Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dubious honor...

I've recently had, on campus, the dubious honor of witnessing a modern marriage in action.  I've seen this couple several times, but only last week managed to observe them from a closer table (they took a couple of computers near where I hold my office hours, and stayed there for a good while).

The husband, a kind soul, as I've observed--he's incredibly nice to the lady making the coffee in the coffee shop--has displayed a patience that I don't think is healthy for his state of mind, or his marriage.

His wife is a little different.  She seems to be a good Christian woman, if one judges by the modesty of her dress (on a college campus, even), the Bible and study aids she regularly hauls out of her bag, and the complete lack of profanity I've heard from her.

She's also quite condescending to the lady that makes the coffee...and to her husband.  Treats an adult man like he's a small child incapable of remembering to take care of himself.

I've seen expressions flash over his face while she's not looking, while she's acted like this toward him--hurt, dismay, and anger.

I watched for a couple of hours on Thursday of last week, while I was grading papers.  I heard her voice get either sharp or very, very controlled but dripping of condescending sarcasm when she spoke to him several times over that period of two or so hours.  I never heard him retaliate, nor yet do more than remind her that he couldn't do what she was asking because he was right there next to her, instead of at home where what she'd asked him to do (right NOW, you idiot implied in her tone) happened to be, and that, like her, he was working on homework.  His tone never got more than patient, and he reached out to take her hand several times (only to be rebuffed).

I don't understand this.

How in the world can any woman treat the man she loves and is married to like this?  And why in the world would he simply accept it?

Something isn't right, there.

I'm betting that, whether she realizes it or not, she's been taken in by the lie that is radical feminism--the lie that women are better, all around, than men.

Not so.

I am better than Odysseus at a few things--multitasking, nurturing the kids when they're sick or hurt (and handing out discipline when they get hurt doing something they're not supposed to do), and keeping track of family schedules.  I handle the budget mostly because I'm better at multitasking and scheduling.

However, I do not treat him like a child.  I do not nag him.  I understand something vital.

He is better able to make logic based decisions.  I try, but my sex's natural inclinations to be more emotional do tend to get in the way, at times.  I see it even as I'm doing it and I cannot help it.

He is the better leader.  I am absolutely his partner--and his equal--but in our marriage and home, I do tend to act more like an executive officer.

Watching that couple--a couple I'd peg at maybe five or six nine or ten* years younger, and probably as high school sweethearts nearing graduation--really, really bothered me, on a level that I've only just been able to articulate.

*I honestly forgot that I'm nearly 35.


  1. Sounds a lot like my relationship with my ex. She was right, everyone else was wrong. You hit it on the head when you mentioned how she treated the lady who served the coffee. It's not that she disdains her husband in particular, it's that she disdains all people, and he just happens to be in her sights more often.

    1. I see that attitude most often in women on campus (where I am most often, when I'm out in public). Racial minorities have their own shortcomings, but they're usually polite to the janitors, secretaries, servers, and barristas. I really do think it has more to do with feminism than anything else.

      I cannot stand people like this.