What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 25, 2006

Don't Marry Career Women

Forbes.com published a lovely article this week advising men:

Don't Marry Career Women

They were even thoughtful enough to put up a slide show titled:
In Pictures: Nine Reasons To Steer Clear Of Career Women

Now, I can't link to that because it's since been taken down. Indeed, the article itself has even been revised to a be point/counterpoint article with the inclusion of a rebuttal by Elizabeth Corcoran titled: Counterpoint: Don't Marry A Lazy Man

Did Forbes forget that they actually had some female readers who may have objected to such a ridiculous article?

If you want to know how ridiculous it was, it defines a "career girl" as:

"...has a university-level (or higher) education, works more than 35 hours a week outside the home and makes more than $30,000 a year."
Pretty much EVERY woman you work with, huh?

Then to make matters worse, according to Shakespeare's Sister:

Slate’s Jack Shafer issues an apologia on Forbes’ behalf, but warns against his mean feminist “female readers break[ing] their nails pounding out angry e-mails to me” if they don’t like what he has to say. Still, if you must, he says, they can “Bore [him] with your fury.”
And, just so you know where Michael Noer (the author of the original Forbes.com article) is coming from, Jessica at feministing points you to another article he wrote, The Economics Of Prostitution:

Wives, in truth, are superior to whores in the economist's sense of being a good whose consumption increases as income rises--like fine wine. This may explain why prostitution is less common in wealthier countries. But the implication remains that wives and whores are--if not exactly like Coke and Pepsi--something akin to champagne and beer. The same sort of thing.
So if I'm reading my Noer correctly:

"You'll be unhappy if you marry some uppity, smarty-pants bitch who has a career. The true path to happiness lies in marrying a girl that you rescue from behind the cash register of a 7/11, but keep in mind that she's no better than a whore."
To quote feministing:

"Yeah...he doesn't have a problem with women at all."
But do not despair completely, Gawker has a their own unique take on Forbes.com's slideshow (using the now "disappeared" pictures).


EdHeath said...

So I whipped through the story, and Forbes already seems embarrassed about it. The standout remark for me is “much of the reasoning is based on a lot of economic theory and a bit of common sense.”. Now, I actually do *not* like to pronounce that the time we live in is unlike any other in history, but I will say that I think we have been in a low level of gender based social unrest since the seventies, the “sexual revolution”. As I understand it, that was the time the women’s participation in the workforce jumped, as well as the time that a number of consumer electronics and household appliances hit their stride.

All of which is a bit much for a comment.

But the “common sense” thing is what I want to grab on to. Common sense is that buzz word for stereotypes. Of course you will be unhappy if she makes more than you. Of course the house will be dirtier and you, sir, will be sicker because she does not have time to take care of you. Never mind the hair on these stereotypes, both genders continue to reinforce them. Now, to be clear, these days each individual couple has to navigate the road of house work on their own, because the triptiks of old were never fair. Yet even as you choose where to draw the yellow line of household duties, men and women still mostly seem to navigate by the memories of those stereotypes of old. My wife can morph into a “you never do anything” sort of person depending on how her day has been (or indeed if I ever do anything) in a flash, and she has suggested to me that various tasks were men’s work. I have never suggested anything is woman's work, but otherwise I don't think we should discuss my revenge.

But as long as we do not all wear Mao jackets, as long as women occasionally wear girly clothes, there will be some differentiation between genders. My feeling is that we have not reached a point of agreement about all that, so a lot of men (and a few women) will agree about not marrying career women. I mean, let’s hope the media picks up the ball and gives us some happy fantasies about couples sharing housework willingly and obviously without resentment or accusation, so that we can start to adjust our expectations. The media should, after all it is their obligation to distract us from all the other depressing news. Maybe a sitcom with Felicity Huffman and William H Macy.

Anonymous said...

Noer is a loon and a grenade thrower. He's taking the conservative/libertarian penchant for "economic rationality" and applying it in a deliberately provocative way, pushing feminist buttons for fun and profit.

Of course, that does not mean he's kidding. Likely not.

And what of feminists - especially lesbian feminists - for whom men are just sperm donors and sources of child support payments?

Yep, they're out there. And they're not kidding, either.

And their attitude is spreading, encouraging half-smart college girls who "want it all" to have babies and try to do everything on their own.

It works out for a few. But mostly not. Pretty stupid, on the whole, actually.

So put all the loons aside and pray fewer pay attention to them.

This is reality.

For a man who has enough money and wants to form and maintain a solid family, a career woman might well be a poor choice.

Take a few moments and write down your own list of 10 reasons why. I know you'll have no problem.

And, yes, the shoe is also on the other foot.

Don't we all know career women who have, quite intentionally, acted on the belief that "The true path to happiness lies in marrying a [young man] that [sic] you rescue from behind the cash register of a 7/11"?

OK, that exaggerates the picture. All the same, there is a valid point here.

The truth is that what doesn't work is a marriage in which the hubby and the wifey each elect the traditional man's role of putting the priority on work and career, and neither lets his/her work outside the home come in second to (a) the other partner's work outside the home and (b) the child-rearing, home-making job.

What does work is a marriage in which one of the spouses mostly does career and the other mostly does home-and-kids.

As regards success of the marriage, and leaving aside problems arising from humiliation and social disesteem, it doesn't particularly matter who takes which role. I have seen it done both ways. But there are really two roles, here. And that's the truth.