March 12, 2008

Dr. Helen on Male-Bashing.

I generally agree with the good doctor on these issues: not only is there way too much male-bashing out there for my taste, but I'm sure there's a lot more than I actually see, because I self-select against it; I don't much care for sexism in either direction.

I'm not an authority on gender relations, since I haven't seen any healthy marriages up close in real life.

There are, of course, four leading men in my life: my father, who loves it when I pick on him, because what is bullying behavior from his wives is just cunning when it's his older daughter tearing him down (yes—I don't do it often any more; I know it isn't healthy); my older brother and real father figure, who withdraws from me, judges the hell out of me, and loves me secretly far more than he will ever let on; my husband, whom I tend to either cater to or take for granted—but love desperately, all the same (and if only that were enough to sustain a relationship—it's "necessary, but not sufficient"); and my best friend Count Linguist, who is often accused of being "gay-like" because he's a die-hard nonviolent intellectual—though he is as brutal verbally as any serial killer is in the blood-and-guts realm—and, oddly enough, he is the strongest person physically I've ever met, if one were simply measuring raw upper-body power.

All that said, I do think people need to let off steam, particularly when they feel dominated by their spouses—which, let's face it, everyone is. Marriage is never easy, and it certainly isn't for wimps.

But there is a point beyond which one shouldn't go. If you're blowing off steam, you can make a couple of pointed remarks about your spouse the way one might talk about upper management (or the Board of Directors, or the stockholders, or any "ball and chain") at a company for which you work, and at which you largely like to work: "God love 'em; they aren't perfect—much as I sometimes wish they were. I do, however, respect the good in what they are accomplishing."

There are certain things that are simply beyond the pale: suggesting that your husband or boyfriend isn't a "real man" (which, of course, he would be if he only did what you want him to do, all the damned time), suggesting he's a little boy for having any human emotions, or holding against him whatever intellectual limitations he might incur as a result of being male. (This is often combined with taking advantages of the areas wherein his brain provides benefits to the household or partnership: "You're so absent-minded, Honey; here's the map, by the way. You navigate." Not cricket, people.)

I wouldn't know about the last, precisely. My mapping and spatial relationship skills run, as withmy-anything-mathematical, to either very good, or very bad. (Like my parallel parking, or my restaurant arithmetic/tip calculations. I'm either on, or completely off.)

But between two people each person will always have strengths and weaknesses, and it's just as well to acknowledge one's weaknesses on those occasions when one is trumpeting one's strengths.

Otherwise, male or female, one risks turning into a monster.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 12, 2008 07:22 PM | TrackBack

Thank you.

You would be surprised however at how much that is "beyond the pale" is routinely employed by some women when tempers flare.

Posted by: Desert Cat at March 14, 2008 10:27 PM

The deal is, mutual respect. Even when we're yelling at each other.

If I ever feel like we've actually gotten it right, I'll write a fuckin' book about it. ;)

I just wiii not talk down to him. (Though there's been some spirited discussion as to whether I once rolled my eyes when he said something so outrageous, I felt that it was beyond the pale. I didn't roll my eyes, though: I rolled my whole fucking head. Subtle distinction.)

Like I said, one day I'll get it right. If it happens early enough, Book Deal! Later on, I just die with a smile on my face.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 15, 2008 01:06 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: is currently inaccessible

My Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!