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8/24/12

Things we don't say to men...


I’ve already confessed several times that I enjoy lurking on fashion/lifestyle blogs. Some I genuinely enjoy, and others I sort of hate-read. This probably makes me a bad person, but I’m strangely unconcerned about this.

I especially like fashion/lifestyle blogs that throw in baby pictures. Even if I hate-read the blog, I don’t ever hate-look at babies, that’s my bad-person line.  Recently, however, I’ve determined that looking at more than one fashion/lifestyle/mom blog is pointless. They are all the same. Baseball tee, maxi-skirt, saltwater sandals, cute bald accessory-I-mean-baby.

One thing I’ve also noticed is that many of them all have a post advocating the need to get dressed up sassy, even if you aren’t leaving the house and choosing to hang out at home with your cute baby instead. Most of their reasons are legitimate: it makes you feel better, makes you feel less like a mom blob, you are ready to escape your home at any moment, etc. This is all fine and good, except for I am cool with going out in my pajamas, and I feel good about myself as long as my hand is wrapped around a Diet Coke.

So fine, get dressed in your cute brightly colored skinny pants if it makes you feel better. Leave it at that and I won’t hate read you. But I do hate the last reason many bloggers site as a reason to get dressed in the morning: their husband deserves it.


“Your husband deserves to have a wife that looks nice!”



Hold the phone. Deserves? Is this some inalienable right in the Constitution? One that those crazy liberals made up when they keep insisting that the Constitution is a living document? I’m confused.

While I have no problem dressing up because your husband likes how you look in that baseball tee, (I’m still more inclined to vote for the I-do-this-because-I-like-it option, but whatever,)I do have a problem with the language of entitlement. The idea that your husband, simply by being a man, somehow deserves a certain type of body, and a certain type of appearance.  What did he do to deserve the sight of you in your glorious maxi skirt instead of your slubby yoga trousers? (Trousers make me sound fancy and put together.) Most bloggers suggest that your dude deserves you to look pretty because he has been working hard all day to bring home the bacon.

What? These are the same women who will simultaneously refer their decision to stay at home as their “career,” and rightfully insist that their decision to do so be respected as much as the decision to work.

But nobody tells men they ought to pull over on the way home from work to freshen up. Where is the fashion blog telling men to make sure to wear cheerful looking ties because their wives deserve it after a long day of working hard?  Men deserve a certain type of woman, but it doesn’t go both ways, and I think that is weird.

This led me to think of all the many things we don’t tell men, but also what we do tell men. We don’t tell men that their wives deserve to see them dressed up, but we may tell them to dress up so they are more likely to get laid. This is the justification of basically any remotely-fashion related article in any “Dude” magazine, like GQ or Maxim.

Furthermore, there is no male equivalent of Dr. Laura telling men that their wives will leave them (and they deserve it,) if they wear sweat pants. 

I know that isn’t the message fashion bloggers intend when they tell me to get out of my pajamas in the morning, but it is still an interesting commentary about our world. In a female dominated field like blogging, we still write about what men deserve when they interact with us.

Men get to control their bodies in a way women don’t, they have ownership of their bodies in a way women don’t. And if you don’t believe me, check out all the Republican politicians trying to legislate my ovaries. Men deserve to have women to look a certain way, and men deserve to tell us how to run our bodies. Because of their magical penises, I guess. 

But because patriarchy is damaging to both men and women, I started to think about other things we don’t tell men, but maybe we should.


“You can always stay home and have babies, if you want.”



My Dad used to say this to me all the time. Now his phrasing isn’t super feminist friendly, and usually I balk at another man, (even my dad,) deigning to tell me what I can do, but let’s cut him some slack. My Dad always let me know that I had options. He supported me in my education, and is openly proud of my career, but he also let me know that there were many ways to be an effective adult. 

But I can’t picture him, or very many people, telling this to my teenage brother. Stay-At-Home-Dads are still a rarity outside of sitcom land, but I refuse to believe this is because men don’t find the idea appealing.  In a culture, and if you are Mormon, a church, that emphasizes traditional gender roles, I imagine there are a lot of men in unhappy careers and women unhappy at home. What would happen to our depression rates if we told everyone, “You can always stay home and have babies, if you want. You can also get a job. Maybe you and your partner, should you choose to have one, could find a balance that works for you both.”

So while I am slightly annoyed when people tell me my spouse “deserves” a version of me that may not mesh with my own vision, and while we are all rightly angry when men try and legally control our bodies, I think the solution goes further than telling men to shut up about what we can’t do with our bodies, (wear sweatpants, control what happens to our reproductive organs). We need to start telling men and women all the things they can do, all the options they do have, and most importantly, that their feelings about their bodies matter.

So what else? It is easy to tell men to stop telling women what to do with our bodies, but are there things we should tell men they CAN do with theirs? (You know, if they want.)

 Let’s talk about this. Are there things we should be saying to men? What other things do we tell women that we don’t tell men? 











PS: My spidey senses tell me that someone is going to log on and say BUT I LIKE WEARING HEELS FOR MY HUZZZZBAND. I like looking nice for him! I’d rather be feminine than feminist! To which I say: Cool. Please continue to wear heels for your husband, or make-up, or a shirt in his favorite color. I simply think that you should do that because you love him, not because he “deserves” it for having a penis and a job. Also, feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive, but that is a chat for another day.

49 comments:

Laura said...

I love this post. I 100% agree with you.

Also, what is up with the baseball tshirts and maxi skirts? Why do fashion bloggers try and push weird stuff on us? I can't handle this, so instead I'll be unfashionable, I guess :)

Melody said...

Thanks for saying what I think :)

Also: magical penises BWAHAHAHAHA!

I love the whole post!

BeccaVT said...

Things nobody says to my husband but I heard all the time: "You should pick a major based on your passions and what you like to learn about, despite it's lack of marketability! [unspoken presumption that you aren't going to use any major anyway, so you might as well pursue Medieval Literature until you get married and have babies]." For good and bad, men are instilled with a sense of long-term planning, that choices made now have effects on their lives and livelihood down the road. I think this lends a sense of control for me, and when women find themselves in the middle of an education and you realize they have no contingency plan, it's suuuuper easy for a husband's ambitions and aspirations to kind of take over everything. Because he's been taught to have concrete ambitions and aspirations.

(I may be generalizing about men, women, and Medeival Literature majors. But it bugs me how NBD it is to give terrible life and career advice to women).

Zurmely family said...

my husband's coworker's wife (i refuse to call her a friend), is a fashion blogger. she recently did a post saying how no man likes to come home to a frumpy wife, crazy kids and a messy house. so, at 5:30, she gets her toddler settled, freshens up the house and makes sure to dab some lipstick and perfume on.

GAGGGGGGGGG me.

i love your post. LOVE. i've been ranting about this for weeks. =)

heidikins said...

Dude, I just purchased my first pair of salt water sandals, they are kind of delightful. But I bought them because I deserve to have delightful sandals, not because my husband deserves to see my hot feet in delightful sandals...that just sounds like a weird fetish.

The rest of this? 137% agreed.

Carry on.

xox

Betsy Hite Reddoch said...

Me: telecommuting mom.
My husband: stay-at-home dad.
Our outfits: pj's most of the day, most every day.
This post: totally legit.

Amy said...

I love that my husband loves me for not killing my feet in high heels just to try impressing him. I love the tone you give to "deserve." People who feel entitled are usually not really entitled to anything. That said, when my husband calls my beautiful with no makeup and zits showing I have to laugh and say, I'll get really pretty for you later. But isn't that what separates a good husband from a great one? The great ones are those who love you without any makeup and while you are still wearing your sweaty yoga pants.

kdstentzel said...

I agree with BeccaVT about the school major and career options. No one was worried when I graduated in Sociology, but my brother gets all kinds of flack for some vague nutrition major that he doesn't know what to do with. Poor guy. It's like when a girl goes to beauty school so she can have a flexible job and have babies at the same time, but guys who go that route are apparently gay or lacking in direction.

Also, if you're into hate-reading, do you read GOMI (or the sister sites Smugnom or Shametuck)? In case you don't, here are links:

http://getoffmyinternets.net
http://shamepuff.com
http://smugnom.com

Smugnom is my FAVORITE.

Katie D-to-the-H said...

We need to tell men that their sex does NOT put them at a disadvantage raising, nurturing, and loving their kids. The "clueless dad" stereotype is so insulting and limiting.

amanda said...

I love this.

The past couple of years I have transitioned into a full-fledged and capable adult woman who is a mother and works outside the home. Being a naturally obedient person with tendencies toward guilt and anxiety over what others think of my choices, it's been really difficult to reconcile what makes sense to me versus what I've been taught, through words and actions, my whole life.

I work and my husband goes to school in the evenings, stays at home with our daughter during the day and does some free-lance work during that time. From the questions that I get now about my working, I know that when my husband graduates next spring, my working outside of the home will lose its legitimacy to a lot of people. That's a little scary to me because I still care too much what people think. Working on that.

That's one thing we say to women that men don't seem to hear nearly as much... "putting your husband through school" I guess I am putting him through school, which I am so happy to do, but I'm also just supporting my family, plain and simple. If our roles were switched right now, no one would say, "putting your wife through school."

I also love and COMPLETELY agree with BeccaVT's comment about school. If I would have known that I wouldn't be a stay-at-home mom, I would have studied something a little more marketable than political science. My goal going forward is to help girls understand what I learned: Plan for a career! That doesn't necessarily mean giving up studies of medieval lit if that's what you love, but maybe it will push more to study business, engineering, computer technology, etc. Those fields need more women, and I know women can thrive in them.

Okay. I'm done. Thanks for the post, Stephanie!

szescula said...

I love reading your blog. It is always laugh out loud spot on. This one is the best yet.

I have tried for years to care about what I wear and how I look but I always go back to who I really am. (My dress code requirement: not scare little kids when I leave the house.)

I will go "all out" - trying to wear makeup and nicer clothes again.
Then I'm just me and throw on a T-shirt and jeans. I work from home and go out on the weekend to go grocery shopping. I'm currently supporting my husband through school. Do I deserve for him to not smell like grease and oil every night? No - though that would be great.

So he sure as hell doesn't "deserve" for me to be all dressed up like a china doll or fashion plate? (With the money and time I currently don't have - see me supporting my husband above.)

It's even more ridiculous when "they" say I should get all dressed up because "I deserve it." Yes, that's right, I deserve to force myself to be someone I'm not because you tell me so. I can't decide what makes me more insane.

I've battled this crazy voice in my mind for years. "Be who everyone else says you should be. Wear makeup, wear girly clothes, try to be a stepford wife..." Numerous battles with depression later my husband continuously goes "I LOVE YOU! YOU IN THE T-SHIRT AND SWEATPANTS!! NOT IN THE SKIRT THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE!" (He is amazing and that is why I love him.)

I do like nice clothes and I do like wearing them. When I feel like it. Not because someone tells me to or someone I know "deserves" it.

Keep doing what you do amazing woman!

Tess said...

I hate it when men are asked to "babysit" the kids so their wives can go to an activity. Is it babysitting for me to take care of my own kids?! Well, dads aren't babysitters either.

jordan said...

I really just need to say that I love you.

BeccaVT said...

Amen, Tess. The babysitting thing makes me see red. Weirdly, the last time a male classmate of mine said he was "babysitting" his child, and I called him out on it, he said "my wife says the same thing."

Back me up on this, interwebs. He was straight up lying, right? Have you ever heard a woman use that phrase? I am 99% sure that if I called up his wife right then and asked what she was doing, there is no way she would have responded that she was BABYSITTING.

Betsy Hite Reddoch said...

Oh, one other thing. I hate it when people ask where my kids are when I'm traveling for work. My male coworkers NEVER get asked where their kids are.

J. said...

I can definitely agree with this post. You know what else I hate? How many times I've been told throughout my life that my husband deserves sex whenever he wants it. That it's my wifely duty to provide him with constant sex.
um......

Hillary said...

Love this and all the comments.

One random thing I hate--women who say they're "putting their husbands through school", though curiously without a job and really just staying at home with their children. Then when their husbands graduate, they say things like "we graduated" "our degree" "we have a job interview" etc. Gag. Me.

johnny Barfuss said...

So. I'm a man. And thank Gaga I have a magical penis. But I'm also gay so I don't have to worry about any of this.

But this reminds me of a lesson in priesthood I was in many years ago, in an older singles ward, with a bunch of middle-aged single Mormon men. (any of you who have been to one of these knows what I'm talking about.) The lesson was on marriage, of course, because that can be taught.

So the teacher started out the lesson by saying: what should we look for in a potential mate? First word put of the frumpiest guy's mouth: Hawt.

They then proceeded to discuss, dissect, and anal-ize women and the standards they had for someone they could marry. Finally about 5 min before class ended someone said: now what are we doing to be the man they want to marry? And there was crickets. I just wanted to shout: you are not any of these things!
So I'm saying: I hear ya. Be comfortable. Wear what you want. But mostly make sure you're doing it for YOU! And love yourself and each other a little more.

Oh, And love your gay family and friends. ;)

Steven and Wendy OBryant said...

While your posts are still funny and witty and well written, I really miss the old Steph. The one who wrote about her breakup with BYU.... and so forth. (GT, what what?!) I feel like you chose to interpret "deserves" in a negative way so you could right a post about it. And clearly, most (so far all of your commenters) are in love with you and they way you speak out about things. I don't mind it either that you speak out. Do I agree with you? Rarely. But I like you, and every once and a while you say something that makes me laugh really hard and I print it off and put it on my fridge and make everyone who passes through my kitchen read it. This is true! Anyway - I interpret "deserves" very differently. If my husband wakes up early, showers, brushes his teeth, gets completely ready for the day, I think he "deserves" to come home to a wife that has done the same. Not that I do it FOR him - I do it because I like to get ready (most days.... pregnancy doesn't always warrant the same results) but I do feel bad when he comes home from a hard day and I look like I did when he walked out the door and the house is gross and messy. He's been working hard all day and took the time the wake up 45 minutes earlier than necessary so he could get ready and go out the door. I'm not nearly as good at putting my thoughts into words, so I'm probably not making much sense. But I feel the same about anyone, not just my husband. I feel the same when I see family or friends and they've gotten ready and I haven't, or vice versa. Also - I think a lot of your feelings would change if you moved away from UT. I know a lot of your beef is with the church itself, but I also think people bug you and they say really obnoxious things to you, and the chances of that happening would decrease tremendously if you moved to the blessed midwest! :) Lastly - It makes me sad that people allow others to tell them not to get a great education, or what not. My dad is as church leader-y, priesthood holder-ly, and conservative as they come. So many people don't really UNDERSTAND the gospel and they interpret everyone wrong. I was NEVER told to get an education that didn't matter because I would be popping out babies. Nor was it even implied. I was told to get an education that would allow for a job that could support me and a family if I had one. I think you come across a lot of people who don't understand what the gospel is about and therefore they say really stupid things that you don't agree with.

MamaBear said...

shared on facebook - you may have some new readers today. :D you are speaking right to me, and i love it!

to recent commenter: respecting our husbands sometimes means showering and dressing nice for them, to some people, and to others, means we appreciate them in ways other than by looking pretty. to each his own. like MCB said. you know, if she doesn't fall in with the party line, it doesn't mean she's wrong. it means she's different. and we love her difference.

Melissa said...

I was going to come over here and comment that you need to read gomi & shamepuff but someone beat me to it! We are a great community over there and hate-read on the mormon mommy bloggers non stop.

Steven and Wendy OBryant said...

I hate when I come back and read the comment I've already left only to find like a million typos and mis-spelled words... Both a frequency for me. MAN!

Brien said...

Great thoughts.

In my classes, when we discuss gender, gender roles, etc. I always try to get my students to think about the way that a strictly gendered society inhibits all people.

Of course I make it clear that the inequality women face is unacceptable and must change. I also try to get them to consider ways that men would benefit from a less-gender-strict society (i.e., more acceptance if they choose to stay home full-time with their children, not seeing 'nurturing' as something only women can do, not falling prey to the insulting 'clueless dad' stereotype, etc.).

Clearly these things aren't as troublesome as those that many women must overcome, such as unequal pay. But I wonder what would happen if people started to realize that everyone could be happier with a less gendered society.

And, finally, to a previous poster: unfortunately I hear women talk of their husbands 'babysitting' their own children all the time. It took me years to get my sister-in-law to stop saying it...

Ru said...

Men should be told to prepare for every alternative. Women are told as girls to get an education "just in case." Boys should be told to learn how to cook, take care of kids, do laundry, etc. for the exact same reason. Hunting for a new wife is not the same thing as knowing how to be a single parent.

Stephanie said...

@Wendy

Don't worry, the old Steph is here as long as Diet Coke remains delicious.

I think it is great when men and women do nice things for each other because they love and appreciate each other. I think that is what you are describing between you and Steven.

I just wish we wouldn't say our husbands "deserve" it just because they are male. We all deserve someone who does nice things for us, regardless of gender.

I am glad we are friends, even if we don't always agree. Thanks for that!

Brooke said...

Saltwater sandals are a thing? Dang, I'm out of the loop.

MissRissa said...

Amen!

And the comment about dads "babysitting" their kids. Double Amen!

I have a hard time with the word "deserve" in general- it drives me craz ywhen people on TV say "I think I should win over her because I DESERVE IT!" Big fat EYEROLL right there.

Emily said...

If I dressed for my husband I would be bra-less, make-up-less and in tie-dye each night. Lucky for me, when I dress fashionably or put on make up I know it's for myself :)

Great post, I always feel bad for friends when they dress only in a way that pleases their husbands and completely disregard their own comfort or style.

About Us said...

While this type of mentality definitely exists in the LDS sphere, I think its origin comes from a larger place. You only have to look at the Yahoo! homepage every day to see articles like "7 Secrets To Keep Your Man Happy", "15 Things Men Think About Your Outfits", "10 Things You Do That Drives Your Husband Crazy", "How To Keep Your Husband From Cheating", etc are just a TINY example and there are little to no articles for men on how to keep their wives/female SO. The same goes for magazines in every checkout, Cosmo, Glamour, etc: "How To Blow His Mind" "Give Him The Best Sex of His Life" "How To Be the Best He's Ever Had", (for the record, I'm all for couples utilizing resources to bring them fulfilling sex lives; I just feel like a lot of these articles encourage a mentality of competition when it comes to women and their male significant others.)

Our society has fostered this sense of urgency in women to keep their husbands/male SO's happy by doing a, b, and c and by NOT doing x,y, and z. I think that what you're saying in this post fits in with what I've described pretty well.
Dressing up ridiculously nice every day might fit well under the "he deserves to have an attractive wife" blanket, but I think there could be a LOT of other unhealthy motivations behind it, like the fear that your husband will start to stray if he doesn't have an attractive wife every day or that he will be disappointed in you if you don't look like a super model every day and that will lead to further disappointment in the marriage. Our society encourages women to be in constant fear for their relationship/marriage, telling them that they are solely responsible for keeping their husband happy. I'll acknowledge that men probably face some degree of pressure, but I would bet it's not pushed by such a large source (internet, magazines, blogs, etc.) and probably comes from sources closer to them like male church leaders, family members and peers.

Wow, this comment is really long. One more thing, and I promise I'm done! I think the "he deserves for me to look good" can also be just a way of expressing how much a wife can love her husband, and like I have mentioned before, looking good is so pushed as a need in a marriage, and so this is one way a woman can provide for her husband. I think that when you love someone, you are able to identify so many qualities in them that you feel entitle them to some sort of positivity. For example, I think my boyfriend of two years is the most wonderful guy I've ever met and because of my love for him, I feel he deserves to be as happy as possible, and not because he has a penis. I think love may be a huge motivator for the sense of entitlement women project on their husbands that makes them feel they deserve to have a perfectly made-up wife.

I don't disagree with anything you've said, but I hope I've provided some interesting and supportive insight.

About Us said...

And I realize I have some (lots of) grammatical errors in my comment, and my name isn't "About Us"; I don't really know how to change that. I wrote it super early while being super tired.

Miranda said...

My husband works at home 50% of the time. Those days our conversations are something like this:

Me: "Are you going to get dressed sometime today?"

Him: "No. Are you?"

Jessica Salter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica Salter said...

You stripped away validity from the point you were trying to make about "the language of entitlement" by essentially mocking the other bloggers as being all the same and by implying that their babies are accessories to them and not their precious children. Off the top of my head I can only think of two blogs in which I've seen baseball tees, maxi skirts, and saltwater sandals featured so you've made it pretty clear exactly who you're talking about. Let me guess: they are all the same but you are special. They are silly, you are sophisticated. They treat their kid like an accessory, you take motherhood seriously. You come across as insecure and dare I say it catty (just how society wants you to be). I still haven't figured out why I'm supposed to care how they dress. It's interesting to me that (from everything I've read at least) I've never seen those other women waste blog space putting other people and specifically other women down. Your comments are very telling-- perhaps you aren't so sensible after all.

About Us said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LC said...

What should we tell men (and women)? I think we need to tell them to cultivate a good sense of self. Learn who you are, and how to be competent and confident about that.

As for the "deserve" language, it doesn't bother me. I do feel my husband deserves certain things from me (managing to comb my hair and brush my teeth before 5:30 being some of them). But how the two of us define "deserve" very much comes from feelings of love and respect for one another. It's how we define it, and I think that's important.

Rick & Lizzy said...

I love this post. However, I believe you are being too kind. It is aggravating that women are perpetuating the already out-of-hand male entitlement. Using this kind of deserved language only perpetuates man's insensitivity to the issues facing women and ultimately allows them to disregard our needs/rights. This is most recently and, disturbingly so, evident in the statements made by Mr. Akin about "legitimate rape". While his statements alone are infuriating (to say the least) the underlying message is that men in power possess this ideology. They have the power to legislate and ultimately rein over what happens with my body. Sorry, to be so serious, but this is a serious matter. I worry for future generations of women.

Risa said...

Something numerous people have said to me, but never my husband?

Who's watching your kids while you're at work?

My answer: No one. We leave them to their wits to fend for themselves.

Seriously, why is it only my job to find caregivers for our children while we're both at work? So annoying.

Once when the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric called me to a position and asked me if my husband was willing to babysit so I could perform the functions of the calling, I said, "no because he doesn't consider it babysitting. He considers it being a father." That got him to think and he actually said it took him a long time to learn the difference.

Before this post, I never knew what baseball tees and salt water sandals were. You haven't opened so many new worlds to me :-)

Stephanie said...

@Jessica Salter

Welp, somebody is a grump today, and that is totally fine, I'm grumpy most of the time too.

If you've only seen two bloggers do the baseball tee/maxi skit/saltwater sandals thing then you must only look at two blogs. I see dozens and dozens doing this exact same look, and dozens and dozens in my neighborhood. It isn't a bad thing, just a very big trend. Also, as I mentioned in the very first line, I openly admitted to genuinely liking some fashion bloggers.

And of course I was being sarcastic about the babies/accessory comment. I read lots of fashion blogs, and in addition to all wearing the same thing, I think it is pretty obvious that they love their kids.

I'm hardly a sophisticated person. I swear, drink unreal amounts of diet coke, and watch embarrassing amounts of reality TV. I also refuse to wear pants unless they have an elastic waistband.

Sounds to me like you need more fun fashion bloggers in your life. I can suggest dozens, but beware, they all wear the same thing. :) Lots of cute babies though.

Mrs. Clark said...

Read "What our Mothers Didn't Tell Us" by Danielle Crittenden. The basis for what we do for our spouses (and it goes both ways) should be love and respect. This requires sacrifice and selflessness, neither of which are gender-specific.

Melissa said...

Amen about the babysitting. Makes me crazy.

I am a woman who has chosen to stay home with her baby, and I do the whole shower, decent outfit, makeup everyday thing. But the reason I do has nothing to do with my husband and more to do with me trying to take myself and life I have chosen as seriously as I would take any other career. I know I'm lucky that I have the option to stay home, so I try to make the most of it.

Shan said...

This reminds me of something I read once after my daughter was born, a wife being pissed off because her husband came home from work and told her he would watch the baby so she could go take a shower because she "deserves" it. My husband still tells me that occasionally because it's hilariously horrible and has become a private joke. I DESERVE to take a shower after taking care of our infant all day? OH HELL NO. No one tells men they have permission to take a little "me time" and BATHE THEMSELVES.

Also a shower is blessed with a newborn, but it sure as hell isn't the kind of "me time" I want.

Chase and Lauren Anderson said...

Love, love, love your blog! Please keep em' coming!

Stephanie said...

@ Melissa

Imagine me doing the "I'm not worthy" worship gesture in your direction. Afreakingmen.

LovelyLauren said...

My husband is a firefighter, so most of the time he comes home smelling like diesel fuel and I'm often still asleep.

I think we deserve each other.

Seriously though, I wish people would understand that words MEAN things. I'm sure a some of those bloggers didn't mean to use a word that has such a negative connotation in terms of men and women, but they did because that's how ingrained these ideas are.

Morris Family said...

Love the post! And I love my yoga trousers which I wear to the grocery store, etc

Tom Monson said...

We know this is a problem in the church - everybody getting crazy projecting their own personal marriage constructs upon everyone else.

We want to restore true balance in family relationships. And we're working on it! But it's a rough trail and we're carrying lots of baggage. We should be moving more quickly.

If we can phase out the whole "presiding" concept, that will be a good first step. It doesn't even mean anything. No good man really believes it anyhow. And any man who really tries to preside over his wife is just a jackass.

Colt said...

While I mostly agree with you, one of the main reasons I get dressed up for work. Then get dressed again after a shower for dinner is because I don't believe that my office should see me at my best and my wife should mostly see in t-shirts and basketball shorts.

I take a much more sartorial approach to life than most men my age (especially those living in the Slacker Lake Valley), but it does mean a lot to me that my wife get dressed for the day and for me. I do my best to return the favor. I don't believe I am entitled to this because of Obamacare, but I appreciate and like the tone that it sets in my home.

*Also, yoga pants nearly always look attractive.

Mary said...

First, I don't think Stephanie's current posts are all that different from older posts, so I'm not sure what all the "old Steph" stuff is about.

Second, I'm a single woman who has been told that if I make myself look a certain way, I will find a man. If I act a certain way, I will find a man. So, wives aren't the only ones being told what men "deserve."

You know what I deserve (as a human being)? I deserve to be the person that I feel is right for me to be. I deserve NOT to be told that I must have gotten a master's degree because I am not married, rather than because I really wanted to pursue more education to become a smarter, better human.

I dress neatly and wear make-up. I am clean and showered every day. I do that because I want to. But, when I come home from work, and I'm not going out anymore, I take off my bra, wear yoga pants, and love life.

I'm not living my life to "find a man" anymore. I will admit, due to cultural demands and misinterpretations, I was for a long time. I'm living the life I want and I believe is the life God would have me live. Man or no man.

Men "deserve" to make themselves the best people they can be. Women "deserve" the same thing. If you like dressing up for your husband/wife great. If you like yoga pants and microwave dinners, great.

I also see women expecting a lot of shallow things out men, too, so I think it happens both ways.

Linnea said...

I'm a little late, but wonderful post.

I got a BA in Photography. Everyone heard I was majoring in photography and assumed I wanted to be a mommy with a camera, photographing cute kids and families, with the occasional wedding. I got so so sick of hearing people tell me, "That's a wonderful major choice for a woman. You'll be able to set your own schedule and be a mom!" (I want to do commercial photography, which is actually not so conducive to their ideal-stay-at-home-mom-ness.

I can't imagine anyone ever saying to my husband, "What a great career choice for a man, you'll be such a good dad!" Not happening.