Embracing What This One Lady Thinks Feminism Is Could KILL Your Marriage. Be Forewarned!
Normally, on Saturdays, we take a look at what weird misogynistic things the gross men of the internet are saying, and then laugh maniacally at them. But today, we've got something new and exciting and different! A woman who is saying weird misogynistic things on the internet! Well, not new, exactly -- Phyllis Schlafly was doing that shit while I was still in diapers -- but you know what I'm saying.
Meet Carrie Gress! Carrie is a "homeschooling mother of four, has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and is a faculty member at Pontifex University" -- a
university where you learn how to be Pope that is not at all accredited. She wrote an article for The Federalist that hilariously titled "How Acting Like A Feminist Can Ruin Your Marriage." Which I found very interesting in light of the fact that both of my parents are feminists and they have been happily married for approximately 17,000 years, not to mention the very good marriages of other feminists I know. Weird!
I am going to guess, though -- from this article -- that Carrie Gress does not actually know any feminists personally, and that her opinion on his issue is largely based on a strawfeminist character she made up in her own mind. A feminism that tells women to be really, really mean and horrible to their husbands for no good reason.
Carrie's understanding of feminism, it seems, is an amalgamation of Dove Body Wash ads and conservative fear-mongering:
“Fight like a girl,” “Strong is the new pretty,” and “Find your fierce” may sound nice, but we have to ask if they have led women to happiness or an endless fluctuation between ferocity and victimhood. For example, take Kathy Griffin presenting the faux head of Donald Trump on TV. She “resisted” but when public opinion (and a lot of money) turned away from her, she tried to spin it so she became the victim in the story.
While this example is extreme, women are daily encouraged to act boldly (and, of course, there are times when we must—I’m not suggesting becoming a door mat), but simultaneously to become the victim when things don’t go as planned. This may work in a media stunt, but it is toxic for real relationships when people are counting on wisdom, prudence, and loyalty.
Carrie does have a good point here -- taking a picture of yourself holding the disembodied and bloody head of your husband could put some strain on your marriage (unless that is what he is into, sexually). I guess it is a good thing that Kathy Griffin and Donald Trump are not married, because I bet that would make the pillow talk very awkward.
She then goes onto explain that men write songs about ladies who are sweet, not feminists who NAG.
From the dawn of time, men croon about particular attributes especially found in women: loyalty, sweetness, a calming presence, kindness, thoughtfulness. Looking past lyrics dripping with lust, a pattern emerges. Dante, the Beatles, Elvis, James Taylor, Sting, The Grateful Dead, Tim McGraw, and on and on—all speak of loving a truthful, kind, loyal, soulful woman who brings them peace. There has been no love song dedicated to a nagging, angry, self-absorbed woman.
You know... I love James Taylor, but I'm just gonna guess that the problem with his relationship with Carly Simon was not that she was too feministy for his taste? Like, maybe it was the heroin? Just saying! Also like half of his songs are about Carly Simon. Also Elvis and Jerry Garcia? Really? Not exactly on my list of dudes it would be great to be in a relationship with.
Also maybe Carrie should listen to more Cat Stevens?
I could actually name several love songs men have written about women who were more than just "sweet" and "loyal." Including some by those same people! But that point is moot, since it's hardly as though "Fishwife 101" is a required course for Women's Studies majors.
Not only is this non-existent feminist maxim that one ought to be terrible to their husband hurting men, Gress believes it is hurting women too:
In the meantime, women who have found husbands aren’t finding it to be paradise either. Seventy percent of divorces are initiated by women. While yes, perhaps there is blame to attribute to husbands, again there is little discussion about what women might be contributing to the split.
She then goes on to praise, of all things, an article from YourTango titled "Yes, It Is YOUR Job To Make Your Husband Happy" by one Andrea Miller, who learned the hard way that it is bad to not do your husband's laundry for him, or something.
Miller goes on to explain that after realizing that the pain she was inflicting upon her spouse wasn’t making either of them happy, she tried something else: tenderness, less judgment and punishment, and more affection. The results, she explains, were brilliant.
While bringing out the best in her husband, Miller brought out the best of herself—kind, warm, thoughtful, compassionate. For decades, women have been told that somehow we can be happy without these things, but the real secret is as old as poetry and song.
Speaking of songs, someone should probably tell notify Carrie that Hard Hearted Hannah The Vamp of Savannah is not actually the official code that all feminists live by when it comes to our relationships.
In fact, I am pretty sure that the fact that I am a feminist has been an asset in my relationships rather than a hinderance -- though possibly because I am not dating Donald Trump. Contrary to what she apparently has been led to believe, I don't actually just go around castrating dudes for no good reason. If I am going to castrate anyone at all, I will do so thoughtfully, thank you very much.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse