Monday, April 21, 2008

"Maintaining some semblance of parity in your marriage requires you to deploy the same kinds of nasty tactics"

Apparently, nasty tactics are the only way the writer of this MSNBC article entitled, "Chores for two: Why men don't pitch in" thinks women can hold their marriages together (Hat tip: Jeff):

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.

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.

No, ma'am, you are teaching your children that mommy is a nagging bitch and that you hold men in such contempt that you view them as children to do your bidding. You are teaching them that psychological warfare is the only way to get what you want. You overlook your husband's strong points and what he brings to your family and see yourself, as you mention, as a heroine. Your narcissism is deafening and while you may think you are "striking a blow" for all womankind here, you are doing nothing more than teaching your children that manipulation and threats are the way to engage in a "loving" relationship.

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.

Update: Rachel Lucas notes that articles like this one are driving more and more young men away from marriage:

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.



Blogger TJIC said...

I'm a single guy, sharing a house with a male college friend.

I'm hardly Martha Stewart, but I prefer the toilet to be scrubbed more often than my housemate.

After a few attempts at negotiation and nagging, I told my housemate "Here's the proposal - I'm going to get a cleaning service to come in every two weeks, and you pay half".

He thought that was dandy, and all has been peaceful since then.

8:20 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


I do the same in my household, my husband and I have a service every other week to do the bathrooms and heavier mopping etc. and we each pay half. It works out fine so I am not sure what the problem is with this writer. We often save money because it frees us both up to do other work to pay for it.

8:39 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger MadRocketScientist said...

My wife has a slightly lower tolerance for dirt than me, so in general she handles the dusting and vacuuming. She also does the laundry. I do the cooking, so I keep the kitchen counters clean, the stove, and I do the dishes. All other cleaning happens on GI days (General Improvement) and we take tasks as needed.

Of course, all of this is dependent on time and if one of us is too busy, the other will pick up the slack. If both of us are too busy, then it don't get done.

No PsyOps needed, just agreements hashed out by adults.

9:02 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Tam said...

It amazes me each and every day that chronological adults enter into attempted lifetime relationships armed with the selfishness and negotiating skills of spoiled six year olds...

9:30 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

"Unlike my first husband,..."

That tells you all you need to know right there. I am the sole breadwinner for my family. I guess I am supposed to do half the housework though, aren't I? So men on average do far less house work? What are the averages on women being the sole breadwinner versus men? How often do women get to stay home with the kids after their born versus rushing off to work and letting their husbands stay home with the young ones? What are the averages on overtime for actual income producing work?

I cannot believe someone would disclose this many details about themselves in an MSNBC article! LOL! Now everyone knows what a ball busting bitch she is. And, if I was her husband I would be humiliated by the fact that everyone must think I'm a complete mangina weenie! (He probably isn't -- he is probably just like a lot of men -- just suffering.)

9:51 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Bribery and punishment are synonyms for logical consequences. I do not bribe my kids, I reward them. I get rewarded for the work I do through payment, bribery is getting extra money to do something wrong.

I would comment on the insufferable woman who wrote the article, but you Dr. Helen took care of that admirably!


9:52 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

And another thing:

"...judging by all the dreary surveys proving that men are slugs and their wives are superwomen...."

How do you get away with just saying something like that in mainstream media? And her use of the word "nigger" for crying out loud! I get it. White men have to be completely PC or else, but feminazi bitches get to say whatever they want to whenever they want to. Maybe I should bring up in a few meetings at work that "studies show that women are selfish little children and men are responsible benevolent patriarchs."

God! The other day I made mention of ghettos on some message board and was publicly called out for being racist. Forgetting about the fact that there are predominantly white ghettos, just who am I being racist toward? Black people? What about all the asian or hispanic ghettos? In France, they have muslim ghettos. In India, they certainly have plenty of ghettos full of that particular ethnic group. I catch shit like this! And that bitch gets to say whatever the fuck she wants to in the name of female empowerment!

10:11 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Thor's Dad said...

My wife and I have actually heard a couple with whom we were friends, tell stories of the wife offering certain sexual favors if the husband would do a certain task or stop doing something. Yes, they're still married but it made me wonder about a couple of things

1. How prevalent is this attitude.

2. What type of impact was it having on their relationship?

If you're the husband I guess it beats nagging but it sounded like just one more "chore" for the wife.

11:15 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

"My wife has a slightly lower tolerance for dirt than me, so in general she handles the dusting and vacuuming."

Well, I think we need to be a little bit careful here. I don't think that "You care more about X than I do, so see to it yourself!" is the ideal, either. In my case, too (like virtually every marriage in America) my wife has far higher cleaning standards than I do. As a result, I end up doing a lot more cleaning than I would if it was purely up to me--BUT we arrived at our current distribution of tasks by the far more respectful, yet complicated, method of talking to each other about it as peers and deciding what we were going to do. No infantile manipulation tactics were required.

11:16 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger MadRocketScientist said...


Nothing to be careful about. My wife and I have different concerns regarding cleaning. She hates dust and pet hair, so she tackles that. Since I cook, I HATE HATE HATE a dirty and cluttered kitchen, so I will keep it clean and orderly.

Our division of duties did not just fall out that way, we've negotiated the duties over the years and came to a mutually agreeable division of labor. Part of that agreement was each of us accepting the responsibility of the areas that concern us individually.

11:23 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Nancy McCarroll said...

AMEN. Need I say more? Nancy

11:23 AM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Michele said...


12:05 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the reasons I am no longer married is because she never put the seat back up when she was done.

12:31 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Johnny$ said...

It is sad that MSNBC would print such comments. Can you imagine what the response would be if a man wrote an article advocating using "nasty tactics" to get what he wanted in a relationship with a woman.

I've always thought that women who take this kind of stance, are really saying that they are not on the same level as men, and should not be held to the same standards.

12:35 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger LZ said...

The fact that chicks, when left to their own devices, rarely rush to offer more oral and reverse cow girl 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.”

2:09 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Gerandia said...

But when you do its NEVER good enough for her HIGHNESS. Obsession over cleanliness, as if thats a world shaking thing.

I work, My house is lived in. I have books open, I always wash the plates once I am done. If I ever was with someone who complained about HOW I have MY own house, After I pay all the bills, Then let them clean it up. I do my work. And I should come home to a peaceful relaxing house.

2:37 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Margaret said...

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.

Which of these things is not like the other?

Hint: Unlike the author of the linked article, and apparently Matthew, I don't think that sex is a "chore" that women are supposed to do for their husbands in exchange for their work around the house. Sex is supposed to be about mutual pleasure and recreation, rather than a quid pro quo. Also, I think this woman undermines in her own position when she acts as though hubby needs to be rewarded for doing things around the house that need to be done and that he should be helping with anyway.

While I understand why this woman is reviled in this particular forum, she does highlight (albeit inartfully) some of the power dynamics at play in a marriage when it comes to the division of labor. The social expectations of others is one major factor that gives husbands an advantage at work avoidance. Everyone assumes that SHE'S the one responsible for the kids, the grocery shopping, the house cleaning etc. So if the kid looks like a ragamuffin and the house is a pig sty, people judge HER, not him. So she faces external pressure to keep things in order, whereas he does not. So if they both decide to do no cleaning, she will crack first because others will hold the filthy house against her rather than him.

This same expectation makes it harder for her to negotiate. If she says, "I need you to watch the kids 50% of the time," then it's interpreted (often by both husband and wife) as if she is asking him a favor, since watching the kids is automatically supposed to be mainly her job. If she says, "Hey, I don't like that you assume that watching the kids is mainly my job," then suddenly she is a bad mother because women are supposed to want to be with their kids all the time. The man, on the other hand, even if he only "babysits" once in a while, is often treated as a prince among men for just occasionally taking on what are normally the woman's duties.

I think because of these cultural expectations and often internalized assumptions, it can be very hard to negotiate a fair division of labor -- with the result that often women do run around performing a second shift at home. Negotiation often doesn't work because of the foregoing. When negotiation doesn't work, the woman's choices are to do all the work, let everything go to hell, or become a nagging psycho. None of these are good choices.

2:54 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Joe said...

One of the things I've long observed is that it isn't enough for a husband/boyfriend to simple do a job; it has to be done EXACTLY the way the woman wants it else she's more pissed off than if you hadn't done it at all.

I've actually known women who get upset if you load their damn dishwashers "wrong." (My wife isn't one of them, but has gotten so annoyed by how I do certain chores, she prefers I don't do them. She's also learned to NEVER tell me to "really clean" a room since a whole lot of her shit ends up in the trash.)

2:56 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Gerandia said...

But Margaret, These women expect the man to work, and her to be a stay at home.

He earns, she should look after the house and kids.

It's a fair division. Without his Wage She wouldn't have such a comfortable house. Unless you are saying that these women are not fair.

3:08 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger MadRocketScientist said...

"I've actually known women who get upset if you load their damn dishwashers "wrong." "

Ummm, errr, I yell at my wife when she loads the dishwasher wrong.

3:13 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I think the author of this MSNBC article is more upset with women than she is with men. Her wrath has to do with the way household chores are divided and that women are more than willing to do most of them as opposed to having a discussion with their male SO about dividing the work. The author feels this is the reason why women spend more time on house-related chores (and child rearing) than men. She may have a point. Women hate being labeled a nag, to avoid the label they do more work. Perhaps it has to do a bit with our culture: It is okay to be overworked, stressed and busy, but not necessarily completely acceptable for a woman/mother to be watching TV in the middle of a Sunday while hubby does the laundry. Time to tweak perceptions maybe?

3:15 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Gerandia said...

Women, may hate it, but that doesn't stop them nagging.

3:20 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Joe said...


I yell at my wife when she loads the dishwasher wrong.

Then she should tell you to fuck off and do it yourself :-)

3:24 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger MadRocketScientist said...

"Then she should tell you to fuck off and do it yourself"

Oh! So you've met my wife?

3:34 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger LZ said...


I don't think sex is a chore. I think the woman is completely asinine and was mocking her idiocy.

3:45 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger quadrupole said...


Actually... men do get judged when their children look like ragamuffins and their house is a wreck, particularly when they have a stay at home spouse. They just get judged a little bit differently... I can't tell you how many times I've seen a married man with a stay at home spouse whose house was a wreck and kids were semiferal and thought:

'Wow, he sure made a bad choice about who to marry... I'm not sure I want to trust him with any other important decisions...'

Since *most* high paying work involves the ability to reliably make good decisions, that judgement is very harming to a man.

3:48 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

margaret --

As usual, your screed presumes he's doing nothing else. No money making job, no manual labor on or around the house.

"... hubby needs to be rewarded for doing things around the house that need to be done and that he should be helping with anyway."

Like when she's up on the roof with him fixing shingles or under the car changing oil or on the ladder cleaning gutters or at the construction site swinging the hammer? That kind of sharing?

I must presume you agree that if they both decide to not hold down a paying job, it'll be him who cracks and gets one, right?

4:20 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger jagcap said...

Margaret -
Are you my first wife? The narcissistic yo-yo who made my life hell for 23 years and who continues psycho our kids? Who continues to think that all of life is a power game rigged against her because she's a woman? I ask because that false choice you closed with is one I've heard many many many times before...
BTW me and the wife and baby are doing just fine...

5:16 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger M. Simon said...

At the current time there seems to be a shortage of eligible men.

The ladies need to change their attitudes, it is not a buyers market.

5:24 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger kmg said...

I have said it before over here, and will say it again.

Radical Feminism is Rampant in the West.

Islam is rapidly spreading in the West. You know, the religion that actually DOES oppress women? Honor killings in London are now routine, and are soon coming to America.

The two CANNOT simultaneously co-exist. They will clash.

Muslims have high birth rates. Feminists have low birth rates, and depend on converting young women to their cause (greater success at this depresses the birth rate further).

Guess which group wins given that scenario?

Thus, the existence of Feminism is the litmus test that Islam has not yet made inroads into America. When Islam actually does, feminism will vanish in a flash, as the former feminists beg the strong men of the military and police to defend them.

Thus, I see feminism as a luxury of a society that still has not come under any influence of Islam. I see the increase of Islam in the west to be 99% negative, but 1% positive, in that it will swiftly put an end to militant feminism.

5:25 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Leslie Bennetts has undertaken the gender-war feminists' practice of "defining oppression down." She's not the first, nor is her response to "oppression" original, but she does appear to be the anchor woman on the "nasty" end of the curve.

I wonder if the idea of hiring someone to do the heavy cleaning has occurred to her. Or might that be a red herring? Might her problem simply be a need to exercise power over her husband -- the sort of domineering that causes men to leave their wives, thinking "solitude in celibacy would be better than this" --?

5:30 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Eric McErlain said...

A couple of things I couldn't help but notice:

This really isn't an MSNBC piece. It's actually syndicated from a site called Tango, which bills itself as "smart talk about love". Though, apparently, not nearly smart enough.

Next, the story is actually sponsored by an online dating service called Perfect Match. I don't know, but now that I've read the Bennetts piece, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to go anywhere near the Perfect Match service. I wonder if the PM people can make the right connections and figure out what sponsoring an article like this one might say about them.

5:32 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger katielenn said...

I have several male friends who are married to this woman (seems impossible, but from reading the article it must be so). Each one of them is a good man, excellent father and breadwinner. And each is living for the day their last kid goes to college and they can leave the wife.

Women like this will also be the first to try to DIE when these good men leave them.

I can't understand women that work to drive away perfectly good husbands.

5:34 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Luke said...

My wife and I both work hard, and like most of the guys here, she's a bit more fastidious than I am. And she lets me know from time to time. Fair enough.

But, there's one thing that drives me nuts. When I get into a car (like my wife's car) I like the inside to be less-than-completely-gross. I'm not a neat-freak, I just want to be able to sit down without stickign to the seat, and to take a friend somewhere without having them be grossed out.

Never happens. I can't ever drive my wife's car unless I first spend 15 minutes to clean up the makeup, the used tissues, the gum-filled wrappers, the gross windows, and whatever other trash she leaves in the car. French fries, ketchup, salt, chocolate, coffee cups, you name it.

Here's the part I don't get: If I ask her to do the minimum, I am all of a sudden, asshole #1. But she can nag the crap out of me about stuff she cares about and if I *dare* take exception to it, I'm toast.

Uh huh.

5:37 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger JorgXMcKie said...

Francis at 5:30, you're missing a major point. It's not enough that the work get done 'properly' it's that the male bastards *admit* that they're oppressors and the women like Margaret all totally right *AND* then the males do what said females want them to do the *correct* way. Anything less is not only unacceptable, it's more evidence of the White Male Patriarchy.

5:42 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger amy said...

I think Margaret's response is perfect. Perfect because it's like she didn't even read what's above. If you are bothered by something happening in your home, and do not discuss it with your spouse, that is your bad. I would HOPE if you are married, you are adult. Adults should have some rudimentary ability to communicate.

5:44 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger JBlog said...

There's no "women's work" in our house -- I wash dishes, cook, clean bathrooms, vacuum, changed diapers (when my kids were younger), bathe our youngest, and so forth -- although admittedly not in the same proportion as my wife, as I work full time and she doesn't.

On the other hand, I've never seen my wife crawl under a car with a strap wrench in her hand (or anything else, for that matter). A little outside her skill set.

Doesn't really matter, though, because marriage isn't supposed to be about keeping score. As long as both parties are pulling their weight, it really shouldn't matter.

5:47 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger amy said...

Also, LOL @ Luke - is that you honey?

My husband hates getting in my SUV for that very reason. I am trying to keep it cleaner, but damned if I've found the time yet.

5:47 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Simon Kenton said...

In my first marriage we had a 50-50 division on the housework, based on a complete list of the tasks, as befitted a liberated young couple. I did eventually notice that
-- my three jobs (1 full-time, 2 consulting) were off-list.
-- car work was off-list.
-- home repairs were off-list.
-- home renovation was off-list.
-- the yardwork was off-list.
-- investments were off-list.

I was young and quite fit, and it wore me out; it was really a LOT of work, especially with the 50-50. And it was not well-chosen work, either; you have to focus on the few tasks and choices that really advance you as a couple, and most of it was too unimportant to get us anywhere. (She never accepted this as a valid point.) But mostly I got tired of what seemed unfairness.

In my second marriage we hire that stuff done, and all that's done for the marriage actually counts. I bless that first wife for the lessons I absorbed from her.

5:47 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger submandave said...

Margaret, I echo the thoughts (if nto the exact words) of many here in that the assessment of "equitable" contribution depends a lot on what is measured. I actually read one study "proving" that men a er slackards around the house that admitted that gardening, lawn work, repairs, etc. specifically were not considered. Hell, often those items account for the majority of my weekend "time off."

I feel that most here would have no problem at all discussing if there are cultural ideals or how these stereotypes may affect division of labor in the family, but anyone who would equate a lack of enthusiasm for cleaning #2 as being an oppressor witholding freedom is well deserving of ridicule. That she also advocates petty passive-agressive needling to get her way and seems to hold half the population as biologically lazy says more, I think, about her than it could ever say about me or any other man. I will be generous in not concluding that your apparent defense of the thesis does not say the same.

5:49 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Nagging is one of the ways sending men on quests goes wrong. Normally the guy gets sent off on a quest, comes back, and his beloved shows him she's satisfied with him.

It's nagging if there's no show that she's satisfied with him. You have component X of this eternal game but not component Y. Just another X, and another, and another.

If in addition there's no particular man involved, but rather men in general, it's feminism. Something is wrong and men have to change to fix it.

5:49 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

"solitude in celibacy would be better than this"

You better believe I'm telling my sons not to get married. No matter how nice she seems now:

1) She is just lying to you -- not necessarily even in a bad way -- just "putting her best foot forward".

2) There's no easy way to say this, but even if she isn't lying, you will both live married in the context of a whole lot of anti-male bullshit that cannot help but strongly influence the "market for mating" completely against you. (In other words, even if she is really nice now, she'll rapidly become a bitch, present company and my own wife excluded, of course -- yadda yadda -- whatever disclaimers are appropriate here.)

None of this, though, means living your life in solitude and celibacy.

5:50 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

You know, as a mom, I'm glad my son found someone who shares the important ideals.

5:52 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Steve Sky said...

Here is a talk radio letter writer's answer to this woman:

5:52 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

From the article, Helen's piece, Rachel Lucas's follow-up and the comments here I get the feeling that people think there are only modes for women: The total nagging bitch from hell or the sweet compliant hausfrau. Is a middle ground possible?

5:59 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Webgrandma said...

This seems like the kind of thing you'd have to tell little kids, but in this case, I guess a lot of people never get past that in their marriage...

Your marriage won't succeed as long as you're so busy worrying about yourself. Marriage isn't 50/50, it's 100/100. Everyone should do as much as they can, and when you're busy worrying about someone, spend your time worrying about your spouse and how you can help them.

6:03 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Welcome!

"Yes, dear readers, it’s true: Maintaining some semblance of parity in your marriage requires you to deploy the same kinds of nasty tactics...." -- , as cited by Dr. H

Welcome to the world of MAD.

Yes. I used to be referred to as Mutually Assured Destruction, back in the good ole, bad old days of the Cold War. But feminists have improved, micronized and updated it to fit into their world.

Now it means Mutually Assured Divorce.

But, considering the way the courts kowtow to them, they end up with the detritus of the marriage.

It's a sham(bles).


[Fear and loathing is not a good foundation for love.]

6:10 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

I enjoyed your advice to the husband! Also, thanks for sharing the Rachel Lucas post, I enjoy reading her posts too. I wonder if Rachel's boyfriend has read the post.

6:14 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Kevin said...

We men don't have time to clean toilets -- somebody has to invent things and do math, and that's us.

6:19 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: serket
RE: [OT] Rachel's 'Boy' Friend(s)

"I wonder if Rachel's boyfriend has read the post." -- serket

Hard to say. Then again, would it really matter? Seriously. Bright and articulate as she is, she's not much different from the people she decries. The only difference between Rachel and the columnist featured in Dr. H's thread—here—is the choice of targets.

The columnist targets men.

Rachel targets a different class. I know. She 'killed' me within 30 minutes of identifying my form of 'faith'.

Therefore, anyone who wants to become an 'interest' of Rachel should be cautioned as to what she does with various 'interesting' men-folk she encounters.

For all I know her household is spik-and-span, vis-a-vis cleanliness. But that might just be to remove the blood-stains....


P.S. For all men, young or older, I suggest reading the latter part of Proverbs 31, in order to get a 'clue' about how to identify a REALLY good woman.

6:21 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Kevin
RE: Toilets, Anyone?

"We men don't have time to clean toilets..." -- Kevin


....I have no problem with doing toilets, now and then. Between bouts of coding on the computer.

I did pig-pens in the animal pathology labs at my university. I helped did slit trenches in the Panamanian jungle in diarrhea wards. [Note: You don't know exactly WHAT you're shovelling, in that situation.]

The point is, you're welcome to avoid doing what you don't care to do. But be prepared to do YOUR part of whatever.


P.S. I also kill bugs.

[Look Mr. Rico! Bugs! Zillions of em.

Shut-up and shoot, soldier. -- Starship Troopers]

6:25 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Acksiom said...

Leslie Bennets
Should cool her jets
A husband or wife does not keep score
Because it turns them into a competitor.

6:30 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, solitude in celibacy IS better than this.

Solitude and celibacy may not be necessary, but when someone tries to lay a guilt trip on you, it flat doesn't work.

6:31 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger bscduke said...

I'm a fan of yours and Glenn's. As such, I humbly offer this about changing the opening line of your post to "...thinks women can hold their marriages together." Keep up the good work.

6:36 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess tjic lives way up north. I hate to clean the bathroom. But if I waited two weeks to scrub the toilet, mold and other stuff would literally be growing in it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anyone who hates cleaning bathrooms, remember one thing...chemicals, baby, chemicals! I flood the place with Clorox clean up and scrub it all down with a sponge mop. Vacate the house for a while, and come back when the toxic fumes have subsided. Piece of cake! Just like hosing the kids off at the back yard pic nic table after birthday parties.

6:38 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Acksiom
RE: Indeed

"A husband or wife does not keep score...." -- Acksiom

From a Christian perspective, each thinks the other is more important than themselves.

Somehow, it all seems to work out....for the better.


[A husband should (1) treat his wife as he would treat his own body and (2) lay down his life for his wife.

A wife should obey her husband.

Oddly seems to work. But ONLY if you both believe there is a God who loves you both.]

6:53 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I give my husband to-do lists all the time, since he has more time in the house than I do. But he prefers it that way - no guessing as to which household tasks I've deemed important - and there's no nagging, negotiating, or mindgames involves.

And withholding nooky in order to make your husband do housework? Are you kidding me? Doesn't that make it clear to everyone involved that, for the author of this article, it's more important for her to have a servant than a lover?

7:02 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Chrisnicel said...

I met my husband when I was 15, married him 10 days after I turned 20 (my parents didn't want me to be a teenaged bride) ... and freely admit (now) that I married him to escape a bad home situation. I was emotionally immature and wouldn't a normal interpersonal relationship if it slapped me in the face.

I decided early on that this man deserved my nicest behavior and manners. He, of course, had my love. But if there was a tone of voice, language, or behavior that I wouldn't use on a teller at a bank, a co-worker, or in front of a stranger - I certainly wasn't going to use it with my husband. Simply, he deserved my respect.

By no means am I a shrinking violet. Once my husband was commenting on a feminist figure and someone snarked that he was afraid of a strong woman. He replied "Have you met my wife?"

However, I am shocked continually by how horribly my girlfriends treat their husbands. And, heaven forbid, you point it out. I actually had one friend criticize me for being nice to my husband because it made her look bad.

Only reason for all this history is figuring this out isn't rocket science. Every predictor of having a healthy relationship was missing in my case - but even I managed to figure it out.

Of course, I am celebrating 24 years this year - and have a lot of experience with helping friends get through divorces.

7:18 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...



7:26 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I just did something forever to regret.

I Googled Leslie Bennetts in an effort to find a photo. To put a face with the attitude.

Honestly, she should be thankful and otherwise STFU.

7:43 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger K T Cat said...

Here's the photo.

7:48 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

If a guy had written a similar piece would anyone have searched for his picture?

7:50 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


"If a guy had written a similar piece would anyone have searched for his picture?"

We probably will never know. Would MSNBC or a similar place even publish a similar piece written from a guy's perspective?

7:55 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger bobby said...

My future-ex-wife moans and bi . . . er . . . complains mightily about my unwillingness to "do my share." And I admit that I don't.

But after being denigrated and insulted and treated like a wayward child by an impolite control freak for years about how I wasn't doing things "right" (meaning, "exactly as she would have done them"), I no longer cared.

Want it done NOW? And done JUST AS YOU'D DO IT? Want to criticize my service to MY OWN personal preferences over yours? ("You KNOW I don't like those books in that bookshelf!!") (Yeah, but I do. Why is YOUR preference always the benchmark?)

Then do it yourself.

7:56 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Ed said...


I'll leave the looking-up-his-picture part to you.

8:03 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

cham --


8:05 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

So I don't know what to think abou this about her husband:

Jeremy Gerard is an editor and critic for Bloomberg Muse, the cultural news division of Bloomberg News. A reporter, columnist and editor specializing in culture and politics for over 25 years, he covered theater and television for the New York Times from 1986 until 1991, when he became the New York Editor and chief theater critic for Variety. For nearly a decade he was a features editor and cultural affairs columnist at New York magazine, and he’s written for many magazines and newspapers around the world. A New York native, Gerard lives in Manhattan with his wife, Vanity Fair writer and Feminine Mistake author Leslie Bennetts, and their two children.

Who would you say is the primary breadwinner here? Her or her husband? It really kinda sounds like her husband to me, but I know nothing of journalism. If it is her husband, it kind of puts a lot of things even more into perspective. Plus, with this kind of career, why in the world do they not hire house keeping? By the way, here is a picture of him and the rest of the family.

Maybe her friends all tell her how lucky she is because she is. LOL. God, I would shoot myself if I was married to someone like that...

8:09 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

You know, when I read this, I think back and consider my grandparents, and my great aunts and uncles, and I think they would simply not have comprehended what this shrew has written.

Aunt Dorothy kept a nice house because she loved uncle Joe. My grandmother cooked for my grandfather for the same reason. The men worked hard, noisy, and dangerous jobs without complaint because they loved their wives. I don't ever recall the women or the men holding anything over the heads of the other, for guilt or as leverage, or demanding absolute numerical parity for only selective duties. They were content, happy, and generally full of joy and laughter.

Little did the women know, but they were being horribly oppressed, or apparently so in hindsight.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever recalled a Feminist being grateful and thankful to anyone for anything, except, perhaps, to other Feminists for Feminism.

Being grateful and thankful is something, I think, that generally makes me happy – when I can thank God for my health and relative good fortune, or a woman for doing something kind or loving for me, I’m not measuring some obligation or observance on my part as excessive compensation for what has been given to me. There is no in-kind, quid pro quo bargaining.

It appears that when you chose to perceive your husband as your little part of the Patriarchy to struggle against, you tend to think of everything that your husband does for you as overdue compensation for the past misdeeds of the alleged Patriarchy, and cannot simply receive those gifts and express, and feel, a commensurate level of gratefulness. The man’s wages are an illegitimate contribution to the union, because they simply inure to him by virtue of being male in a sexist society. I can’t imagine this worldview yielding a productive, happy, content person.

8:19 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

The total nagging bitch from hell or the sweet compliant hausfrau. Is a middle ground possible?

Well sure. For one, I suspect Dr. Helen has a comfortable place somewhere between the two.

As for me, I happily admit to being a housespouse (to steal a term from another thread) though I chafe at "compliant" as that implies an unequal partner in the marriage, which I am not. But then I also agree with Chuck's 6:53 comment.
What happened to that marriage model, anyway?

8:24 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

cham --

"... I get the feeling that people think there are only modes for women: ..."

Then you have obviously not actually read the comments here.

8:28 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Acksiom said...

Hey, Cham -- remember this?

Personally, I've always found that making other people happy is one of the greatest, most wonderful and uplifting joys in life that a person could ever experience.

Apparently, though, in the Chamiverse, that isn't the case -- at least, when the people to be made happy are male, and the person to be experiencing that greatest and most wonderful and uplifting of joys is female, that is.

Tell us, Cham: why do you want to deny so deeply rewarding and pleasureable an experience to not only yourself, but other women as well, as it appears you do?

9:32 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Brian said...

If my wife withheld sex from me for something, how would I know the difference?

Seriously, reading some of that crap makes me thank God I married the woman that I did.

9:52 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Acksiom said...

Aha! Found a copy here, which was fortunately saved before the comments at the original were somehow truncated.

Ennis: "That includes those men who rant on about 'American women'. They, in the vast majority of cases, are looking for an subservient, unpaid housekeeper who they can screw. Like a child it is all about them. They, like their Moslem brothers, simply can not handle the fact that the female is an equal to them. Sorry if the truth hurts, boys."

Umm. . .don't you realize that comments like that, and like those of LM and others posting such here, not only directly prove the opposite of your assertions but even serve as evidence supporting the outlook of men who want nothing to do with 'American women'?

I mean, your verbal abuse only goes to prove them right. If you're at all examples of modern 'American women', then a preference for foreign women who are less likely to be similarly abusive is just plain old common sense.

So it's not us.

It's you.

Consider this comment by Cham, from much earlier: "Those pesky women simply won't behave right to make men happy."

Uhhhh. . .isn't making the other person happy one of the points -- in fact, one of the greatest purposes and rewards -- of having a special, paired, intimate relationship with them?

'American women' appear to be deliberately, willfully, and intentionally cutting themselves off from the incredible satisfaction, to say nothing of pleasure -- to say nothing of joy -- of trying and succeeding at making their closest partner and most special person in their life happy.

If it's 'submissive' for women to wish to and try to make a husband feel happy, why isn't it 'submissive' for women to try to make a child, or relative, or coworker, or acquaintance, or anyone else feel happy?

Is it now supposed to be 'submissive' for anyone to take on a responsibility for the feelings of another person?

Because I thought it was supposed to be one of the hallmarks of human maturation.

And if it is, then for men, it's obviously not about seeking out submissive housecleaning crotchbots.

It's about seeking out people who share our desire to make our partner happy, and who likewise find satisfaction, and pleasure, and joy in doing so.

So why shouldn't we prefer them to people like you, who clearly want to make us feel bad and wrong, and want us to. . .well. . .submit, to your demands upon us and your dominance over us, and your constraints upon our desires and actions?

Frankly, it seems clear that if there's anyone here trying to establish a dominant-submissive relationship over others, it's you.

10:07 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Let's say you were asking me that question, and not just thinking out loud.

Whenever I discover a piece written somewhere on the net or in some sort of magazine, book or periodical, where the writer interests me in one way or another - could be a a myriad of reasons - I look for a picture of that person. Usually Google and Alta Vista. I think of what they wrote, look at the picture and try to imagine the sound, perhaps even tone of the voice. The written word leaves out facial expressions, raised eyebrows, frowns, eye twinkles, smiles and smirks, etc. It's great in a book, because ones own imagination is allowed to browse freely. But in something like this article, the written word leaves out animation in an individual's face one sees when speaking in person. For me, it helps me get a handle on it.

So long and short, it's not Bennetts alone I have done this with. It's anyone who has made me that curious to see what they look like, because of what they have "said".

10:24 PM, April 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

k t cat,

the picture you reference on this thread is obviously a picture she prepared for, and shows her dressed and made up well.

There are other photos..........

10:35 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

Re: the picture

She did raise the issue of witholding "nookie" as a punishment of her husband.

If I had written an article about witholding my "hot rod" from my wife or girlfriend as a punishment, I do believe you'd want to see just how hot of a rod it is.

Now, we see, witholding nookie from this man may actually be less of a punishment than the author believes.

Also, if you are in a monogamous sexual relationship, it is rotten to withold sex for reasons beyond your sexual appetite. Mr. Harpy is likely to sneak off with a wad of twenties to ye olde lap dance lounge, and who could blame him?

10:36 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Blogdanovich said...

1. Treat your family much better than you treat strangers.
2. You can use sex to get what you want, but your husband will eventually realize you are a hoar.
3. A buddy of mine, thrice divorced says,"No matter how beautiful the woman, remember, theres a guy somewhere who's tired of her shit.

11:00 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger mb72 said...

Good Lord. It's not that complicated. See, my wife and I, we like each other. And we have this weird idea that, since we're married (and especially because we have children), we have a duty to honor that commitment so we work out our differences (and we certainly do have them) like adults, not children. Since we're stuck with each other, why not figure out how to be happy with it?

I've always worked full-time. My wife's worked full-time, part-time, and not at all at different points. Oddly enough, when she's home more, she does more of the housework.

I work on the house, she works on the house, stuff gets done. We don't need some sort of negotiated contract of what's who's responsibility. Don't believe in that 'your money-my money, your bills-my bills' thing either. It's OUR home, OUR family.

We started out when our first child was born shortly before I graduated high school. Been 20 years now and it still seems to work out somehow. I want her to be happy, she wants me to be happy. Generally, we're fairly happy....

11:09 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

Good grief -- who could blame him for going to the lapdance lounge even if Bennetts wasn't holding out?? The husband either realizes she's a hoar or, in Bennetts' case, a boar. The idea that she could use sex as a weapon is laughable! (Unless, she is threatening to have sex with him.) A woman like her should not be going around saying such things....

11:22 PM, April 21, 2008  
Blogger Synova said...

The most miserable marriages I've seen were ones where the *man* insisted on hyper-cleanliness. I suppose that there are women who are just as bad, but in my experience it's the men.

Toilet? Spotless. Dinner? Just so.

Being just a little less uptight would be good.

The chances of two people having the same standards of cleanliness is about zilch. So one is going to think that the toilet needs to be cleaned while the other thinks several days either way makes no difference.

Using sex, or other punishment, to get your own way isn't what you do to someone you claim you love.

12:16 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Her article is so far over the top it is hard to believe that she is serious.

2:33 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Miriam said...

I'm going to disagree with the majority of posters here and say that I read the original article carefully and found only one thing that was clearly objectionable - her reference to witholding sex as a bargaining tool (which may have been an exaggeration/swagger to make her sound tough). Other than that, her article was basically how to deal with an unequal balance in marriage that has been well-documented. If making her wishes clear and getting results works (obviously not verbal abuse or witholding sex - though if someone feels overworked and underappreciated, they obviously wont be in the mood for much sex) -then I'd let her be. I know some husbands who respond to a firm approach and who would be laggards if their wives did not make their needs clear. This is not all marriages, as all partners are different - however it is a type of partnership - and if it works, it works. I have a sibling who was quite lazy and self-centered until he married and then his wife (who works full time) made it clear what she wanted and expected - and he became this hard-working, fully engaged housekeeping kid-caretaking type. They seem okay and have a pretty stable marriage, though some might see him as being in a relationship with a woman who is tougher than him, I can see how much she needs him and appreciates how responsible he has become over the years. The alternative in those types of relationships (laggard man, harried woman) is for the woman to silently take up the slack (which according to studies is quite common) and then the relationship suffers - with the woman becoming resentful and/or leaving. So, despite those that might complain about her point of view (or mine in not seeing it as unreasonable, at least for her) - please keep in mind that every relationship is different, and she seems to have found an approach that works for her and her husband (though again - I don't agree with the reference to bargaining with sex, but that was only a single point.) I don't think it is fair to comment on her looks, for those who did. No one comments on her husband, other than being large, she is attractive, her husband is quite average, and they (if you look at hte family pic) have absolutely beautiful children - who look pretty well adjusted. Again - I'm familiar with this 'wife kicks laggard husband's butt, gets results, both seem okay and relationship lasts' paradigm. It wouldnt be my choice, but I don't criticise others who have found something that works for them. Not works for her - because she isn't bitching for a mink coat - she's bitching to make sure that both contribute to the home and family. Sorry that I don't agree with the majority of posters. Everyone's relationship is different - Id rather see someone be firm (though not use sex to bargain with, or be abusive) about what they need than be resentful and get divorced.

5:54 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marbel sez:

"As for me, I happily admit to being a housespouse (to steal a term from another thread) though I chafe at "compliant" as that implies an unequal partner in the marriage, which I am not."


Yes, yes you are an unequal partner. If it's not on a temporary basis because there are small children, and you are remaining a child while your husband works full-time and deals with the real world, you are very much an unequal partner. If your partner "pretends" and tolerates you, that's his problem.

In general with regard to this topic: Why do men put up with these women? What on earth do they have to offer, a vagina made of pure gold?

You don't have to put up with these women (that would be American women in general, with few exceptions).

6:07 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:39 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author beclowns herself also in her book "The Feminine Mistake" which, according to a NY Times review, isn't selling because nobody really cares what this vapid bitch thinks except her equally moronic NY friends.

I don't particularly have a lot of sympathy for her vapid husband either. Some men, just ask Oedipus, want to be married to their mothers, and clearly, the mothering is what this fat slob offers to her husband.

I bet he's pretty relieved when she's "withholding the nookie" judging from the apparent relationship she's developed with all manner of cheeseburgers.

To paraphrase Dean Wormer: Fat, and a raging bitch, is no way to go through life sweetheart.

6:56 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I tried to explain similar to what you stated above to my ex. Like the old rock song says, everybody's working for the weekend. Friday night take the kids to McDonald's (or wherever) and on to a movie. Saturday night, mom and dad hire a babysitter, and do what they wish to do. As the kids age, things change. You adapt.
Change, the only constant in life.
An individual, a couple, a family, successfully navigates change or doesn't. But it is forever right in front of you. It blocks some peoples' path. Not me though.(humor!)

I did not expect anyone but me to mow, paint, fix gutters, climb a ladder to work on the roof, work on the cars, check and change fluids, etc. But I did not expect to do all the laundry, vacuuming, cooking and cleaning when I came home on weekends as well (I traveled for work). My ex wasn't in good shape, and deteriorated over time. So when it was over, I had all the practice needed to carry on, just the kids and me. Easy, no. Change, yes. Most marriages are an uneven yoke in someone's eyes. Perspective, both listening as well as they can hear, and everyone as much as possible pulling in the same direction is paramount. Throughout all that change. Speaking of change, I need to cut back on so much coffee this early in the morning.

7:21 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Their husbands don't bring their jobs home for their wives to help with.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard for stay-home wives/mothers was:

"Don't expect your husband to help you when you get behind in your housework. Do you go to his job and help him when he gets behind?"

It's really just that simple.

Though I admit I don't fix gutters either.

7:32 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, sorry, it's not the same.

When I take a few days off work and do stuff around the house, it is utterly relaxing.

No stress. No deadlines. No pressure to produce.

It's MY house, and I enjoy improving it and keeping it up. It's not work to do a little housework and make improvements / do repairs on the house. And most housewives don't even do any heavy work on the house. Ridiculous.

Everyone just keeps up the fiction in life that permanent housewives are actually worth anything. They are children in a state of arrested development.

8:04 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

'm going to disagree with the majority of posters here and say that I read the original article carefully and found only one thing that was clearly objectionable

Mimi, from the article:

"Here’s a news flash for you: Jeremy is not soooo wonderful. I, actually, am the one who is soooo wonderful."

"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."

This is such insulting language and I doubt many women would think it was OK for their husbands to talk about them this way. Do you think that's OK?

I agree with you that both spouses need to make their needs known. And a truly loving spouse would do all he or she could to meet those needs, and beyond. I don't get the impression she's too concerned with fulfilling her husband's needs.

I agree with you too about the comments about her looks - that is just juvenile. There are plenty of relevant criticisms to make.

8:12 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray said...

I guess the secret is to take absolutely no credit for anything you do (and try to do it in secret if possible.) So the kitchen / other places are reasonably clean; and if they complain, they can't blame YOU, you didn't clean it. They kind of know you did, but can't prove it. And you don't lie about it, you just can't say either way.


8:58 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps making statements as to her looks, or lack thereof, is juvenile.

Her looks sure do match her attitude though. That's a fact. All the way to the bone.

Attitude can overcome other things. Or it can compound them.

She rides his ass like a cyst. Even says so. I doubt he's grateful.

I have no doubt she's not worth it. As best friend, as life partner, as lover.

9:25 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Miriam said...

I'm looking beyond the tone of her writing (NY sassy, a bit pushy, a bit obnoxious) and looking at what her relationship actually seems like. I'm not parsing the tone - I guess (having grown up in NY myself, and knowing she's a writer who has to sell pieces) I just don't take that too seriously. I'd put money on it that her husband doesn't take it too seriously either. Not in a bad way, but just that's who she is (and he probably figures that she puts up with his sh-t as well). I'm very pro-guy and don't like anti-male screeds, its just that her piece did not strike me that way. He probably needs that pushy bitchy mommy-style that she offers (my sibling seemed to need it - my dad says 'she raised him from a pup!')- so theyre both a little neurotic - the main thing is that if it works for them (and from the article it seems that it does) - who cares? I am sympathetic to men who married women who were awful (critical, controlling or abusive), as I am to women who married critical, controlling or abusive men - and some of the posters seem to have had those negative situations. Its just that her piece did not (overly) strike me that way. But hey, everyone's perspective is different.

9:54 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...


I agree with you, it wasn't the message that got this lady into trouble, it was they way she wrote the article. A man can get away with being sassy, a woman not so much.

10:23 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

Sorry to delete, I thought I'd been a little too self-identifying there.

I do think that the current trend to demand housework out of your husband regardless of disparities in working hours, whether the wife is at home or not, and in disregard of the home maintenance the husband performs is terribly unfair. It's common though.

jg, what makes you think that women at home are cases of 'arrested development'?

10:41 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Ed said...

Mimi, Cham, have a look at this:

It's the exact same article, with the genders reversed. Does it still look so benign to you?

10:48 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Stuart Schneiderman said...

Given that Bennetts has demonstrated that she has no character, perhaps she is just doing the best that she can.

10:52 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pockosmum writes:

"jg, what makes you think that women at home are cases of 'arrested development'?"


Many women stay at home to avoid the real world. It's not just that the man works to earn the money, a whole lot of other "real world" stuff is usually also dumped on him by housewives. Many housewives literally, literally act like children once you get through their thin layer of pretend sophistication or at least the appearance of adulthood.

They don't have to grow up if they just hide out at home and throw all of the tough stuff onto the husband.

Think about this: If there is a divorce after 30 years between a man and a woman in an extremely lop-sided relationship (only man works, woman sat home that entire time), which partner does the court worry about with regard to SURVIVAL? There is a reason why alimony is ordered in those cases: The woman is utterly incompetent with regard to the real world. She can't even earn enough money to support herself, maybe she never can. It's not just a question of skills, it's a fundamental issue that she doesn't even understand the real world - she has been living in her own play world for the last several decades. I was thrown out when I was young and instantly got a job to support myself; housewives couldn't even do that. They wouldn't WANT to either. At least the judge doesn't order that someone change her diapers.

Does the judge worry about the man's survival because he hasn't been doing the housework or for any other reason? I doubt it.

10:57 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's something for men to chew on:

I have always thought that "home" meant a place where I felt happy, a place without stress and a place that I could relax and recharge.

The workplace is where you get the stress and fights and pressure and battles. Home is comfortable.

So if I had a nagging dragon at home who made me almost WANT to work overtime to stay away from her, if Home has now become a place with more stress and battles than work, the dragon would be gone in a split second.

I have lived alone over good chunks of my life and I am much happier and much more content in those situations than I would be with a nag. Yes, I do housework just fine - it's not that hard.

And yet so many men put up with it. Some even to the point of suicide.

Men: You don't HAVE TO put up with it.

11:00 AM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ed sez:

It's the exact same article, with the genders reversed. Does it still look so benign to you?



11:07 AM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

jg --

And if a man has a woman who stays at home, maintains it with him only doing the physically challenging chores, keeps him happy and stress-free while he is there, who are you to call her an "unequal partner" and not a contributer and him as being someone "putting up with it"?

12:23 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger plutosdad said...

This morning on the Eric and Kathy show in Chicago they were talking about a Husband's Bill of Rights and asking wives to call in and say "how often" they'd let their husbands have "guys night out". kathy thought twice a month was more than enough. One woman called and said she had no limit, it was just understood between them and they could talk like adults if she wants time together.

They all laughed and thought this was a crazy idea, that the caller needed a specific limit to impose on her husband. To a certain extent they were being silly, but underneath they were truly shocked that someone didn't forcibly limit their spouse.

What kind of world is this where being an adult about matters is laughed at, and threats and petty tantrums are encouraged?

1:29 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Silly Old Mom said...

Isn't it ironic that the article is sponsored by If I were that company's marketing director, I'd start rethinking my ad buys.

2:06 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Other than that, her article was basically how to deal with an unequal balance in marriage that has been well-documented.

Who says that is an unequal balance. "Marriage chores" can not be divided into little even portions.

Is it harder to do the dishes or cook the meal.

Is it harder to stay at home or work full time.

The second question has so many variables you can't possibly answer it.

The real answer is that every marriage is different. People have different wants and needs. What is acceptable to some isn't acceptable to another.

3:30 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Nom de Blog said...

I am a proud stay-at-home mom. I used to work, but I found it too difficult to both work and care for my own health and that of my children. Two of my kids have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a time- and energy-consuming "invisible" disability.

I am ashamed to admit that I am sometimes that nagging wife chiding her little-boy husband. My husband's mother was very domineering, and he married a girl just like Dear Old Mom. Since the day I realized that, I have vowed to work on making our marriage more equal in power and authority, not in housework. It has been a long hard struggle, but it has been so worthwhile to see my husband developing into the assertive man he has always wanted to be, even as I develop into a more mature woman.

We divide labor very much according to traditional lines. Hubby works and I stay home with the kids. Hubby does computers and heavy work and I do sewing and cooking. This is not because I'm "submissive" (if you think that, you haven't met me!) and it's not because I'm running away from life. I am grateful to be able to specialize in the areas in which I am talented.

I pride myself in my ability to have a hot dinner on the table right as Hubby comes home, with the kids ready to welcome him. It is emotionally difficult for him to work at his job, and when he gets home he deserves to know that his family isn't just another customer impatient to be served. Families are about showing love to every member, including the husband. Otherwise why does the family even exist? It cannot gratify everyone's every need, and it cannot last without love.

4:36 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Wacky Hermit,

Your husband sounds very lucky to have you. You understand that you both contribute and that your contributions are not more important than your husband's. I don't think anyone who watches kids and does housework is submissive or is trying to "run away from life." You are doing what you want to, while respecting what your husband does. Who can argue with that?

4:44 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Gerandia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:44 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Gerandia said...

It sounds, that you are doing the right thing, Wacky Hermit.

But there is a lot of assumption that men are just being lazy when they come home from a 8 hour job, and want to relax.

As if they are saying How dare he expect a hot meal, after earning the money to buy the food.

I re read my last post and found it to make no sense. so deleted and edited

4:59 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

I am grateful to be able to specialize in the areas in which I am talented.

And that's as it should be. We also divide the work by talents, skills, and likes/dislikes. No lists - what needs to be done, gets done by whoever does it best. No worrying about who does more or less. Some days I am busier; some days he is. It all works out in the end.

5:20 PM, April 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like stay-at-home types are the salt of the earth. In addition, staying at home is equivalent with going to work, except for the fact that people going to work don't get their 50% of the chores done at home. People going to work (men) are viewed in a slightly negative way because of that. They are slightly suspect.

So my solution:

BOTH people just stay at home!

Then the man will have more time to get his 50% done.

5:54 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Miriam said...

"Bribery and beating work; so do yelling and bullying. Threats are also effective, as long as everyone knows you mean business (a convenient 'fall down the stairs' always works). With wives, throwing things, pushing her around and body blows are particularly useful…"

Quotes from the parody article that was recommended to read. Yes its funny (comparing the author's demands that her husband help with the housework to a man demanding that his wife have sex with him), but as you can see (references to physical violence, the parody is not really comparable. Again - I don't think that sex has any place in marriage negotiations - not as a reward, a punishment or (as in the parody) a demand. I criticize both the original and the parody for their sexual references. Sex is (however) a good barometer (sometimes) of what is going on in the relationship in general.

6:14 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

It is nice to see several women on here who agree that the writer is rude towards her husband.

Adrian - I use the word ghetto also, although I don't know if I ever have in an internet discussion. My family uses the word also, so I've never been called out on it. I think I heard that the word originally referred to Jews. Anyways I usually think of ghettos as having really poor blacks and hispanics. That is the most common protrayal in movies and I wouldn't be surprised if that is realistic.

BR549: One of the reasons I am no longer married is because she never put the seat back up when she was done.

Very funny!

Steve Sky: I enjoyed the listener's letter and this was my favorite line:

"I guess I have to," was your response. Boy, did that make me randy.

BR549 - I think she has a cute face, but she is fat and too old for me.

Adrian: By the way, here is a picture of him and the rest of the family.

Not a very good view of his face, but it reminds me of Spielberg. I think their daughter is cute.

Cham: I sometimes look up pictures of actors, male or female, if I'm not sure what they look like. As far as writing goes, I'm not real interested in whether a man is attractive. If something is well written and I enjoy it, I think the words are the important thing. I used to think Helen wasn't very attractive, probably because of the age difference, but I've changed my mind. :)

6:35 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

Did you see Gangs of New York? There was a place along the river called the Mill Hill with duplexes and lots of poor people that I once lived in when I was growing up. It was largely full of "white trash". It wasn't a trailer park, though, so what would you call that? A ghetto.

It may well be that one thinks of blacks and hispanics mostly when they think of a "ghetto". And, it may well characterize the norm for ghettos. But, the fact is that there are white ghettos and if someone thinks I'm being racist for saying it, they're the ones being racist for assuming that only black people live in ghettos.

The whole issue was the large preponderance of crime, infidelity, unwed mothers, underage pregnancies and so on.

Regarding the Jews, I believe in the Merchant of Venice, for instance, all the Jews did, indeed, live in a ghetto.

7:30 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger MOGS said...

Dear lord I feel bad for this harridan's husband.

If he's that whipped, or that much of a beta-male to tolerate this shrew, then he deserves everything he gets.

I would love, absolutely love, to see a response to this from him with the title "F*ck you bitch, I quit" or else he should turn in his man card.

7:35 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

@"A man can get away with being sassy, a woman not so much."

You can't seriously believe that.

7:57 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@jay: "You can't seriously believe that."

They may think that, people tend to be more likely to notice what reinforces what they already believe. However, if you pay attention, most will find that women tend to be more sassy than men, largely because it is accepted. What gets a "you go girl" when it comes from a woman gets a man labeled a jerk. But, since the woman receives giddy approval for being sassy, and the man is labeled a jerk by that same giddy approver, they jerk is the one they will remember (even if he is in a 10-1 minority).

Helen posted here once about how a waitress slammed men to her, with an attitude that it would be accepted without pause, and I've heard similar anti-male comments go unchallenged (thank you for sticking up for us, btw helen). Does anyone here have a similar story where men just reflexively trash women and get a "you go boy" response?

8:06 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Does anyone here have a similar story where men just reflexively trash women and get a "you go boy" response?

When I was single I had some male drinking buddies who treated me as "one of the boys." They used to make a lot of nasty comments about other women in front of me.

But anyway, I assume that just as some women get big laughs and "validation" from their friends when they trash their husbands/boyfriends, probably some men get high-fives from their buddies when they trash their wives/girlfriends.

Please notice that I am not making a broad statement about all men, just making an assumption based on my experiences with people. I know my husband does not trash me, just as I don't trash him; Trust, I assume you don't trash your wife either - same with many of the guys who comment here.

I don't see it in magazines, tv, etc., but then I am not looking for it either. But I don't think men can get away with it to the extent women can.

9:02 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Ronnie Schreiber said...

Ghetto is Italian for foundry. In old Venice, Jews were restricted to living near the foundry, which was a relatively foul place to live. The term then became a more general term for the Jewish quarter. The Nazis used the term for urban areas where they relocated and concentrated populations of Jews prior to transport to extermination or labor camps. The Warsaw ghetto being the best known.

10:50 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

marbel, was it about particular women, or women in general? Women seem to trash men as a whole, as in Dr. Helen's example, a pregnant waitress who said she was happy to be having a girl because 'who needs more men in the world'. A contempt for men as a whole seems pretty prevalent.

11:37 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Ed said...

Thanks for reading that, Mimi. Something tells me that cham won't.

11:47 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@pockosmum: "Women seem to trash men as a whole, as in Dr. Helen's example, a pregnant waitress who said she was happy to be having a girl because 'who needs more men in the world'. A contempt for men as a whole seems pretty prevalent."

My point exactly. That certainly isn't to say that some men never trash women or that all women trash men, but there certainly seems to be more acceptance of it when it is women trashing men. Men who do this are usually (and correctly) called jerks or chauvenists.

One woman that I know well (I call her mom) joked in a man-trash that she was president of the Lorena Bobbitt fan club and other women around laughed and cheered. I doubt I would have had a similar reaction had a man during a woman-trash that I was president of the OJ-simpson fan club.

I've never heard anyone tell a woman to get in touch with her masculine side either.

11:50 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

Why do you think men are not marrying, more especially not marrying nagging harridans?

It's a 2 faced situation, 2 different rules for men and for women. I have been in work places where they have half naked pictures of men, and i feel uncomfortable around them. Yet if a man was to put a half naked female picture up, then thats so wrong.

More and more men, are realising that women are not worth the effort anymore. Thats the marriage strike. It's to get the men away from the shrews.

Rachel Lucas, comments "It’s not MY problem if men are too weak and immature to sign up for a life closely resembling a forced death march" meaning it's the Males fault for everything.

Is she really saying, men have responsibilities and no rights, and that women have rights but no responsibilities. So why stick around from the forced death march.

(a lot of men vanish, they have had enough and disappear and most of that is due to a lot of women not respecting them and expecting everything given to them, money, status.

6:12 AM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

"One woman that I know well (I call her mom) joked in a man-trash that she was president of the Lorena Bobbitt fan club and other women around laughed and cheered."

Wow. That kind of thing was exactly what I was referring to. Men will talk about someone who affected them negatively, but women talk against an entire sex.

The old expression 'Men-can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em' has recently changed to 'Men-can't live with 'em, and can't shoot 'em'...the former was expressing that although they have their foibles they were still necessary, the latter???

6:32 AM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Men-can't live with 'em, and can't shoot 'em'


No, you can also pretty much shoot them today without too much trouble.

Mary Winkler had to spend a few months in the pen, but the church community bought her a new SUV and showered her with money and help when she got back.

And she didn't even try very hard to make it look like she was an abused wife (she wasn't) or that she was shooting in self defense (she wasn't - it was in his back as he slept).

Just put in a little more effort to make it look like you're an abused wife - and you won't even do any time at all in the pokey.

6:35 AM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... and the best thing is: The husband won't be around to testify to his side of things and maybe contradict you! Tears away.

6:39 AM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All things considered, a monthly round trip plane ticket to Las Vegas on a low cost airline, and a romp in the hay with a state government approved hooker, is much cheaper than a wife with the "qualities" of the individual who wrote the article that brought this thread to life. And if you're lucky, you can win back what you just spent. Not a chance of that in divorce court.

6:43 AM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... is much cheaper than a wife with the "qualities" of the individual who wrote the article that brought this thread to life."


I would rather be in prison than married to that woman. And no, that is not hyperbole or exaggeration, I honestly mean that.

Men: You don't HAVE TO be around nags. You are ALLOWED to get away from her. Many men drink or use drugs because of women like that; some men commit suicide.

Why be that unhappy? Get the hell away from her.

6:49 AM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

marbel, was it about particular women, or women in general?

Hmm, maybe about particular types of women. I see your point.

The "Lorena Bobbitt fan club" - ugh. So, were you able to point out to her how that sounded to you?

7:20 AM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...


yes, but my mom is one of those "poor baby can't take a joke" women. Basically, if men do something she doesn't like, they are mean, if she does something they are like, they are weak.

One thing I've done, and I think some others may find it amusing, is start listening to many songs sung by women, and then picture a man singing it (also swap male and female words in the lyrics). When a man's voice is attached to it, many of the songs smack of arrogance.

Again, no offense ladies, this is more about society than individual women. There are many wonderful women out there.

8:48 AM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Trust, wow, that must be hard to take sometimes. I guess I don't encounter much of that in real life.

The few women I know who indulge in male-bashing start off with a rant about their husband - you know, why wont' he take out the trash, that kind of thing. Then it escalates with other women taking part. It's like a bonding experience. And most of them, when I comment on it, seem to have no clue. It's just idle talk to them. Meaningless venting.

Yeah, they are clueless.

It's always in a group - never one-on-one. In a private conversation a marriage problem might come up, but it's in the context of seeking advice, not bashing.

Anyway, that's how I've experienced it. Maybe I am sheltered.

9:05 AM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many women "bond" at their husbands' expense.

I guess that's the best they can do.

12:35 PM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Many women "bond" at their husbands' expense."


If they're sitting in a cafe somewhere, and we're talking about sit-at-homes here, then it is *literally* at the expense of their husbands.

1:13 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Mimi - Have you heard about situations where the wife was lazy?

3:06 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

JG, you said

"Men: You don't HAVE TO be around nags. You are ALLOWED to get away from her. Many men drink or use drugs because of women like that; some men commit suicide.

Why be that unhappy? Get the hell away from her"

but how are they to go. if they get a divorce, chances are she will end up with half or more of you, if you up and leave, abandonment, The only true way of leaving such a situation, is drugs/drink/death. because anything else would benefit her more than you.

3:34 PM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... because anything else would benefit her more than you."


That's OK, benefit her. Give her all you have. It's worth it to get away from a nag.

Don't make the same mistake again and turn control of your life over to a woman who could be a nag.

As to her getting more than you, she can use some *other* man for money anyway, so don't make it a competition thing. Women are able to do that. But at least you are at peace and away from her.

Men have to work, women can use men for money: That's how it has always been and will probably always be. But you don't have to personally be a slave to one.

4:25 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

But JG, is it a benefit to have no job, no house, no money, if you have kids, no access to them.

But as has been seen women are far and away the winners in divorces, unless you have nothing to start with, they cant take half of what you have.

If you have nothing, no money to get out of the problems, possible prison time if you cant pay child support, having your passport denied. having no home, no money, just all you have goes to that person. is that still worthwhile.

A life is more than that. A life should be more than that.

5:25 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

But it isnt freedom, you are still tied to her and children if any.

So she may be out of your life, but she is there in court papers, in a financial sense, in every sense. you just dont live with her.

So thats not really getting shut of the nag is it??

5:32 PM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lot of what I say is tongue in cheek humor. I am not really Mr. Serious all the time. I just don't always tell folks when I'm kidding and when I'm not. That's part of my sense of humor, or lack there of.

Even about male bashing. I am no longer legally or financially bound, and don't have to put up with anything from a person that I just don't have to. So I don't care what male bashing women say, truly. I do like to hassle them back though. I'm close to financially embarrassed by the split, but I'm free to do as I please within reason.

You know what? In all honesty, I must accept, hell, claim that I made the wrong choice. Saw too much of what I wanted to see, and no where near as much as I should have seen.

The world is packed full of assholes. Both genders, all colors. I tried, for far too long, to build a home and family with one who was not capable, interested, or even cared. I, me, mine was all I ever heard. But it will never happen again.

6:39 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Given John Lennon's habit of cheating on Yoko Ono, I would hardly cite him as an authority on relations between men and women.

Just saying.

8:42 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

I wonder if Mrs. Bennetts decided Jeremy was a hot commodity and pulled out all the stops to get him. Being nice, doing things for him, whatever it took to get the prize.

Then, after getting the prize, she didn't like putting on the show she put on before.

What's more, with all she did to get him, she probably fooled herself into thinking she had sacrificed so much for him, when in reality it was all for herself.

And Jeremy's only crime is that he believed her deceit, now he only knows what she really wants when he gets no nooky or she's just a plan witch.

10:15 PM, April 23, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Trust, I would take a close look at BR549's comment 2 posts up. If you date someone long enough, more than 3 months, what you see is pretty much what you get. I am sure Ms. Bennett's SO knew exactly what he was getting when he married her and he probably did so with enthusiasm.

9:12 AM, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

If you date someone long enough, more than 3 months, what you see is pretty much what you get.

If you are looking, and want to see. I look back at my first marriage and some of my dating experiences and wonder "what the hell was I thinking?" Or, "why didn't anyone tell me how stupid I was?"

(Now, I know people do undergo unexpected changes, just speaking generally here.)

Hey, that'd be a fun website: post your bad dating experiences. I suppose it's already been done.

11:03 AM, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

I have surely been misled, I had to look up the word chauvinistic, because I thought it could only refer to men. :( Apparently, it just means the belief that your sex is superior.

1:07 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without going into it too heavily, there were extenuating circumstances involved in my family's tragedy, cham. Some sort of degree in mental health allowing me to see BPD and Bi-polar disorder slowly rearing their heads over the years would have probably changed the outcome in one way or another.

The illnesses did not manifest themselves in 3 months. It all exploded at once, about 22 years after the marriage began. After a long healing process, it is now just sad.

My problem was with the medical, police, and courts "professionals".

My family's tragedy does not fit your 3 month criteria. But I think I know what you are saying.

1:48 PM, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

BR549: I have a close friend who is bi-polar. Since he was my friend and not my boyfriend I never looked all that closely at his behavior. He managed to mask it by simply disappearing when he went into a depressive state. It took about 10 years of knowing him before he finally leveled with me about what was going on. About 5 years ago I dated a man briefly, it took me about a week to figure out that my date was also bi-polar because his behavior was so similar to my friend's. I couldn't run fast enough away from that guy.

When we are young we see what we want to see because we so want relationships to work, just like Marbel said. People are what they are and a wise adult watches behaviors, takes a good look at the family and listens carefully.

My guess, BR549, is that you will be able to spot a bipolar a mile away at this point.

2:19 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure. But Bi-polar is a walk in the park compared to BPD. I don't want to argue it. And I'm definitely not a professional. It was (is) a family tragedy.
If you want to know about steel mills, power plants (fossil and hydro) chemical and petro-chemical plants, ship propulsion, mining or numerous types of large manufacturing plants, I'm your man.

The human mind? Way too deep, way to wide for me to comprehend. I can't even spell brane.

4:18 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to add, if I may, that I don't believe one chooses to be mentally ill, or have deep character flaws. You can't choose that anymore than you can Jay Leno's chin, or Sophie Marceau's incredible green eyes. (As an aside, green eyed brunettes could easily be the death of me - like my ex).

Heroin addiction, aids, lung cancer from smoking, etc., are horses of a different color.

So don't be hard on your friend if he is indeed bi-polar. Trust me, he wishes he wasn't. Considering the thousands of afflictions a person can be born with, there, but for the grace of God, go I.

But Bennett's a bitch. Period.

6:14 PM, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

No, no, no, no. I'm not hard at all on him. I consider my friend an incredible asset, even if he just did a 10 year bout with heroin addiction that probably emanated from the bipolar thing. My friend just spent a couple of years in prison and how he is living in a halfway house. He's attending his NA meetings regularly and working hard to get back on his feet. This guy struggles every day of his life now to keep clean and stay on track.

But his mom still wears her aluminum foil hat and complains about the invisible people that follow her around (not kidding about that either). Mental health problems are no joke.

7:23 PM, April 24, 2008  
Blogger The Future and The Past said...

But how Do you Know there aren't invisible people around?

So many ,so called, cranks have surprised people by being Right. Ulcers Who knew it was a bacteria.

3:13 PM, April 25, 2008  
Blogger Memphis said...

Unfortunately, Men's Health has been run by a team of feminist women since the death of the founder. That's why it never has any articles encouraging men to fight for their own rights and act like real men. It's also why most of the advice given is from women, while in Women's Health there are virtually no men allowed at all.

3:00 AM, April 30, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Memphis Steve,

I didn't know Men's Health was run by feminist women. We used to subscribe to Men's Health years ago and I enjoyed the no-nonsense articles for men and got a lot of good work out tips from it. Then I noticed the magazine went lame--sort of a girly magazine for men. There were plenty of those for women already around so I quit subscribing.

9:07 AM, April 30, 2008  
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