“Pretending” to be a Darth Vader husband is not cool or funny.

There’s this personal finance blogger who often “pretends” to be a jerk to his wife.  It’s a running gag with him and he puts in her commentary as editors notes.

For one of these he spent the entire post complaining about how much laundry she does.  It read very much like a painful other side of a captain awkward post.  So in the comments I told him it wasn’t funny, and explained why.

Two days later we got a bunch of blog hits from him mocking me for calling him Darth Vader (which I didn’t—I was explaining why that humor isn’t funny in the context of Captain Awkward).  Turns out he elevated my comment to a post, twisted it, and accused me of reading incomprehension because he didn’t understand I was complaining about his failed attempt at humor.

So, in short, “pretending” to be a jerk to your wife in a public forum isn’t funny.  Back in the day more people probably thought Ralph Cramden’s  repeated line from the honeymooners about sending his wife Alice to the moon with a punch right in the kisser was funny.  Now we are less likely to laugh about threatened spousal abuse.  I hope that one day doods like this guy will stop their controlling husband shtick because nobody finds controlling husbands acceptable anymore.  Until then, these kinds of posts further the patriarchy by making the unacceptable seem acceptable.  And that’s really not funny at all.

Scalzi says the failure mode of clever is asshole, and misogynistic humor fits right in there.  Even if the woman is “in” on the joke.


37 Responses to ““Pretending” to be a Darth Vader husband is not cool or funny.”

  1. Omdg Says:

    Well… to be fair, plenty of people do think it’s funny still, not that that’s ok or anything. I’ve have to grin and bear it when my work colleagues joke about cheating on their wives with younger more beautiful women, when they talk about locking up their adolescents daughters, etc. there are jokes about beating their wives and children in there too sometimes. It’s not just men who make these comments either. Plenty of women I know won’t hire young women as babysitters Bc they are afraid their husband will cheat. Not that any of this is ok… and, this guy you’re talking about sounds like an asshole.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I hope that one day doods like this guy will stop their controlling husband shtick because nobody finds controlling husbands acceptable anymore. Until then, these kinds of posts further the patriarchy by making the unacceptable seem acceptable. And that’s really not funny at all.

  2. Donna Tucker Says:

    Sounds to me there’s no pretending about it. He is a jerk, and not just to his wife.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Normally I don’t try to make it easy to find out who I’m complaining about, but today his post is ranting about how stupid/awful his neighbor is for offering to let him borrow the neighbor’s snowblower. Not misogynist like his usual shtick, but evidence that you’re absolutely right.

  3. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Weird– just got a jerky comment from “John Smith” (which is as real as the fake email address he left, I’m sure) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency telling me to mind my own business and to ignore misogyny (not using those words) if it bothers me. That makes me worry about the future of our country. I guess he also wants me to not pay attention to the destruction of the environment and the sell-off of our natural resources if it bothers me too. #resist

    p.s. https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/when-will-it-end/

  4. Leigh Says:

    Ugh, yeah. I ended up unfollowing that blog a while back. I don’t find it funny and I don’t need that level of negativity in my life. He had almost an entire post at some point ranting about how his wife’s bras were too expensive, which I just thought was absurd. At a certain size, bras are simply expensive and that’s a fact. Last year, I splurged and bought seven and it has been amazing.

    I also unfollowed an even more popular personal finance blog after a Twitter discussion where it turns out that they don’t think women need careers or to be respected in the workplace because their wife and children are more important.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m glad I don’t have the slightest clue about what the women don’t need careers blog is!

      I do remember when the Simple Dollar went on a rant about his wife’s swimsuit or something like that. But that was like a decade ago and I think he may have apologized.

      • Leigh Says:

        I was really surprised the guy revealed his true colors on twitter as he rarely talks about those beliefs on his blog and mostly sticks to solid personal finance topics!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Got your email (which was worse than I thought– shades of Mike Pence!) and checked to make sure he’s not on solitary diner’s blogroll– thankfully he isn’t! (Well, technically he is, but the link is bad so it never populates to the top.) Thank goodness there’s a much better blog in that genre. WTF is wrong with people?

      • Leigh Says:

        What is wrong with people indeed. Thanks for the reminder to double check my blogroll.

  5. rose Says:

    Recently heard a 75 yr old man complain how his ‘wife was spending HIS money’……They both worked their entire career and she earned as much as he did. ALL the women at the table were incensed and said so.
    SO TIRED of this sort of thing, and even more so of needing to be aware every minute of every day all my life about my vulnerability to attack because if attacked I know I would be the cause…. gender, location, time, apparel and of course no man should have to have any personal self control…..(see Mr. Pence who is unable to defend or control himself if alone with a female.)
    Thank you for calling the stupid man out, I never thought the Honeymooner’s punch in the kisser was funny or anything other than appalling ~ and I saw the original showings. But goodness the men buying advertising liked the idea of hitting women.

  6. SP Says:

    I don’t read enough blogs, I have no idea who this is. And it sounds like I should NOT read his blog (but my curiosity is piqued, because drama!).

    Thanks for speaking up. Even if he doesn’t listen, someone else might think twice.

    Generally, it isn’t funny to make fun of your spouse. Even mostly gentle teasing in public can be grating and really unfunny. My FIL sometimes does this to my MIL, and seems to think it is hilarious because the other old men laugh. My husband and I have discussed this, and how it just makes FIL look bad, and how it is not OK in our relationship. (But we’ve never spoke up to his parents about it.) Similarly, I don’t do the whole whining about my husband’s inability to do [insert “woman’s” work chore here]. Not cool.

    • Leigh Says:

      Yup on the spouse complaining thing and it’s something we’ve talked about at length. Thankfully our social group doesn’t really do it. My in-laws don’t do it, which is really lovely. They have modeled such a healthy relationship for my husband, which I really appreciate. My parents do though and I refuse to agree with my mom that my dad is terrible and instead respond to the complaint part only.

  7. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’m exhausted by women who talk about how their husbands “can’t” do whatever domestic chore because he never learned how, or by husbands putting down their wives for being “unable” to handle whatever they consider a man’s chore. Is he incapable of learning a new skill? Does he lack hands with which to fold laundry? My 3 year old can put away underwear for everyone just fine, albeit in a messy pile, is he less competent than a 3 year old? Is she going to melt away if she touches oil? Are her legs going to fall off if she’s forced to trudge the ENTIRE yard?

    In both scenarios, I suspect the answer is no, and that neither spouse wants to take the trouble to teach or learn because in none of these cases are there physical, emotional, or learning disabilities. And if that’s the case, that’s your choice but let’s not pretend that you’re a saint for putting up with his or her refusal or decision not to learn.

    I particularly refuse to join in the sport of spouse-bashing in either direction, it’s ridiculous. I understand needing to vent during a tense time when you’re trying to work out a grievance and you’re frustrated. I do NOT understand choosing the “Ugh HUSBANDS are CHILDREN” or “WIVES are OUT OF CONTROL” mentalities. I don’t spend appreciable amounts of time with those friends anymore.

  8. First Gen American Says:

    Your blog is one of the few I still read. Glad I don’t know/read this. I remember the swimsuit rant and found it odd That most people wouldn’t think twice about a runner spending more on a quality running shoe but somehow a quality swimsuit or sports bra is indulgAnt.

  9. Xin Says:

    This was probably not at all your intention, but because I had a slow day at work and fancy myself unusually dedicated to fact investigation, even among my attorney peers, I went digging and… My word, what a jerkface. I don’t read that many personal finance blogs (and everyone I read is great) so I rarely encounter anything that annoys me this much, or is sexist. And they complain about the cost of bras or swimsuits too? Good golly!

  10. Donna Freedman Says:

    If it’s the blogger I think it is, this person brought a CHIN-UP BAR to the Financial Blogger Conference one year and announced that there would be a pull-up competition.


    Yes, seriously. And all these dudebros plus some guys I thought had their heads on straight just *had* to compete. They had to prove mastery. They had to CONQUER!

    As though physical prowess were some kind of measure of character. Gah.

  11. Solitary Diner Says:

    Is my blog roll a thing that people look at?

    Please email me (thefrugalishphysician@outlook.com) so that I can remove it. (Also cause I’m insanely curious and want to check it out, even though it will undoubtedly infuriate me.)

  12. Leigh Says:

    Ugh, I just went through and read the posts you were referring to (I unfollowed him months ago) and just ugh. I’m sorry he pulled you out into a full post like that.

  13. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Email from the blogger in question just now:


    Someone pointed me to your post about me and I’m sorry that it got to the point where it looks like we’re in a nasty blogger battle (I feel like one of those rappers now). Heck, maybe we are!

    First of all, I’m sorry that you felt bad about my response to your comment. I’ve taken down the post where I replied to you with the Darth Vader stuff.

    However, I did think you overstepped with your original comment to the post. It was this:

    It really isn’t funny reading about someone who does none of the chore criticizing how that chore gets done. That’s the kind of thing that shows up on Captain Awkward because it’s something darth Vader boyfriends use as a means of control. Really not funny.

    In the post, I had already acknowledged that I was wrong and corrected my actions:

    But mostly, my lack of laundry help is a relic from the days of when I worked and Mrs. 1500 didn’t. Since the first draft of this post was written, I’ve seen the errors of my ways and started doing more of the laundry.

    The truth is most important. I think that you jumped to some conclusions when you wrote your comment and I also jumped to some when I wrote my response.

    If this post or others with my wife rub you the wrong way, I just want to state that these are jokes between [wife’s name] and I. We’re pretty goofy and we both have fun putting these together, but I can see how they would rub some the wrong way.

    Maybe the last thing you’d like to do is meet me in person, but if you’re in [state], we’d love to have you over. I think we’re closer in our views than you think and it’s always good to talk stuff like this out. We could also chat on the phone.

    And if you don’t want any of that, that’s fine too. I just don’t want any more mud to be slung before we know each other better. Heck, I don’t want any more mud to be slung at all.

    Finally, I realize that humans are biased and I certainly have mine. I’ve spent a lot of time with [name] (Mrs. Frugalwoods) and Tanja (Our Next Life). I’m going to ask them for an honest opinion of my behavior and see if there is anything I need to change.

    In any case, I’m sorry that it came to this.

  14. random & reading round up - march 2018 - theFIREstarter Says:

    […] was a comment accusing him of being a “Darth Vader boyfriend” and they also put up a short post on it here. It’s all been *kind of* sorted by the looks as Mr 1500 wrote a pretty fair email of apology […]

  15. Belated Grumpy Rumblings 2018 Year in Blogging | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] “Pretending” to be a Darth Vader husband is not cool or funny […]

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