I think I am actually speechless. Apparently the reason why men bolt is because

(94 Posts)
UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 24-Nov-12 22:02:43

... They are not respected enough by their wives.

Tim Lott's column from the Guardian today:

"I'm going to stick my trembling head above the parapet this week and reveal what men secretly talk about when the women aren't around – at least the men I've known over the past 20 or so years. Contrary to myth, they hardly ever talk about sex. They almost never bitch about other men. They do talk about football, music, films, television and politics. They do value humour highly. They banter, josh and wind up. And sometimes they talk about their marriages.

Some men are happy in their marriages and don't have much to say. Others are reluctant to speak out. But many are frustrated. None of these men are cavemen. Most are fully signed up to feminism in one form or another. Yet the same issues crop up time and again.

Those dissatisfactions in full:

1) Credit. Husbands with children feel they don't get enough credit from their wives. This is especially true when the man is the main wage earner. Going to work every day and taking financial responsibility tends to be seen as a privilege, an "escape" from childcare. But like childcare itself, a nine-to-five job can be a privilege and a burden.

2) Respect. Husbands sometimes feel they don't get enough respect from their wives, who stereotype them as childish and failing to address their responsibilities properly. Men are infantilised. But perhaps men are just living up to expectations.

3) Priorities. Men are a low priority for their wives compared with work, children, friends etc. I once asked my wife to draw up a list of her life priorities. I think I scraped in at about fourth.

Please, sceptical women readers, whose lips I sense curling collectively, don't write in with comments such as "diddums" and "It's your turn to feel like that after six centuries". It's crass and dull. Children need fathers, as well as mothers, whom they can look up to.

Perhaps wives would also feel better if they respected their husbands more. I have mentioned before that I attended a marriage course last year. It taught a very shocking thing – that you should put your partner first. Not your children, or your work, or your friends. To a lot of women that is a cop-out, a throwback to the 1950s. But wouldn't they expect to be put first? Yet this expectation can be a one-way street. To many modern women, a man is seen as ultimately dispensable. Perhaps he is. But you can't expect any man to welcome the news.

It is easy to sideline these observations as whining. But perhaps that's just a way of not facing reality. Fifty years of feminism has meant that the grievances of the wife are sanctified in a way that the grievances of a husband are not. If a woman has a problem, it tends to be taken seriously. If a man has a problem, it tends to be waved away or patronised out of existence.

(Or so men tell me. So don't shoot the messenger. Anyway, this isn't a story about "women", but people in long-term relationships.)

To make sure that no one felt I was speaking out of turn, I emailed this article to half a dozen mates. No one did. The replies were not angry. They were moving and rather sad. Many men nowadays don't, on the whole, feel great about themselves. Men suffer from low self-esteem just as much as women do.

Wives can choose to listen or not. All I can note is that in all the relationships I've seen die over the past 10 years, it's always been the man who bolts. Perhaps it is that allegedly intractable male vice of irresponsibility.

Or perhaps there are valid reasons that the refractions of gender politics renders invisible – and the wilful blindness only becomes apparent when it's too late."

LookBehindYou Sat 24-Nov-12 22:06:34

I do think men are often infantilised and your 'diddums' pretty much backs that up.

BeerTricksPott3r Sat 24-Nov-12 22:08:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FermezLaBouche Sat 24-Nov-12 22:09:47

I don't think the "diddums" came from the OP, LBY. hmm

LynetteScavo Sat 24-Nov-12 22:10:22

This is so fucking complex, I don't know where to start.

2Men who bolt", and" it's always been the man who bolts".....because they are not respected by their wives, or because they are more willing to leave their DC than their wife.

Nothing is this black and white.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 24-Nov-12 22:12:19

Just to be clear - it's not my "diddums" comment, I've just copied and pasted the article...

LookBehindYou Sat 24-Nov-12 22:13:05

Fermez thanks for pointing that out and sorry op. Have just had a small row with a friend about the 'credit' thing so bit too soon.

EdithWeston Sat 24-Nov-12 22:13:42

Yeah, I can agree that both sexes face problems in long term relationships.

But the choice whether to examine that, take responsibility for working to improve the relationship and all that goes with it, is up to the individual man or woman. So he appears to be saying that relationship maintenance is up to the female partner only, and men are helpless creatures who need to have it all done for them, else they just leave?

Wouldn't it be so much better if they actually looked hard at what was happening, and committed as an equal partner with equal responsibility?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 24-Nov-12 22:14:25

I've never really liked his column, but this one was just bizarre.

Of course, his reasoning must be spot on because six of his friends didn't disagree with him. hmm

ATailOfTwoKitties Sat 24-Nov-12 22:16:46

I attended a marriage course last year. It taught a very shocking thing – that you should put your partner first. Not your children

Errm, why?

Seriously, do they teach this? That you should put the 'needs' of another fully functioning adult above those of children?

ATailOfTwoKitties Sat 24-Nov-12 22:19:20

and no, I wouldn't expect him to put me first in a crisis either, not above the offspring. Is this odd? I wouldn't have thought so.

Mollydoggerson Sat 24-Nov-12 22:21:08

Why can't men voice these concerns to their wives if needs be?

EdithWeston Sat 24-Nov-12 22:21:38

Because you will have been a success at raising your children when they leave you as fully functioning adults themselves. The whole process is about letting go.

Your spouse/partner is (perhaps) someone you want to stick at your side, after the DCs are gone, so it's worth the investment. By both.

waltermittymistletoe Sat 24-Nov-12 22:22:53

Wives can choose to listen or not

Phew. Thank god he gave us little wifeys permission huh?


BOFingSanta Sat 24-Nov-12 22:25:59

Even if you agreed with the thrust of what he was saying (and there are some reasonable points in there), I don't understand why any of it is a justification for men "bolting". From what I've seen on here, men who leave almost always leave for somebody else. And that makes all of it sound like a bit of a pathetic excuse to shag around. It's easy to do something shitty if you can blame the person you are betraying.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 24-Nov-12 22:29:36

"If a woman has a problem, it tends to be taken seriously."


so they never get told they are 'humourless'? 'over-sensitive' ? 'lacking perspective'?

EdgarAllanPond Sat 24-Nov-12 22:30:00

he's just trolling, really.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 24-Nov-12 22:32:44

I think I could stomach this argument if he said - people who don't treat their partners with respect will have bad relationships. What is all this man /woman stuff?

ProphetOfDoom Sat 24-Nov-12 22:33:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Sat 24-Nov-12 23:24:50

I certaintly don't buy the "partner comes first" thing.

Children come first every time.

I would be horrified if DH put me before our DC.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 24-Nov-12 23:40:03

yes and children come first because we are both adults.

Brodicea Mon 26-Nov-12 12:12:12

Here here Edgar

I have noticed how men are often infantilised in the media: adverts where dad is silly and daft while mum is capable and in control (although with superhuman abilities to go to work AND cook and clean and shop). This probably drives home this idea that Dad is 'just a big kid' which i think can be damaging to male self-esteem.

But, the things in the list just seem to be the flip side NOT of women's 'lib' but of women having to take more of the labour burden overall: women have less time, less money, less energy. And the whole 'script' of the family STILL expects the woman to work at pleasing her man, once all her other work is done.

The real message of this research is that men have to find their own place, reject infantilisation and assert the place of man in the family. But, yet again, the message of the article is that the responsibility for mens happiness is that of the woman. grr.

MoomieAndFreddie Mon 26-Nov-12 13:00:26


and partner comes first, before kids, ffs

samandi Mon 26-Nov-12 13:06:22

*I think I am actually speechless. Apparently the reason why men bolt is because
... They are not respected enough by their wives.*

I think that’s a perfectly acceptable reason for bolting, and not sure why it would cause anyone to be speechless. I would bolt if I wasn’t respected enough by my partner too.

It’s also fair enough to want to be given credit for being the wage earner, not being treated like a child and being given a high priority by your spouse. Not sure if the husband should be given a “higher priority” than young children though.

The way the article is written is rather off putting though, and yes, rather whiny.

mcmooncup Mon 26-Nov-12 13:10:24

More women instigate divorce than men.

So, erm...........yeah, thanks anyway.

Hobbitation Mon 26-Nov-12 13:11:39

I think some of that rings true. The way I hear some women talk about their husbands, I think, really? hmm

Respect has to be mutual though and you have to value one another's roles in the relationship. I don't agree with "partner comes first" though, that's nonsense. You are a wife, not a mother to them. Kids come first because they are not adults. How many husbands would put their wives first over their kids? Not many, because they shouldn't either.

Bramshott Mon 26-Nov-12 13:20:42

God he's a whiny bugger isn't he.

That said, his first point is sensible and is one I often see made on here but very rarely in real life. Being the sole wage earner for a family is a hell of a big pressure.

mcmooncup Mon 26-Nov-12 13:23:31

Just on the first bit of his article about men not hanging around talking about sex.....

I am 'working at home' today and just went outside to do the bins and other such joys, and there were a group of workmen in next door's garden discussing one of their friends, who is a 'legend'. The reason he is a legend is because of the way he fucks women. He apparently uses a funnel so he can see his cum (?), he is on a mission to shag a dwarf because he thinks he will be able to use violence and she won't mind, he also has a really nice girlfriend who he fingered under the table when meeting her parents for the first time.

That was my first snapshot of a 'private' male conversation in a while. Doesn't ring true to the OP really, but there we go.

FunBagFreddie Mon 26-Nov-12 13:23:37

Isn't the whole issue of respecting your partner going to depend on whether you like them and if they are worthy of respect? In a healthy relationship respecting your partner is a given, surely? If you don't respect them, the two of you are either inherently incompatible, or there is something wrong in your relationship.

Ciske Mon 26-Nov-12 13:35:03

Any article that has a go at 'women' vs. 'men' is likely to be a phile of shit, regardless of who writes it. It plays on the stereotype of the nagging woman vs. the funny child-like man (just playing up to the standards set for him, unable to take responsiblity himself), and doesn't do much to progress any cause.

Very annoying and disrespectful to both sides, IMO.

drjohnsonscat Tue 27-Nov-12 17:30:49

Thank god I found you lot. I have been mulling over this since Saturday and getting more and more annoyed.

(Some) men might be at a point where they are not sure what their role is hence "many men, nowadays don't, on the whole, feel great about themselves" but the answer is not to ask women to change (again, women having to be responsible for men's happiness). But to, you know, evolve a bit like women have had to. Women cannot expect to be kept any more - they have had to go out and find their own financial independence. That brought about many changes. That's what evolution is about. Men now find that their traditional breadwinner role is under threat but it gives them an opportunity to find a bigger role in their families and to become different sorts of men. Don't whine about it - embrace it. But don't expect credit for it - what sort of a ninny expects credit for looking after their own children? And sorry if that is infantilising but that was an infantile thought.

As for the burden of being the breadwinner, what a load of old rubbish. I am a single parent of two children, the main and only breadwinner and the main and only carer at home. It's called being a parent. And a grownup. Plus it's way easier to go out to work and earn a living than it is to stay at home and look after some messy, grumpy children who don't pay you, thank you or leave you alone to drink your coffee in peace.

And hilarious that he emailed his friends to see if they agreed. Guess what Tim. Your friends tend to think the same way as you. That's why they're your friends, not mine.

madwomanintheattic Tue 27-Nov-12 17:49:37

Oh, all those poor male breadwinners! And those wicked wicked wives that refuse point blank to work and let them have a go at 24/7 childcare! Not a day goes by when I have to pointedly ignore men begging to be allowed to look after their kids day in, day out.

Credit. Oh yes, the same men who give their wives credit for wiping up snot and shit all day. That sort of credit. Not the sort of credit that involves coming home, moaning about what a hard day it was at the office, and adopting that 'wtaf' expression when the steaming dinner isn't immediately produced from beneath the serving dome?

Christ, being an adult is a crap load of work, whether you get paid for it, or not.

Credit works both ways. Credit, my arse.

Infantilized? Not here, mate. You don't cop out of pulling your weight in this house just because you have a penis. Get the fuck up and deal with the baby and stop bleating. You created it, you have a responsibility in caring for it. I'm going out.

Priorities? It's a partnership, lovely. I suspect if you are having to go to a class to bleat that you aren't more important than a two year old with a disability, you aren't mature enough to be in an equal relationship.

Now piss off.

AbigailAdams Tue 27-Nov-12 19:07:44

Loving drjohnsonscat and madwoman's posts. Totally agree. Whiney nonsense. Probably reflecting his lack of respect for women back on to women.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 27-Nov-12 20:57:31

Ohhh, god, yes. I read this out to DH yesterday because I was so speechless with irritation at it.

What a total cock.

I love how he found three areas where women got it 'wrong' and claimed these were reasons marriages fail.

Yeah, mate, right, I'm sure it was that, that and your oh-so-virile goatee beard and whiny tone. hmm

I love DH to bits but I would be quite creeped out if I were his top priority all the time, it's not healthy. Especially not if you have small children, surely? What sort of horrible person wants to take precedence over their own children?

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 27-Nov-12 20:58:59

Oh ... and you know what pissed me off the most? That bit where he says that men now feel just as bad about themselves as women.

Well, that's convinced me life's shit, then ... men feel equally bad as women, instead of their god-given right of feeling much less shit.

hmm angry

summerflower Tue 27-Nov-12 22:13:50

Do you know what the subtext of this article seems to be to me? Ladies, know thy place. Don't expect too much of your man or he will leave you. Pander to his ego or he will leave you. Put him first or he will find someone else to do so.

I've just deleted the rest of my reply, as I sound oh, so bitter, but this article honestly made me weep. So, here's the short version - fuck the fuck off. We've actually had more than 50 years of feminism - the New Woman of the 1890s were far more critical of the institution of marriage and the expectations of women within it than anyone in the last 50 years - and for the most part, much of their critique still stands.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 27-Nov-12 22:16:24

You don't sound bitter. You sound like someone making the only rational response to this whiny creep.

Fortunately, there are plenty of men out there who aren't like him.

I did have to think a minute with his comment on '50 years of feminism'. Does he think it's called 'second wave' because it sounded better? confused

Darkesteyes Tue 27-Nov-12 22:24:22

Must be the week for this sort of shit. Grazia are at it too.
This is copied and pasted from their website as it is apparently in this weeks issue.

As Fifty Shades of Grey claims it’s first divorce-after a husband refused his wife’s wishes to spice up their sex life-is it any wonder so many of us are suffering performance pressure? Here, sex coach Eric Amaranth tells Grazia how he is paid to observe and then teach women how to be better lovers

summerflower Tue 27-Nov-12 22:25:58

Thank you, LRD. Your comment about second wave feminism made me laugh.

Bring on the fourth wave is all I can say.

joanofarchitrave Tue 27-Nov-12 22:32:22

I actually agree with putting your partner first, in a way. You should show respect to each other as partners, as that's how your children will learn about relationships. I also think it's quite practical (e.g. if the adults get their food first at the table, the children don't have to learn to wait to eat for ages with food in front of them).

I wonder, however, whether what he thinks of as 'putting women first' would look like 'putting any nearby adults first because you can't be arsed to consider what children actually need' to me. i have seen a lot of that kind of behaviour.

And this: - 'Children need fathers, as well as mothers, whom they can look up to.'

I'd love him to explain to me why that requires WOMEN to do things differently. Newsflash to you, Tim: whatever parents say about each other (and I'd agree that infantilising or badmouthing your partner to your children is a spectacularly crap thing to do), children will notice how they actually behave. And that is what is likely to make them look up to their parents, or not.

HalloweenNameChange Tue 27-Nov-12 22:50:46

what a load of shit.

Seriously, do they teach this? That you should put the 'needs' of another fully functioning adult above those of children?

Exactly ataleoftwokitties this is why so many men can't hadnld their wives breast feeding..^but the boobies are for me!^ I am so fed up adults needing to be treated like children. that whole article made me want to shake the whiny little shit who wrote it.

HoleyGhost Tue 27-Nov-12 22:57:23

^ Christ, being an adult is a crap load of work, whether you get paid for it, or not.^

This. It comes as a shock how much work is needed. You can either whine about it or take responsibility.

ethelb Tue 27-Nov-12 23:08:40

I think he actually makes a few good poitns, but the whining is really off-putting.

I don't think its that shocking to suggest you shoudl be respected by your partner and given credit for your work and that sometimes you should put your partner's needs first (I think he means with the provison that no one else is actually suffering, they just aren't putting the children first).

But yes this bit "Wives can choose to listen or not. All I can note is that in all the relationships I've seen die over the past 10 years, it's always been the man who bolts." is just patronising and inaccurate. Wives leave their husbands in most cases.

I think respecting, appreciating and making time for your partner are all very good things in a relationship, essential even, but I struggle to believe that all these poor mistreated men are doing just that while their callous wives bitch about them to their friends. Or maybe feminism has elevated women to such heights we don't need mutually supportive partners any more, and it's about time we focussed on our neglected menfolk.

rosabud Wed 28-Nov-12 00:11:45

I have no idea if this bit is true or not:

All I can note is that in all the relationships I've seen die over the past 10 years, it's always been the man who bolts.

but IF it is true, he's hardly painting men in a great light, is he? "If the going gets a bit tough, if it doesn't go my way, well that's it I'm off with no thought for all my responsibilities or any hurt I may cause my children!"

And the word "bolt" has all sorts of suggestions, doesn't it? It's a rather powerful, action-packed, decisive, in charge sort of word. I suppose the phrase "it's always the man who slinks off" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

drjohnsonscat Wed 28-Nov-12 10:26:38

yy rosabud. It undermined his whole argument really. We are responsible, hard working, dedicated fathers and husbands. But when things aren't going right we walk out.

Frankly this really is what singles out committed parents. Would you bolt from your children? Ever? No.

I accept that marriages do break down and often there is fault on both side - but it's weird to argue that men "bolting" is proof that they have it harder as opposed to proof that they are just not as committed. In fact studies show that men do better, mentally and physically, out of marriage, than women. So there isn't any evidence at all for his assertion that men bolt because they are not treated right.

It's far more likely that they bolt because somehow they are semi-detatched from their families and they just emotionally can when things get tough.

I'm a big fan of the Swedish model of parental leave sharing - I think it's a really good way for both parents to get equally embedded in their children's lives - the joy and the drudgery. And I have a theory that you value your children and your family life more when you have had to sacrifice something (a part of your career, your own sense of identity as a separate person, your physical intactness, whatever it may be) to keep it together. I think if men had more opportunity to engage with their families in this deep way, they would be less likely to bolt. But that means sleeves rolled up, doing everything. And not expecting thanks or credit but viewing it as part of your new identity as a parent. Like the rest of us do.

summerflower Wed 28-Nov-12 12:13:43

Horses bolt. Usually at speed, without consideration. Applied to men, it probably means they think the grass is greener on the other side and there is a new (undemanding) filly waiting, who won't nag them to do their bit. It's not an analogy which does anyone any favours.

Alameda Wed 28-Nov-12 14:49:06

it would be nice if men did actually bolt in real life, instead of outstaying their welcome and having to be dragged away by the police etc when the relationship is over

AThingInYourLife Wed 28-Nov-12 15:23:38

"Fifty years of feminism has meant that the grievances of the wife are sanctified in a way that the grievances of a husband are not."


Yeah, bloody feminists! All about the grievances of wives.

I agree with "fuck the fuck off" as a response.

Although I don't agree with prioritising children above adults. All the members of my family are equally important. Including me.

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 28-Nov-12 15:54:18

Fifty years of feminism has meant that the grievances of the wife are sanctified in a way that the grievances of a husband are not.

Yes really sounds like he is onboard with feminism with this line hmm

TunipTheVegedude Wed 28-Nov-12 15:56:28

I laughed at his claim that most of his friends are fully signed up to feminism in one form or another. I wonder which form that would be then.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 28-Nov-12 16:02:01

Turnip probably the form where the wife STFU and pats him on the head for being a grown up.

grin Alameda

drjohnsonscat Wed 28-Nov-12 17:09:49

tunip I'm guessing it's the form that allows you to be right-on as a man, and bag yourself a vaguely thinking woman as a wife, and go on about how much you love your daughters but doesn't go as far as actually understanding what feminism means. And yes it does mean that men are no longer superior - they are not lesser - they're just the same as us. Tim does not like it really.

I'm guessing Tim would not be cool with knowing that Fox News have exactly the same viewpoint as him: www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/24/war-on-men/#ixzz2DJQ9goGj

Prepare to want to bleach your own eyes after reading this.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 28-Nov-12 19:46:34

Really liking some of the comments on this thread, you are all much better at articulating how I felt reading it.

I don't particularly expect credit for being the bread winner (how I hate that phrase). I had a job before I met DH and we had a child, he didn't congratulate me for being employed then nor does he now.

And if my partner didn't respect me I wouldn't bolt, I would first check to see if I was doing something to cause that feeling and if not, actually talk it through with them.

A couple of years ago DH (SAHP) told me nicely but bluntly that I wasn't pulling my weight at home. I sulked, complained and self-pitied for about half a day before deciding that he was right. So I got off my high "but I work full time and provide for the family" horse and started doing more cooking, housework etc. I was embarrassed that I had to be told.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Nov-12 15:57:11

Well, the message in our group of friends seems to be that, as HolyGhost pointed out, there is just so much work involved in being a parent, and any lack of commitment to doing it is corrosive to a marriage.

DH is a SAHD and does hear plenty of those sorts of dismissive comments about men that Tim Lott seems to be talking about, and DH hates it. But that's from a particular minority of women. And that attitude usually seems to stem from the experience of being with a man who thinks as long as he brings in a wage you can ask him for nothing else, not even respect or fidelity.

It just shows to me that while most men would accept that they'd lose the respect of their fellow men if they behave like twerps, they think respect from women should be a given. Always.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 30-Nov-12 16:43:56

drjohsnsonscat I clicked on that fox news link, and the words "women are not women any more" flashed into my sight and I had to kill the tab immediately... Don't think I can handle reading it. grin

legojunkie Fri 30-Nov-12 16:50:24

Has he got a bag o'shite book to sell?

Altocumulus Mon 03-Dec-12 17:30:56


As a male in a long term relationship I found myself agreeing with much of what Tim Lott said, and think most of those dismissive commenters above rather prove his point. He has an important message and it is sad (but somehow doesn’t surprise me) that his heartfelt sentiments have been met with the mainly sneery responses above.

Looking at my own, and many of my friends’ relationships, it struck me some time ago that there is often something rather unhealthy about British middle-class women’s treatment of their partners. Lott focuses on the lack of respect, the lack of credit and the low priority the male partner is given, and I have seen this many times in relationships where the husband makes clear his commitment to, and love for, his partner.

I have one friend who is a stand-out bloke, good provider, helps about the house, is always supportive of his wife and has brought up two of the loveliest kids. Whilst I consider his wife a friend, I absolutely hate the way she complains about him behind his back, sneers about his (few) failings and shows mild contempt for him whenever they’re in company. And this is learned behaviour - her mother was exactly the same with her father.

That is an extreme example, but I would say that a good half of my UK friends and family’s relationships show a similar, if less extreme, syndrome. Yes, I’m sure it cuts the other way as well, with many men behaving badly to their partners, but the point here is that Lott is making a specific point that is very rarely discussed.

And this seems to be a particularly British thing. My own relationships in the past with French and American partners have been quite different in this respect.

Here’s UK-based but French-born columnist Anne-Elisabeth Moutet in last Saturday’s Telegraph:
“English women (seem to) prefer their dogs or their horses to their boyfriends (or husbands).”

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 17:33:56

helps about the house,

See phrases like this imply that you think its the womans job. Oh and im working class by the way.

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 17:39:39

Heres some food for thought that Tim Lott didnt mention in his article. I wonder why! hmm


Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 17:45:07
UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 03-Dec-12 21:03:32

I agree that familiarity can breed contempt, in LTRs it can be easy to slide into a lack of appreciation for the other, but that's not what I got from Lott's column. It was more that respect should automatically come with having a job and contributing financially to a family.

Agree with your point Darkesteyes

This week he praised married sex as it was more regularly available, albeit "with a bit of whining".

What an attractive picture that paints. hmm

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 21:30:16

Hes sounding more and more like an absolute mysogynistic twat.

drjohnsonscat Tue 04-Dec-12 10:38:25

That doesn't sound like a healthy relationship alto, but "helps about the house"??

AbigailAdams Tue 04-Dec-12 11:12:32

Of course he is a misogynist. His lack of respect for women shines out in the article. Women generally don't disrespect men. We are taught from an early age not to. Men on the other hand are taught from an early age that the worst thing they can be is a woman. Women may lose respect for a man when he takes her for granted, "helps" around the house (i.e. doesn't take responsibility for it) and plays the big "I am" because they have a paid job and deign to provide money for their family etc. And that is before we get on to emotional/financial/physical abuse.

"the husband makes clear his commitment to, and love for, his partner. " Many abusers make a public show of their "love" and "commitment" to their partners. Non-abusers tend not to. They have no need to reinforce things like that.

Here’s UK-based but French-born columnist Anne-Elisabeth Moutet in last Saturday’s Telegraph:
“English women (seem to) prefer their dogs or their horses to their boyfriends (or husbands).”

Was that meant to convince us that Lott was right? I mean who is she? And from where did she draw this scientific conclusion? Ridiculous statement.

summerflower Tue 04-Dec-12 11:21:36

>This week he praised married sex as it was more regularly available, albeit "with a bit of whining".<<

The 'I don't want to, really' kind of whining? That kind of comment encourages men to see sex as an entitlement, and it makes me really uncomfortable, if I am honest.

EldritchCleavage Tue 04-Dec-12 12:44:19

Altocumulus, I've heard that kind of talk too, though I really don't experience it as being widespread. It is a strand of modern culture that is reflected in all those 'jokey' ads where the woman is really capable and the man is a dope.

However, it would be wrong to suggest it is even a dominant strand in our culture, which is still patriarchal and misogynistic. In fact, I think the dismissiveness is usually a reaction to misogyny and male entitlement. The couples I've met where the woman talks like this have been ones in which there have been huge problems, and problems arising from pretty awful behaviour by the man (though you may think well I would say that).

We're both generalising of course, and my generalisations are no more valid than yours. I just don't like it when people come out with the sort of stuff in the Tim Lott article as though this is the real reason modern relationships founder. This is a man's world, feminism is in retreat and women get the thin end of the wedge. To say otherwise is unreal.

RiaUnderTheMistletoe Tue 04-Dec-12 14:37:07

Whose whining does he mean, husbands whining to get sex or wives whining they don't want to? Horrendous either way.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 04-Dec-12 23:25:41

What he's whining about is happening, but it's not what he says it is. Women are now more able to treat men as equals rather than being obliged to consider them as superior and some men hate this and whine and complain. Or, of course, start abusing their wives in order to regain their King Cock status.

As soon as women became able to dump unsatisfactory men they started doing so, but rather than men (collectively) realising that the party was over and it was time to start doing their share of the work, a lot of them retreated into misogyny and abuse. But that's sort-of Ok in that the more they do it, the more women will leave their sorry arses and they will woman-hate their way out of existence.

joanofarchitrave Thu 06-Dec-12 19:15:41

I have to say, I would look at it differently. I would regard the general 'all men are bastards and have tiny dicks, and my partner is a pain in the arse' kind of attitude to be pre-feminist - blaming difficulties in life on inevitable aspects of gender, rather than saying this is acceptable or unacceptable behaviour whether you are male or female. Jessica Mitford wrote about the attitude of some women she worked with in a department store in the 30s who regarded men purely as despicable meal-tickets; she found their views profoundly alienating but (since she was a communist) also saw them as a function of capitalism. Feminism should really allow us to move beyond any 'battle of the sexes' crap but it's very easy to get sucked back into it.

Altocumulus Fri 07-Dec-12 21:17:58


Some interesting responses.

@Joanofarchitrave - Really interesting historical perspective!

@EldritchCleavage - The jokey ads about male uselessness come from extensive research by ad and market research agencies amongst British women over the last 20 years. I know this because my wife carried out a lot of the research! The ads work because they tap into a deep, inchoate well of dissatisfaction amongst mainly middle-class women about their spouses and indeed their lives. The thing is, their lives are for the most part far better than any comparable cohort in other countries, but the dissatisfaction is taken in with their mother’s milk. It’s a particularly British thing.

I am generalising, you are right about that, and a lot of what I’m saying comes from personal anecdotal experience, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. I spoke in my last post about the fundamentally different attitudes of French and American women. Might I also add that with one exception, the strongest relationships amongst my immediate circle of friends and family come from couples where the female partner is Irish or Italian. There is a complete commitment from these women that is lacking in the British partners of other friends.

With one exception. The strongest, healthiest and happiest relationship amongst all my friends and family is a British couple where there is complete and utter devotion and commitment to each other, despite some very difficult times in the past. As Tim Lott said in his Guardian piece, spouses must make each other the most important element in the family. These friends have done that, and have raised two very sane and happy children to adulthood, but their focus for each other was always paramount and they have the best life imaginable.

Yes, EC, women often do get the thin end of the wedge, but that’s not really the point. Tim Lott hit upon something very important.: the importance of female commitment to the relationship. Total? If it works and is reciprocated you’re both in heaven. Partial? Better than life on your own, but a bit crap, really. I should know, I’ve had 25 years of partial commitment.

Darkesteyes Fri 07-Dec-12 21:42:03

Alto my mother is Italian. And part of the reason for the relationship being stronger is a lot to do with Catholicism and what that mysogynistic religion tells women that they should put up with.
And then they try to pass these attitudes down to their daughters.
Having watched my parents relationship (dad is British i know EXACTLY why it looks like it works fron the outside believe me!!

Darkesteyes Fri 07-Dec-12 21:52:55

My mother is basically a female mysogynist. We couldnt be more different from each other.
Hearing the way she and my dad talk about other women (i started a thread in Chat a couple of months back about the way she was blaming and gaslighting the survivors of Saviles abuse. The hatred and vitriol that comes from them both regarding women certainly makes me see why some men would go for a woman from a more mysogynistic culture. Hope ive explained this ok.
I grew up with this so know what im talking about. But its made me into a fighter. It also affects you psychologically though. I would be a liar if i said it didnt.

Startail Fri 07-Dec-12 22:17:35

I think there is a fair bit of truth in this.
Yes we should put our partners before our children, at least sometimes.

Work is many men's avoidance tactic, DCs are many women's, If couples don't want to drift apart they need to find a way to shelve these things now and then.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 07-Dec-12 22:38:09

The piece is also heteromonogamist normative wank. Lots of people don't have any interest in or awareness of his boohoo middle-class-men-aren't-worshipped-any-more crap. Because lots of people are single, gay, childless, polyamourous. Heteromonogamy is neither 'natural' nor compulsory, and the sexist heteromonogamous setup of male master and female slave is totally unnatural. That's why it's reinforced with propaganda and violence.

Altocumulus Sat 08-Dec-12 23:18:56

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Altocumulus Sat 08-Dec-12 23:41:35


What you don't say is whether your parents have a good relationship. Your mother was a female misogynist? What about your Dad? I was brought up in a very happy and respectful Catholic family, but know that many others were less healthy.

You say you grew up to be a fighter but do your attitudes create successful relationships? My Irish sister-in-law, a practising Catholic, has created an exceptional relationship with my (very difficult) youngest brother.


Yes. We need to put our partners first. That is the fundamental truth of relationship success.

I'm new here and seem to have found a self-selecting group, many of whom are pissed off with their DPs and DHs, so I'm obviously not preaching to the converted.

Dromedary Sat 08-Dec-12 23:52:28

I think there's some sense in what he says. I think that stay at home mums often have it easier than their husbands/partners. For instance, I'd much rather stay at home with young children (and far more so with school age children!) than commute a fair distance to work, then work 8 or 9 hours in what may be a tough and insecure job, knowing that I am the sole wage-earner and have to stick with it whatever, then commute back home and be expected to do childcare and housework. The usual assumption is that it is the mother who will stay at home or work part time or take the less key job, and I expect that some men who would like to take on that role don't feel able to challenge that assumption.

BelleDameSousMistletoe Sun 09-Dec-12 00:08:17

If you want respect, earn it.

Maybe British women simply have higher standards.

BelleDameSousMistletoe Sun 09-Dec-12 00:12:48

Although, actually, most of my American friends are much less likely to put up with any disrespect than most Brits I know.

Altocumulus Sun 09-Dec-12 00:21:42

Yup, @BelleDame

Many British women have very high standards and have somehow lost their partners and have no chance of finding any others.

That's been my experience over the last 20 years. Or has yours been different? Have your high standards led you to some fantastic bloke?

BelleDameSousMistletoe Sun 09-Dec-12 00:33:32

I may be a fantastic bloke... wink

I couldn't be with someone that I didn't respect and I assume that works both ways.

Maybe the men who have the "disrespectful" wives are, in fact, not that great?

BelleDameSousMistletoe Sun 09-Dec-12 00:38:43

Actually, and much more seriously, have a look at the Relationships board. It staggers me that anyone would want another relationship after some of their experiences.

I'm sure there are disrespectful wives just as there are disrespectful husbands. The thing is, as has been mentioned above, the women don't tend to bolt because of the children.

I'd suggest it's a problem for both women and men.

SinisterSal Sun 09-Dec-12 00:57:55

That's very nice for you Dromadary. I would love if as many people as possible had a lifestyle that suited their own particular personalities and aspirations. most feminists would get behind that - that's why they are the ones advocating the dismissal of gender roles, so that everyone should reach their own potential rather than being shoved into a box which may not fit. I know SAHMs WOHMs SAHDs WOHDs, some love their role, some don't - it's a personality thing. Pre-emptively gendertyping is ridiculous.
If men don't feel able to challenge that assumption, they'll have to man up, quite frankly, women have had to do so. I know it's difficult, but like anything else in life, it won't be handed to you on a plate.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 09-Dec-12 01:00:16

ALtocumulus: The reason you can't get laid is because you are an inadequate whinyarse and an evolutionary dead end. This is progress for the gene pool.

Men who retreat into bitterness and bleating because they were born into a more enlightened age than their percieved Good Old Days when women Knew Their Place are slowly but surely being bred out of existence. Up your game or face extinction, mate.

SinisterSal Sun 09-Dec-12 01:03:58

I don't get your point Altoculumus. Why on earth wouldn't you respect your partner? And if you don't, why would you stay? It's not like singledom is certain death!

BTW I'm not pissed off with DH. He's flawd, naturally but overwhelmingly great. Or else I wouldn't be with him, nor him with me. So goesfor a lot of the people on this thread. I think you have grasped the wrong end of some stick, somewhere, possibly quite a while back in your past...

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Dec-12 02:13:27

You say you grew up to be a fighter but do your attitudes create successful relationships? My Irish sister-in-law, a practising Catholic, has created an exceptional relationship with my (very difficult) youngest brother.

Youve said it all really. Youve just got the hump because as a CHILD of one of these relationships i have experienced it first hand from the point of view of the child.
Oh and what youve said in the paragraph ive copied and pasted proves my previous point in the previous post beyond all doubt so thanks for that favour however obviously dubious the intention! grin

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sun 09-Dec-12 11:09:00

Alto, I had a horrific first marriage. I have high standards these days - and I have a wonderful husband for whom I have a lot of respect. Crucially, respect goes both ways and he treats me respectfully too.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Dec-12 15:26:00

Alto what i meant by being a fighter is that i now fight to be heard. Its a result of being brought up under the suffocating mysogyny of Catholicism.
If you want some idea of what Catholicism thinks of women google "Magdelene Laundries"
The last one of those closed as recently as 1996.

EldritchCleavage Mon 10-Dec-12 12:40:45

I seem to have found a self-selecting group, many of whom are pissed off with their DPs and DHs

Oh, no you don't. I am most emphatically NOT pissed off with my DH. My mother isn't pissed off with my father. My sisters are not pissed off with their husbands, either, by the way. Perhaps we're just not middle class enough to fit your whiny problem women profile. But it is more likely that your profile, like Tim Lott's article, is a load of dodgy woman-blaming nonsense.

drjohnsonscat Mon 10-Dec-12 13:24:30

agree Eldritch. That was pretty much "you don't agree with me so you must be nagging bitches" all dressed up as discourse.

Altocumulus Wed 12-Dec-12 00:05:51

Ladies, what can I say?

Of course respect goes both ways, but I have definitely found a monstrous regiment here who are far too critical of their spouses.

lisianthus Wed 12-Dec-12 00:38:26

No you haven't! Not a single person on this thread has said anything criticising their current spouses. On the contrary, a number of people have said how great their current spouses are. There has been some criticism of previous spouses. Feminism is for women who think highly of men, in that they are not willing to settle for the idea that men will always treat you badly and that you should expect that and accept that.

Altocumulus Wed 12-Dec-12 00:45:35

Lisianthus, You are of course totally right. I will take on board what you have said and try harder next time.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now