Monday, March 29, 2010

Man Or Mouse?

What is the deal with married men playing the victim? Boohoo my wife is so horrible/I am trapped/I need to get away from her. That’s the sort of thing I am referring to. There are thousands of jokes about the wife or the wife's mother being the bad guy (whereas at least in this part of the world at least we know which mother-in-law is apparently the bad guy).

So what exactly is this need to make your wife out to be a monster? Or insulting a guy who is messaging or calling his wife when she is not there? Or branding a man a pathetic loser for not succumbing to peer pressure and doing his own thing (which most probably involves doing something his wife wouldn't like?)

I have my own name for this phenomenon. It's the Trapped-Male syndrome. It is an off-shoot of the victim complex family and effects married men.

Scene: Socializing in civilized company where members of both genders are present
Married man # 1 (cue for escape): ‘Chal yaar bahar chaltay hain.’
There is a stampede of males trying to exit the room as quickly as possible. Apparently the reason for stepping outside is to smoke. However when the indoors is also a smoking zone the only difference between outside and inside would be the lack of estrogen outside. Are the women so un-intelligent that men need to get away for a while? These 'getaways' usually revolve around insulting each other and exchanging a few dirty jokes. As far as I'm concerned I would be happy to hear both (especially since half the time I wish I had a getaway opportunity too from all the talk to children, tailors and maids).

I really don't understand the wish all men have to escape whether it is to get half an hour alone in a two hour social gathering or a holiday with the 'boys'. Firstly you are not 'boys' any more. Being nearly 40 does not make you a 'boy'. Sorry to burst your bubble. Secondly do men really think they are the only ones who need a break? I'd think these men's wives who are running their houses, children and organizing their social lives deserve a lot more credit than they get. They certainly deserve a lot more credit than being lumped into the 'my wife is the bad guy' category.

The other day I attended a wedding with my husband. It was the marriage of the child of a golf buddy of his. As expected most of the men there were golfers, most of whom appear to have a stunted sense of humor, as there was one standard joke. After the initial exchange of pleasantries, the comments varied from ‘Please let him play golf on more days of the week? Pretty please?’ (As if I am my husband’s boss. Obviously husband has been portraying me as the bad guy who does not ‘allow’him to play as much as he would like to. Now if only he really were that obedient) or something along the lines of ‘So he tells you he’s coming to the golf course huh?’ wink wink nudge nudge. Yawn.

Almost all married men love to perpetuate the I-am-a-victim-save-me-from-the-bully-that-is-my-wife persona. Quite a few of them who are in stable, loving relationships also continue to do the same. They act like one of the 'boys' in public, despite being caring husbands with strong family values. These guys will be loud and obnoxious, but everyone knows it’s all just a facade to act macho when underneath they are just normal, sensitive guys. Awwwww.

There are also those men who are in fact actually pigs, who think their wives are simply for raising their children and doing as they are bid. ‘I am man. Oo oo oo’ (That was supposed to be more of a caveman sound rather than that of an ape. But either works.) Even this category of men pretend to act like victims which is a little amazing.
“My wife doesn’t let me do that.”
Seriously, who are you kidding?

So whether men beg, plead, bribe, cajole or bully their way into doing whatever it is they want to do (for they will indeed do whatever it is they want to), he is of course still victimized by his wife.

One way or another, I suppose you just can't take the boy out of the man.


  1. i'm cracking up ziad is asking me what's so funny so i gotta get him to read this! brilliant! - naheed