About husbands


Am sure many of you will disagree but whatever the intent of Mencken, this was a funny guy. Let’s hear what he says about husbands

In other words, the typical husband is a second-rater, and no one is better aware of it than his wife. He is, taking averages, one who has been loved, as the saying goes, by but one woman, and then only as a second, third or nth choice. If any other woman had ever loved him, as the idiom has it, she would have married him and so made him ineligible for his present happiness. But the average bachelor is the list first choice of at least some of them. He represents the unattainable and hence admirable; the husband is the attained and disdained.

I am almost certain there was a riot among his friends when this book came out.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

72 thoughts on “About husbands

  1. Funny guy. I like his style.

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  2. Noel, when I read these quotes, it seems to me he is writing about the culture for which men were raised in. A culture that glorifies and worships hypermasculinity.

    However, I wonder if you were aware that he was a racist?

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      • Here you go: From Wikipedia: Mencken also wrote: “I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready at hand, and it is inconceivable that the negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a negro. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.” [35] Sieg Heil! Mein Fuhrer!

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        • makagutu says:

          I am reading the wiki article. The one place he was right, I think, is the comment on democracy, to wit

          The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron

          and if that doesn’t describe Bush, nothing can.

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          • Right on there. If we Americans are lucky, we may get Jeb Bush as our next President and the idiocy can continue on. The racism of Mencken weakens him greatly in my opinion. Hell, Hitler had some awesome ideas for getting trains to run on time and provided decent health care for members of the Nazi Party. Still, though, his bigotry and racism overshadow it all. Blatant dislike of blacks and talking about them in such a dehumanizing way have cast a deep shadow over Mencken for me.

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          • makagutu says:

            I feel you. I sympathise with every man for his weaknesses and misjudgments but consider their ideas, if he writes something I agree with, that is the extent of our relationship.

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    • makagutu says:

      I am just reading his about page.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Noel, I’m always appreciative that you post quotes like these because I like to learn about these people. I wanted to get an idea where he was coming from with regard to his writings about men and how they were received by his own sex. But clearly he was a product of the culture he wrote about.

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        • I second all you’ve said, Victoria. The quotes you post, Mak, always enlighten and always increase my knowledge of other people and other ways of looking at the world. Thanks, my friend. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          For most of the people I read, I read about them much much later, maybe if a question is raised about his character. Take the case of Percy Shelley Bysshe, I read about him much later after I fell in love with his The Necessity of Atheism .
          In the case of Mencken, and with the above quotation, if one reads much further, he isn’t talking about your commonplace bachelor. He gives the example of Kant, Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer and Nietzsche though all these men had serious women issues and faults them for not having offspring to take after them.

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          • So what I am gathering then is that these guys felt like they married down, unable to attract the “woman of their dreams”?

            Also, I’ve learned a little bit about life through the years, and a priority for me is to get to know someone first before falling in love with them. 😉 😛

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          • makagutu says:

            In his view, it is the women who married below their stations not the men. Unless he doesn’t mean what he says, his opinion on men’s intelligence generally was as low as mine on idiots politicains

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  3. john zande says:

    Is there a chance this guy was operating in a heightened state of parody, always in “character,” lambasting everything with carefully thought-through nonsense… for shits and giggles?

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  4. ladysighs says:

    He is/was a very funny guy. Glad you are giving us a bit of his flavor.

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  5. Arkenaten says:

    I plead the fifth for fear of incriminating myself. 🙂

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  6. nannus says:

    I think reality is a little bit more complicated, but … 🙂

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  7. aguywithoutboxers says:

    LOL! I need to stop and rethink my current relationship status! 🙂

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