judgment regardless of whether the request is
reasonable or not. McHugh and Harbaugh note
that “there is little cultural acknowledgement of the
nagging husband” (p. 391). It’s not that men don’t
make requests of the women who are nearest and
dearest to them, it’s that the behavior is labeled
differently depending on who is doing the
requesting. By using the derogatory term “nag,” a
man trivializes the woman’s request and at the
same time puts her in her place. In other words, it’s
a double-edged power play. It saves him actually
having to do anything in response to her request
until he’s good and ready, if at all. By resisting her
efforts to mold him to her will, the man can look
as if he’s in control of when he agrees to the
request. (Whitbourne)
Whitbourne also describes the “henpecked” male partner as the
woman’s victim, “desperately trying to escape her clutches, but she
keeps harping away.” We consistently see this dichotomy
reinforced during the interactions between April and Louie. She
first has a hostile, one-sided conversation with him, then is
defensive and continues to harass him throughout the scene.
Finally, she dumps him in the middle of a restaurant. At the end of
the episode, April comes to his apartment to retrieve her laptop
and briefly takes care of him when she learns that he has been in
an accident. Upon leaving, Louie asks her to stay and implies that
they should get back together. April, in another one-sided
monologue, tells him that a future together would be potentially
disastrous, and she asks him to just thank her for helping him and
to say goodbye. He is silent again, which severely frustrates her and
causes her to storm out. Both the initial shock April expresses
when she first realizes that Louie wants to break up and her
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