Women’s Liberation? I Don’t Think So
When I was a young man back in the mid nineteen sixties I first heard the siren call of Women’s Liberation. Germaine Greer, Angela Davis, and Alice Walker, to name a few, shouted out for women’s rights. They told us how our forefathers had always kept women unequal. It was time to change all that and give women their rightful place in the world.
That was the start of the misunderstandings between men and women up to today. Oh, I know you are going to point out that women had been campaigning for women’s rights long before that, but the 1960’s was when women actually started to achieve a whole range of ‘rights’.
Many of us young men applauded and supported them. After all, we had seen how our fathers had treated our own mothers in the 1950’s. A wife and mother back then had her place well defined in a clear stereotype. She was The Housekeeper; the one who kept the house neat and tidy, did the cooking, and looked after the kids. The Husband was expected to go out into the wide world and work to bring home the money to make the family happy and comfortable.
But when Germaine Greer shed her bra she declared war on men. We dumb buffalo didn’t even see it coming. I clearly remember thinking that it was about time women took their rightful place as equal partners with their men. Silly me. I thought Women’s Liberation was all about making women our equal partners. But really, Germaine and her ilk were planning to not only liberate themselves from us men folk, they were hell bent on cutting us out of the equation completely.
The problem as I see it today is that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. Men no longer have any rights. We truly have been relegated to the sidelines.
Let’s talk about our modern marriage. But before I do, let me say that this is a ‘worst case’ scenario. I am sure some, perhaps many, marriages are better than the picture I am going to paint. But I bet many of you readers will recognize in your own marriage at least some of the problems I describe.
A young woman today grows up hearing about all the rights and freedoms she has under the law. But that doesn’t stop her dreaming about finding a husband and starting a family. She just thinks that she will be able to correct any faults she finds and mould him in the image she has formed of a perfect marriage. Unfortunately, that image is fashioned by the unreasonable expectations extolled in fashion magazines, soap operas, and TV shows like Opra.
Then she meets “Mr Right”; they fall in love and have a wonderful courtship. He proposes and she plans a big fancy wedding; the whole nine yards if she can.
They get married and at first all is wonderful. The sex is amazing. They love each other madly. And then the kids start coming. When she enters the third trimesta the sex must stop. The husband understands this and supports her. The child arrives and there is still no sex for a while afterwards. But with the thrill of the new person in their lives the husband doesn’t mind too much.
But when the sex does start again, it is never quite the same as it was when they started their journey together. The spark has gone. The child demands more of her time, leaving the husband feeling neglected.
Inevitably, as the kids are growing up the sex becomes more infrequent. She has too much housework to do. She starts getting ‘headaches’ or she is too tired. There is no time, or the time is not right.. He starts getting frustrated.
The wife forced to stay home to look after the children may realize that she has let herself in for a lot more responsibility than the feminists ever told her about. She finds herself stuck with looking after her children and being a homemaker; just like her grandmother in the 1950’s. She loses a lot of the freedom she may have enjoyed as a career woman.
As a result she finds she no longer loves her husband like she did during those heady days of first love either. She doesn’t desire sex all the time, as her husband seems to. Different women handle this different ways, but none of them are satisfactory. If she submits grudgingly to her husband’s demands she feels frustrated, possibly even angry. Or if she refuses her husband’s demands he feels frustrated and possibly angry. Either way, the marriage begins to suffer.
Meanwhile, women today are bombarded with stories in magazines and on TV urging them to ‘find themselves’, to be ‘new women’, to have ‘new interests’ and become ‘more than they currently are’.
As the children grow the husband and wife find they are becoming estranged from each other. Their needs and desires diverge. Until one day she realizes she no longer wants to stay married. She wants to find herself without the burden of a husband she no longer loves. She asks for a divorce.
That’s when the law steps in and things really start to go bad.
Because of the lobbying over the years by feminist groups the laws have been changed to favor women. After all, they argue, didn’t she nurture the baby inside her womb and give it all the love and care it needed?
A good question, as far as it goes. But somewhere along the way the rights of the father were relegated to the sidelines. They no longer have any rights, it seems. Divorced men are expected to pay alimony to the mother of his children, even if she leaves him for her own selfish reasons. The law has been crafted in such a way that the woman is almost always given custody these days.
Why is it that to us men women seem to be a completely different species? They don’t think or act like us men. And most of the time we think that’s a Good Thing. After all, we sure wouldn’t want to marry our best beer-swilling, ball playing buddy, would we?
But when it comes to relationships and sex, women’s needs are very different from ours. Yet the law does not take this into account. And often, nor do women.
From the time we reach puberty, men are bombarded by the demands our hormones make on us.
We crave sex. All the time. With any attractive woman.
That’s the truth. Any married man who denies this is either a liar, or delusional.
Any woman who does not recognize this fact is headed for a troubled marriage.
When we get married men usually sublimate this terrible need and concentrate their energies on the woman they love instead.
That doesn’t mean the urge, the craving, the maddening demand, has gone away. It just means that we manage it in favor of our loved ones.
But as the marriage progresses and the sex becomes more infrequent, men start looking at greener pastures, and sometimes venturing into them as well. If they are caught plucking the flowers in that other field and the wife finds out she will often storm out in a fit of justified anger. And then the divorce lawyers step into the breech.
If you ask the woman why she left her husband she will accuse her man of Cheating On Her.
So let’s define Cheating.
Wikipedia defines it this way: Cheating is an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating characteristically is employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one's own interest, and often at the expense of others.
Yep, that defines it alright. It all comes down to defrauding the other person…not being honest.
So, if that is the case what would happen if the husband were honest with his wife and did not seek to deceive her? What if he discussed his urgent need and told her he would like to have other women outside the marriage? What if he reassured her that he would still remain with his wife and family and support them financially and emotionally in every other way? Would that change things?
In some societies, that is precisely what happens. The French have always had a more practical attitude towards marriage, as have the Thais and Chinese. In France they call the other woman a ‘mistress’. In Thailand she is called a ‘minor wife’ (mia noi), or a ‘gik’ (occasional lover). In these societies, marriage is a much more stable institution. An arrangement like this can offer children the opportunity to grow up in a stable home with two parents and benefit from a rounded relationship. Even if the husband and wife no longer love each other, they are able to live comfortably together and be there for the children.
In fact, that is what happened in the old days before divorce became so easy. But I will discuss this in a minute. Let’s examine….
Women have needs too. It has taken our western society a long time to recognize this fact. Unfortunately, in the Middle East and many other countries they still have not learned it at all.
But the fact is, women are biologically just as much in need of sex as any man. They just manifest it differently is all.
There is no need to describe the differences. We all know what they are, and in most cases we have experienced them too.
What I would like to discuss here is the effects of their needs on a marriage or relationship.
A woman craves security and stability. When a man cheats on her he destroys her trust, and of course her love as well. After that, there is nowhere for a marriage to go but down and out.
I hope by now reader you begin to see where I am heading with this.
The fact is, Women’s Liberation is responsible for a lot of these problems and misunderstandings.
Men were gulled by the promises of freeing their women from the yolk of old fashioned attitudes in the hope that they could build a loving, Equal, relationship.
That Equality never happened.
Instead, women were given more power over men through new laws until we became mere seed suppliers and then child and wife supporters; punished for our fleeting pleasure and made to pay for it for a lifetime.
Where is the equality in that?
Take some recent cases where men have proved through DNA testing that the child they reared as their own turned out to be the progeny of some other man. Yet the law, based as it is on the old Victorian concept of what a family should be, still insists that the man pay child support anyway. What if we turned the tables on women and did that to them? How would they feel?
Yet women demand that the law make the so-called ‘father’ pay even though the wife/mother is the one who has cheated on him. Not only cheated on him, but also cheated him out of the fruits of his labor and years from his life, not to mention the love he might have built with his own child. In short, she has committed a monstrous crime and the law abets her in it in many states and countries even today.
Women’s’ Liberation when it started out in the 1960’s could have been a wonderful thing for both sexes. We could have righted the wrongs that kept women unequal where it counted, yet preserved their femininity.
Instead we have come to the painful truth we face today. The Women’s Liberation movement has betrayed both sexes. Women have been cheated out of the opportunity to build lasting unions with the men they love and to grow old together in true equality. Men have lost their rights to be able to nurture their children working with a truly equal partner.
Living in Thailand as I do, I often see the sad evidence of the devastation Women’s Liberation has wrought on western society. There are literally thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of men coming to Asia seeking an Asian wife after their western marriage has been shattered.
But do they get what they come looking for?
Not if they come here starry eyed and delusional. Not if they expect Asian women to be submissive doormats, as they hear all too often back home; another stereotype with no basis in truth.
The fact is, Asian women are just like Western women. They too crave security and stability. And when they find it they fight just as hard as their western sisters to hold onto it. But when they find out their man has cheated on them they will walk out just as easily as their sisters do.
Asian women are not the cure for Women’s Liberation.
Clear thinking, honesty, and a dose of sane laws are what will mend the problem.
Is there a solution?
This is such a thorny subject that there can be no clear answers. But one thing I have observed in my research is that divorce is much more likely these days than it ever was in our grandfather’s day. Back then, divorce was difficult under the law. It also carried a social stigma. Children in a marriage were valued and the law tried to protect them from the disruption to their lives a divorce inevitably brings.
Not so today.
If a woman wants to leave an unsatisfactory marriage today she can do it easily, and in many cases she will come out of it way ahead. She will get the house, the car, at least half the money, and she will be supported by her unfortunate ex until she remarries. Given this, many women opt to stay single so that they can milk the cash cow. This leads to single parent families, breeding children who grow up without the balance of a male and female parent. Many of our social problems can be traced directly back to this fact.
I would like to suggest that men start lobbying harder to protect not only themselves, but their marriages too. We can do this by getting our lawmakers to pass laws making it much harder to get a divorce. It should be incumbent on the person filing for divorce to prove beyond doubt that a divorce is the only reasonable way to ensure the health and safety of any children.
Where there is a paternity case, the person filing for custody should be made to pay for a thorough investigation by an independent body; preferably one that is not beholden to the courts.
In cases where infidelity is the cause of the breakdown, both parties should be forced to undergo counseling with a view to reconciliation. If one partner stubbornly refuses to accept the reasons of the other for straying, then the counseling must continue until both parties agree to a resolution.
In other words, every effort must be made to patch up the marriage and bring the partners into accord again. Only when it is very clear this is impossible, should the go-ahead be given for a divorce. Very few married men will stray if their home life is good. So the counselor should attempt to get both parties to see this and accept ways to reconcile.
To explore this thoroughly would take far more room than I have here. But I hope you can see what I am getting at. Marriage vows today are not respected like they were in the past.
It’s time that married couples contemplating divorce are forced to consider the commitment they have made to each other and stick by it rather than taking the easy way out.
It’s time that “Liberated” women face up to the monster they have created and start modifying their behavior to create a more equal relationship with men.
It’s time for a serious review of the laws currently on the books and some judicious rewriting to ensure fair treatment for all.
It’s also time for men to find their balls and stop lying down like doormats and letting women walk all over them. You are just as responsible for the mess as the women’s libbers are.
A marriage, or even a long-term relationship, is not a battleground. And when it does become one, no one wins.
No, it should be an equal partnership. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the roles should be reversed. If a man is going out to work every day, his wife should not expect him to come home and help her with the housework. If she can’t manage that on her own then she is not pulling her weight in the marriage. And of course the same thing applies if the woman goes out to work and the man stays home.
If both partners work, then they should also share the household responsibilities equally.
If the man is not getting enough sex at home, he would do much better to sit down with his wife and discuss it honestly instead of sneaking out to get some on the side. Lying and cheating only create more problems. Honesty will help both partners recognize the problem and work towards an equitable solution.
My Wish for you
I am sure not everyone will agree with my views. The feminists will throw up their arms in horror at my viewpoint. To you ladies I say don’t bother writing in to abuse me. Save the time and effort and instead sit down and begin an honest appraisal of the damage your “Liberation” crusade has wrought. Perhaps if you start to recognize the problems you will begin to work with your menfolk to find a better way to live and grow old together.
To those unhappy divorced women who are growing old alone I offer my sympathy. But perhaps your younger sisters can learn from your mistakes and not rush into divorce so easily. Living and dieing alone is not a pleasant prospect for any of us.
To those couples that think monogamy is the only ‘natural’ relationship I urge you to look at the way different cultures handle a man’s overriding sex urge. There are other options open. One, or some, may even be better than the monogamy monotony you are suffering through now. Perhaps a little spice in the relationship will actually benefit you and your partner. At the very least, if you discuss your problems openly you will improve your relationship.
To you men who have already suffered through a divorce and lost close contact with your children, I offer my deepest sympathy. But you serve as an object lesson for other men. Instead of rushing into divorce, or letting their wife browbeat them into divorce, perhaps they will see what you have become and work hard not to become another statistic like you.
To all of you happily married couples I say congratulations. But don’t become smug. A marriage is a work in progress. You both need to work at it continuously to ensure it survives all the way to the end.
These all makes complete sense – so it is such a shame that commonsense seems to fly out the window these days.
For sure, the lawmakers have got a lot to answer for. In a number of countries one would have to wonder why a man would bother to get married, so odious are the laws he will be subject to if he divorces.