Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Deja Vu Misogyny Tuesday


Dennis Prager has once again graced us with "In Defense of Marital Rape" . . . uh, no . . . "When a Woman Isn't In the Mood: Part II". (I took much glee in dissecting Part I, if you need to play catchup.)

In Part I, I made the argument that any woman who is married to a good man and who wants a happy marriage ought to consent to at least some form of sexual relations as much as possible. (Men need to understand that intercourse should not necessarily be the goal of every sexual encounter.) Wow, the screams of "you big marital rapist twice divorced prick!" from the blogosphere after Part I must have penetrated at least somewhat. In the Part I, Prager did not advance the argument that a woman should engage in "some form" of sexual activity, he advanced the argument that a woman should engage in sex. Sex is very different from a little making out. (Unless he's talking about blowjobs? It's hard to tell.) He didn't really make too much of the whole "good man" thing, either.

What good man wants to have sex with a completely uninterested partner, anyway? I mean, if women are just masturbation aids to you, why not just buy a blowup doll? It'd definitely be cheaper than marriage. Creepy, but cheaper. Ohhhh . . . blowup dolls don't do dishes and vacuum. Got it.

In Part II, I advance the argument that a wife should do so even when she is not in the mood for sexual relations. I am talking about mood, not about times of emotional distress or illness. Way to clear that one up ONE WEEK LATER.

Why? Because you're a sexist, woman-hating, abuse apologist? Because you're a sweaty, unappealing little prick who couldn't get some unless some poor woman (well, two actually, Prager's been divorced twice) bought the idea that she owed it to you? I bet that's not what Prager has to say.

Here are eight eight?! EIGHT?! I couldn't come up with one! reasons for a woman not to allow not being in the mood for sex to determine whether she denies her husband sex. See, it's the woman "denying" her husband sex. Think about that. It isn't the woman declining to participate, it's the woman denying her husband sex. Because women should never be active participants in their own sex lives. We're just masturbation aids with cleaning skills.

1. If most women wait until they are in the mood before making love with their husband, many women will be waiting a month or more until they next have sex. What? I have nerve and joint damage from porphyria, and I want it at least 3, 4 times a week. Some women want it more than me, some women want it less, but Prager seems to be basing his assumptions on the two women who eventually told him to get lost. When most women are young, and for some older women, spontaneously getting in the mood to have sex with the man they love can easily occur. young, sexy. old, sexy. middle aged, not so much. Prager is getting creepier with every passing word. But for most women, for myriad reasons -- female nature oh, that's right, I'm a whore. true female nature is to put a lock on my vagina and never, ever think about sex, let alone want it. I forgot., childhood trauma sexual molestation?

Is Prager seriously suggesting that victims of molestation should, instead of serious counseling, just relive their trauma over and over by having sex when they really don't want to?


, not feeling sexy, being preoccupied with some problem, fatigue after a day with the children and/or other work, just not being interested -- there is little comparable to a man’s “out of nowhere,” and seemingly constant, desire for sex. That's right, a real man always has a hardon. Men are never unconfident about their bodies, preoccupied, tired, or not interested. Not ever. Besides that, regular readers of this blog know, probably to their chagrin, that I occasionally become, out of nowhere, obsessed with [censored] with [censored], which would be so very [censored]. It's not just men that get a little "out of nowhere". It's men- and whores!

2. Why would a loving, wise woman allow mood to determine whether or not she will give her husband one of the most important expressions of love she can show him? ya know, other than donating organs.

actual conversation I had with my husband after reading Part I:

me: how do you know I love you?
hubbie: when you pour me a soda, you put in exactly the right amount of ice, pour it, wait for the fizz to go down, and pour again. i don't have the patience for that.
me: really?
hubbie: oh, and you always make sure my favorite jammie pants are clean.
me: oh.
hubbie: and in the winter, you hand them to me right out of the dryer, when they're still warm. you really get me, honey.
me: sniffle.

my point is, love is so many things. i know my husband loves me because he takes pictures of our dog and emails them to me when i'm stressed out at work. he calls me and tells me about all the funny little things he saw on the interwebs or on tv (we work opposite shifts), because he knows i like that stuff.

he gets me.

ok, continuing on with the snark:

What else in life, of such significance, do we allow to be governed by mood? I dunno. everything we don't get paid for?
What if your husband woke up one day and announced that he was not in the mood to go to work? totally different issue. If this happened a few times a year, any wife would have sympathy for her hardworking husband. because husbands are hardworking, but wives are just lazy wenches. But what if this happened as often as many wives announce that they are not in the mood to have sex? sex is now work? that's an unfortunate metaphor, Mr. Prager. (Though undoubtedly an apt one in his wives' cases.) Most women would gradually stop respecting and therefore eventually stop loving such a man. because women only value a man for his paycheck.

What woman would love a man who was so governed by feelings and moods that he allowed them to determine whether he would do something as important as go to work? that's women, just a mass of feelings. Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can -- indeed, ought to -- refuse sex because she is not in the mood? Why? because. work. and. sex. are. two. different. things. asshole.

This brings us to the next reasons.
3. The baby boom generation elevated feelings to a status higher than codes of behavior.
hippies! In determining how one ought to act, feelings, not some code higher than one’s feelings, became decisive: “No shoulds, no oughts.” no marital rapes! In the case of sex, therefore, the only right time for a wife to have sex with her husband is when she feels like having it. uh, yeah. She never “should” have it. uh, yeah. But marriage and life are filled with “shoulds.” sigh

4. Thus, in the past generation we have witnessed the demise of the concept of obligation in personal relations. sexual revolution! guess it didn't work out all that well for Mr. Prager. i'd suggest he have a talk with my hubbie, but i don't fancy visiting my hubbie in jail. We have been nurtured in a culture of rights, not a culture of obligations. i know Mr. Prager seems to think I should regret being nurtured in a "culture of rights", but I don't. I bet black people don't, either. To many women, especially among the best educated thinking is teh evil! and it makes women ugly., the notion that a woman owes her husband sex seems absurd, if not actually immoral. uh, yeah. They have been taught that such a sense of obligation renders her “property.” uh, yeah. Of course, the very fact that she can always say “no” -- and that this “no” must be honored -- renders the “property” argument absurd. no, not if the "no" is regarded as immoral. look, I know the bible says it's ok to own slaves (as long as they come from neighboring countries), but to regard your wife this way is . . . um . . . i don't know a word bad enough for that. A woman is not “property” when she feels she owes her husband conjugal relations. sure she is. she turns herself into a masturbation aid. the blowup doll has more right to respect at that point, because at least she has the excuse of well, being a blowup doll. She is simply wise enough to recognize that marriages based on mutual obligations -- as opposed to rights alone and certainly as opposed to moods -- are likely to be the best marriages.

ok, let's just abandon the idea that marriages 100 years ago were so much better than they are today because now marriages end in divorce. Prior to the invention of antibiotics and modern medicine, people, especially women, didn't live all that long. In fact, the average marriage lasted all of 7 years before somebody died. "Till death do us part" wasn't asking much back then. It had nothing to do with enforced sexual relations.

5. Partially in response to the historical denigration of women’s worth, since the 1960s, there has been an idealization of women and their feelings. we're allowed to vote now! and own property! and have jobs! So, if a husband is in the mood for sex and the wife is not, her feelings are deemed of greater significance -- because women’s feelings are of more importance than men’s. no, but sex is supposed to be a consensual act. it's not consensual if one partner wants to and the other doesn't. One proof is that even if the roles are reversed -- she is in the mood for sex and he is not -- our sympathies again go to the woman and her feelings. bullshit. i actually have seen what he's talking about, but it's related to the idea that Mr. Prager himself espouses- that men are supposed to have permanent hardons and always be ready for it. We're used to the idea of a woman not being in the mood, but the idea of man not in the mood is foreign.

6. Yet another outgrowth of ’60s thinking hippies! is the notion that it is “hypocritical” or wrong in some other way to act contrary to one’s feelings. well, yeah, depending, but to regularly engage in what should be a joyful, pleasureable, consensual act based on obligation and duty is not a good idea. how are you ever supposed to enjoy sex if it becomes just one more chore added on the list. One should always act, post-’60s theory teaches, consistent with one’s feelings. Therefore, many women believe that it would simply be wrong to have sex with their husband when they are not in the mood to. Of course, most women never regard it as hypocritical and rightly regard it as admirable when they meet their child’s or parent’s or friend’s needs when they are not in the mood to do so. because children would die if we didn't meet their needs at all times. because giving your friend a ride doesn't involve getting naked and doing it. because, i give up. this should be obvious. They do what is right in those cases, rather than what their mood dictates. Why not apply this attitude to sex with one’s husband? Given how important it is to most husbands, isn’t the payoff -- a happier, more communicative, and loving husband and a happier home -- worth it? a happy husband versus my own self respect and joy in sex? yeah, i'll take me, thank you very much.

7. Many contemporary women have an almost exclusively romantic notion of sex: It should always be mutually desired and equally satisfying or one should not engage in it. um, yeah. notice Mr. Prager isn't suggesting that men should say, give their wives oral sex on a regular basis and not receive gratification themselves. If he were at least suggesting that both sides of the equation be equal, i might not think him such a douche. Therefore, if a couple engages in sexual relations when he wants it and she does not, the act is “dehumanizing” and “mechanical.” ever had sex when you really don't want to, Mr. Prager? probably not. dehumanizing and mechanical don't even begin to describe how that feels. how about shaming or disgusting or humiliating. try that on for size. Now, ideally, every time a husband and wife have sex, they would equally desire it and equally enjoy it. But, given the different sexual natures of men and women, this cannot always be the case. women don't want it, men do. that's just nature. If it is romance a woman seeks -- and she has every reason to seek it -- it would help her to realize how much more romantic her husband and her marriage are likely to be if he is not regularly denied sex, even of the non-romantic variety. because what guy doesn't like to pound away at a women who would rather be anywhere else?

8. In the rest of life, not just in marital sex, it is almost always a poor idea to allow feelings or mood to determine one’s behavior. picking a restuarant? selecting a movie?buying a book? Far wiser is to use behavior to shape one’s feelings. Act happy no matter what your mood and you will feel happier. not really. i defy the person who just watched their child die to act happy and feel happy. Act loving and you will feel more loving. Act religious, no matter how deep your religious doubts, and you will feel more religious. yeah, that's right. if i just pretend to believe in god, i will. Act generous even if you have a selfish nature, and you will end with a more a generous nature. acting generous would involve actually giving people stuff, in which case you actually would be generous. With regard to virtually anything in life that is good for us, if we wait until we are in the mood to do it, we will wait too long. i don't need to wait around to be happy and loving and generous. you truly are a scary man, Mr. Prager.

The best solution to the problem of a wife not being in the mood is so simple that many women, after thinking about it, react with profound regret that they had not thought of it earlier in their marriage. As one bright and attractive woman in her 50s ruefully said to me, “Had I known this while I was married, he would never have divorced me.” that's right, honey. the only thing he wanted you for was a vagina to stick his penis in. you didn't feel like it and now YOU'LL DIE ALONE! why you wanted this guy is beyond me, but whatever.

That solution is for a wife who loves her husband -- if she doesn’t love him, mood is not the problem -- to be guided by her mind, not her mood, in deciding whether to deny her husband sex. sex. should. be. a. consensual. act.

If her husband is a decent man -- if he is not, nothing written here applies -- a woman will be rewarded many times over outside the bedroom (and if her man is smart, inside the bedroom as well but that's extraneous. whether or not a woman comes is entirely irrelevant.) with a happy, open, grateful, loving, and faithful husband. That is a prospect that should get any rational woman into the mood more often.

Normally I wouldn't gloat over this sort of thing, but Mr. Prager's children are adopted, so no, his genetic code will not be spread all over the planet.

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