âAwful-lookingâ women are ruining marriages
In a career of offensive remarks, the radical Christian televangelist's latest may be his most stupefying yet
So, a 17-year-old boy writes in to Maxim magazine complaining that his father never pays any attention to his mother.
âIâm 17 years old and Iâve noticed that there has been a change in my fatherâs behavior,â he wrote. âHe spends too much time at the computer playing a war game. Iâve noticed how alone my mom feels. I just want my father to spend more time with my mom. What should I do? How can I talk to my father? I feel shame for him. Please help.â
Luckily for this perceptive 17 year old, Christian conservative Pat Robertson is on the case â and his answer is, well, exactly what youâd expect from this radical Christian televangelist.
He starts off with the suggestion that the boy try to get his parents out of the house on some type of romantic weekend getaway.
âThe romance is obviously going out of the marriage,â he said.
But then â BAM! Robertson draws the woman-hating card, throws it on the flower-decorated glass table in the 700 Clubâs studio and suddenly itâs the motherâs fault.
âYou know, it may be your mom isnât as sweet as you think she is; she may be kind of hard-nosed. And so, you say, itâs my father, heâs not paying attention to mom, but you know mom âŚâ he trails off and offers a spiteful little chuckle.
All great advice for a 17-year-old boy growing up in the United Statesâ enduringly patriarchal society. But wait â thereâs more: Now itâs not only momâs fault for being âhard-nosed,â itâs also her fault for being God-forsakenly ugly.
He launches into another story: âA woman came to a preacher I know â itâs so funny. She was awful looking. Her hair was all torn up, she was overweight and looked terrible âŚâ
So far, this story sounds hilarious Pat, Please continue.
âAnd she said, âOh, Reverend, what can I do? My husband has started to drink.ââ
The hateful punchline is coming. I can feel it. Iâm on the edge of my seat.
âAnd the preacher looked at her and he said, âMadam, if I were married to you, Iâd start to drink too.ââ
Yes! Of course! Because the woman is so ugly â not to mention hard-nosed, we canât forget that problem â the man has turned to drinking, or playing computer games all day, or doing any number of marriage-killing activities that are not really his fault because, God, how could he help himself? I mean, seriously, with a woman like this, who needs enemies?
Can I get an amen and a Hallelujah?
So, obviously this is a classic example of Pat Robertson saying something that sounds absurdly misogynistic when itâs on television but is something that millions of men across the nation secretly think every day. Those women, with their nagging and ragged hair, are ruining marriages.
In fact, you donât need to always turn to fringe male misogynists like Robertson to find examples of these women-blaming credos. As Alternetâs Lynn Parramore recently wrote, âThe Huffington Post ran a front-page piece just this week with a headline that would make any old-school patriarch proud: âWomen: Five Reasons Your Divorce Is Your Fault.â
But if you look at the data (instead of the Bible or silly self-help books), socio-economic factors, sexual violence and lack of access to education are the main reasons for divorce â not a bad haircut.
As Parramore writes:
Finger-wagging at women usually comes along with the oft-cited statistic that women file for divorce twice as often as men. What we hear less often is straight talk about the social and economic factors that drive the engine of divorce. The fact is that college-educated people are more likely to stay together, and thereâs a higher risk of divorce for people with lower incomes and less education. When people are struggling to pay the rent and keep a roof over their heads, the marriage problem isnât likely to be some kind of deficiency in managing intimacy. Given the fact that divorce is expensive and often leaves women financially insecure, the stressors would have to be pretty severe to lead women of few resources to divorce.
Back to Robertson, one of his few data points to back up his insane claims is that his advice âcomes with 58 years of marriage, so I know what Iâm talking about.â
Then again, considering that he gets paid heftily to espouse this women-hating b*llsh*t, at least we know that economic stress hasnât been a problem in his relationship.