Gender Rolls

So, I have some pretty silly friends from high school. Well, “friends”. Some of these people I knew well enough that I called them family, others were not so close. But recently, one thing has been pulling them all together: hatred of my marriage. If I had a videoblog, this is where I would play my intro clip to give you a suspenseful few seconds. It would seem that some of these people who used to be my friends are now happy to throw irrational vulgar language my way only because they’re emotionally upset because they don’t like that I got married. Let’s recap: people who swear they are my friends. Are telling me that my marriage was a bad decision. Because they don’t like it.

Each of these friends can not support their argument rationally, so instead they give me a history lesson of my life. They remind me of a relationship that failed horribly. And they blame me for it, saying that surely all other relationships I have will perish similarly. Wouldn’t you think I should listen to such friends that know my own history better than I? Surely these are some kind of gods, with such knowledge, not only of the depth of my past, but also of the expanse of my future!

-.- puh-lease.

Recently, I reached out to one of these friends because a rumor caught my ear that an action of mine may have upset him. Hearing this, I addressed him immediately, explaining the cause behind my action and apologizing for any pain it had caused him, as it was not intentional. He responded with a childish message, irrationally barraging me with insults, his shallow opinions, and a vast lack of knowledge or wisdom. The first time I read through this message, I was a bit concerned. The second time I read through it, I laughed my ass off. Really. This person, who swore they were at some point in my life one of my closest friends was attempting to rebuke me for being irrational. This I found hilarious. Not only was this person never a close friend of mine, they also completely understood the intention of my message, thinking that I was writing because of some sort of guilt or because of something I owed them. How amusing.

So I wrote a scathing response, but delayed in sending it. You see, the reason I even bothered responding to such a silly message was because this person dared to label my marriage as “absolutely idiotic, pointless, stupid and just down right wrong.” These are exact words used. I will not be posting any further communication between myself and this person because their use of language was not only unwarranted, but also quite inappropriate. This coming from me, a person who has little problem with vulgar language when it is used correctly according to its definition.

Now, as this was an attack on my marriage, I consulted my husband on my response, and he asked to respond for me, which I allowed. He replied asking for a rational backing to the claim above and was met again with furious insult. We had a good laugh over all this. This person also complained that Joel was addressing the message and that I was not. He seemed to think I was too emotional to respond, so I had shirked a response and sent it over to my husband. Also laughable. He complained a lot that my husband had responded and not I. This brings me to the point of the day: Gender Rolls.

Who does what in a marriage? It takes a lot of time to figure these things out, and Joel and I are by no means anywhere near mastering this complex question. But this encounter brought the two of us into a good discussion, and likewise a beneficial learning experience. This comes in two points: 1. Why did Joel have ground to address this particular situation? and more importantly 2. Why does the husband have the right to respond for the wife? These questions address the principal matter, and also the practical one. We’ll begin with the practicalities and perhaps when we reach the principal you’ll already have your feet about you and will better identify the core reasons.

1. Why did Joel have ground to address this particular situation?
I know what you’re probably thinking, this is just a petty fight between old friends, why bother bringing the husband into it? The reason Joel was justified in addressing this situation is because the “problems” that this person was suggesting would surround Joel and I’s marriage. If this person had addressed a problem about me, specifically, it would be my place to defend myself, and it would be a bit peculiar if I went running to Joel to fight such a simple battle for me. But in light of the context of the discussion, that it was specifically centered around this person’s irrational disapproval of our marriage, it was exactly Joel’s place to respond as he did. Had the discussion been between two old friends over small change surrounding me or this other person, the ball would remain in my court, though I would still consult my husband for wisdom, as is common practice within a marriage.

2. Why does the husband have the right to respond for the wife?
Again, within the context of a marriage this is the most befitting response. In a marriage it is fitting for the husband to respond to threats of all forms because he is the protector. Should an attacker enter a married couple’s home, I can assure you there are few households where the wife pushes her husband behind herself and states softly, “It’s okay, baby. I got this.” Similarly, why would the husband watch on as his wife is attacked by a different means? Women are wired rather emotionally, and I, being a woman, can attest to this. So when I respond to an attack, there is often anger coming from me, and I tend to take things personally. My husband is not wired this way, he’s far more logical, so he can easily point out the holes in rationality and ask for explanations, without becoming angry, nor emotionally compromised. Just in this basic difference it’s clear that having the husband take point is far more logical.

Now, as is fitting with recent feminist movements, I know there’s some daft woman in the back of the crowd screaming, “so what does the wife do?!” Well, call me old hat, but wives tend to excel in comforting, listening, and loving. Many women complain that this is small change compared to what their husbands are allowed access to in marriage, but I would suggest that they’re missing a lot if that’s what’s being suggested. I take great pride in my household, meek as it is, and also in my husband’s air since our wedding. The small things I do bless his life, and the big things he does bless mine. I do not understand people who complain when they are so very surrounded with blessing.

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4 thoughts on “Gender Rolls

  1. When I read the title, I laughed almost instantly because I was sure you’d bring up the fact that gender roles have been reversed for some “petty women.”

  2. i am stunned that people would react so intensely to you getting married! perhaps it’s a generation gap? how sad for them. and how wise of you and Joel … the process of becoming ‘one’ … the balance of the marriage … the ebb and flow … the knowing of who you each are individually and together and how all that works together. … and how much is revealed about *them* in their ignorance reflected in their response.

    • Yeah, this is actually only one of many interactions, but this person’s bold words gave fodder to a discussion all others have skirted up to this point. It proves an important lesson though. That learning of the process of becoming one. It’s such an intricate process, and not without it’s challenges, but all in all rewarding and very much a blessing.

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