More on the Forbes article arguing that women with careers (as opposed to men with careers) are bad for marriage: In the comments thread of my last post, Twilight Troll says (in part):
I find the defensive, yet emotional responses quite interesting. In Noer's defense, he's just reciprocating facts reported by several studies.
By referring to "emotional responses," Twilight Troll is of course using a time-honored means of dismissing women's concerns. Of course, this time-honored method is a logical fallacy. A person's emotionalism does not invalidate her point. You know, there is such a thing as righteous indignation.
And Noer was not simply reiterating facts. "Don't marry a career woman" is not a fact. The assumption that women should bear primary responsibility for protecting their husbands from dirt and germs is not a fact. Nor is the assumption that it is okay for men, but not for women, to have the opportunity to cheat. And these are just a couple of examples from the article.
But my real point in bringing up Twilight Troll's comment is its irony. Because the real emotionalism is to be found in Noer's unthinking double standards. Zuzu hits the nail exactly on the head when she notes that Noer's conclusions are a product of fear and insecurity:
Noer’s Forbes article reeks of [fear]. All of his “advice” about marrying career women is at heart a manifestation of his fear, and the fear of men like him: that unless he keeps her in a cage, no woman will stay with him. My God, if she finds out there’s a world outside the house, there will be no keeping her at my side! If she has a job, she has contact with other men, and she might cuckold me. If she has money, she has the means to leave me. If she’s invested in her career, she might refuse to get tied down with children, and she’ll not only leave me, she’ll leave me without giving me ownership of her womb. If she works as many hours as I do, she might expect me to do my share around the house.
Now, there are several levels of fear represented here. First, there’s the insecurity that a woman with her own interests might grow tired of him. There’s the fear of losing privilege — after all, if a guy’s been raised to think that his wife should be his maid and his mommy, and she refuses to play along, that might mean he might have to consider picking up some of the slack instead of having things done for him. There’s the fear of her finding someone else — someone better. There’s the fear she might outearn him, or succeed where he has stalled out, and that’s not supposed to happen . . .
. . .
But Noer — and the editorial staff of Forbes — are well aware that even though Noer and his ilk are afraid, playing to their own fears won’t get them very far. They need to play on the fears of women as well — don’t get too into that career, gals, you’ll never find a husband — the right kind of husband — that way. And we all know that you’ll be miserable if you stay single, even if you claim to be happy. You need a husband and babies to be a complete woman. They’re joined in this effort by the likes of Caitlin Flanagan, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, David Brooks and whoever the hell it is at the New York Times and the Washington Post who keep assigning these kinds of articles to reporters — not to mention Newsweek and its infamous “You have a greater chance of being killed by a terrorist than finding a husband after 35″ article.
Read Zuzu's whole point. She ties a lot of threads together.
Also see Rebecca Traister's piece on the Forbes article. She quotes Gloria Steinem who finds the article so ridiculous that she is not even indignant:
“I’m deeply grateful to Forbes Magazine for saving many women the trouble of dealing with men who can’t tolerate equal partnerships, take care of their own health, clean up after themselves or have the sexual confidence to survive, other than a double standard of sexual behavior,” wrote Gloria Steinem in an e-mail. “Since a disproportionate number of such unconfident and boring guys apparently read Forbes, the magazine has performed a real service.”….