The Truth About Nagging

Nag is an abusive, misogynistic word. And please don’t jump up and down at the fact I say MAN here, because nag is a word used almost exclusively to describe women, and the majority of women are in relationships with men.

The Truth About Nagging

“NAG NAG NAG stop NAGGING”

How many women hear that daily? How many women are critical of themselves for nagging? How many ways does our society hate women because of the stereotype that we are “all nags”? Here’s another question for you. If you ask your husband to put his socks and boxers in the washing basket instead of leaving them on the floor, and if he doesn’t do it the first time, or the fiftieth, and he continually leaves them on the floor, and you continually pick them up so you can wash, dry, fold, and put them away only begin the cycle again ….. is it really nagging?

If he picked up his socks and jocks the first time, and put them in the laundry basket after wear ever after, what cause to “nag” would there be? The word nag makes it sound like the problem rests with the woman who has to ask over and over again, but doesn’t the problem lie with the person who needs to be asked more than once to perform basic adult tasks?

Girls are raised to be considerate of other people’s feelings, never to inconvenience anyone, we’re raised in a culture that talks about nagging as if it’s a female flaw, something poor bedraggled husbands must endure. We raise boys to see marriage as a chore, and girls to see it as a success. Then we wonder why there’s so much domestic violence and divorce!? It’s not caused by nagging, that’s for sure.

The word nag is one that is used solely to shut down the conversation. Women don’t want to be called nags, and men don’t want to have to pick up their socks. Of course we could say that if men just put their underwear in the laundry basket in the first place, it wouldn’t be a problem, but many people would have us believe that that is taking things too far. Women should just pick up the socks, it’s no big deal, right!? Well if it’s no big deal for the woman …. is it such a big deal for all these men  to just do it themselves?

The word nag has come to be an extremely convenient word for men to use when they don’t want to be involved with housework or parenting duties. Men say things like

“You just like nagging”

“All you ever do is nag”

“No wonder your family can’t stand you, you nag everyone all the time”

“It’s no wonder your last relationship ended, he couldn’t stand the nagging”

“No one else will ever put up with your nagging”

And the word nag goes from meaning “to ask repeatedly” to becoming a word used to silence and control women, to manipulate the dynamic of the relationship in favour of the man. Nag is an abusive, misogynistic word. And please don’t jump up and down at the fact I say MAN here, because nag is a word used almost exclusively to describe women, and the majority of women are in relationships with men.

Nagging isn’t something that happens in some kind of vortex, women don’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves, gee, what will I nag him about today, as they eat their cornflakes.

They wake up and see the socks on the floor, the same socks that were there when they went to bed the night before. The same socks they washed two days earlier, and will wash again after their cornflakes.

You better believe that the majority of the women in the world who stay home to maintain the house and raise children would be pretty darn happy to put their socks in a basket if only someone else would wash them! And of course, we have used socks and jox as just one example for this article. There are no end to things that women have to ask for over and over.

Woman with boxing gloves hits man in the face
Nagging – a symptom of misogyny
License: Creative Commons CC0.

Women nag when they have to ask more than once …. or maybe they’re just asking more than once, and the word nag needs to be put in the rubbish bin now. Surely in the year 2015 our society is enlightened enough to start shedding the overtly misogynistic language and ridiculous stereotypes for women. Surely all modern men are advanced enough to put their own socks in the laundry basket, many of them are operating washing machines, so the laundry basket shouldn’t be too far out of the realms of possibility for those who are still benefiting from the free labour provided by their partner.

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