GENDER - SOCIAL ISSUES

The sport of male bashing

Certain things in a culture are so widely practiced that they’re accepted without any thought that they might be damaging. Apparently, this one has its home in the modern culture of women’s independence. According to Washington Times columnist Julie Bumgardner, male bashing has become somewhat of a sport among wives. It doesn’t happen in isolation, but mostly when women get together to chat about their lives and problems, she says. When they start hearing other wives with similar complaints about their husbands, the general assumption is that men are the problem.

Bumgardner quotes therapist Michelle Weiner-Davis, who experienced the phenomenon herself during a speaking engagement, hearing such complaints as “I feel like I have another child” or “My husband never does anything to help.” It wasn’t until Weiner-Davis asked a probing question that the women begin to realize the damage they were doing:”If your husband were here and you weren’t, would he say you were more complimentary or critical of him?” She writes that the tendency of women to be perfectionistic leads them to see the thing that is wrong rather than the myriad of things that are right. Unfortunately, all a husband may hear is the negative.

Bumgardner focuses on the damage this gripe session mentality does to marriage, creating a feeding frenzy of negativity that infects a relationship and leads only to a poorer image of it.

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