Saturday, December 08, 2018

Explain What You Mean in Telling a Husband to Man Up

I've posed this question before, directed at Dr. Laura, but a lot of people tell a husband to "man up" or "grow a pair" or "use your balls" or something similar in dealing with his wife, usually when there is a disagreement or the wife is behaving in some way that is immoral, irrational, unfair, or destructive. I'd very much like to know what someone who says such a thing means by it. What do you they expect the husband to actually do?

He can assert his opinion or demand. His wife can easily ignore or dismiss it.

Then what?

He can't force her to comply, and even if he can physically take unilateral action, she can use the force of law to stop him. He can't withhold his earnings from her (at least in Dr. Laura's scenario, a first marriage wouldn't have a prenup keeping finances separate). Anything he refuses to do for her, she can pay someone else to do using his earnings.

Even if he's willing to go without sex or her doing anything at all for him, a breadwinning man who is married and living with his wife has, by law and public policy, ceded his authority to her. As I've said before, that sounds profoundly unsexy, but it is the practical reality. That's the world we've created (and may be one reason why women grow dissatisfied with their marriage.)

With full support of the law, his wife can:

1) Beat him and have him arrested and kicked out of his own house, for which he'll still be obligated to pay.

2) Get pregnant by another man and compel her husband to pay "child support" for that child for 18-25 years.

3) Spend all of his money, get him into debt, and ruin his credit.

4) Divorce him, compelling him to pay for two legal teams, taking more than half of everything he's ever earned, and compelling him to make monthly payments to her for the rest of his life (at least in places like California, where I live and were Dr. Laura lives.)

5) Take his children away from him.

6) Have his child dismembered before that child is born.

7) Take or simply send his minor daughter to get contraception, abortifacients, or abortions.

Women are fully empowered to do those things, and even encouraged to do so by our culture. No amount of standing up straight, sticking out his chest, and using his deepest voice gives a man the ability to stop these things. If he uses physical force to try to stop any of this, he violates the law and can be imprisoned or shot to death by law enforcement.

Husbands used to have control in a marriage because if there was a disagreement, the wife's ultimate options were to:

1) Use her feminine wiles to get him to see things her way.

2) Shut up and defer to him as head of the home.

3) Be divorced or threatened with divorce, which would bring shame and quite possibly destitution.

4) Be beaten into submission or threatened with it.

You know, like how it still is in some parts of the world I don't even need to spell out? I doubt Dr. Laura or any semi-sane Western woman wants to regress to that.

Yes, in an ideal world, if as husband were to assert himself in the cases in which Dr. Laura and others tell them to "man up", his wife would fall right in line and find it incredibly sexy that he took charge. Unfortunately, a lot of wives these days won't do that, and when a man marries, he's ultimately ceded power. Paradoxically, so many people tell men to "man up" by getting married, when doing so in this present culture is thoroughly emasculating. Yes, some women do defer to their husbands, but doing so is entirely voluntary. She has to have the power before she can delegate it, and she does have the power.

It seems the most effective way to "man up" and stay within the law is to join the marriage strike. In doing so, a man retains decision-making authority and some power to back up his decisions.

Most of this entry also applies when Christians tell husbands to be the leader of their family. What if the wife says "No." What then? He can't be the leader then. Also, some wives don't give a single blanket "No" but effectively do so, some more often than others, with their actions, and there's no much a husband can do about that.

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