Friday, July 14, 2006

My husband sucks, but he can't help it - nature made him that way

What is it with women who write for the NYTimes? Poor Daphne Merkin can't find a daddy, Maureen Dowd blames feminism for dating woes - although claims she herself has a great social life - then Amy Sutherland writes an article about what a jerk her husband Scott is When she objected to some stuff he did "he'd drive faster instead of slower; shave less frequently, not more; and leave his reeking bike garb on the bedroom floor longer than ever." In other words, no bitch was going to tell Scott what to do.

Sutherland's answer to her husband's deep-seated hostility and aggression was to try to train him to behave reasonably and with consideration using animal-training techniques.

Sutherland didn't come out and say her husband couldn't be expected to treat her wishes with consideration due to the fact, detected by evolutionary psychologists, that men are just like that, but she used the language of evolutionary psychology, explaining that:
The exotic animal known as Scott is a loner, but an alpha male. So hierarchy matters, but being in a group doesn't so much

Maybe Judith Warner noticed that Sutherland's article has been the Times's first or second most-emailed article for about two weeks now, and wanted a piece of that action, which is why she wrote an article confessing that her husband treats her with contempt:
On Sunday night, though, as I read The Times’s laid-back-boys-on-campus piece — while simultaneously giving a bath, putting away laundry and writing a week’s worth of columns in my head — the colorful image of sarong-clad men and women suddenly lodged itself inside my mind. It seemed to have some kind of great significance; column potential. So I raced to share it with Max, who was having a little lie-down on the couch, having done some very tiring driving earlier in the day.

As I began to talk, his fingers reflexively felt for the TV remote, trying — and I really don’t think this was conscious — to turn me either down or off. When this proved fruitless, he resorted to words: “interesting,” first, then “work on that” and, finally (TV volume rising now) “Sounds great — get to it!”

Warner's husband wants to make sure she knows that no matter how big a hoity-toity famous writer for the NYTimes she is, he's more interested in watching TV than hearing about her work. No bitch is going to take up HIS TV time.

Warner doesn't claim that scientists have found a biological reason for why her husband is such a creep, but she expects they WILL find it soon:
The pattern of selective male laziness and female frenzy that begins among young men and women in college persists long after graduation. Someday soon, I am sure, an evolutionary biologist will teach us how all this is hard-wired — and why it is worthwhile.
Of course Warner immediately assumes that the cause is biological, not social. Notice that Warner doesn't attribute her husband's attitude to their relationship. No, it turns out that her husband, as a man, is naturally "lazy" while she, being female, is of course in a female frenzy. This is not about Judith and Max, it's about the supposed essential natures of men and women, and Judith's and Max's personalities happen to be a perfect match for these alleged universal male/female traits.

Both Warner and Sutherland seem to believe that their marriages are just swell. They sound like awful relationships to me, even though Sutherland, at least, tries to present alpha Scott as having traits that make up for his incredible screw-you attitude. After all, he does do an hysterical rendition of a northern Vermont accent. How many men even know there is a "northern Vermont accent?" That's gotta outweigh all kinds of obnoxious, risky, selfish behavior.

When organizations like The National Marriage Project wring their hands and search for reasons for why women are increasingly uninterested in marriage, they have no further to look than the NYTimes. If intelligent, accomplished women are fed shit by their husbands and call it chocolate eclairs, what the hell's the point? Who needs to spend time with someone in your off hours who responds to your request to pick up stinking clothes by picking them up LESS, as alpha Scott does; or who makes no secret of the fact that he'd rather watch TV than listen to his accomplished wife talk about her interesting ideas, as lazy Max does? And I'm sure that the Judith/Max household can afford Tivo, so there's NO excuse for that behavior.

Judith, Amy, please: sooner or later, even evolutionary psychology will no longer be sufficient to keep you from realizing that the person who swore in public to love and honor you now treats you like a buzzing gnat or insubordinate household help. Sooner or later your resentment and self-respect are going to assert themselves and you'll be forced to admit that you and he aren't really gender archetypes acting in a script authored by natural selection after all. Someday, maybe, even your power to get back at your husband by portraying him as a jerk to an audience of millions will not suffice.

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