A British newspaper, The Daily Mail, has published a lengthy article exposing yet another disruptive by-product of the feminist movement: The increase in the number of married couples who reverse roles, wherein the wife becomes the primary breadwinner and the husband remains at home to be the "caregiver". However, the problem is not so much with the role reversal, but rather with its effects.
The story primarily focuses on one couple, Richard and Louise Dean, who mutually agreed to this role reversal in advance when it became apparent that Louise's earning power significantly exceeded that of Richard. And it worked - for a while. Then reality - and the doubts trailing in its wake - set in, corroding and ultimately destroying the relationship. Here's a pertinent excerpt from the article:
At the time it seemed like a good idea. After all, Richard Dean told himself, he was earning less than his wife Louise, a high-flying marketing executive. And did it really matter who was at home to look after their children? With that in mind, it was not such a difficult decision for him to give up his career as a manager in the manufacturing industry to look after their ten-month-old son, Jack. He hoped it would bring them closer together as a family. In reality, it sounded the death knell for their marriage.
"I sensed that Louise was becoming more detached and less interested in me sexually within a year of becoming a househusband," says Richard, 50. "She was always picking on me for silly little things she said I hadn't done, like the washing up or not tidying away the toys".
"It was as if she was losing all respect for me, just because I was the one at home, doing the domesworktic duties. Then, one day two years ago, she announced she was leaving me - and taking the children with her. She told me she was going to go and live with her mother 20 miles away. To say I was devastated does not do my feelings justice. It was as if the bottom had fallen out of my world."
The bottom line - Despite the fact that both parties agreed to the arrangement, and that for five years, Richard had worked hard to become a perfect "mother" to their sons, Jack, who is now nine, and Edward, seven, it is apparent from the story that from the very moment he gave up his job, his wife Louise, 47, no longer viewed Richard as a "man".
And the phenomenon of the "househusband" is catching on. According to information provided by the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, the number of men deciding to become househusbands has increased by 83% since 1993. More than 200,000 British fathers have chosen to give up their careers and raise their children at home.
Divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd-Platt agrees there is a problem. She states that, in her experience, the decision to allow the wife to be the primary breadwinner will have a detrimental effect on as many as half of these relationships, and that divorce statistics in these cases have risen by at least five percent in the past two years. She commented at length to the Daily Mail as follows:
"My warning would be to think long and hard about letting the man stay at home", Lloyd-Platt says. "I know it is very trendy for the wife to be the breadwinner, but in my professional experience this decision will strain the marriage. It may be fun at first to say 'I have a househusband', but the wife will quickly begin to resent the fact the man is not pulling his weight financially".
"She will think: 'You're not supporting me' - within all of us I think there is still a very deep-seated belief that men should be the protectors. A gradual lack of respect begins to eat into the relationship, and it puts men in a very vulnerable position".
"The role these men are performing at home is, of course, very valuable, but women can find it very hard to recognise and respect a man who is doing it."
It's a marital timebomb which exploded under Richard Dean's relationship with little warning, yet he and his wife embarked on their "househusband" experiment with high hopes.
The Deans first made the decision back when their eldest son was just a baby. By his own admission, Richard Dean was intrigued by the thought of spending all day, every day, with him. It didn't offend his masculinity at all. However, Dean acknowledged that it's not for just anyone, saying that his grandfather and his father could never have been househusbands. However, he couldn't understand why there should still be a social stigma in this day and age. Of course, the problem proved NOT to be caused by societal attitudes, but with HIS WIFE'S attitude.
Richard Dean goes on to describe precisely how the balance in their relationship quickly shifted:
"I was happy to do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and washing, but I began to feel that Louise was taking me for granted," he says. "She'd come home exhausted after a ten-hour day, and I'd be desperate to chat, to have some adult conversation, but she'd say she was too tired."
He says he poured his heart and soul into being a good "mother", more so after their second son was born two years later. "I made sure I structured my days with the children - I took them swimming, we went to the park and I did lots of activities with them, like reading and crafts. I lived and breathed those children, but not once did I regret the decision to put my career on hold".
"Yes, it's hard not making your own money, but I was doing the essential job of bringing up our children."
But then the hammer blow fell, and Louise walked out, taking the boys with her.
"I begged her not to go, but I think she had simply decided she could find someone more dynamic than me," he says sadly. "Suddenly, the children I'd cared for since they were babies were being taken away."
"It's all very well to be a househusband, but she had come to look down on me, to think of me as not very masculine, and not hard-working. It was as if all the things I did around the house didn't count - that was nothing compared to how hard she had to work in her mind, which was so unfair".
"And the great irony was that we'd decided together that I should stay at home with the children."
The article then concludes by documenting Richard's travails in maintaining regular access to his boys. The Daily Mail points out that, despite the increase in domestic role reversal, British courts, like American courts, remain quite biased in favor of the mother in custodial and support issues. One issue the British authorities failed to properly consider in setting support requirements was the fact that, since Richard had remained out of the workforce while "househusbanding", when he returned to the workforce, he had to start at the bottom in entry-level positions. Of course, the latter problem is also faced by women in the same situation.
Richard has also paid at least £12,000 in solicitor's bills to wage his legal struggle.
Analysis: First, it is useful to note that Richard's wife, Louise, who is now 47, was 42 when this arrangement started. What happens to most women during this time of life? Menopause. The onset of menopause triggers chemical changes in the female body associated with the loss of childbearing capacity. Many of these changes are psychologically and physically quite unpleasant to deal with, and the perceived loss of femininity can cause a normally-sane woman to want to "chuck it all" on a roll of the dice in a desperate attempt to recapture the "glory years" (to be fair, men can also suffer the "seven-year itch" during this time period). The destabilizing influence of menopause as a contributing factor to the breakdown of this relationship cannot be discounted. However, there are other factors at work here:
1). Nature: Men were, as a rule of thumb, designed to be larger and stronger than women. This is in keeping with the normal male role as provider, requiring greater physical strength than the normal female role of nurturer. And, for 6,000 years of recorded human history, this worked well as the vast majority of breadwinner occupations placed a greater premium on brute strength rather than subtle intelligence. It is only during the past 100 years that we've seen an increase in the number and percentage of jobs focusing more on subtle intelligence. Women are more physically capable of performing these jobs.
2). Culture: Cultural mores to reinforce nature evolved. The system of patriarchy emerged to perpetuate and codify the natural distinction between men and women. Culture is considered so important that the late Dr. William Pierce, on page three of the pamphlet "What Is The National Alliance", identified it as one of three critical attributes an educational system must pass on from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, because we are imperfect human beings, patriarchy became abused, and a system originally designed to promote family unity and to protect the weaker female soon became repetitively abused. Sadly, feminism emerged as a counterfeit response to the misuse of patriarchy.
3). Education: America's public education system once educated students for success in life IN ALL AREAS. Not only did our public education system strive to produce Economic Man, but, as much as possible, attempted to produce Renaissance Man. Not any more, Ever since the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954, America's public schools have become political footballs and experimental laboratories where innocent, vulnerable kids are subjected to field-testing of the latest trendy theories. Competency and Americanism have become supplanted by diversity and multiculturalism. Value-neutral "comprehensive" sex education specifying "how-to" rather than "when-to" (or better yet, "when-NOT-to") has left kids confused and vunerable to sexual predators. The homosexual agenda has been enthusiastically promoted in many public schools nationwide via the advent of Gay-Straight clubs down to the middle school level. In San Diego, an elementary charter school actually marched in a gay pride parade in 2006 and intends to do so once again this year. Anti-bullying policies not only place the perpetrator on the same level as the victim, but actually penalize the victim for fighting back.
And the neocon response to these problems: No Child Left Behind, which supplanted teaching with testing, transforming our schools into academic sweatshops. NCLB doesn't even begin to address the other problems. While liberals want to use our school system to produce Politically Correct Man, neocons merely want to produce Economic Man. Only our private schools and homeschoolers strive to produce Renaissance Man anymore.
Our school systems also fail to teach our kids how to marry and parent responsibility. One would think that, since an overwhelming percentage of the population gets married, that our schools would provide some instruction on what to expect and what works. This is a task far too important to be merely left to parents of varying competence. Too many people enter into marriage with false Polyannic notions on what marriage is all about. Spouses are now considered disposable. So divorce, which logically should be restricted to adultery, sustained abuse, or the relatively rare genuine irremediable breakdown, now becomes the first solution.
4). The Impact of Feminism: Feminism was originally advertised as a response to the misuse and abuse of patriarchy. However, it quickly degenerated into a full-scale frontal assault on patriarchy itself, becoming divisive, corrosive, inherently anti-male, blaming men for all the sins of the universe, past, present, and future. No attempt was made to reach out to men in a constructive light and enlist their voluntary cooperation is correcting the misuse of patriarchy. Men had become the ENEMY - yesterday. today, and FOREVER (much like the racial civil rights movement, where nothing we ever say or do can possibly make blacks happy).
The major step in the feminists' war against men was to promote absolute interchangeability and equality. Natural distinctions between men and women were downplayed and marginalized. No distinction of circumstances was permitted for discussion. If an entity wasn't exactly 50% female, it was because of "sexism". If women earned less than men, that too was attributed to "sexism". Never mind the fact that women simply cannot do many physical jobs as well as men. Forget the fact that most of the wage disparity is attributed to loss of seniority which occurs whenever a woman takes time off a job for pregnancy and early maternity. The feminists had embarked upon a "holy crusade" to rid the universe of sexism, and no price was too great to pay (as long as feminists themselves didn't have to pay it, of course). Not much different in spirit from Mao Tse-tung, who decided that 50 million Chinese lives was not to great a price to pay in his "holy crusade" to establish Communism in China.
In response, many men, eager to avoid conflict and conscious of the powerful weapon women pack in between their legs, men caved in. Men began dumbing down physical fitness tests and pilot training requirements in the military to accomodate females. Men began dumbing down entry-level physical fitness requirements in police and fire departments to accomodate women. Pretty soon, men began ceasing to be men altogether, while women became more masculine in nature. The interchangeability of gender became rooted in our society.
But with the resultant absolute equality of men and women, are women any happier? Apparently not. Here was Louise Dean, a woman who had the type of husband many sitcom wives dream of. Yet she bailed on him. Why? Because she wanted someone more "dymanic". In short, she decided she wanted to be married to a MAN.
And this is a strong indication that most women still have that primeval desire for their men to behave like men. This means the man is the protector, the man is the breadwinner, and the man can be counted on to act like a man. If a man won't exercise righteous dominion over his wife when she needs it, she will eventually doubt his ability to protect her, and go looking for someone who can do the job better.
But the key is RIGHTEOUS dominion. The Doctrine and Covenants, one of the four standard scriptural works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gives us a hint as to what constitutes "righteous" dominion. Section 121, verses 34-43 lays it out:
34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
Verse 43 clearly implies that "sharpness" does NOT mean gratuitous abuse or violence. Instead, it means candor, clarity and class. If you have an issue with your wife, you do not suffer in silence, nor do you vent your spleen on her in front of the kids (which weakens her maternal authority) or in front of outsiders, but you deal with it privately, as man to woman, with the objective of SOLVING THE PROBLEM rather than getting payback.
Verses 36-37 are of some significance to this discussion. While references to the "priesthood" make this explicitly directed towards LDS men holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, it is also implicitly directed towards all married men in general, since patriarchy is a function of priesthood. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul himself states that the man is the head of the family just as Christ is the head of the church. This implies that God Himself recognizes patriarchal authority when it is exercised justly. Patriarchy simply implies that one person, the husband, presides over the family and speaks for the entire nuclear family in matters of family concern. This is as it must be; anything with two heads is a freak of nature. Lifeforms may vary from having 1000 legs to slithering on their bellies, live on land or in water, be herbivorous, carnivorous, or omnivorous, but all lifeforms have one common characteristic - each entity has ONLY ONE HEAD.
But it should be apparent by now that feminism, by virtue of substituting female chauvinism for male chauvinism, and deconstructing differences in gender, destabilizes families, turns them upside down, and destroys them. Men and women never have been, aren't, and never will be absolutely equal. They have different functions, albeit equal in value to a healthy society. In short, men and women are equally different, and, as the French would say, vive le difference.