In comments on a recent post I criticized a particular pattern of thinking with regard to modern marriage:
“I was mostly referring to women who have a warped concept of marriage as an institution where she gets to live her empowered independent lifestyle but her husband is obligated to bend to her wishes…it’s a one-way process.”
Commenter Bb asked (twice in the thread, in fact) if I was theorizing or had actually seen this behavior.
“Out of curiosity, how many women in real life have you met like this, Badger? (I’ve been out of SMP for quite a while.)”
My answer has two parts: the Internet and “real life.”
I have seen an enormous amount of this attitude on the Internet. My informal perusal of Internet discussion on marriage (manosphere and otherwise) suggests to me that this may be the single biggest non-sexual complaint men have about their marriages. You can also find it on the women’s side. Innumerable advice columns field questions of the form “how can I make my husband do/think/be what I want?” You can find it in the petulant complaints at Dating A Banker Anonymous, DateMeDC or the inscrutable Lilly (who without a lick of irony lists cats and shoes as her two loves). Those in the so-called sex poz community also have a deep streak of viewing men as dildos-on-call, where women hold all the freedoms and benefits and men all the responsibilities and accountabilities.
One caveat to this is that we don’t know how many of these women actually feel this way, and how many of them are just running nuclear fitness testing in an attempt to get their man to be more of a leader.
As to my personal life: I know a handful of people like this. Though I try not to. I can’t say I ever chose my friends based on their views on gender roles in marriage, but people with this sort of attitude seem to have other toxic traits, and so I have weeded many of the flightly, flaky entitled people (of both genders) out of my life. However, the stories I hear from coupled and dating men in my life let me know I’m only two degrees of separation from a whole nother crop of them. (I do know a couple of married guys who are not victims of controlling wives but instead are just willingly pussywhipped.)
Keeping away takes some effort though. There are plenty of Sex And The City wannabes walking around the streets of urban America. They can get away with it, for a time, usually because they are hot and surrounded by men who will prostrate themselves for sexual access. They may even snag a relationship or two from a guy who offers “commitment” to hold onto his supply of sex. But there is no real “relationship” where one person thinks they have the right to boss the other person around. As they approach their 30’s, the balance shifts quickly as their looks decline and the “testosterone fog” of sexual desperation lifts among the men around them. The landing can be hard indeed.
“Even with non-traditional ideas of marriage, it would seem that a woman who’d want to be completely in control of their own destiny wouldn’t think that marriage would be logical. Cuts out of a lot of choice and options for self.”
This does sound like cognitive dissonance. The simple answer to this is that humans are not solely logical; we make life decisions based on a combination of logical, emotional and social factors; even our instinctual mating strategies have a lot of conflict within them. Women want the imprimatur, the impregnable social status symbol, of having a husband (“somebody chose me!!!”) but culture has also told them they shouldn’t take any shit from a man, men are stupid and should be manipulated to her end, and that sets up a conflict when it comes time to actually be married.
That’s why it’s hard to take a person at their word wrt these issues; women can talk a good game about wanting an “equal” relationship or a Captain-First Officer setup or whatever, but whenever conflict comes up still assert that theirs is the only view that should matter. Often it’s not that they overtly, logically think the relationship should work this way, it’s that whenever the chips are down, they viscerally turn to this one-sided ideology that popular culture has pumped into them – one where they are sweet and special ipso facto and the man should grovel for her approval. (People in general are just not very good at thinking in the heat of battle.)
It’s not that it’s young women’s fault, per se, but at some point they need to take responsibility for their own predicament and start to turn in the right direction – toss out Cosmo and actually come to view men as ends in themselves. The first step is recognizing toxic modes of thinking and setting yourself straight. That’s nothing more than we in the Manosphere ask men to do today – turn off the cultural nonsense being pumped into your head, throw away the pretty lies, and learn enough game to be an honest success in today’s SMP.