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.
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!