This week, Dr. Laura’s advice is not terrible, but her psychoanalysis is. Let’s take a look, shall we? This is from her youtube channel.
The question: “I’ve taken it upon myself since day one of my relationship to do everything for my boyfriend, and now have found that I’ve put myself into a bad position, because I’m being taken for granted and it’s assumed that I should continue to do all that I do for him. I don’t get anything in return. Can you address those of us who ‘over-do’ for others because we care, but yet get nothing in return?”
Dr. Laura’s response: You’re not overdoing it because you care; that’s not why it’s happening. You’re over doing it because, I don’t know, maybe your parents were drunks so you’re used to being the caretaker. Hoping that if you do enough to take care of your parents, maybe they will be nice and take care of you. Maybe they’re not drunks, maybe they’re just self-involved and have two careers going on and got divorced, remarried, divorced, remarried.
Anyway, you’re so used to having to do for, that you’ve turned it into, instead of the anger that you weren’t taken care of, you turn it into, “I care; that’s why I’m doing this.” No. You’re the one in power, you’re the one in control, you’re the one martyred, you’re the one still trying to get love in, as they say, all the wrong places.
So, the smartest thing you can do for yourself is be uncomfortable. How can you do that? I’m telling people to be uncomfortable? That’s awful! What you need to do is find a guy who demands to give. He demands to give to you. He wants to put his jacket down so when you walk over a puddle you’re on top of his jacket. He wants to sacrifice for you. That’s going to be very uncomfortable because you don’t perceive yourself or identify yourself at all as the person to be loved and taken care of.
So, until you are willing to make yourself uncomfortable, dump this dude and find a really nice one, nothing is going to change. You have to go on faith that you are loveable.
Dr. Susan’s response: This week, I really don’t think Dr. Laura is so far off base, and I like what she says about “going on faith that you are loveable.” I even like what she says about how the woman isn’t doing everything because she cares because I agree; if you are feeling resentment, it probably means that there is more going on than caring.
It’s not because of the downfall of society, and it’s not because the woman’s parents were drunk or (OH NO!) both worked.
It’s because of Dr. Laura.
Like this: “Biologically, women are the nurturers, so their caregiving role is more natural…Men, on the other hand, are generally the providers, protectors, and fixer-uppers. That’s their biological programming. ”
Or this: “The feministas came out of their skins when I published my best seller, “The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands.” Their main point of rage was their notion that taking care of one’s man emotionally and physically was demeaning.”
Or hey, want to live longer?: “Turns out, women’s work is the very thing that saves women’s lives! Research following 200,000 women from nine European countries for an average of over 6 years and 3,423 cases of breast cancer determined that women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 30% among the pre-menopausal women and 20% among the post-menopausal women.”
What about doing things you don’t want, like sex? “We’re talking about when you’re feeling irritated or “I’m annoyed”, or “I’m just too tired today,” and turning away your man when…this is the measure that men have of how much we love them whether we’re willing to accept them (literally) into our bodies, whether we’re willing to open up to them; this is how men register that their woman loves them. ”
And be sure to stay pretty, don’t worry about obligations outside of the house: “Do you take care of yourself – your hygiene, your presentation, your health – so you have something to give? Or, is it all about, “I just don’t have anything to give?” You have to learn to say no to errands and chores and social activities and overtime and volunteer work and meetings if it is interfering with your love.”
Oh, and any man at all is better than nothing: “Your kids are better off having a couch potato dad than no dad at home at all, and that’s the reality. ”
There is a reason why women do so much more around the house than men, why women take on so much responsibility in relationships, and it isn’t because they are making up for a terrible childhood. It is because a billion times a day, we get messages telling us that this is how it should be. Advertisements are rife with this crap; I just discovered this website which is awesome, if you have a bit of time to play around (it lets you mash up stereotypically “girl” ads with “boy” ads, to hilarious and tragic effect). Walk into a dirty home and the clucking is about the woman, not the man. Kids are misbehaving? Well, “their mother doesn’t raise them right.” It’s EVERYWHERE. And it’s one of Dr. Laura’s main tenets. And when people are unhappy with these roles, you don’t get to just say, “Oh, must have been some bad childhood thing.” No, Dr. Laura. It’s because she listens to you and buys into every message that you send.