I was reading some work by a Christian feminist this week. She was arguing that if only men were to help out their wives with housework, then marriages would be more stable. So often, society works very hard to give women what they say will make them happy. Then when women get what they asked for, it doesn’t make them happy. Is equal housework once of these cases?
Consider this New York Daily story about a Norwegian study that affirms traditional roles within the marriage.
Couples who share housework duties run a higher risk of divorce than couples where the woman does most of the chores, a Norwegian study sure to get tongues wagging has shown.
The divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.
“The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled Equality in the Home, said.
So here is a case where women say what they think they want. Then they get it. And then they don’t like the result.
Another point made by the Christian feminist was that women only initiate 80% of divorces because men are terrible at emotional intimacy. The Christian feminist says that we just need to have churches teach men how to be more emotionally available. Men need to take the initiative to make marriages work for women.
Here’s conservative Andrew Klavan explaining that many women today are attracted to emotionally unavailable men, and that men adapt to this in order to get the girl:
I wanted to take a serious look at this situation and get at the reasons men such as Weiner behave in this grotesque way.
I blame women. No, really. Women — by which I mean each and every single member of the female gender — you know who you are — need look no further than themselves to explain why [Anthony] Weiner-types behave toward them in this fashion. We men are always hearing complaints from women about how badly we treat them, what pigs we are, how pushy and abrasive… on and on. But what these same women conveniently fail to mention is that this stuff really works on them!
There are tons of studies about how women are attracted to the so-called “dark triad” character traits. Many women are attracted to emotionally unavailable men before marriage, but after marriage, most of them realize how terrible that is for marriage. They asked for something, got it, but then they don’t like what they got. Although they’ve vowed to love this (terrible) man through thick and thin, they just can’t do it, and they use no-fault divorce to eject him from the home.
So, I guess I would just ask this Christian feminist: do women have any responsibility to test men for intimacy ability before marriage? Do they have any responsibility to suppress their feelings in the moment, and choose what will work in the long run?
It seems to me that women need to take the initiative to evaluate men for the most important things that they want out of marriage. I agree that women want emotional intimacy. So they need to choose men who provide them with that. Men do not change. The man you marry will not change for you after you marry him. It seems to me that instead of telling bad men that they need to turn good after marriage, we should tell women to choose better.
Many women today spend an awful lot of their time looking into mystical nonsense: astrology, the law of attraction, manifesting, Disney princesses, happily ever after, Hallmark movies, etc. They have a deep intuition that the whole universe is set up for their benefit, and that the path they must choose in order to be happy is shown to them through their feelings. Maybe we should work on fixing that, rather than destroy the society (and children’s lives) with rampant no-fault divorce. Maybe the problem is that women need to be taught that when it comes to marriage, they need to treat it like a job interview. They need to evaluate men, and choose one with demonstrated ability for the job’s actual requirements.
Elsewhere in the Christian feminists writings, she says that men have 100% of the responsibility for marriage success. But none of the authority to lead. I just want men to understand that this is often how women see men. Women want to choose men based on how a man makes her feel. She will make a snap judgment about whether he is “The One”. She feels good when she makes decisions based on intuitions and first impressions. She has enormous confidence in the judgment of her intuitions. This is the man that The Universe has chosen to make her happy, and She doesn’t make mistakes. And if that man doesn’t make her happy, then she can divorce him. And all the Christian feminists will celebrate her decision. Does that sound like a good deal for men? In particular, does entering a situation like that free you up to focus on serving God? (2 Tim 2:4) Sounds to me like you would be skating on thin ice for the rest of your life. And for what? To please God? No, to make her happy.
Last month, another Christian feminist told me that “masculinity is when men use their physical strength to benefit women as protector and provider”. Again, this view that it is men’s job to make women happy is everywhere, and if men fail to make women happy, then that’s what divorce is for. There is no idea among Christian feminists that men are supposed to serve God first, and women are supposed to help them to serve God. One divorced Christian woman once told me “marriage is for women”. So just understand what you’re getting into, if you decide to get married.
I personally think that Christian men ought to focus on serving God, and stay far away from marriage. Even the most conservative Christian women have this view that men are there to serve them, and meet their needs, and make them happy. They call it “servant leadership”: men get all the responsibility with none of the authority. It’s a reversal of male headship, where the new God is the woman’s feelings. That sort of arrangement certainly isn’t going to allow a man to focus on serving God.