Friday, July 08, 2011


"Wives already know what to do to make husbands happy – and husbands, wives. They don't need classes."

For a long time now, wives have been advised that if they don't want their husband looking for love elsewhere, they have to give them what they need at home. Every time some high profile adultery case comes up, some women will say "well he wasn't getting what he needed at home." I suppose there's some validity to that, although some men will always wander regardless of what they get.

Just about every comedian on earth talks about marriage in terms of misery and being forced to only have sex with one woman, ever again and how terrible that prospect is. So I don't buy that its necessarily the fault of an inattentive or chilly wife that causes adultery among men, but I am willing to believe that it can be at least sometimes.

And that's the basis for the "Obedient Wives Club" which is spreading through Southeast Asia. Kate Hodal reports for the Guardian:
The Obedient Wives Club (OWC), which has chapters in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore and intends to open in London and Paris later this year, says it intends to curb various social problems, including prostitution and gambling, by showing Muslim wives how to "be submissive and keep their spouses happy in the bedroom". This, in turn, would lead to more harmonious marriages and societies, it says.

"In Islam, if the husband wants sex and the wife is not in the mood, she has to give in to him," the Singapore club's co-founder Darlan Zaini said recently. "If not, the angels will curse her. This is not good for the family."

The OWC, which launched in Jordan this year, opened a branch in Malaysia last month and in Indonesia last week. In Malaysia, it caused a furore when its international vice-president, Rohaya Mohamad, declared that, by becoming a "good whore … to your husband" and serving him "better than a first-class prostitute", women could help "curb social ills like prostitution, domestic violence, human trafficking and abandoned babies" – all of which she attributed to unfulfilled sexual needs.
Is there something to this? Well every man wants his woman to be a whore for him, that's sort of the ideal: chaste and respectable to the world, total slut to me. And it certainly wouldn't hurt for at least some wives to be a bit more willing and naughty for their husbands at home (just as some husbands should be more so for wives, I suppose).

I imagine it wouldn't hurt for wives to be a bit more obedient to their husbands and men to be significantly more responsible, dedicated, and attentive to their wives. I've never been married so I'm hardly the person to give married couples advise on their sex lives or how to treat a husband. I have my thoughts and what I've learned from reading and personal experience, but I don't have the understanding to pontificate on this particular matter.

One thing I do know for sure is that sex isn't the main thing that needs changing in modern marriages to save them. The primary problem is a basic selfishness in all of us and a focus on emotion and personal satisfaction rather than dedication, self sacrifice, and commitment.

What really caught my eye was the response of different groups to this theme, though.
Facebook groups, such as the Say No to the Obedient Wives Club in Singapore coalition, stress that "women are equal to men and we, in Singapore, should keep it that way".

Local rights organisations, such as Aware (the Association of Women for Action and Research), have also expressed dismay at the OWC's seemingly regressive stance on women's rights. "What the club signifies is a regression, a moving backwards, in [what] women and other progressive men – Muslim and non-Muslim – are trying to do for gender equality here in Singapore," said its vice president Halijah Mohamed.
The cry of equality is what rings out in response to this movement. And like I say, I've not been married but it occurs to me that with all the things men surrender in terms of liberty and control of their lives - very critical to the entire being and nature of men - it wouldn't hurt women to give a little in return. I mean, if you want to frame this in terms of equality, things have swung violently to the side of women in modern western culture. Meredith Brook's song Bitch illustrates this well:

So take me as I am
This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous
and I'm going to extremes
tomorrow I will change
and today won't mean a thing

You can't change a thing, you have to adapt to my changes, I'm crazy and do stupid stuff, and tomorrow I'll be something else, but you have to deal with it, and if you don't you're weak. The modern woman wants to be independent, selfish, "self-actualized" and get everything while giving nothing. Its not that all women are this way, but too many are, and the postmodern west ideal of women is this sort of person. She wants her man to totally adapt to her in every way, without changing to adapt to him. He has to give up all she demands, but she gives nothing.

And to expect her to give as much as him is... not equal, we're told.

That doesn't exactly encourage men to want to form lasting relationships, to put it mildly.


Eric said...

The thing I've never liked about the 'sexually submissive wife' concept is that, for me personally, it's just kind of creepy and "rapey" to expect my wife to have sex with me if she'd rather not. As a man, it's more important for me to be able to make my wife want me than to use our relationship as leverage to compel her to comply with my desires. Married sex without a bit of cat-and-mouse seduction (coming from both sides) seems to me like it could get dangerously boring and complacent. As a husband I have a responsibility to make myself attractive and appealing to my wife, and she has a responsibility to do the same for me. As long as we both honor those obligations,

The fact that every man is going to get turned down for sex sometimes by his wife can be viewed as either some horrible betrayal of the marital relationship (are our egos really that fragile? are we really that incapable of self control when it comes to sex?), or it can be viewed as a challenge to make yourself as appealing as possible to your wife so that these instances are minimized.

I also think there is a very different relationship between husband and wife in these eastern nations where the 'obedient wife' phenomenon is taking place vs. the West. The idea of husband and wife being best friends and the primary relationship in one another's life is a fairly modern one, and very Western, and in a way it is an anathema to the idea of spousal submisiveness. As far as obedience goes, in Western marriages the popular frame of reference is being obedient to the marital vows, or the ideas behind them, not necesarilly to your partner.

eric said...

oops... last sentence in the first paragraph above should have finished up with, "then there really should be no problem in this area."

Peccable said...

We've come to this silly notion through liberalism that we're responsible for some one else's happiness. That is so wrong; we're responsible for our own and shouldn't stand in the way of another person seeking theirs. Obedient wives? To what? To a vow made in the heat of LUST?

How well do/did each know one another prior to committing binding words; the Church and State want those, your heart knows better.

Maybe what we really need is more ethical upkeep of ourselves to honesty in dealings with the world.

You don't have to be a Christian to see the righteousness of the Ten Commandments.
I've followed the T'ao since '64, so I'll not be calling myself a follower of Jesus anymore.

As to obedient wives, why would anyone want a woman who didn't exert her own will. After 30 years of co-habiting with one, I'll have it no other way. No paper, together just because we want to be together.

Christopher R Taylor said...

I think there's a presumption that by being submissive and obedient a woman becomes some sort of mindless puppet and helpless, dull, and ruined wretch. Maybe I'll write about that some day but that betrays a basic ignorance about what Biblical submission means and how obedience plays out.

Still, my main point was to wonder why it is women and men treating each other with respect somehow means inequality for the women.

Chris said...

Your point is valid, Christopher. This is somewhat ironic, but my ex-wife actually made a commitment to have sex whenever I wanted and to do some things she had previously been unwilling to do. My response was to be more attentive to her, to listen better and more often, and to generally be more interested in her needs. The ironic part is a few years later she left me. Go figure.

Anyway, one party makes a concerted effort to please the other, and the other party responds because they are getting what they want. If you never give in a marriage you will never get. Moderns don't understand that.

You are entirely correct that men are expected to give up a great number of things, in exchange for what? High maintenance is exhausting, and there had better be some kind of payoff in the end, or there is no relationship. There is only selfishness.