Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Shifting Position?

As I frequently say, I'm a huge fan of Dr. Laura. I agree with her almost all of the time and I think she does a lot of good. She had to deal with cancer not that long ago and I hope/pray (despite what she might say about hoping and praying) she never has to deal with cancer again.

It is nearly impossible for cancer not to change someone, and I think breast cancer changed her. As she said on the air, she had breast cancer and had a single mastectomy and, thus far, opted not to have reconstructive surgery.

In the past, when women called to get her advice on plastic surgery, including breast surgery, she used to be very supportive of "restorative" surgery, to counter what disease, surgery, aging, or breastfeeding had done. We're talking women trying to get back to the way they used to be, not women who used to be B-cups going for DDs.

Lately, though, she has discouraged women from even trying to get back to the way they used to look through surgery.

Now, I fully support Dr. Laura's personal decision about her own body (not that she needs anyone else to approve). I also have no desire for my wife to have breast surgery, even though she herself laments what age and breastfeeding did to hers.

I think, however, Dr. Laura is letting her personal situation change how she handles these calls. Now she puts down any husband who doesn't explicitly discourage his wife from going through with the surgery that wife has contemplated, and she herself discourages the women from getting the surgery. She (sometimes) doesn't cite risks or any drawbacks, just that it isn't necessary and the husband loves her anyway, or should. (Which makes me wonder what she'd say if someone wanted something done to their teeth for strictly aesthetic reasons.)

Dr. Laura will always point out that age is also having an effect on the husband's body, as he's less toned, might be balding, might have a bit of a belly, etc. I know that works on some people, but especially since Dr. Laura is mostly "old school" and talks about psychobiological differences between the sexes and the importance of gender roles, I know that she knows, like I do, that it isn't the same thing. It's not the same thing because men and women seek different things in each other. Yes, all other things being equal, women want a guy who is in better shape and has more hair on his head. However, there are some great looking men in great shape who are working the fry cooker in your local fast food joint who are passed up for overweight, balding men because those men have money. Try to couch that in whatever terminology you want, ladies... "ambition" and "accomplishment" and "security"... the fact is, it is about money (and often power and fame). There are men who ARE in jobs that could support a wife and kids who are passed up for richer men who are physically out of shape. And Dr. Laura tells men they have to stay in jobs they don't like because they are providing for their families. She discourages those men from taking a job that pays less that they'd enjoy more or would have less security. In general, a woman's body, especially how it looks, matters to a man more than his body matters to her, and his earnings matter more to her than her earnings matter to him. Call that sexist, call it shallow, call it whatever you want, but it is a fact of life. The brutal, harsh reality is that if the husband who has a flabby gut and is at the height of his high-earning career were to dump his wife with the sagging, deflated boobs, he'd be much more likely to find a younger, hotbody woman to marry him who'd do everything his wife used to do for him and more, than his wife would be to find a younger, hotbody man who earns anywhere near as much as her husband.

That's just a fact of life, whether any of us like or or not. I know it isn't romantic, I know it makes some people (especially women) sad or angry, but that doesn't change whether it is true or not.

None of this is to say that husbands should dump their wives or encourage their wives to get cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. The whole point of this is to note that Dr. Laura has changed her position on restorative surgery and that, despite her tactics, it doesn't matter as much that a husband has aged, because he has even more of what women value most.

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