Or, Forbes explains why smart men everywhere** should avoid those nasty career women.
1. You are less likely to get married to her.
And I thought that men were marriage-phobic and had to be corralled into the chapel. So wouldn’t this be a reason to date career women? We’re mixing up our masculine stereotypes here, folks, and it’s just not right.
Forbes is quick to note (in the last line) that the opposite may be true for black women — that having higher earnings and more working hours translate into easier marriagability. But, you know, black women don’t really count, so we can discount them in the headline and the rest of the article.
2. If you do marry, you are more likely to get divorced.
Women’s work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men’s work hours often have no statistical effect. “I also find that the incidence in divorce is far higher in couples where both spouses are working than in couples where only one spouse is employed,” Johnson said.
I love the idea that women’s work hours actively increase the divorce rate. And the author clearly didn’t consider the fact that if you aren’t employed, you’re a whole lot more likely to stay with the person who’s financially supporting you out of necessity, not necessarily out of love or contentment.
A few other studies, which have focused on employment (as opposed to working hours) have concluded that 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.”
I’m going to wager a guess that marriages of “low marital quality” positively correlate with higher divorce rates. And I’m also going to guess that “low marital quality” correlates positively with men who expect that their wives won’t work, but will stay home and clean up after them and never leave the house. Which leads us to our next reason:
3. She is more likely to cheat on you
Because if you never leave the house and you depend on hubby for everything, you certainly aren’t going to have an extra-marital affair. Nevermind that working correlates with men cheating as well — I have yet to see that used as a reason for why women shouldn’t marry working men.
4. You are much less likely to have kids.
Which, the article makes clear, is a problem because the vast majority of women desperately want children, but those careerists are too selfish (and apparently too stupid) to actually do it. And if your wife won’t give you any progeny, what’s the point — especially if she also won’t clean up after you?
5. If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy.
Especially if you are the kind of guy who buys into the crap that this article pushes — because that probably means that you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t think he should have to do any of the tough child-rearing work, leaving it all to her.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family concluded that wealthier couples with children suffer a drop in marital satisfaction three times as great as their less affluent peers. One of the study’s co-authors publicly speculated that the reason is that wealthier women are used to “a professional life, a fun, active, entertaining life.”
So both partners are less happy if they’re wealthy and they have kids. Which would mean that if you’re a wealthy career man who marries a woman who doesn’t work, according to this study you’re just as likely to be unhappy with children as you would be if you married a woman who works.
6. Your house will be dirtier.
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. Of course, this can be solved if the husband picks up a broom.
Is anyone else stunned that making more than $15 an hour only translates into 1.9 hours fewer housework hours per week?
And of course this can be solved if the husband picks up a broom, but that’s clearly a laughable idea. Because men, apparently, are idiots and slobs. And they say feminists have animosity towards men? 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.
7. You’ll be unhappy if she makes more than you.
In other words, you are an insecure idiot. Ignore the fact that a substantial percentage of households are led by female bread-winners, or by women who make more than their male partners. Ignore the fact that these relationships are no more likely to fail than relationships with different set-ups. Insead, fear the emasculation that comes with being able to afford a nicer house, pleasant vacations, and college for the kids on your wife’s dime. Better to just go into debt and maintain your masculinity.
8. She will be unhappy if she makes more than you.
According to the authors of a controversial 2006 study: “American wives, even wives who hold more feminist views about working women and the division of household tasks, are typically happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income.” Reason? “Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make more choices about work and family–e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job.”
Well, yeah, maybe we’d all be happier if someone would support us while we worked any job we pleased. But that doesn’t translate into her being happier if you make more than she does. But, then, under the lovely patriarchal assumptions of these Forbes authors, women live to be walked all over and dominated, so naturally she’ll be miserable if she makes more money than her husband. She’d certainly prefer to be under his thumb.
9. You are more likely to fall ill.
Yes, a working woman will make you sick — literally.
A 2001 study found that having a wife who works less than 40 hours a week has no impact on your health, but having a wife who works more than 40 hours a week has “substantial, statistically significant, negative effects on changes in her husband’s health over that time span.” The author of another study summarizes that “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.”
Aww, poor dears, with no one to manage their emotional well-being or buffer their workplace stress. And without a wife around to moniter his health and healthy behavior, he will naturally get sick more often, since he’s apparently too much of a moron to eat well and take care of himself.
According to Forbes, adult men need to marry professional mommies, lest they meet a whole slew of trouble. Men, apparently, are so fragile of body and ego that they’re unable to take care of themselves, clean up after themselves, and deal with a partner who’s as hard-working and successful as they are.
Now, perhaps I’ve been spoiled by living in a fairly progressive city and going to a fairly progressive professional school, but most men I know aren’t like this. Are there a handful of them who probably are? Sure. And there are a handful of women who also believe themselves to be incapable of self-sufficiency. But the majority of men that I’ve met in my life are competent, confident in their work and their life choices, and able to take pretty good care of themselves. They seem to seek out partners who are interesting, and who they feel they have something in common with. Maybe this will change ten years down the road, but I don’t forsee most of the men I know seeking out mates who they think will primarily be unpaid household help — even if they marry women who decide to stay home.
Articles like this are obviously insulting to women because they reinforce outdated and highly sexist notions of what a “good woman” is, and they imply that if you don’t fit the Suzie Homemaker mold (which most stay-at-home moms don’t even fit) then your marriage prospects are shot. And they reinforce the idea that marriage is the highest goal that women should seek.
These articles further infantalize and insult men in attempts to coddle them with privilege and reinstate social heirarchies which entitle them to a fulfilling career and a wife who’s more personal servant than equal partner. Because that’s really the underlying fear through this entire list — that you might end up with someone who’s your equal. Were I a man, I think I’d be pretty deeply insulted by the implication that I should want a partner who is less successful and more subservient and dependent, lest I feel my manhood threatened. But I have a feeling that the MRA’s won’t be decrying this article any time soon.
Thanks to Julia for the link.
*This should not imply that all women who stay home, or women who work but aren’t “career women,” are doormats. It’s meant to be reflective of the general tone of the article, which was that women are good for child-rearing, cleaning, and being a glorified servant to their husbands, and that independence and autonomy are leading causes of marital demise. A person can be independent and autonomous regardless of their career/work status. The article conflates working with personal autonomy, and uses that to stoke fears about female independence.
**A note to these “smart men”: Please, please avoid me like the plague. I’m bad for you anyway, as I’ll leave our house dirty and will make you sick. So stay far, far away from me, please — it’s a win-win situation. Thanks in advance.