Why Men Don't Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes

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9780752879406: Why Men Don't Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes


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When someone just won't let up

Nag: verb to annoy, badger, bend someone's ear, berate, breathe down someone's neck, worry, harrass, hassle, henpeck, pester, plague, provoke, scold, torment; noun a person, especially a woman, who nags

Nagging is a term used almost exclusively by men to describe women.

Most women deny they nag. They see themselves as reminding the males in their lives to do the things that must be done: household chores, taking their medication, fixing broken things and picking up their mess. Some nagging is considered constructive. Where would many men be without a woman in their lives cajoling them not to drink too much beer and eat too much fast food and, if they can't stop, to make sure they exercise and take regular cholesterol tests? Nagging might even, at certain times, keep them alive.

If men nag, however, that's viewed very differently by society. Men are not naggers. They're assertive, they're leaders, and invariably they're passing on their wisdom--and gently reminding women of the path to take if they happen to forget along the way. Sure, they criticize, find fault, moan and complain, but it's always for the woman's benefit. The repetition of their advice, like "Read the map before you set off! How many times must I tell you?" and "Can't you make more of an effort with how you look when my friends come round?" shows admirable persistence and, above all, shows that they care.

Women, similarly, feel that nagging shows that they care, but men rarely see it in the same light. A woman will chide a man about throwing wet towels on the bed, peeling off his socks and leaving them all around the house, and not remembering to take out the garbage. She knows she's being irritating, but believes the way to get through to a man is by repeating, over and over, the same instructions until they one day, hopefully, sink in. She feels the things she's complaining about are based on truth so, while she knows she's being annoying, she feels justified in continuing. A woman's female friends won't see her as nagging either--they'll see the man as lazy or hard to handle and feel nothing but sympathy for his long-suffering partner.

"The Man Song," a comedy song penned by Sean Morley and reproduced thousands of times over the Internet, was an instant hit when released. Women love it because it says that nagging can sometimes yield results; that is, men understand who's boss. Men love it because it says something they've perhaps always, secretly, known too. One of the verses starts:

The sooner you'll learn who's boss around here,

the sooner you can give me my orders dear . . .

Cause I'm head-honcho around here . . .

but it's all in my head . . .

But usually, when a woman starts repeating her orders, the male brain hears only one thing: nagging. Like a dripping tap, nagging wears away at his soul and can gradually build a simmering resentment. Men everywhere put nagging at the top of the list of their pet hates. In the USA alone, there are more than two thousand cases a year of men murdering their wives and claiming that their nagging drove them to it. In Hong Kong a husband who hit his wife on the head with a hammer, causing her brain damage, was given a reduced jail term by a judge who said he had been driven to violence by nagging.

Women's Nagging vs. Men's Moaning

Women nag; men instruct.

After reading Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps, a man who called himself "Henpecked Jeremy" sent us this email:

I need your help. I'm married to the Queen of Naggers and I can't take another minute of her nitpicking, complaining and harassment. From the moment I arrive home until the moment I go to bed, she starts her nagging and never lets up.

It has come to the point where the only communication involved between the two of us is when she tells me all the things I didn't do during the course of the day, week, month, or since we've been married.

The situation has become so negative that I'm even asking the boss for overtime at work. Can you imagine that? I'd rather stay at work than go home. The stress of listening to her complaints is so strong that I get headaches while driving home from work. It shouldn't be like this--I should be excited about leaving work and getting home to see her.

My father used to tell me that all women complain and nag, and I never believed him until I got married. Even my buddies tell me their wives nag them all the time. Is it true that women are natural-born naggers? Please help me.

A group of women eating in a restaurant were overheard having a group discussion about their husbands.

Blonde woman: "You know, he's never satisfied. He's always complaining. If I don't want sex at the same time as him, he moans to me so much, sometimes I just give in to shut him up and then I don't enjoy it much. Maybe I don't feel in the mood. But he goes on and on and on until it's just much easier to go along with it than to listen to him moan."

Brunette: "Stephen's the same. He's always finding fault with what I do. If I dress up to go out to dinner with his friends, he complains that I make more effort for them than I ever do for him. He goes on about how maybe I find his friends more attractive than him. If I dress down, he whines that I don't care about him enough to take care with my appearance. Sometimes I feel I can't win."

Third woman: "So why is it that men always say women nag?"

Group laughter.

Nagging Through the Ages

Historically, it has always been women who have been described as naggers. The verb "to nag" comes from the Scandinavian for "to gnaw, nibble or pick at something." In most dictionaries, a nag is a female noun with no male equivalent.

Until the nineteenth century, English, American and European laws allowed for a husband to complain to the magistrate about his wife's nagging or "scolding." If his case was found proved, his wife would be sentenced to the "Ducking Stool." The Ducking Stool was famously used in the USA and Britain to punish witches, prostitutes, minor offenders and scolds. The offending woman would be strapped into a seat, which hung from the end of a free-moving arm, and be dunked into the nearest river or lake for a predetermined length of time. The number of times she was submerged depended on the severity of the offense and/or the number of previous misdemeanors.

A British court record from A.D. 1592 reads--

. . . de wife of Walter Hycocks and the de wife of Peter Phillips are common scolds. Therefore it is ordered that they shall be told in church to stop their scolding. But, if their husbands or neighbors complain a second time, they shall be punished by the ducking stool.

The following poem by Benjamin West, published in 1780, shows how seriously men took nagging in past centuries--

The Ducking Stool

There stands, my friend, in yonder pool

An engine called the ducking stool;

By legal power commanded down

The joy and terror of the town.

If jarring females kindle strife,

Give language foul, or lug the coif,

If noisy dames should once begin

To drive the house with horrid din,

Away, you cry, you'll grace the stool;

We'll teach you how your tongue to rule.

The fair offender fills the seat

In sullen pomp, profoundly great;

Down in the deep the stool descends,

But here, at first, we miss our ends;

She mounts again and rages more

Than ever vixen did before.

So, throwing water on the fire

Will make it but burn up the higher.

If so, my friend, pray let her take

A second turn into the lake,

And, rather than your patience lose,

Thrice and again repeat the dose.

No brawling wives, no furious wenches,

No fire so hot but water quenches.

If the ducking stool wasn't considered punishment enough, there was even worse in store. Some women ended up being paraded around town, as a warning to other women, with an iron mask, "the branks," clamped onto their heads with a metal bar going into their mouths to hold the tongue down. The last woman to suffer the ducking stool after being convicted of being "a common scold" was Jenny Pipes from Leominster, England, in 1809.

How the Nagger Feels

The nagger always hopes their victim will be motivated into some positive action by being made to feel guilty. They hope he'll be spurred into action, if not by realizing he is in the wrong, then maybe simply to stop the tirade. Women know they nag, but that doesn't mean they enjoy it. Usually they're only doing it as a means to an end.

Some women have turned nagging into an art form. We have identified five basic nags--

The Single Subject Nag: "Kurt, how about taking out the trash?" A pause. "Kurt, you said you'd take out the trash." Another five minutes later. "What about that trash, Kurt? It's still sitting there."

The Multi-Nag: "The grass in front of the house looks a mess, Bob, the doorknob is falling off the bedroom door, and the back window is still stuck. When are you going to wash the car and . . ." etc., etc.

The Beneficial Nag: "Have you taken your pills today, Ray? And stop eating that pizza--it's bad for your cholesterol and weight . . ."

The Third-Party Nag: "Well, Moira says Shane has already got their BBQ cleaned out and they're having people over tomorrow. Summer will be finished at the rate you're going."

The Advance Nag: "Well, I hope you're going to watch your drinking tonight, Dale. We don't want a repeat of last year's fiasco."

Usually, women laugh hardest at these descriptions....

Présentation de l'éditeur :

Do you know the top seven things men do that drive women nuts? Or the real reason women cry more than men do? What are men really looking for in a woman—both at first sight and for the long-term? These are only the starting points for Barbara and Allan Pease as they discuss the very real—and often very funny—differences between the sexes.
Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes takes a look at some of the issues that have confused men and women for centuries. Using new findings on the brain, studies of social changes, evolutionary biology, and psychology, the Peases teach you how to make the most of your relationships—or at least begin to understand where your partner is coming from.
They help women understand why men avoid commitment, what drives them to lie, and how to decode male speech to find out what they are really saying. They explain to men why women nag, how they use emotional blackmail, and how to understand (and take advantage of!)  the top-secret scoring system all women apply.  They also dish about the top turn-ons--and turn-offs--for both sexes. Laced with their trademark humor, Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes addresses a host of nitty-gritty battlegrounds as well, from channel surfing and toilet seats to shopping and communication.
Already a #1 bestseller in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Holland, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, France, Czech Republic, India, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes is the answer to understanding the opposite sex.

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Pease, Allan and Barbara
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