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 »
If you’ve been reading the blogosphere lately, you’ve likely heard about Alisa Valdes and her memoir, The Feminist And The Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story. Valdes is the author several romance novels and the debut novel The Dirty Girls Social Club (as Valdes-Rodriguez), which landed her all kinds of accolades. She was even named one of the top feminist writers under 30 by Ms. magazine. Then, somewhere along the way, her feminist principles started to chafe: she felt like men were emasculated (“icky ‘liberal’ men,” she calls them in the book) and she resented feeling like women wore the pants. Soon Valdes fell for a Fox News-watching, macho cowboy who exuded an alpha male sexiness and she started to submit to him in their relationship. As the Amazon.com description of The Feminist And The Cowboy says, Valdes discovered ” “when men … act like men rather than like emasculated boys, you as a woman will find not only great pleasure in submitting to them but also great growth as a person.”
Alas, it didn’t quite work out the way. In fact, following the publication of The Feminist And The Cowboy, Valdes has now come forward to say the cowboy raped and physically and emotionally abused her. Keep reading »
Women most desire the manners and appearance of men from the 1950s, according to a new survey by the men’s skincare brand, Scaramouche & Fandango. (Yes, that’s their real name.) The survey found that more than half of women thought men cleaned up better in the 1950s and more than two-thirds of these poor, beleaguered women said they preferred old-fashioned chivalry. Four-fifths of the women surveyed said they wish their man had a better grooming routine … and half of the men admitted they didn’t groom at all.
So, to translate, a company that sells men’s grooming products wants men to know that women are more attracted to men who take more care with their grooming than the full Zach Galifianakis look. No big news there. Get rid of your nasty beards, hipsters!
However, I do think there is something to be said about our idealization of the 1950s era and what it means about jerks today. Keep reading »
I won’t beat around the bush: “tips for a happy marriage” from Michelle Duggar are as bad as they sound.
In the season premiere of “19 Kids and Counting” this week, the reality TV mama (whose family is stumping for Rick Santorum) is filmed at a conference on how to have a happy, evangelical Christian marriage in which the man is the authority and head of the household.
Michelle passed out tips from her lecture to the audience and a viewer screengrabbed the advice, where it was posted on Television Without Pity. Not suprisingly, you might want to “keep a barf bag handy” as Faith Goes Pop blogger Lilit Marcus puts it, because Michelle Duggar’s happy marriage tips include become financially dependent on your husband, always keeping your hair did, watch your weight, and being more “loyal” to him than your family and friends.
You can read some of the more egregious tips from “7 Basic Needs Of A Husband” — the workbook off of which Duggar was reading — after the jump: Keep reading »
I came late to appreciating chivalry, which I have written about on The Frisky before. For most of my life, chivalry made me uncomfortable. I’ve always identified as a feminist and Third Wave feminism generally is pretty frosty towards traditional gender roles. But moreso than being a feminist, I felt the same way a lot of modern women (who may or may not identify as feminists) do in that I felt pride of my ability to take care of myself better than my mother can take care of herself. I pay my own bills, I know how to change a tire on a car, I buy my own technology, etc. etc.
However, as I grew older and had more life experiences and more serious relationships, I realized that I liked being treated chivalrously. Some of it is that I like the outward displays of both respect and affection; as a person whose job entails the reading of many nasty Internet comments about my beliefs/life choices/appearance, those little loving moments are golden.
Keep reading »