Trunk’s Hypocritical, “Immature and Selfish” Take on Divorce
There’s this “immature and selfish” thing journalists do. They’ll say just about anything to get eyeballs on their blog posts.
Pulling people in with captivating headlines and controversial content is a must. However, if taken too far it can land you in an ass-backwards wonderland. Such sensationalism on steroids reminds me of the world in Mike Judge’s film ‘Idiocracy’ in which formerly reasonable ideas have been dumbed-down enough to become absurd.
Penelope Trunk recently told her readers that divorce is “immature and selfish” and advised them not to do it.
As a divorcee herself this is of course an ironic, contrarian stance. It’s justified because she went through the motions with her soon-to-be retired lawyer and “hated it;” as if that is reason enough to deny the choice for everyone else. Of course she hated going through her divorce. Everyone does. That doesn’t mean that it is a bad decision in the long-term.
Trunk lists five main reasons why divorce is unnecessary. I’ll address her main points as well as various passage of text that stick out.
Her first point is that “divorce is a cliché among people in denial.”
When are people not in denial? One of the strangest characteristics of human nature is that we’ll justify our actions by attempting to downplay the consequences.
Even Al Capone saw himself as a heroic figure that stood up to “the man,” not a wrongdoer.
Here she forgets about the countless men that would love to get full custody of the children. The kids are left with the “crazy” wife because of a family court ruling not because of what the father wants. How fair it is to label those that are pushed out of the picture by the state “negligent.”
Her second point is that divorce is “nearly always terrible for kids.”
A well-adjusted child needs both a mother and a father figure. Like anything divorce has certain pros and cons. She pushes her message through by ignoring the possible benefits of parting ways.
Her third point is that “divorce is for dumb people.”
This one is dead wrong.
Firstly, she implies a correlation between smart people and educated people. Those with less education aren’t necessarily any less intelligent.
Secondly, although a lower percentage of women with college degrees are getting divorced than in the past, this still doesn’t prove divorce is for the unwashed masses.
The following statements from a representative of the National Centre for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) prove Trunks bent the statistics in her favor.
Her fourth point is that “divorce reflects mental illness.”
Suddenly after reading a stack of psychology books the author is ready to diagnose everyone on the planet that files for divorce.
Oddly she only mentions only one condition: borderline personality disorder. This makes me wonder if either she herself has borderline traits or if she thinks her ex-husband has BPD. Probability is not on her side. Roughly 75 percent of people who are diagnosed with BPD are women. Draw your own conclusions.
Her fifth point is that “divorce is often a career issue.”
Here she gets into common reasons people want a divorce, half of which have nothing to do with careers:
People don’t want a divorce for purely rational reasons. They may state rational justifications like those found above but there is far more to the picture.
Women file for divorce 70 percent of the time.
Michelle Langley, author of ‘Women’s Infidelity’ argues that women follow a predictable pattern in relationships. As the marriage deteriorates, women are not consciously aware of why they’re no longer drawn to their husband.
As the “the world’s most influential guidance counselor,” Penelope Trunk wants to bill you $250 an hour for a phone session. Meanwhile her opinion is as valuable as anyone else’s: 2 cents.