No House-Husbands Need Apply

Professor Tracey unintentionally set off a mini-firestorm over at Aunt Jemima’s Revenge when she commented that a number of the brilliant, savvy black women in President-elect Obama’s administration are unmarried. Several of the women were married and are now divorced, others have never married. I don’t think this is necessarily a commentary on black people and our disdain for marriage, though I definitely think black people as a whole don’t see marriage in a positive light. I think it’s more indicative of a major paradigm shift in our national psyche and for that matter, much of the world’s. I’ve spoken of this before in my post on men being a disposable commodity. I suspect that many women are getting married in their twenties, having their children, then getting rid of their husbands so they can focus on their careers with fewer distractions. Further, many women, especially those who are high-powered and ambitious, don’t necessarily need a husband––they need a wife.

I remember having a roommate back in the day who was working hard to climb the career ladder. She had to travel a lot for work, and she commented on the fact that she was disadvantaged because her male co-workers had wives at home to run the rest of their lives. Even to the point of Fed-Exing them fresh suits from the dry cleaners, maintaining familial relationships, etc… She more or less had to do these things for herself. Even if  she’d been married, it would’ve been difficult to find a husband who was content to be a house-husband. And contradictorily most high-powered women don’t really want the sensitive beta male types who make good house-husbands. They long for a dominant alpha male who is even stronger and driven than they are. It’s hard for alpha females to respect a man who is otherwise. Unfortunately, alpha males typically are not interested in a woman who is equally as powerful, and it creates a conflict. 

I remember years ago watching an interview with Donald Trump whereas he talked about his divorce from Ivana. He very frankly stated that when she became a successful businesswoman their marriage was essentially over. It’s interesting to note that his subsequent wives have all been content to surrender the limelight to him. 

It’s important to understand that right now we’re going through some major growing pains as it pertains to male/female gender roles. It’s going to require some major re-thinking of what masculine and feminine really are. We’re going to have to rethink what it is that makes a good spouse. Is it really impossible to love a man who prefers the nurturing role? Why is it that we have little problem with women who are driven and ambitious, but the male who would actually complement this woman is seen as ‘weak?’ Of course, there are plenty of men who can’t handle being with a woman who is more powerful, and there’s not a heckuva lot to be done there. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of men who have no problem being the partner at home Fed-Exing the fresh suits and taking the kids to pre-school each day. 

If we really value the concept of marriage and want to rear our children in a secure marital relationship, it’s time to seriously start thinking about exactly what marriage is, and what we hope to gain from, and bring to it.

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7 thoughts on “No House-Husbands Need Apply

  1. I stopped by that via What Tami Said and read the comments as well.

    It’s really quite depressing actually. I nearly cried when I read the very last comment from the TWENTY THREE YEAR OLD college student who was saying that she didn’t expect to get married. I was like, damn…it’s like that….at her age???

    I know Roz that you wholeheartedly encourage dating in volume, both in and out of the race, but sometimes the notion is almost paralyzing. I’m dealing with a situation right now where when I was a bit younger normally I’d have no issues communicating but now I seem to have lost the use of my words. LOL!!

    In the case of someone like me who desires to be married and comes from a relatively stable two parent home (folks been together 39 years) the thought of not getting married is absolutely terrifying.

  2. Hmmmm. I just cruised over there and saw a whole lot of excuse-making. Maybe this, maybe that, just ’cause someone is married doesn’t mean they’re happy.
    The usual diversion.
    Meanwhile we seem to have the lead in several negative statistics on lock.
    BUT our lack of married couples and stable families has NOTHING, WHATEVER, to do with it.
    Riiiiiiiiiight.

  3. I know it can be paralyzing TIH. Nobody hates socializing worse than I do. I’m the world’s worst introvert. My first meeting with my husband, I stopped three times on my way there because I was hyperventilating. I was scared to death! I just knew that I would never meet my Prince Charming stuck in the house. It just wasn’t going to happen.

    @Foreverloyal, I love the strawman arguments people put up. I started to comment then decided, ‘why bother?’ Nobody said that marriage=happiness. It’s a given that not everyone wants to be married. I happen to believe that anyone who wants to be married can be married. I think all this gloom and doom about the subject is unnecessary. Statistics are meaningless. After all, there are billions of men on this planet and you only need one. (Unless of course, you want to be the heroine in one of my romances who actually gets two. -lol-)

    I believe strongly that negativity attracts negativity. The only thing you have control over is you. You can’t do anything about the statistics, or the economy or any other intangibles. You can however, focus on doing the things you need to do to meet the man of your dreams. That’s all you can do. Try not to even think about those other issues. After all, it’s not like you can do a whole helluva lot about them anyway!

  4. As a guy I have a job I love, working is still a way to do the things I love, which involve the woman I love and all the things we do outside of work. If she had a high power/paying job that could support me staying home and taking care of the place I would support that entirely. I may not be the best at keeping track of Bdays/appts/important info, but freed of the need to work 40 hours a week, I could improve. And heck, Fed-Exing suits ain’t hard work at all…

  5. Well I’m not sure it’s a matter of “rethinking gender roles.” If men don’t want to be househusbands, is that any different from the modern woman who would never want to be a housewife? That’s not “different” gender roles, that’s the same: women want independent careers, men want independent careers. The “roles” are the same, moreso than ever in history. Are you advising these women to give up their careers? How can we have spent the last 40 years telling women to leave the home and have their own careers and be independent and self sufficient, but tell men exactly the opposite: that they should be happy to stay at home?

  6. Mala, I’m not sure you read my post, or perhaps I wasn’t clear. My point is that there are some men who are perfectly happy be househusbands. As a culture, we tend to reject these men, much as we used to reject women who preferred a career over being a housewife.

    And certainly nowhere in my post have I advised anyone to give up their careers. I’m saying to those women that perhaps they need to look for different criteria in a mate. Rather than the hard-driving, career-oriented man, they might want to look at men who prefer a more supportive nurturing role. Certainly that is rethinking gender roles. These women need someone in their corner. Somebody’s got to be there to Fed-Ex the suits, if they’re both out pursuing a career. Hired help is not what it used to be, and I can tell you, finding someone who’ll Fed-Ex the suits is well-nigh on impossible.

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