Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why Men Shouldn't Marry Career Women

This article is a few months old, but I just happened upon it today. It’s the one in which Michael Noer details all the reasons that men should not marry “career women.”

I fit the criteria this guy's using to describe a “career girl,” but I've certainly never thought of myself as such. I mean I earned enough money to support myself when I was single, sure. I could even go to Starbucks every morning and run to Nordstrom once a week just to see if there was anything cute I should have. And I earned enough that when I got married I had a similar standard of living, only I had quite a bit more money left over at the end of the month to waste... I mean save. And then when I had kids I wanted to stay home with them for awhile, so I did that. And while staying at home is a pretty good gig, to everything there is a season and this one has come to an end for a variety of reasons. But while I’ll do relatively well (that is, if I can get anyone to hire me after a six year absence from the work force… but that’s another topic I’ll explore another day), I don’t really think of myself as a “career girl.”

When I think of a “career girl” I think of my girlfriend who loves her job so much she’s decided not to have children so as to not disrupt it. Though she holds a very high position with a famous company and will likely be able to retire at age forty (with no help from a husband), she’s not just there to put a roof over her head. She’s there for the challenge, to be the best, to “knock ‘em dead” and all that.

As opposed to a girl like me who sort of has the ability to put food on the table, and isn’t afraid to wear uncomfortable shoes every day if that’s what it takes, but really if someone (Anyone?) would just pay her to sit around writing stories about twenty-something angst (among other things) she’d be in her flip flops faster than you could say grande-nonfat-no-foam-add-a-shot-latte.

I also think of my mother as a “career girl.” You’ll think I’m exaggerating when I say this, but I promise you I am not, if my mother won a hundred billion dollars in the lottery tonight, she would be at work in the morning. Really. Oh but wait, I almost forgot, she's a college dropout so she doesn't qualify.

The definition of a "career girl" is someone with a university degree or higher, earning more than $30,000 per year and working at least 35 hours per week. Sorry Mom.

But here’s what annoyed me even more about his definition of a “career girl," you shouldn’t marry one of these; however, it’s fine to marry women who work, yet don’t meet the above criteria.

Let me clarify, because I’m confused too… If she’s a high school dropout working as a cashier, then it doesn’t really matter how many hours she’s working. As it has no effect on the quality of your marriage.

Because?

Oh wait! I know this one! Because she doesn’t have the ability to earn very much money, and is therefore stuck with your sorry ass, whether she likes you or not. Just like the good ol’ days before women got all uppity and stuff.

This is important, according to the article, because women report being happier when their husbands earn more money than they do… Gee, ya think? Of course they are. The more money he earns, the easier and less stressful many aspects of married life are (particularly if children are involved). Being married to someone who can support the household is a great stress reliever (hence happiness inducer), whether you can and want to help with that task or not.

Additionally, he warns men not to marry a woman who’s successful because she will “grow dissatisfied” with him… Those poor career girls are just never happy! What’s a guy to do? It’s the modern twist on “boys don’t like girls who are too smart.” Not that it isn’t true in some cases, but here’s a secret about boys who don’t like smart girls… they are woefully BORING!

Toward the end of the article he points out that marriage has historically been an economic partnership with a clear division of labor, and that that's changed somewhat in recent years (in the developed world anyway). So now we’re getting somewhere. If women would just remember that their place is in the home, and stop wishing for things they shouldn’t want, then they would be satisfied and fulfilled! That or they could just pop some tranquilizers with a couple of martinis every afternoon and simply get over it already (please try to hold off at least until the pot roast is in the oven because a man needs to eat at the end of the day for gods sake).

(I should pause here before I piss somebody off and say that I am not making fun of women who stay home and cook dinner in the above reference. I stay home and cook dinner for my husband every day. I do pretty much anything else he wants too, frankly, because he's good to me and I try to return the favor. Plus, I am a "career girl" you remember, and the article rightfully points out that we are more likely to be unhappy staying home with the children for years on end... in other words, my husband has to listen to endless complaining... and the least I can do is serve him a hot meal with that, no? The issue I'm taking with these alleged "findings" is they essentially assert that the secret to a happy marriage is that the wife be unable to take care of herself.)

There’s also the common statistic that people with careers find it easier to cheat (bigger pool of applicants). Though as an aside, my husband thinks it’s more likely for stay-at-home moms to cheat. Too much free time, he says. Which all stay-at-home moms know is sort of true… um… well… that is, depending on your definition of “free.”

But my husband’s theory notwithstanding, that’s another problem with career girls… they have co-workers. And the next thing you know, they run off with one of them. Of course the reverse is true also, so maybe women would be wise to marry men who don’t work too. Maybe the secret to a happy marriage is both people sitting around all day watching Ricki Lake and eating potato chips, so that neither has the opportunity to meet someone more interesting (not to mention, who’d want them if they did?).

Sorry, am I getting testy?

The point is that smart, educated women who can support themselves have options. Men do and have always had these options, but the prospect of women having equal opportunity in the cheating/divorce arena is terribly frightening for some reason. Instead of advice to men about career girls, how about some advice to career girls about men: Don’t marry a man who’s either too insecure, too lazy or too boring to keep your interest!

24 comments:

Anjali said...

Great post. That guy just seemed threatened by women. I couldn't even take his piece seriously.

Food Mum said...

Never marry a man who takes these advice books seriously instead of using his own judgement!

onetallmomma said...

I had to run right over...I am a big Nourishing Traditions fan. It changed the way I look at food. I don't cook from it much but the ideas, such as raw milk and soaking grains, have changed my life. The kids hate it with a passion.

Jill said...

I have the reverse problem on my hands. Every time I wonder aloud if it would make more sense for me to stay home, my husband nearly has a conniption and goes around muttering about the stupidity of wasting a law degree. He also has a major problem with his highly educated, smart sisters who stay home with their kids. So you see, neanderthals come in a lot of forms. We're working on bringing him out of the eighties and into a more evolved understanding. He's not a bad guy - he'll figure it out.

Gunfighter said...

I married a "career girl", although I would never refer to my wife as a girl. She is all woman... and smart as blue blazes!

My wife has the degree... well, multiple degrees and a Ph.D to boot... but she married me anyway, and thats enough for me.

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Yikes!!! As a fellow career woman now stay at home mom all I can say is YIKES.

That's just insanely wrong. How about it being a bonus that both are educated and employable so that in times of financial burden neither spouse is left feeling all of the responsibility to earn an income and keep the familiy afloat?

It's articles like this that make some women keep dumbing themselves down for a mate. I hate that!

Her Bad Mother said...

I need an aspirin. Infuriating AND confusing, all in one go. Nice.

crazymumma said...

I love uppity. Staying at home and doing all that I do has never been a huge struggle for me. We, (Mr Trans am and I )see his going to work and my staying home as a completely joint effort on his paycheque. Without me basically...his ass would be toast.

Lisa said...

OMG. I seriously am NAIVE because I never would have thought that this was even a freaking issue anymore in this civilized world...well, except for my father's generation.

I'm astounded. Seriously. I work 40 hours a week, an opposite shift from my husband, stay at home with the kids the other 16 hours of the day that I'm not working and "sometimes" have dinner ready for him and the boys when he comes home for his shift with the kids...and sometimes he makes it himself.

Oh and ya know what? I make more money than him. I have a higher education than he does (even though admittedly he is smarter than I am) and I can't imagine cheating because of those things. Ever. And with other people in the workplace? I find these people BORING.

Heather said...

I did the SAHM thing first and now can do the school thing...later to do the Career thing when the kids get older. I do have big plans to be an entrepreneur! I have friends who stay home with Master Degrees and I admire them so much for giving up that part of there lives to nurture there own children...It's so great how we all have a choice in today’s society!

Great post...

T said...

I need an aspirin. Infuriating AND confusing, all in one go. Nice.
I like this comment!
thanks for your post too by the way.

mad muthas said...

hahahahaha! fanTAstic post! how do men still get away with talking such unutterable CRAP? amazing really ...

Anonymous said...

I don't care how much a woman makes, I will always make enough for me and my wife. So we don't have anything to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Please don't disparage the article, but understand its subtext. I am an educated, career woman and out perform most men at jobs. I am inevitably pushed out of every job I have taken because the men have not liked to be shown up, especially by a woman. I am now very successful working for myself and hiring myself out. I developed a great, viable business plan and away I went. Men have always liked me because I am supposedly smart,funny, attractive, feminine, etc.

What happened in dating game? I lost. A man whom was my best friend married another woman for her money and sex skills. Another man whom I considered an equal and someone I could respect tried to put me in my place by calling me a "dumb woman." Once he chatted with me online, didn't know it was me, as I hid my identity.Represented myself as a male and he thought I was a brilliant, interesting person. To prut me in my place further, he flirted with bimbettes, who bared their breasts (couldn't show enough cleavage) and played the sex card. He would then come back to me for the serious relationship. No thanks. I finally met a wonderful male colleague who treats me with respect. He is an equal and highly accomplished, ethical, and we have amazing rapport. I thought that he was the kind of man I wouild marry, given the chance. I was eager to meet his wife. I was expecting a woman like me. Instead, I found this brilliant, successful, wonderful ethical man had married a dumb, albeit religious (safe) bimbo. At jobs, men routinely sexually harass me to put me in my place. My professionalism has been called into question because my voice is too "feminine." They also brazenly discuss their sex lives and upload porn. Yet, all high status, traditional male settings.

Being a career woman is no picnic. I would love to be a wife and mom, but I am not so sure at this point if I will, as its getting almost too late for me.Also, the older, wider, more accomplished I become, the less dissatisfied I am with men. While I am calm, loving, and centered, I am very picky. I know what I would and would not accept. I also don't fall for stupid games men play to manipulate women. I expect integrity and honor which is in short supply. I also have a ready supply of willing men who readily offer sex. (I decline, chaste person I am.) Yes, I am boring. I am an interesting, stimulating conversationalist, humble, even nurturing. But, I am not a cute, stimulating sex kitten nor do I pander to male egos. I am very much confident in myself and can't conceive changing or lessening myself so a man would want me. At this rate, I may well wind up a spinster. My grandfather, a very successful attorney, married a fellow attorney, and they had the best marriage imaginable. However, once she got married, she quit her job and became caretaker/nurturer.

Anyway, I am annoyed at the truth expressed in this article, as you'd think men would like, value, appreciate, and even seek out an intelligent, competent, accomplished partner, but they typically do not.Successful men typically want a stay at home wife/mom who can boost their careers. Dependent men love women like me (No thanks)....as do old men who find it "cute" that a young woman like me is so ambitious, and they find it sexy to play the mentor to a sweet young thing. (Spare me.)

trishaf said...

I take my hat off to the comment made by anonymous - you summed it up perfectly. I've just made the transition from highly successful career woman to stay at home mum to be less than 24 hours ago, and here I am sitting down wondering if anyone is going through the same feelings that I am. Although I am happy to be expecting our first child, I am feeling very lonely and lost without my routine - which at 31 years old, has been ingrained strongly for the last 13 years. I am happy to be a mum, but not so sure about staying home.
I only married last year - the truth is that men don't like smart women, nor do they like women - or more appropriately put, prefer not to be with women that earn more $$ than them or are more ambitious etc.
I met a wonderful man we are equal in a lot of respects - but coming back to basics, there's an understanding that the woman should be at home with the children.

I miss the routine of my career - the security in knowing that I have choices and dreams that I can fulfil with my partner and contribute equally without any limitations.

I've travelled the world in my many jobs - everytime I check in to a hotel - the night before I start my business meetings - people assume that I must be travelling with a man and I'm a 'kept woman' - what a surprise when they find out that Im the 'career woman'. I've even been refused service in Dubai because Im a female - so my colleagues (male counterparts) will come to the 'rescue' and sort out the mess, which quite frankly is annoying.

Like the person who wrote the blog above - I find myself often in situations with men in business where they try on the 'sexual moves' - just to get some action, much to their dismay I ignore their advances, laugh and walk away.

To all those career girls out there - keep your chin up high. I believe we can have the best of both worlds - there have been some fantastic inventions / businesses started from home whilst being a stay at home mum.

Career girls - yes you can have your career and still be a mum - you just need to find a balance!!!

For all those stay at home mums who may not want a career, I take my hat off to you as well, you're an inspiration.

Thanks
Trisha - from Brisbane Australia

megaman said...

I don't think this question can be answer in a straightforward manner.

Maintaining a good marriage is a huge challenge in modern society where divorces are common and temptations abound for both men and women.

A time-consuming career adds to the problem further, if both parties are so engrossed in their careers it is difficult to find time and energy to invest into the relationship.

It seems that the fault lies on both sexes:

For women, a successful career is something that would elevate their status in society and boost their confidence tremendously. A career woman in a long-term relationship or marriage is prone to making the following mistake:

a) Being arrogant and proud of her achievements. Thus, belittling or downplaying the role of her other half. There are successful married female CEOs of huge multinationals, and the first persons they credit for their success are their husbands and never once they belittle their husbands' contributions even though they are just house-husband. Vice-versa, the same logic should be applied to successful career men.

b) Spending way too much time on their careers. A high-flying successful career can be very addictive especially if you are a woman because very few women has successful careers compared with men, making this a novelty at least for now. Well, if a woman would complain and feel unhappy if the husband spends too much time on his career but neglects the family, the same applies to men when they have wives spending most of their time at work.

c) Upping up the ante and having unreasonable expectations of their men. I have encountered personally women who has well-paying careers and yet requires or wishes to have partners that earn more than them. Besides being a high-earner, men are also required to be caring, loving, doting and spends lot of time on them. Well, such men are exceedingly scarce if not impossible to find and if there's you can be sure that tonnes of women would be interested too as well as a certain number of men.

As for men:

a) It is high time to change. Men are no longer required as bread-winners most anymore. Soft traits such as being caring and loving are important as well as being "macho" and assertive every once in a while. It is a psychological obstacle to overcome since males are naturally competitive and it is hard to accept a wife that performs better in her career.

b) Change your expectations of women. Women are no longer the same species as the women of previous generations. With progress, economic power and so-called equality in opportunities, the barriers to women succeeding in careers no longer exists. Men can no longer expect their womenfolk to be submissive and stay at home.

Well, that's my two cents and opinion anyway. Fyi, I am a male, and I understand my views could be a bit biased but I feel that both men and women are equal, therefore both shares equal responsibilities in relationships, however, it takes time to adjust to new realities and conditions in modern societies. Bitching about the other sex rather than looking at this objectively would do more harm than help.

Anonymous said...

The comments here are ridiculous. The article is "confusing" and "frustrating". Nevermind that none of you are actually disagreeing with it though! The article sites studies that claim it is in a man's best interest NOT to marry a career girl. Do you not understand why that is? It's not in the specifics, how much she makes, how much education, etc; it's in the heart and priorities. The point is not to marry a career girl BECAUSE SHE WILL LEAVE YOU. She will leave you because she has structured her life and her heart and her beliefs around a set of priorities that most men abandon when they marry. That priority structure is based on getting what YOU want when YOU want it and how YOU want it, regardless of the consequences. It's the pinnacle of Americanism. It's selfishness. Career girls are SELFISH. The amazing thing to me is how unaware y'all are of your own realities. Numbers don't lie. Just because your specific situation isn't congruent doesn't invalidate the millions of figures derived by a national study.

Anonymous said...

jill,
sound like you are the neanderthall. Why do you get to have a choice of working or staying home when he doesn't? You feel your gender is superior eh? Why don't you run back to the stone ages and live in a cave.

Anonymous said...

Quoting anonymous 5:28: "I found this brilliant, successful, wonderful ethical man had married a dumb, albeit religious (safe) bimbo"

A woman who fears the lord is a rare and precious thing.

Anonymous said...

What kid of wimp would be scared of a chick....even a smart one.

Anonymous said...

I think women should be put to drudgery, that is work, and men should be able to stay home and smoke weed all day with the kids!!

annie said...

Kudos, great article.:) Now I can just show this to a cutie pie guy cause he thinks he likes career women. Maybe he will change his mind or soemthing.

LittleoftenAnnie said...

Hi stace i think a lot of people are misunderstanding your article..they didnt read it up until the last part. sigh well.

Anonymous said...

A career woman would really be a total disaster altogether since they have such a terrible attitude problem and no good personality at all as well as no good manors either. They're so very greedy and selfish as well and have their nose up in the air most of the time since they really think that they're all that but their not at all. They usually think they're better than anyone else which makes them so very pathetic as well since they're in composition with one another to see who is the best of all which makes these women a real joke as well. I have seen many marriages that have been destroyed by these type of women since they have cheated on their husbands already especially when i know men that had this happened to them already unfortunately. I really have to say that the women in the good old days were the quite opposite of what the women are today since the women in those days really did put these women today to real shame as well. It is just too very bad that those women don't exist anymore since this is the very excellent reason why many of us good innocent men are still single today since it does take two to tango.