It is because I am such a fan of her show, books, etc. that I know what she says well enough that I can have these questions for her (unlike people who have no clue and mockingly ask questions). These questions are not intended to be traps. I am not playing "gotcha". I'd really like to know if there are answers. It is difficult to give commentary and take calls for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, plus everything else she does and to never misspeak or never put things in a way that could have been put better or never misunderstand what a caller has said.
I value consistency, basing things on principles, values, etc., and Dr. Laura is almost always consistent and clear about principles. Maybe there is some principle or bit of knowledge I am not seeing that would clear up my questions. Maybe she will give clarification on her show in a commentary, since she doesn’t take questions like this as calls – she only deals with a supposedly real-life situation faced by the caller. I think answering these questions would make her show even better because I'm probably not the only listener who has these questions.
I was going to do one long posting of all the questions, but that would take too long, I couldn't wait any longer, and people tend to skip over lost walls of text anyway, so I've decided to turn this into a series, starting with what was probably the original question I wanted to ask anyway:
1) What exactly are you expecting husbands to do when you tell them to man up, be a man, or use their balls in dealing with their wife? If he's going to obey the law, he can't kick her out. He can't physically restrain her. He can't assault her. He can't make threats to her. He can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do. She is more likely to monetarily rewarded in a divorce than he is (he is more likely to be punished) and she is more likely to get custody or their children. All he can do is state what he wants from her. He can phrase his statement as a demand if he'd like, but her compliance is entirely voluntary. Generally speaking, marriage only benefits a man at the voluntary generosity of his wife, while a wife benefits as a matter of law. If a woman is ignorant of how the laws benefit her, and nobody else will tell her (not likely), she might be more willing to do what her husband is asking, despite her own desires on the matter.
Let me demonstrate.
Husband: You need to stop giving our money to your deadbeat brother.What can the husband do at this point? If they get into a fight, the wife or neighbors can call the police and the man will be taken to jail. Slapping or slugging her is legally and morally out of the question. He can't refuse her access to the marital money. He can divorce her, in which case she'll get alimony and the husband's money will go to her deadbeat brother anyway. It doesn't work the other way around. If she makes a request or demand of her husband, he has much more incentive to comply or acquiesce, because she has the power to put in him jail immediately, take away over half of everything he's earned, levy a monthly assessment on his future earnings, and take his children away from him. I suspect you find this reality depressingly unsexy, as I've noticed you appreciate masculine, take-charge men, but it is the world we now live in.
Wife: F--- you. You can't tell me what to do.
Husband: I'm the man of this house.
Wife: So f---ing what? I'll do what I want to do.
Dr. Laura, people call you looking for advice or feedback, so they are at least somewhat open to suggestions and willing to do what you say – even though some act very resistant. So if a wife calls you and asks if she should continue giving money to her deadbeat brother, she might actually listen to you. However, if her husband calls and complains that his wife is giving money to her deadbeat brother, she is clearly resistant to stopping, which is why the husband called. He's already told her to stop, and she hasn't listened. Why would she do what he says just because you told him to "man up"?
2) You often say "That’s what a man does." How did you determine what a man does? If you cite tradition, please explain how you determine which traditions to retain and which ones to discard, and why someone else should adopt the same method. I think that would be an excellent commentary.
Reader - do you have answers? Thoughts? More questions to follow.