Monday, June 6, 2011

The Breasticles Affair: A response

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You’re kidding, right? My post entitled “Girls, Get Your Beasticles” wound up in the Men’s Rights section of Reddit. I linked to it on Feministe’s Sunday Shameless Self-Promotion with no clue how it would be received or even if it would get any hits. It did get hits and it made a couple readers uppity (but not here, on Reddit itself, boo!).

It’s too bad those that riled up didn’t seem to have the testicular fortitude (or breasticles, you never know) to leave me any comments on my post. I welcome different points of view. I like a spirited discussion. I am interested in not only how women view relationships, but also how men view them. I ask my husband for his perspective all the time because he has male insight that I simply don’t have… cause, you know, I’m a girl.

Here are the comments I’m talking about:

All I could think is “huh”? Methinks they missed the point of the article. Power struggle in the home? No. I actually have no idea where that came from. There’s no power struggle in my home. I’d never even considered power in our relationship. If you look at relationships in terms at power, I just can’t relate to what you are saying because that’s simply not how my marriage works. I'm not advocating for power struggles either, just healthy relationships for women (which by default includes the opposite sex).

Is it because I didn’t dwell on what I do for my husband or what a women should do for a man in a relationship? Did I not say "Give men x, y, and z?" Did I have to? If you want specific perspective on what my husband gets out of our relationship, well, it’s not my place to speak for him.  I can only define how he treats me, how his actions make me feel and how I see our relationship. If you want, I can ask him.  He's probably not feeling up to it though because he's still recovering from brain surgery. Am I missing something otherwise?

Helping yourself? Of course. If you can't help yourself, who else can you help? Unless the implication is that I don't do anything in my relationship but take, take, take. You'd have to talk to my husband about that one. Am I saying relationships should be one-sided? Absolutely not. Again, I'm a women writing about women for the benefit of women. Making a woman's issue a men's issue isn't going to help women and men have better, healthier relationships, starting with a woman who can define her self-worth in an appropriate manner.

Me, me, me? Absolutely, especially since I’m writing from my perspective, based on my experiences, my interpretation of the world, women and relationships. I’m not in a relationship because I’m selfless. I’m in a relationship because *I* want something out of it. It’s the same reason everyone is in a relationship: We get stuff out of relationships. 

Revolutionary? No. That’s my whole point. Happy relationships have really simple formulas. It starts with friendship and mutual respect. If you, man or woman, are going to stay with man through dozen of affairs and/or any kind of abuse, I’m going to call you a moron. Your friends would probably say the same thing. Men have self-worth issues, too, but it manifests differently in relationships. I can't relate to that, don't have experience living it as a man. I'll leave that to the men to talk about. Not revolutionary, but common sense never is.

But okay, if you want a relationship with someone who it is selfless, who doesn’t want anything from you, who doesn’t ever think about themselves or what you can do to improve their existence, by all means have at it. If you want to be sole factor upon which your partner defines her(or his) self-worth, more power to you. I'd be interested to know how that works out for you. Let's talk.

I’ve kind of noticed that men don’t stick around long if they aren’t getting their needs met in a relationship, which I think is really smart.  They define themselves on different sorts of feedback, like career, hobbies, money, family… but not by how self-sacrificing they are to their partners, how they'll stay no matter what.  They don’t normally trap a woman into obligation through pregnancy. And they don’t put up with unfaithful women, especially if those affairs reach double digits. If a woman can't meet a man's expectations, men don't beat around the bush. They'll tell you what they need and if you can't provide it for them, they'll find someone who can. I admit, I could be dead wrong on this one. My observations could be skewed somehow. Correct me if needed, please.

Here’s the thing: I’m a girl. I write about girl stuff at times. I write about relationships because they fascinate me. I write from a female perspective because it’s what I know. I also write from experience. I’m confused as to how or why that is wrong. Perhaps someone can clarify this for me because here is what I’m hearing:

Thinking of myself, what I get out of my healthy relationship, what I see as flawed logic used by women in unhealthy relationships (and just in terms of thinking about relationships in general) is somehow wrong. My saying in the post that women shouldn’t define their self-worth by what men think of them and that they perpetuate things like maltreatment and domestic violence by doing so, by subscribing to that idea, and/or living it through their actions is incorrect? 

The second comment just wireds me out. Hoping off of bad boy cock? I didn’t hop off bad boy cock. I ran the hell away from it as fast I could… all the way to the police station. Why? Because that “bad boy” started beating my stomach when “his genes” were gestating inside of it. Plus, I was tired of all MY hard earned money paying for HIS expensive crack habit. And basically I didn’t want to raise a child with a crackhead.

Pardon me, but I think that it would have been irresponsible and selfish of me to stay with an abusive drug addict. Did I mention I would have also been homeless? The money I gave said "biodad" to pay rent apparently went to drugs. It's fair for a child to have to deal with this kinda behavior? I didn't realize that!

Oh yeah, let me give him his son back. We all know the best place for a kid is with someone not equipped to care for them or themselves, can't provide a home, can't provide food, likes to beat people, go on drug binges and is constantly institutionalized. I should have just stayed and let my gestating son die while I had the chance so that no one else could raise him, my bad.  

Lord forbid I re-married—a crime against father’s right to make a mother suffer through her choices. After all, it’s all my fault another man has stepped into the role of father to my son. Let me run down to the courthouse now so I can file for divorce. Or maybe I should be stoned to death? How could I ever right this wrong? 

I've got an idea: Contact me for his name and phone number. You can ask him about how I took his child away from him, ask him what you can do to help stop me from with-holding his genes from him. How you can help get me away from my husband, too. I'd be happy to give out his info and I'm sure he'd be happy for the commiseration, but don't be surprised if I laugh my tail off doing so... Oh dear, if you only knew...  

I picked a provider, which I didn’t know was an option off the table. I missed that in the dating manual. Even though I was working at the time, supporting myself and my son (with no child support, mind you) I obviously picked a mate based on his ability to pay my way. I've also done some supporting of my husband, but how could that be? Oh, and even though I was making the one of the biggest decisions of our lives (both mine and my son’s), I shouldn’t have even considered my future partner’s ability to parent. Cause that’s just wrong. I just need to sit there with my vagina and get picked like a blossoming flower.

I don’t even begin to understand what the point of that comment was… or what sort of logic it uses, except children don’t have rights. Or maybe women shouldn’t leave the fathers of their children because a biological father knows best how to raise a child that shares their DNA.Or maybe its that you need to stand by your partner no matter what they do, even if it causes harm. Children do not need healthy parents, they need DNA closeness.

I am offended by anyone who thinks my child does not have the right to loving parents in a stable environment, free from abuse of every kind. I think every child deserves that, not just mine. I'll say it again: Unhealthy relationships damage children. It is a fact.

That damage is well documented and you can go ahead an interview adults who grew up with it to even the smallest degree of abuse in their home. Ask them how it affects them today and how it affected them in their childhood. You can go ahead and do the same for children whose parents just didn’t get along, had affairs, did drugs, committed crimes, and who had parents that were generally just not nice or severely unhappy. Let me know if you come up with something different than the accepted facts.

Now, I’m the type of person who isn’t going to stand by anyone who repeatedly behaves badly, especially when it’s directed towards me or my child. Maybe I am fundamentally flawed, but no matter the relationship or the gender, if you fool me once shame on you, twice shame on me so to speak. I'm going to exercise my freedom-- freedom from maltreatment, freedom to choose who I have in my personal life, and my right to life a safe life in the pursuit of happiness.

I’m left wondering from these comments what I’m missing. Why exactly do we pick partners? Or is it that women should not pick, but be picked? What am I missing here? Are you telling me that women should stand by their man no matter what? What insight do I lack? Are my breasticles bigger than your testicles? Or should women just take whatever bones men throw? Does any of this matter? You tell me. Seriously, educate me on your perspective, thoughts, ideas... educate me on the male point of view. Again, I'm a woman, so I cannot pretend to speak for men.

And would you, dear readers,—especially the men—stay with a partner regardless of their actions, regardless of disrespect, chronic infidelity, abuse and other actions that dishonor a partnership or you as a partner? Would you stand by your man or woman until the day you die no matter how bad they hurt you and your family?

Editing this to add:

I've put on comment moderation. Not that I get a lot of comments, but there are some people who want attention and I refuse to give it. This is my space where I write about my life. MY LIFE. The past is what is it is. You don't get to the here and now because of no good reason. Things are what they are because of the histories we create for ourselves. If you are making your life better, you work the steps, do what's required and stop complaining about and blaming other people. You own your behaviors and understand why those you hurt, threatened and basically made life hell for aren't going to trust what you say until there is a long history of compliance and good behavior. And having your wife/girlfriend/fiance or whatever post here is the same game we've been through for 10 years. It's always the girls contacting saying poor him... so to me, that' proof the behavior has not changed. 

And yeah, I'm deleting the comments made by the latest gal in my ex's life.  Cause *I* can control my own space. Yay! 

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Everything I wrote is true and factual to my knowledge and based on MY experience. There are court documents to back it up domestic violence and custody matters in three different states. I have a HUGE file with most of these documents.

The child support documents has documentation of his most recent violent behavior. He was not able to be present at the last child support hearing because he was institutionalized. That was less than a year ago.

Wonderful if he's doing well, great he's doing everything he needs to do for supervised visitation. Even better if he isn't using drugs, but according to my documentation given to me by the courts, he was... maybe not crack, but that splits hairs. I'd be happy to post the "evidence" here if you like, but I'm not sure that is entirely legal in custody matters. Ask him for the documentation. It's an interesting read.

We are fully abiding by the most recent court order. The child support issue is settled and I'm not even going after arrears. Never in this post did I claim anything about money, except when he skimmed off the rent money years ago. I have never asked for that back.

If you are his wife, than you should take a cue from other step-parents-- its not your business other than to support your husband.