted by: ..."

Klondike Max Smallie: "The COBs definitely have a weird taste in music vi ..."

[/b][/i][/s]Muldoon: "Oh wow. I thought it said travelers were carrying ..."

Insomniac - Not Disappointed, Just Angry: "100 That's Chef Boyardee after he transitioned. ..."

MAGA: "The pizza girl charges $100 per pizza pie. And ..."

Misanthropic Humanitarian: "8 Mis Human, love your quotes of the day, now a qu ..."

rickl: "[i]76 Next time you are in a crowd, count people ..."

Adriane the MFM Critic ...: "[i]Posted by: thathalfrican - new faces tie like s ..."

chavez the hugo: "97; peter north would like a word. lightweight. ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64