Saturday, August 26, 2006

Mixed messages

I'm sure by this point in time everyone has read the Forbes article that advises men not to marry career women -- or at least the piece discussing it in Slate.

I am a little concerned. I mean, for my entire life, I've been pushed to do well in school so I could go to a good college, good graduate school, and eventually, get a good job -- in order to be successful. Now they're saying that if I wanted to have a successful relationship, maybe that wasn't the right route?

Not like my life isn't challenging enough as it is -- now I have to now worry that it'll be impossible for me to have a relationship because guys will be concerned that I will make more money than them, won't have enough time for them, cheat on them, and will resent our eventual, theoretical children.


mysterygirl! said...

I don't think you'd want to be with a guy who is intimidated by a successful woman, though, would you? From what I gathered (not from Forbes directly, I'll admit, but from other commentaries), the audience for that article (perhaps unintentionally!) seemed to be bland, insecure men of questionable intelligence. I'll let somebody else deal with them and keep working on my career! :) I think you're on the right track just the way you are.

Dara said...

MG, you're probably right. And it's not like I'm giving up my career for anyone (even myself). But -- not that I know anything about it -- I occasionally wonder if guys even know that they're the type to be intimidated until it's too late.

Mostly, though, I'm just thinking about the reprecussions of the message that this is likely to send to younger girls. It seems that they're essentially saying that it's okay to be smart and successful, as long as you're not too much so -- but you should be prepared to cast it aside for a relationship. And already there are those studies that show that girls are afraid to speak out in class, because they don't want to look "too smart" in front of guys. (This was never my problem.) This is a little scary to me.

I think they should take this pseudo-science and shove it.

Ryane said...

Damn!! I just tried to post a comment and the Internet thwarted me.

What I was going to say was, I suppose by this logic--I should quit my job, and sit at home waving a hankerchief, or even better, my Rapunzelesque hair out the window until some successful man comes along to marry me?

Whatever. These types of statistics are bullshit. What if I never find a man I want to marry--then what? Then will it suddenly be oK for me to be successful?

Whatever. I am proud of my accomplishments and if my partner can't support this and embrace it, why then--he won't be my partner for very long. haha.

Dara said...

Ryane, it's clearly too late for you, me, and Mysterygirl! LOL!

I always think that I'm not really a feminist, but then things like this bring it up to the surface. At the Counting Crows concert on Saturday, Adam Duritz made a comment about it being an election year -- and then said something to the effect that if you were a woman, and didn't register and vote, it was disrespectful to all the work of our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, who struggled for so long to get us the right. To me, being successful in my career is sort-of the same thing -- I've had opportunities that my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmothers didn't have, and it would be silly to give it all up just because some silly men have ego issues.

honeykbee said...

Couldn't agree more with Mysterygirl! Clearly that article was written for an audience of stodgy old men or close-minded young ones who need constant reassurance regarding their decision to marry a stripper (or would that, too, be considered a "career"?) or some other intellectually vacant vessel.

I wouldn't be a 13 year old girl again for all the tea in chinatown. Especially now, with these anorexic role models and derogatory/ destructive propaganda such as the aforementioned article.


Caroline said...

I mean, obviously there is a lot wrong with that article, but let's start at the beginning - their definition of 'career woman' is absurd. And the methodology is shoddy - correlation does not mean causation, which he interestingly points out at the end of the piece, but seemingly only about the relationship between marriage and health. But I have to admit that is an entirely self-defeating move, I had fun reading choice bits to Steve.

Dara said...

Caroline: He also neglects to point out that, regardless of career status, divorce rates are historically high. So, regardless of whether a woman has or maintains a career, everyone is more likely to get divorced.