I am a mom of boys.
My bathrooms often have a faint odour of “Eau de Pee”, because little boys are bad at aiming but dearly want to pee standing up.
I know the names of all the Skylanders and far too much about their individual special abilities.
Dinner last night ended in uproarious laughter when one boy farted loudly… which made another laugh until he farted… which caused a third to say “excuse me”, while giggling, because “I farted too. Mine was silent, but deadly.”
Boys, I have always said, are different from girls. I spend my day with two boys and two girls, and they just react differently to things. I realize my sample size is small and correlation does not equal causation, but I’ve seen it and I believe it. So.
But what I don’t believe is that all men are inherently lazy, stupid, or irresponsible just because they are men.
This morning at the bus stop I had to listen to the other two moms complaining at length about their husbands. Now, I have met both of the men in question and here’s the thing – they are controlling, backward, uneducated, chain-smoking yahoos who think a woman’s place is to work outside the home (but only when it won’t interfere with the husband’s leisure time, natch) AND handle all the household tasks alone, too. They make Ralph Cramden look enlightened. They don’t hit their women because they’ve at least taken on board that particular lesson, but they do insult them regularly (online, in one case), treat them like second-class citizens, and dictate to them every facet of their lives. They are, in fact, assholes.
I get that.
What I don’t get it is the need to loudly, continually, and publicly talk about their asshole husbands. In front of the children that they share with said assholes. Oh, and I really don’t get the default position – to wit, rolling one’s eyes heavenward while sighing “men!” like somehow that word explains / excuses every single dickish thing your chosen life partner & co-parent has ever done or will ever do.
And what thoroughly sends me into a rage-spiral is when you do all this pissing and moaning within earshot of four boys aged 6 to 9.
My kids are not assholes. My husband is not an asshole. Neither is my father, or my brother, or my little sister’s boyfriend, or 99% of the men I meet in person or online in the run of a week. The principal at my kids’ school? Not an asshole. Their bus drivers? Not assholes. The guy who runs the convenience store and the guy that runs the tailor shop and my favourite cashier at Sobeys and the man who runs our dog’s boarding kennel and all the dads of my dayhome kids? NOT ASSHOLES.
When these women decide to excuse their husbands’ bad behaviour by saying “oh, they’re men, but all men are assholes, what are you going to do”, they are doing several things that infuriate me.
- They are insulting all the men in the world who aren’t assholes, including my three sons.
- They are absolving their husbands of the need to improve because you know, they just can’t help it. Because penises.
- They are absolving themselves of the need to account for their own life choices. Not their fault! PENISES.
These women are miserably unhappy. Their husbands are bad with money, make terrible decisions that impact the whole family, are lousy parents and generally horrible people. But neither of these women is without options. They both have jobs. They both have family nearby who could help with the children. They aren’t trapped. They just have decided that having their little luxuries (beagles! big TVs! twice-a-year trips to DisneyWorld!) are worth being miserable and sour day in and day out.
That’s fine. That’s their choice. It’s not the life I would choose, but I don’t walk in their shoes. But please, ladies, if you’ve made that choice – FUCKING OWN IT.
Stop spending valuable minutes of my life complaining to me about your goddamn husbands. JUST STOP. You’re not going to leave? Ever? Good. Make your peace with that and SHUT UP. Stop badmouthing fifty percent of the human race.
You married an asshole. Good enough then. Stop to consider that perhaps complaining about that person every waking minute makes you an asshole, too.