Guest Post: The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About

woman being oogled and cat called

(Image/Odyssey)

Editor’s Note:

I’m not going to hold men’s feet to the fire for finding women attractive, and acting like it. We’ve been pummeled with pretty faces and/or sexually suggestive marketing messages since having the awareness to notice TV ads, magazine covers and highway billboards. Even if those didn’t exist, I think men would still feel physically attracted to women. (Because that’s the signal the storks need to deliver the babies, of course.) And that’s okay. It’s not wrong.

But treating people as “things” is. If the Universe saw fit to magically transport a starving child to a place just outside the front door of everyone with middle-class-and-up income levels, there wouldn’t be any more starving children. We’re all so good at Out of Sight, Out of Mind. I’m a freaking master.

Men sometimes treat women (who aren’t their daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, etc.) like things. Their very own animated masturbation devices to do with as they please. Not unlike Shitty Husbandry, I perceive this to be more the symptom of thoughtless action than calculated abuse.

My blog-friend Gretchen Kelly is an excellent writer, and last year she published the following post on her blog. It profoundly affected my understanding of the everyday female experience.

I forwarded it to a few of my female friends, asking: “Is it like this for you, too?”

They all said yes.

By Gretchen Kelly

There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women’s issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren’t you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you’re being rational about this?

Every. Single. Time.

And every single time I get frustrated. Why don’t they get it?

I think I’ve figured out why.

They don’t know.

They don’t know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing.

Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.

We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.

It doesn’t feel good. It feels icky. Dirty. But we do it because to not do it could put us in danger or get us fired or labeled a bitch. So we usually take the path of least precariousness.

It’s not something we talk about every day. We don’t tell our boyfriends and husbands and friends every time it happens. Because it is so frequent, so pervasive, that it has become something we just deal with.

So maybe they don’t know.

Maybe they don’t know that at the tender age of 13 we had to brush off adult men staring at our breasts. Maybe they don’t know that men our dad’s age actually came on to us while we were working the cash register. They probably don’t know that the guy in English class who asked us out sent angry messages just because we turned him down. They may not be aware that our supervisor regularly pats us on the ass. And they surely don’t know that most of the time we smile, with gritted teeth. That we look away or pretend not to notice. They likely have no idea how often these things happen. That these things have become routine. So expected that we hardly notice it anymore.

So routine that we go through the motions of ignoring it and minimizing.

Not showing our suppressed anger and fear and frustration. A quick cursory smile or a clipped laugh will allow us to continue with our day. We de-escalate. We minimize it. Both internally and externally, we minimize it. We have to. To not shrug it off would put is in confrontation mode more often than most of us feel like dealing with.

We learn at a young age how to do this. We didn’t put a name or label to it. We didn’t even consider that other girls were doing the same thing. But we were teaching ourselves, mastering the art of de-escalation. Learning by way of observation and quick risk assessment what our reactions should and shouldn’t be.

“It’s the reality of being a woman in our world. It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.”

We go through a quick mental checklist. Does he seem volatile, angry? Are there other people around? Does he seem reasonable and is just trying to be funny, albeit clueless? Will saying something impact my school/job/reputation? In a matter of seconds we determine whether we will say something or let it slide. Whether we’ll call him out or turn the other way, smile politely or pretend that we didn’t hear/see/feel it.

It happens all the time. And it’s not always clear if the situation is dangerous or benign.

It is the boss who says or does something inappropriate. It is the customer who holds our tip out of reach until we lean over to hug him. It’s the male friend who has had too much to drink and tries to corner us for a “friends with benefits” moment even though we’ve made it clear we’re not interested. It’s the guy who gets angry if we turn him down for a date. Or a dance. Or a drink.

We see it happen to our friends. We see it happen in so many scenarios and instances that it becomes the norm. And we really don’t think anything of it. Until that one time that came close to being a dangerous situation. Until we hear that the “friend” who cornered us was accused of rape a day later. Until our boss makes good on his promise to kiss us on New Years Eve when he catches us alone in the kitchen. Those times stick out. They’re the ones we may tell our friends, our boyfriends, our husbands about.

But all the other times? All the times we felt uneasy or nervous but nothing more happened? Those times we just go about our business and don’t think twice about.

It’s the reality of being a woman in our world.

It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.

It’s feeling sick to your stomach that we had to “play along” to get along.

It’s feeling shame and regret the we didn’t call that guy out, the one who seemed intimidating but in hindsight was probably harmless. Probably.

It’s taking our phone out, finger poised over the “Call” button when we’re walking alone at night.

It’s positioning our keys between our fingers in case we need a weapon when walking to our car.

It’s lying and saying we have a boyfriend just so a guy would take “No” for an answer.

It’s being at a crowded bar/concert/insert any crowded event, and having to turn around to look for the jerk who just grabbed our ass.

It’s knowing that even if we spot him, we might not say anything.

It’s walking through the parking lot of a big box store and politely saying Hello when a guy passing us says Hi. It’s pretending not to hear as he berates us for not stopping to talk further. What? You too good to talk to me? You got a problem? Pffft… bitch.

It’s not telling our friends or our parents or our husbands because it’s just a matter of fact, a part of our lives.

It’s the memory that haunts us of that time we were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s the stories our friends tell us through heartbreaking tears of that time they were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s realizing that the dangers we perceive every time we have to choose to confront these situations aren’t in our imagination. Because we know too many women who have been abused, assaulted or raped.

“Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.”

It occurred to me recently that a lot of guys may be unaware of this. They have heard of things that happened, they have probably at times seen it and stepped in to stop it. But they likely have no idea how often it happens. That it colors much of what we say or do and how we do it.

Maybe we need to explain it better. Maybe we need to stop ignoring it ourselves, minimizing it in our own minds.

The guys that shrug off or tune out when a woman talks about sexism in our culture? They’re not bad guys. They just haven’t lived our reality. And we don’t really talk about the everyday stuff that we witness and experience. So how could they know?

So, maybe the good men in our lives have no idea that we deal with this stuff on a regular basis.

Maybe it is so much our norm that it didn’t occur to us that we would have to tell them.

It occurred to me that they don’t know the scope of it and they don’t always understand that this is our reality. So, yeah, when I get fired up about a comment someone makes about a girl’s tight dress, they don’t always get it. When I get worked up over the every day sexism I’m seeing and witnessing and watching… when I’m hearing of the things my daughter and her friends are experiencing… they don’t realize it’s the tiny tip of a much bigger iceberg.

Maybe I’m realizing that men can’t be expected to understand how pervasive everyday sexism is if we don’t start telling them and pointing to it when it happens. Maybe I’m starting to realize that men have no idea that even walking into a store women have to be on guard. We have to be aware, subconsciously, of our surroundings and any perceived threats.

Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.

We de-escalate.

We are acutely aware of our vulnerability. Aware that if he wanted to, that guy in the Home Depot parking lot could overpower us and do whatever he wants.

Guys, this is what it means to be a woman.

We are sexualized before we even understand what that means. We develop into women while our minds are still innocent. We get stares and comments before we can even drive. From adult men. We feel uncomfortable but don’t know what to do, so we go about our lives. We learn at an early age, that to confront every situation that makes us squirm is to possibly put ourselves in danger. We are aware that we are the smaller, physically weaker sex. That boys and men are capable of overpowering us if they choose to. So we minimize and we de-escalate.

So, the next time a woman talks about being cat-called and how it makes her uncomfortable, don’t dismiss her. Listen.

The next time your wife complains about being called “Sweetheart” at work, don’t shrug in apathy. Listen.

The next time you read about or hear a woman call out sexist language, don’t belittle her for doing so. Listen.

The next time your girlfriend tells you that the way a guy talked to her made her feel uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off. Listen.

Listen because your reality is not the same as hers.

Listen because her concerns are valid and not exaggerated or inflated.

Listen because the reality is that she or someone she knows personally has at some point been abused, assaulted, or raped. And she knows that it’s always a danger of happening to her.

Listen because even a simple comment from a strange man can send ripples of fear through her.

Listen because she may be trying to make her experience not be the experience of her daughters.

Listen because nothing bad can ever come from listening.

Just. Listen.

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About the Author

Gretchen Kelly writes at Drifting Through My Open Mind. You can also see her work in The Huffington Post. Connect with Gretchen on Twitter.

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178 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About

  1. ttravis says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for reblogging, Matt. And for those who would say that the content of this post is “off-topic” for this blog? She’s talking about the same thing Matt talks about all the time.

    “Listen because your reality is not the same as hers.”

    It’s all part of a continuum.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Dr. T.

      The more I read, think, and ask questions, the more I feel as if unintended (and perhaps, unrecognized) sexism is at the heart of much of what ails the Good Man Who is Shitty at Marriage.

      I’ve come to believe this:

      Those claiming to not see the connection simply don’t want to.

      Liked by 5 people

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        You said

        “The more I read, think, and ask questions, the more I feel as if unintended (and perhaps, unrecognized) sexism is at the heart of much of what ails the Good Man Who is Shitty at Marriage.

        I’ve come to believe this:

        Those claiming to not see the connection simply don’t want to.”

        Yes.

        Liked by 2 people

        • linds01 says:

          Can I add that I believe this sort of indicts “the man card”…
          “Guys will be guys” …it’s almost about conquest, about bragging rights,… or a way for men bond and to prove they are “into” women and that they are “real men.”

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with appreciating beauty. Even female beauty- and men may even think that is what they are doing, but again, it reduces the person to an object.

          This is a really niave question, but- inspite of all the talk, is that what men think when they see an attractive woman. That its just about sex? From the get go?

          I do think guys are socialized in a way where the talk t is expected behavior, or the only way they know how to express an appreciation for women’s beauty.

          I am trying to be sensitive to what makes men , men. I don’t want to throw in the man card in an attempt to immasculate men. I want men to be their finer, better selves. I don’t want to make them something they are not..
          Do you think guys would respond like this is they weren’t exposed to it by other males?
          Does this just indicate what the male mind is like? “Me like, me take, grunt, grunt, grunt.”

          It is hard to tell which came first- are men just like this naturally, …is MANKIND just like this naturally and men have been given a much more freer reign to continue in it and not be held accountable, and so continue to be socialized like this.

          Just to be clear I don’t think showing respect for women- within their earshot, or (And especially) out of it would make a man seem weak, or less manly.

          I don’t think NOT talking about women in these respects is hard to do.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. drk says:

    This is great! And true. One time, I had guys try to corner me ON THE FREEWAY, holding up the ‘call me/whats your number’ sign. Trying to match my speed so their passenger door was in-line with my drivers side door. It was scary, it was dangerous. At the time I thought to myself ‘does this ever wokr?!’ what am I supposed to do? Pull over on the freeway and happily hand over my phone number to the douche bag who didn’t realize that trying to talk to someone in the next car while driving 65+mph is unsafe? Luckily my exit was seconds away, but I did consider not showing them where I exit because it was that creepy to me…

    Cat calls are gross. I don’t know with what women these work, but to those women who respond to those, could you please stop? Because you’re positively reinforcing shitty and annoying behavior. I’d like to walk down the street just once without someone commenting on my [insert physical feature] here. Just once, that’d be nice. It’s not flattering, because you do it to everyone. It’s annoying.

    Good rule of thumb: don’t call out anything to a woman you don’t know that you wouldn’t say to your own daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • linds01 says:

      I had some guy vigorously moving his hand up and down over his lap while staring at me in traffic once. And yeah- I was about 18 or 19 and he was well over 40.
      (It still makes me cringe ! EWWWW! )

      Liked by 1 person

      • anitvan says:

        Linds, I won’t recount all the instances I’ve experienced sexually predatory behaviour – I don’t even wanna dignify them by recalling them. But I can tell you this, every single woman I’ve spoken with about this has had multiple, similar experiences. Every. Time. No one ever says “that’s never happened to me”. It happens *all the time* and yet it is our secret shame, one that every woman knows, but we hardly talk about.

        Its insidious; it’s become so ingrained that sometimes WOMEN don’t even recognize it for what it is. And if the narrative is “this is no big deal”, then is it any wonder that women often make no big deal of it?

        Thanks, Matt. Not for being a guy who “gets it”. For being a human who’s seeking to, for seeing it not as a women’s problem, but as a human one. We all need to do a little soul searching on this one.

        Liked by 6 people

      • When I first read your comment I was happy to know I’m not the only one in the world this has happened to. But then I was just sad. It so crazy that anything like this happens often enough for me to be able to relate to anyone about it. Truly cringeworthy and disgusting. I echo your “EWWWW!”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. J11 says:

    Wow. Don’t know where to begin. I am ashamed that I had let slide all the sexually predatory behaviors that I was either witness to or experienced on the receiving end. Yes. Just listen.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you, once again, Matt. So grateful you published this at a time when the man running for President talks proudly about groping and feeling entitled to do it. I relate to everything Gretchen Kelly says here…and I’ll bet a lot of women do.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Loura Shares A Story says:

    You can feel, actually feel, eyes watching you and your every move. Thank you for addressing this issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gottmanfan says:

    The best analogy I have found to describe to me what the average woman feels is Jason Bourne.

    You’re being hunted. There is a whole system in place stacked against you.

    You have to spend all your energy and talents to find ways to outsmart the predators and stay off the grid.

    You just want to live a “normal” life but you can’t. You have to stay on the run, looking over your shoulder for those who might do you harm ALL the time.

    Scanning the environment for clues of danger.

    One moment of weakness and you’re dead.

    It’s like being friggin Jason Bourne to live like a woman.

    I just pull up my hoodie and try to survive another day walking down the street, getting in an elevator, being in a dark parking garage.

    And I train my daughter as best I can to help her learn Jason Bourne skills so she can survive.

    I wish it was like Wonder Woman but it’s not. It’s like Jason Bourne.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Matt says:

      I found this interesting.

      I think most guys can appreciate how exhausting it is to feel “ON” for long periods of time at work or wherever (which is why the downtime at home feels so great, and why we’re sometimes–often?–dicks when we feel we’re being unfairly deprived of that.)

      Which I think might help someone understand why their female partner navigating that shitstorm all day, every day can feel so exhausted; then frustrated when gone unheard; then bitter and resentful when gone unappreciated for all the after-hours work at home.

      Why do many divorces happen? THAT.

      This was thought-provoking. I made myself a note to write specifically about that.

      Thank you for the good idea. While I obviously don’t understand, I kind-of understand. :)

      Liked by 3 people

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        I’m glad it was helpful!

        Some of my analogies are better then others.

        I love action movies and Jason Bourne is a particular favorite.

        Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        Matt, dont mean to interrupt, but you said :
        “..Which I think might help someone understand why their female partner navigating that shitstorm all day, every day can feel so exhausted; then frustrated when gone unheard; then bitter and resentful when gone unappreciated for all the after-hours work at home”

        I was thinking about this the other day.
        Why cant we just have compassion on each other?
        I had a pretty nasty interchange with a person from my cohort- it was stupid. I was trying to avoid it by asking if we could talk later, but that escalated it..
        After the dust settled she apologized and I was quick to forgive her.
        The whole time we were talking I could see what was going on, I just didn’t have the energy to correct it…And, I sincerely dont hold anything against her.
        Why cant men and women do that for each other? Why cant we just see we are all human and we are struggling and whatever is going on with him or her at that moment needs compassion, or at least space and forgiveness.

        I dont know- what you said reminded me of that.

        We are all human, we are all being squeezed and twisted in different ways ..some from outside forces, some from inside. ..

        Being a human is hard.

        Love relationships should be that safe place. ..just sayin…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Donkey says:

        “I think most guys, can appreciate how exhausting it is to feel “ON” for long periods of time at work or wherever (which is why the downtime at home feels so great, and why we’re sometimes–often?–dicks when we feel we’re being unfairly deprived of that.)”

        And I think this is why many women get so extremely hurt and angry with their husbands behaviour when he doesn’t do his fair share at home, and especially when he has the audacity to protest, or act like she’s being mean when she’s asking him to do his share (granted, what’s necessary to do is open for discussion). If he can appreciate how exhausting being “on” at work and sometimes at home is for him (to the point that he argues with his wife) then surely he can understand that it’s reasonable for the two of them to share the being “on” part at home, when they both work. So when she asks him to do his part, and he thinks she’s depriving him of down time, where in the world does he think that leaves her down time?!

        Liked by 1 person

        • linds01 says:

          Thats a good reason to get a housekeeper. Which I would need whether I was married or not…

          Like

          • gottmanfan says:

            Whose job is to research and interview and manage and pay the housekeeper?

            Like

            • linds01 says:

              Details! Details! :)… That would be a mutual effort. He’d probably pick someone he could silently cat call. …my pick would be perfectly reasonable, of course…😜

              Like

              • gottmanfan says:

                I only say that because this is the suggestion given to me by my husband and therapists.

                There are two issues in chore wars.

                The first and most important is whose responsibility is it?

                Many men either consciously or unconsciously don’t think it’s their responsibility so it goes by default to his wife.

                If it was his responsibility or shared HE would have the responsibility at least in part to see that it’s taken care of.

                The second piece to chore wars is HOW something gets done.

                This in my experience is often the focus of problem solving but is incorrect. The real problem to solve is WHO is responsible.

                Liked by 1 person

                • linds01 says:

                  I agree that women are assumed to have more responsibility over household stuff most of the time. That has just how things have been divided for so long.
                  You said ” The second piece to chore wars is HOW something gets done. This in my experience is often the focus of problem solving but is incorrect. The real problem to solve is WHO is responsible.”
                  I am not 100% clear on this. ..are you saying there are usually arguments because something wasn’t done correctly, but in reality that isn’t as much of an issue as who is doing it?..
                  Would you be willing to accept a job done that wasn’t up to your expectations, or way of doing things?
                  (With the caveat that they may be teachable?)
                  Because I am more prone to the optimistic/romantic way of thinking: Let me play devils advocate,- let me ask you- how much do chores matter presently on a scale of 1-10?
                  How much would they matter if your hubby or one of your kids were terminally ill.(That’s a horrible thought, and God forbid) where would they fall on a scale from 1-10?
                  How much does family support rate now? how much would it rate during an illness?
                  Would chores be more important than supporting one another ?
                  (Of course, it could be that a way of support would be for the hubby to do his fair share in the house…but, again, I’m just playing devils advocate :) . )

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • linds01 says:

                    …Just to be clear- I agree that it is an unfair assumption that the women do the chores. But, in reality what we will have to confront is that men are truly NOT AWARE of what needs to be done, or how to do it. Not all the time…hopefully the younger generations will have more exposure, but anyone born in the 60’s still had a lot of “Sexual segregation”.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Ok Lindsey let me see if I am up to the challenge of tying this convo to the main convo.

                      Matt made the observation that more and more he thinks being shitty husband is caused in large part to unacknowledged sexism.

                      I made the remark that men don’t listen to women’s horrible daily experiences with men because they don’t want it to be true. It costs them to acknowledge it is true.

                      Chore wars and emotional labor and childcare is the same thing.

                      There is unacknowledged sexism that causes a shitty husband to not feel it’s his responsiblity to deal with cleaning bathrooms or sending birthday cards or finding summer camps.

                      Shitty husbands don’t WANT to listen to their wives attempts to request change. They don’t want to acknowledge the sexist assumptions of unfairness.

                      Because they don’t want it to be true. Because if it’s true they would feel some pull to change.

                      To give up some of their privilege and power. It costs something to do that. I get it, I really do. Who would trade cleaning toilets for just telling her to do it if it bothers her or to tell her to hire someone. He has NOTHING to do with those dirty toilets after all right? No responsiblity for dealing with it.

                      And so a shitty husband just dismisses it as untrue or exaggerated or controlling etc.

                      So he doesn’t have to change. So he can keep his man card. It’s all the same shit.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • linds01 says:

                      So, it’s not about the dishes by the sink. :)
                      I get it- sorry to jump on that nerve for you. ..
                      I totally agree that there is unacknowledged sexism that is part of our everyday life. White privilege was mostly white male privilege for a long, long time. It looks very similar to women as it may to black people. Only, I do believe black people have had to suffer in many greater ways than we do- our whiteness still affords us privilege that their blackness never could. But, yes- it’s still systemic, it’s still designed by and for the dominate power group, that then gets to retain that power.
                      I agree there is systemic sexism.
                      That is why I am glad this conversation is going on.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Lindsey,

                      “Because I am more prone to the optimistic/romantic way of thinking: Let me play devils advocate,- let me ask you- how much do chores matter presently on a scale of 1-10?
                      How much would they matter if your hubby or one of your kids were terminally ill.(That’s a horrible thought, and God forbid) where would they fall on a scale from 1-10?”

                      I think this is similar to Gretchens post where she talks about how people would say aren’t thre more important things to write about than sexism?

                      Yeah if my kid was terminally ill I wouldn’t focus on the toilets. Just like you wouldn’t focus on the guy jerking off you described if you had a terminal illness. Still doesn’t make those things grossly disrespectful.

                      It doesn’t mean sharing grunt work fairly (however each couple decides) is not important to a good marriage.

                      Just like being able to walk around as a woman without hearing yourself described as a piece of meat is important to a heathy society.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Still doesn’t make those things **any less** grossly disrespectful.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • linds01 says:

                      I guess the difference to me is that while the issue exists, and should be talked about and pointed out in the household, any conflict that occurs in the house will just be in the house- it doesn’t effect a greater social change.
                      Arguing about it at home isn’t going to change the fact that it exists. …That doesn’t mean it should be swept under the rug, or ignored, either. It would be wonderful if it wasn’t allowed to exist in the home.
                      So, while finding an effective way to share space IS important, I know for me- being as conflict avoidant as I am, I wouldn’t want to fight that fight. I’d rather get a male houeskeeper and say I was being gender equal .
                      So, maybe I am part of the problem. I don’t know.
                      Baby steps maybe?
                      Maybe more men need to start talking to other men about these issues, as if they were real issues.
                      Maybe we can assert ourselves when we are physically feel safe, and the threat is that we would be seen as “a bitch”or “up tight” or whatever. Maybe THAT is a risk we could more willingly take. Just to speak out, and say “its not ok”.
                      Wow- there is women and boundaries again. …

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Lindsey,

                      You said “I guess the difference to me is that while the issue exists, and should be talked about and pointed out in the household, any conflict that occurs in the house will just be in the house- it doesn’t effect a greater social change.
                      Arguing about it at home isn’t going to change the fact that it exists. …That doesn’t mean it should be swept under the rug, or ignored, either. It would be wonderful if it wasn’t allowed to exist in the home.”

                      The real issue you are fighting about and for is respect. I know I sound like a broken record.

                      You’ve teed me up for another opportunity to quote Gottman. 65% of men do not accept their wives influence. If you are one of the unlucky 65% club Is it worth making a big deal about getting your husband to accept your influence to find a fair sharing of grunt work together?

                      Gottman’s research says it is. Because if a woman allows her husband to not accept her influence and she just adjusts they will go on to be unhappy in their marriage.

                      She has not given him the opportunity to change to respect her and her requests early in their marriage when patterns are being formed. She is agreeing to patterns that will likely lead to divorce.

                      That is why toilets or dishes matter. It is not for her I get everything she wants all the time. It is to set up patterns of mutual respect for each other’s differences, preferences, love languages, needs, wants, quirks etc.

                      If she doesn’t set boundaries she has allowed unhealthy patterns to be set. She WILL be unhappy, she miserable in her marriage with a husband who will not accept her influence. They will likely divorce.

                      It may take 1, 3, 5, 10 or more years but it will happen. Gottman’s research can predict with more then 90% accuracy based on very early patterns. A husband accepting influence is the critical piece to a happy marriage. A wife cannot accept disrespectful unwillingness to not accept her influence. In whatever form that takes dishes, toilets, where to live, pârenting, inlaws, sex, finances etc.

                      If a wife wants to do 100% of the cleaning and he doesn’t care no problem. If she wants to manage hiring a housekeeper no problem. But if she wants to share grunt work in a different form he would be wise to care. To listen to her and work together to find a reasonable solution.

                      Why? To show love and respect to her. Just as she should to him. If he dismisses her concerns, he is not showing love and respect, He is being unloving and disrespectful. And THAT matters.

                      So you want to reduce stupid divorces with kids being hurt? It matters.

                      You want to get women to have more energy to focus on other things besides grunt work? It matters.

                      You want the next generation of kids to grow up with healthier models for relationships and respect for women? It matters

                      You want women to be taken at their word and not dismissed as disbelieved? It matters.

                      You want men to learn to treat women with love and respect even when it costs them something? Even when their man card is in jeopardy? Yeah especially that one. It matters.

                      It ALL matters.

                      Liked by 4 people

                    • linds01 says:

                      Well you got all teed up and flew a birdie. :)
                      It is always good to be reminded of this. Thank you :)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • linds01 says:

                      I’d like to see a repeat of Gottman’s work. At least the accepting influence portion. I would be interested in knowing if that 65% changes over time.

                      Like

                    • anitvan says:

                      You’re making me feel old, Linds! I was born in the sixties…

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      Anita,
                      I didn’t mean to make you feel old! I am not far behind you if that makes you fell any better:). Please read my response to Lisa’s comment to read what I meant by that…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • anitvan says:

                      Ha ha Linds! I’m just yanking your chain 😛

                      Being 50 is great! People actually take me seriously now!

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      :) . I seriously believe that my 50’s are going to be my “best. years. EVER!” Cant wait, sister ! :)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Lindsey and Anita,

                      Sadly, this is not as generational as one might hope.

                      Recent studies have shown a persistent problem with couples sharing chores (especially after kids) even in couple with more “modern” egalitarian ideals.

                      https://news.osu.edu/news/2015/05/07/new-baby/

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      I still think it changes through the generations.
                      The 50-70’S were met with a huge social change. From a TV perspective (because we can see our social changes broadcast on prime time, I swear you can…) we went from I love Lucy and The Honeymooners, (Significant paternalism) in the mid 50’s, and My Three Sons in the early 60’s, to shows like I dream of Jeanie and The Brady Bunch in the mid 60’s (both of these were sort of “Alternative lifestyles..” He was a single astronaut in I dream of Jeanie, and they were a step family in the Brady Bunch) But still very paternalistic. Then things started changing- Mary Tyler Moore in 1970- a single, serious, career minded female shows up , not to mention All in the Family in 1971 that dealt with Sexism and Racism and family dynamics all in one. Carol Burnette was also getting popular – women were up and coming, and this was one of the first times ever. …Then of course Wonder Woman was born the same year that I was…So really, my generation is one of the first generations to live in the context of a woman as a free agent (theoretically)..And just like black people are told they have equal rights , and yet have their rights infringed on in serious ways in everyday life , women are told they are equals but don’t really get treated that way. A law can be written and upheld, but it takes internal change (The way people see things) to truly have a response that isn’t biased. It takes a while. It takes generations to influence new generations , and for those generations to influence the next ones…
                      So even though there is still a gap between men and women in how much they contribute when a child comes into the picture, the question we should ask is how has it changed from 20 years ago? You have to celebrate the improvements you have made and assess what has been learned to make continued improvements. So yes, it still exists, is it getting better? I think so. Side thought … One of the reasons that this is important is way more than an ideal notion of justice, it is not just that it is unfair..its important because it has a real impact of families- on marital happiness , and on personal health .
                      You’re right, Lisa- it does matter.

                      Like

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Lindsey,

                      You said:
                      “So even though there is still a gap between men and women in how much they contribute when a child comes into the picture, the question we should ask is how has it changed from 20 years ago? You have to celebrate the improvements you have made and assess what has been learned to make continued improvements. So yes, it still exists, is it getting better? I think so.”

                      The reason I posted the RECENT Ohio study was to show that it is NOT better. Just like sexual harassment is NOT better. These are both areas that are in the NOT better category.

                      Like

            • Interesting point here. I actually have arranged and paid all of our housekeepers (we’ve had a few due to moves and it being a high-turnover industry; they’re not running away screaming); it’s less about being female, I think, and more about THAT being important to ME – while he couldn’t care less about the size of the cat-hair tumbleweeds.

              But there are times I DO have to be clear about a task – like that last note from our homeowner’s insurance company about options for a policy change. I told him that I needed him to own it – call, research, present me the options with his recommendation, and then arrange for whatever we picked to get set up. And, to his credit, he did that. I do have to be specific about what I need him to own sometimes, but he does do it, and I’m very thankful for that. I know a lot of folks that won’t, and that feels like the point in this section of this post, kinda.

              Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        I think I can relate to wanting to understand but not quite being able to because I haven’t lived it.

        I feel that way myself as a white person listening to people of color describing their mistreatment by police or not being able to get a taxi or followed around in stores. Not being able to be sure if they didn’t get the job because if their skin color etc.

        I get it “intellectually” but I haven’t had to absorb a lifetime of those experiences to understand how soul crushing it is. How it effects everything you do every single damn day. No vacations ever.

        Liked by 1 person

    • ttravis says:

      And remember what “the professor” (the Treadstone operative played by Clive Owen that comes looking for Bourne at the country house) says right before Bourne kills him?

      “Look what they make you give!”

      That’s the cost.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep. It’s a bit like being a tiny kitten forced to walk the gauntlet through a pack of German shepherds every single day of your life. What a lot of men don’t get is the fear we must learn to cope with, how fear is simply a way of life, incorporated into our very being, the way we have to find coping skills to deal with it, they way it impacts and alters our behavior. Women aren’t always aware of it ourselves but we are incredibly brave, courageous in ways men don’t even understand. Sometimes we even have to deny our own courage and bravery because to admit it is to admit to the fear that built it.

    Woven among the fear is this awareness that we aren’t really kittens at all, that kittens actually have worth and value as “things,” and that women are not simply treated as things,but rather, as, “things to be consumed and completely annihilated.” Try speaking in a locker room about grabbing a puppy by it’s privates and draining the life out of it and people would take you out and hang you from the closest light pole. But you can speak or think that way about women and at best, you’ll just get some frowns of disapproval.

    “I perceive this to be more the symptom of thoughtless action than calculated abuse.”

    As usual Matt, you’re far more optimistic about men than I am. I think you see them through your own eyes, so while you would never intentionally abuse someone, it causes you to deny that abuse is indeed, deliberate, calculated, and rooted far more in rage than sexual attraction.

    One thing I do want to say however, is that some women cannot see the honor and integrity of men, their desire to protect us at war with their desire for conquest. That’s important because often that is what protects us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      “Try speaking in a locker room about grabbing a puppy by it’s privates and draining the life out of it and people would take you out and hang you from the closest light pole. But you can speak or think that way about women and at best, you’ll just get some frowns of disapproval.”

      Yes, great point Insanitybytes22!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was 4 at my first molestation, 10 at the time of my first catcall, 13 at my nephew’s 1st birthday when my brother’s father was checking me out – daughter of his ex wife, and guys in middle school popping my bra strap, high school having a total creep high school male grabbing my wrist, raped at 21- you could say totally had to learn to cope and try to gague what is considered phobic versus acceptable in a blame-the-victim society.

    Yes… this fear is learned very early on. I never asked for any of the above. I NEVER solicited myself in any manner.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Greg Baird says:

    It would be horrible to always be feeling frightened and unsafe.

    What I hear / understand when I read this piece is a narrowing of a wider dialogue. That is, a part of the whole is the part where some (most / all?) women wish that a particular social dynamic didn’t exist and they don’t feel understood or heard when they try to raise awareness of it.

    I believe this is a smaller part of the common / normal way for everyone to simply see the world through their own perspective and to be ignorant; have no awareness or empathy for how others experience life.

    I don’t agree that men are especially apathetic or ignorant of how women feel; I believe we are all equally ignorant of “the other” where “the other” is everyone else.

    I do completely agree that if everyone was “socialised” to be more considerate and empathetic towards “the other” then we would all have a much more happy and pleasant experience in life. Unfortunately reality is that we all waltz through life in varying degrees of ignorance of how our actions, and the choices we make each second of everyday impact on others.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gottmanfan says:

      Greg Baird,

      I certainly agree that we all have our own experiences that make it hard to truly appreciate what another person’s experiences are like.

      Absolutely!

      It’s hard for a person who grew up in a small Chinese village to fully relate to the childhood experiences of a person who grew up in Los Angeles.

      The difference in Gretchen’s post is she is describing how MEN treat women on a continual basis in disrespectful or threatening ways.

      And then other MEN dismiss or minimize those experiences as not a big deal. They are unwilling to listen and take them seriously because they have not directly experienced it the way she has every single day for years.

      This is not just a hard to relate difference. In my opinion, this is an intentional unwillingness to listen.

      Because we don’t want it to be true.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gottmanfan says:

        In the same way I didn’t want it to be true that Bill Cosby was a serial rapist and now I can’t watch the Cosby Show and have it stay a fun family show.

        In the same way I didn’t want those videos of police officers shooting various people of color to be true. I want to believe that the police are “color blind” and all those complaints are wrong.

        Everytime I haven’t directly experienced something that makes me think of the world as a horrible unsafe place, my knee jerk reaction is to not want it to be true or at least have it exaggerated.

        And I think that’s true for many men hearing how women feel hunted like Jason Bourne or how they find men’s various locker room talks demeaning.

        They want it to not be demeaning or objectifying. They want it to be just a guy’s natural “visual” appreciation of beauty.

        And because they want it to be so, they dismiss a woman’s point of view on how it affects her.

        That’s my take.

        Liked by 1 person

        • gottmanfan says:

          Everytime I haven’t directly experienced something that makes me think of the world as a horrible UNFAIR place, my knee jerk reaction is to not want it to be true or at least have it exaggerated.

          We’d like to believe that while there are exceptions here and there the world is generally a FAIR place that rewards good effort and attitude. That all of us have various problems that we have to deal with.

          It’s HARD to acknowledge that the world is inherently unfair to many, many people.

          Like

    • Donkey says:

      Hello there,

      “I believe this is a smaller part of the common / normal way for everyone to simply see the world through their own perspective and to be ignorant; have no awareness or empathy for how others experience life.”

      I agree, it’s very common to assume that the way we see and interpret the world is how it is, and when others agree they’re wrong. Brent Atkinson talks about legitimate differences, I found that *very* enlightened (shout out to Gottmanfan who I first brought me to Atkinson’s work).

      “I don’t agree that men are especially apathetic or ignorant of how women feel; I believe we are all equally ignorant of “the other” where “the other” is everyone else.”

      I would have to disagree with this statement though, because this is where privilige comes in. I believe that women know more about men’s feelings than vice versa, simply because women have been and still are a minority in terms of power and influence. They’ve had to learn more about men then vice versa, because it’s more of a man’s world than a woman’s. More male leads in medias of all kinds, more men in power etc. A male point of view is just way more common to be exposed to. Similarly as how Greek Orthotox Christians in the US would, generally speaking, know more about mainstream Protestant culture than vice versa. Or how introverts know more about extroverts in the US (a culture I’d say favours extroverts in terms of number and what’s considered normative).

      Liked by 4 people

      • Donkey says:

        Sorry Greg and others, some typos in there. When others *disagree*.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Excellent points.

        Let me tell you what I am teaching my son about this stuff.

        When you have ANY kind of advantage or priviledge in life, you have won the life lottery.
        With that comes special responsibilities.

        You have been given power.

        instead of denying that power you must use it to stand up to those who will use their power to harm others more vulnerable.

        Using your power this way will cost you something. As I tell my son, when you interrupt the dinner to say “I really don’t think that’s funny to a racist/ sexist/homophobic etc comment or joke you’re going to get LOTS of people thinking you’re the problem.

        When you say to your guy friends who are commenting on a woman like a piece of meat or a sex toy, “don’t say that” you might not be invited to the next party.

        But that’s how cultural change happens. You have to use your power to effect change.

        I hope my son has the courage to use his when it costs him something. I hope many, many good men do.

        Otherwise all that power is just wasted on striving to keep your man card.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. marilyn sims says:

    We are never entirely safe or free from predatory behavior:

    “The women’s movement of the 1970’s led to changes in the law. In 1976, Nebraska became the first state to throw out its MARITAL RAPE EXCEPTION LAW. Seventeen years later, all 50 states had revoked their marital rape exceptions. But, while many states have revised their rape laws to draw no distinction between marital rape and non-marital rape, some states persist in distinguishing in certain ways between marital and non marital rape.”

    “Only about half of the states have totally abolished the distinction between marital and nonmarital rape. TWENTY OF THE STATES THAT HAVE KEPT THE DISTINCTION GRANT IMMUNITY TO A HUSBAND WHO HAS SEX WITH HIS WIFE WHILE SHE IS UNCONSCIOUS OR OTHERWISE INCAPABLE OF GIVING CONSENT.”

    Quoted from: Lawyer Directory(http:www.nolo.com/lawyers)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Donkey says:

    Thank you Matt.

    I relate SO much to this piece by Gretchen Kelly. The quickly assessing the situation -what’s the safest bet in this situation (safest in terms of physical safety, employment opportunities etc)? Ignoring the comments, and like Kelly says, and then having to pretend not to hear “stuck up, ugly bitch, slut, can’t take a joke” etc as I’m walking away? Smiling and laughing, trying to walk the fine line between being friendly enough to not upset him but not so friendly that he feels encouraged to even further cross normal boundaries? All the while feeling the humiliation (which gets added to the shame of all the other similar instances) of not daring to stand up for myself, and the humiliation of seeing myself through someone elses eyes as being worthy of that kind of dehumanizing treatment? Saying no loudly? Walking away? Picking up my phone and call someone/pretending I’m talking to someone? Dialing my country’s equivalent of 911, in case I need it?

    And yes, the not making him angry part is important. I hear guys say “well why don’t you just tell the guy who’s bothering you no, that you’re not interested?” That can work sometimes. But often it makes many men…angry/upset. Even though they’re behaving disrespectfully/inappropriately, if you somehow communicate to them that you think their behaviour is disrespectful/inappropriate, then they’ll be angry. In their mind, I’m worongfully accusing them of being a bad guy (even though they’re behaving like one), a crime like no other apparently. The hypocrisy makes me want to cry.

    And why all this effort to not make him angry? If he gets angry, then all bets are off. Will he get violent, because I have upset him (he’s already shown himself to be an indivudal who doesn’t respect normal boundaries)? Will he be even more likely to assault/bother me, because I have upset him and he now sees me as an enemy and so he’s “right” to violate me in any way he sees fit? Yeah, it can be pretty scary to upset someone who’s already shown a disrespect for normal boundaries and and who’s also physically bigger and stronger. Very scary.

    I remember I was 12 or 13 on the subway having to deal with this shit. Some grown man (I’d guess in his thirties) flirting with me, asking me if I wanted to come back to his place. Having to do those same kinds of calculations in my mind at such a young age. I should have been thinking about kittens or something. What will not make him angry, while at the same time keeping me safe? Being 15, having a group of maybe 5 guys walk by and all slap my butt. Having my ass grabbed countless times by customers while waiting tables. And all the countless times I’ve been leered at in such a creepy way for WAY too long in public spaces. In high school, having my nice male friend tell me that his other not so nice male friend had suggested that they both rape me in the bathroom during break. Maybe said in jest, I don’t know. If my friend had agreed, what would have happened? The creepy man in a position of trust (40s or 50s) saying he was in love with me, commenting on my body and clothes in an inappropriate way (I was 15 or something), wanting me to go with him to Hawai or some shit. The vague threats, the insults. One time I somehow felt brave enough to stand up for another woman who was being followed around on the subway by a man (she kept moving around to get away from him). He said something about me being jealous because I was so ugly that no one would ever want me. My friends have similar stories as I do.

    Of course, most of the time my daily life happens without incident! But I don’t know when the incidents will occur or not.

    This has not happened to me, but I know many women who feel scared, if a man is being to aggressive in kissing her, trying to sleep with her, to escalate her “no” after saying it once (or a few times), or saying “no” too forcefully. Again, I heard some ignorant dude say that women should loudly declare in situations like these that if he continues on, it will be rape. But the thing is, if she has already said no once (or several times), tried to pushe him away somewhat, said wait up or seomthing like that and he doesn’t back off, he has already shown that he doesn’t respect her physical boundaries. And so she figures, what else is he capeable of, she can’t trust him to be someone who won’t get even more aggressive. So she’s scared of escalating the situation by being even more forceful in saying no yet again, saying no loduly, trying to push him off, saying that if he continues he’ll be raping her or whatever.

    I certainly can’t speak for all women, I know of some who feel very little fear. But I do know many feel similarly as I do.

    Lastly I’d like to say that I think many will agree that grabbing my ass while I’m waiting tables, hitting on 15 year olds when you’re in you 40s or 50s is wrong. But let me tell you, it’s been way worse for me, way more demoralizing for me to overhear male friends/coworkers/acquantances rate a woman’s body parts, calling a female colleage/friend they disagree with “irrational”, calling women who’re offended by their sexist joke or locker room talkor other everyday sexist behaviour a “stuck up bitch, “too uptight”, saying that “she needs to chill”, “can’t take a joke”, “is too sensitive” being pissed off at her protesting offensive behaviour like that. Or calling a middle aged or older woman an old hag, an old bitch, having “normal” men minimize the dehumanizing behaviour that affects women.

    Liked by 4 people

    • marilyn sims says:

      Donkey,

      I think many of us are at a loss for words. I read your post and it has taken me a while to respond. To express only sorrow and dismay seems insufficient, yet, if we say nothing it seems that we don’t care. I care about the trauma, pain and distress you have suffered. I wish I could wash it all away. I don’t know how we can stop the carnage — especially since too often, too many men aren’t willing to listen. Please hold on to HOPE, I believe (only on my best days) that change is possible. It is possible that the voices of men like our Matt will make a difference. Please know that those of us who have shared this space with you for the past several months VALUE YOU IMMENSELY. You inspire us!! Please accept our “virtual” hugs and kisses for today, tomorrow and always.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donkey says:

        Thank you Marilyn!

        Do I really inspirie you? :) How so? I find your warmth and openness inspiring! :)

        Sadly, stories like mine aren’t uncommon at all (and I grew up in a middle class neighborhood), friends of mine sometimes tell me about “mild” sexism in their work place etc. And it’s totally messed up that all of this is going on of course.

        But just in case it wasn’t clear, the man in his 40s-50s in a position of trust who was being inappropriate with me when I was 15-ish – I was not groped/assaulted by him. He happened to be quite tiny and frail looking, and he wasn’t intimidating physically to me (as I figured I’d win in a fight, and he never was physically aggressive). Could be that my not yet fully developed teenage brain overestimted my capeabilities in that area, who knows. I actually told him straight up “what’s wrong with you, I’m a child!” But yeah, he was creepy and inappropriate and crossed some boundaries that should not have been crossed. If I had been intimidated by him, attracted to him or what not… it could have ended a very different way. Ugh. And I didn’t have the maturity/healthy sense of boundaries etc to tell someone what he was doing at the time.

        Like

        • marilyn sims says:

          Hi Donkey,

          First of all, please do not,under any circumstances, feel you need to explain ANYTHING in regards to your behavior in response to sexually inappropriate behavior. Your teen-aged brain was rightfully appalled at the slimy old man and you responded as you should have. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

          Secondly (is that a word??) You inspire me because your comments are always so full of compassion and balance. I am often envious of your ability to see past people’s initial responses and reveal their deeper longings. STAY WELL and KUDOS AND KISSES!!!!

          Like

  12. Donkey says:

    And this isn’t about not liking or appreciating attention from the gender you’re attracted too.

    I remember the times where I’ve been politely asked out by someone more or less a stranger (hasn’t happened often) but of an appropriate age who wasn’t drunk etc, a cute guy at a party politely and non threateningly asking if he could kiss me, a male friend complimenting me on my sweater in a nice way etc. Those things, I must say, are SO nice and flattering! I’d love to get asked out by cute and friendly stranger more often! 8) it’s not like my reality is that I have appropriate guys throwing themselves at me left and right and I’m just not appreciating it!

    Those nice things are completely different from men in their forties and fifties hitting on me as a young teenager, someone grabbing my ass or leering at me, someone rating a woman’s body parts etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am new to blogging. But I have fallen in love with your blog and read it regularly now. I have shared it with my husband and It has expanded our conversations in ways I think are important. So thank you. When I read this post today, I felt validated in some way. I spent I the last 5-7 days writing my most recent post. The PROCESS of writing was healing for me about a subject a didn’t realize rocked me as deep to the core as it really did. So reading your friend’s words… and seeing the almost uncanny parallel to my own words….I just felt the need to comment and show support and connection. I am humbled by the way she presents the issue. I’ve never done this before so feel free to ignore it, but I would love if you read my blog post on this topic. I would love to hear your thoughts. If not I understand. It’s too long. And it refers to trump. Which is proof I don’t know what I’m doing…. That can’t be a smart blog etiquette at this point. Anyway… it’s about day to day sexual assault….very similar to how your friend describes it. I guess Trump’s comments just triggered the subject for me.

    #lockerroomtalk # growingup #strongwomen #goodmen #calltoaction #DonaldTrump
    http://begentlebebeautiful.com/2016/10/11/why-locker-room-talk-is-important/

    Liked by 2 people

  14. allpictures10 says:

    Thank You mustbethistalltoride- Fantastic blog

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Terri says:

    Jeff, you never fail to make me pick my jaw up off the floor (shaking my head)….

    Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      Matt,

      Is it possible even on THIS post that harassing comments about women are allowed?

      Living life as Jason Bourne also applies to the Internet for women.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Matt says:

        No. Not on this one.

        Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          So saying anything that Gott disagrees with is “harassing women”?

          Wow. White knighting taken to all time highs. The funny thing is, it never seems to work out so well for the white knights. It sure makes one wonder if they will ever learn.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            I don’t have the time or patience for any of this today. It’s not happening.

            Like

          • linds01 says:

            Jeff,
            You are contemptible on so many levels.
            You incite disgust and loathing.
            You take pleasure in harming people.
            You feel powerful by causing chaos.
            You are a sexual deviant who takes pleasure in wearing down and conquering women.
            We scare you.
            You are a tiny little man hiding behind a bunch of bluff and bravado.

            Whatever damage you have done to those around you will be paid back to you.
            It would be better for you to have a mill stone tied around your neck and thrown into the ocean.
            I don’t have to hope or wish horrible things to happen to you-
            you live and breath the stink of death.
            One day you will become very aware of what you are, and you wont be able to turn your eyes away.
            You will have sit and suffer with the knowledge of what you allowed yourself to be.

            Like

            • Jeff Strand says:

              Much love and kindness to you too Linds.

              You have a wonderful weekend!

              Like

              • linds01 says:

                You disgust me.

                Like

                • Jeff Strand says:

                  Tell you what Linds. I’ll pray for you tonight, that you overcome the hate and negativity in your heart and find some happiness in your life.

                  God bless.

                  Like

                  • linds01 says:

                    what the fuck ever.

                    Like

                  • Jeff Strand says:

                    Matt, are you gonna allow these kinds of personal attacks on other commenters? Isn’t Linds out of bounds here? Or is this kind of thing allowed in the comments section?

                    Like

                    • Matt says:

                      1. I have shit to do and I’m just seeing this. Stop spamming my comments.

                      2. I’ll let you know just as soon as I want you as my self-righteous hall monitor.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jeff Strand says:

                      I just think Linds should BE KIND TO OTHERS.

                      Don’t you?

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      What can I say, Jeff deserves special treatment.

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      To put it simply, Jeff- I think you are one of the lowest representations of men.
                      I have my suspicions you have not only raped your wife, but other women. Maybe girls. That’s how low I perceive you as being. – and let me be very clear- degrading her to the point of docile submission is the first sort of rape.
                      Treating her like she was nothing more than a breathing vagina- that is rape. Actually sticking your penis in her?
                      I bet that was barely noticeable.

                      Just to make it very, very clear- I DO NOT LIKE YOU.

                      IF YOU ENGAGE ME BY COMMENTING ON MY COMMENTS THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL GET.

                      IN OTHER WORDS- LEAVE ME ALONE.

                      If you decide to apologize, if you decide to talk to and about women in a respectful way that may change. But at the present time-

                      I fart in your general direction.. AND THAT IS JUST THE WAY IT IS GOING TO BE.

                      Like

                    • gottmanfan says:

                      Lindsey,

                      Please do not accuse Jeff of rape.

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      Lisa,
                      Why not? He admits it. HE BRAGS ABOUT IT!

                      Like

                  • Matt says:

                    Linds. Please.

                    Can’t be fair if you do this.

                    Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      Matt, I have asked Jeff to not engage me several times. He does not respect that. I don’t care if it is a public blog, he can respect a request to not engage me. I have nothing to say to him. (Obviously nothing kind). He does nothing but distract from any real conversation. …I don’t like him and don’t want anything to do with him. And frankly, it has little to do with his idealogy- it is how he interacts and the disrespect he shows. He is right now, currently doing what this whole post was about. Disrespect- and disregard. Because I am a women? I swear if me and him met in a dark alley only one of us would walk out- and I am betting on me. I am asking him to NOT engage me. If he does engage me all I can be is unkind. He doesn’t deserve kindness. And, I haven’t thought that about many people. I am asking you to enforce a rule that he shouldn’t feel free to comment on peoples posts who have directly asked him not to. Fuck “internet rules”- respect ought to be universal, and that is what I am asking for.

                      Like

                    • linds01 says:

                      What I meant about ” fuck internet rules” is that it shouldn’t matter if this is a public forum. I have asked him to stop trying to engage me., and so I would expect that to be respected. 95% of the time I causally overlook all the garbage that he writes here. I didn’t today. That is largely due to the content of the last two posts. This topic is extremely triggering- all my worst emotions come up. I know this wasn’t about rape, but you were going to write something about that. I just want to put it out there that all of this is extremely, extremely igniting topics. Seeing your sister getting repeatedly molested (I was too young to know what what going on) and finally raped – by some vile keystone swilling cretin like that jackass (I am only assuming he drinks keystone) makes me want attack. It makes me want to fight that guy off of her. And I swear to GOD that is what I have been feeling all day. This douchbag he just doesn’t fucking know when to quit. So- please- keep that dick away from me.

                      Like

                  • Jeff Strand says:

                    Linds said: “I swear if me and him met in a dark alley only one of us would walk out- and I am betting on me.”

                    Ok Matt, now she is threatening me with physical violence. This is over the line. You need to intervene here.

                    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Terri,

      Aw, thanks. Glad I could make your day!

      Like

      • Matt says:

        You’re not going to troll this one, Jeff. You’re just not.

        The amount of stupid bullshit in those previous two comments is suffocating, and I took them down.

        You are as intellectually dishonest of a debater and conversationalist as I’ve ever come across.

        Even if I agreed with all of your philosophies, I’d be so disgusted by your tactics that it wouldn’t matter.

        I’m not asking anymore.

        Stop coming here and intentionally fucking with people.

        I’m a free speech advocate. A huge one. But I’m not going to let someone stand in my driveway and scream a bunch of shit at my friends and neighbors that pisses them off.

        You’re not just accidentally doing it over and over, Jeff.

        You’re purposefully doing it.

        Go find something else to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. anitvan says:

    Uh, yeah Jeff, you DO harass women

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      C’mon, you don’t really believe that, do you?

      Like

      • anitvan says:

        I’ve witnessed you do it; why wouldn’t I believe it?

        Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Certainly not intentionally. Haven’t I always been polite to you, Anita?

          Like

          • anitvan says:

            Jeff, unfortunately, I really can’t speak to your intentions. I choose to believe you when you say you have not harassed intentionally, and I will therefore view any statements you made that I perceived as harassing as just that – unintentional.

            But you, in fact have made comments that I and others consider to be harassment, so I would appreciate it if you would accept what I am telling you in the same spirit as I accept your truth (that you are not intentionally harassing)?

            Is that something you are willing to do?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jeff Strand says:

            Anita,

            I wish I knew what you are specifically referring to. To me “harassment” is deliberately attacking and insulting someone. I certainly hope I have never done so to you, and I certainly have no memory of doing so.

            I don’t know you from Adam, but you seem like a nice enough person in your comments (you are polite) and I have no ill will towards you whatsoever. Hurting your feelings has never been an intention of mine.

            The problem comes in when some claim that merely stating my opinion about, let’s say, traditional gender roles in marriage…is attacking them. Or it’s harassing them. That strikes me as frankly absurd.

            What do you think?

            Like

            • anitvan says:

              Jeff,

              That’s fair enough, so I will give you a recent example that may help you understand where I’m coming from.

              Earlier today I read you say something along the lines that Lisa sounded mentally unbalanced and borderline dangerous to her romantic partner.

              That kinda meets your own definition of harassment, Jeff. By attacking her mental state and her suitability as a romantic partner, you attacked her, as a person. And you did so to undermine her credibility on the “marital rape” thing. You explicitly connected your (non-medical, unqualified, unsolicited) opinion of her mental state to her objection to what she considered a near-marital rape scenario.

              So, not only do I see this as an example of legitimate harassment, but I also see it as a great example of your unwillingness to hear any other perspective than your own.

              So, back to my original question: are you willing to hear all that in the spirit that it is offered, as a legitimate perspective from a legitimate voice? Or will you dismiss it out of hand?

              That is what I’m wondering.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Jeff Strand says:

                No, I’m willing to listen.

                Although I thought my reactions to Linds were pretty tame and self-controlled, given the massive amount of insults and personal attacks she launched against me.

                Maybe you see it differently. I don’t know.

                Like

                • Matt says:

                  Jeff, at the risk of sounding as if I’m defending things you say and the way you say them, I absolutely owe you an apology for a couple of the comments I let through which were directed toward you. I’m confident you know the ones to which I’m referring.

                  I don’t see the comments coming in here as I think people might imagine. There are some I never see, unless I go on the hunt for them.

                  Anyway, there was no gray area on those, and I don’t like the idea of you or anyone else thinking there’s a double-standard simply because we don’t always see eye-to-eye.

                  I’m certainly an asshole sometimes, but I try hard to be the kind of person who applies his assholish-ness fairly.

                  Like

                  • linds01 says:

                    Matt,
                    I understand you deleting my comments. I had no illusion on a double standard. I chose to act in an overtly insulting way towards Jeff to get my point across. That his words/ attitudes and actions of disrespect are offensive and insulting. And since he prescribed to “golden rule” supposedly, I decided I’d give it a try and apply it to him.
                    While I apologize to you for being disrespectful, I have a hard time apologizing for thinking or relaying it to Jeff.
                    Very simply put- I have asked him to not interact with me. What I demonstrated the last 24-48 hours is the only response I have to him.
                    If he really wants to listen, if he really gives a stink about how his words and actions affect other people, then that may change.
                    But for right now, I have made it as clear as I can that I do not like or respect him or value his input- therefore he does not need to try to engage with me.
                    I beleive he will be insensitive and hurtful to anyone who comments in these subject matters in a vulnerable and honest way.
                    I feel like that is a completely unnecessary insult to injury.
                    It would be better to not bring up this topic if he will be allowed to be insensitive to the issue.
                    If you insist on writing about it further, and don’t plan on gagging him- then I ask that he be very aware and cautious of the things he says.
                    His opinion doesn’t matter in this.
                    He doesn’t have a voice in how this stuff affects women.
                    It would be injust to have a voice for the perpetrators here.
                    And that is what it would equate to.

                    Please think about this. Please don’t allow further injury to people affected by this.

                    Like

                • Donkey says:

                  Hello people,

                  To uninvitedly clarify: Jeff, Anita is talking abut what you said to *Lisa* (aka Gottmanfan) not *Lindsey*.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • anitvan says:

                  Jeff, no, I don’t think I see it differently; in my opinion both of you were wrong to behave that way. Just so we are clear, if others hadn’t already called Linds out for her comments, I would have. I am an equal opportunity caller-outer.

                  So. Let’s go way back to my original comment to you (which is buried somewhere in here, but I can’t seem to find now). It was something along the lines of, “did you just turn around and make sexual harassment (at the hands of men) Woman’s Fault?”

                  The piece in question (I’m referring to the guest post) really resonated with me, and it apparently rang true with others as well, as a pretty accurate depiction of what it’s like for women every day in our culture. A number of women echoed the sentiments of the piece and shared some of their personal experiences with harassment. I have no reason to disbelieve them; their stories echo my own experiences over the years.

                  I don’t get the impression that you give much weight to a female perspective on this issue. Which is really odd, because it kind of affects us too, you know. I would think any thoughtful person would want to understand, and be sensitive to, the perspective of those who have actually experienced it. I’m not asking you to *embrace* that perspective, but please don’t dismiss it out of hand either. You know how you feel dismissed when your comments about the value of traditional gender roles in marriage are rejected out of hand? You believe you have something of value to share, a perspective that might be of some value to others…and it gets shot down, dismissed and reframed as heinous? That’s what it like for women when our actual experiences

                  Liked by 2 people

                • anitvan says:

                  Sorry…

                  …when our actual experiences are so easily dismissed.

                  You certainly may have some male perspective to add to the conversation, but I’m asking you to seek to understand a female perspective as well and be open to expanding your own perspective.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • Donkey says:

                Hello people,

                To uninvitedly clarify: Jeff, Anita is talking abut what you said to *Lisa* (aka Gottmanfan) not *Lindsey*.

                Liked by 1 person

  17. julie1776 says:

    Think about what else the woman in your life is minimizing. What else must she de-escalate – while she’s at work, or with her family, or with YOUR family? Are there other situations which require her to calculate the risk/benefit analysis?

    Because I know there are “isms” that raise their ugly heads for me, in each of those situations. And I’ve heard all the remarks for those “isms” that Gretchen listed.

    “Are you SURE she meant it that way?”
    “I don’t think making a fuss about it is going to help/change anything/make you feel any better.”
    “That seems pretty unlikely, honey. I know you’ve had a long day. Let me get you cup of tea.”
    “Well, I’ve never encountered a problem because of Xism.”

    There’s a lack of validation in those sentences. Disbelief. Condescension, even. That pours salt on the day’s wounds, and creates distance. If you and your mate were close, this diminution will drive a wedge between you. If you’ve already noticed that she’s growing distant, you just validated her belief that 1) you don’t “get” it; 2) you don’t believe what she says; 3) you don’t care about her emotional pain, stress and frustration; 4) you believe she should “let all that go” and leave it (wherever she encountered it) for the sake of “peace” in the home.

    And she KNOWS what YOU mean by “peace,” which means you don’t want to hear it. Not tonight, you say. Let’s just relax. She knows, from experience, that letting it go TONIGHT only makes you belittle her even more if she tries to talk to you about it tomorrow. “Are you STILL on that? Can’t we ever just not talk about this for one weekend?”

    You don’t want to hear about situations SHE has to deal with regularly. You’re a guy. Guys want to fix things. You can’t fix these things, so you don’t want to hear about them.

    Then – wait for it – you perform an even GREATER INVALIDATION: one of your guy friends tells you that Every Single Thing she’s been telling you about – sexism, racism, age discrimination, bigotry against some part of who she is – IS HAPPENING, just as she said, where she said and how. You go to her and tell her that Bob just told you that everything she said is true, and you’re sorry for not believing her.

    BABY RUTH IN THE PUNCH BOWL! Dude, you don’t know why she’s angry, when you just admitted you were wrong , and you’re sorry?

    (Huge brick hits side of your head, hard)

    You just announced that she required third party witnesses before you believe her!

    Way to go, dude. That’s such a sure-fire way to inspire confidence!

    I’ll make it easy: unless your partner is a pathological liar (like some politicians) or a narcissistic personality, you’re a fool to discount, dismiss or devalue what she says when she tells you that something is hurting her.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Jeff Strand says:

    Matt, just so I have this straight…

    From now on, any commentary on your blog that disagrees with Gottmanfan is now banned? I assume even if the commentary contained no profanity and didn’t personally attack at any other commenter? (This was the case with my comments)

    You owe it to your readership to clarify this, Matt. So people don’t take their valuable time to compose and post thoughtful comments (as I did) only to have them deleted. We know Gott’s take on this – anyone who expresses even polite disagreement with her is to be banned immediately and their viewpoint prevented from being heard. If this is now your official policy as blogmaster, tell us all point-blank.

    And if this is the case, let me play the prophet and make a prediction. Gott and Linds and Anne and their ilk (together with their White Knight suck-ups) will enforce a policy in the comments section that women are alaways the aggrieved party. Always and forever. The wife is always the victim of her husband. And the only way to improve marriages and reduce divorce rates is for the men to admit it’s always their fault and conform to the female’s wishes in all things.

    Gott and Linds and their crowd will be emboldened, now believing that they hold the power of censorship over any commenter they don’t care for…merely by calling on you to witness that they are “triggered” or otherwise emotionally upset by the post in question.

    Because women are so fragile and delicate, you see, that you must protect them from opinions that differ from theirs. (But dammit, women are just as tough as men and can be admirals, firemen, cops, CEO’s etc, and you’re a darn sexist if you say different! A very useful contradiction, no?)

    Matt, you’re a smart guy. Surely you can see that when things come to that pass, your blog goes down the crapper. And there’s won’t be useful, real-world advice that can actually help real marriages and real people. It will just be a big bitch session about “teh awful menz” and innocent, pure-as-the-driven-snow women as pertual victims of “male oppression”. That’s where this ends up, if you don’t take a stand against it. I mean, you can see it happening.

    I ask you to think carefully here before you adopt Gottmanfan’s standard of censorship. It’s your blog, you make the decision. And you will be responsible for the results, for better or worse.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      The policy is: You act like the biggest asshole imaginable in three out of four comments.

      You’re not polite, Jeff. It’s not thoughtful either.

      Your comments are devoid of intellectual honesty.

      You turn a well-written piece about the female experience, and you make it about how men don’t write whiny posts like this because we’re not as emotional.

      You take a thoughtful, fairly presented post about how women feel every day, validated over and over and over again by people who live this same experience and you turn it into an opportunity to talk about how women’s suffrage is shitty because they’re going to elect Hillary, and now a bunch of vile criminals with brown skin are going to be harming women left and right since Hillary has an open border policy.

      You said all that under the guise of male protectiveness. That you and Men and Trump have it all under control, if only those silly women wouldn’t meddle in things they don’t understand.

      Probably because they have brains the third the size of men’s. It’s science.

      Jeff. Everything you said in here contains all the logic of my 8-year-old’s arguments.

      No one believes they have the power of censorship. No one believes divorce is all men’s fault. No one believes women are always victims.

      Jeff. You can rest-the-fuck-assured no one’s going to lose any sleep about your opinions of my comment policy.

      I’m going to say it one last time.

      Here’s the policy:

      BE KIND TO OTHERS.

      You’re the ONLY person anyone ever has a problem with.

      Your bullshit isn’t welcome or appreciated.

      Contribute thoughts as you see fit.

      The next time you’re an asshole, you’re going to have to start creating ghost accounts to comment here.

      Like

  19. Jeff Strand says:

    Matt, ok. Let’s try this.

    Here’s a point I brought up in one of the deleted comments. If this Gretchen Kelly who wrote the article is so concerned that women are constantly being assaulted by men, why not encourage women to get a Concealed Carry Permit (which most states now allow), purchase a little pocket-sized 9mm, and do some practicing with it at the range? And then carry it with them all the time (like in their purse).

    Seems like a fair question to me.

    Like

  20. gottmanfan says:

    Matt,

    You wrote a comment copied below where you said “I just don’t want to be part of the problem.” I believe you are sincere in that statement.

    I am posting Jeffs rapey comment and Travis and my responses to it since it was on the previous post.

    I respectfully submit to you that by continually allowing misogyny and harassing and rapey comments you ARE part of the problem.

    You ARE facilitating rape culture and sexual harrassment and disrespect for women.

    You certainly are the reason that women can’t come to your blog without being denigrated and disrespected on a continual basis in your comment section.

    It is “good men” like you who don’t stand up to men who are disrespectful to women and use your power and privilege to shut them down that are part of the problem.

    Who tell US to adjust to the disrespect.

    It’s why I and my daughter have to live like Jason Bourne in real life and the Internet and on your blog comments.

    Maybe you think this is unfair, maybe your think it’s too harsh. But you said you don’t want to be part of the problem and I believe you.

    In my opinion, you’re part of the problem.

    If you’re sincerely willing to listen perhaps other women could give their opinions on this matter if you asked for feedback.

    Here’s your comment on the sexual harrassment post.

    “There are layers here, and probably poorly written as I wasn’t able to give it the attention this topic deserves.

    Layer #1 – Anything rapey is always bad and unacceptable, behaviorally and/or spoken, and that shouldn’t even have to be said.

    Layer #2 – Guys in groups, as I remember being part of in my youth, and as I occasionally overhear when I’m out and about today (as I did sitting at breakfast this past weekend), engage in “guy talk” that they keep in check in front of their grandparents and church pastors and girlfriends. It’s not awesome, but it is also NOT rapey. Not intentionally, anyway.

    Layer #3 – Could one of the reasons rape and sexual assault are as prevalent as they are because boys from the age of 13 or whatever are hearing and saying these things in a way that doesn’t “feel” wrong. And as incrementalism is wont to do, desensitizes some of these guys to the horrors rape victims feel.

    I don’t know.

    I just don’t want to be part of the problem.”

    Here’s Jeff’s rapey comment.

    Jeff Strand on October 14, 2016 at 2:02 PM
    “its when a woman just lays there, no showing any enthusiasm or excitement having sex with her partner”

    Also known as: lie back and think of England. Or, “just lay there and take it”.

    Which actually, can be quite a turn-on to the guy…in his role as initiator and aggressor, and she in the role of passive receiver. A classic alpha male move. And often ends up with the woman really getting into it and all of a sudden finding herself really turned on – because her feminine nature is responding to his dominance over her during the sex act. Especially if the the husband emphasizes this by whispering “just lay there and take it” into her ear, repeatedly during the marital act.

    If some of you married couples haven’t tried this when the wife isn’t so much in the mood, you should give it a try. Don’t be shocked to see the wife actually thanking the husband afterwards, for giving her a good pounding…when she wasn’t even in the mood before they got busy! More keys to a happy marriage.”

    Reply
    Travis B. on October 14, 2016 at 9:22 PM
    Matt,

    “If anything you’ve ever written is to ever mean anything, if MBTTTR is to ever matter at all, if I can ever hope to continue calling you friend, confident, mentor and brother, YOU MUST SHUT THIS DOWN. YOU MUST SHUT HIM DOWN. THIS MUST, MUST, MUST END. PERMANENTLY.”

    Reply
    gottmanfan on October 14, 2016 at 9:32 PM
    “This comment is close to endorsing marital rape. “Just lay there are take it” whispered repeatedly. No mention of consent.

    Is that ok with you Matt?”

    Reply
    Jeff Strand on October 14, 2016 at 9:49 PM
    “Gott, lol at the dramatics.

    No, it’s not “marital rape” (which didn’t even exist until 20 or 30 years ago). It’s a husband and wife connecting sexually in a way that benefits both of them, and strengthens their marriage.

    Not your cup of tea? Fine, take a pass on it. Different strokes for different folks.”

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      Matt, My big hoopla-fuss was that he chose to comment to me shortly after his statement where he prescribes raping his wife.

      Jeff Strand and I have politely discussed NOT interacting.
      His choice to walk over my boundaries, especially after a comment like the quoted, plus the days worth of hearing this stuff pushed all the right buttons…

      On principle, I understand why you don’t want to ban him.

      But, you claim to be pragmatic. Practical.

      The truth of the matter is it doesn’t serve a practical purpose, or a practical good to allow him to continue here.

      He has a narcissitic personality ( I’d say disorder).
      He has to be in control, he loves praise, he refuses to listen or look at himself.
      He has no respect for anyone except himself. He doesn’t care what his words or actions do to people.
      He jumps from “good guy” to bad guy. That is because he knows how to lie and manipulate to keep himself out of trouble.
      He is not a good guy. That is a false face he puts on to get his way. Period.

      Any and every therapist will tell you- you cant treat a narcissist.
      Because nobody can change anybody else.
      The person has to be willing to change, willing to listen, willing to accept another persons input (whether that is in the form of frank discussion, or even protest) and the narcissist absolutely refuses to acknowledge any personal responsibility. It is everyone else’s fault.

      Jeff shows no indication he is willing to listen to anyone else.

      He adds very little except very vile and hurtful things.
      He has a voice on mashable and jezebel- let him talk there.

      He shouldn’t be allowed to trample on people here.

      People shouldn’t need to be policed or MADE to respect other people.

      If that is what you have to do for one commenter, then maybe he shouldn’t be here.

      If the child cant behave in a restaurant, the child has to leave the restaurant.

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        Basically, we are asking you to empathize. Whether you agree or understand or not, can you take your commenters, and friends, word for it that this sort of stuff is more damaging than any good it will produce.
        Can we put it to a vote?
        Do we have a say?

        Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Lisa,

      Then logically you’d also have to ban the female commenter who suggested “starfish sex” for married couples where the male has a stronger desire. My commmet was a response to hers.

      As it turns out, “starfish sex” is just a different term for “lay there and take it”, or as some people call it, “duty sex”. Many couples engage in this kind of thing. You hysterically trying to paint it as some form of rape is just bizarre. And to me, it indicates that you have mental problems that make you borderline dangerous to a romantic partner.

      Like

    • OKRickety says:

      gottmanfan,

      “This comment is close to endorsing marital rape. ‘Just lay there are take it’ whispered repeatedly. No mention of consent.”

      I am not a fan of Jeff Strand’s comments on this blog, but I do want to take issue with this interpretation of his comment. In the sexual arena, the earlier “No means no” has progressed to “Yes means yes”. That is, consent to sexual activity must be explicitly stated or else there is an implicit refusal. Taken to the extreme, every action would be preceded by a specific request and consent, reminding me of the old cellphone ad repeatedly asking “Can you hear me now?”.

      Your belief that Jeff is “close to endorsing marital rape” because there is “no mention of consent” seems to be following this latest approach to sexual consent. It is important to not that there is also no mention of the wife refusing. It is my opinion that in marriage there is a general consent to sexual activity when there is mutual willingness. It does not require a constant stream of explicit consent.

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Okrickety,

        I don’t want to spend more time talking about the creepy “just lay there and take it whispering over and over”.

        Of course I agree with you that consent doesn’t necessarily mean asking for each move.

        The general script of this comment was

        the wife did not really want to have sex

        the fact that she didn’t want to have sex was a “turn on” to him

        This is interpreted as the male need for dominance and the aggressor

        and the female passive receiver

        He says that the woman may really get turned on “because her feminine nature is responding to his dominance over her during the sex act especially if he repeats “just lay there and take it over and over in her ear” during the marital act.

        This is what he is suggesting male readers do with their wives. Thar she will probably even thank him for giving her a “good pounding”

        Let’s be honest, what he is describing is a rape fantasy. Now listen if both people agree to that, that’s their business.

        But his comment was advising MEN to do this is a unilateral way. Suggesting that her lack of interest was just the cue to start acting out a rape scenario WITHOUT asking their wives if they would enjoy acting out a rape scenario before starting one that includes whispering I her ear “just lay there and take it” over and over.

        On that basis I believe that his comment was close to endorsing marital rape without the wife’s consent.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Ok Rickety,

        I just want to ask for more clarity since Matt has said that he fundamentally disagreed with my assessment of the comment and he agreed with your comment. Perhaps there are more men then I realize who think rape fantasies are not prone to be problematic. And if someone is prescribing a rape scenario as a key to a happy marriage consent needs to be very, very clear.

        Perhaps you and Matt were objecting to the concept of consent (with your understanding that each move in a marriage needs to be spelled out). I would say that a enactment of a violent act against a women does need to be spelled out clearly in advance.

        Just a few clarifying questions since we had a cordial conversation and I trust that you and Matt are both against non consensual sex. Therefore there must be some difference in our understanding of the comment.

        Was it your understanding that Jeff was describing a rape scenario?

        Was it your understanding that that is ok as long as mutual consent is implied in a marriage?

        Was it your understanding that Jeff’s language strongly implied that women would enjoy a rape scenario because of their female nature to be passive and be turned on be the male aggressor?

        That her female nature leads her to get turned on by a man whispering “just lay there and take it over and over” in her ear?

        That females really like to be raped? Is that your understanding of the implied message here?

        Was it your understanding that many men get “turned on” by a woman’s lack of interest? That this represents a call for the male nature to dominate her at that point?

        That male nature sees the woman’s disinterest as calling him to doninate her? That the implied message is that he gets turned on by rape?

        Was it your understanding that many readers would see that comment as implying these messages?

        As I said, if a couple wants to play act non consensual sex in their bedroom that’s their business. But someone describing rape scenarios on a relationship blog has the absolute onus on him to make sure he emphasizes that a woman must consent to this before a man takes her saying no to sex as a suggestion from Jeff to play rape her.

        And I can tell you it is NOT in my female nature to want to be raped in any shape or form.

        So his description that women by their nature enjoy that certainly does not describe all women. I would like to think that his description of men’s nature is equally off base.

        Like

        • OKRickety says:

          gottmanfan,

          Thank you for asking my opinion.

          I am supposing you assume that not wanting sex means one would not consent to sex. That may be true for you, but it is not a logical conclusion for everyone. There is a difference between wanting or desiring sex (consent), allowing sex (consent), and refusing sex (NOT consent). It is possible for either party to allow sex without wanting sex, doing it because they love the other party.

          This paragraph is critical: In Jeff’s comment, I am presuming that the wife does not desire sex, but is willing to allow sex, that is, consents, at this time. In other words, I did not consider this to be a rape scenario, although the description is closer than it need be. It is important to recognize that willingness does not equal desire, but both are consent to sex (that is, not rape).

          “But someone describing rape scenarios on a relationship blog has the absolute onus on him to make sure he emphasizes that a woman must consent to this….”

          I do not agree that Jeff must do this. It would have been better if he had, but, and I expect you will dislike this, your reaction is your responsibility. For me, I assume sex in a marriage to only occur when both parties are consenting.

          On that note, here is an important question: Since neither consent nor refusal was stated, why must you assume that there was no consent?

          I find that assumption disturbing. No doubt there are reasons for it, but my experience suggests that many of the bigger issues in marriage and society today are predicated upon assumptions that are far less certain than many suppose. Perhaps progress could be made if we were willing to reconsider our starting positions.

          When I look at your response and questions, it is obvious that you absolutely do consider it to be a rape scenario. If you insist on viewing it from that perspective, then many details will appear to be those associated with rape. If, however, you suppose that the woman is willing to have sex, then you might see them a little differently. Would you be willing to try to see Jeff’s comment with a little leniency, especially supposing that the woman is consenting to sex?

          I question some of the claims that Jeff makes:
          “Are men turned on by a sexually passive woman? I think this would be unusual.
          Will a sexually passive woman become turned on during sex? Possibly, but only if she is willing to allow it and, even then, it is hardly guaranteed.

          “That females really like to be raped?”

          No. But there is some evidence that most women are primarily responders sexually, and do want a man to be the initiator sexually. Initiating could possibly be described as dominating or aggression.

          “But his comment was advising MEN to do this is a unilateral way.”

          I don’t see his comment to advocate unilateral action. That is, having sex when she is not consenting. Of course, he will have to initiate if he desires sex but she does not, so it is unilateral in that sense.

          “Was it your understanding that many readers would see that comment as implying these messages?”

          It wasn’t my expectation, but it doesn’t surprise that some would. The older I get, the more I expect that someone will be offended at almost any action or statement.

          Like

          • gottmanfan says:

            Thanks for your reply.

            Perhaps our genders cause is to read this differently. Someone very close to me was raped and I do not think of rapey language to be something most women enjoy reading a man describe with the language Jeff uses.

            Perhaps as a man you are seeing it from that position which is less vulnerable and with your own humanity preventing you from imagining yourself as enjoying whispering “lie there and take it over and over” in your wife’s ear.

            I don’t know.

            The only thing I can say is his phrase about repeating “lie there and take it” over and over in her ear make it very reasonable to read this as a rape scenario.

            And I for one do not think it was an appropriate thing to write in these blog comments.

            Perhaps if it was a sex blog I could view the detailed language more generously in the way you describe as an alternative lifestyle.

            If someone wrote a comment about detailed language of having a three way to spice up your marriage would you feel the same?

            Or if a woman wrote a comment about strapping one on and having anal sex with her husband as she whispered “lay there and take it” over and over in his ear would you find that equally as appropriate for this blog?

            I don’t know. Perhaps you would. If so at least that would be consistent and I would understand it.

            Thanks for your reply.

            But I thank you for your reply.

            Like

          • gottmanfan says:

            The one thing I would add is that when I said a rape scenario I meant enacting a forced sex fantasy.

            Jeff has actually said clearly in his comments to donkey on the current post that that was what he was talking about.

            He SAID he was talking about a forced sex fantasy role play in his original comment.

            So my interpretation of his comment was CORRECT.

            Like

            • OKRickety says:

              “Jeff has actually said clearly in his comments to donkey on the current post ….”

              Where? This post? Or the latest post?

              Like

              • gottmanfan says:

                Current post.

                Donkey,

                I guess what I was recommending – given that a forced sex scenario is THE most popular female sexual fantasy – is for a husband to try a little role play in that direction if he thinks there’s a chance the wife might respond favorably to it. Because it would be a chance for her to explore those feelings and desires that apparently so many women have…in a safe, nuturing, trusting environment with her husband.

                And if he can pull it off, and let her experience those feelings and that fantasy, while also keeping her feeling safe at all times…then he would end up being her hero.

                And no one is saying that women want to be raped. But think of those romance novels back in the day, with a shirtless Fabio wearing a loincloth and golden arm cuffs, grabbing ahold of some hot chick. Women would buy those books like candy. Because they would fantasize they are the woman he is going to ravage. Again this is very common – so common, that it’s the number one female sexual fantasy. So why not let her experience that fantasy with her husband? Make that happen for her.
                Isn’t that a good thing? And if you as the man get turned on too, as you assert your dominance over her and “ravage” her, why feel guilty? Isn’t it a good thing for both of you?

                I bet a lot of wives wish their husbands would be more asssetive and try things like this. I’d love to hear from the female readers if this is the case – it seems like an appropriate use of the comment section of the blog.

                And if the wife wasn’t into it, I’m sure she would make that very clear to him. Ok, so no problem. He learns something about her. And she sees that he was trying to do something different for her that he thought she might like.

                I was just trying to share some advice about something that worked for me…that turned what might have been otherwise boring duty sex into something that was hot, sexy, and exciting. It was meant in a light and fun way as a suggestion along those lines. But someone had to turn it into a whole thing about rape. Really?

                Like

            • OKRickety says:

              gottmanfan,

              First, to any and all who read this, I will admit that I did not think Jeff was recommending a rape-like (forced-sex) experience, but apparently he was. Unless she specifically consented beforehand (which was not stated), I think this is a bad idea. Even with consent, I don’t think it is a good idea. I am sorry that I misunderstood, but it was not clear to me. I apologize for comments based on that misunderstanding.

              It might be good if there was a commenting guideline that specifics of sexual activity are inappropriate on this blog. At least I don’t think there is one to that effect.

              I have little doubt that I view Jeff’s comment and the responses differently because I am a man. But we all have had many experiences that will color our perspectives differently.

              Nonetheless, I would expect women generally to be far more sensitive to rape-related thinking and speaking. That would be especially true for women who have been raped, and also true for anyone with someone close to them having been raped.

              It’s interesting that one woman who was very close to me was raped twice before I met her, yet she did not believe that it still impacted her sexual behavior nor was she especially sensitive on the subject of rape. It seems individual response can vary greatly.

              Like

              • gottmanfan says:

                Okrickety,

                Thank you for your comment. I agree that individual experiences and characteristics would result in different readings of a comment.

                And yes l, I am sure that women that have been raped or have someone close to them raped will have a spectrum of effects from that. I am glad that your friend seemed to have processed her trauma in a way that allowed her to express normal sexual responses.

                If you read the Gretchen Kelly guest post about harrasment it described how common it is for women to be verbally or sexually harrassed or assaulted throughout their life. Many comments from women expressed that this is the average female experience.

                So much of the average female’s life is filled with a reasonable fear of rape or harrasment. It’s so annoying that it is so hard to escape from this in real life and on the Internet So a comment like Jeff’s describing a rape fantasy as a key to a happy marriage is just par for the course.

                I’m disgusted that it’s par for the course. Even on a blog like this that is supposed to be about healthy marriages. Hence my many comments and my frustration with you and Matt who seemed to think that comment was ok.

                I sincerely thank you for your reversal of that when it became clear by Jeff’s own admission that it was a rape fantasy comment.

                Liked by 1 person

  21. Anne says:

    Jeff Strand abruptly pushes himself away from his desk after posting his latest comment on his favorite blog. “Wife, I feel a mighty need,” he says, indicating to Mrs. Strand that she should rise from her modestly feminine crouch and follow his finger. Mrs. Strand moves to acquiesce, obediently bending over the end of the couch. “Such lost, foul-mouthed females,” he whispers as he lifts the hem of Mrs. Strand’s alluring thrift shop attire, pausing to finger the poly/cotton blend and admire how vivid the colors remain after untold washings. Mrs. Strand briefly closes her eyes and wonder if it ever snows in London.

    Working his fingers with effort, Jeff releases his wand of temptation and readies himself to benevolently ravage Mrs. Strand’s sin cavern. “Prepare yourself, wife, to feel my marital lordship,” he announces. How does Queen Elizabeth keep going at 90, Mrs. Strand marvels, shifting her weight a bit to keep her balance. Slapping his wife’s placid callipygian posterior, Jeff furrows his brow and barks a furtive command to receive the required prompting.

    Pulled from her bucolic revelry, Mrs. Strand utters the now-familiar reply to her husband’s call: “Mangina! Mangina!” she says, as she marvels at how long some Welsh words are, which was a weird thing to ponder, considering how brief some wifely duties end up to be. With nary a moment wasted, the husbandly marshmallow of passion is pushed into the piggybank of desire and another possibly life-threatening deposit is made.

    “Did you fill the car up with gas?” Mrs. Strand asks as Jeff tucks Satan’s short arm into his appropriately masculine clothing. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” he says, thinking that he might have time to write another lengthy explanation on White Christian Male Life As It Should Be to enlighten that slow-to-catch-on blog author who should learn not to tolerate all that smart-aleck female backtalk. “I need the car first thing tomorrow to shop,” Mrs. Strand persists. Jeff waves his hand as if to say, “tomorrow”; Mrs. Strand reminds her husband of the several times he had forgotten that very chore, her mind now solely occupied with wifely tasks involving household matters, the flutter of marital slip-n-slide already fading.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      The irony is that the commenter there sees a defeat for Trump as a victory for women. But when Hillary pushes through her plans for open borders, what will happen to rates of crime and assaults against women?

      For a preview, look at what has happened to Paris. Formerly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, it was known as “the city of light”. Now it resembles Mogadishu. See for yourself:

      Like

  22. “I respectfully submit to you that by continually allowing misogyny and harassing and rapey comments you ARE part of the problem. You ARE facilitating rape culture and sexual harrassment and disrespect for women.”

    Can I just say half a dozen times how important it is for women to take personal responsibility and heal themselves? That may sound harsh, but until you do you will perceive EVERYONE as part of the alleged “rape culture” that oppresses you. If you ever want to know how to fix the world, fix your own self first. The political is NOT personal.

    If you’re going to go the way of “rape culture” and other foolishness,then you will forever be a perpetual victim who can see nothing but abuse everywhere you go. It’s the precise opposite of female empowerment and you will quite naturally start to hate ALL men, but all you’re really doing is hating on yourself.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Hello Insanitybytes22,

      I’m all for emotional healing. It’s one of my main passions in life. I think it’s possible to do both though, work on healing ourselves and protest behaviour/fenomenons we perceive to be harmful based on our current knowledge, understanding and values. Though it’s certanly possible that someone would lean too much in one direction. I know I sometimes avoid my own issues by immersing myself in someone elses stuff, personal or political or both.

      Respectfully though, are you not doing the same thing- speaking up against things you perceive to be harmful (and promoting things you deem to be good)?

      Also, I’m not fully understanding your logic here: How do you figure talking about and protesting what some conceives to be rape culture is “hating on yourself”? I’m really wanting to understand your point of view here, so I’m asking sincerely.

      Lastly, and this is both unsolicited advice and a call for more respectful discussion amongst us good folks here at MBTTTR: I ask you to please don’t label something other people care about as “foolishness” (or similar Things). There are more effective and polite ways of expressing your different opinion. It would feel more respectful to me personally (and I assume others aswell), and even if you don’t care about that, I am convinced that it would make it more likely that people will want to sincerely consider your arguments. When people feel that someone else is ridiculing their opinions etc, even just ever so slightly, few are going to be inclined to do that.

      And I fully acknowledge that I am not a perfectly respectful communicator, and that I’ve failed here on the blog in that respect. Some instances I’m aware of, and some I”m not aware of. I apologize to you and everyone else for all of the times where I’ve not lived up to what I aspire to – full respect living for myself and others.

      As I’ve done before, I sincerely invite you and anyone else, should you wish it, to bring anything I’ve said that you felt were disrespectful, unclear etc to my attention and we can talk about it step by step. I really am trying to be a respectful person, so I want to improve.

      I must set the condition though, that you (and anyone else) bring forth *specific* things I’ve said, using quotes of what I’ve written. If you can’t find something you believe I said, you are welcome to ask me about it, and maybe I can help find it and we can take it from there.

      I set this condition, because I cannot seriously consider or work with or accept general accusations of being disrespectful, emotionally abusive. That has happened before on this blog I believe, and I don’t like, and it’s not productive either. Even if I didn’t mind, it’s just not possible for me to work on understanding someone elses viewpoint, to work on potentially owning a shit sandwich I’ve unknowingly served, if I don’t know what we’re talking about.

      Another condition is that I also cannot work with incorrect statements. I’m specifically talking about when someone else claims that I said something I in fact did not say. That has also happened before on this blog I believe, and I don’t like that either, and I can’t accept it. It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to an honest discussion either, and just another good reason to deal with the actual specifics. I will feel free to call someone out on it, should they claim that I said something I didn’t say.

      Have a good evening everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donkey, I chose to not engage because frankly you just have way too many “conditions” and I find them to be very abusive and controlling. I’m not interested in submitting to your demands and accommodating your never ending needs. It is not all about you all of the time.

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      We are all for empowering IB. That’s why we want to speak out about what is being called “rape culture”.
      Maybe we should just call it sexism- which leads to beliefs that women are not really people, or at least a lower form of a person- so cat calling, starring, groping intimidation, and yes, the act of rape is ok to do.

      Noone hates ALL men. Or even ANY men.
      We are asking men to be more aware of, and speak and ACT out against attitudes that let this stuff continue.

      Speaking up when your at the bar and your buddy says “man, did you see that rack?”- When “the racks” real name is Stacey and she works 40 hours a week at a bar while going to law school.

      We are asking men to be more aware that their actions or inactions effect people.

      I’m not sure which you want, IB- you want women to be soft and placate AND be empowered.

      Revealing shit for what it is, is empowering.
      Allowing it to go on in silence is placating.

      I don’t think you are for empowering.

      Liked by 2 people

    • anitvan says:

      Well, you’re half right….

      It’s all well and good for women to heal themselves from perceived perpetual victimhood, but it means precisely squat if we continue to experience ACTUAL abuse.

      Liked by 4 people

      • You girls don’t see it, but I actually view some of you as far more disrespectful and demeaning towards me than many men are. You’re controlling, emotionally abusive, always trying to get people banned from commenting here, and you’ve run off to Facebook to have a closed group where only the cool kids can go. All in all it’s very silencing, shaming, and bullying behavior.

        It’s a bit funny, if any of you were men I’d divorce you immediately. You make me feel like an object for ridicule and hatred, some one you can try to push around and manipulate.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          IB,
          Let me apologize if we hurt your feelings.
          It’s true that we are quick to jump on the button of “I’m right, and this is why.”
          I know I am guilty of this.

          I think when we disagree with someone, and we don’t get them to see it our way both parties divert to an even extremer view of their initial one.

          I don’t know why that is, except we *all* have beliefs that make up how we view the world, and they must be true- otherwise, why would we believe them? So we must prove them!

          That is why I liked friendlier times.

          But, its hard to talk about things that matter and agree on everything.

          The issue of sexism has been an point of contention for a while now. This past week didn’t help with that, for sure.

          I think that is because of the very polar viewpoints- that seem to get even more polarized when they are discussed.

          It’s not that you cant have your view point, but I think there is an expectation that you can explain it logically.

          But, even that leans towards trying to find the ONE who is right.
          When, in truth it is likely both (or all).

          If your into corny therapy games, we can write 3 things we all agree on in marriage/ or man-woman relationships, and see how those points tie into our larger world view.

          Anyone interested?

          (I ask as I look at the books I need to be reading…womp- womp..)

          Like

        • linds01 says:

          Just to note- we went to FB to get away from Jeff.
          But, I can see how that can be viewed as “ganging up” or bullying.

          Self differentiation in groups is very important.

          You can certainly join us. …But, it’s a “Wonder Woman” theme, and I will say that the majority do lean to a more gender neutral stance.

          I get the importance of gender roles to you- or I get that they are important.
          Can you share with me how they tie into your greater world view?

          Like

        • anitvan says:

          IB, for the disrespect I have shown you, please forgive me. I have a great deal of respect for you, your wisdom and your profound love for others.

          Even so, we part ways on this.

          You will recall that I vigorously opposed banning Jeff, personally, and the silencing of ideas in general. I still oppose it.

          But the price of getting to freely express your ideas is that others get to call bullshit on them. If the idea has merit, than surely it is not too much to ask that the commenter be prepared to demonstrate it when challenged.

          If, for example, Jeff is going to contend that he has not harassed others here, I have every right to challenge that assertion so long as I can demonstrate that he has factually done so.

          That’s why I think, by the way, that Donkeys “conditions” are perfectly reasonable, almost a given for productive discussion, to be perfectly honest.

          My concern, as always, is for the well-being of ALL who participate here. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to admonish the unrepentant sinner. That is done out of concern for their well-being as well.

          I regret that we don’t see eye to eye on this one, IB. Truly.

          But so far as calling others out? My conscience is clear.

          Much love to you. I mean it.

          Liked by 2 people

          • linds01 says:

            Damn! I wish I had said that! :)

            Like

          • Matt says:

            Echoing Anita here, who has always been a steady voice of reason, in my estimation.

            Opposing views are welcome. Always. But intentionally inflammatory commentary without ANY semblance of fair discussion?

            IB, you know (I hope) that I think you’re fantastic. I agree with you on the vast majority of things, and always respect anything that might conflict.

            But on this Jeff thing? Sorry.

            There seems to me only two possibilities:

            1. I’m bat-shit crazy with a totally warped sense of reality.

            Or.

            2. Jeff, with frequency that defies reason, behaves like an asshole.

            Maybe you guys are internet friends. Maybe you subscribe to red pill philosophies in ways I never realized. That’s all well and good.

            But to read all of that guy’s comments, and moreover note his flamethrowing, trollish tactics?

            About 10,000 people have commented on this blog.

            I only perceive three of them to have come here to intentionally poison conversation and try to create internet-comment drama like a maladjusted high schooler.

            Jeff is one of them. And by volume, the biggest abuser.

            The next time I read him go out of his way to be an asshole to someone, he and I are done.

            It’s easy to NOT be shitty. It really is.

            But that guy, if he’s even real-life, can’t figure it out.

            Like

            • “Maybe you guys are internet friends. Maybe you subscribe to red pill philosophies in ways I never realized. That’s all well and good”

              Right, Matt. Maybe there’s some grand conspiracy here. Maybe the thousands of hours I’ve invested in researching the red pills are figments of my imagination. Maybe the dozens of articles I’ve written against the red pills are really just evidence of my being a secret double agent.

              Or maybe I’m a rapist, maybe I actually hate women, maybe I wish to disempower all women as I have frequently been accused.

              Or maybe I have the eyes to see something going on that you cannot see and maybe to automatically assume that women are deceitful, deceptive,or crazy is kind of like sexism 101.

              Like

        • linds01 says:

          IB, I do have to say though, that I have seen Donkey be honest and humble and willing to listen and explain where I have not seen that in kind. Even an attempt at explaining would feel more personally satisfying (as though you were really IN the discussion) than a brush off feels. What I’m saying is, we all have feelings.
          Maybe we should all recognize the honest efforts to understand each other.

          Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      IB,

      You chose to provide me with feedback based on my comment to Matt so although I am loathe to respond I guess I will give your my feedback to yours comments to me and Donkey.

      You said “Can I just say half a dozen times how important it is for women to take personal responsibility and heal themselves? That may sound harsh, but until you do you will perceive EVERYONE as part of the alleged “rape culture” that oppresses you. If you ever want to know how to fix the world, fix your own self first. The political is NOT personal.

      If you’re going to go the way of “rape culture” and other foolishness,then you will forever be a perpetual victim who can see nothing but abuse everywhere you go It’s the precise opposite of female empowerment and you will quite naturally start to hate ALL men, but all you’re really doing is hating on yourself.”

      Well I certainly think your point of view is strange. Rape culture was part of the post in question and was relevant to Matt’s comment of rapey talk and Jeff’s rapey comment.

      Your accusations about personal responsibility are once again boundaryless. You take responsibility for yourself. I’ll worry about me.

      You think rape culture is foolishness? Hey you do you.

      You don’t like feminism and think female empowerment is found in submission. You do you.

      Your proclamations that believing all that foolishness leads to hating ALL men but really is hating yourself is quite bizarre. Maybe you need to believe in wifely submission so you love all men or yourself. Or maybe you need help sorting your feelings. You do you.

      Now let’s move on to the part I found supremely amusing. Your first comment says that those that believe in rape culture will be “perpetual victims who can see nothing but abuse everywhere you go”

      You don’t believe in rape culture and yet your response to Donkey’s very polite and respectful comment to you was to say that you weren’t going to respond because “I find them very abusiveand controlling”

      Yeah that’s strangely amusing. The person accusing us of seeing abuse everywhere is in the very next comment seeing abuse everywhere. Especially funny because Donkey goes out of her way to be incredibly polite in all her comments. But you saw abuse even there.

      So here’s some advice. It’s your advice. “Fix yourself first.”
      “Take some personal responsibility and heal yourself.”

      I do find it interesting, as always, that you chose to respond to my comments NOT to Jeff’s rapey comment. You do you.

      Feel free to respond in whatever manner you wish including acusung me of abuse. It would be a lot closer to accurate than Donkey’s polite comment to you. You can have the last word. You do you.

      Here’s your response to Donkey.
      “Donkey, I chose to not engage because frankly you just have way too many “conditions” and I find them to be very abusive and controlling I’m not interested in submitting to your demands and accommodating your never ending needs. It is not all about you all of the time.”

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        My bad I forgot to include your OTHER comment that once again found abuse everywhere. Makes me curious about all that advice you’re always giving about not letting other people control how you feel. One more curiousity is how you find us “girls” disrespectful. I thought women don’t need respect.

        “You girls don’t see it, but I actually view some of you as far more disrespectful and demeaning towards me than many men are. You’re controlling, emotionally abusive always trying to get people banned from commenting here, and you’ve run off to Facebook to have a closed group where only the cool kids can go. All in all it’s very silencing, shaming, and bullying behavior.

        It’s a bit funny, if any of you were men I’d divorce you immediately. You make me feel like an object for ridicule and hatred, some one you can try to push around and manipulate.

        Like

      • Shrub says:

        Just wanted to say I love your comments, Gottmanfan. I’ve read all posts and comments here since the “dishes” post and get so much from your research and willingness to share it here. I also appreciate that you point out the fallacies in others’ arguments and, especially in this thread.

        Liked by 2 people

        • gottmanfan says:

          Well you might be in the minority then Shrub lol

          But I appreciate your kind words.

          Like

          • Shrub says:

            Thanks, gottmanfan. I have been to the other blog and, while I enjoy it very much most of the time, I become very frustrated when a direct question is skirted around and not answered. I like that when you are asked a question in good faith or are responding to comments you have read here, you give a clear, well thought-out response that leaves no question in the reader’s mind where you stand.

            Liked by 1 person

            • gottmanfan says:

              Shrub,

              Like you I do best with directness. My brain is not subtle enough to figure out what people want otherwise. I am trying to learn to be direct but not harsh. I’ve been practicing that skill here in the comments.

              Some days I do better then others. 😀

              I’m not sure of the other blog you’re referring to but I’m glad you’ve gotten something out of my comments here.

              Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Shrub,

          I would love to hear your thoughts on this post if you’re willing.

          Like

          • Shrub says:

            Thank you, but no. I am not as articulate as those who I enjoy reading here. Usually I am struck with A New Concept that I never considered before, or I think to myself “those ideas were swimming around in my head” but I just could not fashion them into comments. I come here for sugar water and I am learning to become happy with my place in the world. I appreciate you more than you can ever know.

            Liked by 2 people

  23. Jeff Strand says:

    Both Lisa and Lindsey,

    I think we’ve beaten this topic to death. I’ll leave it here…I think I explained myself plenty.

    But it will be interesting to hear what the two of you have to add to Matt’s upcoming post about marital sex when one of the partners is less enthusiastic than the other. Since you have made it clear that marital “duty sex” (aka “maintenance sex”) is close to actual rape, I assume you will be advocating that sex never take place unless the wife is full-on horny and explicitly very desirous. Which, in a lot of marriages, may be few and far between.

    If that’s the case, just do me a favor and also advocate that the wife communicate that this will be the case to her husband BEFORE they tie the knot. So the poor guy will know what he’s signing up for!

    Like

  24. This is a very powerful article, and it clearly shows how exhausting dealing with sexism can be. I thought it to be a fulfilling read. However, I have learned something in my time on this planet, and that’s that everyone has it hard. Not just women, but everyone. Not just black people or gays, but everyone.

    I think it was described best somewhere I read that women have specific, acute problems with some men. Some can be VERY acute and be life changing or even life ending, and I regret that those happen, and that our culture allows that to somehow, in the minds of criminals, to be condoned. However, men’s problems with women are not acute, other than maybe getting in trouble for something you didn’t do; they’re general, and by that I mean that there is no one perpetrator.

    There’s a reason white men led the nation in suicide. Your rolling your eyes at some poorly dressed guy who had the temerity to smile at you and open his mouth to start to say hello might be the last of some thousands of rejections he has received, in a row, over the past decades, and it might be the one to make him eat a gun tonight.

    Was it your fault if he did? No, of course not. Is it your fault for taking part in an acceptable behavior which encourages women to reject anyone who doesn’t meet their (sometimes long) list of criteria and very bluntly if she’s tired of it? Perhaps. I would posit that I am responsible for the culture of male sexism just as much as you are responsible for that hypothetical man ending his life of rejection.

    “But I’ve never rolled my eyes at any man!” you’d say, to which I’d reply that I’ve never done any of those things mentioned in the article either, yet I am to be blamed for them.

    Everyone has it hard. Everyone. Some people’s hard is not the same as others’, but it’s all hard, and only if we stop putting one group over the other, and start saying Everyone needs to eliminate sexism, and everyone needs to work on not being a jerk to everyone, then we will move forward.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. linds01 says:

    Matt, I am sorry if I upset you- because I do care about the emotional labor that you put into this blog. I respect you as a person, and I value your thoughts and opinions. I would hate for you to have a low opinion of me. I’m sorry if what I did resulted in that. But, I felt that it was necessary.
    Please read the comment below. I am reposting it because I just want to make sure you get it.

    Matt,
    I understand you deleting my comments. I had no illusion of a double standard. I chose to act in an overtly insulting way towards Jeff to get my point across. That his words/ attitudes and actions of disrespect are offensive and insulting. And since he prescribed to “golden rule” supposedly, I decided I’d give it a try and apply it to him.
    While I apologize to you for being disrespectful, I have a hard time apologizing for thinking or relaying it to Jeff.
    Very simply put- I have asked him to not interact with me. What I demonstrated the last 24-48 hours is the only response I have to him.
    If he really wants to listen, if he really gives a stink about how his words and actions affect other people, then that may change.
    But for right now, I have made it as clear as I can that I do not like or respect him or value his input- therefore he does not need to try to engage with me.
    I believe he will be insensitive and hurtful to anyone who comments on these subject matters, in a vulnerable and honest way.
    I feel like that is a completely unnecessary insult to injury.
    It would be better to not bring up this topic if he will be allowed to be insensitive to the issue.
    If you insist on writing about it further, and don’t plan on gagging him- then I ask that he be very aware and cautious of the things he says.
    His opinion doesn’t matter in this.
    He doesn’t have a voice in how this stuff affects women.
    It would be unjust to have a voice for the perpetrators here.
    And that is what it would equate to.

    Please think about this. Please don’t allow further injury to people affected by this.

    Like

  26. Jeff Strand says:

    Linds,

    I wasn’t going to comment further, but felt a need to respond to this.

    What I don’t understand is why you take my opinions as a personal insult to you…or even a personal attack against you. You can just choose to disagree with my opinions, after all.

    I am tossing out ideas that in my experience, lead to good relationships and happy marriages. Which is pretty much the whole point of this blog. Now, you can say my experiences are not valid for you, and that’s fair. You can argue the opposite to what I’m saying, and that’s fair too. No problem.

    But to take opinions that you don’t agree with as a personal attack, and argue that such opinions should be censored? Well, I invite you to contemplate the reasonableness of that position.

    To Matt,

    Thanks for deleting the insulting comments. I appreciate it, and rest assured I will do my best in future comments to follow your directive of “be kind to each other”. Which of course, doesn’t imply everyone will agree. But people should be able to discuss different (even opposing) opinions in a respectful way….I totally agree.

    Cheers.

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      Jeff,
      Fair enough. I will try to respond as civilly as I can.
      You said: “What I don’t understand is why you take my opinions as a personal insult to you…or even a personal attack against you. You can just choose to disagree with my opinions, after all.”

      First: You can have your opinions, you can even express your opinions, but it is wise to understand who you are expressing them to.
      From the get go I tried to bring to your attention that your stance was very defensive- and assaultive. If anyone disagreed with you would call them a “mangina”, or say things that were equally offensive in order to NOT have to address their opposition to your opinion. That is both defensive and assaultive.
      Your opinions themselves belittle women. You can think of us as inferior, that is fine. But,#1) if you want to “prove” that – you have to do it with more than your antecdotal experience. Just because you perceive some situations a certain way, does not make it true. And there are about 1000 other antecdotal experienced that run contrary to yours.
      #2) Expressing that you have a poor opinion of women (and yes that they are inferior intellectually, or emotionally – or whatever is an expression of “A poor opinion”) to a bunch of women can only be perceived as an insult or an attack.
      You wouldnt go to a black person, or a Jewish person, or an Italian person and tell them how inferior you think they are. What purpose would that serve?
      It would only be meant to dominate or harm.

      So, in short a disrespectful opinion of women, is an insult to me – because, guess what? I am a woman.

      Second: You HAVE directly insulted me several times and in many other ways.
      From calling me fat and ugly, to saying I am mentally unstable, to saying I was un-marriable- all of these things are saying there is something intrinsically wrong with me. They are usually responses to things I have said that you disagree with, or feel defensive about.
      I have mentioned my professional opinion about your behaviors. Such as your defense mechanisms. But I always, always reiterated that #1- we all have them, and I encouraged you to put them down.
      With which you would respond “I’m not buying what you are selling”..
      What I was hoping to “Sell” is freedom for the hurt parts of you to find healing.
      I have, several times, expressed that if you put down your weapons we (And maybe I should have said ‘I’) would receive you and welcome you.
      But you refused to do that.

      Which is your choice- but what that leaves you with is some pretty big inconsistencies in who you are and how you represent yourself.

      THAT is why you don’t answer challenging questions directly, THAT is why you are evasive, THAT is why you feel you have to defend yourself instead of being able to look at yourself honestly.

      Jeff- I do disagree with your opinions, and I have ignored them. I do not care about your opinions. They are unreasonable and have no basis in reality as far as I am concerned. You do not offer support to hold them up, apart from your own experience, which I have to say is a VERY, VERY unusual experience that MOST people do NOT identify with. But, its yours so- you can have it…I just don’t want to share it with you, ok.

      But, the bigger point is, I don’t come here to argue about opinions. Talking about and arguing are two different things. I don’t even come here just to “Talk”-
      what you disrupted was some very significant personal growth.

      I don’t want to censor your opinions, Jeff. I want to censor you.
      I think your behavior has been disruptive and harmful.

      It was like stomping into a Japanese meditation house with dirty boots on- among many protests of the people meditating and praying. And, you turned around and started fights with them because they were trying to tell you to respect the space.
      It didn’t stop there- you went and pissed on the bonsai trees.

      Your behavior is completely disrespectful to the people you are trying to engage.

      I will have no part of it.

      Until you understand , and can become responsible for the effects your actions and words have on people around you- I do not want to talk to you. EVER.

      I do not think you should have a voice in the discussion of rape or sexual abuse, because you don’t accept that what you are doing is abusive.

      That is a complete disregard for very real injuries a person receives when they are treated like an object.

      I do not want you to respond back to this.
      I have nothing more to say.
      It would be great if you could think about some of the things I mentioned here.

      Like

      • Shrub says:

        Dear linds01, I have admired you and your comments here for many months now. Please do not respond to him again. Let it end now. You will not change him or his ideas or opinions. What you have to say can be put to Greater use by enlightening the rest of us. I truly appreciate your conversations with gottmanfan and donkey, and many others. I like your voice here and want it to remain.

        Liked by 1 person

        • linds01 says:

          Shrub,
          Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it. Believe me, I am emotionally, and physically spent over this. Seriously- I think I have an ulcer.
          I’m not going to try to defend myself- I know I wasn’t acting out of my best self.
          I really was trying to get a point across to him. Who knows if it was worth it.
          I am sorry if anything I said offended you, or anyone else.
          I am tired of this crap, I really am.
          This place means something to me, and it feels like it gets defiled. It’s not fun anymore.
          95% of the time, I don’t respond to him. Sometimes I just get sick of it.
          For what it’s worth I am with you- my new saying, that I made up today is “Carrot Cake, not Controversy” …like it?
          :).
          Again, thank you for your supportive note.

          Like

  27. Jeff Strand says:

    “I do not think you should have a voice in the discussion of rape or sexual abuse, because you don’t accept that what you are doing is abusive.”

    Well maybe people don’t think you should have a voice…for whatever reason they choose.

    You OK with that?

    Like

  28. Donkey says:

    Hello Insanitbytes22,

    Based on your last comment to me, I don’t expect a response from you (but do feel free to respond should you want that).

    I don’t think you’re being fair to me. I have really tried to be polite to you and others on this blog. In my second language too, I might add, which I only mention to highlight the honest effort I put in to being respectful in my comments. In addition to that, I really have tried to be humble about my own failings. I think on three occassions now, I have sincerely apologized to you and others for any and all places where I’ve been disrespectful. In addition to that, I have invited you and others to bring anything you have a problem with that I’ve said to my attention.

    You have not made similar efforts in return that I’m aware of. You have not apologized for anyhwere you might have failed, even though I and others have sometimes taken issue with things you have said or how you have said it, just as you have with me and others. You have not invited me or others to take things up with you. In addition to that, some of your comments come across as quite disrespectful and even contemptuous, this last one included.

    Some examples:
    – You call my conditions controlling and abusive, and I cannot see how they can be that. Would you think it was ok if I called your behaviour disrespectful, emotionally abusive etc, but were unwilling to give any specifc examples, even though you invited me to? Would you be willing to just accept those labesl as the truth? Would you think it was ok if I claimed you said things you didn’t say and judged your behaviour based on those incorrect claims?
    – You say that I have never ending needs.
    – You imply that I think everything is all about me all the time.
    – On the other occasion where I, as politely as I could, said that I felt you used some ridiculing/disrespctful language of Travis (in a comment where I think you were calling for better behaviour by others ), you said that if we thought that, we needed to get out more. I think in that same comment, or at least in the same comment section, I apologized for any disrespectful behaviour on my end.
    Would you think it was appropriate of me to say any of those things to you?

    And yet you seem to conclude that I’m the one who’s not behaving decently. Doesn’t seem fair to me.

    Is it possible, that despite my honest efforts at being respectful and decent to you and others that I have failed miserably and don’t realize it, but you do? That I’m a little or a lot guilty of one or more or all of the things you have said to me or about me? Absolutely! That is absolutely possible. I have been guilty of dishes moments and behaviours in my life before, and I don’t think I’m immune to neither that kind of behaviour or to being ignorant of the fact that I’m doing it. And that’s precisely why I have both offered an apology, AND invited you and others to talk to me about it if you have a problem.

    You have chosen not to take me up on it though, and so there’s no way for me to understand more of your point of view. Instead, you have on more than one occassion spoken rudely to me, and so I’m even less inclined to believe that you are coming from a fair place.

    If you wish to not continue this discusssion, that’s your choice and fine with me. If you want to talk with me about other unrelated things on this blog, I’m fine with that too. And unless you explicitly tell me otherwise, I will feel free to comment to you on other things aswell. I know that I have no control over what you or anyone else say to me or how you say it, and so I want to make this boundary of mine clear: If I you or anyone else treat me with something that (in my estimation) is lacking basic fariness and respect on this blog, I will strive to stand up for myself and call you out on it . Because at this point in my life I think it’s healthier for me to practice standing up for myself when things like that happens rather than ignore it. I will of course strive to treat you and everyone esle with respect too.

    My apology still stands, by the way. For anywhere I have been disrespectful to you or anyone else, I sincerely apologize. My invitation to discuss my failings with you or anyone else still stands, but people need to strive to be accurate and not claim that I said things I didn’t say etc, for me to be willing to engage with that. Should you wish to do have that conversationt though Insanitybytes22, I will need you to acknowledge that you have used rude/unfair language towards me, before I’m willing to further discuss your views on my failings. Before your last comment to me, that would not have been necessary, because I understand the pitfalls of wanting the other person to go first. But from where I stand, I think I have taken the first and second and third step with you without much luck at all. And so I don’t trust your ability and/or willingness to treat me well enough in that kind of discussion without the acknowledgement I mentioned from you first.

    Take care,
    Donkey

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      I have a sense, that may well be wrong, that some of the things you had a problem with were related to previous discussions.

      And so for whatever it’s worth, I want to make it clear that I do not equate wifely submission with slavery. I never said that, with the exception of extreme forms of submission (something I have no reason to believe goes on in yours or in most marriages with a submissive wife). And I think I made the argument that when a group of people (jews, women, people of colour etc) are lacking in civil rights, for instance voting rights, it could be argued to be a form of slavery at a societal level. I’m not all that familiar with sociology, so maybe this is inaccurate or wrong.

      I have asked you some tough questions. You said you agreed with Jeff’s statement (I’m paraphrising slightly) that patriarchy is a good thing because it’s the best way to harness men’s initiative. I asked you, as politely as I could (though I do remember I failed to be properly polite towards Jeff, and I’m sorry about that), why you think that statement is any different ethically from (again paraphrising slightly) “A white supremacy society is good because it’s the best way of harnessing white people’s inititative”. I made it clear that I do not think you endorse white supremacy. I’m basically checking to see if you have a coherent logic behind your ethical standards for thinking patriarchy is ok, but white supremacy is not. I also said that I could understand someone endorsing patriarchy if someone feels that’s what their religion calls for. My point is that if someone’s exegesis or logic isn’t coherent (and to be clear, I don’t know whether your’s is, could very well be that it is), I’m going to find their views hypocritical and not accept it as a legitimate difference.

      I do not think I’m being disrespectful (and I’m not sure if you think that I were), under Matt’s intended regime of free but respectful speech, when I ask someone tough but intellectually honest and politely phrased questions on this blog, about things they have chosen to mention here. Especially not when I’m open to hearing and considering people’s counter arguments. I think you have asked tough questions or made tough points too.

      Once again, take care.

      Liked by 1 person

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