>B*tch Betta Have My Babies (And Stay Home).

>I read an article yesterday on Forbes.com called “Don’t Marry Career Women,” that has since been snatched down because of the incredible outrage it sparked. (It has now been replaced by a point/counterpoint article by a man and a woman debating the actual article; huh?). The original article was written by a guy named Michael Noer (a journalist who, as it turns out, might have some misogynistic tendencies in general). He offered a series of reasons why men should steer clear of women who want a career in addition to marriage and family. By the way, here’s what the starter of the shitstorm, Mr. Noer, looks like:

Right. His article bugged me out on several levels, one of which being I recognized some arguable possibilities in what he was saying, but you can’t just wrap things up in a neat and tidy handful of paragraphs and send men off on their merry way thinking these recommendations are the be-all/end-all gospel.

Like I said, Forbes.com has since snatched the article down, but, thanks to a wonderful website called Live Journal that, with the help of its readers, managed to snag the article before it was gone, I have the entire original piece, which I’m going to post right here, right now (ahhhhh, the internet..don’t ya love it?).

Read this thing at your peril. It’s sure to set off some sort of debate—both for and against the points it tries to make. The original article had woeful photos (unkempt homes, crying wives, sad sack husbands) that accompanied each of the writer’s nine reasons to not marry a career girl but, naturally, they are not included here since only the original text was recovered, not the pics. Lucky you.

Don’t Marry Career Women
by Michael Noer
August 21, 2006

Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.

Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it. A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that women–even those with a “feminist” outlook–are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner.

Not a happy conclusion, especially given that many men, particularly successful men, are attracted to women with similar goals and aspirations. And why not? After all, your typical career girl is well-educated, ambitious, informed and engaged. All seemingly good things, right? Sure…at least until you get married. Then, to put it bluntly, the more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you. Sound familiar?

In Pictures: Nine Reasons To Steer Clear Of Career Women

Many factors contribute to a stable marriage, including the marital status of your spouse’s parents (folks with divorced parents are significantly more likely to get divorced themselves), age at first marriage, race, religious beliefs and socio-economic status. And, of course, many working women are indeed happily and fruitfully married–it’s just that they are less likely to be so than non-working women. And that, statistically speaking, is the rub.

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.

If a host of studies are to be believed, marrying these women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003). They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001). You will be more likely to fall ill ( American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier ( Institute for Social Research).

Why? Well, despite the fact that the link between work, women and divorce rates is complex and controversial, much of the reasoning is based on a lot of economic theory and a bit of common sense. In classic economics, a marriage is, at least in part, an exercise in labor specialization. Traditionally men have tended to do “market” or paid work outside the home and women have tended to do “non-market” or household work, including raising children. All of the work must get done by somebody, and this pairing, regardless of who is in the home and who is outside the home, accomplishes that goal. Nobel laureate Gary S. Becker argued that when the labor specialization in a marriage decreases–if, for example, both spouses have careers–the overall value of the marriage is lower for both partners because less of the total needed work is getting done, making life harder for both partners and divorce more likely. And, indeed, empirical studies have concluded just that.

In 2004, John H. Johnson examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and concluded that gender has a significant influence on the relationship between work hours and increases in the probability of divorce. Women’s work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men’s work hours often have no statistical effect. “I also find that the incidence in divorce is far higher in couples where both spouses are working than in couples where only one spouse is employed,” Johnson says. A few other studies, which have focused on employment (as opposed to working hours) have concluded that working outside the home actually increases marital stability, at least when the marriage is a happy one. But even in these studies, wives’ employment does correlate positively to divorce rates, when the marriage is of “low marital quality.”

The other reason a career can hurt a marriage will be obvious to anyone who has seen their mate run off with a co-worker: When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase they’ll meet someone they like more than you. “The work environment provides a host of potential partners,” researcher Adrian J. Blow reported in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, “and individuals frequently find themselves spending a great deal of time with these individuals.”

There’s more: According to a wide-ranging review of the published literature, highly educated people are more likely to have had extra-marital sex (those with graduate degrees are 1.75 more likely to have cheated than those with high school diplomas.) Additionally, individuals who earn more than $30,000 a year are more likely to cheat.

And if the cheating leads to divorce, you’re really in trouble. Divorce has been positively correlated with higher rates of alcoholism, clinical depression and suicide. Other studies have associated divorce with increased rates of cancer, stroke, and sexually-transmitted disease. Plus divorce is financially devastating. According to one recent study on “Marriage and Divorce’s Impact on Wealth,” published in The Journal of Sociology, divorced people see their overall net worth drop an average of 77%.

So why not just stay single? Because, academically speaking, a solid marriage has a host of benefits beyond just individual “happiness.” There are broader social and health implications as well. According to a 2004 paper entitled “What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage?” marriage is positively associated with “better outcomes for children under most circumstances,” higher earnings for adult men, and “being married and being in a satisfying marriage are positively associated with health and negatively associated with mortality.” In other words, a good marriage is associated with a higher income, a longer, healthier life and better-adjusted kids.

A word of caution, though: As with any social scientific study, it’s important not to confuse correlation with causation. In other words, just because married folks are healthier than single people, it doesn’t mean that marriage is causing the health gains. It could just be that healthier people are more likely to be married.

Ummm-hmmmm. I’ll leave this to you guys. I’m just gonna sit back in the cut and watch what happens.

Forbes.com: Careers and Marriage
Live Journal: Ah, Forbes.
Gawker.com: ‘Forbes’ Writer May Have A Few Issues With Institution Of Marriage

3 thoughts on “>B*tch Betta Have My Babies (And Stay Home).

  1. >I read biits and pieces. First his sources are flawed from the outside, but when he said a career woman was someon with an income of $30k I knew I was in for a ride. Shit I am interviewing nannies now for my infant grandson and they make anywhere from $35 to $40K a year depending on their skill set. I say this only to say if you have kids and you aren't contributing at least $75K plus then you may as well stay at home because it is cheaper. But I don't think these are the couples he is talking about.In brief it seems like he has taken the inadequacies or self-esteem issues of the male participants in these studies and blamed them on their wives. I know you shouldn't judge a book by his cover (did I mean his?) but after seeing his photo, somehow I knew his article wouldn't be shit.


  2. >They had it right in "The Best Man". It always works better when the man makes more loot. — Just kidding ya'll. Interestingly though, I heard a quote from an article on the radio the other morning that said as women make more money the rate of divorce goes up, about 1% for every $10K additional that she makes, because the man loses his significance to her. Meaning, women marry for security. If she has her own loot she doesn't need a man for security, her money provides that. All I can say to that is "Where is the Love" — see the Donnie Hathaway/Roberta Flack post for more soul stirring music. Allow me to digress, and comment on the article. I thought it was garbage. I didn't even finish going through all of his psycho-babble. I look at it like this. Lets make the loot to meet OUR goals, who makes the most doesn't matter. I will say, when I was younger I didn't feel like this, I felt I needed to make more money to sort of establish ( or prove) my ability to lead and care for the woman I wanted to marry. So, as a young man (early 20's) I was attracted to women who made more money than me, but there was an internal struggle because I always felt to be the man you needed to make the loot. Not to mention, I grew up in a household where my old man ran the streets and my mom made the loot and I saw how unhappy and tired my mom always was. So, I always desired to be "the man", if you will, in the relationship and that, to me, meant making the most loot. Now, after, being the sole provider for the last 9 years while my wife has taken care of the kids, I say show HER the money! Now that our youngest is getting to be school aged, we are making plans for what she will do and so we are putting things in place for her to manage a new business interest of ours. If she makes more money, and she probably will, then it's all good by me. Ultimately, if your relationship isn't bigger than the money you make, then you don't really have spit in the first place. To conclude on my comments of the article, I say, lets divide up the chores, whoever likes to cook, can, and we both need to be active in the lives of the kids. If I'm taking care of you and you are taking care of me, I'm not worrying about the cat on the job who thinks you are fine. Hell, he should, because I think you are fine too. In the end, if it can be managed, then go for the career, the kids, the success, the whole shabang.


  3. >Marry a career woman (sorry article, 30K does not a career make), stay home and raise kids? Where do I sign up?In fairness, Rich is correct. Women who make bank can afford to choose men who more satisfy their sexual urges. It worked out great for Terry McMillan, didn't it?It's all a crap shoot out there. Everyone seems fickle these days, or just spoiled rotten. My best friend's girlfriend, (who incidentally is a doctor) just found out she's pregnant and now they're getting married. He already complains to me in private how she drives him, makes him do this and that, actually writes out lists of things for him to do and schedules events for him. And you're getting married becaaaauuuse…. You should probably really love the person first, that's a good starting point I believe. Marriage and kids can come later.


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