Men Aren’t Defective Women. They’re Men.

Read carefully, and you’ll note that almost every article on the struggles couples face blame men. It’s as if women are flawless, while the men in their lives are Neanderthals who need to get with the program.

The saddest part of this bogus narrative, aside from the obvious damage it creates, is that it’s so far from the truth it’s ridiculous. Men have changed. Fathers today spend triple the amount of time on childcare than they did in 1965 and roughly six hours more per week on household chores.

The reason for the relentless husband bashing is that women today don’t understand men. They’ve been taught to believe the sexes are the same and, as a result, believe that when men don’t act the way women do, men are somehow misbehaving.

Take this recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Fairness in Housework Doesn’t Mean 50/50.” At first glance, it appears more even-handed than many other articles on the topic of how housework and childcare is divvied up between husbands and wives. But you can tell where the blame is headed at the opening of the essay, when the author, Eve Rodsky, recounts a story from a recent Saturday outing she took with her friends, all of whom are married with kids.

Apparently, these women (the author included) all received a text or a phone call from their husbands (although actually, some of the calls were from mothers-in-law or actual babysitters, thus negating Rodsky’s argument about fathers) who were calling to get their wives’ input on whatever it was they were trying to manage at home.

” Why doesn’t ‘equal’ ever seem to work when it comes to sharing family duties in our household?” asks Rodsky.

“Women would feel less overwhelmed by doing the majority of domestic duties if men fully ‘owned’ those tasks they do take on.

Or here’s another article, this time about research that shows the more wives earn, the rockier their marriages tend to be. Rather than study the complex reasons for this, the author makes numerous references to men’s “egos” and the idea that society’s backwards attitudes are to blame.

“When wives earn more than their husbands, some men just can’t handle it.”

“Even in 2019, old-fashioned views on marriage prevail.”

“Oh, how fragile is the ego of a man. We must never let him feel like a bonsai in a grove of California redwoods—no, he must always see himself as a towering tree, magnificent in comparison with his female partner.”

This bitter condescension toward men is not only wrong but counterproductive. How can any relationship flourish when men are viewed in this way?

Here’s what these articles should have addressed but didn’t:

  1. Men and women do not parent the same way because they’re not interchangeable beings. If your husband needs help managing the home front, it’s not because he’s not “owning” the task. Most men are not as invested as most women in the details of what goes on at home. Women take ownership of their homes in a unique way, even if they work outside of it. It is “their” domain, so managing what goes on inside it is important to them. Men don’t view the home in the same way. Moreover, men’s brains are more linear, or single-focused, so they’re not going to multitask as well as women. And it’s unfair to expect them to.
  2. Men do a crap ton of housework (or kid related tasks) that rarely, if ever, gets mentioned. Why is it that outdoor household tasks are conveniently left out of the equation when there’s a conversation about who’s doing what on the home front? It is mostly husbands who take care of the yard work, the gutters, the basement cleaning and leaks, car maintenance, the driveway, the roof, and the running the kids around to their sporting events. And none of that even touches upon the Honey Do lists wives give their husbands: fixing all house repairs, hanging TVs, changing the filter, picking up the dead mice or other vermin, putting up Halloween and Christmas decorations, fireplace cleaning, assembling new furniture, and painting the house.
  3. Men don’t complain the way women do. Ever notice that husbands rarely complain about the things their wives do and don’t do? That’s hardly because women don’t do anything “wrong.” It’s because men don’t tend to point out their wives’ flaws or condescend to them by telling them how to do better. Wouldn’t it be nice for a change if women did the same in return?
  4. The soul of a man is a hero. There’s a reason relationships suffer when women are the breadwinners. A man’s identity is inextricably linked to his ability to provide and protect, whether it’s 1919 or 2019. When a wife out-earns her husband, it’s not the man’s ego—which suggests self-importance—that gets damaged but his pride and his sense of purpose. Pride comes from a sense of accomplishment that’s concerned with others rather than with the self, and providing is a man’s best means to do that. If women have the babies, raise the babies, and provide for the babies, what’s left for him to do?

Bottom line: Men are not defective women. But that’s exactly what the culture teaches—via films, television (even commercials!) and articles. Sadly, this belief system has seeped into women’s souls, causing them to have a knee-jerk reaction that men are weak or lazy when they don’t do things the way women do them or when they don’t react the way women react.

Women who harbor this mindset will never be successful in love. Only those who don’t view men as equal but flawed versions of themselves, who don’t blame men whenever something goes wrong, who have compassion rather than resentment toward men, and who are able to bring out the best in men will ultimately win at love.

The rest will get frustrated and write articles about it.

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne is an author, columnist and relationship coach committed to helping women let go of cultural beliefs that undermine their happiness in life and in love.

Reader Interactions

%d bloggers like this: