Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but I think the chores statistics alone speak volumes about how prevalent patriarchal style marriage actually is, even if it’s not of the Orthodox Jewish variety. So do the divorce statistics. I thought I had a pretty egalitarian marriage too until I really got to see how bought into traditional husband/wife roles we really were.

Younger couples probably do a bit better than older or middle-aged ones but nearly all of my female friends have gripes about all of the emotional labor that they do as the unpaid manager of their lives and household, how quite often their husbands are more like another child than a true partner, how they’d like to have sex lives that meet their needs better, etc. and these are women who are basically happily married. They aren’t the ones likely to file for divorce because of those things, but it does tend to indicate that it’s pretty pervasive, even if most women are a bit resigned to living this way.

Patriarchy is a strong word that perhaps obscures some of the more subtle things that are widely in play in a lot of heterosexual relationships, but I think it’s accurate. Marriage, as we know it today, is a patriarchal institution. 6–9 thousand years ago and before, pair-bonding was a really different thing. It’s really hard to escape that if you don’t do it very intentionally.

Maybe the people you know are that intentional, but if more than half the people in a country will admit to overtly patriarchal relationships, that’s not just Texas, or the mid-West. And, in the statistics, amongst couples who are college-educated, it’s 90% of the time that women are initiating divorce.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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