Emasculation in Public

Over the years, I have seen all sorts of marital relationships. One thing that makes me cringe quite often is public emasculation. I see it all too often. The typical response to a woman doing this is the man laughing it off. I have noticed when interactions like that are common, they seem to define the general dynamic of the relationship.

I want to be clear-I don’t mean something as simple as a wife telling a joke in good taste. I mean absolute embarrassment and emasculation.

The Reasons

I have seen this dynamic present it self in several ways throughout my life. Here are my observations on why women act in such a way in public. There are:

  • Women who do it to show off
  • Women who do it to assert dominance over her man/friends
  • Women who don’t even know they are doing it

This article is not from a place of judgement, but from a place of hoping this is something each woman could think about in their own life–both in public and in private. Do not emasculate your husband!!! However, in this post I am just discussing public interaction. (Please see my related article on not discouraging masculine kindness.)

The Show Off

First, I will start with the woman who does it to show off. This usually is a woman who is very insecure about her own merits or has no sensible conversation skills. This woman usually presents herself in a large group setting. She will tell an embarrassing story about her husband (again not a joke they both agree upon–but a story that he would rather not have told), get the whole crowd involved, and during this time become the center of attention.

Again, no judgement. To these ladies, I must say that instead of falling back on such behavior, brush up on your conversational skills. Before an event in a group setting, brush up on the latest news based on the crowd you are about to encounter. You are sure to find something to discuss!

From the outside, yes, you are now fully engaged in conversations. At whose expense…YOUR HUSBAND? Think about how it makes him feel. Not to mention, some sensible women pick up on this behavior and realize that it is a pattern. Sometimes, it will even leave women feeling uncomfortable and steering clear of you.


There are women who do it to dominate their husbands in public. This often presents itself in a woman who is they type who call themselves a bitch as a bragging right. This can be–but usually isn’t–something a woman does on accident. This is a woman who chooses to use her husband as a pedestal to stand upon.

To these women, I beg you stop. Sure, people are engaging with you, even looking at you. However, this is quite uncomfortable for the other people around you. Being the type of women to use a man she loves as a stepping stone to looking better than him is such a shame. Again, think of how this makes your husband feel. Instead, may I suggest finding some positive hobbies to share in conversation with others? It would make for much better conversation.

Some women do it to show off in front of their friends. This to me is another intentional behavior. This presents itself in the same way. The intention is different though. It is not about putting down her man really, it is more about showing her superiority over her relationship only for the sake of her friends. Still, it hurts the man.

Those Who Lack Forethought

There is however, an entirely different category-women who do it on accident. I think this could be the most innocent of all. The woman thinks she is being funny and playing along, and she took it too far–yet didn’t even know it. I have made this mistake in my past as a fairly new wife. When we got home, my husband brought it to my attention that he did not appreciate what I had said. He was very polite because he knew I didn’t mean what I had said. (I don’t even remember what it was now.)

My best tip for this scenario is to be mindful of your words. Also, if your husband brings an issue like this to your attention, treat it thoughtfully, and then work to correct it.

Think Before You Speak

In the end, there are ways to correct any reason for this behavior. It is time to start thinking about what we say before we say it.

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2 Responses

  1. Reclaiming Eden says:

    Excellent post. Women don’t seem to understand that, even if their husband ignores it or laughs it off, he’s inwardly angry, or hurt, or embarrassed. And he’s keeping score, even if he doesn’t know it. And why wouldn’t he?

    I watched a marriage (in-laws) slowly dissolve. The wife honestly didn’t know she was belittling (I don’t think) my brother-in-law. She’d tease, tell embarrassing, “cute” stories about him. She’d mention is mistakes, but never seemed to compliment him–all in jest, of course. I could see his anger. Sometimes he’d ask her to stop. Eventually, that marriage broke: death by 1,000 cuts. Heartbreaking.

    I try to remember to go over my words and actions at the end of the day. Do I need to apologize? Explain? In strong marriages, even if the wife messes up, all she really needs to do is sincerely apologize, and her man will forgive her and let it go. Men are great like that.

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