Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Reasons To Steer Clear Of Career Women

Forbes recently published an article (they took that version down, the chickens. and then they re-posted it alongside a counterpoint) titled "Don't Marry Career Women." Perhaps it is overly optimistic of me, but I'm convinced that the tone is intentionally provocative and the article is consciously and humorously outrageous. In any case, I wondered whether bad news for one group might be good news for another. In the spirit of intentional provocation, I have annotated their list of reasons to "steer clean of career women" with my list of "reasons for women to have good careers."*

The Forbes list is numbered; my complementary observations are the unnumbered paragraphs following them.

Men's Title: Reasons To Steer Clear Of Career Women
Women's Title: Careers Give Women Advantages In Marriage

1. You are less likely to get married to her.

Women: You are less likely to get married to someone you don't want to marry. And when you are unmarried, it's increasingly socially acceptable.

2. If you do marry, you are more likely to get divorced.

Women: If you conclude that your marriage was a mistake, you are more likely to have the confidence and financial wherewithal to end it.

3. She is more likely to cheat on you.

Women: You're more likely to have all kinds of opportunities men have historically had, including the opportunity to cat around. Goose, gander. Still, probably not a good idea.

4. You are much less likely to have kids.

Women: Your self-esteem will depend less on having children. You are free to choose to have them or not.

5. If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy.

Women: You're going to have high expectations about your guy contributing to child-care.

6. Your house will be dirtier.

Women: Your self-esteem will depend less on having a clean house.

7. You'll be unhappy if she makes more than you.

Women: Pick your guy carefully; if he has self-esteem problems he's going to have trouble with your success. Also, see #2 about divorce, above.

8. She will be unhappy if she makes more than you.

Women: You will have the chance to make decisions and have responsibilities in line with your abilities as an individual rather than with your expected role as a woman. This will cause some friction in various areas of your life. Again, pick your guy carefully: if he has trouble with your success, it will probably make you unhappy. If he's a leech, that will probably make you unhappy too.

9. You are more likely to fall ill.

Women: You will be less likely to be making your husband's medical appointments, checking that he takes his medicine, and monitoring him carefully for every boo boo. He's going to have to take care of himself more than men have historically. You might want to teach him how to do that.

To conclude, a note to women who are not seeking the advantages listed above: If you are a career woman and really want kids and like to let a guy feel like he's in the driver's seat, you're a rare commodity, June "Condi Rice" Cleaver. From the tone of the Forbes' article, it seems that you will be a highly sought prize. Still, keep in touch with your girlfriends; you never know when your priorities will change.

* According to Forbes' definition, a career woman "has a university-level (or higher) education, works more than 35 hours a week outside the home and makes more than $30,000 a year." Also, in some cases, they're defining her as white.

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