Culture

Women: Want to Avoid Abuse? Do What Your Husband Says

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I enjoy how the the cultural right pretends like liberals are unhinged. This morning I discovered the delightful group Concerned Women for America via Pandagon, who highlighted the CWA's desire for "homeland security" against soliders viewing pornography. Intrigued and terrified, I found this delightful piece , highlighted on TownHall.com, that makes the argument that womyn would be a lot less likely to be abused physically and emotionally if they changed their attitudes and provided sex whenever their husbands wanted it.

If your husband is hostile, brutal, and uncaring, should you call the police? Leave? Of course not. You should take a long look at yourself, sister…and see if you can't change the things about yourself that cause him to act that way: 

Obviously, some husbands are brutal and uncaring. These situations are tragic. Some of the time, though, even hostile homes can be transformed into havens of warmth and caring by the right catalyst; a change in the wife’s attitude and different actions has sometimes worked miracles. It is shocking to see many women totally ignore their husbands’ needs. Too often, wives give everything else precedence, and the husband’s needs are not even on the radar screen of their priorities.

 Dr. Crouse, continues, arguing that too many womyn are uppity and talk back, to their own detriment:

The way a woman speaks to her husband sets the tone for the home — sarcastic witty put-downs of blundering males are a staple of advertisements and television sitcoms, but a frequent diet of this type of communication in a marriage is corrosive and ultimately deadly. 

I suspect Dr. Crouse wasn't thinking about the three womyn in America who  are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day when she offered her glib insight about the 'deadly' impact of sarcasm. Certainly, she's not suggesting that womyn who are beaten by their husbands are asking for it, right? I mean, no one is that unhinged, are they?

Well, given that she argues that womyn should provide sex for their husbands on demand, and stop acting like people who have the right to control their own sexuality, she might just be:

Then there are those wives who view sex as a commodity with which to barter — if the husband will give her what she wants, she’ll “give in.” Ironically, the feminists urge unmarried women (as early as high school) to find their independence by being sexually adventurous, defined by being eager, available, and aggressive as sex partners. At the same time, they urge married women to drive a hard bargain to avoid giving up any “power” in the relationship. Such women think that if they give, they’ll lose. Therefore, they hold back their affection and drive hard bargains in the sexual arena. 

Certainly, Dr. Crouse was thinking about the  third of American womyn who report being physically or sexually abused by a partner in their lifetimes, or the fact that 33 American states still regard spousal rape as a less serious offense than rape when she argued that womyn should surrender their agency in sexual matters once they marry.

It's troubling that womyn in the United States often feel threatened in personal relationships, that rape and other physical abuse are real threats for many of them, but it is more troubling that someone who puports to be a "concerned woman" would peddle this swill of victim-blaming, patriarchal garbage. I believe in diverse feminism, an ideology that posits that womyn should be able to make whatever choices they prefer, whether career, family, both or neither, but there is no place in the American political landscape for this argument. Feminism isn't a threat to American womyn, as these zealots suggest: teaching girls that they exist to please and serve men certainly is. 

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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