You know when someone is telling you her one-sided view of things and you almost cannot listen for the glaring red lights flashing "Selfish Brat" right over her forehead? An article on female rage in The Daily Mail gave me that oh-so-pleasant feeling today. Elizabeth Stewart, writing in a tone so shrill it made me want to reach through the paper and slap her, laments her state of suffering due to over scheduling and Helpless Hubby Syndrome.
She begins: "Last week I was woken at 2 am by the unmistakable sound of vomiting. For a foolish split second, I waited to see if my husband, Johnny, would get up to see to Grace, our three-year old daughter."
Ah, three seconds in, and she already sounds like a brat. Did she even consider asking her husband to get up to help their daughter? Um, no. She was too busy fuming over her husband's inability to read her mind in his sleep. And if he is anything like my husband, he probably slept through the whole thing for the simple reason that his daddy ears are not generally attuned to nighttime vomiting noises. Which is why, if I want help in the middle of the night, I wake my husband up.
But, I guess that would be a silly thing to do when instead you can whine about how horrible your husband is for not immediately waking and helping you load the washing machine. (She later admits that the reason she didn't wake her husband was because her daughter had fallen ill at daycare a few days before, and she was in meetings all day and missed the phone call with her daughter's plea for help, stranding the poor child to be sick away from home. And she felt guilty about that, so she took care of the vomiting episodes herself, and then complained about the fact that her husband wasn't helping her. Then, since she was already up she made dinner for the next day, because, hhmmmph... what else is one to do in the wee hours while her unhelpful husband is snoozing away and she wants to add to her list of things to complain about? Act like a martyr and make dinner, that's what).
The article grouses on and on - she's so persecuted, no time for herself (even interrupted by a phone call during a bikini wax, poor thing), so stressed out, husband so incompetent, she does EVERYTHING around the house, etc., etc. To balance the husband-bashing scales she occasionally throws in a little tidbit about how much she loves the man, apparently having missed the memo that women who love their husbands do not trash them in newspaper articles (or to anyone else for that matter - not friends, not mothers, no one). For example: "I adore my husband. But there are times I could cheerfully strangle him simply for having the luck to be born a man.”
Yes, how dare he have been born a man? The nerve!
It's no wonder her husband goes to bed early. He wants to avoid getting attacked by the she-beast he vowed to put up with.
She laments that she only has a job so her family can keep a roof over their heads. But then we read on to find out what that really means - she has a job to support her lifestyle, which includes a nanny and boarding school for their 13-year old son, whom she desperately misses and has to spend all sorts of time visiting to assuage her mommy guilt.
Shrill paragraph after shrill paragraph, she lays out ironclad proof of her own selfishness. Then she ends the article: “Recently, the Children’s Society published a report lambasting modern women for being too selfish to be good mothers. Are they kidding? I’d like to see the authors spend a week in my shoes. Most of my days are a near-precipice experience. I’m so close to the edge that I’m in a semi-permanent state of panic. I have a constant list of things I have to do running through my head like a stock market ticker-tape."
Um, is she kidding? How can someone possibly be so selfish without realizing it? If she feels she is working out of necessity, perhaps she should consider eliminating the nanny from her payroll and removing her son from the expensive, unneccessary boarding school so she can take care of her family the way she supposedly wants to. But of course she can't do that because she obviously doesn't trust her husband to provide for their family, because he is a helpless buffoon, in case you missed that already (but she adores him! Don't worry!).
She continues: "What must it be like to live without the tyranny of the list? To sink into a bath and not be mentally composing tomorrow’s agenda? What is it like to be a man and have nothing to think about but the task in hand?"
Oh, right, I forgot. Men, by nature, have nothing to worry about. Not work, not providing for a family, not dealing with an irrational, ungrateful wife. It's all lollipops and sunshine and daffodils for them.
"No wonder the vast majority of our great scientists, thinkers and artists are men. Think how much room they must have in their heads without all the domestic clutter their wives are taking care of."
No wonder the vast majority of our great scientists, thinkers and artists are men, if this is what "professional" women act like.
Honey, face the music and realize that YOU are the problem. The universe is not picking on you - you are making choices that have consequences, guilt over the family you are ignoring being one of them, and all the helpful husbands in the universe would not be able to change that one bit. Especially not the one who is eventually going to divorce you out of desperation to stop the self-righteous blather coming out of your mouth. And newsflash, he might actually be more helpful if you stopped treating him like a two-year old.
If I were her husband I would climb right back on that couch and pull a blanket over my head.
Honestly, female rage? More like female stupidity.