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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How Female Led Relationships could go mainstream: #1 The implicit FLR is already mainstream

"She wears the trousers in that
marriage" is an old old joke.
The other day, a friend of ours who seems very much in charge of her marriage leaned over the cafe table and remarked, "You know, it's quite normal for one partner to be the driving force..."

And I realized that Female Led Relationships are almost mainstream.

Implicit (as in "assumed but not formally recognized") Female Led Relationships are certainly mainstream and probably always have been. "She wears the trousers  in that marriage" is an old old joke.

However, it's a joke that's quietly died. We're no longer shocked or amused by implicit FLR ("iFLR") or things that look like iFLR.

He's fixing dinner for his wife who just
got in from work...NORMAL.
Some of my favorite retro-FLR pictures were intended as funny or shocking; dire warnings about women getting above themselves and dominating men.

However, if recreated using modern clothing, they would be perfectly unremarkable:


He's doing the washing while
she goes out for a cycle
ride.... NOT SHOCKING
.
He's fixing dinner for his wife who just got in from work...NORMAL. He's doing the washing while she goes out for a cycle ride.... NOT SHOCKING.

We'd just assume they had a modern equal marriage and it suited them that he did these chores while she did others at other times.

If somebody then said, "Oh he only works part-time and she is the primary earner," we'd think it natural he have a meal ready for her on the table.

And if we knew that, "He does a lot of chores to support her bicycle racing hobby," we'd probably think how lucky he was to have a hot athletic wife.

...if recreated using modern clothing,
they would be perfectly unremarkable
If we did notice that both relationships revolved around the wife, we'd confine ourselves to remarking. "I think she tends to make the big decisions." Or, "I think she's the one with the vision in that relationship."

In other words, we're neither surprised not threatened by iFLRs.

At the root is Feminism which pervades our worldview even if we are neither liberal nor identify as Feminist. We simply assume that men and women are morally and legally equal, even if we might point to differences between the genders.

From this Feminist default come several developments.

 Go further back and there was the
legally sanctioned scold's bridle.
First, in the modern west, iFLR is now physically safer for a woman than it ever has been.

Back in the bad old days--even a few decades ago--the marriage could swing into asymmetry and then the man could have an attack of machismo and beat up his "shrewish/nagging" wife and nobody would look down on him for it. The law would probably wink and move on. Go further back and there was the legally sanctioned scold's bridle!

Now, though they still exist, society looks down on wife-beaters and -- at least in the UK -- the police feel pressure to act on domestic violence.

Second, educated men no longer see any shame in letting a woman take the lead in any particular activity. Not only does this add to the physical safety, it also makes it possible for a woman to express her leadership in a particular area without triggering a marital spat. If she can express her leadership in one area, then she can also do so in others.

Third, educated men no longer regard housework as woman's work. It's just what needs doing and the only question is how to divide the labor and who sets the standards.

Finally, people no longer look down on -- let's call them -- asymmetric relationships. We learned in the 1970s and 80s that equality down the middle in all spheres usually doesn't work in practice. One partner will be better at cooking or finances or cleaning or nurturing or bread-winning than the other. We accept that people find the relationship dynamic that they like and that this usually involves dividing labor and with that division of labor comes a division of power.

So, we're already not far from mainstream. Being mainstream certainly wouldn't look much different, except there would be no pretense that the husband wasn't serving the wife, and courtship would be easier because we could actually say, "I am in/looking for an FLR."

What would it take for the world to change such that our friend could lean across the table and remark, "I notice that you are in an FLR like us"?

Part two...


When we started out, my wife was vanilla. Use my manuals to help you walk the same Femdom path! There's one for him, and one for her

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