53 Comments

Independent Women “Syndrome”? Further attacks on women!

Today I got yet another shock.  I have written recently about attacks on women from men who live in a delusional fantasy world about the roles of the sexes in life. Dear Max Tomlinson was written in response to a particularly strange Australian and before that I wrote about the repeal of some legislation in Equal Pay for women at risk?

The shock I received today was the result of clicking on a link to an “article” by Stephan Labossiere, titled Independent Woman Syndrome.

Seriously, once you have a man then it is time to allow him to step up and do his job of properly taking care of you. Unfortunately it does not happen like that for many women. Why? Because they suffer from what I call Independent Woman Syndrome.

That’s right ladies; some of you have a disease and don’t even know it. It is hindering you in relationships and in even trying to find a relationship. So how could something I first praised turn out to be so bad? Well let me give you a couple of symptoms so you can better understand the issue.

That’s just the start!

Let’s just look at the phrase in bold above.  So I stop being independent, do I Stephen, and let you go to work and bring home the bacon, while I stay home?  Let me tell you exactly who is taking care of whom in that situation!  I cook your meals, wash your laundry, iron your shirts, raise your kids (who will carry YOUR name into the next generation), provide you with sexual release (on your terms, no doubt), pick up your dirty socks and wet towels, clean the toilet after you fail the hit the floating ball test, dust the furniture you sit on, vacuum the floors you walk on.  Carry your children in my body for nine months because you can’t and possibly have surgery to deliver them.

Meanwhile you are taking care of me? WTF?  Am I the only one who sees something wrong with the logic here?

Not to mention you are probably working SO hard to bring home said bacon you have late nights at the office and weekend conferences.  ‘Nough said.  Extra curricula activity with a co-worker or two perhaps?

Let’s look back at ancient societies.  Yes, the genders performed different parts of the load of survival, but the men weren’t trying to convince anyone they were “taking care of” the women.  I was SO shocked at the article and the blatant absolving himself of relationship responsibility by the author, I Tweeted the link to my followers!  Below is one response.

Wendy Tuohy

Wendy Tuohy’s reaction on Twitter

Wendy told me she had written a response to an article she had read recently claiming “female entitlement mentality” is keeping women single.  Wendy’s article can be found here at “The Perch” – damn good reading it is too! Go Wendy.

In reading Wendy’s article and the article quoted above I formed the opinion there is a common theme between the article Wendy is responding to and the one I am responding to: men too afraid to step up to the plate and be adult males!  The presentation style is different: the Australian one lacks the biblical “sent by God” aspects (see the comments) of the article I look at.

…you decrease your ability to do something that most men need from their woman, stroke his ego. You have to let a man feel like a man, or you can do some serious damage to him and the relationship. Not to mention, many women who suffer from IWS also can become very aggressive in how they speak to their man.

What?  Men are such fragile little petals we have to stroke their egos to have a good relationship?  How on earth do they ever go into battle in a war then?  Who is stroking our egos, just out of curiosity?  No mention of THAT, I see!  Clearly stroking his middle leg isn’t enough these days.

Trust me, Stephen, BEHAVE like a man and most women I know will applaud you!  Behave like a spoilt brat and that is precisely how you will be treated.

In all fairness, Stephen does talk about the man helping: my difficulty is, he doesn’t actually give examples.  Will he change the nappies, wash the dishes, cook the dinner?  I don’t know, because he doesn’t say.  Unfortunately the tone of the rest of the article outweighs this section, plus I get the feeling I would have heap praise on him if he did help – even if my brand new $200 blouse is now a blue faded denim colour because he didn’t ASK HOW before he “helped” with the washing!

I have three daughters: I do not want them being brainwashed by the media that Stephen’s selfish idea is the way the world should be.  Nor do I want my three sons thinking this is any sort of acceptable expectation.  If they ever behave like Stephen, I will consider I have failed sadly as a mother.

A relationship is a partnership.  Each partnership is free to allocate responsibilities as that partnership sees fit.  A relationship is about caring and loving and sharing.  It is not a one-sided situation of “the woman cares for and strokes the ego of the man to make him feel good”.

And I thought this was 2012.  Thankfully, I married a real man with the balls to be equal and not be intimidated by his woman.  We manage to stroke each other’s egos equally!  OK, we are normal, we don’t always manage – but we try! :D

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About Robyn Oyeniyi

We fought to be together as a team, we are now together as a team. Team Oyeniyi

53 comments on “Independent Women “Syndrome”? Further attacks on women!

  1. [...] indeed come a long way, but the battle isn’t over while we have people still writing about Independent Women Syndrome as if it is an illness to be cured.  Racism and sexism are very similar in the economic and [...]

  2. [...] “legitimate rape” and the moves against abortion BY MEN!  Or simply the idea of “Independent Woman Syndrome“!   Yes, these men LOVE women provided women are [...]

  3. Too me this is a very blurred subject. Men/Women, Mars/Venus. Where do feminists fit in? Do they want to be from Mars? Whatever.

    One can generalize, but there are always exceptions. In every relationship there are some variations. Some men just prefer not to be married, the same goes for women.

    Lenore Taylor wrote in today’s weekend edition : “Who framed feminism?” She quotes Anne-Marie Slaughter who writes about: “Why women still can’t have it all.” – Women will “have to make compromises that the men in their lives were far less likely to make.”

    I don’t get this at all. If both partners are in well paid occupations, why on earth can’t they afford home-help? If there’s some home-help in the house, in my opinion women can be as independent as they like.

    To look after the needs of children then becomes a truly shared responsibility.

    • I meant to say the Weekend Edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

    • I don’t get it either Uta. I’m with you – if both in well paid jobs, hire a housekeeper! Years ago when both my then husband and I were working full-time and studying part-time, we have someone in 4 hours a week and that was enough yo give us breathing space.

      As I said, it is up to each couple to work out what suits them. Surely the couple wouldn’t be attracted to each other in the first place if they had radically different perspectives?

      YES! Definitely about the children!

  4. Hi Robyn,

    thank you so much for visiting my blog! It’s early morning here in NSW and pretty cold. I have to do things to keep myself warm. I’ll come back to your blogs a bit later in the day.

    I’m glad I found this blog of yours. I’m sure it’s going to get me thinking about the structure of our society. I’m so looking forward to reading it all. I just want to say, I read Helen’s comment. The beginning of it brought a smile to my face! What Helen says and what your reply to her makes a lot of sense to me. However I feel I might want to eventually say something on this subject too.I just need a bit more time. I’m a 77 year old pensioner, and still I seem to always be running out of time!.

    • I’m sorry I’m not visiting more frequently – I love the history parts of your site! Just with everything that has been happening in our lives (all good, I have to say :D) I am time bankrupt! People talk about being “time poor” – I’m totally bankrupt! We have to pack to move house now, so I have even less time than I had before!

      I hope you do enjoy when you have more time to read up on our journey!

      • Actually I read quite a bit on your extraordinary journey. It fascinates me. I just have to do some more catching up to do on your more recent blogs. Don’t worry if you can’t visit more often. I totally understand how busy yxou are. Good luck with the moving!
        I’m glad you like the history parts of my site. Best wishes, Uta.

  5. [...] that is wrong with the world, here’s a post by Robyn at Love versus Goliath about the so-called Independent Woman Syndrome and why it is [...]

  6. Stephen, I think I can see what you are trying to express, but feel that the unfortunate manner in which you are doing it is putting the shutters up for many of the people who are reading your blogs. The tone of some of the language you used is condescending to women, and you probably didn’t mean to sound that way. You are making us sound like the “little woman” who should put on something of a “helpless” act in order for her man to feel good about himself, and to some extent submerge her own personality in deference to his Anyway, I prefer to give you the benefit of the for now.

  7. hi Robyn, I felt that Stephen deserved a reply from me – sorry for poaching on your blog.

    • Not a problem, Martin. I think it is good to have replies from other men. I almost closed comments on this article, something I have never done, because I felt it was growing out of control a little. On the other hand, it is a topic that as you mentioned in your comment to Stephen, is important to women globally.

      We DO see so much of late that is going backwards (I provided links to earlier articles of mine) and I could have written about any number of articles, as I mentioned before, that are of similar tone. I think I expect “better” (I’m wary of using that word) from other western nations. We see acid thrown in girls’ faces in Afganistan for going to school – we are reminded of other horrors against women every day. A story written by Gilly on Lucid Gypsy is a wonderful story, but so sad: http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/a-post-for-international-womens-day/

      Stephen is very persuasive, and I believe he believes in what he says. I am aware that words can be very persuasive – “bad” things can be made to sound “wonderful” with the right words. You mentioned racism, which I had stayed away from in my comments, but people can even use the Bible to “justify” racism! That too seems to happen in western countries.

      So I left the comments open.

      One Australian friend initially thought Stephen’s article was satire, then realised it was a serious article.

      Clearly Stephen, you are a firm believer in your perspective. Like atheists and Christians trying each to convince the other they are wrong, I doubt you are likely to change your beliefs. We are going to have to agree to disagree.

  8. I dunno Robyn – I don’t pop in for a couple of weeks and you have a nuclear war going on!!!

    I don’t understand why having an independent woman as a partner / wife should cause an issue – certainly doesn’t bother me. Perhaps it upsets those men who believe they’re god’s gift? Surely the issue is the inflexibility of arrogant individuals of both sexes (I don’t think this is just a man issue – there are also women who believe they are god’s gift). When your relationship is based on disrespect – ie, look how special I am… then it is going to hit the buffers sooner or later.

    The 1970’s saw a change in the way that relationships worked – the growth in equality, at least within the home. Around 40% of people who married from my workplace in the mid 1970’s/ early 1980’s are now divorced. Were they ready for those changes? – Probably not.

    In the 50’s the man was expected to go out and earn money and the woman was expected to look after the home. That changed significantly in the 1970’s and I believe that not everybody was able to change quickly – 40% marital failures as a result. As you know – I married a bit later because I wasn’t ready at the time. And maybe that’s why we, my wife and I, were able to absorb those changes. Equally, it might be because we come from different cultures and needed to adjust anyway?

    ps – threats from other correspondents about cutting off balls that they can’t find may be intended as funny but is really not conducive to a serious debate even if intended in jest :-(

    • Re your PS – I think perhaps you are right Martin – the sense of humour between Canada and Australia are very similar and it is a fairly common sort of comment to us, but then there are differences in humour around the globe. I will ask permission to edit it – I don’t think she will mind.

      It wasn’t my intention to start a nuclear war, but I have seen a lot of “stuff” lately that seems to be a movement against equality for women. I was always raised by my father to consider myself as able to do anything – it never occured to me that I should be “different” until I grew up and learned that women had really had to fight to get the vote and the right to own property and so on. I was shocked, as my upbringing had never implied anything like that existed!

      • I wasn’t personally offended by it but I suspect it will have the effect of confirming Stephen’s belief that he is not being understood nor listened to.

        The reinforcing of old stereotypes between the sexes is a common issue – look no further than the ads on TV. That’s an area where pressure should be brought to bear as they often undermine equality. Some of the Fosters ads over the years have been quite cringe inducing even if intended to be funny.

        Men and women will always be different (amen to that) but those differences should be the natural ones, not artificial ones induced by society and its ‘preferred’ behaviours between the sexes.

      • I am big on celebrating differences, as you know. Equality does NOT mean sameness at all, in my view, as I have written in the past.

        I just want people to be free to be themselves – within reason, of course – I am not advocating people be free to be murderers, for example!

    • I know I said I was done, but I appreciate 2e0mca concern and his respectful approach. So I wanted to take the time to talk to him. I will say that the “ball chopping” comment did not bother me. The comments that directly insult my character or speak down to me were more of the issue. Also I say I am not being listened too or understood, because people continue to misrepresent my position. Example: my article was called an attack on woman’s rights. Someone please show me where my article does that specifically. I speak of women not letting there ability to handle it on their own get in the way of allowing their partner to lovingly do for them. Why? because it can leave the woman more unnecessarily burdened & stressed, it can condition the man into thinking my woman “can handle it” which is great until the time comes that she actually does want his help, or it develops an attitude that does not show appreciation for what the partner does do (which can contribute to an unwillingness to do for their partner as much as they should). Example 2: my article is continuously being portrayed as attacking equality. Again, show me specifically where it does that. As Team Oyeniyi stated “Equality does NOT mean sameness at all” so if this is the case (which I agree with her) then how does my article say different, I am for equality, both men and women should be respected as such, but just because we are both capable of doing the same things doesn’t mean we will do the same things in our relationship. As a man I would want to alleviate my woman of certain stresses which allows her to be happier and be more effective as my partner. We play to each other strengths. Example 3: some have said I have defined the roles as man = breadwinner, woman = homemaker. Nowhere in my article do I make this definition. It has been assumed and everybody is running with it. I even stated in an earlier comment that a stay at home dad can still “take care of his woman” but people still attack me as if I only want women at home and in the kitchen. I can give more examples and evidence but I will close with this. everyone here seems to support being a team (with your partner). So all I was trying to convey in the article is that you can make it very difficult to operate as a team if you get to caught up in your own independence. If you do not find the right balance you risk alienating your partner. It is no different then a man who gets caught up in his own “independence” and starts to shoot down his wifes offer to help, or her input on decisions. This will most likely cause an issue and make his woman unhappy. When a person loves you, they want to do for you. It is in our nature, and you should allow them to do for you because it is an expression of their love. Just because you are capable of doing it on your own doesn’t mean you have to if you have a partner that takes joy in doing it for you, That helps strengthen the connection, it helps foster a more loving, caring, and giving relationship. I can go on and on, but I will stop here. Thank you again 2e0mca. Even if after you read this we happen to not agree, I still greatly appreciate the person you are and your approach in the discussion. Stay blessed

      • Stephen, My respectful approach is to both the owner of this blog and all those who have commented within the responses. Sadly, something about the way you have put your argument across has angered my female friends to the point of raising a heated discussion. I’m at a disadvantage here in that I am a man and perhaps, as a result, less able to see the cause of the anger. I suspect, however, that you are just the last straw in a wind that has been gathering momentum for a while and as a result you have born the storm of resulting rage. I and Robyn have both experienced Racism at close quarters as a result of our marriage choices. So that is an area of experience where I have lots of knowledge. But the choice to debate the woman’s role in society is one that requires a strong stomach and good knowledge of the subject.

        My experience in this area goes a lot farther than just the home. I am a private pilot and I learned to fly with a female instructor. It never for one moment crossed my mind to question her ability to 1, Fly a plane, 2, teach a male student. I took her on face value and a very good instructor she was. So good in fact that on an occasion when I pushed the limits with some dodgy weather, when confronted by her, I pointed out that she was the person who had given me that level of ability and confidence.

        You have to accept that people will debate views surrounding sexual equality very robustly and that they may not always agree with your views. There are almost certainly some women out there who don’t agree with Robyn’s views because they would prefer the old fashioned ‘Man = Hunter Woman= Cook’ approach. That’s their choice but all decisions of this nature should be an individual choice and partners have to work around that approach for a successful relationship.

        Sorry – waffling on – apologies to Robyn as this is her blog and really her right to respond.

      • Stephen, I acknowledge you did not specifically define the roles as breadwinner and homemaker. I will also acknowledge that there may be some language barriers at play, as the use of English between the USA and other English speaking nations is quite different. I think I mentioned that earlier.

        Stephen, I will move right away from your article and ask you to look at the field of politics. In both your country and mine politicians are demonstrating less and less adult behaviour and many are behaving like children in kindergarten. I am not sure why this is happening, but it is clear that mature, responsible, adult behaviour is sadly lacking in the characters of many of our elected representatives. I think that in many cases the problems in relationships you are trying to address have, as their root cause, similar characteristics. I do not know what is happening in western societies at the moment, but I do know many adults behave like spoilt teenagers. Such behaviour (both genders) will certainly cause issues in a relationship.

  9. Thank God i always read comments on blogs because these were as interesting as the post. I feel sorry for Stephan in that he has missed so much that has lately happened in this world. How else to explain his views. When people get this defensive it is a sure sign that they feel ‘in the wrong’ even if they won’t admit it. Richard’s comments lightened my day…knowing that there are people out there in healthy, equal, non role defined relationships…

    • I am not used to having controversy here, Jo, so it was a new experience. Although at the same time there was a flurry of comments on Australia’s Refugee Intake – Budget 2012, also a little controversial.

      Richard and Stuart both demonstrated that all is not lost!

    • You guys are hilarious. I’m sure if someone takes it upon themselves to blatantly insult you, disrespect you, and misrepresent your position then you may also want to respond to some of the things said. You obviously didn’t take time to understand anything I said but there is nothing I can do about that. I will leave it in GODs hands.

  10. Love and peace everyone… that’s all that really matters :)

  11. I was unable to respond to Richard directly so I will just leave my comment here. I don’t understand why you continue to bring up the issue of equality when I in no way argued against it. I also don’t understand why you feel the need to mention that you and your wife can take care of yourselves, when I clearly state in the article that a great relationship consists of 2 independent people which means they are both capable of taking care of themselves. I find it amusing that you argue against showing appreciation and complimenting, then team Oyeniyi agrees with you, but she clearly stated earlier that “We manage to stroke each other’s egos equally!”. So are you saying she and her husband are dysfunctional and needy? Is Team Oyeniyi agreeing that she indeed falls under this category? You and your wife may not require appreciation and compliments, which is perfectly fine if that works for you. I can tell you from coaching couples and single people that most people like to receive these things to some degree from the person they love. These people just want to feel loved from their partners, and some like to feel like they have purpose in the relationship. Take that away from them, and it at times can create a void in many people with that relationship. You can choose to view that as weak and dysfunctional, but then there are others that can view your approach as cold and out of touch. The article written will not apply to everybody, but that does not diminish the fact that it does apply for many. Maybe using the word “ego” is throwing things off and I apologize if this indeed is the case. You say healthy relationships don’t require guidelines, they just work organically. So why are so many relationships in trouble. Yours and your friends may be great, but I get to speak to countless individuals who need help. There are a lot of hurt people out there and that pain and fear causes many to go about things in a way that isn’t always best. Also many men and women simply do not understand each other, and it is that lack of understanding that also contributes to so many issues. Maybe our disconnect on this issue is attributed to our different locations in this world. So I will not say that your words don’t hold truth for your environment. but as someone who works in this field I know with certainty that my words hold truth for where I am located. So just as I may have plenty to learn about other approaches to relationships, you also have plenty to catch up on, because not everyone sees it the way that you do.

    • Correction, Team Oyeniyi did not flat out agree with you, she thanked you for your contribution. My apologies on that incorrect statement.

    • Stephen, this is my final comment to you on this matter.

      My major concern is that the tone of your article is that a woman must change in order to have a happy, fulfilling relationship. If a man is unable to love the person the woman is, then in my opinion and the opinion of many others, those two people should not be in a relationship.

      I agree that counselling can help many couples and individuals, but that is not what we are talking about here: we are talking about the desire to change the basic characteristics of the person. No relationship is ever going to be successful if one party has to be moulded to “fit”.

      All relationships require some degree of compromise. Heavens, my husband and I are from different countries, different cultures, we are diferent colours and I am an atheist he is not. Do you think we do not have to make compromises? Of course we do! Are either of us going to change who we are fundamentally? No, because if we did, neither of us would be the same person the other fell in love with.

      We should fall in love with who a person is, not who we think we might be able to mould them into after we get married.

      • Team Oyeniyi thank you for this experience. It has taught me a lot and I am glad it happened. I had a response for the issue you raised in this comment but I feel nothing I say will be received correctly and certain things just flat out get ignored. I can’t force you to understand what I am saying, but as I told you earlier all you have to do is take the time to read some of the articles on my blog and you will see that the way you are viewing me and presenting me to your readers is off base. “You Can’t Change Her, You Have To Embrace Her” is the main one I wanted you to read especially since it goes perfectly with the point you just made. I just hope moving forward you would find ways to disagree with me without insults and misrepresenting me and what I said. At the end of the day I can’t control that either, so I wish you the best.

  12. Wow, first let me say thank you to everybody who took the time to read my article. I completely understand why all of you are making the comments that you are making. What that shows me is that you have made your opinion on me based on that one article and I understand how that could happen. The last line of my article states “To me a great relationship consist of two independent people who recognize and embrace the value of their partner, and allow themselves to be comfortable, willing, and appreciate depending on each other.” So I’m not sure why everyone feels I am against equality. Also, I never defined roles as the man works and the woman stays home with the kids. What I discussed was a woman allowing men that love them to do for them. There is indeed an issue of many women who have become so “independent” that they constantly shoot down attempts by the man to help her with anything. Many women are not this way because they want more equality, but because they have walls up. They have been hurt or seen the pain that other women have gone through and sometimes they attribute that to allowing the man to do to much or become in any way dependent on him. So for many this is a defense mechanism made to safeguard their hearts, but it can create more damage to a relationship if not handled effectively. As for not showing what men need to do, I encourage you to read other articles on my blog such as “You can’t change her, You have to embrace her” and many more. I even have a book out that is telling men where we need to do better for women, and how we can make our relationships move in a better direction and subsequently get more sex from the wife (an issue many men complain about). I just like to address one gender at a time, but it in no way means I am ignoring the other side and their responsibilities. I am confident that if any of you take the time to read more of my work then you will no longer view me as the monster you think I am lol : ). Have a blessed day.

    • Stephen, thank you for your comment and I can assure you I do not consider you a monster – just rather misguided. I see way to many similarly toned articles around the web to not understand that clearly there is sub current movement afoot trying to convince men to convince women that this is the way it should be.

      I have no problem with the last line of your article as a stand alone sentence – in the context of your article, however, that sentence takes on a slightly different meaning for the reader.

      I am not going to enter into a debate with you, Stephen, but I am certainly willing to publish your comments.

      • What is disappointing is your representation of me based on how you choose to receive this particular article. Also your decision to insult me on your blog without taking a moment to engage in dialogue to gain clarity on my position. Many women were able to read this and completely understand what I was trying to convey. You made assumptions and are unable to point out where I specifically said some of the things you are accusing me of. I don’t mind a position of disagreement, but misrepresenting me and insulting me in the process was unnecessary. Either way you have made up your mind, so it is clear that despite what proof I provide that shows you were wrong about certain things, you will continue to say and believe what you wish. I wish you the best, have a blessed day.

  13. Sadly there are a lot of men in the world that believe this hogwash, even sadder, there are a lot of women that agree with it. More fear based attitudes, unfortunately spread by the major religions of the world – especially the purists. As your blogger said: this is caveman philosophy. My mum always said: ‘Why would I want to be equal with a man – it shows a lack of ambition!’ :)

  14. I remember before I got married an elder woman at work said to me “If you don’t want to be a doormat for the rest of your life start as you mean to go on” Hubs Mum waited on him hand and foot and seeing this relationship where he snapped his fingers and she jumped, made me decide I did not want to be a doormat.
    I made my sons iron all their own shirts and share the chores in the house

    • I was just stunned. An Australian commented to me she initially thought Stephen’s article was satire, then saw his qualifications. As I said to her, this isn’t the only article of this type I have seen. A couple’s relationship should be one of equals, sharing the burdens and the rewards in whatever way suits that couple.

  15. Somebody needs to buy Stephan a calendar, sort him out a library ticket and give him a list of sexual politics, sociology and history books written after 1900!! The man makes me embarrassed to be male frankly; still he’s proof that cave men didn’t die out with the dinosaurs and I wonder that I didn’t hear in the news about how they found Stephan preserved in ice, defrosted him and found he was still alive. That they taught him to move on from cave paintings as a means of communication is a scientific marvel, but probably a bad move. I think the chimps they taught sign language to had more modern ideas on gender equality than Stephan. On a final note I’d love to see his video for a dating site eh? It would look like one of those 1950’s documentaries on family life. The man’s a complete moron.

    • But, but, Richard – he is a Certified Relationship Expert & Life Coach!

      I am damned if I know where he got this certification from, I do hope i wasn’t Harvard or Oxford, or we are in serious trouble.

      Thank you putting forward a male perspective Richard.

      Loud applause! :)

    • I just read my article again because I was starting to think maybe I did communicate some thing s incorrectly. In reading it over I really don’t understand some of these insults. How am I attacking women by telling them to allow their partners to relieve some of the burden. Women take issue with the lack of help they receive from men all the time, so is it wrong to point out to that woman where she may be contributing to this lack of assistance from her partner. It seems as if you guys just looked at a couple of lines and ran with it. You allowed the things you didn’t like to overshadow any valid points being made. Forget the fact that I praised independent women but simply told them to balance it better once in a relationship. There was never an attack on their rights as women, nor did I ever define their role as being home while the man works. Those were things you all assumed. As for stroking the ego, I would like to see who doesn’t want to feel appreciated and complimented for the things they do for their partner. That indeed feeds our ego and that is not a bad thing. I welcome all input (preferrably not the insults) but disagreements are always welcomed. Rather than assume what I meant by “his job of properly taking care of you” just take the time to question me on it. Properly taking care of a woman is about tending to her in many ways. I see the job of the man as to connect with his partner and do for her in a way that does not leave her feeling burdened and unfulfilled. You can be a stay at home Dad and still “properly take care of your woman”. That line is to tell women to allow that man to do for you and make your life less stressful. I am one that believes a Happy Woman = Happy Man, but if you as a woman allow your “independence” to get too much in the way, you can at times make it much harder for a man to put a smile on your face.

      • Stephen, I am prepared to acknowledge the non-Americans, including me, may misunderstand some of your meaning due to language differences. Americans rarely understand Australian humour at first and I acknowledge we don’t easily understand some American approaches either.

        I am pleased to see you acknowledge the worth of stay-at-home husbands/male partners.

        I am very happy to hear you believe in balance in a relationship, however that is not how your article reads at all, nor the many other articles and blogs I have seen in this vein of recent times.

        We all know partnerships/relationships are delicate things and we also know there is a massive industry out there helping people to avoid divorce, just like there is a massive weight loss industry (usually unsuccessful, the experts tell us).

      • I think the fact that in the 21st century you feel the need to even state this indicates how far behind you are on modern relationship thinking. My wife and I both work and we have an equal partnership, tag teaming on child care and house work etc. I’d also like to state that both my wife and I can take care of ourselves. Our successful 14 year marriage is based on not needing support from each other. If my wife wasn’t the independent woman she is I wouldn’t be with her and if I was some dysfunctional man who needed to be looked after and have his ego boosted my wife wouldn’t be with me. Neither my wife nor I can stand ‘needy’ people. I don’t need an ego booster in my life and neither does my wife. We’re together because we fancy the pants off each other and have a great time together, anything else is just ‘neediness’ and the need to have an ego booster as a partner indicates emotional and psychological dysfunction as far as I am concerned. Most modern thinking on relationships is about equality – partnership – being on the same team. That you feel the need to define the roles in a relationship and even mention what a woman or a man must do emotionally and psychologically for their partner indicates that you have missed the point about a relationship. Healthy relationships don’t need rules or guidelines, they just work organically – each person moves around the other and with the other in complete harmony and after just a couple of years a couple get used to each other and work well together or they fail, especially if one or both feels the need for the support of the other. Anyway my wife would laugh at me if I asked her if she needed me to take care of her and I would laugh if she asked the same thing of me, that’s not why emotionally healthy people get together – emotionally healthy people get together because they fancy each other and stay together because they come to love each other. Finally I never need compliments or approval, I know when I’m right and I know when I’m wrong, as does my wife. I consider the need to have someone feed my ego a weakness borne of emotional instability. People who like themselves and are confident don’t have hungry egos. Your points were valid twenty or thirty years ago, not any more. Sorry, but I think you have a lot of reading to catch up on in the area of relationships and gender roles.

      • Richard, thank you for such an outstanding contribution to the discussion.

  16. OH MY GOD YOU THOUGHT THIS WOULD CALM ME DOWN SO I COULD SLEEP????!?!??!?!?!?!?!?

    You’re more passive-aggressive than I thought…you want me to cut his balls off in a berserker rage, don’t you?

    Bad news: I can’t hit a target that small.

  17. Equality is rare indeed… My ex-husband used to say I’ve lit the fire for you .. I used to think and often say.. “please don’t sit in front of it then if it’s mine” I never said to him. I’ve washed your shirts for you etc..
    I was in my late teens early 20’s in the 70’s when we fought hard for equality for women.. equality seems to have turned into “women can now go out to work as well as do all the childcare and housework!” That was definitely not what we were looking for !! It was equality of opportunity and choices
    However I do feel very sad that men and women have to both be out at work to pay mortgages etc.. because their children often don’t have a parent at home when they come home from school and it’s great for kids if that can be managed.
    We live in a society(here in the Uk anyway) where many value things bought for their children rather than time given to them.

    • I could not agree with you more, Helen. I believe if a couple want one partner to stay at home and be with the children, more power to them. In Australia we have many men who stay at home and raise the children.

      I do find it sad that in most western societies the economies are such these days that both parents almost need to work to feed and clothe the kids. Equality should never be about who does what, it is something deeper – it is mutual respect and love.

      Time with a child is worth far more than the latest toy. :)

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