The dominant, unchallenged narrative is that men have problems with commitment, while women are naturally inclined to commit for life. Yet the difference between the dominant narrative and reality couldn’t be more stark. Women in the western world are obsessed with fantasies of divorce and ending relationships, for any or no reason at all.
Jennifer McDonald at Slate offers us the latest installment in this shameless obsession with her review of the chick crack book Nobody Is Ever Missing*:
There are days when you awake and want to blow up your relationship. Perhaps things are mildly bad, or perhaps they are horrible, or perhaps there’s nothing for any reasonable human to complain about, but anyhow, something has happened, something has shifted, and in that moment of waking, were you to follow your whims, they would spirit you away to another bed, another city, another life. Sometimes this fantasy swoops in only for a quick spot of tea. Other times it arrives loaded with baggage and settles in for a good long visit, long enough that your discontentedness grows, and you begin acting strangely. You cheat. You…
…inform your other half, who may or may not have seen it coming. Belongings are packed. Excuses are made. “It’s not you, it’s me.”
For those who find this too subtle, as you scroll down the review up pops:
SOMETIMES YOU JUST FEEL LIKE BLOWING UP YOUR MARRIAGE.
There are even helpful shortcuts to facilitate sharing this message of familial destruction with other women on Twitter and Facebook.
Of course it isn’t just the ladies at Slate who pass their days fantasizing about broken homes. This is a staple in women’s entertainment because it is what the audience demands. As just one example, a reviewer on Amazon.com praises the book’s empowering message with a four star review titled “Finding yourself”:
Elyria takes off for New Zealand, without even giving a heads up to her husband. She is seeking, searching, for her truest self, and attempting to unscramble the cognitive dissonance between her outer and inner selves. She senses what she calls the wildebeest in her, caught between two impulses of wanting to be here in love and wanting to walk away like it never happened. Her way of thinking is often circuitous and epigrammatic, such as “…and it seems the wildebeest was what was wrong with me, but I wasn’t entirely sure of what was wrong with the wildebeest.” This strain of opposites and paradox filled out Elyria’s psyche and also made her feel shriveled.
This kind of obsession in all forms of women’s entertainment is now so common that no one notices it. Our denial is so strong that we overlook what the divorce data makes abundantly clear. Women (in general) have serious issues with commitment, to a far greater degree than men (in general) do. Were we to acknowledge this we could save millions of children the pain of growing up with their fathers expelled from the home. Sooner or later we are bound to adjust the narrative to reflect reality. The sooner we do so the better for all involved. It isn’t just men and children who suffer because this pathology is openly encouraged in our culture, but women themselves. Nurturing these obsessive and destructive fantasies is no more healthy or empowering for a woman than a flask of bourbon is to an alcoholic.
*Hat Tip ISA and Pirran.