Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happily Shackled

“…And it's knowin' I'm not shackled / By forgotten words and bonds / And the ink stains that have dried upon some line… / That keeps you ever gentle on my mind.”
—Glen Campbell, “Gentle on My Mind” [actually written by John Harper, as noted by one of my readers]

Of course, it’s precisely the contractual shackling of the wandering, marauding male animal that makes civilization (and wife worship) possible. “It's the miracle of love—and commitment,” as I wrote in Chapter One of my book, citing a favorite quote from author George Gilder’s seminal work, Men and Marriage:

“Women manipulate male sexual desire in order to teach men the long-term cycles of female sexuality and biology on which civilization is based.”

Yes, manipulate. Hence, the wife-led marriage. It’s not just comic relief, watching Fred Flintstone getting his daily comeuppance from Wilma. Nor is this domestic role reversal, with the wife calling the shots, contrary to the natural order of things.

I don’t think it’s going too far to say that the “perpetual courtship” or wife-worship or wife-led marriage is really what marriage is intended to be—the daily undertaking by the husband to make good on all those high-flown, ultra-romantic promises he repeated before he got to kiss the bride.

For the wife-worship husband, every day is promise-keeping day, with “love,” “honor” and “cherish” atop his perennial to-do list—and "obey,” as well, for a growing number of worshipful husbands.

Looking through saved web postings on these intimate matters, I came across the following, attributed only to a “Ms. Justine”:

“In order for a male to fully be a man he must come under the full influence and control of a woman. The contract of marriage guarantees what the male animal most deeply longs for--to empty his testes on a regular basis. In exchange for this simple favor, he must surrender all that he thinks and knows as freedom. No longer can he do as he pleases. He must now work hard and be productive. Men only become loyal, faithful and productive when they come under the control of a woman. It is only the contract of marriage which insists that a man work and surrender the fruits of his labor."

George Gilder, I doubt not, would agree.

But, in Glen Campbell’s terms, can’t a guy “just leave my sleepin' bag / Rolled up and stashed behind your couch”? Does he got to be matrimonially bonded and shackled?

I dealt with this at some length in a previous posting, “Marriage Is No Excuse,” but the short answer is, “Pretty much, yep.”

Fumika Misato, creator of the provocative Real Women Don’t Do Housework website, explains that while it is certainly possible for a woman to be worshipped within a long-term non-marital arrangement, “outside of marriage, there is (a) a temptation on the part of the man to seek an easier resolution, and b) no committed relationship into which to invest.”

He needs, in other words, to be shackled. Happily, even blissfully shackled, if you ask me.


Anonymous said...

John Hartford wrote "Gentle On My Mind."

Mark Remond said...

I stand corrected and more than a wee bit chagrined. Because I often saw Glen and John perform on the old Smothers Brothers show, with Mason Williams, and ought to have remembered. Thanks, Anon!