Much like the long tradition of pretending slaves loooved them some shackles and white dominance (and the same for Jim Crow), there’s a tradition of insisting that women really, really want men to be the boss of them.
Psychologist Leonard Sax, for example, claimed back in 2008 that all feminism’s denial of innate gender differences has accomplished is to create “a horde of girls who adore the traditional male and female roles and relationships in the ‘Twilight’ saga.” Women enjoy Twilight, ergo they must crave a strong, dominant man to control them like Edward controls Bella. Feminism has failed, women are happier under men’s thumbs. Molly Hemingway of The Federalist similarly claimed that the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey proves women want to let men be the boss so maybe they should try for that instead of aspiring to the prestige of an executive position. Note this is written by the online magazine’s editor in chief — though given the level of bullshit they churn out, Hemingway has successfully avoided acquiring any prestige.
After Republican Paul Ryan briefly sported a beard, Nicole Russell at The Federalist (again) gushed how he “exuded manliness” and women need and crave manly men to support the emotional roller-coaster of the female mind. Guys who won’t take charge of their women are as cruel to them as men who discriminate against women!
A number of the evangelicals quoted in Jesus and John Wayne say the same thing. Male supremacist Edwin Louise Cole, for example, argued back in the 1980s that women were begging for men to lead them; when men dominated, women would want them more. Evangelical Gordon Dalbey argued that women were “crying out” for men to become all male and dominant so that women could regain their submissive, “authentic femininity.” John Piper, one of the misogynist complementarians, claims man’s nature is to protect women and “women, at their deepest and most honest selves, give profound assent to this noble impulse.”
This is one of those lipstick-on-a-pig rationalizations. At some level, they may have just enough awareness of their own bullshit that they need to reassure themselves they’re making women happy. Or they’re simply using this as a cover for how misogynistic they are — no, women want to live in a Handmaid’s Tale dystopia! It fits with the claim they’ve been making since Phyliss Schlafly was the vanguard of antifeminism, that the reason women aren’t happy to stay home is because feminists brainwashed them with their dark Jedi mind tricks.
Schlafly’s niece Suzanne Venker, for example, claims women have been “indoctrinated by feminists” who “robbed you of what you naturally want: to be a wife, a mother, homebound.” Of course, as a professional pundit, Venker isn’t homebound and clearly doesn’t want to be, but that’s a typical “do as I say, not as I do” attitude for professional female antifeminists. And it fits with the idea that women year for someone to boss them around; it should be men, but instead it’s those evil feminists.
This ignores that many women of the 1950s happily left those supposedly ideal marriages when easy divorce became an option, or renegotiated the terms (getting jobs outside the home, say). They weren’t brainwashed by Sith feminism; they knew what they were doing. Like other undead sexist cliches, claims women yearn for male dominance are a pile of codswallop.