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Of Toddlers and Termagants

Following has some analysis and some prescription but is mostly a rant. Ignore if you wish. I understand fully.

“My wife tried to tell me I was wrong and that this is what happened back then. It didn’t sound right to me so I checked it online and found that I was right all along. Of course, I’m not dumb enough to send her the link showing that I was right.”

I came across that (heavily reworded) statement a while ago. It annoyed me considerably. What kind of pampered babies have Western women become, that they cannot tolerate being told that they were wrong, or even that someone disagrees with them? What kind of harridans are men putting up with?

What kind of spoiled child has to get her own way in everything?

Worse: How badly beaten down or pussified are Western men to put up with having to tiptoe around wives and girlfriends, always careful never to give offense or to dent their precious egos or do something that they don’t like?

I’ve come across any number of similar statements, in person, in articles, and online in various fora and message boards. “I’d like to be able to let you stay until your apartment is ready but my wife wouldn’t like it.” “I wanted to go hunting last month but my wife didn’t want me to.” Or worse: “I’d kept my rifles in the closet for years and it was no big deal but when I mentioned that Dan was putting together a hunting trip she remembered that I had them and made me sell them.” (Unlike the above, those statements are not taken straight from something I saw recently.)

Here’s a hint: “Happy Wife, Happy Life” is a lie. It was always a lie. I don’t know where it started but it was not with an honest person who knew anything about family dynamics.

There are pragmatic reasons why a husband would avoid giving offense. Almost the entirety of the US (and almost the entirety of the Anglosphere) is subject to no fault divorce. Almost all of the US population is subject to the Duluth model for handling domestic complaints: if the police are called, they almost automatically arrest the man and leave the woman and the children in the house, no matter whose house it is, who called the police, who was committing the offense, or who has been injured. The entirety of the US (and I believe the entirety of the Anglosphere) gives de facto child custody to the mother, regardless of fitness as a parent. “Equitable” distribution of marital assets almost always favors the woman, especially if the woman can cry on command or can lie convincingly. There’s reputational damage, with family and friends often taking her side — “What did you do to make her upset?” — without hearing your side and employers sometimes firing him because of the “scandal” or because she’s called the front desk six times in the past week.

In short, husbands stand to lose half or even all of everything they have as soon as their wives are “not happy”.

Once a man is in a marriage for more than a few months and the assets have been commingled, it’s probably too late for him to cleanly get away from a temperamental wife. Once children are born, it’s definitely too late. Oh, he can leave a harridan or he can retain his autonomy with the expectation that she’ll kick him out, but only at the risk of losing everything.

I’m not going to complain about unfairness or double standards or even violation of Constitutional rights. Such an approach has any useful effect approximately never.

Instead, I’ll point out that the double standards are bad for society. It should not have escaped anyone’s notice that marriage rates are at an all-time low. (Acknowledging that some dispute this by playing with definitions and time scales.) The birth rate among American citizens, specifically among citizen women, is below replacement level. Significantly below, which translates to self-genocide if nothing changes. If not for immigration (both legal and invasion) the population within US borders would be decreasing.

The poor economy could explain some of the declining birth rate but not the declining marriage rate. If marriage were as good a deal as is claimed for men, the benefits would be worth putting up with temper tantrums and maybe even the likelihood of a surprise divorce.

That’s not what we’re seeing, though. Men are avoiding marriage because they see what happens to the men who take the leap. It’s a bad risk economically, even if he isn’t bankrupted by divorce and child support. Simply being married almost inevitably means that expenses are going to go way up: bigger house or apartment, new furniture, she needs a new car and not a beater, expensive gifts for her endless list of friends who are getting married or are having a baby, et cetera ad paupertātem.

“Two can live as cheaply as one” may have been true in my grandparents’ day. It was no longer true by the late 1960s, when lifestyle expectations were rocketing.

A single man in the United States can live on about $27,000 per year, before taxes. He’ll need more in an expensive area but less if he’s away from the cities, and if he’s single there’s less keeping him in an expensive locale. A married man in the US needs — “needs” — to make almost twice as much if his wife works or more than twice as much if she doesn’t. That’s a lot more hours that he needs to spend on the job, or a more dirty-difficult-dangerous job, or less money to spend on things that he wants, or less money to save for his own retirement.

If Western women were pleasant to be around, if wives made their husbands’ lives better, the expense would be worth it. Men have been making that trade since forever.

But that’s not what we’re seeing. That’s where this essay started.

Instead, we have a large fraction, probably a majority, of husbands needing to tread carefully at home. A home which is not really comfortable because the wife always wants to change something, whether rearranging the furniture or completely remodeling the kitchen. A home which he doesn’t see as much as he’d like because he needs to pick up extra shifts in order to bring in enough money. There may be children, whom he doesn’t see as much as he’d like, children who are being conditioned by society to see him as the source of all of the world’s problems. Children who may be taken from him any time his wife decides that he’s not happy.

And that’s what we’re seeing. Men see all this and decide that marriage isn’t worth it.

If anything, it’s surprising that as many as six out of a thousand are getting married every year in the US and somewhat fewer getting into all-but-the-name long-term relationships. I mark it down to the triumph of hope over reason. I expect the trend to continue downward unless there’s a major change to the legal and social structure, changing the cost-benefit balance. I don’t see a change to women’s attitudes to marriage and husbands, absent a major shock to the economy which makes women need men in order to survive, rather than sorta kinda want one around as long as it’s convenient for her.

Today’s situation in the US and much of the West is actually worse than if there were almost no marriages and almost no children. Women are having children and then raising them with no father figure or with a father who’s present very seldom, by his choice or hers. Or, worst of all, with a series of replaceable male presences who do very little fathering but either are sources of cash for the mothers or are drones.

This is a recipe for raising feral children. And this is what we see. When we look at the demographics of career criminals, young, unmarried mothers, the persistently unemployed, and other socially deleterious groups, the absence of a strong father figure stands out.

The Great Society and the follow-on programs have done a splendid job of destroying American society. I’ll assume that LBJ and the rest were well-intentioned fools, but I have to wonder. It’s hard to imagine a deliberate attack which could have done the job any better.

That’s the rant and the analysis, each of which have gone well afield of the starting point. Here’s the prescription.

Western society needs to get its act together and straighten out the imbalance, if they want to reverse the birth crash. Society needs men to be an active part of the family, as single-mother households are proving to be a disaster so far as raising a successful, productive next generation goes. Society needs men to work more than the minimum to support themselves, in order to have the economic excess needed to support women as they age and don’t want to work.

In order to get men to burden themselves for that, society needs to make it worthwhile for the men. What form that could take, I have no idea. We aren’t going to be returning to the 1930s family and legal structure. Without some form of authority within the family and respect for being a family man, I don’t see a way to get enough men to accept the burden and the risk for the meager benefits currently on offer.

That’s for the movers and shakers and string pullers to deal with. On an individual basis, make it clear when you start dating that you’re not going to tiptoe around things that she doesn’t want to hear. You can be gentle with unwanted truths but never censor yourself because you don’t want her to break down crying or break into a rage. Don’t let her tell you how you have to change in order to make her happy. Don’t tolerate her throwing away your possessions or demanding you get rid of them because she doesn’t like them.

If she starts crying or starts screaming or starts giving you the silent treatment, I suggest walking away. At most, give her a single warning that you won’t put up with it. If she tries to hit you or throw something at you or starts smashing your possessions, walk away immediately. Calling the police or punching her in the face are optional.

You can do better than a bully or a baby. Your life will be better without a bully or a baby.


13 thoughts on “Of Toddlers and Termagants

  1. There’s no shame nor diminution in any man being with a woman smarter than himself.
    The trouble comes when you’re with a woman who thinks she’s smarter than you.
    And the intractable problem, for at least two generations now, is that all of them do.

    The box wine and cats retirement plan that has resulted isn’t working out for them as nicely as feminism lied them into believing.

    When they’ve pulled civilization down to the point where their gender is seen and treated as nothing more nor less than chattel goods again, as in most of recorded and all of pre-recorded human history, they’ll realize how good they could have had it, had they been anywhere near as bright as they thought they were.

    1. In Kansas – a “red” state – after 15 years of marriage or cohabitation, everything you have or think you own is hers. And it starts going up from the day of the marriage. In other states, it’s worse – in California, it’s outright robbery – and it’s likely, unless she has a *lot* more money than you do, that you’ll have to pay for her lawyer(s). I had a friend lose millions this way, to a woman from the night of the marriage preferred her lesbian lover – he didn’t find out about that until he caught them in the shower on his wedding night, after the knot had been tied, and he was on the hook. Too late. He was screwed and he knew it.

      Another guy here in Kansas found out she’d filed when he was locked out of the house, the bank accounts had been drained, and he was left with the clothes on his back, and the car. The house had been stripped clean, and was up on the market. After years of legal battles, he got his half…

      1. On the other hand, about 38 years ago, I got into a conversation with one of the post-docs in the research group, and bet him that Mexican food was the hottest on the planet. He laughed and invited me to dinner… It was the first time I’d seen his wife without her niqab – a garment which covered her head to foot, made of the finest silk with gold threads, with a slit for her eyes, behind lace. She would walk precisely three steps behind him, and if anyone asked her a direct question, she would ask his permission to answer – and it was not automatically granted. Anyhow, I showed up at their house, and in the pre-dinner talk, he filled me in on the details of Islamic dating and marriage… There was no dating, she had been bought for him by his father, when she was six weeks old. She’d had a third grade education, enough for her to learn how to cook, clean the house, raise his children, and otherwise satisfy his every want and desire. He met her the night of their marriage, when her ownership was formally transferred to him. In their culture, there is no such thing as dating. Mind you, she was beautiful – and she was an amazing cook – she could have opened a restaurant and made serious bank. During our meal, with him and his son and me at the table, she and his daughter stayed in the kitchen behind a curtain, remaining silent, only emerging after I’d taken a tiny forkful of an innocent spinach dish which was some sort of Pakistani rocket fuel, bringing out a glass of lassi, which put the fire out… I conceded the bet. Under Islamic law, women are to be absolutely in submission to first their father, then their husband, on pain of death. He had the right to give her a severe beating – three light taps of a pencil eraser on her forehead, at which point she’d be in hysterics, crying and begging his forgiveness. The three taps were symbolic – of “I divorce thee” said three times in the presence of two male witnesses, at which point she would be sent back to her father’s house, with a male guardian and a sari for modesty. Division of property is simple, the children were his, and everything she possessed, and everything he possessed – she owned nothing. And Allah’s Law always trumps man’s law…

        Of course, if you like pet dogs, drinking beer, and having pork sausage and bacon in the morning, you might not like Islamic law – but our approach to women’s rights provoked gales of laughter.

        1. This is known as slavery among people that advocate freedom and liberty. It is not a universal muslim practice. Many muslim countries are much more lenient than in the past. Even in the harshest countries, there are cells of enlightenment, usually among the well off.
          I’ll take the western culture, warts and all, over any other. I don’t need a slave.

      2. Too late. He was screwed and he knew it.

        Something I’ve been saying for a couple years now is that women in the West have made interacting with them so fraught, risky, and expensive that killing them is the best reaction as soon as they show any kind of temper or make any kind of threat to go to the police or to HR.

        Women may at some point come to regret this.

        1. If you are stupid enough to marry a women and let her “friend” come along on the honeymoon, you deserve whatever happens. Stupid has it’s own justice.

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