A new spectre is haunting marriage. Just when you thought you understood all of the diabolical ways women could be trapped in marriage, we learn of the most insidious trap of all; the trap of not unhappiness! Our friends at the Femail section of the Daily Mail breathlessly ask: Not bad enough to leave, but not good enough to fulfil you… are YOU trapped in a half-happy marriage? (H/T W). Yahoo Shine sounds the alarm with Are you stuck in a semi-happy marriage? (H/T Interested). USA Today warns of this problem with ‘Marriage Confidential’ exposes scandalous reality. The Daily Mail weighs in again with: Are you semihappy or a workhorse wife? Five different kinds of modern marriage.
The evil genius of the patriarchy is breathtaking. They have lulled women into a false sense of security, comfortable in the knowledge that her moral obligation to honor her sacred vows could at any time be instantly dissolved if she only uttered the three magic words. Three ancient words with a mystic power so great they cause God Himself to forget about her promise:
I’m not haaaaapy
Now we learn from the Daily Mail that women around the world have been caught unsuspecting by this latest trick:
‘It’s these low-conflict, amiable, but sort of listless marriages that actually contribute the lion’s share to the divorce rate. It’s not the couples who are throwing dishes and screaming.’
Thats right, millions of women are suffering this very day from the fate of not being deliriously happy. Evil patriarchy, I tip my hat to you.
All of these articles and many more like them are prompted by the book Marriage Confidential, written by radical feminist Dr. Pamela Haag. This worry by Dr. Haag that women might not be happy enough seems out of place; in March of this year she argued that while feminism made women less happy, it is more important for women to be radical feminists than to be happy. She closed that piece with:
I pull out Gloria Steinem’s 1973 essay, Sisterhood, from my private archive. She wrote, “I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them and with a courage to make themselves vulnerable that I find moving beyond words.”
Cool. That beats happy any day.
This radical feminist longs for the simpler era of the 1950s, when women were free to devote their energy to roles such as decorator, hostess, and being volunteers. Again from the Daily Mail:
She writes: ‘Parenthood is swallowing marriage… Children are at the center of a family now.
‘From a historical perspective it’s a departure. Go back to the Fifties and husbands and wives had many different roles – as hostess, decorator, breadwinner, volunteer. They weren’t just parents. Today, parenting is the sole priority… It crowds out other functions.’
In another Daily Mail piece we learn more about how the patriarchy is making women unhappy:
Haag argues that the dynamic of marriage has changed since the Fifties, when the majority of women did not work and could devote themselves to their marriages and pleasing their husbands.
Husbands kept their marriage alive by giving their wives flowers, complimenting them and treating them to new dresses and meals out, for which they was grateful.
She is also deeply troubled by a modern trend of undetermined origin, where women are trapped working like men. They don’t work simply to entertain themselves or fulfill their own egos, but instead are tricked into having to work to support their family. This has lead to one of the five traps of modern marriage, that of the Workhorse Wife:
Where a wife works a corporate job that she doesn’t necessarily like in order to fund the pro-golfer or musician dreams of her ‘Tom Sawyer’ husband.
Whenever women are on the cusp of having it all, the patriarchy always finds a way to thwart them.
For those men who having learned about the delightful Dr. Haag now nurture dreams of making her your wife, I have good news and bad news:
She admitted that even she herself was semihappy in her marriage, writing in the book: ‘I have a nice marriage, a lovely husband, but you never know. On other days and in other moments I think that this could very well be the last year of our marriage.’
But she won’t be wooed easily. Her brave mangina of a husband is a worthy adversary:
‘I do think that our marriage is better because of this,’ she revealed. ‘We’re paying more attention to each other. I think my husband’s very brave to allow me to write about it!’
Brave indeed. It takes courage not to stand up to your radical feminist wife. But don’t lose heart; even if you can’t make her your wife, you might still have a shot with her:
For some couples she says the answer is to become a ‘new monogamist’ – her term for what is effectively an open marriage, or an ‘Oreo Marriage’ where the couple looks traditional from the outside yet might enjoy something untraditional, such as swinging, in private.
She told the Huffington Post: ‘Many marriages are practising “Free Love Version 2.0,” in which spouses are actually trying to be honest and have decided that their marriage can tolerate some other attachments.’