CTNAHM: Michael is Finger-Lickin’ Good

A Guest Post by Aletha

Originally posted on Yllom Mormon

Created To Need A Help Meet, pp. 43—44

OK. We are STILL in the chapter where Michael lists the reasons men need wives. Here we go.

I Need Her to Keep Me Civilized

Men are basically uncivilized animals. Ask any man who has been in a war zone for a year. Most won’t talk about it, but they know. Ask someone who has been in a state penitentiary for ten years. The presence of women in the house, especially one whom we value, has a most amazing civilizing effect upon men. They keep us from being too crude. They cause us to build houses and decorate them, to cut the grass and clean up after ourselves. If the world had no females, men would live in the most basic shelters. They would not maintain regular employment and would be lawless. We institute law as a means of protecting our wives and culture.

Ah. I have often heard the argument that men are animals. I think it’s a bunch of bullocks; there are women that behave uncivilised, and men that are beacons of manners. Michael starts this section with another broad, gendered generalisation. War zones and penitentiaries are weird examples to use. In a war zone, there is tons of stress, killing, and fear. In a penitentiary, there’s cells, regulations, and a grouping of dangerous and/or mentally unstable people. These are both bad examples to use. In fact, I think the military has strong standards as to how one makes their bed, keeps clothes clean, etc. But the real reason I think these analogies is off, is because both groups are acting mostly out of their control. The military men have a general or the President or someone calling the shots. In the pen, wardens, parole officers, and judges make the rules. Both groups mentioned are acting on the orders of someone else. Though I suppose Michael would claim men should act under God’s orders, so maybe that’s why he came up with this analogy. Hmmmm. And women that are valued? I don’t even understand that comment.

Another thing. Why does Michael twist everything in such an odd way? Can the presence of women tone down a man’s instincts to be crude? Possibly. But I would contend if a man is crude, it’s more an issue with the raising than the wife. If parents raise children and enforce “No burping or farting or rude jokes in public. It’s impolite and crude.” , then children problem won’t behave that way. However, if the parents say “Oh, that’s boys being boys.”, then boys will learn that’s socially acceptable. I also don’t think it’s merely the presence of women that cause men to want to build houses and cut grass. And what about women building houses or doing lawn work? Show of hands, if you didn’t have a woman to “make” you, how many men would keep a job and be law-abiding? It seems to me, that even back when people were living in trees, if you wanted to eat, you had to work. I don’t think the presence of women could change that. Along those lines, call me silly, but I think the law was made more for the protection of everyone than just wives and children. Yes, married men care about their wives and children. Or at least they should. But that doesn’t mean every bachelor is lying in wait (because he obviously doesn’t work) to go about mischief!

God placed a nesting instinct in women, something that is missing in men. Because of the woman in their lives, men eat their vegetables instead of all meat. The women cause us to put a napkin on our laps and use another to clean around our mouths. We learn to say “May I” and “Pardon me”. In a world of all men there would be no napkins, probably no table, and no one would apologize for burping or farting.

I wish it were possible to tell Michael that people in general can have nesting instincts. Just because someone is born with a uterus doesn’t mean they were born with an insatiable need for the white picket fence. Then Michael claims it’s women that pull for veggies and napkins. Again, why does it have to be so gendered? Why can’t things just be up to the individual, rather than the biology? Though a “may I” and “pardon me” is certainly nice, it’s not just women who should teach them. Men can model good manners, too! And every time Michael mentions a world without women, I want to add a snarky crack about reproduction. One final thought-in some cultures, burping is considered a compliment to the chef. So it’s more of a cultural thing than a man/woman thing.

The few times my wife was away for a week visiting our grand kids. I forgot to take a shower and went to bed dirty. I found myself going three days without bathing. But as soon as I know she is coming home I clean my body and the house. What would I be without her? A man who doesn’t bathe has no right to make love to a woman. A shower is an absolute prerequisite. To approach her unclean is insulting and degrading. It shows a lack of respect. Women are much more responsive if you are like Kentucky Fried Chicken—”finger lickin good”. On the other hand, if your wife likes a little odor and grit, pay me no mind.

What the heck happened in this paragraph? One minute we’re talking about civilised behaviour, then next, sex? Head/wall. Is anyone else getting the impression that Michael assumes because he is a certain way, every man is? Just because you don’t like to bathe, Michael, doesn’t make every man that way. My husband, for example, is fastidious about showering. Even when I’m not there, he doesn’t neglect basic hygiene! We’re trying to get licensed for foster kids, and one way that the agencies measure the level of care kiddos require is if they are able to keep themselves clean and groomed. It’s considered a problem if a 10 year old needs help and reminders to bathe. I can’t even imagine a man in his 60s (unless he has physical/mental limitations) that needs to be told to take a shower.

I’m still trying to figure out how he jumped from “my wife’s coming home, I need a shower” to “What would I be without her” to “take shower to get sex”. It’s nice for both parties to be clean, and not just for sex. I’m shocked that Michael uses the word “respect” when talking about a woman. I think this is the first time that he’s used the word in this way. And he makes a good point. Stinky, unclean men aren’t being very respectful to their wives. The reverse is also true. I’m just confused because Debi’s book says “never say no to sex regardless”, and Michael’s book admonishes cleanliness. Once again, there seems a disconnect between what Michael and Debi say. Which is weird, because they co-edit/co-write their books, right?

May I just say, the finger-lickin good part just made me throw up in my mouth? I’m not going to go into my mental images there, but that line just left me feeling icky and gross. Whoa. I just noticed something. Michael talks about the woman’s preference! There at the end, “if your wife likes…” I’m pretty taken aback here. And I’m not trying to be rude. This whole chapter has been “Do this so your wife will do that for you”. Suddenly she gets a say in his hygiene?

Obviously God put the civil side of his nature in the female gender. We need our wives to help us be civil and to establish social order. She is given to us as a help meet to manage this side of our existence I said all that to make one statement. A man’s home may be his castle, but she is lord of the manor. Bend to your wife’s wishes when it comes to the house. My wife owns the house and the kitchen. She tells me what to do and what not to do in the house, and I obey her. She can’t make me wash dishes, but she can tell me where I can put my feet and where I can take my shoes off, and where I can drop a dirty towel. Don’t contend with your wife over the house. It is her nest. Our job is just to gather the sticks, build the nest, bring home the food, and get her pregnant so she can fill it up with little bundles of joy. We men tend to need this direction and structure supplied by our wives. It is their created nature and we should honr that.

I’ve said this before, but where in the Bible does it say that God divided his attributes into male/female parts? If men are created in God’s image, shouldn’t they get the same parts and attributes? Also, I’m noticing that Michael doesn’t seem to take much responsibility for his actions. “She is given to us as a help meet to manage this side of our existence.” No, Michael, you need to manage your own actions and emotions. That’s not your wife’s job. It’s called being a fully-functioning adult.

Something funny I noticed. In 2 sentences, Michael uses the words “home, castle, manor”, as if they can be used interchangeably. If I remember history correctly, there was a king in his castle, and he ruled a country. The country was broken up into smaller plots of lands called duchies (or estates), where lords were in charge of the manor (and serfs!). So if man is the king of the castle, and women are the lords of the manor, then…yep. She’s still under him. Does that make children the serfs? I don’t think ‘bending to the wife’s wishes’ in the home is the right strategy. I think both parties should state their expectations and work together to accomplish them. Good communication is important in any relationship! Though if the man’s options are “Micromanage the Home” and “Let Her Run the House How She Chooses”, the latter sounds better. I guess what people in these types of relationships don’t realise is there isn’t ONE and only one way to have a successful partnership.

I am amused with how he specified his wife owns the house AND the kitchen. Priorities, I guess. And of course Michael doesn’t do dishes. Probably not laundry or cooking either. The whole “Our job is to…” sentence really ticked me off. It felt that he was saying “Look at how much you do, mighty man. Let your wife play house. Give her some babies to amuse her and keep her on the straight and narrow. It’s what she REALLY wants!”

Overall, it is not the wife’s job to keep her husband “civilized”. He should be regulating that himself. After all, he interacts with the world on many different fronts. He should be able to act like a rational adult, and not expect the world to bend to his wishes. It’s not woman’s nature to be responsible for all the icky/boring parts of life, Michael! No matter how much lip-service you give to words like “respect” and “honour”, I will never believe you mean it until you act like women matter. Their needs, their opinions, their wants, their likes/dislikes, their dreams. Let me know when you’re OK with women having those (especially if they differ from yours), then maybe I will trust that you are an authority on marriage!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Norm Donnan

    Sorry but he’s right,men like it when the wife goes away for a few days,talk men’s stuff with the mates,be uncivilized even,it’s fun.We also like it when they come back, absence makes the heart grow fonder and all,and we all love a bit of spicy chicken.

    • Hilary

      Minor editing pick: please put a space after you use a comma and period. You forgot to several times, and I’ve noticed in general you tend not to include spaces after commas. It just makes it easier to read what you said and not get distracted by formatting.

      PS, I’m not a spicy chicken, or anything else to eat.

      • Squire Bramble

        Please, as if a manly man like Norm has time for your fancy grammar, punctuation and spelling when he’s sitting around in his own filth waiting for his object, “the wife”, to return. Sure, you have to read the sentence a few times before you realize that it was indeed Norm, and not “the wife” who was “talking men’s stuff” – but expecting language competancy from a man is simply an unreasonable expectation on your part, like thinking that adult males are capable of preventing their own deaths from bacterial infection or scurvy. Education and hygiene are for girls and homos!

      • Norm Donnan

        Darn it squire you got me totally worked out

      • Squire Bramble

        Pretty much. Have fun with your fourth-grade education and bleeding gums.

        I’ll be at the high table at the other end of the hall with the rest of the gentlefolk. Will be sure to throw you the scrag-end of my capon if I catch sight of you.

      • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

        I’d say don’t feed the troll, but I doubt he gets much “spicy chicken” anyway.

      • Norm Donnan

        Lifes too short Hil,and if your not spicy weeell work on that and dont worry about a commer or two.

      • Hilary

        My name is Hilary. Not my wife nor my mother get to call me Hil. It is basic blog manners to use appropriate punctuation, since we do not have any body language or tone of voice to modify the bare words on a screen. It also helps with communication so the person reading your words can focus on the meaning and not get distracted by formatting and grammar. But you have certainly proved your point, that you are too lazy to tap the space bar after a comma or a period, and disrespectful by not using my proper name and thinking I should be something you approve of (spicy chicken) after a specifically stated that it is not something I identify with.

        I know plenty of men who are neither disrespectful or lazy. This is not intrinsic to the Y chromosome, just jerk behavior. Simply because you have male genitilia does not give you a pass at being a jerk.

    • ako

      I’m sure there are many men who behave like that, especially considering the cultural standard that treats it as normal male behavior, but pushing it as such an extreme “Men are like this, and women are totally different” thing is deeply silly.

      • Gillianren

        My best friend in college was male. He took longer getting ready to go out than I did; the joke in our circle was that he needed to make sure that each individual strand of hair was in place. And, no, my friend isn’t gay. His apartment was always neater than mine; I’m a generally untidy person and always have been.

      • Sally

        Right, and there’s the whole metrosexual thing. You know, straight guys who are neat, fussy, and cultured, like Frazier and Niles Crain.

      • Gillianren

        My best friend was the king of the metrosexuals. To this day, when I’m trying to describe him to people who were at the college when we were, I start with how gorgeous he is, and how well-dressed. He was also intelligent, funny, etc., but his looks were pretty distinctive and didn’t take actually talking to him to find out about.

      • Hilary

        One of my cats is metrosexual (fixed male). He’s got very glossy short black cat hair, he *has*to* have every individual hair in place, and he flirts with every human who comes through the door, male or female.

      • Liz

        His name wouldn’t happen to be Jack Harkness, would it?

      • Hilary

        No, it’s Cody. Or Cody-ling, or Codes, or sometimes Codebreaker, since he broke the code on my heart. Not that hard, actually, he purred at me every time I touched him. I have a magnet on my fridge:

        It came
        It purred
        It conquered

    • wanderer

      What do you think women do when the husband goes away for a few days? Just wondering.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Nothing different. They still have infinity babies to take care of, after all!

      • wanderer

        obvi.

      • Norm Donnan

        well it certainly isnt housework and preparing meals thats for sure.

      • Lizzie

        gross.

      • Norm Donnan

        ???

      • NeaDods

        Because we want to starve in hovels? What?

      • Trollface McGee

        Because the only reason women cook and clean is for their man who doesn’t care about cooking and cleaning and would rather eat his meat raw and covered in bacteria, which is why women clean and cook… does not compute.

      • Barbara

        So she just orders take-out and, like Michael’s vision of The Male™, sits in a pile of her own filth?

    • Barbara

      He’s right, eh? So you agree that, without a woman in your life, you would be completely incapable of making/following laws or establishing any degree of social order? You agree that you would stop working and become dirty, homeless, and malnourished? You agree that you would neglect all of your basic needs?

      • Norm Donnan

        Ha no its just that the laws would change,things would be more relaxed,the social order would smell of testosterone instead of lavender and the standard diet would be meat and three vegies with no herbs and spices,no different cooking “techniques”.But Iam always glad when my “finger lickn,spicy wife “comes home.

      • NeaDods

        I wish you would not assume that you speak for the entire world-wide male gender. There is plenty of evidence otherwise.

        And the social order hardly smells of lavender, not with this much inequality.

      • Lyric

        Just when do you assume women acquire their mystical lavender-scented purity, anyway?

        Because let me tell you, it ain’t in the first year. My seven-month-old daughter thinks farts are the most hilarious thing ever. Hers, her brother’s, whatever; anything that goes, “Pbblbllblrrt!” sends her into a fit of giggles.

        I put it to you that girls acquire their dislike of crude things because they’re taught that way, and boys learn that strategic crudeness wins them social points through the same process. When we start out, I think we all have pretty much the same sense of humor as a pack of seventh graders.

        Which either says something about babies or seventh graders. Not sure which.

      • Michael W Busch

        Cut the sexist nonsense.

      • Kate Monster

        So, men don’t like spices? That’s…that’s a new one.

      • Gillianren

        Bobby Flay on line two?

      • Shaenon K. Garrity

        They only like spices when they’re rubbed on a woman in a chicken suit. I think.

      • Barbara

        Oh goodness, you’ve no idea how much you’ve just amused me.

        See, I didn’t have a damn clue how to really cook before I met my husband. Everything I made was bland and practical. I just asked him, “without a woman in your life, would you only eat meat and three veggies with no herbs or spices?” His response was, “hell no! Herbs and spices are what make it taste good!” When I described the context for the question, he said, “that’s not a male vs female thing; that’s a bad cooking vs good cooking thing.”

        He taught me how to use herbs and spices. He taught me how to experiment with flavors and “techniques.” He taught me the joy of introducing exotic ingredients just for kicks.

        You’re seeing things through a very protracted lens, sir.

      • Norm Donnan

        And thats why I love my wife coming home.I didnt say that I dont like interesting food but that I cant be bothered at this point in time to fuss with it.

      • Lizzie

        You can’t be “bothered” to feed yourself food that tastes good?

    • Anat

      I am not married to a man like that. He is probably more civilized than me, even when he goes out (usually in mixed-gender company).

      • Norm Donnan

        Not many people are,I was just humoring squire in her small minded insult.

    • Michael W Busch

      Cut the gender-role-codification nonsense and the sexism.

      People are individuals, be they men or women or whatever other categories they identify with. People like different things and act differently in different situations. You do not speak for every man. Nor does Michael Pearl. Nor do I.

      Also: “spicy chicken” ?? Where did you get the incredibly offensively wrong idea that that was an appropriate way to refer to anyone?

      And, in case you were going to use it: no, “I was joking” does not do anything to diminish the problems with your words.

      • Norm Donnan

        Why would you assume I was talking for anyone but myself,write your own response.Spicy chicken is Michael;s words,fill in the gap with your own pet name for your partner,who cares.Oh and I wasn’t joking so deal with it.I wasn’t trying to offend anyone.

      • Michael W Busch

        Your intention is irrelevant to the fact that you are being quite offensively sexist. Cut it out.

        Why would you assume I was talking for anyone but myself

        Because you said “men” and “we” and “we all”, falsely stereotyping a very diverse category of people – and both you and Pearl are wrong to do so. Don’t do that.

        And I begin to repeat myself, so I am done.

  • Semipermeable

    “Because of the woman in their lives, men eat their vegetables instead of all meat. The women cause us to put a napkin on our laps and use another to clean around our mouths. We learn to say “May I” and “Pardon me”. In a world of all men there would be no napkins, probably no table, and no one would apologize for burping or farting.”

    Oh my Christ.

    Apparently Mr. Pearl thinks that men are big ass 6 year olds who are somehow, at the same time supposed to be responsible for the whole family, feed the whole family, be in charge, etc etc and are still incapable of simple manners, diet and showering. Seriously. If men are really like this, why does he think they are capable of being in charge of anything?

    Oh yes, because Micheal Pearl wants to both be in control and to have an out so he is not held responsible for his own rudeness and crudeness. You can’t have it both ways man, Are you an incapable 6 year old who ignores the feelings of others and needs a mommy to make you eat vegetables or are you a grown ass man who is in charge of the universe and is too manly for ‘wussy’ things like depression?

    Oh, and btw I work on a trail crew, and after a few days in the woods everyone’s boundaries drop and we all start openly farting, burping, and stinking due to hard work and lack of running water. We make jokes of it, and guess what, the group is lead by a woman and mostly consists of women. Who’d of thunk it?

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      Totally off topic, but cool! All my cousins do (or have done) trail crew. It’s something of a family tradition that I never got into, but I love hearing all their stories when we see each other!

  • Hilary

    Oh good lord, that was hilarious. We should make bingo cards for gender cliches from these people. I’d suggest a drinking game but I don’t want anybody here to die of alcohol poisoning.

  • Fina

    I wonder how it works for Buddhist monks and the like – isolated from women for their whole life, yet value cleanliness and are vegetarians/vegans*

    *may not apply to all variations of buddhist monks, and may apply to monks of other religions too.

    • Conuly

      They aren’t really men. Also, they’re going to hell.

  • Beutelratti

    How am I supposed to be led by someone who does not even realise when it’s time to take a shower?

    • Hilary

      Nominated for Internet award for this post.

  • AEve

    I’m a female graduate student, and I do not clean. My apartment is a mess of random papers, clothes strewn everywhere, and carpet that I do not care to examine particularly closely. I eat at my computer desk, and I certainly don’t use napkins. The thing is, when I had roommates I didn’t do this because I RESPECTED THEIR SPACE and THEIR RIGHT TO LIVE IN AN APARTMENT THEY FELT COMFORTABLE IN.

    On our own, we can be as “uncivilized” as we like. But I’m pretty sure that any other person, male or female, ought to have a “civilizing effect” on us. Not in the sense of “giving in to the womenfolks’ arbitrary idea of manners (so that they’ll put out),” like Michael seems to think, but in the sense of “respecting another person’s ideas of what is and isn’t allowable in a shared space.”

    • ako

      Yeah, but that’s considering people as people, not specifically as Men and Women, so it’s obviously wrong. The obvious thing to do is stop thinking of your roommates as people who deserve to not have to constantly step over your dirty socks, and start thinking them as manly men who need you to set a civilizing feminine example, or womanly women who need you to respect their nests! /sarcasm

  • eamonknight

    Pinker actually uses a similar argument in Better Angels, ie. that the arrival of women in frontier societies exerted a civilizing influence. However, unlike Michael Pearl he didn’t ground it in gender essentialism.

    • Gillianren

      After all, there is a kind of person who thinks that going off into untamed wilderness is fun and a kind who doesn’t. I joke that the California Gold Country is an example of what happens when you let bachelors name places, but there’s also Garrison Keillor’s “Norwegian bachelor farmers,” who are a lot more staid. It’s about personality, not womenfolk.

  • ako

    Men are basically uncivilized animals. Ask any man who has been in a war zone for a year.

    Yeah, that’s totally the result of male nature, and nothing to do with violence and trauma, or a culture that expects soldiers to behave crudely! I mean if those things were relevant, monasteries wouldn’t be known for constant belching and fistfights, but would instead have lots of quiet calm, orderly behavior, and discipline…oh, wait.

    God placed a nesting instinct in women, something that is missing in men.

    So does this mean that without women to civilize them, gay men shouldn’t care about things like cleaning or decorating? And lesbians should all be ultra-domestic with a hatred of crude behavior and a love for housework? (Because I have to tell you, the last bit is not even remotely true for me.)

    But as soon as I know she is coming home I clean my body and the house.

    This is part of what confuses me about the nesting instinct. I hate housework and haven’t actually made a bed in years (it turns out that if you put the bottom sheet on, and leave everything else in a big comfy heap, you sleep really well), but I can’t stand going without a shower. Is this proof I have the Feminine Nesting Instinct, while a guy behaving the same way would merely be showing he’d been civilized by a woman at some point? What about the stuff I had to be explicitly taught, like saying “May I?” and washing dishes? How do I have an instinct for if it I didn’t know how to do it until someone taught me?

    • wanderer

      In addition, a year in a warzone has a traumatizing effect on both men and women. Napkins are the least of someone’s worries when you’re trying to survive, regardless of your gender.

      Also….. wait, he DOES clean the house when his wife has been gone but “she can’t make me do dishes” while she’s there? Somehow his arms fall off or god will strike him dead if he were to actually help his wife while she’s physically present?

      • Sally

        Right, he’s actually using a fallacy here. He’s equating the lack of civilized behavior with the fact that a bunch of guys are getting together without women around on the front lines. He’s ignoring the fact that it’s not the lack of women that is uncivilizing, but the brutal killing and just trying to survive living conditions. Women would be just as uncivilized if they were fighting on front lines, lost in the woods for months, or thrown in a dungeon.
        It’s a really stupid statement.

      • Antigone10

        There are women on the front lines. All the time. I just can’t imagine an IDF soldier, male or female, that would be terribly “civilized” on the front lines. Even if they were sent there by the civilizing effect of their female prime minister Mier back in the day.

    • CarysBirch

      ako, you’ve described my bedmaking strategy. I assure you I’m a woman, although my mother feels that I’m missing something that should have come with the gender. Namely, hospital-corners.

    • Anat

      This is actually a scientifically approved bed-making technique. The bed needs to be aired. Otherwise mites and other tiny critters grow way out of control.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I’m not the only one who doesn’t make beds! I sleep in a tangled-up cocoon, and it’s annoying to make the bed, then have to unmake it to get comfy and cocoon up, then make again in the morning. So pile of covers it is.

  • Donsie

    Oh no! I think my husband might actually be a woman and I may, in fact, be a secret man. I am basing this on my scientific observation of each of our bedside tables as compared to Michael’s irrefutable assertions about tidiness and created male and female natures.

    • Kate Monster

      I am also a secret man. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DO DISHES!

      • Donsie

        Ugh, dishes.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      Oh totally. I am such a slob, whereas my husband – while not a neat-freak – is one of those people who just picks up and puts something away whenever he walks through a room. It was a real problem early in our marriage because he felt (rightly) like he was doing all the cleaning.

      We worked it out by *him* civilizing *me*. See if that doesn’t make Michael’s head spin.

      • Donsie

        My husband is absolutely a neat-freak and I know he dies a little inside when I’ve been particularly untidy. I need it clean as in scrubbed and sanitary but clutter doesn’t bother me; obsessive tidying does. So, we both work on it from our ends and hope to sort of meet in the middle; he pucks up the junk and I scrub under where the junk was. It works pretty well in shared spaces but the bedside tables remain distinct spheres and therefore perfect examples of our erm, divergent approaches to weird piles of papers, almost empty hand cream, and not-quite-drunk-yet cups of tea versus clear and open space.

  • Donsie

    So I guess the really disgusting deviancy in a gay couple’s house is their total lack of showering. Or they’re not men, in which case are they not gay, unless they’re both women. I’m flummoxed.

    And, the burning question so many people have about lesbian couples: who, you know, takes on the male role in bed?

    .
    .
    .

    I’m talking, of course, about farting.

    • Beutelratti

      *gigglesnort*

    • Hilary

      L.O.L. I needed that. But to answer your question, we take turns . . . . . farting in bed.

      • Jolie

        I guess the revered task should rightfully be reserved for the partner with a greater fondness of corned beef, creamy curry sauces and/or bean stews.

  • Sally

    “They cause us to ….clean up after ourselves.”
    I guess trash spilled all around the trash bin doesn’t count.
    For anyone who isn’t following the critique of Debi’s book, that’s a reference to Michael missing the trash bin, spill trash all over the ground, running away in embarrassment, and Debi cleaning it up for him … and this being her example of the appropriate role for a wife.

  • Sally

    And what is the point of all this anyway? Why does Michael have a section on the civilizing effect of women? Is it because he’s writing to men who don’t value women? Who else would need to be told this nonsense? Or is it because he’s writing to men whose wives have read Debi’s book and are now acting like they themselves have no value and the men are now walking all over their wives?

  • Sally

    Hygiene is cultural. People used to bathe once a week in pioneer days/conditions. You can bet both men and women stank pretty bad by Friday afternoon (even with some sponge bathing along the way). And they didn’t take a bath all winter (neither men nor women). Showing every day is a pretty modern, largely Western, cultural norm.
    Cleanliness in general is also cultural. Women used to throw chamber pots out the window in medieval cities. Explorers marveled at the cleanliness of Aztec cities because it contrasted so starkly with European cities of the day.
    Michael is talking nonsense and making stuff up.

    • Sally

      Oops. Showing = Showering.

    • Trollface McGee

      Yep. One of the reasons the Black Death hit Europe so hard was because the average European would bathe several times a year vs. Muslims and Jews who bathed regularly for religious rituals. That and Europeans thought cats were the devil so there weren’t enough of them eating the yummy plague rats.

    • wanderer

      (agree, except not western); In SE Asia it’s pretty typical to take 3-4 showers a day.

      • Sally

        I know, but I’m glad you pointed it out. I will never forget the “talk” a guy gave to a group of Chinese (which I realize is not SE Asia, but still makes your point) university students which basically was supposed to welcome them to a partnership with local American families and he turned it into a, “Please take a shower every day now that you’re in America” talk. It was so inappropriate and so misinformed! When I taught English in China for a summer, we were told by our American organization to bathe every day, the Chinese do!

  • Trollface McGee

    “Men are basically uncivilized animals.”
    What are you Michael? Some kind of man-hating-feminist?

    “Because of the woman in their lives, men eat their vegetables instead of all meat.”
    Amazing these creatures should lead anything, they’re too stupid to not die of malnutrition.

    “The few times my wife was away for a week visiting our grand kids. I forgot to take a shower and went to bed dirty”
    This isn’t a “man” thing. It’s a “don’t be gross” thing. Poor hygiene is bad for your health, career prospects and it just feels gross which is why normal people don’t need to be constantly reminded to bathe.

    “Obviously God put the civil side of his nature in the female gender. We need our wives to help us be civil and to establish social order.”

    Since she’s so good at it, and since men are clearly incapable of doing anything but grunting, farting and consuming meat, then perhaps women should be in charge and men should get some intensive therapy to help them adjust to a post-Neanderthal world.

    • Sally

      Love this whole comment, but the last sentence really cracked me up.

      • Hilary

        Me too.

    • smrnda

      Then… if god put all the sense and civility in women, what did he put in men except an oversized ego, according to the Pearls?

      • Beutelratti

        The ability to stinkingly rule the world by farting on their enemies.

      • Beroli

        So…you’re saying men are supposed to have stink glands like skunks, but Satan prevents them from working properly?

      • Beutelratti

        Women must be Satan then!

      • Kate Monster

        That’s pretty much the underlying theme here, yes.

      • Trollface McGee

        I couldn’t help but think this.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWBUl7oT9sA

    • Hilary

      I think you are insulting Neanderthals.

    • Don Gwinn

      MISANDRY!

  • wanderer

    “Suddenly she gets a say in his hygiene?”

    I don’t take this as Michael actually saying that women’s preference matters. I took it to mean that the dude who has a wife that doesn’t seem turned off at lack of hygiene is a lucky dude who gets a “pass” on what Michael is saying about showering. It’s still about guys being as dirty and uncivilized as possible.

  • wanderer

    I am horrified at this man. He truly feels it’s men’s job to gather up sticks, make a house and knock up their women? “She can’t make me wash dishes”????? What in the hell? It’s like he’s trying as hard has he can to remain a 7 year old boy and scream at the top of his lungs that this is how everyone should be. It makes me wonder if something happened when he was a kid that caused him to stagnate in the maturation process and he’s spent the rest of his life screaming louder and louder “GOD MADE ME THIS WAY!!!!”
    It would be so much better for everyone (mostly him) if he just dealt with his issues and let himself grow up.
    Wow….. honestly this man horrifies me. I can’t even imagine the universe he lives in.

    • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

      Yes, totally. He’s stuck in some long ago phase, and spends his time trying to pretend this is the epitome of manhod. Next he will beat his chest and throw his poop.

      • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

        But evolution is a lie *wink wink*

  • TLC

    She tells me what to do and what not to do in the house, and I obey her. She can’t make me wash dishes, but she can tell me where I can put my feet and where I can take my shoes off, and where I can drop a dirty towel.

    Again, another huge disconnect from Debi’s book. Debi’s telling women they have to obey their man’s every whim, no questions asked, and not to challenge them. Michael says HE obeys HER. At least when it comes to taking care of the house. I just don’t get it.

    When I saw the headline, I almost didn’t come to read this. Seeing Michael and Debi in this context makes me more than queasy. But the comments have made the trip worth it! Thanks for the Sunday morning laughs!

    Oh, and I hope the lawyers for KFC read Michael’s comments where he uses their name. If I were them, I’d sue for defamation. Eeeeewwwwww. . . . .

  • smrnda

    Why doesn’t Michael just say “I’m a pathetic loser, I’m lazy, and I’m immature?” That’s pretty much full on display here.

    Also, Michael should have met my grandfather, who was quite the neat freak and greatly bothered by anything vulgar, crass or uncivilized (well, by his standards.) My grandfather, a WW 2 veteran, thought that kids playing with toy guns or swords was in bad taste, and that video games were horrible since they involved fighting, and that loud body noises should get you chased out of the house with a broom and that pizza should be eaten with a knife and a fork.

  • Mira

    “our job is to get her pregnant”???
    Eww.

    • Jackie

      That with the whole licking thing just about made me throw up – instant flash of a picture of him and all that hair and my mind kept going. It may be awhile before my sex drive returns.

  • lollardheretic

    This whole thing from Michael is in no way a “huge disconnect” from Debi’s book. In fact, both books thoroughly reinforce the other. You’re just not seeing it from their point of view. In Debi’s book, she explains over and over and over again, that a woman’s job is do what is commanded by God, and by her husband. This includes making him priority #1, even if he’s a total F*$# up. By being a good wife, a woman can change a man into a good husband.

    Michael’s book shows what happens with a good wife. She does everything she’s supposed to do, and what does he do? Make the money, give her a “nest” and respect that nest, EXACTLY what Debi promises a “good wife” a “helpmeet” will get if she behaves correctly.

    In a perfect marriage for both them, she’s utterly obedient, and he doesn’t ask her to do anything wrong. He rewards her for sex (kind of like a pet!) and all that stuff by (the appearance of?) autonomy in her own home.

    Mind you, I’m not endorsing any of this, and, as many folks have pointed out, so much of what he’s saying are truisms of gender are so culturally bound etc., but together, these two do make a perfect kind of (horrific) sense. I wouldn’t even say it’s good sense, but it is logical, especially when they are holding themselves up as an example of a “perfect” (or near perfect, perfect on earth?) couple.

    • Sally

      See, I’ve argued in another thread that this is what people do with the Bible which also doesn’t make sense. The original text is riddled with contradictions but someone else comes along and fixes it by seeing how it can all fit together.
      I agree that all the statements you’ve made in your comment can be backed by statements from each of their books. But each book taken by itself is written as if in a situation that doesn’t fit the other book at all. Debi’s book is not written with Michael’s book in mind. His hadn’t been written yet and she had no way of knowing it would be. Hers is written to a woman who is in terrible circumstances, has a deadbeat husband, and who may have to live with him like that the rest of her life, and even if she does get him into shape by being perfect herself, it may not be in time to save their children from a tyrant.
      Now Michael comes along and writes a book that is written to men as if their wives have never read Debi’s book. Sure he says well into the book that the women should read Debi’s book, but he doesn’t write anything as if she has or will. He’s talking about how to fix a wife who has pulled away and is angry.
      I think the reason I object so strenuously to the idea that these two books fit together and make sense is because 1) they don’t (and I could give specific examples, but I and others have done that in all the previous threads already), 2) to say they do gives the Pearls way too much credit, 3) to point out they don’t helps show that by their own internal inconsistency, this is a bunch of bologna. I think this especially of Debi’s book. If Michael’s book were the first or only, I’d say that sounds like some pretty conservative, selfish stuff, but at least it’s about treating your wife well given that you intend to maintain the primary position of power. But Debi’s book is so mean to the women reading it and promotes things like staying in abusive relationships (because when you take her words and apply them to abusive relationships, they fit with “stay, it’s all your fault anyway.”
      Basically, in my mind, Michaels book serves partially as a refutation of Debi’s book. And to me, it’s not just because I want it to, but because it truly is inconsistent with Debi’s message. Yes, we can provide the “doctrine” and figure out a way for the two to work together. But let’s not do that. Let’s look at them as they stand and recognize that they’re a mess.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      If you are rewarding your pets for sex, you are doing pet ownership wrong and I will be calling the SPCA ;)

  • Nomad

    There’s this disturbing pattern I keep seeing from people like Michael. He appears to be a horrible person, and yet is so self centered that he thinks that he is the mold in which every man has been cast. Kind of like the Christians who feel the need to tell atheists that without a belief in god they’d all be murdering and raping, that it’s only the fear of the imaginary man in the sky that keeps them in check. Atheists demonstrably do not end up raping and murdering as a general rule, so people like this guy assume that that must mean that they secretly fear the same imaginary man in the sky, because there couldn’t be any non supernatural reason to abstain from such behavior.

    Michael is a horrible person. It’s not that he enjoys farting and stinking that makes him a bad person, it’s that he has given up responsibility for himself, and he can’t imagine that other people could be any different. He not only uses his wife for sex, he uses her to compensate for his poor impulse control, and has convinced himself that this is her reason for existing.

    Unfortunately this guy is viewed as an authority on the things that he is horrible about. Which tells me that there’s an awful lot of other horrible people out there.

    I just can’t let this go. I mean, to Michael the thought process is “eat vegetables because the woman makes me”. He is proud of his childish thought processes, he is using his wife as a surrogate mother. My thought process is “eat vegetables because I don’t want to be unhealthy and die early”. This man-child is held up as a model of masculinity by the evangelical world?

    • smrnda

      This also blows any notion that he or Debi could hold that men are more rational than women out of the water. Men can’t even decide what to eat based on nutritional value (that would be reason > emotion for sure. Vulcans would be eating their vegetables and getting their protein from soy) and cannot keep themselves or their surroundings clean, unless a woman makes them. It seems like it’s women making all the rational choices and men stuck in a protracted toddler-hood, though that might be an insult since I think I’ve seen 2 year old kids with more sense and better manners than Michael Pearl.

      • Nomad

        The best part is that to Michael, it’s not that women are more rational. It’s that women, bless their little hearts, just like to make men eat vegetables, and since that’s in the home the man should let them do it.

      • Kate Monster

        He’s the kind of person who refers to a married woman as “the little lady” completely earnestly. He also probably says “the marriage bed” and “the gentle sex” with a straight face.

      • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

        More like “the weaker vessel”. Ugh.

      • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

        Consider that women have to cover up lest they “lead men into sin,” but toddlers are expected to control their impulses and not reach for that tasty bowl of cereal held right in front of them.

        It’s not that you’ve seen 2 year olds with better sense, it’s that Michael *expects* 2 year olds to have better sense. Yet he still thinks that he somehow has a legitimate right to be the one in charge.

        It’s perverse.

    • Sally

      Excellent points and well said.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      “He not only uses his wife for sex, he uses her to compensate for his poor impulse control, and has convinced himself that this is her reason for existing.”

      Isn’t that kind of the definition of a sociopath? He sees other people as tools with which to achieve his own ends, not as people – even when that person is as close to him as his own wife. (And, from his other writings, it looks like he views his children in this way as well.)

  • Don Gwinn

    Didn’t Debi explain that woman was created, not in the image of God, but in the image of Adam/Man? That was how she justified placing women under men, biblically speaking, wasn’t it? Michael says men and women were both created in God’s image, but each was only a partial image, lacking some of the aspects of the Almighty. I’m no Bible expert, but I’ve read it, and even if you believe in the thing, none of that is in it as far as I know. Worse, the two views are mutually exclusive.

    • Sally

      I think you’re right. -Yet another example of the two books contradicting each other.

  • Theo Darling

    “We need our wives to help us be civil and to establish social order.”
    LOL but god forbid they leave the house and get involved in politics, amirite.

  • CarysBirch

    Gentleman, forget that womanish decorating… go knock your wives up and let her get on with things around the house.

  • Kate Monster

    Finally I understand why women’s prisons are always so dainty and charming.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    When left “without women”, one of my male friends became a vegan. Michael really is a clueless tool.

  • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

    Apparently I am a man. When I don’t have any responsibilities (like if I was on vacation while a student, or if my inlaws take my son now), you better believe I don’t shower. Too many video games to play, can’t waste time on “hygiene.” :P

  • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

    For all his talk about how the wife controls the house, do we think he’d still say that’s the case if she tells him she doesn’t care where he puts his feet or his dirty towels and the house isn’t meticulously cleaned?

    “You may choose any horse in the barn, so long as you choose the white one.”

    • Sally

      I don’t know, maybe. I tend to think this letting her have control of the house given his overall control issues is something else. He’s the boss, but he lets “Mommy” boss him around in ways that makes him feel taken care of. He limits it to the house because he doesn’t have any particular interest in micromanaging there but let’s not let it get out of control by spreading beyond that.

      • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

        But would he still “allow” her to boss him around if it was in ways that he didn’t approve of?

        My point is that he’s saying that the house is hers. But it seems to me that this is conditional on her choices meeting with his approval. He’ll let her make him eat his vegetables because he knows that he should be eating vegetables, but there’s no way that he’ll allow her to make him do the dishes.

        Similarly, he likes the “civilizing influence” image of the bustling woman swatting his feet of the table (I assume that this feels warm and “homey” to him, since it’s just the sort of “lovable” thing a ’50s conception of a mother/wife would do). But if he didn’t have this association and he really did want to be able to put his feet up on the table, there’s no way that it would remain part of the woman’s domain, something that she has “control” over.

        My point is that there’s the language of control and choice, but my impression is that it’s extended only within a narrow pre-approved framework.

  • http://tinygrainofrice.wordpress.com/ Kristycat

    I really, REALLY hate this stereotype. It’s so demeaning to men, first of all – I know plenty of single men who take care of their hygiene and keep their homes tidy. And second, it’s a huge burden/expectation on women! I’m not naturally a neat and tidy person – it’s hard enough for me to keep my own stuff sorted out, I don’t need to be responsible for someone else’s too!

    And it’s hurtful to be told how men and women “should” be if you don’t fit that mold. I read this and look at my messy desk and feel unfeminine. And a single guy reading this may be looking around his clean and attractive room and feeling unmasculine. It’s not cool.


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