One of the interesting things here in the Marriage Blog is that Dale and I often find ourselves thinking about the same things. I was just about to write a post about nagging, when Dale beat me to it! This is a good thing, because it really helped me to think about the issue a little more.
Dale made some great points about nagging. Many studies have shown that nagging doesn’t work. The person being nagged tends to tune it out, and the person nagging doesn’t really believe that things will change, even if she can’t stop nagging.
Yes, notice I said she. That is because in popular society, men don’t nag. I talked a little bit about this on Facebook with some friends and even my former second-grade teacher (mine not my son’s).
The term “nagging” was coined presumably by a man and is used almost exclusively by men to describe women. Although the word nagging has its roots in the definition meaning to gnaw at, that hasn’t stopped people from associating the term with female animals, as in “hen-picked” and “an old nag (horse).
In the the 16th century, it was a crime for a wife to nag a husband, and the wife could actually be dunked in the public square for nagging. Up until the 20th century, women were still being publicly punished for nagging.
So does that mean that men don’t nag? Of course not! I have a dear friend whose husband, in my opinion constantly nags her. The difference is that in our society, both men and women don’t see this behavior as nagging. Men remind, instruct and impact their wisdom. They never nag. It can be the same action but regarded two different ways. Isn’t that funny in a sad sort of way? What do you think?
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, creating a home in the Home Blog, caring for little ones in the Baby Blog and now relationships in the Marriage Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.