« Joseph, Joseph, and biblical role models | Main | Last Thursday poem of the year: Milne's King's John's Christmas »

December 22, 2004

Comments

shinrikyou

the real question is why the hell do i need such a wife.
without a wife i will have no children and "household" to take care of.
however, without me this wife still would have to do all these things, but without my paycheck !
ask any single mother, it's true.

mythago

Hm. I did ask a single mother once how it was after she kicked out her husband for his multiple affairs, and she said it was pretty much the same as before, except she had less laundry to do.

Having done both, I think the breadwinner thing is definitely the better gig. It's great to have somebody else do my laundry, make the meals, and vacuum the carpet. I'm not, however, dumb enough to jeopardize my excellent setup by telling my spouse that he doesn't "work."

*Christopher

shinrikyou,

The problem I see is in thinking only of how your wife benefits YOU. That is the underlying gist of my critique in using "property rights" as a metaphor for this USE model of relationship, which has indeed grown quite old and tired. And it's not about conservative or liberal...USE can be seen in both stances. Besides, these labels mean so much, they mean nothing at all these days. I've been labeled both, and really find that neither fully applies.

From here though in matters of sexual responsibility, liberal these days seems to often mean libertine, not a generous and thoughtful application of handed-on values (the essence of tradition) to specific persons in specific circumstances in given historical settings. And conservative seems to often mean a hardened application of yesteryear's understanding of tradition to vastly different circumstances and historical settings.

Growing up, my mother was a working woman. She nursed us, changed our diapers, watched us all day, did our laundry, cooked our meals, got us off to school, did art with us, read us stories, got us to bed on time. So if you've ever worked with little ones on a day-in, day-out basis, you find out real quick this is the most exhausting and rewarding work there is. I discovered this as a teaching assistant for two years working with first and second grade children.

And mythago is correct, studies show that in general women who hold down a job outside the home are most likely to also do the vast majority of the work at home. So when all of those husbands and fathers start carrying their weight at home after a long day at the plant or office alongside their wives who've just come home from a hard day at the plant or office, then we can talk misandry.


zuzu

i also think that having a working wife would be cooler than a non-working one

Make sure you have plenty of batteries on hand, then.

typhonblue

So which is it? Should shirinkyou want a working wife or one that stays at home?

BTW, I believe it's a possiblity that many feminist men are deeply homophobic and self loathing.

I base this on the fact that many of them express extreme discomfort both with the presence of other men and their own bodies. But they aren't the only subset of men who do this, the traditionally "masculine" straight man also has a tendancy towards this.

typhonblue

Just to continue the comment... there is a difference between feminist men and "masculine" straight men. The MSM(hehe) seems to project his homophobia outward while in the company of his male friends in order to mask their intimacy. Feminist men avoid other men entirely so their homophobia need not be overtly expressed.

Lynn Gazis-Sax

So which is it? Should shirinkyou want a working wife or one that stays at home?

He's welcome to want any division of household labor he likes, whether it's both of them sharing the breadwinning and housework, or one of them acting as breadwinner and the other working at home. And he's welcome to choose either role, so long as both of them are satisfied; it's certainly no one else's business. Either he'll find a woman with whom he can reach a satisfactory agreement, or he won't.

But whichever division of labor he prefers, stay-at-home parenting is work and not freeloading.

Moreover, I have a bit of a problem with a man who both claims (over in the Manpower thread) that birth control is no benefit to him, and (in this thread) that childcare is no benefit to him. Unless he wants to spend the rest of his life not having sexual intercourse, he is either going to need birth control, or someone is going to have to take care of the resulting children. (Of course, if he really does prefer sex acts other than intercourse, I'll withdraw my remark about his inconsistency.)

thisgirl

I'd be interested in finding self-proclaimed "MRAs" who don't follow the trend set by MFJ and ManPower; I haven't found any yet.

Sheelzebub

Feminist men avoid other men entirely so their homophobia need not be overtly expressed.

Actually, I know quite a lot of feminist men/male allies of feminism who enjoy hanging out with other men. They also aren't afraid of women and don't bash women.

typhonblue

Sheelzebub says(in quotes):

"Actually, I know quite a lot of feminist men/male allies of feminism who enjoy hanging out with other men. They also aren't afraid of women and don't bash women."

And how do they act when you're not around? In other words, how do they act when they are alone with other men, no women around?

Most of the feminist men I know actively avoid being alone with other men, without the company of women. (A woman provides a safe outlet for sexual energy, thus the phenomena of a sole woman being the focus of attention for a group of men. They are probably projecting the homoerotic energy generated by their intimate contact with eachother onto her.)

Hugo Schwyzer

Typhonblue, given that you have read my blog - and I trust you have - are you accusing me of lying about my fondness for other men? Or of not being sufficiently pro-feminist?

I treasure the men in my life today. I spend lots of time alone with other men -- a weekly 6:00AM breakfast with one friend and accountability partner, long runs with what is usually (not always) an all-male group, and membership in a couple of different church-affiliated men's groups. And then there are the teen boys I work with.

And guess what? When alone with other men, we don't degenerate into homosocial misogynists. Some of us really do try -- and succeed -- in matching our language and our life. (I've been known to tell a vulgar joke or two, mind you, even in mixed company -- but the humor tends more towards the scatalogical rather than the misogynistic.)

Bottom line: authentic pro-feminism is rooted in love for women and men. You can't do real men's work if, deep down, you don't like men. It's a bit absurd to have to defend one's friendships, but such is the nature of the blogosphere...

zuzu

(I've been known to tell a vulgar joke or two, mind you, even in mixed company -- but the humor tends more towards the scatalogical rather than the misogynistic.)

Fart jokes are *always* funny.

I'm beginning to think that typhonblue is a work of absurdist performance art.

Sheelzebub

Typhonblu, first you say that pro-feminist men don't like other men and won't be around other men. I dispute that, and then you change the argument--oh, they act differently with no woman around.

How would you know? If I'm not mistaken, you stated in another thread that you're a woman.

typhonblue

Sheelzebub says(in quotes):

"Typhonblue, first you say that pro-feminist men don't like other men and won't be around other men. I dispute that, and then you change the argument--oh, they act differently with no woman around."

Arguments evolve. I overstated when I said "feminist men avoid other men entirely." Obviously they do not avoid them entirely, that would be impossible. What I was trying to get at was that feminist men avoid intimacy with other men. The kind of homosocial/erotic intimacy one would *only* find in same-sex situations.

Sorry for the confusion.

"How would you know? If I'm not mistaken, you stated in another thread that you're a woman."

Because I listen and observe without being obtrusive. And I know how certain men act around other men in mixed company. From that I can make a prediction.

Amanda

Huh. The pro-feminist men I know manage to hang out with their male friends without turning into a bunch of monkeys. I know because I don't find the banana peels all over my house when I get home from work and there's a bunch of guys hanging out here.

*Christopher

What I was trying to get at was that feminist men avoid intimacy with other men. The kind of homosocial/erotic intimacy one would *only* find in same-sex situations.

Do you mean by homosocial/erotic intimacy spouting off misogynist remarks and jokes and the like or group sex or what? As if these are the only options for integrating homoerotic energy. Or are you suggesting that profeminist men are closet cases, as if straight men cannot have homoerotic energy...of course they can, just like I can have heteroerotic energy. Besides, this is not my general experience hanging with my male friends gay and straight. My closest male friends are like brothers, and we hold each other gently but firmly accountable to be better and more Christlike in speaking of others be they women or men. Pretty dang intimate if you ask me.

Most of the feminist men I know actively avoid being alone with other men, without the company of women. (A woman provides a safe outlet for sexual energy, thus the phenomena of a sole woman being the focus of attention for a group of men. They are probably projecting the homoerotic energy generated by their intimate contact with eachother onto her.)

With the men I'm accustomed to hanging out with, they're comfortable enough with themselves to deal with their homoerotic energy more openly gay or straight, and I know that I certainly don't project in that direction. Or are you trying to suggest in some roundabout way that all profeminist men are gay...they're not. Though this one is. Profeminist as I understand the term is at heart really about moving beyond conquest, objectifying values, treating both men and women with dignity.

typhonblue

*Christopher says(in quotes):

"Profeminist as I understand the term is at heart really about moving beyond conquest, objectifying values, treating both men and women with dignity."

I will answer the rest of your post, but I just wanted to single this bit out.

It isn't conquest if the prize dictates the conditions.

Xrlq
Fart jokes are *always* funny.

At last, something Zuzu and I can agree on.

Sheelzebub

How do you know that I don't listen and observe without being obtrusive? Or anyone else here who disagrees with you?

Holy circular logic, Batman.

typhonblue

Sheelzebub says(in quotes):

"How do you know that I don't listen and observe without being obtrusive? Or anyone else here who disagrees with you?

Holy circular logic, Batman."

And how do feminist men act when you are observing them as unobtrusively as possible?

You will say they act in exactly the manner that supports your conclusion. As will I.

There is no point in a competition of anacdotes.

However, I believe no self-identified straight man escapes self-loathing and homophobia. Some project it outward, some are silent, but allow it to curtail their relationships with other men. Feminist men are no different in this respect then men's rights activists, some of whom appear to care about *themselves* but not other men. Even gay men can be homophobic, since desire and hatred are often intertwined: using men sexually while avoiding all emotional intimacy.

The pervasiveness of homophobia is the main explaination for the difference in how western men approach same sex relationships and how men of other ethniticities approach same sex relationships.

I'm not accusing anyone of anything, merely pointing out a social construct. Western men have destroyed most of the meaninfulness of their relationships to eachother out of fear of homosexual desire. And because those bonds have been destroyed, men fail to notice when other men are suffering. This failure to notice leads some men to conclude that men have no problems, only women have problems, or -- alternatively-- that men's problems are far more minor. Thus the feminist man.

Sometimes you have to care before you can see.

And since I care, for whatever absurdist reason, I'll tell you what *I've* seen. I've seen a friend blow his brains out when the expectations of being male overwhelmed him. I've seen an uncle fight for custody of a child who was not his -- but had lived long enough with him for him to feel like she *was* his -- from her abusive and neglectful mother. I've seen the courts decide not to grant him custody, although he *was* expected to pay for the child. I've taken another friend to the hospital with ugly, self-inflicted wounds, told the admissions staff that they *were* self inflicted and maybe he could use a little psychiatric help. Watched that self-same admissions staff ignore my concern with what I can only describe as cruel indifference. Then listened as yet another friend--this one female-- told me that she had been rushed into psychiatric emergency just because of "suicidal ideation". I've dealt with my partner's disability, the result of years of dickensesque working conditions that almost no western woman suffers. I've listened to two men tell me of being raped even though "that doesn't happen". I've come to the slow and painful realization that my male partner isn't the way nature intended him-- since he's a victim of genital mutilation-- but my concern -- that someone dictated for him and for *me* how we would relate sexually -- is seen as a joke. I've also listened to harrowing stories of abuse suffered by men at the hands of women. And I've heard even more stories of abuse suffered by men at the hands of family court.

I've seen all this and realized these personal expriences reflect injustices on a societal level. Four times more men then women commit suicide, yet women's suicide is the more important issue. Men earn more (taking the jobs that kill them), yes, but men also suffer more-- 95% of workplace fatailites, 90% of injuries. Men earn more, but women spend more... In almost every single consumer catagory, not just for "nessisary items". The only catagories men outspend women on are men's clothes, alcohol, gambling and gifts(for women). Countless studies have showed that women are as abusive as men, yet the male victims of DV are ignored. Boys are more likely to be killed as infants. Boys are far more likely to have routine genital mutilation preformed against them, but only girls are protected legally from it.

At almost every turn men are treated as the disposable sex, the uncared for sex. This bothers me, because I do care.

Feminism has yet to give me a situation in which western women suffer for being women that compares to the suffering of western men for being men.

And I can only conclude that the people who *don't* see these glaring truths-- how men suffer because they are men -- don't care. Apparently it's irrelevant, because, well, people don't really *like* men.

Women Like Women More then Men Like Men

Insult away.

(Yes, I already know I have crazy friends.)

zuzu

Definitely performance art.

typhonblue

zuzu says(in quotes):

"Definitely performance art."

Performance art with a message.

zuzu

Of *course* there's a message! And the message is, "I'm a very, very confused person! Lookit meeeeee!"

I'm just waiting for the melted chocolate and ground glass to come out.

typhonblue

zuzu wrote(in quotes):

"Of *course* there's a message! And the message is, 'I'm a very, very confused person! Lookit meeeeee!'"

And why is it you think I'm confused?

Amanda

How do you measure what "liking" someone means? My cats hide under the bed every time a stranger comes over; they tend, on average, to come out sooner when the stranger is a woman rather than a man. Does this mean my cats like women more? No, it's probably because women tend to have softer voices and a softer step and therefore seem less threatening to small animals.

My point is this--women are brought up to be more pleasant than men. In fact, it's probably the number one trait that parents try to instill in girls. As a result, it's likely that people, like cats, tend to react warmly to those who speak in soft, flattering tones more than those who don't. And those people tend more often to be women.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004