What does your husband think of your blog?

I’ve been seeing this question all over the place, being asked towards women who aren’t even married, and it’s fucking bullshit. I see women ask other women in blogging groups, “Ladies! What does your husband think of your blog? Mine doesn’t approve, and I don’t even write about him!” It’s a question that stems from the belief that a woman needs her husband’s approval to do something—anything—and that unmarried women need a husband who can make the decisions for them.

I mean, isn’t that just it? There is no other reasonable explanation other than that which involves a woman’s apparent inability to think for herself, even though men tend to run things into the ground without women’s intuition. It’s not unlike someone asking a woman what her husband thinks of her career, and the idea that women making more money than her husband is wrong.

One of my grade school teachers shared a story about how she attended some dinner party with her parents when she was a kid. There was a speaker introducing the founding members—all women—of the program, but rather than focusing on the women, the speaker—also a woman—focused on their husbands, e.g. “This is Jane Doe, wife of John Doe, an independent contractor; Mary Sue is the wife of Bob Sue, who joined the family resort business at seventeen and is now the CEO.” The women who’d founded this charity that won awards were patronized, dismissed in favor of their husbands’ accomplishments. That’s why, when she introduced herself to us, and talked about herself, she rarely spoke of her husband—because, to paraphrase her, “My classes contain more girls than boys, and I want to teach that girls can stand tall on their own.”

Needless to say, it stuck with me. Every time I see someone answer this question about their blog, I can’t help remembering that teacher, even though I only remember that she taught sixth grade maths.

Another issue I take with this question is how much it assumes of the female-identifying blogger:

  • they like men
  • they have a husband
  • they need their husband’s approval
  • there is no equality in the household re: previous item

Being an “out” LGBTQ+ blogger also seems to come with strange, none-of-your-fucking-business questions, such as “But do you practice homosexuality?”, which I intend not to write about in full, but this is fitting to include into this post as well, because—as much as it sounds like what Evelyn Hugo said—a more interesting bite of knowledge surrounding whether my husband would approve of my blogging, if I were asked such a question, is that I’m not even into men in the first place.

I feel lucky not to have been asked this question. I hope no one ever bloody asks me this question. Still, I can’t help cringing when I see it asked towards me indirectly. It feels so demeaning—even though I’m a lesbian, even though I have no intention of ever marrying a man—to ask a question to a woman that boils down to how well her husband has/hasn’t tamed her, his permission, and her need to seek such approval. It’s not unlike an abusive boyfriend from a Lifetime movie expressing rage because she was texting some guy—which, ugh, another issue with the patriarchy.

This post is linked up to FYFA and ITAM’s #LetsDiscuss.

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OOOH this is so on point! I tried to do a sort of parenting blog wayyy back in the day, and I would get crap like this (one of the big reasons I didn’t stick with it). Like first of all I hated my (now ex-)husband but I was super trapped at the time and I didn’t want to even acknowledge the jerk existed, let alone explain that I don’t need anyone’s “approval” to write my damn thoughts on the internet. Like what even is that!? Incidentally, my ex-husband’s brother wouldn’t “allow” his (now ex-)wife post anything about their son on the internet, full stop. I cheered when she left, and subsequently, posted whatever the hell she wanted.

I also agree that there is that assumption. And I am sorry that people have asked you such inappropriate questions, even indirectly! I get so many rude and awful assumptions as a single mom, too, some invading my privacy no question. I dream of the day that society isn’t completely ruled by this gross, heteronormative patriarchy.

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Too true! If you are happy with your blogging, you don’t need anyone’s validation – only your own!

But wait… people actually ask “But do you practice homosexuality?” That’s so strange – I’m Jewish and it is just like when someone asks me if I practice my religion. Well, no, I don’t need to practice it, I’m an expert already! Don’t they get that being LGBTQ+ or Jewish isn’t something we work at, it is in our DNA. It is part of everything we do, like it or not! Might as well ask someone “but do you practice breathing?” Such a stupid question!

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I’m really curious what blogging communities you’re hanging out in.

Are there any out there that cater towards more open-minded and/or progressive individuals?

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I’ve actually left a lot of them, and the idea for this came from two years ago when I’d see so many women posting the question in various groups and boards, and even on their blogs.

I haven’t frequented blog communities more than lurking in a while, especially not during this pandemic. But it’s still a question my family have asked me — what will your future husband think? — and a question I know other bloggers have been asked, by strangers.

I don’t know about any blog communities in existence right now like that. Most blog communities are now focused on blogs themselves, each blog creating and nurturing a community of its own.

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