There will always be men who abuse the term 'weaker vessel' just as much as there will be men who adore their wives and treat them with utmost respect. I have heard many JW men use the phrase 'I am the head of the house, you'll do as I say' and it always irritated me. The articles usually tell the husband to discuss things with his wife but that ultimately, it's HIS decision and the wife must abide and dutifully follow. Then why discuss it in the first place? If HE has the final say, what's the point?
Then there's the other extreme where some men don't make any decisions at all, don't care to discuss things and leave everything to the wife. They are happy with that but from personal experience, maybe a female thing, but generally women like to talk things out, get both points of view and then make an informed decision. I don't see why in a JW marriage both partners can't discuss things and make a joint decision. Of course sometimes there will be disagreements but love and respect should come out the winner, even if one has to yield.
I've always thought the term 'weaker vessel' was leaning more towards a woman's fragile emotional makeup. Example hormonal changes pre-period, during a period, menopause and the challenges of pregnancy, birth and raising a family. But I do believe some have extended that to enabling JW men to overshadow their wives, placing emphasis on power rather than respect.