Response to Elite Daily's "Confessions Of A True Fuckboy: What Guys Really Think About Marriage"
By now, if you are like me, you are aware of Elite Daily's column, "Confessions Of A True Fuckboy," a weekly column devoted to explaining what goes on in a fuckboy's mind. I will admit that I find some the articles within this column very amusing, but after reading "Confessions Of A Fuckboy: What Guys Really Think About Marriage," I was very annoyed. Everything from the way it was written to the content evoked a lot of emotions in me. At first, I was going to write an angry response and rip apart every single thing mentioned in the article. But now, I've decided to write a response detailing my opinion of every point made, in hopefully, a more logical and reasonable way. Hopefully.
A self-proclaimed "fuckboy," the author states that everyone around him is getting married and it's "bringing him down." And that's understandable, right? It's understandable that anyone may feel sad and lonely when everyone else is getting married and he or she is the only one still single.
However, he then claims that "marriage feels like such an antiquated concept" and that he's only seen two outcomes of marriage: "crippling resentment brought on by a lifetime of forced cohabitation, or divorce." And he doesn't understand "why we all keep showing up for this movie when we've seen the way it ends." I assume that he's speaking from his own experiences, but the adamancy that I feel he's projecting makes me wonder how he can be so sure.
I am, by no means, a product of a perfect marriage, as my parents divorced years ago, but that didn't kill my hope of being happily married one day. Just because my parents decided to separate doesn't mean that they weren't once happy together. And they were happy for a very long time. But you know, life is kind of funny, people change, various obstacles are thrown at you, and sometimes two people overcome adversity as a stronger unit, but sometimes they decide they'd rather take separate paths in life. But, that doesn't diminish the fact that they were happy together, spent many fulfilling years together, and shared many unforgettable memories together.
If I were to follow the author's advice and refuse to "show up to the movie because [I've] seen the way it ends," I'd just be denying myself the possibility of experiencing a very fulfilling life with someone I truly care about. I'd be denying myself that experience out of fear and uncertainty of how it may or may not end. And if it doesn't end well? Or rather, if it ends at all, well...you live and you learn, right? Like the cliché quote goes, "life is a journey, not a destination," and I'm sure the journey will be worthwhile. If I'm even considering marrying someone, I probably like him a lot. So, I'll take my chances.
The author then claims that there must be more like him out there: "Wannabe bachelors—or more accurately, proud bachelors... There are more of us out there than want to admit it." Leading up to his list, he states, "What follows is a list of what these guys are thinking—and to be honest, probably what most guys are thinking about marriage, to a certain extent."
I must commend his ability to overgeneralize and assume that the majority of the male population has the same perspective as he does, especially regarding something so life-changing, like marriage. I'm no expert on male emotions, but I think assuming that most guys feel the same way as he does is completely ridiculous. And in my experience, I've actually come across more guys that want to get married someday that those who want to be eternal bachelors. Just saying.
Now, let's get to his list:
- We're afraid of locking ourselves into something too early. Okay, fair enough. That perspective isn't reserved for only men, though. I think it's a common perspective for millennials to not want to "settle down" too early and instead, focus on themselves and their careers.Then he states, "We only have one life, and what a tragedy it is to live it in a way that doesn't make you happy. And not being happy is a very, very real byproduct—both long and short-term—of marriage." No one can assume that marriage will lead to unhappiness. Sure, there will be unhappy times, how could there not be? I would even consider my husband forgetting to buy ice cream at the market an unhappy time. But, to assume that marriage will lead to an unhappy life, that's something I can't understand.His next statement is, "There are seven billion people in the world, and zero are able to tell the future. How are you supposed to know what'll happen in a marriage with one of them? Isn't it much more likely that you won't know, or that you'll be wrong?" I don't know about this guy, and I don't know about you, but if I'm about to marry someone, I would probably have a fairly good grasp on our compatibility and how well we work together in life. Which will likely bring the risk of being wrong about someone down a considerable amount to something I'm comfortable with.
- We don't want to be those jaded, middle-aged old men full of regret. Again, the title of this point alludes to the fear of the outcome. The author is wiling to deny himself of the possible fulfillment that marriage may provide because of the fear of ending up jaded and regretful by the time he's middle-aged. I think he's failing to realize that a lot happens up to the point of middle-aged-ness within a marriage—things that he'll never be able to experience.He then goes on to say, "Why don't we ever learn from the comedians who poke fun at married men for acting like whipped dogs? Why don't we ever listen to our uncles when they roll their eyes, sigh, and say, 'Don't ever get married,' and then drag their feet to go scoop some ice or hose down the yard for their wives?...I've never met a married man who didn't walk like he was tied up in a straight jacket. They all look like animals sent to the zoo."I often hear people within successful marriages compare a marriage to a business partnership. In that sense, going to "scoop some ice or hose down the yard" can be compared to a time investment toward taking care of shared property. And shared property can cover everything from tangible objects, such as the yard/house, to things less tangible like, say, maybe the life two people share together? I don't think it's fair to say that when husbands do chores around the house, it's for their wives. It's almost as if the author is saying that doing work around the house is a job solely reserved for wives and whenever husbands do housework, they do it as a favor for their wives. And that concept feels even more antiquated than, according to the author, how "antiquated marriage feels."To address his statement of married men looking like they are "tied up in a straight jacket...like animals sent to the zoo," I will admit that I actually used to have a similar perspective, but with the genders reversed. Growing up in an Asian family, I witnessed many family gatherings where the women did almost everything, from cooking to cleaning up, while all the men lounged in the living room. Although my family was nowhere close to an extreme case of a family adhering to traditional gendered roles within a household, I absolutely resented any of the small, unspoken expectations that were bestowed upon me solely because of my gender. And being the little rebellious punk teenager that I was, I surely challenged anyone that asked me to help in the kitchen without asking everyone else (the men) to also help. At this time, I vowed to myself that I would make sure that my husband never expected me to serve him in any way.The concept of women serving men isn't just a traditional perspective for Asian cultures, it's a concept that is prevalent across many cultures, so I don't understand why the author thinks that husbands are "whipped dogs." If anything, I'd say wives are more suited to be considered "whipped" because of the societal pressure placed on women to take care of the men in their lives.Does he think this way because the married men that he has come into contact with always answer their wives' calls, always text back right away, always call their wives to check in, always ask their wives of their schedule before making plans, or dare I say, pick up tampons from the store on the way home? Because to me, that just sounds like a healthy relationship where a husband considers the feelings of his wife. I don't understand and am definitely not fond of the popular stereotype that men should be "macho" and act as if they don't care, especially in the presence of their (male) friends.Or, does he think this way because when these "whipped dogs" are asked to do something by their wives, they oblige? When I was younger, being asked to do something really irritated me. I used to think, "Why can't you do it yourself?" It wasn't until I took my selfish head out of my ass that I realized performing a simple task (or a few) can make the day of the person asking so much easier. I may even put a smile on their face and make their day. And if it's for someone I love, someone like my husband, I surely would do whatever I could to make his day a bit easier. I may be going out on a limb here, but I think it's safe to say that these "whipped dogs" that the author speaks of may share my sentiments on this.
- We want to be in complete control of our own lives. In this point, the author states, "Free-thinking people don't volunteer for lifetimes of shit based on savage hyperbole, they don’t pledge allegiance just because they’re told to and they definitely don’t blindly fall victim to advertisement machines." Okay. Valid point. I agree with that. Then he continues with, "And all of that is exactly what marriage is," and claims that "marriage capitalizes on these fairy tales of love we were told as children. But our culture has also institutionalized marriage because our economy needs it."I'm not going to deny his claim that our economy needs marriage, because it's true. Families are most definitely bigger consumers than a single person, businesses targeted toward families are created, and families pay taxes. And according to the author, families "get unfair tax breaks on those taxes." I can infer from that statement that he may be suggesting these tax breaks are used as an incentive for marriage (or reward?).But, within his claim, he lacks to acknowledge that there's more to marriage than that. It actually wasn't until recently (relative to the amount of time the institution has been around) that people have started marrying for love. It wasn't until The Enlightenment that people were encouraged to pursue a life of happiness and marry for love, instead of wealth or status.Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic, but I'd like to think that most people still marry for love and happiness. And if that makes me, according to the author, "a pawn in the marriage institution" that has been "spoon-fed lies" by society to feed our economy, then so be it. If getting married means that I'll be living in a fallacy that society created, but I'm happy and I'm with someone I love and truly care about, I won't be mad.
- We know what we want. Just based solely on the title of this point, the first thought that entered my mind was, "Is he saying that married men don't know what they want?" He may not mean that at all, and I hope he doesn't because I personally think that's a rather big (and bad) assumption to make.But if he does mean that, I could argue that married men are actually the ones that know what they want. A married man has made a very big and life-changing decision to share all of himself with another person. And I don't think he did that on a whim (unless he was drunk and in Vegas, but we'll exclude those marriages). Of course, there are exceptions, but let's follow the author's lead and overgeneralize.I could also claim that some unmarried men aren't married because they don't know what they want. They may be uncomfortable with the thought of such a big commitment because they don't know what they want in a partner, in the future, in life, etc. And that's okay. Some men just don't know what they want, but that doesn't mean they've sworn off marriage altogether. Not all bachelors are "proud bachelors," and I don't think they should be grouped with the group of "proud bachelors" in which this self-proclaimed "fuckboy" of an author is the ring-leader of.He then continues to state that he likes his current life and likes "that it changes frequently, that it doesn't get stale," amongst other reasons in which HE is a proud bachelor. All of which proves what a poor choice of title for his fourth point in the article is.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and live in a way of their own choosing. If the entire article was just detailing why HE doesn't want to get married, instead of overgeneralizing with the frequent use of the word, "we," then that would have been perfectly fine. But, all of a sudden, in his final claim, he stopped using "we," and started using "I." And now, I am almost positive that he knows what he did. I am almost positive that he knows that he unfairly grouped a very large amount of men—in his words, "most guys"—into having what is actually his personal opinion.
Without his claim that the list is "probably what most guys are thinking about marriage," I would have had absolutely no problem with it. But, that wouldn't get the amount of views he wants, right? After all, the title of the article includes, "What Guys Really Think," so of course, girls are going to click on it. I'm a girl and I clicked on it. Sneaky.
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