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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