Thursday, September 14, 2017

The other side of the "MRA Narrative"

I love reading feminist articles.  However, the comment section is usually something to be avoided for the sake of my blood pressure.  Usually, the comments are from men telling the same story--evil, castrating feminist bitches take a man who gives them everything for a ride, then after a few years walk out with the kids and the house.  I've heard this story so often that I call it the "MRA Narrative."  And it's bad for my blood pressure because I lived it.
When I was 24 years old, I married Mr. X, who was 55 at the time.  Now, I know where this is going.  Hot babe snaps up old guy with a fat wallet.  Well, not really.  For years, I was the girl who couldn't get a date.  I'm socially awkward and not very pretty, and so I was the one being "friendzoned."  Also, in college, I was always too young.  I was 17 my freshman year (which made me "jail bait" in California) and 19 when I graduated (which meant I couldn't go anyplace that served alcohol).  I turned 20, and for a short time, started attracting male attention.  It didn't last very long.  I joined a fundamentalist group on the promise of family, community, and, most of all, acceptance.  Add in that in 2003-2005, it was obvious to me that our economy was built on a house of cards.  So I wanted that package.  A spouse, a job, and definitely children.
It was in this context that I met Mr. X.  After moving to Brooklyn, I heard about the occasional BT that someone wanted to set me up with.  Somehow those guys never materialized.  So I moved into the world of "older singles"-- and I mean older.  As in some of them had kids my age.  It became obvious that these men were the only ones who would ever date me.  The men I dated ranged in age from 40-62.  I was all of 24.  I knew even then that I had two things going for me.  One, I was young enough to bear children (although "young" didn't mean "attractive").  Two, I was the novelty act.  Within six months, I would be just one of the crowd, and forgotten.  So I married Mr. X.  He made a comfortable living, fed stray cats, gave people rides, and gave me a job.  And I didn't exactly have a lot of other options.
Within two months, I was pregnant, and our first child was born a month before our first anniversary.  In the early weeks, he was an attentive father to our daughter, but soon became unavailable.  When we moved into our newly renovated house, I had to set everything up while taking care of a five-month-old, including assembling a computer desk.  The only "help" I received came from neighborhood children.  One of the schools offered me a teaching job.  Mr. X convinced me not to take it.  Over time, my place in the household shifted.  I was there to serve him, bear his children, and provide sex on demand.  When our second daughter was born, I came home from the hospital two days before Rosh Hashanah. As tired as I was, and with a newborn and a toddler to care for, I had to set up the bassinet, unpack baby clothes, and still prepare all the holiday meals with no assistance.  His one concession to my condition was not inviting guests that year.  After that, I decided no more children, but Mr. X didn't want me on birth control.  I snuck myself onto an IUD because I knew he couldn't fool with it.  After five years, the narrative shifted from "I will care for you so you never have to work" to "I have to take care of you because you aren't capable of working."  After six years, he told me that a wife was "a cook in the kitchen, a laundress in the laundry room, and a whore in the bedroom."  After seven years, he began sexually assaulting me and punching walls.  I walked out and filed a restraining order.  He violated it numerous times.  All the time, he insisted that he had "treated me like a queen."
Now we come to the divorce.  This is the part where I get "his" kids, his house and his money, right?  I don't think so.  Despite an indicated report from Children's Services that he would get drunk and pass out while the children were in his care, he got ten days of visitation per month, half their school vacations, and half the holidays.  He kept the house and the business.  And, because he worked for cash, there was no way to establish his real income.  I got three years of alimony, child support, and a $20,000 settlement that has never materialized.  Hardly taken to the cleaners.
So, please keep in mind that for every story about the "evil feminist," there is a real live woman who may have been through hell.


  1. Our stories run somewhat parallel. You know my story intimately, I'll tell it once im a bit more healed up. Thank you for speaking out.

  2. Our stories run somewhat parallel. You know my story intimately, I'll tell it once im a bit more healed up. Thank you for speaking out.


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