So it was bound to happen. The marriage control flip-flop.
For centuries — heck, try eons — husbands told wives what to do. They controlled the money, the duties, the lifestyles of women. The expectation was basic: “It takes a woman all powdered and pink to joyously clean out the drain in the sink,” Horace Vandergelder sings in “Hello, Dolly.”
Then came the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, and now comes John Bryan Stone to complain that wives want to remove their husbands’ genitals.
How? By picking on anything trivial, Stone says: “Must you always eat like that?” or “Do you plan to help me today or just sit like a lump and watch sports?” Go on to “restrict him like a child” and “take over the household finances.” Eventually, you can “hang his genitals in a trophy case,” Stone says.
Stone writes for the “male liberation” blog ManUpMen, and he’s the author of the self-published “Have a Great Midlife Crisis.” He says he’s 53, is married and lives in New York City, and he’s had “discussions” with his wife about his book.
He’s got the background he needs, he says, because he’s a professional writer and he interviews people.
Stone is drawing a fair share of Internet attention to his book, which endorses men having “extra” women, although he’s unusually coy about his own extramarital sex life.
After all, he’s selling secret-agent-style (his words) methods for hiding activities, ways to raise cash for “man fun” and techniques for rating the risks of having an affair.
Oh, lordy, it’s men and sex, sex, sex again, I moan.
“Not true,” he says. “I did research, and 90 percent of financial decisions are made by wives.”
Stone bemoans the “reverse of the old double standard.” He has to promise to just look, don’t touch, he says, but she gets to ogle male strippers and stuff cash in their Speedos, “which is touching.”
Look into your hearts, midlife women. Have you turned your husbands into yellow-livered jerks? Do you keep him from going out with the guys? Do you dole out his dollars for pleasure? Do you refuse to engage in threesomes?
As Dolly sang in response to Vandergelder, “It takes a woman to quietly plan, to take him and lead him to her kind of man.”
As Stone says, “Men have the right to find out who we are.”
Why does that sound like an echo of the feminist era?
“Because it is,” Stone says. “It is frightening how many people think women own men. No one even blinks when they hear that a woman is dictating who her man can be friends with.”
He says men are forced to hide their activities to prevent being ruined financially and emotionally.
He points to the stripper who says she slept with Alex Rodriguez and how she wants him to be ruined for it. “Let’s see: She did the same thing, and she wants him to be taken down,” he writes. He calls it “man hating” and encourages husbands to cover their tracks.
I suggest maybe it’s our turn to yank the chain of philanderers.
“Oh,” Stone says, “you’re just like most women.”
Why am I not surprised?