Adam Avitable is a condescending bastard

The pinnacle of achievement for a woman

I believe that a good man is the head of his household. He is a good provider for his family and that is his job. A good women is the neck. She supports him, holds him up, and steers him in the right direction. I think the highest achievement a women can reach is to be a great wife . . . . I want to stay home. Clean the house. Cook dinner. I want those things to be my priorities.

This was a response from a girl who had messaged me on OkCupid this week. At some point during the conversation, she had mentioned that she had traditional family values, and I asked her to elaborate.

I replied that I think women and men are equal in all ways and that the highest achievement a woman can reach, in my opinion, is to be a great woman, independent of anything else, and definitely not dependent on making someone else happy.

Her reply was a long rambling one that ended with “I’m sorry you think that makes me somehow inferior . . . Good luck.”


Adam Avitable is a condescending bastard

I don’t think she’s inferior. Β SHE thinks she’s inferior. She has the opinion that the HIGHEST achievement that she can reach in life is to be a good wife? To make someone else happy?Β Men and women are equal. It is not equality to make your ultimate goal in life to make someone else happy.

Or maybe they’re not. Maybe men and women aren’t equal. In fact, now that I consider it, they’re not. Women are superior. A woman can make life. She can create a life inside her. And if you can make a baby, a child, a human being, but your idea of achieving something great in life is to make me a really great sandwich, I think your priorities are out of whack.

There is nothing wrong with traditional values. There is value in chivalry and devotion and supporting those who you love. I have no issue with someone who aspires to be a good spouse. I want to get married again someday and be the best husband I can be. I want to have kids and be the best dad I can be. But that’s not my limit. I can be the best person, the best comedian, the best writer, the best Avitable that I can possibly be.

I could never be married to someone whose aspirations end with being a great wife. The pressure that someone’s idea of success in life is dependent on your approval of, enjoyment of, and/or satisfaction with her actions and behavior is overwhelming. That’s not a relationship built on mutual respect, love, and admiration – it’s one built on some degree of servitude, however minute it may be.

If you want to stay home and cook and clean and do laundry and be the “neck” of the household, that’s awesome. Many people embrace and love the role that they play in their lives. But have aspirations beyond your spouse, have an identity beyond your relationship. What if that person leaves you? Or dies? Or lets you down? What does that do for your self-esteem and the value you placed on your entire life?

Be the best person you can be. If you do that – if you can focus your energy into that as the pinnacle of achievement for you – you can be a great spouse, a great parent, a great speaker or writer or lawyer or janitor or nurse or doctor or stripper – whatever you want, but it’s because you’re being the best YOU.

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70 Replies to “The pinnacle of achievement for a woman”

  1. Loukia

    I think the pressure to be a perfect wife is actually really stressful, and actually, to be a good and perfect housewife is damn near impossible. Even if I stayed at home full-time I wouldn’t be as awesome as my grandmother or even mother were and are in those roles, and even they are awesome and great in their careers, too – my mom as a professional artist, and my grandmother who worked her entire life as a waitress. I am not even sure what I’m trying to say here… maybe that… of course there is more to being a perfect wife. I aspire to do a lot in my life, even though at 35 I’m feeling like I’m running out of time to do all the things I want to do and OMG cue mid-life crisis… who am I am what the hell am I doing?

  2. Lynda G

    I’ve never commented before but have been reading forever. I loved this so much, I had to let you know! I completely agree – you’ve said it well. Living for someone else’s happiness is actually quite sad. Take care πŸ™‚

  3. Faiqa

    It is not equality to make your ultimate goal in life to make someone else happy.

    Do not call out your best friend in front of the Internet.
    Do not call out your best friend in front of the Internet.
    Do not call out your best friend in front of the Internet.

    Fuck it.

    If wanting to make other people happy were an Olympic sport, you would be like, “What the fuck is this ‘Olympics’ shit, I’m the goddamned Intergalactic Alliance Champion.”

    Said with love, my friend.

  4. Christina

    Well said! This is the exact reason I get so annoyed when I see those “Army Wife” stickers on cars. Really, your husbands success and career – THAT is your whole identity???

  5. Kristina

    If you were in GA…I would ask you to dinner and even buy….because I am an independent (redheaded) woman who totally agrees with this post! I would love to be married again someday, but my goal is to be the best me….no matter what. If Im not, then my kids won’t learn to be the best them.

  6. ADW

    Hmmmmm……. I am sure that you know how I feel on this subject, but if that’s what makes her happy, then so be it. I know that it would never work for me though. Since I am stubbornly independent and proud of it.

    YOU, however, would make an awesome house husband.

  7. Carol A

    I think she’ll reconsider being “the neck” once she realizes how many men are fatheads. Would be lots of sprains and strains in that relationship. (I keep picturing a skinny little neck with an Avitable fat-head on top. would. not. work)

  8. Cheney

    That’s a really hard stance to accept from a woman. What if she never finds herself a mate and gets married? Does that mean she automatically failed at life? And not for nothing, (and this might get me booed and hissed at) as a single parent who works full time to support myself and my kid, sometimes I take comments like that as a cop-out. Like, “Oh, you want to get married so you can stay at home and cook and clean and care for kids and NEVER HAVE TO GO TO WORK?” What a wonderful thing to aspire to. Let me think about that while I bust my ass 40 hours a week and then STILL do all of the things you aspire to do at home. SMDH!

    • Avitable

      @Cheney, well, I think that someone who stays at home full-time works just as hard as someone who works outside of the house full-time. You just have the unfortunate position of doing both jobs, which must be immeasurably difficult and is very admirable.

  9. hello haha narf

    as a woman who has made a very conscious decision to turn down marriage a few times, we all know this woman’s views certainly don’t align with my own. however, just because something doesn’t work for you (or me) doesn’t mean it can’t honestly won’t work for someone else. regardless of her reasons, being a wife and nurturing her husband is what she wants so that is ok for her, but i have a feeling that she is probably adhering to some biblical views on women:
    – I Corinthians 11:8-9:
    For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    – Ephesians 5:22-24:
    Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    i agree that a man needs to be the best man he can be and a woman needs to be the best woman she can be in order to make a relationship work. that being said, i truly believe that if a woman is happy not working outside of the home and concentrating on nurturing the home, have at it. just don’t expect all women to do so. or think it makes you any better or worse than women who make other choices.

    i am rambling. it happens. sigh.

    • Avitable

      @hello haha narf, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with a woman being happy not working outside of the home or concentrating on being nurturing and supportive – I just hate the idea of a woman thinking that’s the highest achievement of her life.

      • hello haha narf

        you say at the beginning of your reply that you don’t think there is anything wrong with it, but then you put your values on the end of your reply saying you hate a woman making wife and mother her greatest achievement in life. would you hate it if a man considered being a husband and father his greatest achievement? if so, i guess i just don’t get why the judgement on how others see life.

        • Avitable

          @hello haha narf, I explained that. I think it’s great if someone wants to be a great spouse, male or female. It’s the idea that anybody thinks that the highest they can achieve is to serve someone else that I take issue with. Why not see being the best person you can be as your highest achievement? Being a great spouse would be part of that, but not that limiting.

  10. Marnie

    I know you don’t know me, and I agree with you more than you could know. I’m the HS chick who turned everything into a women’s rights confrontation. And won the argument, every time. (In the 80s, to boot – way behind my time)

    Having said that, I’ve grown some since I was in high school and college. I have backed off considerably on criticizing others’ life choices. What this woman is saying would certainly not be one of my life choices. In fact, I chortled and snorted upon reading it. Until I realized she was serious. We all deserve to have the power to make decisions to do what will make us happy. If this will make her happy, then more power to her. She will not be my friend or my colleague, but she will be someone’s, and she will be happy in the process. And I’ll be happy not having to listen to her sliently judging me. Win-win.

    • Beth

      @Marnie, I agree, and I think the biggest difference between today’s modern woman and the grandmothers of the past that Loulou was talking about is that “back in the day” it was OKAY to just want to be a stay-at-home wife. It was okay to want to be a stay at home mom, to clean your house, to do whatever with your kids, and nobody cared. Now, being an “independent woman” means that those types of choices are looked down on.

    • Avitable

      @Marnie, I’m not criticizing her choice, though. I’m criticizing the fact that she’s limiting herself by claiming that’s the highest achievement she can reach in her life. I have no problem with people who are happy and satisfied staying at home.

  11. Beth

    I think it’s fine if that’s what someone wants to do, but I do agree that it’s important to have SOMETHING outside of a relationship that makes you happy. Be a writer. Have a hobby. Join a quilting club. Something. Because you’re right – relationships end, even relationships we never expect to end, and there needs to be something else that helps you feel like a whole person or you’re going to be lost.

  12. happyhippierose

    I think feminism is all about choices.

    Women in the past have worked as secretaries, nurses, and teachers because they didn’t have a ton of other options. Sure, many of them liked or even loved that work, I’d bet. But how many content teachers would have LOVED being a scientist?

    Choices have to go in all directions though. So just as I demand the choice to be an astronaut or a pilot or a war correspondent – so do I demand the choice to stay at home and raise children. Because there are many people who do work at home and child rear, and love what they do.

    I think that it should also be an option for men!

    Now. Ambition is an important trait to me in a partner. I can certainly understand how a lady who aspires to stay at home motherhood may not be able to ring your bell, and you’re much more inclined to have feelings for a woman who wants a passionate career outside of the home. I think that’s totally fine, normal, and makes sense.

    But just because that doesn’t line up for you and your needs, don’t rule it out for everyone else. Plenty of men and women would love to have a partner who wants to be the domestic type.

    • Avitable

      @happyhippierose, I don’t mind that she aspires to be at home. That’s not the issue. The issue I took with her statement is the sweeping generalization that the highest achievement for a woman is to be a great wife. She’s wrong.

      • happyhippierose

        @Avitable, Okay, I do get that. And I see how you actually do agree with what I said – but now with what she said.

        It’s one thing for that to be her dream and what she wants with her life – it’s another damn thing to tier that goal as better/higher/more important than anything else other wimmens may aspire to.

  13. J

    There’s SO much pressure in her statement. The man has to be a good provider, and support his family financially, and make all of the stupid decisions in life. Exhausting.

    The woman has to support him in all things, and make supporting him her highest priority. What’s going to happen to her heart if he dies? Or divorces her? What’s going to happen if she realizes one day that she is resentful of him making all of the decisions, that hey, wait, she has a brain too, and is fully capable of using it, in addition to her own wants and desires, even if it’s something so simple as what movie to see and what to have for dinner.

    Far be it for me to judge someone’s life choices. I’ve read your post and the comments, so I know you’re not judging the decision to stay home, just her lack of wanting anything else at all. Not eve that, just her belief that that’s the epitome of what a woman can be.

    But again, what happens if he dies? My grandfather died at the ripe old age of 35 (lockjaw from stepping on a nail, expired tetanus shot administered), leaving my grandmother to raise her 2 young children, with no work experience and no education beyond high school. She had to go find a job, and give up her kids for awhile (my mom to a convent, my uncle to a foster home) while she found a new husband to support them all. In those days it wasn’t uncommon for an office worker to not have any college, or work experience, so she was able to find a job. In today’s job market, I’m not sure a young woman in similar circumstances would be so lucky.

    So that’s one side, the practical side. The other side is, what ever happened to being a partner, an equal partner, to your husband or wife? I know many stay at home women who are equal partners in their marriage. They sat down together as a couple, and figured out what was best for THEM and their marriage, for raising their kids and keeping the household going (lots of work, though not as much as our grandparents, when doing the laundry was backbreaking work). If I were to aspire to be a stay at home mom/wife (not interesting to me, actually), I would do it as a full and equal partner. And my husband would have my back, and do some of the work around the house; and I would have his back, and be involved with the decisions and direction that the family was going.

  14. Sheila

    I don’t aspire to be anything. I aspire to make it through each day alive and with a reasonable amount of mental stability.

    If I also manage to vacuum the front room, that day is automatically a win.

  15. Lori

    Hey there, long time lurker, first time commenter. My wedding day was just a little over 3 weeks ago and the only reason it was even possible is because I managed to finally meet a man who shares your idea of what a wife should be. A great person whose goal is to be a great person, not just a great wife etc. I made the mistake the first time, marrying a man who should have met the girl you are referring to on OKcupid because they would have been perfect for each other. In fact, I had no idea that girl exists outside of his imagination. Thanks for writing this and reminding me of another reason why my recent wedding was the best day of my life.

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