There’s this car mechanic commercial where this guy is obsessing about his car. He takes it back to the mechanic AGAIN to be just EXTRA sure that it’s in working order. We don’t quite get it until the guy goes back home and who should greet him but his (very) pregnant wife.
“Ahhhhh,” I said, “Now makes sense.” And then you feel all “awwww” because he’s being extra cautious and conscious of his unborn child’s life and safety. BUT… BUT….then something happens…
His wife (mom with big prego belly) gives him a completely disregarding look and says, “So are you going to go and get it checked yet again?” She isn’t teasing. She’s looking at him as though he were a STUPID man doing what men, of course, do…stupid stuff.
Well, I’ve had it with our culture’s current way of regarding men – in sitcoms, commercials, movies…and “off screen” too. Men are disregarded and treated as though they are useless and stupid.
This kind of scenario isn’t found only on TV. It’s on the playground, at our children’s sports events, in social gatherings. Obviously, not every wife does this. But I have been watching this for several years now and I’ve seen it way too many times.
Is this feminism? Is this women’s lib?
Watch the next set of commercials that comes on or the next sitcom – I’ll bet that the guy/dad is disregarded, made fun of, and set up to look stupid (and laughed at) while mom “has” to step in to “do it right” and be in charge.
This is NOT empowering women. It’s NOT doing anything to transform patriarchal structures.
I don’t WANT the kind of power that’s being promoted here – a “patriarchal-I’ve-got-to-be-in-charge-and-I’m-going-to-do-it-by-putting-you-down” kind of power. I’m going to disregard you. Treat you as though your opinions, ideas, ways of parenting and living have no value. And I’m going to laugh at you, snicker at how stupid you are, and roll my eyes while I expect you to just take it. And no waaaay could you say anything like that to me!
No. I want nothing of it. So I am conscious of how I regard Brian – when we are together as a family or with friends. I refuse to be a part of a culture of moms right now that treats husbands as though they are stupid. I so enjoy being around other moms who regard their husbands and see them as human – yes, stupid – no.
That’s not how we bring forth a true feminine power and end patriarchy. Such a way of DISregarding men comes from a place of fear and feeling out of control…and…alone. Running a home like a tyrant (on TV or in real life) and a know-it-all who puts down her partner does nothing to quell the tyrant’s anxieties. And it only serves to further isolate and create distance. It does nothing to deepen a sense of mutuality, connection, regard, and flourishment.
What does? Speaking with reverence. Regarding him as human AND deserving of kindness, love, and sincere regard. Letting go of some control over how things get done. Softening. Joining. And just plain smiling with kind “you matter” eyes.
THIS is what I want to pass on to my daughter and son – that a truly loving relationship is about regard and reverence…seeing the holy in the humanness of our partner.