Dennis Prager’s backward marriage ‘advice’ earns him the Media Putz of the week
Originally published on MediaPutz.com on January 15, 2009
The calendar may say 2009, early in the 21st century, but for some right-wing media nuts, they fight hard to stay somewhere in the “black-and-white” 1950s, and burrow down in a mentality that wasn’t even true in real life back in that decade.
Dennis Prager took us back in a not-so-nostalgia fashion with his not one, but TWO columns on “When a Woman Isn’t in the Mood.” Yes, it took 2,685 words for him to essentially say, “Wives, whether you’re in the mood or not in the mood, have sex with your husbands.” That took 16 words.
But Prager isn’t just looking out for your married sex life (if you are the husband). No, no, he is also concerned with criticizing the social changes of the last 50 years.
“Partially in response to the historical denigration of women’s worth, since the 1960s, there has been an idealization of women and their feelings. So, if a husband is in the mood for sex and the wife is not, her feelings are deemed of greater significance — because women’s feelings are of more importance than men’s.”
Well, some of that could be that in the “magical time” of the 1950s, women’s opinions, feelings et al were pushed off to the side, so what Prager sees as “women’s feelings are of more importance than men’s” is seen by most people as “evening the score.”
Prager also goes on the attack against the Baby Boomers, of which he is one (born in 1948). He notes that the Boomers “elevated feelings to a status higher than codes of behavior. In determining how one ought to act, feelings, not some code higher than one’s feelings, became decisive: “No shoulds, no oughts.””
Why feelings aren’t important in Prager’s world lends itself to the Republican mantra of “just follow authority.” And in Prager’s world, the husband is the authority.
Prager actually has a moment where he recognizes that perhaps the preassigned gender roles aren’t quite fitting. “There are marriages with the opposite problem — a wife who is frustrated and hurt because her husband is rarely in the mood.” However, in literally the next sentence, Prager make sure to get his priorities straight. “But, as important and as destructive as that problem is, it has different causes and different solutions, and is therefore not addressed here.”
Wow, he thought for a few seconds that perhaps women might have a higher sexual drive than their male partners. Then, since this doesn’t fall in his myopic vision, it doesn’t deserve much merit.
Not to cast stones, but since Prager is such an expert of husbands and wives, let’s check out his track record. According to Wikipedia, he is a fresh newlywed, marrying his third wife this past New Year’s Eve. In fact, the columns came out (December 23 and 30, 2008) just before his wedding day. Prager’s first marriage lasted five years, though his second marriage did last about 18 years. Hopefully for him, his third wife is reading his columns, so she knows what Prager expects.
In the modern world, sex and communication go together as part of the whole process. It takes two to, well, more than tango, and when they are on the same page, the whole sex experience goes better — for both parties. Countless women of Prager’s generation and before — and even a few men — will certainly agree with that.
Conservative media types are obsessed with us not having sex outside marriage, then they tell us how to have sex inside marriage, even if the theme lends itself to the times of cavemen and cavewomen. Seems like Dennis Prager should spend more time talking with his wife (wives) about sex and less time talking to us about it. But in the meantime, Dennis Prager will have to settle for being our Media Putz of the week.