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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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84 Responses

  1. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub November 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |

    I have said “I’m a lawyer” and have had men literally turn and walk away from me in bars (although maybe that marks them as more intelligent than I).

    Well, damn. That’s the magic phrase when I get hassled by PUA’s.

  2. Clarissa
    Clarissa November 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |

    In today’s economy, traditional perceptions of gender roles are changing fast. In my Advanced Spanish courses, I always give the students this activity where they have to make a list of characteristics of their ideal partner. In the last two years, almost every single male student put “successful / high earner” on the top of his list of qualities for his ideal partner (whether male or female.)

    We also had a discussion about how students will feel if their partner makes more money than they do. The male students responded “That would be fantastic!” without a single exception.

    When I asked the same questions 10 years ago, student responses were very different.

  3. Laura C
    Laura C November 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |

    My (female) best friend watched the remake of Stepford Wives with a male friend who mocked the notion that the men in the movie would have been intimidated by and unhappy about having gorgeous, successful wives. He thought it was a crazy crazy notion, because who wouldn’t want that?

    My friend replied “that’s what you say now. But when I’ve introduced you to my attractive, smart, successful, single friends, here’s what I’ve heard from you: ‘she’s so aggressive,’ ‘her job keeps her too busy,’ ‘we just don’t share a lot of interests.’ Somehow it’s always something.”

  4. groggette
    groggette November 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm |

    The article writer also seems to forget that not all women (successful or not) consider being single a “plight”.

    But I’ll definitely be filing away the lawyer line for the next PUA I meet! (rocket scientist evidently doesn’t have the same fear involved)

  5. oxygengrrl
    oxygengrrl November 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |

    Linda Hirschman (sp?) whatever else you think of her, had rather better advice. As I recall (too lazy to find the book), it amounted to, if you must partner with a man, pick one who is:
    –a feminist (goes without saying, right?)
    and
    –younger than you are and/or
    –in a field that consistently is expected to be less financially rewarding than yours (art if you are science, say). That way, even if his feminism isn’t sufficient to drown out the cranky voices of the patriarchy, he’ll have an excuse (to self and others) for why he has less money/traditionally-defined success/etc. Though personally, I think in a healthy relationship, the decent person you are in a relationship with should be able to work past whatever creepy partriarchy-induced expectations still cloud his thinking and emerge happy to be with you, proud of you, and able to measure success (yours and his) in less traditional ways. Which is kind of Jill’s last point.

  6. latinist
    latinist November 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |

    Yeah, the terribleness of that cannot be emphasized enough. Note that the subtext is, “get attached first, setting up a particularly bitter conflict when you DO start to get successful and he pressures you to sacrifice your career to the relationship.” I suspect the idea here is less “make your relationship work alongside your career” and more “gradually transition into accepting that your success must be subordinate to your husband’s.”

  7. latinist
    latinist November 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |

    Argh. Poor use of blockquoting on my part. What I posted is NOT a quote, but is supposed to be preceded by a blockquote of Jill’s words: “In all seriousness, that is terrible advice, especially the part about finding your life partner “before you’ve become too successful.”” Sorry.

  8. tall
    tall November 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |

    This has nothing to do with this article or maybe it does. I’m posting it here so that maybe the author of this article and her reader could see discrimination at its finest. Jill the author of this article wrote one called Audrey Tautou, about a chicago trib story in which the writer met a lovely woman in a restaurant and was disappointed by the look she gave him when they stood up and found she was taller than he. Jill being a female in the fight for “equality” calls the writer a “twenty-something guy with a Napoleon complex and a boner for French chicks”. I’ve read stories just like this from a female point of view and all the comment said: aw you’ll meet someone or ya I hate when that happens ( I never date men shorter than me either ) The question I have is; how can you write for a site fighting for equality and be so prejudiced against others. As for the plight of successful women TRY LOOKING AT MEN WHO AREN’T RICH AND TALL.

  9. A.Y. Siu
    A.Y. Siu November 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |

    And statistics aside, do you really want to end up with a man who is threatened by a successful woman? This is just anecdotal, but from what I’ve seen, insecure, gender-traditional misogynists don’t make the best of partners (weird). Let’s not whitewash the reality that a lot of men are intimidated by successful women, to varying degrees, but enough aren’t that it really isn’t so impossible to find someone pretty great. (Even Miranda did it, right girls?)

    I fully agree with this line of reasoning (why would you want to be with someone you don’t want to be with?), but I do think it’s very difficult to find a het man who isn’t threatened by his wife’s success if she is more successful than he is financially. You brought up Miranda—well, Steve was actually threatened by her success at first and wouldn’t let her buy him a suit or pay for dinner, even though she was a high-rolling lawyer and he was a bartender.

    Again, not impossible, but definitely difficult.

  10. ozymandias
    ozymandias November 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm |

    What.

    It is kind of impressive when the culture manages to be more sexist than my dad, he of the “if you were a guy, I’d make sure you had a good right hook” and the “you must not respect yourself since you won’t wear makeup.”

    But he made less money than my mom for most of my adolescence, because he went on the ‘mommy track’ since his career was more sacrificable than my mom’s. And he never suggested that he was somehow emasculated because my mom’s money was what paid most of the bills.

  11. Random Process
    Random Process November 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm |

    I would marry you just for using “remunerate” correctly.

    Except that you’re a lawyer, so eww.

  12. Random Process
    Random Process November 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm |

    Sigh. Every comment I make disappears. Some are rescued in moderation. Is it my stinky feet? I can wash more often.

  13. Marle
    Marle November 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm |

    The advice about finding your “life partner” before you become too successful is terrible. Yes, get married to someone who might be intimidated by you making too much money, and then go out and make too much money. That sounds like it’ll work out well. WTF was she thinking?

    You should always put the most important things about yourself upfront with dating. Then if it’s an issue, they can disappear before it’s an issue AND you’re attached to them.

  14. groggette
    groggette November 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |

    where are all these PDDs coming from recently?

  15. Georgiana
    Georgiana November 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm |

    I am a 2nd year law student (with impending finals… will this wretched semester ever end?) and I have been dating a wonderful Colombian man for the last year. He had to drop out of college a few years ago to work and take care of his ill father, and is going back to school in January. Early in our relationship, he made a timid comment that I will begin earning an income before him and at a higher level. I told him that such thoughts were not welcome and if that was going to be a problem, I didn’t see any point in continuing with our relationship.

    No mention of this has been made since. But I am beginning to wonder if, when the time comes, he will still be alright with it.

  16. Dominique
    Dominique November 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm |

    I have better advice. 1) Take your snazzy company car wherever you want, and as often as you can. Showing it off will weed out all the resentful, bitter little losers from the real men who don’t bat an eye at the success of others. 2) Find a partner in *his* 20s, not his 30s or 40s, so you can enjoy the, ahem, vigour of his companionship. And 3) Enjoy all that money you make by splurging on boy toys, then moving on to the next one in order to avoid commitment and, therefore, alimony. Use your accumulated wealth on projects close to your heart, whether philanthropic or cultural. After all: why should George Clooney have all the fun?

  17. April
    April November 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm |

    Tall, what the hell are you talking about?

    The question I have is; how can you write for a site fighting for equality and be so prejudiced against others. As for the plight of successful women TRY LOOKING AT MEN WHO AREN’T RICH AND TALL.

    Besides the fact that “he has a Napoleon complex” does not mean the same thing as “I only like tall guys,” at what point were you given the impression, from this article or the prior one about the guy with boners for French women, that Jill is discriminating against anyone? At all?

  18. Jadey
    Jadey November 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

    groggette: where are all these PDDs coming from recently?  

    It must be spawning season. I’m pretty sure they reproduce asexually though.

  19. Athenia
    Athenia November 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm |

    I know, geez, guys are only good for their money—they can’t cook, can’t clean, can’t take care of the kids and can’t give me an orgasm.

    So yeah, if they’re not making money, why bother? [/sarcasm]

    In all seriousness though, I don’t think the problem is money, but rather argumentative-ness. I mean, do guys turn away when you say you are a sales rep? You could be making tons of money, but you could be the sweetest thing ever. So, I think with saying you’re a lawyer or a CEO, they know that if they fuck up, you will know and call them out on it.

    Which is sad because wouldn’t you want someone who knows how to communicate?

  20. groggette
    groggette November 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm |

    We can only hope.

  21. Grafton
    Grafton November 30, 2010 at 8:51 pm |

    Am I wrong in reading this to be implying that a woman who won’t take a few years off on the ‘mommy track’ is less successful than one who will?

    The way I see it, if not doing childcare is a mark of success, the culture has failed. If parents are forced to outsource childcare to underpaid barely-skilled labour or suffer significant finance-related quality-of-life reductions, the economy has failed.

    ‘Course, men have failed if they think it’s humiliating to stay home and do parenting, and the culture has failed for treating it as low-status work.

    I know the culture and economy have failed. A colleague of mine is a lawyer, and told me that the very fact that she admitted to wanting to have children made her less likely to get hired or get promoted in firms, and when she had them and took time to stay home with them, it trashed her career. This is totally disgusting.

    By the way, what is PDD? I think that means ‘Pervasive Developmental Disorder’ and assure you that people with it do reproduce sexually.

  22. Jadey
    Jadey November 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm |

    Grafton, in this case PDD refers to Privilege-Denying Dudes, not pervasive developmental disorder. It’s a new meme, but it’s caught on like fire in a lot of places. I’ll have to remember that the acronym isn’t unique, though.

  23. orgostrich
    orgostrich November 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm |

    This was one of the biggest problems I had with my exboyfriend. I told him I would want to be married to a man who loved his job, even if it didn’t pay well, so he would not be stressed all the time. He said, “That’s alright for a woman, I guess, but it’s a man’s job to support his family, so its important for him to make a lot of money. The woman can have a job she likes, though.”

    How did it take me another 2 years to break up with him?

  24. PM
    PM November 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm |

    Being intimidated by a potential dating partner’s success doesn’t necessarily make one a misogynist, or even anti-feminist. As a young man without a lot of money (and no real financial prospects for the next few months), it IS intimidating to date successful women for fear of being judged as inadequate. That said, I would certainly like to and will probably end up doing so despite my wariness. I think men that do not are foolish. But I do worry that many women with more money and earning potential than me will look down on me, even when I do get a job – high school teachers don’t earn much! Please remember that as more and more women enter the workforce and are successful, the smaller the chances are that any financially successful woman I date will have the same egalitarian beliefs about gender that the women that post here have. If I was dating someone and found out she was more successful financially than I am, I would definitely feel some inadequacy and self-doubt mixed with overall positive feelings.

  25. PM
    PM November 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm |

    Oh, and I forgot to add that I live in west Houston – not exactly a progressive hotbed.

  26. Grafton
    Grafton November 30, 2010 at 10:06 pm |

    PM –

    Probably you, like me, will be protected from the shame of being a low-earner by the ‘noble calling’ aspect of your profession.

    Seems to me that guys who don’t make much but have either ‘noble calling’ jobs or traditionally very masculine ones (construction workers, mechanics, police) don’t get much crap from other guys, or from women, about being the lower-earner in a partnership. It’s guys who are in professions that are thought to be about money (business, law) that seem to find it important to make more than their wives/girlfriends or get sniggered at if they don’t.

    ‘Course, that’s not going to help you if you find that a lot of women consider low-earning potential a deal-breaker. I have known a lot of women who trained for low-earning jobs that they happen to just like, and considered themselves to have that freedom because they married high-earning men.

  27. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada November 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm |

    PM: Being intimidated by a potential dating partner’s success doesn’t necessarily make one a misogynist, or even anti-feminist. As a young man without a lot of money … it IS intimidating to date successful women for fear of being judged as inadequate.

    This is part of the problem we face on this society there is a fundamental denial of the experience of the “other”. When I read Georgiana reply I saw: She block the dialog and send and ultimatum right on. I will have started by questioning. Maybe the man is concerned about the reaction of the woman. There are many women that will drop a man like the plague if he don’t meet there financial expectations. And there are the ones that don’t at the beginning but do it later. We are not like that, and I love to believe that that tendency is dying. We are living in a transition society. People both men and women are stressed as they paradigms get shatter. That’s good, but we should not forget that.
    By the way, I was not there when Georgina talk with her partner. Maybe she did the questions. I am not trying to judge her, even if she did not. What I stated is just what I perceived from the text.

  28. David
    David November 30, 2010 at 11:16 pm |

    Marx once wrote that money is a measure of man’s own self alienation. Personally, I just think that his wife was making more money than him.

  29. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig November 30, 2010 at 11:22 pm |

    David:Hun, I hate to feed the trollz, but GO AWAY.

  30. Kyra
    Kyra November 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm |

    Well, I might leave the “snazzy company car” (or as is more likely, the rebuilt-salvage musclecar I plan on creating when time/money/expertese permits) home on the first date, but only because the “and he always drives” thing is likely to come into play all the harder with such a vehicle, and I haven’t quite gotten my rant perfected yet.

    Or I might leave the car at home because I’m taking the motorcycle . . . actually, that’ll probably produce an exponentially greater “he always drives” fit of entitled fury . . .

    . . . actually, I will not leave my vehicles at home and my keys will not leave my possession . . . that’s probably the easiest way to make the bad apples drop their camoflage and freak.

  31. latinist
    latinist December 1, 2010 at 12:28 am |

    Grafton:”Seems to me that guys who don’t make much but have either ‘noble calling’ jobs or traditionally very masculine ones (construction workers, mechanics, police) don’t get much crap from other guys, or from women, about being the lower-earner in a partnership.”

    [not even going to try a blockquote this time.]

    Well…. I think it depends on the circumstances. People might not automatically sneer at, e.g., a cop who doesn’t make a lot of money. But when that cop and his wife run into financial trouble, there’s going to be a lot of pressure for him to solve the problem, and not to see “It’s okay, my wife has an immensely high-paying job offer” as an acceptable solution.

  32. latinist
    latinist December 1, 2010 at 12:36 am |

    Also, something I was thinking before, that supports what people have been saying about intimidated guys not necessarily being misogynist:

    Look, everybody’s got issues, and our culture is sexist, and that’ll affect people. But the answer doesn’t have to be either “dump the guy as soon as he expresses any kind of unease about your financial success” or “sabotage your own career so as not to be threatening.” If a guy who’s really worthwhile seems threatened by your success, quite possibly the best answer is just to come out and say, “Hey, I understand you’re nervous about this, and I can try to put up with your nervousness for a while; but let’s be clear that the problem is your attitude, not my success, so you just work on getting over it, while I continue to make trillions of dollars as an NFL quarterback who writes bestselling novels in the off-season.”

  33. Djiril
    Djiril December 1, 2010 at 1:08 am |

    tall: This has nothing to do with this article or maybe it does. I’m posting it here so that maybe the author of this article and her reader could see discrimination at its finest. Jill the author of this article wrote one called Audrey Tautou, about a chicago trib story in which the writer met a lovely woman in a restaurant and was disappointed by the look she gave him when they stood up and found she was taller than he. Jill being a female in the fight for “equality” calls the writer a “twenty-something guy with a Napoleon complex and a boner for French chicks”. I’ve read stories just like this from a female point of view and all the comment said: aw you’ll meet someone or ya I hate when that happens ( I never date men shorter than me either ) The question I have is; how can you write for a site fighting for equality and be so prejudiced against others. As for the plight of successful women TRY LOOKING AT MEN WHO AREN’T RICH AND TALL.  

    Well, if you read the comments for that post, you will see discussion of that issue as well, and a few women who state that they like short men (or at least A short man).

  34. groggette
    groggette December 1, 2010 at 2:18 am |

    PM, you should come out to the Montrose. Not necessarily always a progressive hotbed, but definitely an oasis.
    -another Houstonite

  35. PM
    PM December 1, 2010 at 3:34 am |

    Thanks grogette! Funny thing, my friend has been talking about moving to Montrose next year and sharing a duplex with me.

  36. PM
    PM December 1, 2010 at 3:38 am |

    *groggette

  37. timothynakayama
    timothynakayama December 1, 2010 at 4:17 am |

    I always find it amusing that when it comes to this issue, it’s always the MEN who are afraid of a woman’s success. As if all the rich powerful Women are willing to enter into relationships with men who are not as financially well-off as them. As if a all the white collar women making big bucks are 100% agreeable with having a relationship with a blue-collar job guy, or any guy who makes less than her…it’s Definitely Always the Guy’s fault…you know, he lacks confidence, self-esteem, misogynist, can’t stand to see women making more than him, etc etc.

    And Sure, there are PLENTY of men who prefer to be the bread-winner in the family, however, outdated that notion may seem to other not-so-similarly minded folk.

    But, is it just possible that there just might be a few women out there who DON’T want to have a relationship with a man who makes less than they do, who doesn’t want to go out with a man that’s less educated, less intelligent?

    The way these articles are written, it’s always women who are perfectly FINE having a man who makes less then they do, who are less educated, less intelligent…and it’s the men who don’t have the emotional maturity to handle this.

    But something tells me that in the real world out there, there’s also plenty of women who WANT to have a man who makes more than them, more educated than they are, or more intelligent. At the VERY LEAST, equal. Equal, but never less.

    I WISH we here in Asia had the chance of actually enjoying a relationship where the woman makes more money. But, if that relationship were to happen, I’d have to endure a lot of criticism “why aren’t you doing SOMETHING with your life?” “why aren’t you taking care of her” “Why is she the one buying dinner?” It’s not the woman and man who gets involved, but both sides of the family, their relatives, friends and colleagues.

    This is one reason why a lot of Asian businessmen killed themselves during the Asian Financial Crisis way back in 97. Almost all of them were married, with kids, very few single ones. If you can’t provide for your family, not only do YOU get shamed, but your immediate family members as well, including your parents, their relatives, etc.

  38. Grafton
    Grafton December 1, 2010 at 5:15 am |

    timothynakayama –

    I think men being afraid of women’s success AND women only wanting men who have more (special ingredient X) than she has is just a symptom.

    I think it’s the entire culture, which includes all the men and women in it, defining a man’s success as being dependent on him being primary provider (and decision-maker) in family life. That silliness is responsible for a lot of men and a lot of women thinking that a man is not a successful man if he doesn’t fill that role. Nobody wants to be a failure, or marry one.

    In a lot of ways, we’ve redefined what success means for women. We need to redefine what success means for men, so that people don’t get shamed for not being the primary breadwinner in their household, or for dropping out of the workforce to do childcare work at home, or whatever else they want to do.

    I don’t make much money and most of my life I’ve worked only part time, but I cook really well. It’s messed up that this is wrong in a husband but perfectly desirable in a wife, but I can’t really blame women for not wanting to listen to, eh. The kind of crap that certain people say about my ‘deadbeat’ behind.

  39. timothynakayama
    timothynakayama December 1, 2010 at 6:47 am |

    grafton -

    Yes. I’ll agree with you there. I myself love to cook, and i used to be a professional chef, so I usually do most of the cooking. I’ve never thought it was strange…usually the person who does most of the cooking tends to be the one who likes it and is good at it. But, yeah, like you said, a lot of people will look down on men and women for not doing their “traditional roles”.

    I come from an Asian society where, frankly speaking, everything is very rigid: Men must be like this, women must be like this. I’m still trying to change the mentality out there that it’s okay for the woman to occasionally spend money on dates. Even THAT seems like a never-ending battle…what more the woman in a relationship earning more than the man.

  40. Florence
    Florence December 1, 2010 at 8:26 am |

    I’m in a marriage where I’m married to a feminist artist who makes about a third what I do, and I’m the high-earning woman with a corporate job who, yes, always drives (hey, my car is better). On the surface we assure others that it’s a do-able and fine thing — and for the most part it is — but when my husband gets in his darker moods he feels like some loser who has hitched his wagon to a champion show horse.

    We have a lot of conversations en-blogue about how female feminists politically feel one way but privately wrestle with opposite feelings (beauty culture/body acceptance being primary), so it shouldn’t be any surprise, considering the social construction of manhood dictates he is the decision-maker, primary provider and protector, when he falters when he realizes he does not occupy these roles in his relationship. It’s different than the anxiety-producing original article fluff, but it’s still very present for those of us attempting to move forward in spite of the patriarchal forces that shape us.

  41. norbizness
    norbizness December 1, 2010 at 9:22 am |

    Houstonite? Like the brunch dish at Le Peep, we’re Houstonians. And by we, I mean you, unless you’re a Bellairite, Meyerlander, or Jacinto City-Dweller.

  42. timothynakayama
    timothynakayama December 1, 2010 at 10:42 am |

    Wow, Florence’s second paragraph really gets it! It’s a whiff of fresh air compared to all the “men who can’t handle success in a woman are people you don’t want to date”….kudos. Worded so beautifully there. Shows that there’s more going on than insecurity.

  43. Kaz
    Kaz December 1, 2010 at 10:47 am |

    groggette: The article writer also seems to forget that not all women (successful or not) consider being single a “plight”.

    And, for that matter, that not all women are straight.

  44. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin December 1, 2010 at 11:22 am |

    I’m not intimidated by women who make more than me. Due to the circumstances that go along with being disabled and having to make do on “income” that puts me right at the poverty line, women I have dated before either are comfortable being the primary breadwinner, or are not.

    However, let me say that a couple former girlfriends couldn’t handle this situation. They were used to living at a higher standard of living and when I couldn’t augment it, they said their goodbyes. But that seems to cut both ways, gender wise. Some men and some women still measure success by the bottom line of a bank balance. Social climbing and increasing consumerism are not the exclusive domain of men or women.

    I feel guilty, though, honestly, when I can’t pull the same financial weight as my partner. I know it’s not justified, but somehow my pride gets hurt. Along with this irrational fear is the thought that some will see me as some kind of glorified gigolo who perceives of his partner as a meal ticket. Again, it shouldn’t matter what other people think. We have a strong, solid relationship based on love and mutual respect, but it is a very unconventional one on all sorts of levels. She knew that going in, and to her credit, she has not run away screaming.

  45. groggette
    groggette December 1, 2010 at 11:29 am |

    Definitely right Kaz. Jill already hit on that though so that’s why I didn’t mention it.

    My apologies norbizness, you’re totally right! I blame it on being a Houstonian for a shorter amount of time than I was a Austinite and San Antonian and not getting the proper parlance down yet. And I’m an East Ender so I really have no excuse.
    Regardless, Montrose is still the shit!

  46. sabine atwell
    sabine atwell December 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm |

    A.Y. Siu: I fully agree with this line of reasoning (why would you want to be with someone you don’t want to be with?), but I do think it’s very difficult to find a het man who isn’t threatened by his wife’s success if she is more successful than he is financially. You brought up Miranda—well, Steve was actually threatened by her success at first and wouldn’t let her buy him a suit or pay for dinner, even though she was a high-rolling lawyer and he was a bartender.Again, not impossible, but definitely difficult.  (Quote this comment?)

  47. Brian
    Brian December 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm |

    Timothy – I think the ignoring/glossing over what might go on on the woman’s end is mostly a function of who the target audience is for this piece.

    I think this piece is actually quite good in avoiding overvillifying men who have problems engaging with women who’re more successful than them in traditionally masculine ways (or otherwise better fit the traditionally masculine end of the relationship, e.g. taller, older, whatnot). There’s a big conceptual difference between casting it as “He has a problem with you being successful/your own person/whatever” and “He feels inadequate in the comparison” or “He’s been given cultural instructions that leave him confused.” And the discussion seems pretty firmly on the “People can’t realistically be expected to be free of cultural training, it’s how they engage it that we ought to judge them by.”

    Of course, I may be defensive; I certainly have a hard time approaching smarter/more successful/older/(if taller existed in appreciable quantities, I’m sure it’d be here)/etc, because it’s much harder to feel like a worthwhile partner when there’re no narratives for it.

  48. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm |

    OK, a few things:

    First, I’m sure there are men out there who have hangups about women who earn more than them, as evidenced on this thread.* However, pissy posts about TEH EVUL FEMINIST WIMMINFOLK WHO REJECT SHORT D00DS WITH LESS MONEY aside, the general trend is going in the opposite direction–more women are partnering up with men who make less than them.

    Also, maybe we should remember that men like Bill Gates (or even your average lawyer or vice president) aren’t tripping over themselves to date or marry cleaning ladies or Wal-Mart cashiers before we sniff that too many professional women think they are too good for blue-collar men. Prince charming choosing a peasant girl is a popular fairy tale theme, but it’s not reality. My town is pretty blue collar, and the city next door is downright poor–trust me, there aren’t hordes of lawyers or doctors or executives trying to find love among the women there (and in my specific town, it’s only if you have the racial/class markers).

    While we’re at it, let’s not get wound up over a manufactured ZOMG WOMEN WILL DIE ALONE dating trend panic piece and then screech about how unfair these Sex and the City meanie-butts are to men. Remember the “statistic” that women were more likely to be killed in a terrorist attack than get married after 40? Yeah, that was fake too. I mean, I’m all for Jill taking the piss, but it’s not as if actual statistics bear the author of the original piece out.

    Laura C–I have friends like that of both sexes–they complain they can’t find anyone they want to date, but anyone they meet just isn’t good enough for them. I suppose it could be sexism or classism at play, but really–I think some people just have their heads up their asses.

    *I freely cop to having those myself–I tend to feel very insecure in a relationship with a man who’s got a much higher income/status than I do.

  49. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    Comrade Kevin–please don’t feel insecure. I know, easier said than done. But it can be hard to find someone you really click with AND be able to build a relationship based on love, caring, and mutual respect. It’s no credit to her that she stays–heck, like most sensible people, she’s selfish and wants the good stuff–a happy, loving relationship where she’s respected. ;)

  50. Lance
    Lance December 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm |

    I think the people turning around and walking away when you find out you’re a lawyer has more to do with the stigma against lawyers than anything else. Especially in NYC. In related news, I’ve taken to saying I’m a “restructuring attorney” because apparently there’s something incredibly unsexy about the word bankruptcy.

  51. RenKiss
    RenKiss December 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm |

    The ultimate gist of the article for me was this: “Yeah there are men out there who aren’t intimidated by successful women. But you still need to downplay your success.”
    Which to me is a little disheartening, because it basically means that there hasn’t been enough progress made where a lot of men don’t have to feel inadequate and women shouldn’t have to downplay their financial success in order not to come off as intimidating.

  52. chefchick48
    chefchick48 December 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm |

    First enjoy your posts in KOS and your blog and yes the lawyer thing is scary LOL
    Now I have always, since college age, wondered when men started that meme about bloodlines ergo last name should be of the man. And we follow the “bloodline” to determine royalty and other matters. When did I as a potential human being share my fathers blood? Only thing I share with him was a broken chromozone. Do you notice when they show the chromozone pictures they show two XX for female and what “they” say is an XY chromosone. I see two XX and one X and a broken X. Really look at the science book pics. That is not a Y with a yoke, it is an X with one arm broked off. So the also got the Adams rib story wrong. They got it right that Adam was missing something and of course he did not lose it someone else had to take it but it still tells me take the XX chromosone of a male is missing something. And I think the evidence of time out. This is from a male gendered human that combines evolution and creatism but understanding that adam and eve were at the start an amoeba, a single cell living thing that divided (adam’s rib story) to become adam and Eve and begat, begat, begat,begat……IMHO LOL.
    and how many of the old religions were matriarcal? Like Judism, where you follow the bloodlind to see if you are of the tribes, bloodline of the mother. You know the blood you share with her for the building block time inside her body, being protected by her, nourished by her, sung to by her, at probaly the most peaceful time of our short time.

  53. KB
    KB December 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |

    My husband was laid off several years ago, went back to school, and now makes much less than I do, but has a more flexible schedule. Neither of us are bothered by my income being higher than his. In fact his schedule lets him do a lot of the errands and house work that used to tie up our weekends. The problem is that neither of our families–including my mother–can accept it. I wonder how many men maintain the caveman attitude out of fear that their families will reject them?

  54. David
    David December 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm |

    chefchick48:
    First enjoy your posts in KOS and your blog and yes the lawyer thing is scary LOL
    Now I have always, since college age, wondered when men started that meme about bloodlines ergo last name should be of the man. And we follow the “bloodline” to determine royalty and other matters.When did I as a potential human being share my fathers blood?Only thing I share with him was a broken chromozone.Do you notice when they show the chromozone pictures they show two XX for female and what “they” say is an XY chromosone.I see two XX and one X and a broken X.Really look at the science book pics. That is not a Y with a yoke, it is an X with one arm broked off.So the also got the Adams rib story wrong.They got it right that Adam was missing something and of course he did not lose it someone else had to take it but it still tells me take the XX chromosone of a male is missing something.And I think the evidence of timeout.This is from a male gendered human that combines evolution and creatism but understanding that adam and eve were at the start an amoeba, a single cell living thing that divided (adam’s rib story) to become adam and Eve and begat, begat, begat,begat……IMHO LOL.
    and how many of the old religions were matriarcal? Like Judism, where you follow the bloodlind to see if you are of the tribes, bloodline of the mother.You know the blood you share with her for the building block time inside her body, being protected by her, nourished by her, sung to by her, at probaly the most peaceful time of our short time.  

    Actually, if you are a FAB I would like to point out that in fact you do not share a “broken chromosome” with your father (if that was the point you were trying to make) because you have two x chromosomes. You got his x.

    On a completely unrelated topic I think that it isn’t unnatural for a man to feel inadequate for not making as much as his wife (or to generalize, people might feel inadequate for making less than their spouse under certain circumstances.) I think it becomes a problem when the man decides to make it a problem, i.e., make a big deal out of how he makes less.

  55. Grafton
    Grafton December 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm |

    Probably a lot of them.

    It didn’t occur to me on my own that I ought to be embarrassed about it, but I became kinda depressed over my MiL’s constant chumping on me for not working enough or making enough money. And even more depressed when I began to feel like that talk was negatively influencing how much respect I got at home.

  56. Today’s Lady News: NY Times Asks If Female Empowerment Is Killing Romance | emerysugahara

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  57. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm |

    KB: I wonder how many men maintain the caveman attitude out of fear that their families will reject them?

    I think its pretty pervasive in our society generally. I have a male friend who basically scares all women away on the first date by “casually*” explaining that he’d would like to be at least a part time stay at home dad if he ever has kids. I would think it creepy if I just met him, but over the last five years he’s had two engagements broken over this specific issue. (As explained by the prospective brides who I became friendly with during their relationships.) It was unacceptable that their lawyer husband would even consider downshifting into part-time when they had children.

    My MIL is the same way, she hates that I make more than my SO and she constantly harangues him about it.

    But another problem I see is how blasted hard it is to be a successful woman, when every mistake, every decision is judged on a different scale. I mean when I was still trying to do the Big Law thing, I worked 12 to 14 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week. I canceled vacations, missed birthdays, missed holidays. I was hardly home and when I was home I sucked as a partner (falling asleep while your SO is telling you about his day = not supportive). For all my SO says about that time not being so bad, I know that working that hard made me a person that no one would want to have a relationship with.

    *I’ve tried explaining that mentioning kids on a first date cannot be done casually, but he calls it defensive dating.

  58. Grafton
    Grafton December 1, 2010 at 11:58 pm |

    Kristen J.:
    My MIL is the same way, she hates that I make more than my SO and she constantly harangues him about it.

    If it’s his mom, I guess there’s not much you can do about it, but if it’s yours you might have a word with her about STFU.

    I assure you that it’s totally not cool to tell him that, “well, it’s true,” and that actually his low-earning power and the disability that led to it is an advantage from your point of view because his being financially dependent on you means he can’t afford to leave and makes you feel secure.

    The shit we put up with for love.

  59. Today’s Lady News: NY Times Asks If Female Empowerment Is Killing Romance | noracrandalle

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  60. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 2, 2010 at 12:32 am |

    Grafton,

    That’s terrible. I’m sorry your MIL is such a horror and your partner isn’t coping well. Unfortunately telling my SO’s mother to shut the hell up is outside my jurisdiction, but when it happens and I’m in the room I do interrupt, repeatedly and pointedly…which is rude, but keeps me from losing my temper.

  61. Grafton
    Grafton December 2, 2010 at 12:56 am |

    It’s okay. More or less. Had the fight, reached the resolution. Still sucks to remember, is all.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a lot of men prefer low-earning women simply because of this ‘advantage’ that my partner appreciated and that I was so very hurt to learn of. The ‘successful women are intimidating’ doesn’t necessarily have to be all about ego and pride and cultural expectations. I’m sure it’s not just physical vulnerability that causes women, children, elderly people and disabled people to be more frequent victims of abuse, it’s the lack of resources to be independent.

    Thinking about that makes the normalized situation and the cultural okay-ness of being uncomfortable with hetero pairings where the woman earns more seem quite sinister.

  62. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 2, 2010 at 4:34 am |

    *I’ve tried explaining that mentioning kids on a first date cannot be done casually, but he calls it defensive dating.

    I kind of do that myself. Not as in a big announcement, but I make it very clear that I am not interested in having kids, because a lot of people do want children. Despite this, some men have continued to date me when, as it turned out, they did want kids (they figured I’d change my mind or that I would “relent” when faced with ending a relationship. Um, no not so much.)

    I don’t know if he’s done the online dating thing, but I welcome that kind of stuff–it’s good to know what someone’s values, hopes, and expectations are. If you’re only looking for something casual, or you don’t believe in getting married, or you want kids, or you would ideally like to be a stay-at-home parent (or a working for money parent), etc., it’s good to get these things out in the open ASAP so that you can find people whose goals and values are aligned with yours. Too often people don’t look at these things, and either waste their time with others who are incompatible or get into heavily committed relationships with them where one or both are trying to tie themselves into knots to make the other happy and resenting the hell out of them for it.

    I’ve been in situations where the men I was dating thought I’d change my mind or thought they could change me. Obviously, the relationships didn’t last and they ended up being pretty toxic. Something about being with someone who tries to passively and not-so-passively try to make you change is joy-killing.

  63. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 2, 2010 at 4:38 am |

    Oh, and Grafton, did your SO tell her MIL to cut it out? If my parents pulled that crap, I’d very curtly tell them that I was happy, that is what mattered most, and that my partner’s income was none of their business. (They’ve never done that, thankfully.)

    Honestly. I am just boggled by the entitlement some people feel in very vocally passing judgement on other people’s private lives and private choices.

  64. Grafton
    Grafton December 2, 2010 at 5:11 am |

    It seems very reasonable to me for a person to state those kinds of goals early in a dating relationship, especially if the very point of the dating is to create a long term pair-bond thing.

    Ugh, Sheelzebub. People who like the you they think they can make you be if they push and wheedle long enough suck so very, very much.

    Re: my MiL. Yes. Not to all that much effect. I think it’s just moved on to some other aspect of myself. The important bit was SO figuring out that MiL’s relentless criticism of me (and everybody else besides SO and herself, really) is the behavior of an abuser (emotional, in this case) trying to isolate her victim.

  65. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 2, 2010 at 6:11 am |

    Sheelzebub: I kind of do that myself. Not as in a big announcement, but I make it very clear that I am not interested in having kids, because a lot of people do want children. Despite this, some men have continued to date me when, as it turned out, they did want kids (they figured I’d change my mind or that I would “relent” when faced with ending a relationship. Um, no not so much.)

    Online dating was how he met fiancee #2. Alas, she didn’t think he was serious…I mean who would give up that opportunity…he might not make *partner* o_O

  66. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 2, 2010 at 8:45 am |

    Wow. That’s just willful alien laser-beam obtuseness on her part, Kristen.

  67. Brianne
    Brianne December 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm |

    Hello,

    My name is Brianne and I am a concerned female writing about the perception of women in todays media. Earlier this week, Tuesday to be specific, I was watching the popular Bravo show Millionaire Matchmaker and could not believe all of the negative comments that I heard regarding a millionaire participant by the name of Leah. She was a very beautiful woman and was very open in admitting her past, her interests, and giving some insight into her personality.
    The first issue that concerned me is there reference to female millionaires as “millionairess”. Why can’t she just be referred to as a millionaire? My own personal example: “Oh, she’s not a CEO. She’s a CEOess.” I mean come on! This is America and we are in the twenty-first century here. Why make clear distinctions on gender when both individuals achieved the title through hard work?!
    My second concern was Stangers’ evaluation of Leah as an individual. She proceeds to say that despite her good looks, Leahs’ vocabulary and speech is a turn-off to men because she comes off too ‘masculine’. I was in disbelief when Stanger made this conclusion. So a man who does not use profanity or disclose his interest in sex is too ‘feminine’. I THINK THE WORD SHE WAS LOOKING FOR IS DISCREET.

    She basically said that women who are aware of what they are looking for, independent, and completely honest have no chances of finding a man. That in order for an assertive woman to find a man she has to censor herself. Other comments like never allowing Leah to plan a date, and finding it unacceptable that she poured the man a beer while on the date were various others. That Stanger was ‘mortified’ about.

    Lastly, is this the kind of message a popular show should be sending out to America?! That its okay for women to hide how they truly are to find a man?! That a women who is too aggressive has no chances of finding love!? That being a minority in regards to tough personalities due to experiences isn’t what a ‘lady should be’. I THINK NOT.

    This is an issue I am willing to publicly speak about and bring light to. As a woman, I AM OFFENDED.

  68. shah8
    shah8 December 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm |

    Oh, I feel some of y’all’s pain, on a very slight level. Don’t get the “change the person” game, but do get the “bruised fruit” game which doesn’t sound all that dissimilar. People who are trying to bargain for more control than they otherwise might get if they acknowledge equality.

    Instead of telling them I’m a lawyer, I just geek out niiiiiice and thoroughly. I blabber about books like

    http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Thief-Hannu-Rajaniemi/dp/0765329492

    and post excerpts from mangas like

    http://www.mangareader.net/613/switch-girl.html

    or

    http://www.mangareader.net/1292/teppu.html

    It’s hard for me to find a suitable mate. I like to stay home and read. Perfect girl is prolly also staying home and reading.

  69. Diana
    Diana December 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm |

    I have a theory:
    These articles claiming women “can’t find a man at age x” are sampling women who choose dating pools/social connections the size of a mud puddle. I break/have broken most of the above rules (although in recent years, after being partnered, I’m not quite so traditionally financially successful) and my problems in finding a mate were most of the “most revise my screening techniques” variety. If I didn’t like what I was finding, I expanded my social groups and activities based on interests besides dating I already had. It seemed to work.

    This is of course, anecdotal and my experience in no way relates to the experience of another being on Earth, Mars, or Sirius 7.

  70. Dominique
    Dominique December 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm |

    @Grafton: it is absolutely true that we have failed not only as a culture, but as the human race, if rearing offspring is not a mark of success. That’s the whole point of being a life form. Even for amoeba. However, we as humans appear to have “cheated” quite a lot in ensuring our reproductive success and we are nowhere near extinction. We may have needed culling far more than any deer or raccoon population, but our ethical system is preventing this (we rush to cure diseases and injuries with medicine, we feed the poor during famines, etc.) This is part of why producing surviving offspring is no longer valued in our particular culture. It’s about as distorted as not valuing the capacity to be fat. We’ve just become very twisted over the past few eons.

  71. Jadey
    Jadey December 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm |

    Dominique: @Grafton: it is absolutely true that we have failed not only as a culture, but as the human race, if rearing offspring is not a mark of success. That’s the whole point of being a life form. Even for amoeba. However, we as humans appear to have “cheated” quite a lot in ensuring our reproductive success and we are nowhere near extinction. We may have needed culling far more than any deer or raccoon population, but our ethical system is preventing this (we rush to cure diseases and injuries with medicine, we feed the poor during famines, etc.) This is part of why producing surviving offspring is no longer valued in our particular culture. It’s about as distorted as not valuing the capacity to be fat. We’ve just become very twisted over the past few eons.  

    Well, this is a misrepresentation of evolutionary theory if I ever saw one (and, oh, have I). There is no destined path or straying from the one true way of evolution and species development.

  72. Grafton
    Grafton December 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm |

    Hrm. I did not mean to propose that offspring ought to be a mark of success (though it happens that they are). Devoting your time to things you want to devote your time to is the mark of success I wish to see promoted.

  73. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm |

    Shah8: What are your views on Heinlein, Miyazaki, and Satoshi Kon, and are you younger then 40? Personally, I like to stay home and read, and I rack up an embarrassing amount of library fines.

  74. groggette
    groggette December 3, 2010 at 12:03 am |

    Dominique: we have failed not only as a culture, but as the human race, if rearing offspring is not a mark of success. That’s the whole point of being a life form.

    Can we not start this shit please?

  75. exholt
    exholt December 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm |

    In all seriousness though, I don’t think the problem is money, but rather argumentative-ness. I mean, do guys turn away when you say you are a sales rep? You could be making tons of money, but you could be the sweetest thing ever. So, I think with saying you’re a lawyer or a CEO, they know that if they fuck up, you will know and call them out on it.

    Which is sad because wouldn’t you want someone who knows how to communicate? Athenia

    I’m not sure I’d consider argumentativeness and being critical about calling someone out on every mistake a manifestation of someone who “knows how to communicate”.

    Especially in the case of those who grew up in families where older relatives and/or parents engaged in unremitting criticism over even the most trifling of faults(i.e. The “Where did the other 5 points go” question parents of high school classmates angrily asked of their kids when their kids brought back an exam/paper with a 95/100 grade.).

    Someone who is a lawyer, CEO, or other occupation where the nature of the job is to evaluate and be extremely critical and/or argumentative may be considered more of the same unremitting criticism they received during their formative years or worse….someone who seems eager to find fault with everything they do. Not a good thing when in looking for an SO…most people IME desire to find someone with whom they could let down their guard, relax in the feelings of mutual acceptance of each other with the imperfections, and not feel like they’re being just as/more harshly evaluated than their employer, professors, teachers, peers, etc.

  76. jane doe
    jane doe December 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm |

    Nice. “Find your life partner in your 20s.” Oh OBVIOUSLY that is where I went wrong?

    Sheesh.

    On a less-snarky note, I recently found the person I’d like to be my life partner, and let me tell you I make a LOT more money than him. It seems that if I let him “be the boy,” by me never calling him on the phone, making him make our date-plans, letting him order for both of us, and letting him drive, he can then handle when I pay for a pizza or something.

    My tendency to buy cage-free eggs (more expensive) is totally mystifying to him.

  77. shah8
    shah8 December 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm |

    I enjoyed Starship Troopers, as a pure fiction. I find Heinlein far too incoherent to be regarded as anything but pulp. In terms of oldies, I’m more of a Stuergeon and Bester kind of dude. Miyazaki is God. Hey, I need to check out Mononoke Hime again, and oh! I haven’t seen that newest flick. I just haven’t been watching movies so stuff like that gets forgotten. I rank Oshii as something of a bigger favorite. His genre selection is wider and he does more with audio, in my impression. As far as Kon goes, I don’t really favor that sort of twisty plot movies because I find them all too common in Japanese media and clumsily used to evade having a real plot. That said, Paprika and Millennial Actress were enjoyable.

  78. Rose
    Rose December 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm |

    [quote]And go after men who draw their confidence from sources other than money, like academics and artists.[/quote]

    I’m generally more interested in academics and artists, but not for that reason. (Because I’m an academic and an artist – a composer, more specifically – and therefore fellow nerdy and artsy types would probably understand my passions more than, say, your average businessman would.)

  79. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 5, 2010 at 1:45 am |

    Shah8: Ponyo or Howl’s Moving Castle? I liked Ponyo, but it wasn’t as deep as most of Miyazaki’s movies. I like Bester, but I only own one Sturgeon book. And yes, Paprika rocks!

  80. littlem
    littlem December 7, 2010 at 12:47 am |

    Laura C: My (female) best friend watched the remake of Stepford Wives with a male friend who mocked the notion that the men in the movie would have been intimidated by and unhappy about having gorgeous, successful wives. He thought it was a crazy crazy notion, because who wouldn’t want that?My friend replied “that’s what you say now. But when I’ve introduced you to my attractive, smart, successful, single friends, here’s what I’ve heard from you: ’she’s so aggressive,’ ‘her job keeps her too busy,’ ‘we just don’t share a lot of interests.’ Somehow it’s always something.”

    I’d love ot know if he gave you any sort of response to that last other than the classic slightly open-mouthed, deer-in-headlights stare.

  81. Marle
    Marle December 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm |

    Oh I love Howl’s Moving Castle! Just had to add that. :-D

  82. Blackdude
    Blackdude December 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm |

    Wouldn’t I love to have a gorgeous and successful girlfriend. These women are looking for the wrong men.

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