Husband and Male Bashing

Two Friends Whispering Secrets in the Ear.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:

HUSBAND BASHING

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:

AM I TOO HARD ON WOMEN?

WHY WE SHOULDN’T BAD MOUTH OUR HUSBANDS 

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.

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10 responses to “Husband and Male Bashing

  1. (UNITED STATES)  Thank you for writing this piece. I am a wife and mother who has become shocked at the popular culture’s extreme misandry. I get worried because of the effect on my son. In considering how poorly boys are doing in Western countries, and our unwillingness to do anything to address it makes us look hypocritical. We are quick to point out the inequalities women face in other parts of the world, yet when our own sons are struggling in face of unequal treatment those same voices quick to defend women in other cultures dismiss boys/men in our own culture. Even the kids programming on major children’s networks like Disney and Nickelodeon are rife with misandry and boy bashing. So thank you for standing up and saying something.
    Ana, United States

    1. (USA)  Anna, I’m confused as to where we bash or dismiss men and boys in our culture. Not in these United States. Listen, sweetie, it’s men who bash women. Support your females. You should know better. The true bashing is done to girls and women in this country when:
      1. We tell women that it is a woman’s fault when men cheat. (Bold Faced Lie) (It’s truly not our faults.)
      2. Our husbands don’t defend us when his mother and father put us down and disrespect us.
      3. Our husband doesn’t want to help us with his share of the housework, when we work outside the home just like him
      4. Our husbands want us to stay 20, slim, pretty, and young, while he has grown fat, bald, ugly, and old.
      5. Our husbands unrealistically expect us to have the same male sex drive even though God made us different and it is them only who think about sex a million times a day. (We don’t)
      6. Our husbands look at other women and think we don’t look at other men Ah Hah!!
      7. Our husbands won’t give us respect and are too immature to realize that women want respect TOO!!
      8. (Even though this public display is wrong) :When all the movies are made with nude slim, young women and we as women are supposed to say nothing and accept that this is meeting a man’s needs, but the same media people(MEN), won’t show some nude, slim, young males for women to enjoy too. And yes women do want to see this, I don’t know why you think they wouldn’t. Again this is because women have been brainwashed by all the worldy male power.
      9. We tell a young girl that her daddy is more important than her mom.
      10. We make up a purity ball for girls to weirdly promise chasteness to their dads, but don’t create a weird ball for boys to promise chasteness to their moms.
      11.A man expects his daughter’s to tell him and discuss her period with him.
      12. We tell the girl that her dad should walk her down the aisle but not her mom ans then continue brainwashing her to believe that it was him only that raised her and took care of her as if the mom just sat on the wall all those years.
      13. We allow male congressmen to make birth control laws for women and the men don’t want to pay for women’s birth control, but pay for Viagra for him to go and lay around after he has stopped properly functioning but just needs to sit down in his rocker and be still.
      14. Men make negative comments and degrading nicknames for women’s breasts, like teats, tits, boobies, jugs, titties, nockers, etc, yet women don’t make up condescending words about their little things.

      1. Jean, I respectfully disagree with you on the points you make. While there are some truths woven in through each point, the reverse is also true. There are men (and boys) that do wrong and there are women (and girls) that do wrong. And both genders are being taught some things that are wrong. It shouldn’t be. That is why we need to work TOGETHER, to change that –not finger-point and accuse.

        But not all are spouses are cheaters or abusive –husbands OR wives. I believe for you to make blanket statements like these, it shows that your world is narrow in some way, or maybe it’s your vision that is slanted. While there ARE men that cheat on their wives (and of course, it is NEVER right that they do that), the men have to have someone to cheat with. And usually it isn’t with other men, so we can’t say that men are the only gender who cheats. There are women involved somewhere. Many times the women are married to someone else, and many times men are married to someone else. Both are of different genders, and both are wrong, if they do the cheating.

        Respectfully, I suspect that you may be projecting what you have found to be true in the circle of marriages you see and hear about around you, but that doesn’t mean that it is true as a general rule. We’ve seen A LOT of abusive behavior coming from women too. But most of them don’t view it that way, or they would be more compelled to stop. BOTH genders need to work on their end of things. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it.

        There is crassness and insensitivity that goes on by many men and crassness and insensitivity that goes on by many women. You illustrate by your very comment, what NEITHER gender should do. We should not generalize and lump everyone into one category to label and bash them, because they are a certain gender (just as this is true of any race, religion, political persuasion, or culture group). Wrong behavior is wrong, no matter who commits it –a husband or by a wife. Lets try to build relationship bridges, rather than putting up more walls. Lets try to help one another and inspire one another to better behavior, rather than bashing one another. That only causes more division and bitterness.

      2. (USA)  Jean, Your very post is a demonstration of putting down men. Throughout the post, you suggest that this is a male-only problem. I don’t see any introspection, looking for ways women do that. So by it’s very nature, suggesting that it’s only men who put down women, you indeed put down men. Your comments prove the point of the author of the article.

        1. When my ex-wife had her affair, my pastor asked me what I did to force her to have an affair. I do believe this is largely what society says. If a man cheats, it’s his fault. If a woman cheats, we suggest he wasn’t meeting her needs, forcing her to have an affair. “If only he had listened to her…”

        2. Not sure what to say about that one. The guys I know are very respectful of their wives. It seems a catch-22. If the guy defends her, many wives will take that as him attacking her parents. Seems there is no win-win solution for those guys here.

        3. Define “his share.” You mean like women are doing the same amount of yard work, or fixing the car, or other things? In most cases, I doubt it. Instead of focusing on who is doing how much, which may be a losing argument for the stay at home mom, focus on agreement about what each of you will do.

        4. Bald and old are really out of anyone’s control. But fat is totally controllable. Even fat gained by carrying children. I agree, he should follow the same standard. I am almost as physically fit as I was when I left the military 20 years ago. In some ways perhaps even in better shape. Yet even that wasn’t good enough for the ex-wife, who gained 70 plus pounds, and only used the treadmill and gym memberships she wanted once she was sleeping with another man. So don’t assume this is a husband problem. There are plenty of wives who won’t hold up their end of the bargain for their husband, but will slim down for their affair partners.

        5. I expect one to be honest, and to tell me what it takes for them to enthusiastically want sex. Don’t make it a mystery. Love me enough to want to have passionate sex. I don’t think I want it 4 times a day like when I was 20, how about once a day? Be willing to negotiate in good faith, understanding that it’s your best way to get the intimacy you want from a willing husband.

        6. So you are saying it’s OK to look at others?

        7. Again, define respect. Is your example above, looking at other men the type of respect you want? I agree, we have to respect one another.

        8. I’m thinking this is true for both genders. After all, if I have to endure Tom Cruise playing shirtless volleyball in one movie, or telling a woman she completes him in another, I don’t think you can honestly say this is a one way street. I have a great idea, have lots of sex with your husband. Then he won’t have time to watch movies or other women because he’ll spend a lot of time with you. He’ll probably respect that far more than being told he doesn’t measure up to your standard.

        9. Really, is this why betrayed dads typically are visiting parents when mom has her affair? I think it’s pretty clear society says dads are a source of money, but it takes a mom to really raise a child. Unless my ex-wife were doing her live-in boyfriend on the couch while my daughter watched, there isn’t much chance I’d be the custodial parent. Not because I’m not qualified, but because I’m male.

        10. Last time I checked, we tell both boys and girls. In fact, I just left our youth group tonight. The very topic was sex. We didn’t tell the boys one thing and the girls another. We told them both, no sex until you are married, and then only with your spouse. No double standard, no separate teaching. Very clear that the message was the same for both young men and women.

        11. Good idea. After all, if she can’t learn to open up to her dad, how can she learn to be open and honest with her husband? He may not have all the equipment. But why does that exclude him from knowing what’s going on in her life and how she’s handling it, how it makes her feel, etc? You set a bad precedence to hide or be ashamed to speak to important men in your life about sensitive topics. I can’t think of a good reason not to teach women to gain the strength to share difficult things with a father. It trains them to share difficult things with their spouse later on.

        12. I’m not sure it’s brainwashing. I think it sends the message that she is leaving her parents and is to become one with her husband. If you want both mom and dad to walk you down aisle, I think that’s great. If not, respect the choices those folks make. No need to judge those who want only their fathers to walk them down the aisle.

        13. Not really a male/female issue. I don’t think gender should matter. Birth control is a question between husband and wife. No need for government to make laws about it. If a couple wants to use birth control, they are free to use it. I don’t think there should be laws forcing a third party to pay. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, choose insurance that does if it means that much. No need for a law. If you work somewhere like a Catholic church or hospital that is against birth control, then you have no reasonable expectation they should be forced to pay for something that goes against their religious teachings.

        Likewise, if you don’t like insurance that will pay for Viagra, but not birth control, choose different insurance, a different employer. The last thing we need are laws telling other people that they should or shouldn’t pay for these sorts of things.

        14. Really. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a wife refer to her husband as another child, or refer to his parts by equally condescending terms. I.E. he’s thinking with the little head, not the big one, etc.

        So thanks for proving the point of the author by completely missing the idea of the article and simply dumping your criticism about men here.

        See my previous point, you can never make yourself higher by putting down others. By putting down men, you demonstrate how small a person you are. You don’t have to stay there. But what you wrote only makes you look small.

  2. (USA)  Tips here also apply to the guys (in case any of you are reading and thinking you might pass this on to your wife). I believe we are cautioned in scripture not to allow unwholesome talk to come from our mouths as suggested above. That’s scripture for everyone, married, single, husband, wife, parent or child to name a few.

    No one can elevate themselves by putting down another. One just digs themselves down as deep if not deeper than the person they claim is beneath them by their critical tongue.

    If you think your spouse is lousy, keep it to yourself and God. After all, why would you tell someone that you picked a lousy spouse? Sing their praises. You make yourself look good by making your spouse look good. If you make your spouse look bad, you only drag yourself down with him/her.

  3. (USA) It’s amazing how many of us flip scriptures to control or mean what we want them to mean. I will say there’s a point in that women have to take on a barrel of burdens while men continue to behave, lust and act like children. Did we forget that both men and women tend be passive-aggressive, narcissistic, or just plain bitter. No, male bashing isn’t good, but the last time I checked I’m to talk to God as I would a friend. So if I’m telling God how I feel, yes that will come out my mouth. So my question is when you’re saying that I’m talking in an indecent way because I said “Lord this jerk makes me sick,” instead just saying to Jean…I know the world has a double standard, you basically just judged and dismissed the idea. I see it all the time on YouTube–these men say ignorant things like women belong in the kitchen, and my woman is only the there to care for me and have sex. What makes matters even worse I’ve seen it written on his website too! Men are so quick to parade about that they need sex this and that, but did you take time to be intimate with wife besides sex? Intimacy is more than sex! Ask for sex when the both of you are on good terms…not just you. So far I have not seen or read an article that demanded both husband and wife to love as Christ did. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

    1. (UNITED STATES) Michelle it is quite apparent that you have some major anger issues towards men, not just in general, but straight up hatred. And you are so wrong about nothing being mentioned throughout the site about “men loving their wives as Christ loves the church, laying down your very lives…” This is where I started learning the true meaning of it all reading in the men’s section.

      Personally, I did start on this web site to find and figure out and show my wife, who I love with all my heart, what she was doing wrong. Come to find out, I needed to change. My relationship with Christ needed to come first even before she does.
      Three weeks ago we weren’t even on speaking terms. It was so bad that we both changed our numbers and blocked each other from email. And just over a week ago, she emailed me. That in itself was a miracle.

      God is a restorer of all things. And I praise him for the awesome needed ministry that Marriage Missions has created here. You know what Michelle, God loves you. He doesn’t want you burdened down with anger, past hurts, wrath, or vengeance. Those things are keeping you in bondage. So I’m personally going to pray for you that God removes and binds those spirits in you. He says whatever is bound on earth is bound in heaven. I am going to pray that he fills your heart and soul with a peace that surpasses all understanding, and a love that is endless and forgiving to all. Amen

  4. (UK) Thankyou for this article, it is something I have been made aware of in my own life and all the repercussions. Funny how the topic inspires both such passionate and defensive responses.

    One major thing is coming out of everyone’s comments; as a people many of us are not getting a proper education of what good men and women are meant to be like. Part of my husband bashing comes from somehow thinking I know the best way to do things, he doesn’t act as I do, and won’t allow me to convince him and thus I whinge to the people who agree with me – other women! Does that mean women are right about these things, no, it means women and men truely are wired differently and I’m trying to get him to think like me ‘as a woman’ not because I’m necessarily right.

    I also get annoyed that we both work full time, yet I cook, care for our daughter when we’re together and try to keep house. But sometimes you have to admit, I am better at these things! I’m not being anti-househusband here – my husband is quite capable of all these things and the better cook, but he hates trying to plan day-to-day mundane meals. I don’t like it either, but I know if someone doesn’t do it our daughter will be hungry, so I do it because just getting on fits the way I am made. Plus, the few times he has done it we’ve ended up with something on toast every night for a week…

    By contrast, I would have fallen and hurt myself had I attempted to move our new flat-packed wardrobe up the stairs (first floor flat – no lift) but he did it without even consulting me further than to keep our daughter out of the way. Then constructed it, moved his clothes but left mine to me. Perfect. The stuff he’s good at! I couldn’t have started this task, whereas he does know where the hoover lives.

    People who say all wo/men only ever… have not been fortunate to have experiences with people brought up the right way. I have met plenty of men who fulfil the stereotypes above, but I wonder why they grew up that way? If their parents believed the same stereotypes then they would have encouraged it in their children – boys like Dad, girls like Mum. This is something I talk about with my husband a lot; his Mum regrets that she allowed her sons to grow up expecting to be waited on like their Dad, with no daughters, she’s paying for it now. Thankfully my husband isn’t like his brothers, he was fortunate enough to have input from a lot of older men and women who thought differently. We only have a daughter right now, and he’s happy that there are some areas of her upbringing where I am better qualified to guide than him – but what about when a boy comes?

    I fully believe there will be times when I will have to send Daddy after them and shut my eyes tightly – accepting the extra washing later on of course :-) But I want sons who will be manly men, not feminized because I Mummied them, like my Dad and brother. I don’t have an example of how best to allow such a man to grow, so my husband is the best guide when the time comes, hopefully our children will grow up to be an example of good men and women to peers who may not otherwise witness this.

    As for the husband bashing, this is not prevented by law, which is why there is a move to diminish it. Athough UK law has recently changed to include emotional abuse as a type of assault, I wonder how many wives that makes guilty of a crime…
    Men are not encouraged to do better by pointing out their faults, and believe me, it does nothing for intimacy. By comparision, bragging up his good things in public makes other women shut up suddenly when they see the look on your husband’s face compared to theirs. And he does more good things as a result, especially working on the initmacy aspects that I like. It’s not a hard and fast result, but surely a bit of kindness to the man who has promised to put up me for life is a good investment?!

    1. It is a culture, we see sitcoms: “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Two and a Half Men” and the core message is women bashing and society tolerate these as entertainment. Most of their jokes have crossed legitimate social decency. I wouldn’t be so surprised most adults get used to hear their sarcasm as funny lines. Now in the marriage the overuse of it surely will backfire. Karma to western culture.