The internet (or at least a section of it in which I occasionally dwell) is all abuzz with response to Forbes’ little ode to neanderthal dumbistry, Don’t Marry Career Women. (Note that they had to QUICK! find a woman to respond). The fact that women (as men) who don’t want fancy careers are welcome not to have them is not why this is insulting.

To be clear, we’re not talking about a high-school dropout minding a cash register. For our purposes, a “career girl” 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.

This guy isn’t against women working, just against intelligent women doing work that is meaningful and/or respected enough in our culture to be compensated above minimum wage.

(Don’t forget to check out the companion piece, How to Marry a Rich Man,”, which endearingly opens with, “Apparently the entire feminist movement was some sort of hoax.”)

The funny thing is, this guy’s attitude is kinda like that which started second wave feminism off in the first place. I hope one of his cranky readers sends him a copy of The Feminine Mystique so that he can learn all about “the problem that has no name.” Let’s not even get started on households in which the family actually needs two incomes.

Feminist dynamo Hanne Blank’s response pretty much covers it, I think:

Autonomous people who can support themselves economically have little compelling reason to stay in otherwise unrewarding relationships. If they do remain in those relationships, they have little compelling reason to remain monogamous if they do not wish to do so — because they can afford, quite literally, to take the risk of having a relationship end.

This has always been true. The only reason any of this is even remotely newsworthy is that feminism has generated a few strides toward genuine equality and now women increasingly have the opportunity to consider relationships and marriage in more or less the same dynamic as men have historically taken for granted.

If you want more, check out media activist Jennifer Pozner’s response or Gawker’s cranky little remix of the article’s slideshow.

EDIT: Looks like the original slideshow is down. Gawker’s original post has one screencap. It’s kind of funny, pity it’s not online anymore.

EDIT NUMBER TWO: Oh, schweet, the guy who wrote the first piece also has one that starts off, “Wife or whore? The choice is that simple.” Here’s the excerpt from Gawker, since it looks like Forbes took the article down:

Wives, in truth, are superior to whores in the economist’s sense of being a good whose consumption increases as income rises–like fine wine. This may explain why prostitution is less common in wealthier countries. But the implication remains that wives and whores are–if not exactly like Coke and Pepsi–something akin to champagne and beer. The same sort of thing.

I wonder what, excactly, is this guy’s issue? He sounds like a very angry man.

Share This