Better Than Love Boat?

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 2 2009 5:59 PM

Better Than Love Boat?

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Jess , I can’t possibly say it better than Emily just did , but I can say this: All the naval-gazing we’ve witnessed in recent weeks-about loveless marriage and companionate marriages and coldly calculated political marriages-is happening in mad, crude stereotypes. From Michael Wolff’s hilarious rant against cold, emasculating bitch wives, to Sandra Tsing Loh’s tedious metro-sexual husbands , the discussion always plays out with all the subtlety of the Mommy Wars. This is how we talk about important things-by painting the other side as a Flintstones character.

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I found myself liking the Caitlin Flanigan piece . I liked it despite her overheated warning about our how our kids will collude to set us out on ice floes some day, because we have modeled only narcissism and selfishness. I liked it because she’s right, we are narcissistic and selfish. We really do think that our life should be a series of Love Boat episodes in which we are entitled to fall deeply in love with mysterious Argentinians every night, then do it all over again next week with a Frenchman. It’s true: Marriage isn’t the Lido Deck with the moonlight every day. More often than not, it’s slamming grimly around the kitchen in the morning trying to find the Nutella for school lunches. But like Emily says, maybe romance is finally finding someone who’s more important to you than yourself. That’s epic. That's Shakespeare ...

Photograph by Getty Images.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate

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