Conservatives’ stance on marriage hasn’t ever much suited me. The so-called value they profess the loudest is “Preserving And Protecting Traditional Marriage” — it sat at number one atop the 2012 GOP platform — and is of course coded language for marriage between a man and a woman.
Their PR strategy for pushing traditional marriage is pretty firmly focused on accusing LGBTQ couples of not being “natural.” Obviously this boner for “saving marriage” is just a cover for bigotry towards LGTBQ folks. But having recently gotten married — to a man — I’m noticing more and more how conservatives meddle in heterosexual marriage, too.
Ladies, you haven’t won the game just because you have a ring on your finger! You are also probably doing something wrong right this minute!
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“He’s very territorial, and since he no longer lets me do videos with men, well, I have to do them with women. It’s more than implied in our relationship that I can’t do videos like I used to. It’s out of the question – which I like, by the way. I like that he protects his turf and he values me, in a way that the only person that he would ever let graze my thigh would be Rihanna.”
This is Shakira in Billboard, revealing that she had to ask her boyfriend Gerard Piqué for PERMISSION to film her music video “Can’t Remember To Forget You” with Rihanna. And it seems the Rihanna duet wasn’t just an artistic choice; it was a necessity, as Piqué “no longer lets” Shakira film music videos with men. (The couple reportedly met while filming a music video together.) For the love of Beyoncé, please let there be something lost in translation here! [Billboard [Photo: Getty]
The author Lori Gottlieb markets herself as a teller of harsh relationship truths for women. As a contributor to The Atlantic, she saw her 2008 piece “Marry Him!” turned into a full-fledged book in which she advocates that women abandon long lists of qualities marriageable men need to have and marry Mr. Good Enough before their biological clock ticks its last tock. (I interviewed Gottlieb about Marry Him: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough back in 2011.)
Gottlieb, who is also a psychotherapist, is back with a new controversial subject in The New York Times Magazine: how trying to be completely egalitarian in our relationships may be taking the passion out of our sex lives. Keep reading »
It’s difficult to walk away from an episode of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” without thinking to oneself, ”Every single one of these women needs massive amounts of therapy” … yet we do it in a way that keeps us TiVoing their table-flipping drama week after week. But a new book published by Melissa Gorga, called Love Italian Style, filled with her so-called ‘marriage advice tips’ crosses into the realm of seriously disturbing.
Clearly the Gorgas have a traditional-style marriage. That does not suit everyone’s tastes. However, Melissa Gorga doesn’t simply fulfill the traditional feminine role in her marriage by cooking meals, cleaning the house and being primary caretaker of the children. As Amelia wrote about yesterday, she advises satisfying your husband’s sexual desires at all times, fashioning herself into his own personal “puttana [Italian slang for "whore"]” in the bedroom, lest her husband be driven to cheat. She explains how Joe is liable to be less angry at her for making mistakes when she’s been putting out.
Then there’s the part where Gorga gives a thumbs-up to marital rape:
Men, I know you think your woman isn’t the type who wants to be taken. But trust me, she is. Every girl wants to get her hair pulled once in a while. If your wife says “no,” turn her around, and rip her clothes off. She wants to be dominated.
There’s the playful, “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” no that I hope Melissa Gorga is referring to. Then there’s the “no means no” no that makes turning your wife around and ripping her clothes off rape. Gorga doesn’t elucidate any difference. Nor does Gorga seem to find it disconcerting, as Jezebel pointed out, that Joe is prone to “violent outbursts” — like breaking a baby’s highchair — that cause her to “modify her own behavior” to please him. Still, Gorga repeatedly writes that marriage should based upon respect. Keep reading »
A woman goes through life with a number of labels that she doesn’t have any control over, either by birth or by society’s imposition. But one label she should get to choose is whether she wants to be someone’s “wife” or not. This should be a right for all of us.
A recent piece on Salon.com by soon-to-be-married author Tracy Clark-Flory about the word “wife” really pissed me off. Clark-Flory wrote about going over the language of her wedding ceremony script with her fiancé and getting to the part that says “I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
Husband? Wife? I could barely conceal my gagging sounds. He said something to the effect of, “Ew, gross.”
It makes me feel like Betty Draper, like I should be fetching his slippers and a scotch on the rocks — and remembering to get the roast bird out of the oven. (In reality, I’ve only just recently expanded my cooking repertoire beyond Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese and things you put in the microwave. He, however, will roast a chicken and make a rustic tart from scratch — all in one night.) I am a daughter, partner and friend — but a wife? I can’t help but imagine saying “I’m his wife” with heavy air quotes, a roll of the eyes or exaggerated feminine cheer.
Clark-Flory then expresses concern that the Middle English/Old English terms for “wife” and “husband” translate, roughly, to “vagina” and “householder.” It’s not that I don’t understand Clark-Flory’s discomfort with both words or their histories (although dredging up the Old English definition? really?). But I’m uneasy with how glib she was about that choice when so many people are scrambling to have the same one. Keep reading »
My brother grew up with four sisters in the house. I know, right? Come to find out, there’s more to having a bunch of sisters than just growing up to be a ladies’ man. A new study published in the Journal of Politics has found that boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be Republicans and also to do less housework. You might think that being exposed to more girls early on might prompt a boy to be more egalitarian — but apparently you would be wrong. Keep reading »
“I am quite dominant in my career, so what really works for me when I come home, is to relax more into the feminine side. If you’re really an alpha female, you don’t allow [your partner] to have the space to feel like the man in the relationship. Maybe I am too traditional, but men feel important when you ask for their help, instead of thinking you can do it all on your own. My mistake in my relationships has been to feel that I can do it all on my own: I don’t need a man. That is definitely a mistake. Women generally want to feel loved and appreciated. It’s something that I am working on every day, trust me! It’s a challenge for me to do that.”
––Miranda Kerr has got a net worth of $12 million and is “dominant” in her career, but when it comes to her marriage to Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr told Net-a-Porter’s online magazine The Edit she takes a more submissive route. Just a few months ago, pro volleyball player Gabrielle Reece also said that she let her husband Laird Hamilton be the leader in their relationship and cited the same reasons as Kerr. It makes me wonder if there’s a secret society of wealthy, famous wives who don’t fight to wear the pants at home. If it works for them, more power to them. I’m all about each couple choosing how they want to operate rather than following society’s prescriptions, even if it means following traditional gender roles. I’m not loving the gender essentialism (men are like this! women are like that!) in Miranda Kerr’s quote, but hey, she’s a lingerie model, not a gender studies scholar. [PopSugar] [Image: Splash News]
Professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reese is promoting a new memoir, My Foot Is Too Big For The Glass Slipper, which hops on the bandwagon of a somewhat popular theme for memoirs-by-strong-ladies these days: she says her life and marriage have improved by being “submissive” to her husband, pro surfer Laird Hamilton. Keep reading »