Monday, July 23, 2007

Brazen Careerist and the Myth of Gender Equality...

Penelope Trunk, writer of the Brazen Careerist blog, is having trouble in her marriage. How do I know this? Because she has blogged about it.

But that's not the most interesting part. The intersting part is the comments. They seem to consist of:

  • People telling her it might not be in the best interests of the marriage she calims she wants to save to do things like blog the contents of her mediation sessions.

    Trunk responded that this is perfectly OK because her husband had no problem with her writing about their sex life for her Master's thesis 15 years ago, without saying that he has specifically approved these revelations.

  • Accusations that she is only writing about this to drive up her hit counts.

  • A lot of "Wow, thank you so much for your bravery and honesty in opening yourself up like that..."

It's this last one that I find a bit hard to swallow.

Imagine a man running a blog called something like "Brazen Careerist," whose SAHM wife wants to divorce him. He blogs about it, including:

  • Divulging details about mediation sessions without making it clear that he had his wife’s permission to do so.
  • Having no idea that his wife wanted a divorce.
  • Not knowing the reasons why his wife wanted said divorce.
  • Dropping another mention of how great his career is going, and that he mentioned this to the mediator.
  • Refer to how her career “sort of stalled.”
  • Mention how much better she is at details than he is, and that she’s good at making lunch boxes, whereas the kid rejects his.

    OK — I’ll tell you how this one would play out — the husband would be accused of passive aggressively screwing up the lunches on purpose so that it would be his wife’s responsibility, like everyhing else…

  • Refers to himself as the “career expert in the household” and how he thinks this makes him “ten steps ahead” of his wife.
  • Mentions that he “delegated” finding a therapist to her because he is too busy blogging

I can think of a few words women would use to describe such a man, and "brave" and "honest" aren't among them.

The interesting thing is that it looks like Ms. Strunk is having to learn the same lessons an entire generation of men have had to learn -- if your spouse is devoting their life to household work, they need you to honor and respect the work that they are doing.