Blaming the career-minded bitch

I found something today that gave me the shock of my feminist life. An article in Forbes that is headed “Don’t marry career women”. Forbes pulled it down, apparently, and put it back up with a counterpoint. (Link via Boing Boing)

Let’s see what Michael Noer has to say:

If a host of studies are to be believed, marrying these women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003).

Can you believe that?!

They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do (Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001).

How unreasonable! Your being unhappy will make her unhappy!

You will be more likely to fall ill (American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier (Institute for Social Research).

That wouldn’t, of course, have anything to do with the fact that you can’t pick up after yourself.

In classic economics, a marriage is, at least in part, an exercise in labor specialization. Traditionally men have tended to do “market” or paid work outside the home and women have tended to do “non-market” or household work, including raising children. All of the work must get done by somebody, and this pairing, regardless of who is in the home and who is outside the home, accomplishes that goal

So, in situations where the division of labour ceases to operate on gender terms, where the woman unreasonably decides she wants a share of the “market” work (what the heck is that, anyway?), let’s not marry.

I can’t believe how sexist this man Noer is. Married career women are unhappy. So Noer says:

Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.

Ah. So the problem is not in your marriage. (No studies on how many husbands of career woman do a fair share of the housework). The problem is not in the workplace. (No studies on how stressed women feel by the glass ceiling, or sexual harassment). The problem is not in a culture that keeps telling married career women that they have to compromise on either career or family, and that if they have a fantastic career, they should feel guilty about having neglected their ‘natural’ role as homemakers. (No studies on how pervasive that guilt is).

The problem is with the woman who wants a career and a marriage. She wants too much. Bitch.

Update: Feministe has a beautiful riposte. Link via Within/Without. Also check out what Indian Writing and Falstaff have to say. And just in case you think Mr. Noer is an exception, take a look at Rediff‘s Message Board on this.


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