Thursday, August 24, 2006

Career girls are dangerous

Hey guys! Quick, fill in the blank:

Don’t marry a ________ woman.
What was the first thing that popped into your head?

C’mon, be honest.

Fat? Ugly? Stupid? Crazy? Mean?
I’m guessing ‘career’ wasn’t even among your top five, right?

Why do you ask, Heather?

Because of Forbes.

Earlier this week the magazine published an editorial by Executive Editor Michael Noer titled “Don’t Marry Career Women” that has caused quite a stir.

Did you read it yet? If not, please do. Right now.
Gut reaction: This is just like when a fading B-list celebrity is “outraged” if a videotape of him shtupping some Pam Anderson clone is “accidentally” released to the public.

We’ve gotta ask: What’s the motive here?

Maybe readership is down at Forbes. Maybe this guy’s career hit a plateau and he’s looking to juice it up a bit. Maybe as a child, Noer didn’t get enough attention from his mother. Maybe.
Maybe he’s an authentic, died-in-the-wool, out-of-the-closet misogynist.

That would be the easy answer. Too easy.

Chicks who submitted comments to the reader discussion section of Forbes’ site came to that conclusion, too, demanding apologies and retractions and promising to cancel their subscriptions.

Hell hath no fury, blah blah. Whatever.

But we’re better than that, right?

Let’s take a step back and be the Thinky Folks that we are for just a minute and conclude: a) any marriage has inherent risk; b) generalizations – even the ones based on scientific studies – are rarely helpful or accurate; and c) this article reveals a lot more about the character of the writer than any alarming social trends.
Noer’s editorial was chock full of studies. I lost count around 15. And this is not a long article, mind you.

The fact is I could cite a host of other studies revealing that men are more likely to cheat on their spouses, they’re more likely to get/carry/trasmit sexually transmitted diseases, and are more prone to violence and other sociopathic behaviors.

See where this is going?

When it comes to studying social behaviors, I believe that the laws of quantum mechanics apply. Simply by observing a particular phenomenon we change its behavior.

And as human beings, we can’t help but see the things that reinforce our own core beliefs. Noer did it, misogynist that he is.

All of us do it.
Confession: I am secretly thrilled at the opportunity to use “misogynist” twice in one week.
From what I understand, Forbes actually took the article off its web site for a time yesterday.

The original link no longer works. It was replaced with a new link to Noer’s column with a female editor’s “counterpoint” editorial next to it.

Lame, lame, lame.

Doing things that are risky takes courage.

Whether you’re getting married or writing a silly column designed to generate lots of media attention, once you’ve decided to do it you’ve gotta have the courage to see it through.
Speaking of lame, the counterpoint column by Elizabeth Corcoran was pretty bad.

The title alone made me not want to even read it.

But I did, and the only good point she made was the fact that professional couples can afford to hire someone to do household chores, leaving them more time to do fun things together.

And again, the fact that Noer even references studies related to the division of chores tells us more about how things were in his house growing up than anything useful we might apply to our own situations.
Okay, Heather. You’re a career girl, what do you think, really? Is Noer’s column accurate?

First of all, I believe the preferred term these days is “professional.”

Career girl is wrong in so many ways, do we really need to go there?

Studies are great if you want to determine what most people will say they will do most of the time on any given day in any given situation.

But I’ve always taken a bit of (sometimes foolish) pride in not doing what most people will do. So the studies that Noer cites in his article probably don’t apply to me.

C’mon, answer the question.

Okay. I think the likelihood of any marriage being successful – between any two people, professional or otherwise – comes down to a coin toss. And in that regard, the statistics (not the studies) are fairly clear.

It takes nothing to get married. People do it every day.

But it takes great courage and patience to stay married. To anyone.
I am listening to: Carly Simon – Let the River Run
I am reading: The World is Flat, sorta.
And I am: Relaxed


the dilf said...

ok...I'm going to get on a slippery slope here...but here it goes...I would do anything for my wife to become a career woman..I am SO jealous of my wife's lifestyle it's crazy..I hate to admit that, but I'm freaky, freaky jealous. I work 10 hours a day, don't overly like my job anymore while she drops the kids off at the bus stop, shops, goes to tennis, goes to lunch with friends, goes back to tennis, stops at the grocery store and picks the kids up again at the bus stop. I would kill to do that 3 days a year OR at least try it for a season. Don't get me wrong, she's a wonderful Mom and great Wife. I would just love to live like that. So,Why would anyone have a problem with a Career Woman?...You never know, maybe us guys could/would be great "Mr. Moms" OR maybe even the UPS guy Might be.... the UPS girl?!!?!?!?!