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This is too big an issue to really qualify as a Weekly WTF, and by that I simply mean that anti-feminist misogyny disguised as “choice feminism” self-help is worthy of several pages of serious academic inquiry. On the other hand though, this particular Instagram account definitely elicits a hearty WTF. At least it does for me!
I discovered Bernadine when I was researching my big chapter on whiteness for Momfluenced. She is one of many (many) mothers who have built their platforms on rejecting egalitarian gender roles and mainstream feminism in favor of traditional gender roles in which “the man” is the breadwinner and the head of house while “the woman” is the wife, mother, and nurturer within the home.
Obviously, for this arrangement to “work,” “the man” must be married to “the woman,” as is clear from this reel posted by Bernadine in which she explains to people interested in TAKING HER E-COURSE that only husbands should be granted “husband privileges.” (She means sex).
Here’s some text from the caption.
❤️ Save husband privileges for a husband. ❤️
CALLING ALL SINGLE LADIES!!! ☎️ ‼️‼️💕
On May 30th, 1 pm EST I will be going LIVE in my e-course Telegram group to talk about “MISTAKES You’re Making That’s Pushing Traditional Masculine Men Away and WHAT TO DO Instead” followed by a 45-minute live, call-in Q&A!
Bernadine explains that “sex is for many things (pleasure, bonding, procreation and more) but it is NOT for casual, non-committed, covenant-lacking relationships.”
According to Bernadine’s logic, it’s important to understand a few things. If want to find a romantic partner as a woman, there’s only one kind of romantic partner you should pursue: a HUSBAND. If you want to have sex as a woman, there’s only one way to do that: find a HUSBAND with whom to have sex. But in order to do either of these things correctly (because yeah, there’s a correct type of dude to pursue and a correct type of sex to have), first and foremost you must first examine your behavior (and appearance) and ascertain whether or not YOU are the problem. Chances are high that you are! Fear not though, because you can simply pay actual money to take a class with Bernadine to figure out how “You CAN thrive as a single woman and significantly increase your ability to vet low-quality men, so you can attract a high-quality, committed future husband.”
It’s unclear to me how you’ll “thrive” as a single woman if you’re ascribing to a creed in which women are only fulfilled by being “led” by a husband, but clearly, I’m not the expert!
Lucky for you though, Bernadine is. If you enjoy explicitly transphobic messaging and are invested in rearing the next generation of anti-feminist mavericks who will fight like hell to repress reproductive rights, you can pay $197.00 to enroll in Bernadine’s Simply Smitten video session and Q&A (“LIVE!”) where Bernadine teaches: “Mistakes you’re making that’s pushing traditional masculine men away and what to do instead!”
Because if there’s a golden rule of patriarchy that applies to women and marginalized genders it’s this. Everything bad happening in your life (or really, the world) is YOUR fault and you need only CHOOSE differently to ensure a life blessed by happiness with your very own “traditional masculine man.” If you’ve dated a string of losers who only talk about themselves, start frothing at the mouth if another guy so much as glances at you, and gaslight you about your emotions while repressing theirs, it’s not toxic masculinity to blame sweetie, IT’S YOU.
Plus . . . merch!
I am LOVING all your Weekly WTF recs - keep ‘em coming! And if you know anyone who (like me) enjoys screen-shooting horrors found online as a sort of parlor trick, why not share the love?