Saturday, May 4, 2013
Books, magazines and hobbies are opportunities to involve your man in constructive activities that heighten his appreciation of women and our perspectives. These are great ways to productively occupy your man's leisure time.
· Your man shouldn’t be reading books and magazines that are derogatory to women or that perpetuate traditional female stereotypes. Insist that he read the same magazines as you. Men can benefit from reading “women’s” magazines. They can learn what is important to women by reading these magazines and should be required to do so. Men may be skeptical at first but will come to enjoy the viewpoints and practical tips many “women's” magazines provide.
· Since men are doing more and more housekeeping, books and magazines that deal with homemaking are certainly appropriate; get your man reading, ladies!
· To make sure your man is reading appropriate magazines, get him a subscription in his name. If you subscribe to the same magazine(s), it's an opportunity to engage your man in discussions about certain articles and features.
· Insist that your man have a “feminine” craft or hobby. One woman has her son-in-law doing needlepoint and he’s now learning to knit. Many other husbands have – and enjoy – such hobbies as a result of their wife’s urging. It's a great way for your man to expend creative energy and to use any down time you allow him. Dennis enjoys knitting, a shared interest with Mother. He's embarked on an ambitious project to knit a scarf for women friends and family; that's nearly twenty scarves before Christmas. Get knitting, sweetheart!
A woman might also have her man “come out of the closet” with his hobby by joining a craft group. Consider a knitting club or sewing circle. Dennis is involved with Mother's knitting group and her romance reader group. To be sure, his primary role is serving the women, but he participates in the discussions. Dennis regards typical male activities as boring but looks forward to social events involving Mother and her friends.
· Reading romance novels is immensely beneficial to men. Romance novels portray women in a favorable light and communicate women’s desires, values and fantasies. One sees not only a positive image of women but also a realistic image of men. The male character is always a self-centered egotist – until the woman completely takes control by the end of the story!
Romance novels are wonderfully addictive to men as well as women. Mother got Dennis reading romance. The two of them share and discuss books. He always packs a few romance novels for trips out of town as he has lots of time to read after his early curfew. When Mother holds one of her Girls’ Night Out events at our home, dennis serves but is also allowed to participate.
· Occupy your man’s time with a social or charitable activity. Involve him in a local feminist group. They'll put him to work stuffing envelopes, cleaning up, making copies – whatever is needed. And he'll be working for some aggressive women; that should teach him some humility!
· I'll say it again, workshops around Feminist topics are also beneficial. We have some impromptu meetings, mostly with women, but we're starting to see more couples – we don't accommodate single men. Topics range widely but some of the more energetic discussions involve men taking the woman's name in marriage, prenuptial agreements, the gender quake, and men doing more (why not all?) housework.
· Take a casual learning class together. Cooking, art, and ballet classes are only a few suggestions.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Women we know who are in a female-led relationship have commented that it’s important to exercise control over their man’s friends and social activities. Those whom he associates with outside the home can have a detrimental effect on a woman’s efforts to run the household.
- A woman should be aware of who her husband is associating with and what they are doing. Peer pressure can have a very bad influence on even the best of men, and women need to intervene. A woman should prohibit her man from associating with bellicose men who are potential bad influences.
Ladies, consider that you’ve done a lot of work training him, so don’t let that good work be undone by a few out-of-control men.
Friends can have a positive influence on your man, as well. Encourage him to associate with men you deem appropriate. If his friends are docile and obey their wives, it will be that much easier for him to do so. Men love being “one of the guys”; make sure your man is “one of the guys” cleaning house, doing ironing and obeying his wife.
- Women might establish a network—yes, networking again, but it’s effective!—with the wives of their man’s friends. These women are no doubt interested in keeping tabs on things, and this is a great way to do it. When men know that their wives talk, they’re less likely to misbehave.
- We don’t advise that men be allowed outside activities unless supervised, at least in the early stages of an FLR. If such a “men’s night out” is allowed, women should be aware of who will be involved, what they will be doing and when their man will return. Men’s night out should be planned with the wives of other attendees, and the women should insist on a full account of what took place when their men return.
Of course, men’s night out (or “boys’ night out”) should be an infrequent occurrence. Such events are a burden to women and keep men from doing things they should be doing.
At least in the early stages of an FLR, many men adhere to a code of silence when it comes to reporting on what other men do or say. Your man should realize that he has an obligation to you and to other women to report on activities when the guys get together. If your man doesn’t, then he’s just as guilty as the ones who misbehave and should be subject to appropriate discipline.
Progressive gentlemen who are in an FLR will be only too happy to be involved in your network. Such men naturally lose interest in “guy” activities but are happy to continue attending them to keep an eye on things for the women. Dennis and his friend, Tom, dislike male activities, find them juvenile and boring, but they get satisfaction from helping women keep control.
- If men want to go on an overnight trip, why not consider having at least one or two of the wives accompany them to keep tabs on things; men do need a chaperone! If they don’t want women along, then you’ve got to wonder what they were planning. Permission to take the trip—DENIED!
- Insist that your man participate in some of your activities. Have him attend the theater, the ballet, and movies of your choosing. He should be accompanying you on shopping trips and to fashion shows and associating with you and your friends. They’re going to be much better influences on him than many of his friends who’ve yet to shake off the prejudicial thinking of patriarchy. Dennis loves being invited to “Girl’s Night Out,” a weekly event that includes mother, four of our women friends, and the occasional progressive gentlemen or two. It is an evening for women, so we call the shots as to what we’re going to do and if we want men along. We are under no obligation. Guys being invited to Girl’s Night Out is a real privilege that’s earned, not lightly granted.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
NANCY & DENNIS: A SUBMISSIVE HUSBAND'S ABIDING REGRET OVER LOST OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW
Nancy writes: Every now and then I get what I regard as a good response; then there's this one (below), which is perhaps the best response I've ever received on this blog. It was to the previous post, “Toward a Lifelong Female-Led Marriage: Phone Calls, Email & Texting – Taking Control”
The comment was so obviously heartfelt, sincere and yet sad that I wanted to respond in a regular post rather than merely in the Comments section.
First, here is the comment by Anonymous, addressed jointly to me and to Kathy of the femdom101 blog:
*Dear Nancy and Kathy,
You both have turned our marriage upside down! We were in a patriarchal relationship for 38 years, and we discovered upon retirement that my wife had opinions and a strong leadership personality. I decided one day to just obey her every command rather than try to continue on an egalitarian, shared leadership style in our retirement.
My wife took to my submissiveness and her being the boss like a racehorse that has finally been allowed to run at her pace and style! We both loved the result of her taking complete control but did not understand the dynamics until I searched the Internet and we found your two blogs. We now realize what we have and are thrilled to discover how great the Femdom-marriage can be! We couldn't be happier in our new roles.
I regret one major thing in our life and that is when my mother-in-law was alive and lived with us that I didn’t know the joy of serving and having the opportunity to take orders from her.
Now here is my response:
Better late than never. We encounter couples who try to share decision-making in their marriages, and it just doesn't work! The woman-in-charge scenario is not only satisfying to women, but to men, too; it's a win-win, as you've both discovered. As I've said many times, men love being told what to do. When they are, it results in the kind of tranquil, satisfying marriage that all men crave. Many women are not inclined to take on a leadership role, but once they do, they, like your wife, really love it! Obedient men are a wonderful thing, as are silent men! Obey your wife and listen when she speaks and your relationship will flourish!
My husband and I are truly sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. Our experience is that mothers-in-law bring a lot to a female-led marriage. My mother was head of her household and was—and is!—a great role model for me. I always seek her opinions. My mother is retired and resides with us. While I'm the boss, she's the family Matriarch, a Goddess in her own right, a wise woman we all respect, a woman my husband worships. Mother is very demanding, and the one who enforces the rules. I work full time and delegate this authority to her; whatever she decides is right. Her aggressive enforcement of rules as well as her adding ritual to our daily routine drives my husband to be his best. dennis loves serving my mother just as I'm sure you would have enjoyed serving your mother-in-law.
Your comment,”"I regret one major thing in our life and that is when my mother-in-law was alive and lived with us that I didn’t know the joy of serving and having the opportunity to take orders from her” is indeed a beautiful sentiment—probably the most beautiful one I've EVER seen on this or any other blog! Please share these emotions with your wife; I'm sure she will appreciate them. Ask her how she thinks her mother might have responded to your being more submissive. Consider serving your wife in this way in memory of your mother-in-law.