Saturday, August 12, 2006

Columnist Asks If Women Should Marry Down

The Upside of Marrying Down - Los Angeles Times
That sanitation worker sounds like a catch. Am I crazy?
Meghan Daum
August 12, 2006

>>Why suffer the hassles of Type A investment bankers and narcissistic executives when you could, for example, find a really nice plumber who could rub your feet and fix the toilet?<<

Probably because those women want a man who will make $$$ so that, even though their husbands will never be around, these women can hire someone to rub their feet and fix the toilet, AND they will get to wear a lot of expensive clothes and jewelry.

>>The bulk of these pronouncements took place when I was dating waiters and used-bookstore clerks. Granted, I didn't marry any of these men, but the truth, I insisted, was right there in the numbers.<<

You didn't marry any of those men, but you probably fornicated with them. The lesson men can learn here is that if they want to fornicate without the commitment, they need not have an upwardly mobile career.

>>U.S. census data project that in the 2005-06 academic year, women will have earned 59% of the bachelor's degrees and 60% of the master's degrees.<<

That's because the men are out there WORKING FULL TIME to support women and children, and some of them don't have the luxury of going to school full time.

>>Of course, we're always being told we're too picky.<<

If all you care about is having a wedding ceremony and someone to donate sperm to your quest to have a kid, then yeah, you probably are too picky. However, if you want a man you can live with the rest of your life, be best friends with, and to be a good partner in raising children, then you should be VERY picky.

>>At first glance, I saw it as a confirmation of my old theory, a rallying call for single, educated women to give up their architect/CEO/chief-of-pediatric-surgery fantasies and widen their searches to include working-class men.<<

If you really want what of those "highest" acheiving men, go for it. But those men will usually marry smoking hot 20-somethings, and are always working. Don't even try to get one if all you're going to do once you marry one is nag him about cutting back on the very behaviors that got him where he is.

>>But then I called Linda R. Hirshman, a former law and philosophy professor and the author of "Get To Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World." Her 92-page book, which describes an epidemic of highly educated, privileged women dropping out of the workforce to raise children and then never regaining their professional footing, outlines a plan to counteract this syndrome, including "consider a reproductive strike." ("Have a baby," she writes, "just don't have two.")<<

Okay, but even if you have just one child, it is better for that child to have a mother instead of daycare, boarding school, summer camp, and a nanny.

>>I thought Hirshman might have something to say about the idea of "marrying down." What if the aspiring female CEO or any college-educated female married a plumber or a sanitation worker? Would his lower-stress job allow him to participate more equally in child care and housework? Is our class-consciousness keeping us from finding the supportive partners we deserve?<<

If a man is brining in all or almost all of the income, then the wife SHOULD be doing most of the household work.

>>Hirshman says no. Like that famous (now disproved) Newsweek statistic about how women over 35 are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to ever get married, Hirshman believes that the New York Times article was designed "to scare women into behaving themselves by not seriously pursuing careers."<<

Oh yes.. that conservative patriarchal New York Times.

>>Hirshman believes that the only way to rise professionally is to get on a career track and stay on it, something she thinks women are not encouraged to do.<<

They are encouraged to do it by just about everyone. However, there are people who recognize that if you want children, it is very difficult to rise quickly in the corporate world.

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