On September 30 2022, a Twitter account shared a screenshot of a purported “essay” by PragerU founder Dennis Prager, featuring — in the tweet’s words — “whining about men having to respect women’s sexual boundaries”:
The text of the tweet contained both a checkable claim (that Prager authored the excerpt in the screenshot), and an opinion about figures like Prager. It read:
Dennis Prager wrote a whole essay whining about men having to respect women’s sexual boundaries, and how wives are obligated to sleep with their husbands, even when they don’t want to. Conservatives really would legalize rape if they could.
Underneath the tweet, a screenshot of a text with emphasis appeared. Portions emphasized in the image are underlined below, and it read:
The subject is one of the most common problems that besets marriages: the wife who is “not in the mood” and the consequently frustrated and hurt husband.
There are marriages with the opposite problem – a wife who is frustrated and hurt because her husband is rarely in the mood. But, as important and as destructive as that problem is, it has different causes and different solutions, and is therefore not addressed here. What is addressed is the far more common problem of “He wants, she doesn’t want.”
It is an axiom of contemporary marital life that if a wife is not in the mood, she need not have sex with her husband. Here are some arguments why a woman who loves her husband might want to rethink this axiom.
In the emphasized portions, the author of the excerpt claimed that an “axiom of contemporary marital life” held that wives without a desire for sex “need not have sex” — and alluded to “arguments why” loving wives “might want to rethink” the “axiom.” No other context was provided.
As indicated in the tweet, the text in the image matched a blog post authored by Dennis Prager in 2008 that was published to DennisPrager.com. It was titled “When a Woman Isn’t in the Mood: Part I,” and included the text in the screenshot.
Prager’s commentary continued by saying that men “are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.” Prager then claimed “women generally react in one or more of five ways” when informed of the previous claim, identifying and addressing each of the “five ways.”
Prager’s third of five “ways” was labeled “not my man.” He cited the “importance of mutual kindness to a marriage,” then said in part:
Likewise, a kind woman who is not sexual with her husband is not feminine. She is a kind roommate.
Furthermore, a woman who denies the man she loves sex is not kind.
Much of the rest of the piece alluded to forthcoming material, but Prager’s fifth “way” began:
5. I know this and that’s why I rarely say no to my husband.
This is a wise woman. She knows a sexually fulfilled husband is a happy husband. (At the same time, men need to recognize that complete sexual fulfillment is unattainable in this world.) And because a happy husband loves his wife more, this cycle of love produces a happy home.
In Part II, I will explain in detail why mood should play little or no role in a woman’s determining whether she has sex with her husband.
A September 30 2022 tweet claimed that right-wing blogger Dennis Prager “wrote a whole essay whining about men having to respect women’s sexual boundaries,” and included a screenshot, which matched a December 2008 one part of a series on DennisPrager.com’s “Prager’s Column,” “When a Woman Isn’t in the Mood: Part I.” Later in the essay, Prager asserted that a “woman who denies the man she loves sex is not kind,” and that “mood should play little or no role in a woman’s determining whether she has sex with her husband.”