Friday, January 04, 2008

I should know better than to read popular magazines. Alas, the mindless allure of "Real Simple" was too hard to resist in my flu-induced delirium. Most egregious article: "Together for life: honest, intimate snapshots of what makes marriage work." The common theme among all five couples profiled? There's a problem, the woman changes. One gave up her catering business because the work was impinging on their Saturday night dates. "As much as I enjoyed my work, my family's happiness was more important to me. I learned then that marriage is really about compromise." One isn't really interested in sex (can't imagine why, after having three children in three years) but she bears it anyway because she "wants to be respectful of his needs." One worked a crappy job for ten years because her husband couldn't find a job in his field- it seems surprisingly common for women to support their families with whatever work they can find, while their husbands won't compromise their standards and take crappy jobs themselves.

It's entirely possible that these folks have fairly egalitarian marriages and that the writer focused on the wives' compromises because of the composition of their readership. Certainly a number of choices that Dan and I have made would appear anti-feminist in isolation. But the editorial implication that women alone are responsible for accommodating their families is infuriating. Why not include a man who waitered to support his wife through law school, or a couple that decided to move to a small town when they couldn't agree on an urban or rural area?

(Dan took advantage of my weakened anti-bad-media defenses by putting on a James Bond movie. We only got ten minutes into it, but in that time 007 added a surfboard and a hovercraft to his transportation repertoire, so I guess it was almost worth it. I was surprised at its PG-13 rating though- have rating standards eroded, or am I just hypersensitive? I'd expect any James Bond flick to be a lot more graphic than Young Sherlock Holmes.)

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