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—George Carlin, from A Place for My Stuff
Patriarchal Fiction Narratives must be one of the “Famous Bullshit Stories” form George Carlin’s Book of the Month Club.
I was a teen when I got the cassette, and my family and I listened to comedy tapes on long car trips. I remember this sketch well because mom had to stop on the side of the road because she — grandma, and I were laughing out loud with tears in our eyes. We couldn’t stop or catch our breath.
But “Famous Bullshit Stories”, got the biggest howling from us all.
While we laughed at other sketches and tapes, nothing beat Book of the Month for us. We were uncontrollable.
But back to Famous Bullshit Stories.
That is a classic.
I actually wanted to call my first book, Don’t Believe It!” How lies become news, Famous Bullshit Stories, but didn’t. That’s Carlin’s gem.
But fiction is nothing but famous bullshit stories.
Like indoctrinating women into thinking that marrying a rich guy is a good idea. He is a hoarder and a bully by default. He has to be on top of a pecking order.
I know this to be true in too many instances. I have known women who married rich men, and they are not allowed to have money on them. They cannot do chores when they want. Their husbands determined every aspect of their lives, and are abusive.
But I also knew it from other places — such as high-end boutiques where husbands doled out money for both the wife — and his slew of mistresses. Many women hid what they bought and owed money to those boutiques, terrified that their husbands would find out she spent more than he decreed. She would buy it on store credit, then tremble in her boots.
I knew as a journalist just how horrific a wealthy husband could be.
Lately, it seems that more women are speaking out about that kind of abuse, from being forced into degrading sex acts with their mates for basic food money, to being starved while the husband buys himself whatever toy he wants.
And let’s not pretend these women didn’t earn that money. Often, the men need the woman to sell all her assets for seed money. She often came up with the idea. She did work in the business. She often financially supported him and his dreams.
And then he repays her by imprisoning her.
I have always said do not waste your time and money playing king-maker. Don’t mom your husband. That takes away from your focus, and while you are too busy making him a Great Man, he has free time to procure mistresses to prove to his business buddies that he is capable of getting women into making bad personal deals where he gets more out of them than they get out from him.
And then the wife and the mistresses must make appointments to clothing stores so they don’t run into each other and have a catfight in the evening gown section.
I am not making this up.
A lot of gender inequality comes from women spending more time on their husband’s careers than their own. I used to make mental notes to myself: Memo to Alexandra Kitty: It’s all about you. Adult male can look after his own ass, and can rely on his Mommy should he be deficient.
I am not married. Footloose and fancy-free. I have had men try to control me, and the odd part was some of them I wasn’t even dating. I have had my own labour of loves and eccentric endeavours, and had men bring me to task that I wasn’t making money, I should do this instead, why I am spending money, literally priming me and grooming me to curb my indulgences and experiments.
I wasn’t hitting them up for cash. They didn’t pay my bills. It was none of their business. Yet they saw nothing wrong with their indulgences and experiments, even if they were losing more money in the bargain.
Correction: losing their wife’s money.
When I started A Dangerous Woman Story Studio, I made certain none of those famous bullshit stories were in there. Sometimes a man was unequal to the female, but she never supported him or used her connections to help him — dude was capable and he equalized himself without his wife having to appease an ego. She had her career and freedom just as he did. If I am writing about a rich man falling in love with a woman, you better believe that she’s a tycoon in her own right. I like ultimate sexy power-couples, but they will be running their own empires, thank you very much.
And I skewer the they billionaire-is-a-good-husband trope every chance I get — always using real-life cases in my stories. The World’s Most Dangerous Woman stories have a lot of billionaires who are wicked husbands. The Detective stories also have bad husbands who think money will control everyone. Those who have power didn’t get it by being nice or generous.
And then there is the Doyenne Assassin.
Not only does she whack the Dreadful who often are rich and powerful, she is also the author of ridiculous books of women sleazing it up the sex ladder to marry billionaires who rescue them — except these trashy books are coded reports of her success hits.
After all, she is the best hitwoman who ever lived. The steamy novelist is just a cover for her.
You don’t mess with the Doyenne Assassin.
Wealth is a nice thing to have. Morals are even better. Our world is one where we reward the tyrants and willingly so. We teach young boys how to be competitive and win at any cost. That’s on society.
If you want a better world, then the story you tell children has to radically change.
Don’t teach little girls to invest in their husbands. Don’t teach little boys to see their families as their means to an end.
Teach both to be self-reliant and confident. Show them how not to get on a hamster wheel. Don’t compete with your neighbours because when you die, no one will bother remembering the big mansion you had.
People have lives and better things to do than be impressed by you or your mate.
If they are like me, they have their indulgences and experiments, and prefer their own eccentric creativities over your gaudy trinkets any day...