Blissfully Unaware of my Peril

Perhaps Kyso Kisaen will be a bloggy guide and muse through the Rite of Femminess otherwise known as getting hitched; she seems to have her priorities straight:

I already know shit like “less booze = less money” or “borrow stuff or make it, teehee!” Any dumbass knows that skipping a 4-tier cake-orgy in favor of a simpler cake is a cost-saver.

What I need to know is stuff like “How sanitary would it be to have an ice sculpture the guests can do shots from?” or “Do I need to get separate insurance against the damage my drunken guests will assuredly do to your building?”

So on the strength of her review I grabbed a copy of Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women from the library today.

I’ve just finished reading the introduction; it’s all well and good, standard breathless exposition about how married men are generally better off than married women and that couldn’t have anything to do with sexism, could it? Gasp! But in the middle, Maushart throws in a completely gratuitous paean to evolutionary psychology:

Imagine a female examining her newly born baby in an effort to determine if he is ‘really hers’. Sexual exclusivity remains at the core of marriage not because men necessarily wish to repress women, but because they wish to know who their children are. The control of women’s sexuality is simply a by-product of this wish – a bonus, if you will.

The monogamy gamble pays particular dividends to non-dominant males who, under a more laissez-faire mating system, might never get the chance to breed at all. Females, for their part, sacrifice variety and freedom of choice for the protection of a male against other males.

If I only had a convenient generator, the power generated by my eyeballs rolling at that one would be enough to run a nice research outpost in Tanzania for a week. Fortunately, she stops with the handwavy chimpanzees after that and moves on to observations of actual people, about which she (and I) will hopefully have more to say.


  1. Dr. Shellie wrote:

    hey yami, send me an email if you want to chat about wedding planning.

  2. Brian (Jay) wrote:

    Actually, the bit about dividing responsibility for whole areas is a good one, IMO… otherwise, a household devolves to an ongoing game of chicken.

  3. Erika wrote:

    Want to stop wedding trauma and save money? Marry a Mormon (or at least somebody whose family is Mormon)… no alcohol, no risk of drunken damage and no need to buy alcohol in the first place! Though, cuts down on the dancing. And what’s this about avoiding the tulle-monster? Without the tulle-monster’s blessing you will have two-headed babies!!!

  4. Lab Lemming wrote:

    My wedding planning protocol:

    1. Suggest that because I wasn’t working and she was, I could take care of all the bookings, details, decisions, etc. just as soon as I ducked back to the US to present my last PhD results at Spring AGU.

    2. Call up Mrs. Lemming-to-be from overseas. “Hey babe, you know that conference I went to last week? The session organizer just called me up and offered me a post-doc. Starting next month. Don’t worry, it’s a small project, so I sould be able to make it back in time for the actual ceremony, but I don’t reckon I’ll make it back much before.”


    p.s. What was that bit about men taking everything for granted? I haven’t had a chance to check the link; would one of you gals mind summarizing it for me? Just put a copy on my desk with my doughnut and coffee. But use cream this time, not that skim piss…

  5. Kyso K wrote:

    She does lay the evo biology on a bit thick in the begining, doesn’t she? But it does make the point later on in the book that for whatever reasons our culture’s guy-in-charge monogomous relationship model developed, it’s starting to show some wear around the edges and needs to be revamped before women discard it en masse.

    Plus for someone who was divorced twice, she’s a virtual cheerleader for the institution, even going so far as to claim if she knew at her second divorce what she knew when she wrote the book, she may have stayed with the marriage a bit longer for the sake of the kids. Which I think opinions vary on that subject, and you could make a valid argument either way.

    The part that I think I liked the most was her division of career from housework from childcare from husbandcare, instead of just family/house vs career because that’s a bunch of distinctions I think most people don’t make. I also like that she makes distinctions between marriages that include children and ones that don’t, although it is a very harsh one made for some very harsh reasons that could also be argued with.

    Social sciences are so wierd.

  6. yami wrote:

    See, if I knew I’d get two-headed babies I’d be considerably more excited about having children!

    I’m marrying a Unitarian, so kegs of delicious beer are right in – but I’m sure we’ll find plenty of other things to forego. And the picnic tables at most public parks around here are robust enough to withstand drunken guests. Except maybe one or two of the Techers, but hopefully they’ll leave the power tools at home…

    I’ve only just gotten past the extended evo-psych gender-essentializing dance remix (seriously, womb envy?!). Her treatment of childless vs. childful marriage is starting to intersect in a weird way with my personal circumstance (not big on kids, but really keen on not waking up in 10 years going WTF? Why did I allow myself to osmose and disgorge such harmful ways of relating?) so I expect to be arguing with her soon…

  7. Lab Lemming wrote:

    -See, if I knew I’d get two-headed babies I’d be considerably more excited about having children!

    Via cesarean, or naturally? Being a guy I have zero cred on this issue, but to me the process of having a 2 headed baby sounds considerably more painful…

  8. yami wrote:

    Grown in lab culture.

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