She has written extensively about politics, parenting, and the influence of feminism on American society for more than a decade. But, reading Suzanne Venker’s post the top 10 dos and don’t’s of wifedom, has left me nothing short of stunned. The list’s introduction reads: “Below are my top 10 Dos and Don’ts for being a good wife. They are not (naturally) politically correct, but they work. I do not address men here, only women. So don’t come back with, “What about him? What does he have to do?” My book, How to Choose a Husband, speaks to women, not men, and that’s where this list comes from.”
Number 1 on the list had my jaw drop and my chin bang hard on the floor: “When it isn’t absolutely necessary to speak up, don’t. Silence can be golden.” I did a quick check of my iPhone calendar and discoverd that it was, in fact, 2013. The days of women being silent are long gone. She may as well have said that women should only speak when spoken to or should be seen and not heard. It’s statements like those of this list that make me wonder if the single biggest obstacle to feminism and equality isn’t men/patriarchal society but other women.
Number one on the list may well have had my heart racing, but number 2 on the list caused it to come to a complete and grinding halt! Number 2 advises us women to “Have regular sex, even if it’s just a quickie and you’re not in the mood.” Here it is again in case you didn’t quite grasp its meaning the first time: “Have regular sex, even if it’s just a quickie and you’re not in the mood.” In my opinion, she is advising women to have sex with their husbands when they don’t want to. Um, there’s a word for having sex when you don’t want to – rape! More specifially, marital rape.
The rest of her dos and don’ts are a sick joke – they have to be. Read them here, if you think your heart can handle the craziness. I know she says they aren’t politically correct, but what she wrote after that terrifies me – “it works”. It works to have sex with your husband when you’d rather not? Ladies, I beg of you, NEVER HAVE SEX WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. I can’t stress that enough. Have sex when you and your partner BOTH want it. Don’t have sex just to please your partner.
There is so much I could say about this list, but I won’t. I’ve actually been known, in the past, to agree with Venker on a few points – but honestly, I am reeling. I’m raising two daughters and I have to wonder about a society, a culture that first teaches young women “don’t have sex until you’re married” and then when you are married “have sex when you don’t want to”. What kind of a fucked-up sex education is that to give our daughters, our young women, our future women leaders? What does it teach our sons, our young men, our future men leaders? Well, it teaches them that men can have sex whenever they want and never mind what the woman wants, thinks or feels. (The correct terminology for that is rape culture.)
It is time to stop this craziness once and for all.