Would Eric and Donna Have Lasted? – That 70’s Show

So last week I talked about Bob and his misogyny. As I was writing that it got me thinking about Eric Foreman and his relationship with Donna Pinciotti. Would they really have worked?

Eric is a momma’s boy, this is an established fact. Kitty babies him and Red is hard on him. It’s both a running gag and realistic, parents be like that.

Now because his mother spoils him Eric expects the same from his future spouse. It is said that when we marry we look for the same thing in our partner that we got from our parents (I’m not having a Freud moment don’t worry… but when not taken to the extreme I can see what he was getting at). In that if you have a parent who cooks for you and does everything for you, you expect that when you’re married.

In the opposite vein if there’s something you really didn’t like about your parents then you seek a partner who is nothing like them.

Mini story time: I had a co-worker when I was a housekeeper and I had to show him the ropes. We worked together as we were both fairly new. He was so bad. He couldn’t make a bed, he couldn’t clean a bathroom… he couldn’t do really basic things and I was like (internally), “Where are you living? How are we the same age? Your mother has never made you clean?”

There are men like that, helpless in front of chores and cooking.

Also if you grow up in a house that upholds traditional male and female gender roles then you’ll expect your spouse to abide by those roles.

So Red can’t cook and Kitty does all the cooking, even when she goes back to work. Red is the disciplinarian and Kitty the coddler. It works for them. However Red doesn’t belittle Kitty or impose his views on her, or demand she follows his command, she just does except when she doesn’t.

Anyway so it’s easy to see why Eric expects what he expects. He expects women to do the cooking, not have a career when the baby comes and to look after the children. As even though Red is not that bad for the time, he still wasn’t hands on with the child rearing.

It makes sense but what gets to me is that Donna stays with him when she knows all this. Unlike other characters who are called out for being creepy (Fez) or misogynistic (Bob) Eric is not called out in the same way. It’s almost like he gets away with it.

Sure they challenge him a little in certain episodes but then they move on like nothing happened and that makes no sense to me.

If Donna wasn’t a feminist it would make sense. If she didn’t have ambition it would make sense. If she wanted to stay in Pointplace forever it would make sense. If her only dream was to be a mother it would make sense.

There’s nothing wrong with being a homemaker but that’s not Donna. She wants a career and is not that jazzed about having kids right away. She wants to see the world and is a very strong feminist.

So having taken that into consideration I don’t think they would have lasted even after he came back from Africa (where in Africa he went… we’ll never know). Eric would have to change for the relationship to work. Because if Donna compromised she would only end up resenting him down the road.

His one redeeming quality, however, is that he does love Donna. Because he loves her he was willing to call off the wedding so that she would not be stuck in Pointplace. So because of that, they do have some hope as a couple.

Oh, and Donna is not perfect either. She can be a hypocrite and always puts the blame on Eric for things when they’re both at fault or when she’s at fault.

What do you think? Would they have lasted?

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