54 thoughts on “Today’s Quote From Elsewhere Which Resonated With Me, Seeing as I Was Once a Young Man, and Now Have a Daughter

  1. I firmly agree–and this from a childless male raised at the tail end of the “woman’s place is in the home” era.

    Thanks for reposting that, John.

  2. I suspect you’re going to get a lot of crabby comments about “oh yeah so what about raising men to endure women huh” from folks who didn’t click on the links and aren’t aware of the context.

    The 30-second version is: HuffPo article [yes, I know; we could have stopped right there] by a three-time divorcee, whose credentials on marriage are being a TV writer, scolding women that if they aren’t married yet it’s because a) they suck and b) they need to buckle down and endure men, who as we all know are oafs we ought to put up with.

  3. Once I saw where the original article came from, I pretty much dismissed it altogether. As a rule, I haven’t found reading Huffington Post to be the greatest use of my limited time.
    But I do love MetaFilter, so I’ll probably read the MeFi discussion after work.

  4. BTW, I would not be so dismissive of The Huffington Post if it didn’t give so much credence to pseudo-scientific hogwash. The fact that they do taints the rest of the website, imho.

  5. @mythago – exactly! – so often when women talk about equality, they mean men being more like them and enduring them.
    they rarely ever mean that women should change to be more like men or some middle ground.

    -no, I do NOT want to go shoe shopping. ever. get a girlfriend already.
    -yes, those pants make you look fat. and stupid.

  6. All humans require some amount of forbearance. We put up with each other (in committed relationships) because there are still many worthwhile things we get from each other. And this would apply whether both partners were male, female, heterogeneous, or otherwise mixed. Sure, I can be an ass sometimes, but then, so can she.

  7. “The world does not need more young men who were raised to believe it is a woman’s job to endure them.”
    Have yet to hear this one. Gonna let it rattle around in the ole noodle for a bit.

    Went back and read the original article. Like most things on huffpost, it seems like a mixed bag. Contraversial page-grabby headers followed by immediate backing off of the implied point, and the statement of something lame, or obvious.

  8. heh. i’ve been staying out of that thread over at MeFi — I have a teenage daughter; and a teenage son. I’m trying to raise SonR so that he’s not one of those men who need to be endured. Unfortunately for MrR, he is often used as an object lesson in how *not* to do things.

  9. I didn’t click on the links; thanks for the synopsis on the context. But with two daughters and a son, it resonates with me anyway. My girls will be raised to know this, and my son will be raised to value this.

  10. John H @9: An excellent point, but not really what the article (or subsequent commentary) was about. There’s a world of difference between counseling people to be kind to one another, tolerant of mistakes, and to treat a spouse as they wish to be treated, and posts like the original one that insult men AND women.

    But you can’t go wrong fishing for page hits with War of the Sexes bullshit, it seems.

  11. This is parody, right? Mad Men has done a better job addressing sexism than any other show I can think of, and the writers are clearly very smart; no writer from that show could offer that advice, much less hold up two divorces as proof she knew how to get married.

  12. I don’t get the hate for the original article. Is it that it started from an assumption that you wanted to be married?

  13. Reading the original article left me utterly incomprehending of the mindset that produced it. If that article resonated with anyone else, then this is conclusive proof that I must be an alien.

  14. That’s good advice for anyone thinking about getting married.

    As for the original article, I didn’t actually see her say that that was what she was telling her son. I think at one point she said something about how marriage is loving someone even when they didn’t do what you want, and I thought she said something like “men usually get this”. So, it seemed she was saying the advice was a two-way street. If anything, she seemed to be saying women don’t “get it” more often than men, which would be plugging into a sexist stereotype, but I didn’t catch her saying “women, change everyting about yourself and learn to endure men. Men, do what you want and just find a woman to endure you”.

    I was taking her point to be “everyone has to learn to love their spouse even when they didn’t do X (for some values of X) if they want to be happily married”. She was saying it to women, so maybe it sounded like she was saying it only to women and that men didn’t have to change. But I read it as saying everyone has to change, evolve, grow up, whatever you call it, before they’re ready for marriage. And I’d agree with that.

    But I admit I only skimmed the article.

    Did she actually come out and say “Women need to learn to put up with men. Men don’t need to do anything” or something to that effect. I may have skimmed right through it. I also read it a couple days ago when Scalzi posted a link to it on the sidebar, so memory refresh have have dropped a few bits by now. It was pretty blah writing, so I’d rather not read it again, but I reckon I just might have to.

    yeah, if she’s saying it’s a one-way street, she’s a fool. I just didn’t read it that way.

    I do know some people (men and women) who are clearly *not* ready to get married. Some of them *want* to get married and I think their odds of making it till death do us part is slim as long as they maintain some of their personality… quirks. Not sure if that’s something that anyone would be interested in hearing, though. Christ, sometimes you give someone the best feedback about a *short story* that you can manage, and they get pissed because they just wanted you to tell them how great they are. How many orders of magnitude of fucked-uppery is there between “short story” and “am I ready to get married”?

    Mostly, I read the article and kept thinking of the “No I won’t read your fucking screenplay” article. It just read like something that was written to push buttons and get page hits. But maybe there was more sinister issues to it than I saw.

  15. @JennR – r you also teaching your daughter the same thing? that men should not have to endure her?
    My guess is that of course you are, but we still seperate the genders. why?

    why didnt you say that I have two teenagers and that I am teaching both them the same lesson?

  16. The key point in the article that the only thing that really mattered in choosing a marriage partner was “character.”

    As for the opening point from our esteemed host: Amen.

    I may not be a father but I am an uncle with nieces.

  17. I read the article, but not all the comments and … well, my reaction is “MEH”.

    I certainly agree with the comment. I’m not sure who that relates to more than one little bit of the original article. Most of the article seems to be “Duh” material. Some women (and men) ARE single because they are angry. Some ARE single because they can’t seem to settle down. For the most part, if what you’re doing at the age of 36 isn’t working for you, it’s not GOING to work… (this is what therapy is for)

    These things seem kind of obvious to me.

    Now, the assumption that EVERYONE fits into one of these categories is of course always problematic, and I’m not exactly sure how this is supposed to actually help anyone, but over all… “meh”

    oh, and PeteC, the issue isn’t that girls should be taught that men shouldn’t have to endure them. The point is that THEY NEVER HAVE BEEN. Whereas, boys have ALWAYS Been taught that women’s purpose is to endure men. So, if we stop teaching this to boys, then we will have stopped teaching it to everyone. Problem solved.

  18. When I was a freshman in college my school had the fine idea of having a weekly “First Year Orientation” class. Every week, for the first semester, every first year student would gather in the theater for an hour to hear presentations topics such as “Respecting Diversity” and “The Dangers of Drunk Driving”. These were as stock as you might imagine. Sometimes the presenters were really snappy though. The coroner giving the drunk driving spiel really seemed to enjoy his work, and the many photographs he shared proved that.

    One of the last classes was about sexual conduct. It ranged from sexual harassment to the University’s many safeguards regarding sexual assault. The school, to their credit, offered great counseling services and worked with the local cops really closely in taking every situation very seriously.

    The female presenter, a cop who to my 17 year-old brain looked like a red-headed Wonder Woman, gave one of the frankest talks about sexual assault I had ever heard. She had been raped in high school and never reported it. She looked around the room and with steel in her eyes told these young women they had nothing to be ashamed of and that she wished someone had told her that.

    At the end of this, very powerful, presentation there was a Q&A. And out came the Bros. A cadre of about 10-15 of my fellow male students who had been alternately snickering and whispering through every damn presentation. They asked extensive, and graphic, questions about male sexual assault. “Isn’t prison rape just as bad? I mean, what if a woman has a knife” collapsing into giggles “at your junk”.

    The cop, to her credit, answered the questions professionally. She’d clearly dealt with chumps like this before and I wager she was simply memorizing their faces for when they ran into each other on a dark stretch of road over a speeding ticket.

    Leaving the theater, a girl I’d sat near a few times was pacing like crazy and smoking just outside the front doors. I said hey and she looked up, tears in her eyes. “Y’know what the worst part of guys like that is?” she asked “Someone, somewhere along the way, probably, their mother sadly, told them that kind of crap was cute. And some other girl is gonna think it makes them charming.”

    We became great friends right then and there. I later learned she’d been through some horrific experiences of her own, and that the presentation had been the first time she’d started to deal with it as an adult woman.

    I’m getting to the age where kids are becoming likely. I hope my sons know that being a man is not about being the clever little SOB in every circumstance, just as my daughters know that such boys are best avoided.

  19. “oh, and PeteC, the issue isn’t that girls should be taught that men shouldn’t have to endure them. The point is that THEY NEVER HAVE BEEN. Whereas, boys have ALWAYS Been taught that women’s purpose is to endure men. So, if we stop teaching this to boys, then we will have stopped teaching it to everyone. Problem solved.”

    I have no idea what you are talking about.
    what I have seen is how girls and women have been talk to expect a knight in shining armor. one perfect day. the expensive insane wedding. that they are different than boys, that it is ok for boys to fuck everything that moves, but if a girl does that she is a whore. these girls and women watch their mothers and learn from them. they learn that what daddy does is ok and mom should just shrug her shoulders and accept it.

    so yes, I think that we are actively setting up our females to fail. and that they are actively and passively being taught to endure whatever comes their way. look at the old advice for rape victims, relax and take it.

    so no, we cant just fix half of the problem and solve the problem. we have to actively teach our women to tell the little shits to fuck off and have nothing to do with them.

  20. PeteC: I may have misunderstood you. We are all agreeing that boys shouldn’t be taught that women have to endure them. Are you also saying that girls shouldn’t be taught that they have to endure men? That I agree with.

    If, OTOH, you’re arguing that girls shouldn’t be taught that men should have to endure them, then I’m confused, because girls have never been taught that. Likewise, boys have never been taught they they have to endure women.

  21. @24: “we have to actively teach our women to tell the little shits to fuck off and have nothing to do with them.”

    Amen.

  22. I really don’t believe that people can state, with absolute certainty, what young girls or young boys are being taught at all. You lot have no clue what I was taught as a young girl, nor what my brothers were taught. Nor what any people you’ve never met have been taught. To state, in all caps, GIRLS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT X while BOYS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT Y is misleading at best. Far too sweeping a generalization to be made with any kind of certainty.

  23. petec, your privilege is showing.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because teenage boys don’t have a one in six chance of being raped in their lifetime.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because teenage boys aren’t in danger of growing up to make less money for the same work as their female colleagues.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because slang terms for their sex are not used as a euphemism for weakness, cowardice, or irrationality.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because people think it’s appropriate to come into a conversation about sexism and make generalizations about how women drag men shoe shopping, as if that is in any way equivalent to being regularly, repeatedly deprived of a level playing field and basic respect.

    If it were as easy as women “telling the little ****s to **** off,” don’t you think we’d have done it centuries ago?

    Men are the ones who have the luxury of ignoring the problem, so they’re the ones that need to be taught that it exists so that they can help fight it. Women on the other hand don’t tend to need to be taught that sexism is a problem, because it’s a problem we face every day of our lives.

    And no, these pants don’t make me look fat or stupid, but boy, gender bias sure makes me look like a vain, insecure compliment-fisher. Way to set an example for young people that sexism is unacceptable! I’m so glad you’re around to do that, because of course I’m too busy shoe shopping to bother.

  24. I think people of all genders, sexual persuasions and levels of social interaction should be forewarned that successfully avoiding life as a misanthrope hinges on an understanding that as you endure everyone else, everyone else also endures you.

    Behaviors may be modified accordingly.

  25. @peteC @20 – Not separating on gender, but on age. She’s barely a teenager at 19 and there’s not a lot more I can do to raise her. She’s not a princess, but she’s not a doormat, either. There is a healthy middle path, and that’s what I tried to teach her. Her brother, on the other hand, is almost 14, and there’s a lot more I can do with him.

  26. Ok, so the original article seems to be the product of a tiny, petty, Dr. Laura-esque mind. But the comment in question still begs the response:

    As someone with pretty severe confidence problems, the world probably doesn’t need that many who believe that a woman could not possibly endure them, either. In general it’d be nice if people were just mentally healthy, men and women both. Confidence and a genuine desire to be good to people are the key assets for any relationship and any life.

  27. Greg @18: Are you really asking other people to read the article and summarize it because you can’t personally be bothered to do more than skim?

    Jason @19: Then I’m not sure why you’re missing the reasons people hated the original article. It boiled down to “Women, you secretly want to get married, and if you’re not married it’s because you’re a cunt, and when you do get married you’ll have to put up with your husband being an assclown because that’s how all men are, deal with it.” Really, what’s to like about it?

  28. I’ve been reading the comments, mostly good. I like the way that quote from the Countess is still resonating. We’re privledged to have a daughter (in my instance a step-daughter) and now a granddaughter. And they will be taught this.

    And if *anyone* comes after them like those ******* animals came after Lara Logan and other Egyptan women (only as a graphic example), heads are going to be cracked.

  29. At risk of copping flak, I could see the point of the original article.
    To boil the original article down to the core message, which was to women who are worried about not getting married:
    Your current values and behaviors are self-defeating if your goal is marriage. Stop sleeping around, chase a different kind of guy to the guys you’re currently into, and learn to accept men for who and what they are.

    That’s not terrible advice.

  30. DA Munroe @35: I’m not understanding the repeated attempts here to re-write the original article so that it says something different than what it actually says. Certainly, if you squint real hard and handwave off 90% of what’s there, you can find a nugget of decent advice that might be better expressed in a less stupid article; but why would you want to?

  31. mythago@33: Sumarize? Good grief no. Summaries allow people to inject their bias. I was fairly clear that I was looking for an actual verbatim quote.

    Did she actually come out and say “Women need to learn to put up with men. Men don’t need to do anything” or something to that effect.

    If there were an actual quote in that article that just came out and said “Women must change to get married. Men should insist to stay the same”, then quoting it would be all that’s needed.

    But to avoid another implied accusation of laziness, here are all the bits and pieces of the article that mention men:

    “I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband.” Nothing in the rest of this paragraph says anything about men expecting to live like a 13 year old boy when they grow up and get married. single cell is not a bajillion cell human. I personally think its a good idea to be able to handle a 13 yo version of whoever you’re going to marry, cause at some point, you’re going to get a visit from them. People end up acting immature in their marriages. It’s a handy skill to be able to relate to them other than wanting to spank them or whatever someone might do to a 13 yo (or 5 yo or 9yo or whatever).

    You know if you tell him the truth — that you’re ready for marriage — he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! Nothing here says anything to the effect of “women should change. men should demand to stay a 13 yo boy”.

    “Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period.” Yeah. Good advice for everyone. But this is specifically directed at women in this article, so I don’t get it as saying “women must change”. In fact its the opposite in some ways.

    just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry. This might be taken to mean that women do all the work around the house and the man acts like a 13 year old. I don’t think that’s what its tryignto say. I definitely have run into a lot of people, women but also men, who think getting married will “fix” something about them. That once they’re married, they’ll be happy. And the advice seems to be you’ve got to figure out how to make yourself happy single, and then you’ll have a lot better luck geting married. Maybe not the only path to marriage, but it sort of ties back into the “You are enough right this minute. Period.”

    If I could summarize these last two points together it woudl be: Don’t use marriage to fix yourself, cause you’ll just be the same broken you, but married, and putting up with all the shit that comes with being married. (and there’s a lot of shit from being married, on both sides, its just that “twice the laundry” is one little example a woman might recognize immediately and without all the exposition I’m doing here.).

    Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something — it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession — a free-agent penis This doesn’t say “women must change. men should demand they don’t” its saying men realize marriage reqiures they change. It’s example of what all men must change is questionable, but this quote right here seems to clearly stand in opposition to people who “summarize” this article as saying men shouldn’t change. It says right their men get they have to chagne to get married.

    marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. Some folks have quibbled about the exact phrasing of this sentence. Maybe you should only love someone up to a point of not deserving it. or whatever. But I’m pretty sure anyone who has been happily married for a decade or more will tell you that sometimes you just gotta let shit go and let love win. But I don’t see anywhere in this line saying that men shouldn’t change. We’ll be eating mac and cheese and reverting to our 13 yo selves through the marriage, but, you know what? So will you. So will any real life human being in a marriage.

    ANd those are all the quotes that refer to men that I could find.

    So, no, I don’t want a summary. When people express outrage at the article because how dare the article say women must change to get married, men should insist they stay the same, that’s a summary. I read the article and didn’t recall anything in there like that. I have now gone through it a third time and the actual quotes above are the ones that actually mention men. And I don’t see any of them saying men should expect to stay the same when they get married.

    It also says women need to get they are good enough just the way they are, which contradicts people’s “summary” about what it says about women. And the quote saying “for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession — a free-agent penis” while apparently going for some sex humor at the very least makes it pretty clear that men will have to change to get married.

    Nothing that the article actually states says “men should insist on staying the same”, and at least the line above seems to point to the idea that men must expect to change. It might be that I missed something in the article after the third reading, and if you can quote something before summarizing it, I’m all ears/eyes.

    Now, with all that said, it seems clear to me that this article is way over the top. It makes blanket statements that all unmarried women who want to get married but aren’t are like “this” and all unmarried women who want to get married believe “that”, and I absolutely agree that absolute statements should be avoided whenever possible. She’s flat out wrong in those assertions. For every trait she was talking about in the article, I can think of some woman or man that has demonstrated the mistake she is talking about. Clearly annecdotal evidence does not allow for blanket statements. Clearly those absolute statements are wrong. Not everyone unmarried is like that. But I think her advice would apply to some people. Whetehr it would be enough people to warrant the article, I don’t know.

    Like I said, as I read the article I kept thinking of “I will not read your fucking manuscript” article, which was a self-help article to anyone at all who was at any stage in teh process of writing a screenplay and had not yet been commercially sold. that article said a lot of smack about budding screenwriters. A lot of blanket statements about all budding screenwriters. The statements were factually wrong by asserting they applied globally to everyone. But I think there could be some value in them for the right person reading the article. Specifically, the guy about to ask someone famous that he didn’t know to read his script (for free) adn then toss a fit when they didn’t get a movie offer right there.

    You know what? Some people do that. They really ought to learn not to do that.

    If you don’t do any of the things that she is talking about, then yeah, you could reasonably get upset at her making blanket statements about you not being married and why, that aren’t true and she doesn’t know anything about you. I’m OK with that. Maybe she could have written the piece with qualifications everywhere. “Some” women do this. “Some” women do that. But some people have pointed out that the people that “I will not read your fucking screenplay” is aimed at, need something as blunt as that article put it for them to get it. At which point, as a hopeful screenwriter who would never ask a stranger to read your script and then get pissed for the lack of a movie offer,, you just have to get that you’re not the target and let the bullets fly past you.

  32. Annalee @ #31

    Perhaps, my Asperger brain’s not processing the social data correctly, but I think you need to check your assumptions [or assertions]. At the door.
    _____________________________________

    etec, your privilege is showing.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because teenage boys don’t have a one in six chance of being raped in their lifetime.

    I learned as an adult that 1 in 5 boys will be sexually molested.

    http://www.thinkandask.com/news/boys.html

    I was 11 when it happened to me.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because teenage boys aren’t in danger of growing up to make less money for the same work as their female colleagues.

    While I was in my 20s in the 80s I learned that among college-educated people at under 40-years-old cohort matched by job, education-level, and years experience in the job, women made $1.01 for every dollar a man made. I think the ratio is now about $1.15:$1.00 in favor of college-educated women with cohort matching. Note — I am not arguing the aggregate disparity value nor that gender discrimination does not exist in job selection, but the matter is not the cut and dried cliché upon which you relied.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because slang terms for their sex are not used as a euphemism for weakness, cowardice, or irrationality.

    Really? I must simply be a stupid dickhead.

    Teenage girls and boys don’t have to be taught the same things about gender relations because people think it’s appropriate to come into a conversation about sexism and make generalizations about how women drag men shoe shopping, as if that is in any way equivalent to being regularly, repeatedly deprived of a level playing field and basic respect.

    Well, I for one am glad that you didn’t interject baseless, inane generalities into this discussion.

    If it were as easy as women “telling the little ****s to **** off,” don’t you think we’d have done it centuries ago?

    Now where did I put my copy of Lysistrata? Nevermind. My late aunt was one of the Charter members of NOW in South Jersey. True female economic may be dated to circa WWII with readily obtainable female contraceptives, power-steering, rolling luggage, and Federal Fair Credit laws. So — to be fair — how’s the progress been over the last 60 years, since all the time previous to those prescientific, pre-industrial periods doesn’t really count?

    Men are the ones who have the luxury of ignoring the problem, so they’re the ones that need to be taught that it exists so that they can help fight it. Women on the other hand don’t tend to need to be taught that sexism is a problem, because it’s a problem we face every day of our lives.

    Hath not a Man eyes? Hath not a Man hands … dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer
    as a Woman is?

    And no, these pants don’t make me look fat or stupid, but boy, gender bias sure makes me look like a vain, insecure compliment-fisher. Way to set an example for young people that sexism is unacceptable! I’m so glad you’re around to do that, because of course I’m too busy shoe shopping to bother.

    Again, how is this really gender-specific? My experience that men are every bit as vain as women, except that it manifest differently.

    In so much as it is fruitful to generalize.

    JJB

  33. mythago: attempts here to re-write the original article so that it says something different than what it actually says

    If you want to talk about what the article actually says, you really ought to provide at least one quote from the article that says what you’re accusing it of saying.

    The quote from the post at the top: “The world does not need more young men who were raised to believe it is a woman’s job to endure them.” is a good quote. Its a good bit of advice. A good rule of thumb. It’s just that having read through the article three times now, I don’t see anything in the article that states something like “men should be raised to believe it is women’s job to endure them”. or even “men should believe that women should endure them”. No where is that sort of statement in the article in question.

    So, yeah, some people are rewriting this article in their heads and some people are ignoreing what the article actually says. But possibly not the people you think it is.

  34. Here are the quotes from the article that seemed (to me at least) to be its core message: This:

    (1) “Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period.”

    and this:

    (2) “You know if you tell him the truth — that you’re ready for marriage — he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun!”

    and this

    (3) “marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. ”

    Those are actual quotes from the article. Now, given those quotes, I would summarize them as follows:

    (1) You don’t have to change who you are to get married. (2) You need to honest with yourself and men you are dating if you really do want to get married. (3) And you may have to change your expectations of what marriage will get you.

    You know what, I am totally fucking down with that summary. And the quotes that they came from? Those work too. This is good advice. certainly, one has to remove the “all women are doing this” sprinkled throughout to get past the hasty generalization bullshit. But if you get that’s just bullshit to get page hits and to get the attention of people who really really need the advice but will avoid it, then all that means is you have to get this may not apply to you.

    Now, I get that a summary is a summary and is not the same as quotations. But at the very least, I provided some quotations and then showed a one-for-one mapping to my summary. So, if anyone wishes to dispute my summary, they have the quotes they came from, and we can debate whether the summary leaped unfairly in logic or not.

    Put another way: I at least tried to show my work.

  35. Greg @39: And the nice thing about providing a quote is that one can simply refute that by saying ‘you took that out of context’ or ‘yes, but what else does the article say’? The entire last paragraph is the probably source of the ‘endure’ comment to which you’re objecting, and yes, that’s pretty much all it says: You marry a guy so that you can practice being a better person, and you put up with his acting like a larger version of the author’s teenage son.

    There have been several people saying that, even though the article is a big stew of asinine you can sanitize out a couple of valid points (like “be nice to your SO”) and therefore the article itself isn’t so bad. Not following this logic.

  36. mythago: And the nice thing about providing a quote is that one can simply refute that by saying ‘you took that out of context’

    You’re a lawyer, right? If you were in court and the opposing lawyer said your client, John, libeled his client, Mary, would you just leave it at that? Would you not ask for something specific to back up the accusation? And if he tried to use the exact same excuse you just did there, you’re telling me you’d go “oh, yeah, you’re right”?

    I think you actually gave me this quote one time: When the facts are on yoru side, pound the facts. When teh law is on your side, pound the law. If you’ve got neither, pound the table.

  37. Greg @42: Indeed, Greg, but it’s nonetheless a tedious process.You started off saying you hadn’t bothered to read the article all the way so could somebody explain it to you, and now you’re complaining that nobody is cutting and pasting.

  38. mythago: even though the article is a big stew of asinine

    Everything in teh article that says “all women who are unsuccessful at getting married do this:” and everything that implies that. and everything that suggests that, is a big stew of assinine, I agree. And there’s a lot of that, and its endemic to the article, so a lot of it would have to get rewritten because it comes at the reader with “you all do this”, which isn’t true, but certainly grabs attention.

    But lets say we strip that part out. Rewrite it so that the word “some” is in front of every occurrence of the word “women” (or something similar) Lets say we fix that issue with the article.

    Is there anything else that is assinine stew? And yes, you would have to quote it.

  39. mythago: You started off saying you hadn’t bothered to read the article all the way so could somebody explain it to you, and now you’re complaining that nobody is cutting and pasting.

    I said I skimmed through it and didn’t recall anything matching the accusations against it. And I asked if anyone could provide a quote. Not summarize it. Not “explain it to me”.

    You have a really amazing skill at subtlely strawmanning people you disagree with. Not that you will ever acknowlege that’s what you’re doing, and not that I really expect you to ever stop. But I did want to let you know that I’ve been noticing.

    And as for “cutting and pasting”, good lord. Is it easier for people to just make shit up and write thousands of words about this article of their own interpretations but me asking for one verbatim quote is, what? Too much work?

    Come on. Neither one of us are buying that.

    The original article is less than 1700 words. Orders of magnitudes more words have been written *about* it than were in it in the first place. A cut and paste is like the simplest request compared to the mountain of original text written about it.

  40. Are you two actually arguing about anything that’s worth arguing about, or are you just poking each other in the eyeballs? And if it’s the latter, why don’t you just stop?

  41. mythago and I both agree to the basic principle that mythago posted at #36: I’m not understanding the repeated attempts here to re-write the original article so that it says something different than what it actually says. Certainly, if you squint real hard and handwave off 90% of what’s there, you can find a nugget of decent advice that might be better expressed in a less stupid article; but why would you want to?

    We both completely agree on that principle. What we disagree on is who is doing the rewriting.

    I tried to show quotes from the article in post 40 and then show how I arrived at my summary. I asked mythago to do something similar, or at the very least, provide one quote of “assinine stew” that men should act like 14 year olds in their marriages.

    I admit we seemed to have gotten bogged down into whether or not cutting and pasting is just too much work or not. I probably should have simply made the request and let mythago answer or not. And for my part in creating that bog, I apologize.

  42. Certainly, if you squint real hard and handwave off 90% of what’s there, you can find a nugget of decent advice that might be better expressed in a less stupid article; but why would you want to?

    Look, it was deeply flawed, but mostly because it seemed addressed to someone specific – or perhaps a couple of specific individuals that the author had in mind. If you read it that way, then it comes off a lot better, and a lot more entertaining, than if you take it as advice to all unmarried women (which is impossible anyway).

    She was wrong about having a child and “your husband will be along shortly.” That’s not a great strategy. But if you’ve known women who seem to ft the target audience – in other words, unmarried women who seem to have stepped off the set of “Sex and the City” – then it’s an entertaining piece.

  43. DA @48: As I said, the article is much more salvageable if you mentally re-write it rather than actually reading what the author clearly wrote. If you do the latter, then the comment Scalzi linked to makes much more sense.

  44. mythago, your own summary of the article is:

    if they aren’t married yet it’s because a) they suck and b) they need to buckle down and endure men, who as we all know are oafs we ought to put up with.

    So taking your summary as a common-ground starting point. There’s some value in advice (b), although this is the bit that seemed to really stick in the craw for many people. But if you haven’t figured out that marriage involves putting up with the foibles and failings of the opposite sex, then you need to figure it out before you get married. Not wrong.
    Advice (a) that “you suck” was a bit harsh, it’s true. Maybe some of the specific “you suck” allegations are true for some women, such as not admitting what they want in a relationship, (Tracy’s version: “Youre a liar”) or focusing on sexy, exciting men rather than dependable, marriageable men (Tracy’s version: “You’re shallow.”). Not applicable to all women, certainly, and the ‘tough love’ packaging was obviously too much for many. And written in a way designed to shock. But surely this applies to some women some of the time. Switching the search term from sexy to dependable isn’t bad advice if your goal is marriage.

  45. it amuses me that no one in either the metafilter thread nor here has pointed out a pretty obvious fact about that article. Look at the date. It’s one day before Valentine’s Day. The article is pretty obviously a deliberately snotty response to the “Oh god, Valentine’s Day… why can’t I find anyone good?” crowd.

  46. I just read the original article to my wife (making it the fifth time or more that I’ve read it now). the first words out of her mouth when I finished was “That’s fricken awesome”. She also burst out laughing several times as I read it, so I think she got the intended humor.

  47. my favorite quote: ” you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself.”

    a lot of gold in that one.

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