Hello you hard workin’ ladies!
About a month ago, TIME Magazine had an interesting cover story “The Richer Sex: Women are overtaking men as America’s breadwinners. Why that’s good for everyone.”
I have mixed feelings about this development. In some ways, it pisses me off. As with any progress, there are pros and cons. Plastic was invented and people rejoiced. Then landfills were overflowing. Diagnosing ailments got more refined. Fantastic! Then people were overmedicated, especially children. Neighborhoods that were once sketchy and dangerous have become gentrified and booming, and with that comes inflated housing prices.
So too does the climb of the female in the workplace have its issues. I am thrilled that women are making huge strides in their careers. Don’t get me wrong – I can only imagine what it was like to live in a “Mad Men” world where the title of Secretary was all you could hope for. I consider myself very lucky to be from this generation. I want to make that clear. I myself have climbed the corporate ladder and am proud of what I have accomplished. I am lucky to have been able to make my own decisions about my life and live by my rules.
Here’s my big question:
WHERE ARE THE MEN?
WHAT ARE THE MEN DOING THAT MAKES THE SCALE TIP?
In many instances, the idea that women CAN work is turning into the idea that women MUST work. In fact, women are sometimes becoming the dude, and I don’t think it’s that great. And, in my opinion, many guys are becoming wussies. Here’s what I mean – men now expect women to work – at least in my circles they do. I don’t know any woman who isn’t expected to have a career. In fact, there is a nasty thing happening – men are becoming lazy and some are becoming goldiggers. There, I said it. And it’s true. Goldiggers were also reserved for women, but the tides are turning, and not in a good way. I’m not talking about ALL men, but many are REALLY excited about the idea that the woman in their life will be bringing money into the relationship. What fun. Let me give you a look into my world:
DATES: I would go on dates and the guys would ask me all sorts of questions about what kind of car I drove, what kind of work I did, and even if I owned my place or not. It wasn’t to find out more about me, it was to find out how much they could get from me, and I think that’s kind of sad. I guess now I know how guys feel when they have money-grubbing women after their loot. I went on a ton of dates with guys who were more than happy to have me be the one making the most money in the relationship. Go Dutch? How friggin’ romantic. I had guys who were dying to let me be their sugar mama, and I’m not even THAT successful. What’s up with that? I found it downright depressing. This is progress?
FRIENDS: Out of my friends, I only have one that is a housewife. All of the others work and have kids. Why? Because they have to. Perhaps they want to work also and that’s wonderful. But what do you do when there is no longer a choice? It is a sad society that looks down on the woman who wants to be a stay-at-home mom. I have one friend who is married and has a child. She works. Her husband doesn’t. He got laid off two years ago. I happen to know that he could look harder for a job, but he is lazy. He would rather go and hang out at his kid’s Kindergarten or go play sports with his friends. Do you think my friend is happy that she is the major breadwinner? She’s not. And, my friends who work and have kids say that it is them, the women, who still get stuck doing the majority of handling the social schedule, getting the family organized, and running errands. No wonder women are so exhausted.
ATTITUDE: I have heard men joke that they just need to “find a rich woman.” This absolutely disgusts me. What happened to the stand-up guy who WANTED to make a good living and felt proud to be able to support a family? Will they become extinct? I feel like this new guy is a total opportunist – he wants to find a woman who will foot the bill and that, my friends, sucks. Rather than be ashamed that they don’t have a good job, these guys make it out that they should be congratulated that they are so modern in their attitude of being okay with the woman having the big job. Gee, thanks a lot. What a gift.
SLACKING OFF: The TIME article shows that in the majority of US metro areas, single, childless women in their 20s make more per dollar than their male peers. Maybe I’m a doggy downer, but this just tells me that men are slacking off. The article also says that “women today make up almost 60% of U.S. college students and earn the majority of doctorates and master’s degree.” If you do the math, this tells me “What the hell are the men doing?” Are they under-achieving and that’s why they are not going to college?
The article refers to another study that showed that “men are increasingly looking for partners who will pull their own weight economically in marriage..” – to which I say, “No shit Sherlock.”
Sure, we can and should celebrate women’s success in the workplace and in income earning, but who is going to talk about the possibility that men are not pulling their weight and reaching their maximum potential? I think this article needs a bit more information, like “How many women are HAPPY that they are the major breadwinner in the family?” and “Would you want your husband to make at least as much, If not more than you?” I think we would have some enlightening results. I for one, work. And if we have children, I will still have to work. That’s just the way it is and that’s fine. I wish I had a choice but I don’t.
I appreciate the writer Liza Mundy’s “Ra Ra Go Women!” attitude but let’s not be blind to the fact that perhaps women are doing so well because men are not doing well enough.
Here is the article: