With the single-car family more the norm than the exception, and the McMansions of yesterday yielding to smaller, smarter, more efficient home construction, more and more women are discovering they can also make do with a smaller husband.
In what is being touted as the Domestic Revolution, those favored to take the place of the American husband are Asian men, most notably the Chinese and Japanese. They’re smaller, more compact, and the place is teeming with them. For many wives, despite barriers such as language and live food, replacing their old American husband with a new Asian man makes good economic sense.
“To anyone who’s studied the market, the transition toward Asian husbands is not a surprise,” says Margie Davenport, author of Where is My Husband, and Do I Really Care; The Downsizing of The American Family. “Let’s face it, the American husband is a drain on resources. It consumes a lot of meat, drinks enormous quantities of beer, and spends too much money on fast food and sports.”
In contrast, the habits of an Asian husband leave a much smaller carbon footprint, and not simply because of shoe size.
The average Japanese man is six inches shorter than his American equivalent. Even the Chinese, who have witnessed something of a growth spurt during the last thirty years, still look up to even the shortest American husband.
This leads to immediate advantages for women struggling to cope with a tighter budget, not the least of which is clothing their man. Many of these so-called men find they can still fit into less expensive children’s clothing. Even if they might choose not to admit it. This allows wives to pick up most of the husband’s clothes at smaller and lesser known stores like SmallMan and The Little Weeners’ Place.
It isn’t just clothing where wives are seeing gains. Excessive beer drinking, for example, sends American men straight to the bathroom. Four or five visits in an evening is not unusual. That’s a lot of water going down the toilet. Women with Asian husbands, whose preference is for smaller quantities of rice wines, are seeing their water bills cut by at least 50 percent every month. With figures like these, it’s easy to understand why many women are going Asian.
The Japanese work ethic mean husbands spend less time at home than at work. There are tremendous advantages, from both economic and psychological perspectives, in a husband who spends significant stretches of time out of the home. Studies show that the grades of children with absent fathers improve by as much as 7 percent. Wives are more content and develop closer relationships with friends, and there’s more money in the bank. “When you see quality of living on the rise like this, it’s a difficult one to argue with,” says Robert Johnson, PhD.
A penchant for raw fish is another reason wives of Asian men are seeing their money go further. While we didn’t speak to anyone who’d been able to do away with the stove completely, that day may not be far off. Says one satisfied wife from Arkansas, “Half the time I don’t even bother killing it. Saves a fortune on gas and electric.”
So where are these ex husbands going? For the moment, most are being returned to their parents. A smaller number get sold off to foreign markets, and in some cases they are simply left on doorsteps or abandoned by the side of the road.
What we’re witnessing is akin to opting for a Prius over a Hummer. Economically speaking, there’s really very little choice. Unless they are able to reinvent themselves, time is quickly running out for the American husband. In less than a few years he’ll likely go the way of the bison, and be found only in small drinking groups dotted along the Great Plains.