Having read the quoted article I found Schwyzer's central theme to be relevant to this blog: a narrative of helplessness - as indicated by "It is easy to demonstrate that women are completely responsible for the pain they have caused without the need to argue over which sex is responsible for sex-biased family courts because not one single woman has ever been forced to file for divorce, custody, or alimony in the entire recorded history of Man." Which leaves out the fact that men aren't forced into marriage either. See: Narrative of Helplessness.There are several problems here with Jakob's nonsensical reply. First, referring to the active female choice to file for divorce does not in any way leave out the fact that men are not forced into marriage. Men are responsible for taking the risk of divorce when they choose to get married; the only way to avoid it is to not marry. But the important difference is that a man is not choosing to inflict pain on himself or his wife when he marries her in the way that a woman is choosing to inflict pain on her husband when she chooses to divorce him.
Second, the MRAs that Schwyzer is criticizing are openly and vehemently anti-marriage. So, Jakob's statement makes no sense in the context of Schwyzer's anti-MRA narrative, since the MRA argument is that because women can so easily and unilaterally choose to inflict emotional and financial pain on their husbands, men should not marry.
Third, other than not marrying, men are in fact legally helpless if their wife unilaterally decides to divorce them, take the children, and asset-strip them. Their only legal defense is to remove themselves from the judicial regime, which in most cases requires abandoning their children as well. They have other actions that they could take, of course, but none within the legal system. I very much doubt that these extra-legal responses are actions that Schwyzer supports in his call for men to take responsibility for their feelings of helplessness.
On the premarital front, CD wonders to what extent a man should follow a woman:
I thought it might be ok to get your input on this. My fiance and I have had more than a few arguments on this situation. She loves comedy, has a great sense of humor, and has an interest in the field. She wanted to attend Second City in Chicago (a comedy school) and thought that if anything came of it, I would happily follow her and her dream, move to Chicago and let her pursue the comedy thing. I'm not going to lie, I have a big problem with the idea of riding the coat tails of a woman's journey. The idea just seems absurd to me. Am I being ridiculous?Yes, CD is being ridiculous. In cases such as these, a man has two choices. Either let her go to pursue her dreams or crush those dreams and don't think twice about it. Either option is valid and they represent the full range of viable choices. Resent him? If he chooses to crush her dream, CD's fiance should thank him for doing what she most likely wants, which is to release her from her fear of failure by taking the burden of the decision off her shoulders. She doesn't actually want to "pursue her dream" of becoming a serious comedienne, she just wants to do what women often do, which is dabble in something, go to school for it, and do pretty much everything related to it that doesn't involve actually doing it or taking any substantive risks. If CD's fiance was serious about comedy, she'd already be performing in the local stand-up clubs several nights a week like men who want to become comedians do. She has absolutely no need to go to Chicago to learn that she's not good enough to compete in a ruthless and highly competitive industry.
The situation has died down now. She went to Second City for a week (about a year ago), really enjoyed it, but nothing really came of it. She talks about it occasionally. I think she would still love to move to Chicago but hides that from me given my previous reactions. I'm trying to find a middle ground, as I don't want her to resent me in her mind for crushing her dreams, but at the same time, I don't want her to feel like she can mold me into a "tag-along" that will follow her anywhere she wants to go. That's my situation, any advice and/or input would be greatly appreciated.
CD needs to sit his fiance down and have a serious conversation with her about whether she wants to be a wife and mother or if she wants to go to the big city in pursuit of excitement. If she equivocates at all with regards to the former, I would not hesitate to break up with her. I suspect that CD and his fiance are fairly young, probably in college, and so the idea of riding the carousel is most likely looking very attractive to her right now, especially if CD is her high school boyfriend. Forget comedy school, if CD merely makes the mistake of moving to Chicago with her, there is a very high probability that she'll either cheat on him or break up with him within the first six months. That's simply what young women do. As each new chapter of life begins, they want to leave the characters from the previous chapter behind.
This is a classic Game dilemma. CD has handled the initial stage pretty well, but he hasn't closed the deal yet. This is because he hasn't applied Maxim XVI. Never be afraid to lose her. To paraphrase the font of all wisdom, he who would keep his woman will lose her.