Wednesday, August 23

Please hold off on your proposals

Forbes said you shouldn't marry me.

Shocker, right? People like me make fabulous Susie Homemakers!

But Forbes says you men should steer clear of a woman who 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." By all means, that sounds like a brilliant plan for lifelong happiness.


If a host of studies are to be believed, marrying these women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003). They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001). You will be more likely to fall ill ( American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier ( Institute for Social Research).

Just say it, Forbes writer Michael Noer!

Career women are no good for you because they aren't going to be at home to be mommy to your children AND you, cleaning house and taking your temperature and letting you suck at the teat of arrested development until the day you die from a coronary while fucking your secretary.

What utter tripe.

I guess it would be redundant to point out how classist this column is, since it's featured in Forbes. But seriously, not a lot of people have the luxury of ditching a money-making woman just because of the trouble her career might cause. Most men, I think, would be thrilled to be in a loving relationship where the woman pulls some financial weight and can pay a good chunk of the bills. That's essentially the best way to stay in the shrinking middle class. But, I digress, this article clearly wasn't written for people in the middle class.

Also, there are a lot of wasted words in the column. All this piece basically illustrates is that as women's economic standing picks up the pace and begins to match men's (though there is still a lack of total parity), marriage is less and less an economic institution and more and more a mostly romantic endeavor. Women traditionally had to get married to survive. They needed the providers. If that's no longer the case, then marriage among women who are self-sufficient is of course going to drop off, and, ideally, marriage will occur between people who love each other and don't just need each other's money and social standing. (I know, I said ideally.)

Check out the whole slideshow (you have to follow the link from the story), tastefully titled "destined_misery_slide," telling you all the reasons why you don't want to marry a career woman like myself (other than the obvious).

So in one corner we have Nirpal Dhaliwil saying he loves smart, career-driven women but mostly enjoys verbally smacking them around, and in this corner we have Forbes telling us smart, career-driven women are a recipe for lifelong relationship discontent.

We're running out of corners.

Anyway, for a much better and thorough take-down of this column, please check out Feministe.

Choice quote:

I’m gonna go ahead (yet again) and point out that it’s the people who cling the most desperately to traditional gender roles who seem to have the dimmest views of men and their individual capabilities, and who consistently image them as emotionally stunted, incapable of caring for themselves, and highly animalistic. I think it’s about time that men started asking themselves who their actual allies are, and who’s willing to stereotype them as cavemen and morons in order to maintain a social structure that privileges them.

Wednesday night UPDATE: Boing Boing reports that Forbes has pulled the column from its website, and sure enough, the links be broke. Aw, shucks. I guess the bitches and harpies must have made too big a fuss. If you missed it, you can read the column here.

Another Wednesday night update: Holy instantaneous backpedaling, Batman! Now Forbes is offering up the Noer column as half of a point-counterpoint. Surf on over.


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