Sexist much? Love and marriage for the perfect — a Medium social experiment

Love & marriage — it’s an institute you can’t disparage

Actually, some can disparage the institution of marriage. I did. Let’s see what happened when I poked a stick at the ins and outs of married life.

A little background: I wrote three articles that received a fair amount of readership on Medium. The three articles I wrote, two from the persona of the “perfect married man” and one from the persona of the “perfect married woman,” took some jabs at the lives of the marrieds.

Exhibits A, B & C:

Many recognized themselves in the three articles and had a good laugh, as evidenced by responses and clicks of the green heart button. I offer my heartfelt thanks to those that got the jokes. Others still were highly offended. I learned much from my detractors.

Actually, I’m lying. I pretty much just dismissed them as dipshit, humorless jackasses. (I’m settling on a euphemistic description of my true feelings. I’ve edited that sentence a few times.)

Pardon me, but your true feelings are showing

Through the course of the lifespan of these articles, a curious phenomenon occurred: Nobody was offended when I was taking shots at the man. Nobody. Torches were lit and pitchforks were hoisted in defense of the (fictitious) married woman (by a small but vocal minority), but when it came time to take the fictitious married man out to the woodshed … crickets.

Why is that?

Why is it that still, in the post-feminist era of 2016, it’s still taboo to make jokes at the expense of women, but perfectly acceptable to pile on a man?

There have been no responses so far to the perfect married woman’s jabs at the perfect married man-in-training. Which means nobody was moved enough to complain about the free content they were given to digest. Not so with the first two pieces.

Is it because few people saw it? Nope. The article has been up for a couple weeks, and received some well-above average (for me) reach by virtue of being published in The Coffeelicious (more than 100k readers), and also by being featured on Medium’s home page — twice. (Don’t ask me how or why). To date, more than two dozen readers have offered their approval with green heart clicks. So I’m not complaining.

But I am wondering — who can take a joke? Is it just that men can take a joke better than women can? In the tiny focus group of our household, the answer is no. My wife is far better at laughing at herself than I am. It’s one of the many things I admire about her, and one way I wish I was more like her. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

Nobody’s perfect

Is it just obvious sexism? A double standard played out in the Medium ecosystem? Does everyone just buy the “doofus” husband so readily that it’s accepted as a commonly accepted trope? If so, isn’t it equally acceptable to make fun of a (again, fictitious) woman?

To the wide range of Medium readers, the answer, apparently, is no.