Friday, January 2, 2009

Relationship advice FAIL

Dennis "Completely Fuckwitted" Prager is at it again with the long-awaited followup to his last tour de force ("When A Woman Isn't In The Mood: Part I"), "When A Woman Isn't In the Mood: Part II".

Well, my hopes have not been dashed. After Prager's artful plumbing of the male and female natures to explain why women totally need to give their husbands sex whenever they want it because otherwise the poor men will shrivel up and die, I just couldn't WAIT to see how he would explain why it also followed that women need to do so even when they don't feel like having sexytimes. (NB: I will not spend time addressing the stupid and false division of libidinous labor between the genders, because Prager sort of maybe addressed it in Part I and has made quite clear that he will ignore the cases when the roles are reversed. Great, fine, fuck you too, moving on.)

I was rewarded. Money quote:
Why would a loving, wise woman allow mood to determine whether or not she will give her husband one of the most important expressions of love she can show him? What else in life, of such significance, do we allow to be governed by mood?

What if your husband woke up one day and announced that he was not in the mood to go to work? If this happened a few times a year, any wife would have sympathy for her hardworking husband. But what if this happened as often as many wives announce that they are not in the mood to have sex? Most women would gradually stop respecting and therefore eventually stop loving such a man.

What woman would love a man who was so governed by feelings and moods that he allowed them to determine whether he would do something as important as go to work? Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can -- indeed, ought to -- refuse sex because she is not in the mood? Why?

Well, let's see. Unless your wife is a hooker, I have a hard time seeing how on earth these two examples are IN ANY WAY COMPARABLE. If your husband refuses to go to work day after day, your family will eventually not be able to eat. I'm sure Prager can come up with an argument as to how female frigidity will destroy the family relationship, fucking up the kids so badly that they eventually find themselves homeless on the street at the age of 35, but I'm also sure that that argument is really fucking stupid.

Oh, boy, here comes the sidelong swipe at those Humorless Feminists!
Thus, in the past generation we have witnessed the demise of the concept of obligation in personal relations. We have been nurtured in a culture of rights, not a culture of obligations. To many women, especially among the best educated, the notion that a woman owes her husband sex seems absurd, if not actually immoral. They have been taught that such a sense of obligation renders her “property.” Of course, the very fact that she can always say “no” -- and that this “no” must be honored -- renders the “property” argument absurd. A woman is not “property” when she feels she owes her husband conjugal relations. She is simply wise enough to recognize that marriages based on mutual obligations -- as opposed to rights alone and certainly as opposed to moods -- are likely to be the best marriages.

What's at least rhetorically clever about this part is that he manages to couch what he's saying, toward the end, in what sounds like fairly reasonable and realistic statements--that marriages require compromise, that there are obligations involved, and that they should be navigated steadily and without being too subject to caprice.

This is a good point. But note the logic.
A: Women are convinced that being obligated to have sex whenever hubby wants (only married women have this issue of refusing sex, I guess, because if they're unmarried and sexually active they're obviously MASSIVE SLUTS who want it ALL THE TIME) is an invasion of their rights.
B: Women aren't having their rights invaded because they can say no and have that wish respected.
C: BUT they are obligated not to say no by codes of behavior and the paramount importance of keeping hubby happy.

Explain to me how A is different from C again? Is it the assertion that if she does say no her husband shouldn't rape her anyway?

Finally, though, this is the passage that shows that Dennis Prager is living in some kind of crazed fantasy world, possibly with the aid of huge amounts of medication, and he and his conclusions will always be irredeemable:
In the rest of life, not just in marital sex, it is almost always a poor idea to allow feelings or mood to determine one’s behavior. Far wiser is to use behavior to shape one’s feelings. Act happy no matter what your mood and you will feel happier. Act loving and you will feel more loving. Act religious, no matter how deep your religious doubts, and you will feel more religious. Act generous even if you have a selfish nature, and you will end with a more a generous nature. With regard to virtually anything in life that is good for us, if we wait until we are in the mood to do it, we will wait too long. [...]

That solution is for a wife who loves her husband -- if she doesn’t love him, mood is not the problem -- to be guided by her mind, not her mood, in deciding whether to deny her husband sex.

A gramme is better than a damn! Now you go out there and fake it, ladies! Fake it good! And then maybe someday we'll all manage to return to the halcyon days of universal emotional, sexual, and social repression commonly known as the 1950s. Bonus: Art Deco homewares!

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