Posts tagged " men and women "

Why Don’t Men Get It?

September 18th, 2019 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 25 comments

Hello Rabbi and Susan Lapin,

Thank you for all your useful teachings, which I enjoy on a daily basis.

I have another marriage question for you. It is interesting to me that while many women are, rightly or wrongly, the main breadwinners in their homes, they still continue to do more household tasks than their husbands do.

Why do you think men seem to be so unaware of the professional and domestic burdens their wives are assuming?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

We’re delighted that you find our writings valuable and regret that we cannot answer your question just as you asked it. In order to do so, we would have to agree to be constrained by the corner in which you are painting  us.

You are making several  assumptions in the way you phrase  your question. We, too, have read surveys that show that women do more household chores than men. We have read other surveys that show an increasing number of families where wives out-earn their husbands. We’re not sure we have seen any accurate studies showing the overlap between these two sub-groups of families and that drill down into relevant details of these families. There may well be some studies like that, but our first instinct when we see studies on just about any politically hot-potato topic is to ascertain how objective and statistically accurate they are. Very few meet this reasonable standard.

You then make a huge leap into assuming that in those families where wives do out-earn husbands and in which they also assume the greater domestic burden, this uneven distribution is a result of a lack of awareness on the part of husbands. That is one assumption too many for us.

However, we aren’t going to leave you empty-handed. We often use the phrase, “how the world REALLY works.” That is a phrase that makes social engineers extremely uncomfortable. For example, how the world REALLY works is that the overwhelming majority of marriages come about when a man asks a woman to marry him. Surely, that should be a thing of the past? In today’s day and age, after more than half a century of gender egalitarianism,  why aren’t proposals 50% of the time instigated by men and 50% of the time by women? You might attribute this obvious imbalance  to men not realizing   that they can just as easily be on the receiving  side of a proposal as on the active proposing side, but that would be misleading.. You’d be ignoring  the fact that God built a world where men pursue women and both men and women (in general) prefer it that way.  Deuteronomy 22:13, “When a man marries a wife,” is where God informed us that it is seldom a case of, ‘when a man and woman marry’ or, “when a woman marries a man.” 

Every individual is a unique creation and every marriage is unique. Of course, today many people avoid marriage altogether so when we talk about married couples we are already dealing with a self-selecting  group. (Incidentally, many sociological and political studies and many media outlets, on policy, do not distinguish  between live-in lovers and spouses, referring to everyone who shares a home as married. This muddies the data water terribly.)

The questions we would rather ask—and we are working on a book that discusses this idea—is, “Do men and women relate differently to the process of earning money?” “Do men and women relate differently to their homes and families?” Our short answer is yes, which means that we reject your question as you ask it. Instead we would suggest that only people who do not understand how the world REALLY works think that earning money and taking care of home and family can or should be divided 50/50 among husbands and wives. Only people who do not understand how the world REALLY works would expect traditional roles to be reversed in a seamless and painless fashion.

Obviously, every couple can and should make its own decisions. However, we do think doing so without acknowledging the laws that God built into the world and by which most people will thrive is akin to taking up smoking a few cigars a day on the basis that George Burns did so and he lived a long and healthy life. Maybe you are an exception to a general rule, but more than likely you are not.

Hope you don’t find this non-answer  too disappointing ,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

What does the Hebrew word for family tell us? 
Find out in:
Buried Treasure: Secrets for Living from the Lord’s Language
on sale now

S

A

L

E

Buried Treasure: Secrets for Living from the Lord’s LanguageAleph-Bet: A Fun, Rhyming, Bible-based Introduction to the Hebrew Alphabet

Differing Sex Drives

July 3rd, 2019 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 14 comments

Dear Rabbi Lapin and Susan,

I was talking to a friend the other day and he made the statement, “When I meet God, I’m going to ask him why he created men and women with such different sex drives.”

I immediately thought of forwarding the question to you. Please let me know what ancient Jewish wisdom has to say on the subject.

Regards,

Mike R.

Dear Mike,

While he’s at it, could your friend find out why God created men and women with different emotional needs? Oh, yes, and perhaps also why the average man is taller and hairier than the average woman? Or, for that matter, why people in general have such different natures, personalities, yearnings and talents.

You might have seen, read or heard us teach this paramount principle of ancient Jewish wisdom—every physical detail of our construction reflects a spiritual equivalent.

For instance, God placed male organs externally visible while those of women are largely concealed from view.  This reflects the reality that men are largely characterized by unconcealed and aggressive acquisitiveness for both women and property.  Women, on the other hand, are far more modest in pursuing men and money.  I point out that no men’s clothing catalog contains the word ‘modesty’ whereas women’s fashion advertisements frequently highlight something called a ‘modesty panel’ or features like ‘lined for modesty’.  These are impenetrable mysteries to men. 

(more…)

Bossy Women – Like Me?

January 17th, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 61 comments

I have been watching a lot of one particular daily TV show lately. I actually recommend this show to you, though I am not an objective observer. The show is Ancient Jewish Wisdom, hosted by my husband and me. While I think the content is fascinating, I was trying to track one specific feature.  Do I interrupt my husband too much?

Two—not one, but two—recent letters accusing me of exactly that precipitated my reviewing past shows. Both letters were from women and to be fair, we have received many more than two letters from men and women telling us how much they enjoy the on-air interaction between us. However—please pay attention here—to my recollection, we have never received a letter saying that my husband interrupts me.

Let me state right away, that we have taped close to 400 Ancient Wisdom Shows. That adds up to about 200 hours of talking. My perusal of a few shows reveals that as professional as we try to be, each of us sometimes interrupts the other. On balance, I’m sure I definitely break in to my husband’s words more frequently than he does to mine, but there is a simple explanation for that. (And it’s not what you think!)

(more…)

Vindication!

September 28th, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings No Comment yet

Like so many couples, my husband and I sometimes see the same things in completely different ways. For example, other than on Shabbat and holydays, my husband feels out of touch without his cell phone and blackberry within reach. I, on the other hand, dislike having my cell phone near. If I’m home, I prefer talking on a land line. If I’m not, my friend Jane put my feelings into words when she said about her phone, “It’s like having a demanding toddler with you all the time, insisting on an instant response.” I didn’t tolerate that behavior with my children, so why would I welcome it now?

Here’s another example: We react differently to directions. Unless I am facing the ocean, telling me to go north or south is pointless. Right and left, preferably with identifying marks such as, “Turn left at the house with the swing set in the yard. If you pass the mailbox, you’ve gone too far,” work better for me.

Instructions are another area of potential altercation. I felt completely vindicated when as pampered house guests we were given the ability to manipulate our room’s air conditioning. Rather than simply having up or down buttons on the control, there were two buttons, labeled ‘too warm?’ and ‘too cold?’. I couldn’t have designed it better myself. Up and down always leaves me wondering if I’m being asked about the air conditioning or the temperature. This control worked with me. I only had to decide how I was feeling and push the appropriate button.

I am not drawn to pink power tools, but I truly appreciate it when companies understand that my thought processes differ from my husband’s. It isn’t a question of dumbing things down or dressing them up with feminine looking covers. Our air conditioning control gave me the chance to say to my husband, “This is my world and welcome to it.”

Sign up to receive our AAJC newsletter and our free weekly teachings!

Sign Up Now!

Follow AAJC on its new Facebook Page!
X