The Most Disturbing Anti-Feminist Statements by Real Housewives’ Melissa Gorga
Over 2.8 million viewers watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey, and "housewife" Melissa Gorga has over 700,000 followers on Twitter. AHA Grassroots Coordinator Rachael Berman examines Gorga's latest book filled with advice on "how to keep your man happy."
A number of feminist and news blogs are talking about Melissa Gorga, who appears on the reality television show “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” She recently released an advice book entitled Love, Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage, where she shares her secrets to relationship success.
Unfortunately, every single one of her tips is plagued with sexism, double standards and 1950’s logic. After reading excerpts from the book, it is obvious that Melissa does not have any independence and every decision she makes is solely for her husband’s (Joe Gorga) benefit. But hey, as long as you’re keeping your man happy and satisfied, your marriage will be a success. Right?
Below are a few extremely disturbing passages from her book:
1. When gender roles are confused, sexual roles are, too. If he’s at the sink and then changing diapers, then who throws down in the bed? In our marriage, Joe is always the man, doing masculine things. I’m the woman, and I do female things, including housework.
Apparently, this means that only women are capable of changing diapers and cleaning the house, clearly “female things.” According to Melissa, if you don’t recognize the clearly feminine vs. masculine roles in the home, you won’t have a happy marriage. I’m not surprised by the lack of scientific data to prove her claim.
2. Men, I know you think your woman isn’t the type who wants to be taken. But trust me, she is. Every girl wants to get her hair pulled once in a while. If your wife says “no”, turn her around, and rip her clothes off. She wants to be dominated.
There’s really nothing to say about this except: this is rape. Melissa is condoning marital rape and it is absolutely appalling. No always means no.
3. Girls don’t poop. Me, never have. Never will. It just doesn’t happen. Or that’s what Joe thinks! We’ve been married for nine years, and he has never once seen or smelled my business.
This is by far the most immature, unrealistic statement she’s made so far. News flash, Melissa! There should be no shame or guilt associated with bowel movement, and you’re probably wrong in thinking that Joe hasn’t encountered your “smell” before. (And if you really aren’t pooping, I suggest you see a doctor.)
4. Listen, we all love to hang out with our single friends. Who's more fun? But let's call a spade a spade. You can't make a habit of it when you are married… Too many…"Girls' Nights" with the single ladies can only lead to temptation.
In other words, Melissa is suggesting that women cannot be trusted and instead should be at home with their husbands. Oh, and while they are home, they should be dressed seductively, cooking dinner, cleaning the house and available for sex.
Fortunately, Love, Italian Style has received a lot of backlash, but this is not enough. Despite how ridiculous Melissa’s statements appear to be to most humanists, she and Real Housewives have a significant following, and I have no doubt that many young women of the next generation are taking her words to heart. We as humanists must educate individuals about the prevalence of sexism and support gender equality. We must continue to support and promote initiatives and organizations which condemn all forms of gender-based violence, and restrictions on women’s legal and societal discrimination.
Rachael Berman is the grassroots coordinator for the American Humanist Association.