Monday, January 27, 2014

Husbands Are Not Handbags

You know that feminism is starting to realize it has a problem when they start trying to praise men.

Bless their little hearts, when the feminist establishment recently took a good hard look at all of the high-profile success stories of female CEOs, politicians, and senior administrators, among the commonalities of experience was this: most female power players enjoyed the support of a devoted househusband in the shadows.  In other words, they didn't get where they were without a man's help.  This article over on HuffPo by Anne-Marie Slaughter, amusingly entitled Behind Every Great Woman Is A Great Man explores the idea, foreign to feminism, that gosh darn it maybe husbands aren't such a bad idea after all for the up-and-coming career woman.  Heck, they're now as stylish as a Prada bag.

 According to a recent study of high-profile female executives who identify as feminist, having a helpful hubby is about as essential as a Prada bag to get ahead in the corporate world.  Beyond the glass ceiling you can’t have it all without the help of a man, it seems.  Every leaning-in woman, apparently, has a trusty, devoted Beta boy in the background picking up kids, ironing the pleats in her skirt, and otherwise making her look good.  Docile, well-domesticated Beta husbands have become an essential accessory for the metropolitan feminist matriarch.

Of course, most of these super-supportive “househusbands” are as white, wealthy, and privileged as their ambitious wives, so they can spare plenty of time for nurturing duty by throwing money at problems that ordinary husbands and fathers have to deal with.  Being a great dad and hubby is easier, I'd imagine, when you have a housekeeper, nanny and a landscaping service.  But the data is clear: progressive corporate feminists should get married to superBetas to enhance their chances of success.  

The premise of the argument is that if competition and ambition are good for women to demonstrate, then caring and compassion and a desire to raise their children and be a part of their lives are just as good for men to demonstrate.  Because, according to Slaughter "We don't observe that desire on the part of many men today, in the same way that we didn't used to see the competitive side of women." 

This, despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of men who desperately desire to do just that, but have been prohibited from doing so by a women-oriented family court system.  This, despite the dramatic rise in the number of dads who are dispensing care and enjoying it.  Despite this gross misrepresentation of the deep masculine desire to father (she can't bring herself to use the term, selecting the gender-neutral "caregiving" instead), Slaughter insists "Men are still socialized to groom their competitive instincts and suppress their caring sides."

Well, duh.  

You wanna know why?  It's a big secret: because sex is the primary motivational factor in a man's life, and being socialized to groom their caring sides gets them personally, socially, and psychologically mangled in the pursuit of that motivating factor.  Men groom their competitive instincts because they compete for the attention and the sexual availability of women.  And yes, we are groomed to suppress our caring sides, because over-empathizing with your competitors is counter-indicated to the whole idea of competition.  But to conclude that it is therefore missing or underdeveloped is an error.  

Men suppress their caring sides until needed, otherwise they become whiny Gamma nightmare Nice Guys.   And to reinforce the idea that having their caring, nurturing sides groomed is a poor mating strategy, just watch what happens when a man so-groomed goes out into the sexual marketplace. Watch how the women he meets, including the corporate feminists, recoil with loathing as he demonstrates how caring and non-competitive he is.Those guys end up in lackluster marriages (if any) where their wives have clearly settled and the gamma male in question is largely superfluous until she bangs someone better.  I've seen these poor idiots actually apologize to their wives for "driving them into the arms of another man" by their self-loathing.   It certainly does not improve his attractiveness to women in the slightest, and all the HuffPo articles in the world aren't going to suddenly make them find them so.

That puts feminism in the ironic light of attempting to glorify men, in some minute form or fashion, and from this missive it’s clear that this is territory that they are both unfamiliar with and clearly untalented in.  Their attempts are so feminist-laden in perspective that they don’t realize just how humiliating this is for the poor Betas in question.  

They feel that they are doing these men and society a favor, by glorifying their willingness to abandon or postpone their own ambitions for those of their power-hungry wives.  They think that extolling the nurturing virtues of men will somehow detract from the four decades of systematic male abuse that has spewed forth from feminist pages. 
But the truly, deliciously ironic thing about this is that they are in fact objectifying these men, as well and truly as any man has when expressing a preference in cup sizes.  They have made these Betazoids and their nurturing virtues – they can’t quite bring themselves to call it “fatherhood” – into the latest adornment on their vanities by their half-hearted, tepid praise.  They seek to praise these men by invoking their feminine virtues, not their masculine ones. 

Think of whom these articles are designed for: women who are “leaning in”, young ambitious career feminists eager to step on a ladder of dicks on a daily basis to advance their career aspirations.  In a publication designed to inform women, en masse, about the expectations of the female social matrix.  Huffington Post just put the scrotums of Betas on the rack like limited-edition Italian designer handbags.  Every ambitious young executive feminist woman should have one to be in the club, only . . . there seems to be a deplorable shortage of dudes willing to sign up for that lackluster gig.

Why?  Because even as they extol the virtues of these pro Beta men, they can’t disguise their unease and disgust with themselves for doing so.  Nor can they repair the damage done for the last two generations to the very men they stalk with a condescending pat on the head.  So the faint praise with which they are damning those poor husbands is ironically pointing out just why a quality dude should shy away from such a relationship. 

I’m not talking out of my ass here.  I’ve been a househusband.  I’m still as much housekeeper as householder, with Mrs. Ironwood working from home, and yeah, I provide a lot of basic support for the family.

But the cold fact is, Ladies, it is different for a man.  You essentially just patted those dudes on the head for non-masculine virtues.  The social reality is that publicly praising a husband for his housekeeping and caregiving is the functional way to lose points for him, no matter how darn good he is at it. 
 That's equivalent of a dude bragging to his friends, “Yeah, she’s got a face like a trainwreck and she’s lousy in the sack, but she makes so much cash I don’t have to lift a goddamn finger!”  It might be a practical advantage, but you don’t score social points for it.  On the contrary, you lose points.

Women might appreciate another woman’s househusband intellectually and emotionally, but they don’t find him attractive for it.  Other men don’t look upon a high-end househusband with envy, but with pityNo man wants to be in a relationship where he’s doomed to be the junior partner forever . . . not if he wants the respect of his male peers.

Their willingness to submit, economically and legally, to the realities of the post-industrial world and accept whatever custody-and-divorce settlement her lawyers can negotiate for her make these domesticated Betas little more than prized pets for their wives – sorry, “executive domestic partners”.   

And the feminist establishment’s lackluster attempt to add fictitious value to the men who sacrifice their masculine ambitions for the security of their wife’s paycheck insults the very real masculine values at play here.  Nurturing fatherhood and husbandly support are, indeed, worthy expressions of masculinity, but only in complement to other, far more Alpha qualities.  Attempting to downplay the nature of masculine nurturing in the context of a robust masculinity and elevate it’s purely Beta is about as emasculating as it gets. 

These men don’t need to be valued for their nurturing.  They need to be acknowledged as Fathers and Husbands, the traditional titles of such men, and celebrated for their accomplishments independent of their wives’ busy lives.  Celebrating their domestic mastery is a lovely way to round out a respectful ode to these men, but not as the focus.  Goddess knows they don’t hear it often enough from their wives, no doubt.  In fact, in their attempts to extol the virtues of a junior male domestic partner, these women miss the grim reality that is the life of a Domesticated Beta Husband.

I know more than a few of these guys.  In some cases they enjoy successful careers themselves – just not as successful as their wives.  In others they have been forced by fate or circumstance or economic necessity to take over the housekeeping duties of the home.  They did not do it by native inclination. 

But what the feminist elite doesn’t mention about these men is the reality of their lives.  Perhaps life on the Upper West Side is different from the rest of the nation, but elsewhere the life of a career woman’s househusband is fraught with all sorts of issues, almost none of them revolving around his “intimidation” by his wife’s power.  More often than not the couples are in marriage counseling and frequently are on the verge of divorce under the strain of the relationship.  But he rarely counts himself as lucky to have found such a productive breadwinner.  Strutting around proudly about how important your wife is gets you ostracized from male and female society.  No dude wants to brag about how his wife is always too busy with work to spend time with him. And no one wants to associate with the dude who can't make it without a woman's help.

Let’s take a look at the sexual dynamic in such a relationship.  Someone should – feminism wants to ignore it, pretend that everything will work out nice and tidy in the bedroom.  The cold reality is that women who out-earn their husbands, or whose husbands are unemployed or are genuinely responsible for the house as a full time SAHD are largely unattracted to their menfolk.  When a working dude does laundry it’s a godsend for most wives.  When a househusband does laundry it’s an occasion for criticism about how he folds towels.  It damn sure ain’t foreplay.

Sexually, career women have a hard time with relationships with Beta husbands.  One couple I know seems a perfect example.  Ten years ago the wife was a successful attorney and the husband a low-level transportation manager and “full time dad” who was lauded in my progressive neighborhood as a sign of the perfect post-industrial family unit.  She made the majority of the money, he kept the house and took care of their daughter. 

The problem was that after a working day filled with high-Alpha males the wife would come home to hear the husband talking about his “work” at home with the kid . . . and to her it sounded like unbearable whining, not a discussion of goals and accomplishments.  Certainly not the sort of thing to dampen panties. 

As she began to withdraw physically, he tried to Beta-out and be Superdad in an effort to appeal to her.  As everyone in the Manosphere should be able to predict by now, after some initial damp praise the wife just got more and more resentful that her underemployed husband was enjoying all the benefits of parenthood while she slaved away at the office 60 hours a week.  The pristine state of the house no longer mattered – everything he did was subject to criticism and fault.  Superdad did not dampen panties. 

They considered having another kid but elected to buy a bigger house first.  They bought the one next door so they could oversee the renovation.  At first things evened out – he looked more Alpha as he oversaw the construction, she responded to the hope of better times with a more receptive attitude – but it was a very short-lived solution.  As the new home neared completion, the old problems returned with a vengeance.  The wife decided she wasn’t happy.  The husband got resentful over his powerless status in the relationship.  Instead of feeling celebrated as a husband and father, he was castigated as being lazy and entitled. 

Eventually they both had affairs.  She took up with one of the alpha male attorneys she knew from work, he indulged in a tawdry bit of infidelity with a younger college girl who saw his nurturing as attractive and his wife as an ungrateful bitch who did not know how to appreciate a good man.  She cheated first.  The whole thing blew up and wrecked the family.  She ended up moving into the new house with the kid, he got stuck in the old house.

Renting.  On his own, he couldn’t afford to buy it from her.  She graciously eschewed child support from him in return for guaranteed after-school child care.  She even discounted his rent in appreciation of his good nurturing.   So if you want to put a market value on masculine nurturing, according to this particular feminist lawyer, it’s worth about a hundred and sixty bucks a month.

The humiliating reality of the situation is that despite all of their prattling about valuing nurturing in the husbands who support these corporate feminists, these men – like all men in our society – are disposable to feminists.  Ann Marie Slaughter’s article quotes Bill Gates indicating that there are two great forces in human nature, self interest and caring for others, and she does her best to invoke the latter in men . . . but only at the expense of the former. 

Look how she puts it: But it's time to change the way we socialize our sons and choose our mates. Caregiver men are essential to the advance of competitor women.That is, in order for a woman to be competitive, she must accessorize properly with a caregiving man, despite the fact that society – as it stands – makes this a very poor choice for a man’s long-term self interest. 

Making our boys less competitive and encouraging our daughters to choose less-desirable mates might be the best route to making men more useful to women, but it is not in the best interests of men.  Focusing on caregiving when both mating and socializing only reward competition in boys is to doom your sons to lives of frustration and resentment – Betahood, in other words.  And teaching your daughters to value domesticity over productivity in their future husbands is to condemn them to unhappiness and eventual divorce. 
Feminism’s desire to Build A Better Beta ignores the very real consequence to the men in question.  They are neither desired by women nor respected by their fellow men.  They are, for lack of a better term, Future Ex Husbands.  You have to be a special kind of selfless masochist to thrive in that environment.  And not the kind of dude I want to hang out with.

What is really delicious about this bit of irony is that Dr. Slaughter is, in essence, telling women that the only way they can make it is to marry well . . . she just changes the definition of “well” from “wealthy and powerful” to “knows how to iron”.  In fact, she has to admit that the top women in their fields cannot seem to sustain their ambitious rise without a man’s help and assistance.  Yet she is loathe to actually commend those men in ways that are truly flattering to them. 

The irony train keeps chugging along as soon as you realize that the kind of high-quality man who can, indeed, be both householder and housekeeper, breadwinner and bread baker, is generally not going to want a relationship with a woman with whom he feels in competition, and therefore he’s going to eschew the ambitious career woman for a less complicated, less-demanding wife. 

That leaves the Beta AFCs who become domesticated out of economic necessity, who might be attracted to the vitality of a corporate feminist but who is under the mistaken impression that he can expect the kind of domestic loyalty and rejection of hypergamy he thinks marriage entails. 

When you know you’re the last ride on the carousel, what your wife settled for after she’d enjoyed “realer” men in her youth, you get to carry around a permanent inferiority complex that no number of expensive gifts is going to buy off.  You’re a Beta Dick she values for your dependable domesticity, and as soon as the kids are old enough to fend for themselves your sorry unproductive and decidedly unsexy ass is going to get dropped. 

At the very best, you will always live a contentious life of negotiated intimacy and rigid boundaries that makes a mockery of the partnership of marriage.  These corporate feminists who suddenly see a husband as this season’s must-have accessory to break the glass ceiling, not a partner worthy of a life-changing commitment.  To them, their careers will always take priority over their relationships, their children, and their families.

Don’t believe me, ladies?  Ask yourself this: if your househusband suddenly asked you to quit your job and move away for the good of the marriage and his happiness, would you?  Would you give up your career in favor of the needs of your family?  Or would you insist on counseling and start asking around about attorneys?

From a fella’s perspective, there is every reason in the world to avoid marrying a corporate feminist in the process of “leaning in.”  In general they make lousy wives . . . and if you’re not concerned with what kind of wife the woman you will marry will be, you seriously need to re-think your priorities.  They will not have time or energy to devote to you and the marriage, their idea of commitment is transitory at best, and – with gallant exceptions – many of them are utterly mediocre moms. 

Corporate feminists still have all the same desires and wants as other women, and are subject to the same pressures of hypergamy and fleeting youth.  But they also have a far greater access to a pool of relentless alphas in their chosen profession.  That gives them ample opportunity to find engagement and distraction with a dude who really makes their panties wet, not the dude who takes them out of the dryer. 

A househusband who can be the primary caregiver, not support the household financially, and still keep his wife aroused and interested is a rare and special breed.  In the face of that scarcity, the odds your corporate feminist wife is going to find herself "leaning in" over a desk one late night at work while a super-alpha business associate removes her dainty underthings is pretty high.  And a man faced with a woman who clearly would rather devote her energies toward her job rather than to him and his family is going to find his beloved corporate warhorse either tantalizingly unavailable or decidedly lacking in feminine allure. 

When Dr. Slaughter talks about re-valuing both men and women for their ability to care and/or provide, just to whom is she speaking?  The men, who know that touting their domestic capabilities gets them sent to the bottom of the loser pile in human mating, or the women, who know that “a tidy housekeeper” has never appeared on her dream list of Prince Charming qualities and likely never will? 

Men value a husband based on how well his family functions and how he gets along with his wife, and his domestic responsibilities are part of that reflection but not a significant part.  Women value a husband in a lot of ways, and caregiving is certainly among them, but the idea of basing their mating preferences on a man’s nurturing is foreign to feminine sensibilities. 

We need to change how we choose our mates?  No shit, Dr. Slaughter.  But making the assumption that a well-paid career woman is a safe bet for a blissful marriage is stupidly na├»ve and dangerous to the interests of men. 

While you talk of valuing these men for their caregiving, you do so in a feminist climate that has continuously denigrated the roles of husband and father for four decades.  What you propose instead is an emasculating and matronizing rationalization of a dysfunctional system. 

Praising men for being more like women does no one favors.  It certainly doesn’t help those poor AFCs stuck in the shadows of their wives until they get discarded. 

Quite the contrary, it’s just cruel of you.  Stop objectifying husbands like they were handbags.  It makes you look fat.


  1. Hum, maybe you are missing the point that these women are making meaning that for an enterprise to succeed, you always need a sidekick, a good 2nd officer. In the past, women had traditionally been in that role with maintaining the household while the husband was climbing the corp ladder and getting accolades on how successful he was. We have to acknowledge that this success was also achieved thanks to having someone in the back putting order into the routine of the family life. Now, roles are more versatile, men also can provide that effective back up to their wives and they should get praised for it. Maybe if women had been more praised for these duties, they wouldn't have started to look down on such a crucial role. This is what happen when you take people/things for granted I guess. Also, all of the woes (lack of sex, disrespect, unavailability...) can all be returned to men as well; working hard implies sacrifices and it is a gender-neutral necessity. Nobody is complaining when you don't see your husband during the whole week to find out he is now banging the secretary (well, they spend so much time together now anyway!) It looks like the "feminists" won't be doing the same mistake. So, yeah, I disagree that these women are talking about their supportive husbands as "accessories". They know that maintaining a household is hard work and what pressures it creates. I think it is important to reflect on how systems work; too often we assume that one thing is the doing of only ONE person but it is basically a team effort.

  2. That was brutally honest and exceedingly depressing all in the same article.

  3. "[...]sex is the primary motivational factor in a man's life[...]"
    Personal emprical data says you're absolutely right ;) but do you by any chance know of research to back this statement? I tried a few searches but my google-fu is failing... all I found (aside from a relatively useless Yahoo page) were a bunch of studies on rape, sexual aggression, &tc.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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