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Heads they win, tails we lose

February 27, 2012

Hanna Hellquist blogs (in Swedish, on Dagens Nyheter) about a women’s dinner (that she attended, I assume, though it isn’t clearly stated) where the participants only talked about their respective husbands/partners*. Despite having arranged the dinner for the explicit purpose of enjoying an evening without men. Hellquist thinks this is because these women are so totally caught up in having to please men all the time, that they do it even when no men are present. Isn’t it strange that these PhD students and editors and restaurant owners and PR consults would spend the whole evening talking about their husband’s jobs? she rhetorically asks.

I can unfortunately not link the specific blog post, but only the list of posts written by Hellquist. The one I’m discussing was posted on Feb 24.

Hellquist doesn’t think men talk about their wives at a men’s dinner. Now, I’m also a woman, so I don’t really know what men talk about when they’re alone either. But I wouldn’t think it impossible that at least part of the evening could be spent discussing their wives, what they do, what they say, what preposterous demands they have made, how they look, whatever. Suppose a group of men would do that. If they did, how would that be interpreted? I don’t think anybody would interpret that as the men being so caught up in always having to prop up their wives’ egoes, that they do it even when the wives themselves aren’t there. It would rather be a case study of the horrible objectification of women, and how they are nothing more than status symbols for their husbands.

You can’t win against patriarchy, see. Heads they win, tails we lose. Us womenfolk are always mistreated, no matter how we’re treated. Or so it seems that some people think.

BTW, notorious blogger Pär Ström thinks (in his second PS to this post (again in Swedish)) that those women were doing exactly that. Using their men as status symbols. Well, if my husband ever gets the promotion his boss has been hinting at, I know for a fact that I will be bragging about it way more than he will!

ETA: Oops, forgot to add the footnote!
* The Swedish original text makes no assumptions about the marital status of the couples. My English isn’t good enough to pull off the same verbal acrobatics there, so I will be using the words “husband” and “wife”.

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From → Our society

One Comment
  1. Moreva permalink

    Surely, you’ve got a point there.

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