Thursday, August 24, 2006

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life....

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty women your wife
Go for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

That's the Jimmy Soul song from the early 60's. I guess the idea was that the ugly woman would be so grateful to a man for rescuing her from spinster-hood that she would compensate for her ugliness in other ways. The aught-six version is somewhat different. According to Forbes, guys shouldn't marry career women; we are just nothing but trouble.

Michael Noer writes:
Guys: A word of advice. 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. Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage....Recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.

And, oh yeah, "your house will be dirtier".

Let me get this straight. This is news? It's hard to balance full-time employment, disproportionate child-raising duties, disproportionate house-keeping duties, and for good measure, the fact that we do all of that for less pay than our similarly-employed husbands bring home. Yeah, we knew that. But the solution offered here is really novel. Rather than saying, "guys, get off the bleedin' couch and dust something," he says, "don't bother marrying these girls." (That's not a quote from him; that's me being sarcastic.)

So, his interpretation of the data is that guys can't/won't/shouldn't have to step up to the plate. Wow. That's sexist. We'll see how many guys point that out. Girls, don't marry a lazy-butt man, who's threatened when you point out inequities in real-life social structures (for example, the marriage one happens to be in).

Noer doesn't specifically address the question of whom should guys marry. One assumes it's women who will stay home, clean, raise the children, never stray, and above all, never comment on inequity within marriage. Now, I have been a stay-at-home mom. We are not all -or even mostly- docile, boring, uneducated, and trivial women, thank you very much. Nonetheless, what a sad and truncated vision of masculinity Noer offers when he suggests that guys can't handle a woman who has a career.

Added later.... Forbes has pulled the article from its website. Now, this is interesting. It seems to me that the article and author deserve ridicule and counterpoint -but also support from the Forbes editors. Why publish it, if you aren't going to stand by it? Boing Boing has screen shots of the original article, if you want to see it.


Michael said...

Shakespeare's Sister notes that Forbes re-posted the story, with a counterpoint piece from the feminist side.

And while you're there, I recommend scrolling down to the News from Shakes Manor post for a hearty belly-laugh. Be sure to check the comments.

Andrea Rusin said...

Well now, that's interesting. The lost and found Forbes article :)

Anonymous said...

Fay Weldon, famous feminist, according to a recent review of her latest book, "warns high-flying women that they should expect to end up single, she also suggests that sexual pleasure may be incompatible with high-powered careers and that women should simply accept they are less capable of being happy than men."