Elevate Difference

The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage

Dr. Laura is not a popular personality in many circles, to say the least. She’s anti-choice, anti-feminist and anti-gay. So imagine my surprise when I picked up her latest book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage, and discovered that I actually found some useful advice in it.

First of all, a disclaimer: I am not endorsing her political beliefs. And I admit she makes it difficult to get past her gratuitous rants about feminism. (Sample: “Chivalry is largely dead, and feminism is the murderer.”) But please bear with me, because the fact is, Dr. Laura is not as crazily sexist as she first appears.

Her basic gist is that you should put your husband first, make him feel loved and be the kind of person that your husband would want to come home to at night. Those tips can be useful reminders, especially if you’re the kind of person who plans so many extra-curricular activities that you hardly see your partner unless you schedule a rendezvous.

A newlywed myself, I tried following her advice for a week, and found that I did actually quite enjoy it. So did my husband. I took care of him more, made sure to “snuggle” at night and even cooked dinner. (I had my limits, though -- we still shared cleaning and shopping duties.) Dr. Laura even gets a little, well, dirty, which won’t be a surprise to those who have read about her pre-fame nude photos. She advocates buying sex toys, naughty lingerie and even a Brazilian wax. Does that sound like conservative family values to you?

If you can flip past her snide comments, the book can be quite useful -- but you may want to look for a used copy to avoid funding her soapbox.

Written by: Kimberly Palmer, June 24th 2007

Thank you so much for those comments/reactions! I was so curious what people would think (I was even slightly scared to say anything at all positive about her...) Thanks for being so supportive- and I definitely see your point, Lacey, about putting one's partner first- it's definitely not always a good idea. Anyway, thanks a lot for all the feedback.

I agree with you Lacey, but I do think that there is something to be said for remembering to give time to show the ones we love that we appreciate them. Of course, this should be reciprocal regardless of the gender of those in the relationship, and I think that's where Dr. Laura tends to fall back on the 'woman as caregiver' stereotype.

Hmmm...interesting. Like you, I am very wary of Dr. Laura, but I'm happy to see that there might be some wisdom and understanding of real human nature behind her ever blabbing mouth. Thanks for the heads up!

What about the husband putting his partner first? From your review, it sounds to me like Dr. Schlessinger is advocating the same old support of the status-quo patriarchy that we've all come to expect of her. --Lacey D.

This sounds like a really fair review - much more of one that I'm sure I could give a woman like Schlessinger - but I gotta say that cooking and getting a Brazilian wax don't exactly sound revolutionary. Sounds exactly like the things I try to theoretically avoid, in fact. Interesting take on a polarizing figure.

You should join babes and books :) Honestly. Let me know if you want to!! I saw that you got there from Kate's site. It isn't too late!!

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