Dear Mr. Noer,


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Dear Mr. Noer,
harmony

I’ll make my response to this completely irresponsible piece of journalism easy to understand with a simple point-by-point rebuttal.

1. You are less likely to get married to her.
A career woman isn’t likely to marry you because she’ll be smart enough to realize that you are looking to spend the rest of your life with a subservient woman who’s only hope in life is to stay home all day tending to your house and children. This woman may even want a house and children herself someday, but being that she is hoping for an equal partner and not a master, she’ll choose her self-respect over you.

2. If you do marry, you’re more likely to get divorced.
If, as a result of some prolonged excess of blinding charm on your part or her own temporary stupidity, she does actually marry you, after years of thinly-veiled servitude and sacrificing her own self-worth, education and professional prowess to make you feel more comfortable about your own, perhaps only average successes and income – she’ll realize SHE CAN DO BETTER. Then she’ll promptly put her shoes back on and and walk right out of your kitchen and then your life.

3. She is more likely to cheat on you.
They actually teach that to all women who dare attend college, don’t they. Of course, it’s recommended that you complete the core requirements first to make sure you’re serious about having a career of your own…but after they determine your intelligence and ambition fit the profile, they straight-track you from Accounting 101 and the Theory of Organizational Behavior into the sections on how to have secret affairs under the guise of professional sounding things such as “business conferences” and “late night brainstorming sessions”.

4. You are much less likely to have kids.
Why would this successful woman want to procreate with you, exactly? Some women are just smart enough to realize that certain genes simply shouldn’t be passed on. In your case, it would be most unfortunate to tarnish a beautiful innocent baby with your archaic views of a woman’s role in the workplace and family and heaven forbid, your talent for writing such egregious drivel.

5. If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy.
Again, I hate to point out the obvious, but as much as the little wifey will love her children more than life itself, they will also be your children. If you have a boy he stands a chance of adopting your chauvinistic view of women in the home, and what mother is really happy with her son smacking her bottom and commanding, “Go grab me a bottle, woman!”? If you have a girl, it’s probable you’ll view her as the “bonus” slave. Her roles in the house will be undoubtedly different, but I imagine you could train her on how to sort the laundry as soon as she learns her colors.

6. Your house will be dirtier.
You state that “in 2005, two University of Michigan scientists concluded that if your wife has a job earning more than $15 an hour (roughly $30,000 a year), she will do 1.9 hours less housework a week.” You know what? I’m actually going to let you have this one. And while you’re busy figuring out how to operate such challenging household tools as ‘the broom’ and ‘the sponge’, I’m going to take a minute and use that equation to figure out just how many less hours of work I have to do based on my current income…I’m looking forward to spending the free time on all of my extra-marital affairs!

7. You’ll be unhappy if she makes more than you.
But…but…if she makes more money than you, what will you use as leverage when you want her to cater to you?

8. She will be unhappy if she makes more than you.
It depends, of course, on how big of an allowance you let her have every week and how much of her own income she is able to spend fueling her shoe-shopping addiction. Haha. Get it? Shopping! Because she’s a woman! And if you’re really the thick-headed **bleep** you’re so easily selling yourself to be, that’s all you think we do with our hard earned money.

9. You are more likely to fall ill.
“Wives working longer hours not do not have adequate time to monitor their husband’s health and healthy behavior, to manage their husband’s emotional well-being or buffer his workplace stress.” I think I read somewhere that wives who work more than 40 hours per week spend a lot less time wiping their husband’s butts too. Those poor helpless husbands having to take such basic care of themselves. Frankly, it’s downright appalling.

Whew. I better hurry and get off the computer. Every minute I’m on here is another minute my house is gathering dust.

Message Edited by harmony on 08-23-2006 03:59 PM

Message Edited by harmony on 08-23-2006 04:00 PM

08-23-2006 03:43 PM

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Re: Dear Mr. Noer,
girlarchitect

Harmony,
You have definately deserved your post-work martini for the day!! BRAVO.

08-23-2006 03:48 PM

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Re: Dear Mr. Noer,
MaireadL1

Well said!!!

08-23-2006 03:49 PM

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Re: Dear Mr. Noer,
ladyluck

Elegantly said. This is obviously some sort of temper- tantrum on his part. What’s the matter Mr Noer- did the wife finally stand up to you and tell you to pick your undies off the floor and put them in the hamper?

08-23-2006 04:19 PM

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Re: Dear Mr. Noer,
WiseObserver

I’m really sorry that in the passionately negative response to your article, the truth it contains has been lost. And I wish those who preach being forward-thinking and fair could recognize the value of your ideas being expressed, however conservative and biased and unpopular they may be.

I am sure your numbers are accurate and that career women are, in fact, much more likely to get divorced. Why? Because they can. We all know some, if not many, wives that could best describe their situation as “can’t live with him, can’t live without his paycheck”. And many a good man stays in an unhappy marriage out of a sense of duty to sustain his helpless wife, even when he very much would rather divorce if he could afford it. Infidelity is obviously a common by-product of these situations. Other factors, like the opportunities presented to a woman in the workplace to meet someone more compatible or more desirable that her own husband surely contribute also to the statistics results you mention.

But in describing a divorce as the undesirable result of women in the workforce you’re making the common mistake of judging a marriage success solely by it’s length. This is a most reasonable metric only if the marriage continues due to the spouses’ desire of being married. However, in the vast majority of cases where a woman stays at home, this is not the case. If a wife with no income of her own, and no proven capacity to sustain herself tells you that money would not factor in heavily if she was to consider a divorce; she is lying. And this is not a criticism by any means. The reality is that in her case there would be enormous changes in her lifestyle; in how she’d spend her time day by day; in her reliance on herself alone for survival and even in the way se defines herself. These changes are far greater than what they would be for a working woman that is financially independent of her husband.

The question we should ask ourselves is if an unhappy wife that feels trapped and a husband that is tolerated because he provides are really a better outcome that a divorce for any of the parties involved. A divorce is costly emotionally and financially, but it liberates each spouse to look for a more compatible partner and/or confront the consequences of their own behavior during the marriage. I’m sure that there are out there gazillion families where the wife doesn’t work and both partners are very happy and would stay together in any and all circumstances. No doubt about it. But for the very large numbers of less fortunate couples, a higher divorce rate may just be expressing a dissatisfaction that would otherwise go unnoticed, not necessarily creating it.

Once, furious beyond myself with a so-called-friend that had made me a victim of his con scheme, I told my best friend I really wanted to kill the jerk. Just a figure of speech, of course, but it accurately expressed the intensity of my impotence, frustration and hatred for him. My friend told me: Go buy a gun. I knew that he owned and stored guns at his home, and I was so shocked! I asked: Are you suggesting I take revenge on this creep?. He laughed and responded:

Of course not. But when you have a gun in your home and real bullets and you know that you actually could truly go there and easily kill the guy; you don’t have that feeling of terrible impotence anymore. Allowing him to get away with it for the time being becomes a choice you make (for many obvious and very valid reasons) but nevertheless, it is your choice. And that makes all the difference in how you feel about it.

Financial power is for a woman like owning that gun. She very likely will not choose to end her marriage in a time of great frustration and fury, but she knows that is because she wants to stay, not because she has to. And her husband knows it too: despite all the negatives, she stills wants to be there with him. And that makes all the difference. By the way: If she does not have that financial power, she won’t just be silent and take it, mind you. She will resort to other sources of power at her disposal (withdrawing love, sex, attention and kindness) to equilibrate the power balance, with obvious devastating effects for both husband and wife

So, considering this, I would like to qualify your article’s advice by saying:

Guys! Do NOT marry a career woman if you want your marriage to last, even if it is a deeply unhappy one. However, to increase the chances that you’re marriage will be happy (or otherwise end), and to minimize enormously the financial damage a divorce would cause to you, should it occur; by all means go for the working girl.

Having choices; Mr. Noer; surely makes things more complicated but if we choose wisely, rarely makes them worse.

08-24-2006 12:59 AM

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