Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Debbie Schlussel lives in a weird world... I'm going to make a casserole...

I try not to read Debbie Schlussel's blog, but sometimes I can't resist. It's part of some deeply-seated subconscious desire to increase my blood pressure or something. I generally don't think of myself as a masochist, but sometimes I wonder...

In a weird and gnarled post about women paying alimony, Debbie does the money/marriage issue. You gotta read this:

While many couple may put out the BS line that they are equal 50/50 partners in their relationship, it's simply not the case. There is no such thing. In every single relationship, there is a stronger and a weaker party to it. If you are the major breadwinner, you are "the man." You have the power. The other person is reduced to the female role. That's simply the way it is, despite what Gloria Steinem might say or how she wants it to be. Men are hard-wired as hunter gatherers. When they are reduced to the homemaker and Mr. Mom role, it's degrading and emasculating, despite what they might claim. They simply don't have the respect of their female spouse that they might think they have. It's emotional wimpitude.

I think Debbie hangs around with the wrong people. I'm not into creating mathematical ratios for my relationships, but 50/50 is probably fairly accurate around the John Brown estate.

For awhile, my wife out-earned me. No, I make more than her. Guess what changed? Not much. We just had more money to foolishly spend on things we probably don't need. The contours of our relationship certainly didn't change with our tax bracket or our respective earnings.

If you live in a world that looks like the one Debbie paints, I have a recommendation. I know, I'm not really an advice columnist, but play along just for fun... Get a mirror. Look in it. Now, look at your spouse. There is a problem with one or both of you. I'd say it's 33/33/33 (you/him or her/both), if you need to put it into numbers.

The sad and fucked up world of relationships presented by Schlussel is not an inevitability. It isn't natural. It isn't part of our hard-wiring. It's bullshit. It comes from dark places in dark souls who have motivations they don't even recognize. It comes from attitudes and warped perspectives that make my subconscious need to find and read really annoying bloggers look quite trivial and even sort of cute.

I, John Brown, all-American straight male and 100% man, will now go put the washed clothes into the dryer. I will then vacuum the living room. Finally, I will make a delicious tuna casserole for my family's dinner.

When I am done, I will still be strong enough to whip a dozen pool hall drunks. I will still appreciate tits and asses. I will stroke my mustache. I will be capable of changing tires and shingling a roof. I will smoke manly cigarettes with advertising campaigns featuring cowboys. I'll also know that my wife appreciates my efforts when I take a weekday off from work. I won't lose "power" (by the way, if you think of your relationships in terms of power, you are ill). I won't be emasculated. I won't be wimpified. I will enjoy a great casserole.

I'll be happy and well-adjusted.

I'm always amazed that some people think the way they do. Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes it's maddening. Sometimes it's bewildering and sad at the same time.

Good luck figuring things out, Debbie.


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  1. Dear God, I thought only Mash and I had the courage to read her blog on a near-daily basis. Pretty messed up, isn't she?

  2. Yeah. Sometimes you have to wonder if it isn't all just some crazy joke.

    She's so out there on some things that it seems absolutely impossible for her to be a real person.

    Yet I keep going back for more.

    John Brown

  3. John,

    I had this long, thoughtful response to this post, yesterday, and it wouldn't post on my computer at home. So I'm making this lame imitation response, today.

    The bottom-line was that I really appreciate that at least one other grown man has not given into this bullshit notion that taking equality seriously in relationships matters and is the makings for the only relationship I think I could ever be happy in or feel good about.

    When men say shit like this, I say, "How typical." When women say stuff like this I think, "How sad. That you would settle for so little in your life."

    I guess we all get what we settle for.

    All I know is that if Debbie is willing to settle for less, that's exactly what she's gonna get.

    I can hardly believe that people are willing to do this, but many of them, sadly, are.

  4. Sorry -

    The bottom-line was that I really appreciate that at least one other grown man has not given into this bullshit notion that taking equality seriously in relationships DOESN'T matter. Equality is the making for the only relationship I think I could ever be happy in or feel good about.

  5. Yeah Schlussel is the crazy customer screaming at some poor cashier who we can't just all look away from. She is so unbalanced the well meaning just want to set her straight, but nothing gets in past her righteous hysteria.

    And isn't she, for terribly obvious reasons, an old maid anyway? What would she know?

    And what a negative view she has of femininity. Like the feminists she claims to disdain, she see power and worth only in outside work.