It seems like everywhere you turn, whether it’s in the media or in person, when women get together, husband and male bashing is a common thing today! It’s not uncommon to hear women complaining about their husbands —what their husbands DID do that aggravated them and what they DIDN’T do that also made them flustered. And that wouldn’t be so bad if that’s all there was to it because after-all, as human beings we DO frustrate each other. But when it goes beyond that first step… hmmm…
It can seem “fun” at the moment when you’re with other women to make “sport” of a husband who aggravates and bewilders you. The conversation usually starts out somewhat innocent. But then it goes into the direction of: “what was he thinking when he did (or said)…?” And often it doesn’t stop there. It spirals down into demeaning and making fun of him as a man and/or a husband and also sometimes as a thinking human being.
I’ve listened to and have been in on some of those conversations (and very regrettably in the past have even participated in the fervor of the moment) with other women!
Talking together as women who need help and empathy from other women to get through a situation with their husbands in a more positive way, and husband bashing are entirely two different situations.
The “talking together as women who need help” falls into line with Titus 2 and also Ephesians 4:29, but husband bashing doesn’t. It tells us in the Bible,
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Some women say it’s all innocent because they don’t mean anything serious by it, and after-all, “if you don’t laugh about it, you’ll probably cry.” And that may be true. But it’s different when it goes over the line.
And if we’re really honest, we know where that line is to be drawn —whether something we say about our husbands is “helpful” or not and whether or not it’s “wholesome” to those who listen (and to the one doing the talking).
That’s the issue Ida Rose Heckard wrestled with, and finally came to some important conclusions. The question for ALL of us to consider when we are involved in male basing, “is it trash talk or harmless humor?” After going through a time of self-examination and prayer, Ida realized some things that she relayed in a Today’s Christian Woman article, titled “Male Bashing.” Here are a few of the many things she points out:
• “Male bashing distorts our view of men. I didn’t realize how much I’d bought into negative stereotypes about men until one day, early in my marriage, when my husband, George, returned home in the midst of my annual holiday cookie baking. I thought to myself, Watch, just like a man, he won’t help a bit, but he’ll be happy to eat the goods.
• “Male bashing negatively affects our friends. Leslie desired a family but at thirty-four was still single. Her struggles with difficult male coworkers left her fearful she could never live with a man. She and I often commiserated over tea in the cafeteria. Although we enjoyed the camaraderie, I began to see that I was helping to solidify her fears.
• “Male bashing threatens our relationships with men. Because it’s essentially gossip, male bashing undermines trust —the foundation of relationships —and makes it difficult for men to be vulnerable. Jeff, a church friend, once admitted to me that he avoided committees on which a particular woman served because she often used her husband’s weaknesses as amusing anecdotes.
• “Male bashing hurts our children. Initially, I was amused to hear my five-year-old son tell a baby sitter we have four children in our family: himself, his brother, his sister, and his father. But I was embarrassed when I later learned he’d merely repeated my own words. As my son and I talked, he asked me, ‘Mommy, what do you say about me? ‘ I realized when my children hear me belittle their father, they question their own security.
• “When we recklessly criticize someone based on gender, we inevitably insult our Creator as well. Male bashing distorts our view of God. In 1995, as I battled ovarian cancer, I was forced to examine my deepest beliefs about God. I desperately needed to understand his character and his nature. God created us in his image, male and female. Whenever we recklessly criticize someone based on gender, we inevitably insult our Creator as well. Such carelessness erodes our appreciation of his character and thus our ability to trust him. I came to a place in my life where I couldn’t allow anything to interfere with that trust. When I saw that male bashing did, it had to go. “
And if we’re truly honest about the way that it can make us appear and men appear, as well as God, when we disrespect men through our talk and behavior, we would see that it has “to go” for us, as well.
To explore this further, you will find a link below to an article that has sure helped me in positive ways and I hope you will find it helpful to read also:
In addition, Sheila Wray Gregoire wrote a couple of articles, posted on her web site, To Love Honor and Vacuum, which goes along with this type of bashing, and more. Sometimes in dealing with and trying to find ways of coping with situations we are dealing with in our marriages, we add our poor behavior upon what we believe to be poor behavior, being acted out by our husbands.
This is not to excuse bad choices our husbands may make, but that does not give us the license to make bad ones, as well.
Please prayerfully read through and consider the advice Sheila gives in the following articles:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
Filed under: For Married Women