Forbes should be embarrassed by this article…


Forbes should be embarrassed by this article…

For all those women who doubt the backlash against feminism is alive and kicking, here we have exhibit A. As other posters have pointed out, whereas several of the studies cited refer to highly educated, high earning, career “people”, the author of the article chose to single out highly educated, high earning, career women as the object of his wrath.

The attitude suggests women are or should be punished for fulfilling their intellectual and career potential, whereas men (as usual) get a pass. What the author doesn’t point out is that many of the negative outcomes he cited might in fact be *caused* by sexist, patriarchal attitudes. If career women truly had more options for part-time work, flex-time, job-sharing and on-site child care, perhaps they would be more likely to have kids and even happier after doing so… as it stands, your options in most jobs are: (A) have the kid, but pretend he doesn’t exist and keep the same insane hours, as most men do or (B) opt out entirely and stay at home with zero career/intellectual fulfillment. It’s up to both male and female managers and corporate leaders to help eliminate this rock/hard place scenario, especially because it’s so unnecessary! Similarly, being unhappy that your wife makes more than you (or her similar feelings) are symptomatic of sexist social attitudes…stop attaching your self-worth to your salary and the marriage will be fine. Note of course, there’s no stigma attached to the woman working *harder* (at home or away), just her making more…

The kicker of the article is the glossed over study that points out: “working outside the home actually increases marital stability, at least when the marriage is a happy one. But even in these studies, wives’ employment does correlate positively to divorce rates, when the marriage is of ‘low marital quality.'”

So this basically just means more educated, financially independent women are less likely to put up with a bad marriage, not that working outside the home in and of itself causes a bad marriage. Why is that bad? Would career men prefer to support an unhappy but financially independent stay at home wife rather than seeking a more fulfilling marriage?

The bottom line is that this article is insulting to both men and women. It suggests we should pick our mates based on statistics rather than on the individual and our relationship to them. I would be willing to bet that common views on money, shared spiritual beliefs, hobbies in common, i.e. individual characteristics you share or admire in the person are far more important to the success or failure of the marriage. In any marriage, the key issues are love, friendship and respect. Luckily, this career woman has a husband who respects and supports her choices– and I in turn respect him the fact he has the strength and self-esteem to cheer on his high-achieving wife rather than feeling inadequate. Regardless, we both love each other for many more reasons than how much money either of us makes or what we do for a living. The need to put women down or suggest they be punished for their achievement suggests nothing but a lack of self-worth on the part of the author (and any reader who buys his argument).

08-23-2006 03:48 PM

Re: Forbes should be embarrassed by this article…

Indeed, and the major reason is that it’s a hotchpotch of studies which ask completely different questions and standardize for complete different variables, too. These studies can’t be used the way the author does: picking and choosing and clearly not understanding much about how these studies are carried out.

His understanding of Becker’s theory is incorrect. It is not that some things don’t get done if both spouses work in the labor market (after all, money can be used to buy house cleaning or food services or childcare services). Becker gets the result he does because his model essentially views marriage as a little firm with just one person deciding things or spouses with completely identical preferences. It’s not a very realistic model, you know. For example, Becker’s model can’t actually predict divorce, because the model has no time dimension.

It is also wrong to take the marriage and divorce literature and to assume that the reason for anything negative in the marriage is the woman and her choices. We could do a reversal of this article by finding out which types of men are most likely to leave their wives, which types of men are most likely to be unfaithful and which types of men are least likely to do any household chores. Then we could do a series of pictures about these slimy creatures that every woman should avoid.

The author views women as if they were toasters or something similar. The advice is to buy a cheap model that won’t break. That might work if we were actually talking about toasters rather than human beings.

08-23-2006 03:59 PM

Re: Forbes should be embarrassed by this article…

What is truly sad about the postings of the Career Women here is this. You are truly clueless about what successful Career Men are looking for. Really you haven’t got a clue. You fail to realize that your choices have consequences. Where did Michael Noer say you cannot have a career? Or that a College Education is something Women should not have? Please quote that in his article.

What you are complaining about is reality, biology, and comparative advantage. You make the point he writes about in his article better than he can. You simply refuse to see what Men want and need. It is all about what you want. Guess What Men have options and a shorter expiration date. You will end up like Maureen Dowd. Enjoy the consequences of your lifestyle choices. Women have an Expiration Date, Men Don’t. Sorry thats reality deal with it.

09-10-2006 05:55 PM


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