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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Forbes to Men: “Whatever You Do, Don’t Marry A Career Woman.”

Posted by on August 23 at 13:57 PM

UPDATE Forbes has taken the article down. However, here’s a link to the complete text, via BoingBoing. Also, here’s the discussion board on Forbes about the story. Damn, I love the Internet.

Or, How To Marry A Doormat in Nine Easy Steps!

Yes, the article itself (actual headline: “Don’t Marry Career Women”) is a scream. (Best unintentionally hilarious line: “The more successful she is, the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you.”) But if you want to get to the really scarily retrograde heart of the story, by all means skip straight to the slideshow of reasons to avoid “career girls,” which is, yes, how Forbes refers to working women.

1. You’re less likely to get married to her.

Among white women, anyway,

(1) success in the labor market makes it harder for women to make a marital match, (2) women with relatively high wages and earnings search less intensively for a match, [and] (3) successful women have higher standards for an acceptable match than women who work less and earn less.”

In other words, get `em while they’re unsuccessful and desperate, because anyone with “higher standards” wouldn’t give you the time of day.

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

For this, Forbes digs up a two-year-old study, which found that

Women’s work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men’s work hours often have no statistical effect.

Nice correlation/ causation flip. Women’s work hours “increase divorce”? More likely, women with their own incomes are more able to leave bad marriages than those who are financially dependent on their husbands. And even that study, Forbes grudgingly admits, was contradicted by numerous other studies that found 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.”

In other words, bad marriages (those of “low marital quality”) correlate to divorce. Which should be no surprise to anyone.

3. She is more likely to cheat on you.

According to a wide-ranging review of the published literature, highly educated people are more likely to have had extra-marital sex… “The work environment provides a host of potential partners, and individuals frequently find themselves spending a great deal of time with these individuals.”

That’s right: Women who work outside the home might be exposed to people they like more than you. Keep them inside, poorly educated and financially dependent, and they’ll never be tempted by any other “potential partners.” Note that employed women and men are more likely to cheat; but Forbes apparently doesn’t regard men’s cheating as a problem.

Here, by the way, is Forbes’s depiction the “cheating wife.” Note the diamond-festooned finger and the vacuous stare. “If only I hadn’t taken this well-paying job, I would have never found myself spending a great deal of time with this individual!”

4. You are much less likely to have kids.

The problem [of childlessness]—and it is a problem because the vast majority of women desire children—is much more extreme for career women. According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and the author of Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children, only 51% of ultra-achieving women (those earning more than $100,000 a year) have had children by age 40. Among comparable men, the figure was 81%. A third of less successful working women (earning either $55,000 or $65,000) were also childless at age 40.

Yes, but so were a quarter of all “less successful” working menhardly the vast baby gap Forbes’s panicky slide show implies. Isn’t the problem here supposed to be men’s inabiltiy to have children? Because according to those statistics, they’re doing just fine. And isn’t the answer here more equality and support, not financial dependence on men?

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

A 2003 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family concluded that wealthier couples with children suffer a drop in marital satisfaction three times as great as their less affluent peers. One of the study’s co-authors publicly speculated that the reason is that wealthier women are used to “a professional life, a fun, active, entertaining life.”

And that’s a bad thing?

6. Your house will be dirtier.

If your wife has a job earning more than $15 an hour (roughly $30,000 a year), she will do 1.9 hours less housework a week. Of course, this can be solved if the husband picks up a broom.

Ha. That’s a good one.

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

It’s obviously true! Just look how sad he is!

You aren’t going to like it if she makes more than you do: “Married men’s well-being is significantly lower when married women’s proportional contributions to the total family income are increased.”

So by all means, cling to your idiotic insecurities and forgo the financial security of a second income. You may be in debt for the rest of your life, but at least keeping her in her place will give you something to feel good about!

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

Reason? “Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make more choices about work and family—e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job.”

Sure, sounds logicalwe’d all love to have the opportunity to work a meaningful job without worrying about whether we can pay the bills. But wouldn’t that also apply to men, contradicting Point No. 7? Hmm.

And finally,

9. You are more likely to fall ill.

That’s right, having a wife who works more than 40 hours a week

has “substantial, statistically significant, negative effects on changes in her husband’s health over that time span.” The author of another study summarizes that “wives working longer hours not do not have adequate time to monitor their husband’s health and healthy behavior, to manage their husband’s emotional well-being or buffer his workplace stress.”

Because as everyone knows (and as Point No. 6 makes clear) men are helpless, emotionally crippled, delicate creatures who have never been taught how to “monitor” their own health, manage stress, and take care of themselves. That, like raising the kids, cleaning the house, and maintaining men’s delicate self-esteem, is women’s work.

CommentsRSS icon

i can't believe this was published in forbes.

Hey, it's still cool to marry "a high-school dropout minding a cash register"! What's the big deal?

Fucking unbelievable. Obviously lots of people think like this, but in Forbes - what the ??

Your write-up made me laugh out loud, though. I love this: "You may be in debt for the rest of your life, but at least keeping her in her place will give you something to feel good about!"

Sad that some people really think this makes sense. (sigh)

Thanks for posting something that is a legitimate commentary on specific points rather than a hysterical diatribe that casts all men as slime :)

Hifuckinglarious. Except it's serious. Business folks tend to be very traditional, conservative, and results-oriented in a tunnel-vision way. Statistics about the current and past states of affairs are discussesd, and decisions are reached about optimizing those statistics in the future. Can't you see men sitting around a conference table planning out a family, using terms like "marital quality", and discussing, perhaps, the relation of submissive partneral earnings to pussy gettage frequency? So many of these type-A types are just totally oblivious to... themselves.

i lolled.

Amazing. Thanks, Erica, for shredding this.

Forbes' must be very popular today--they've removed the link to the original.

looks like forbes pulled the story. at least, it's listed in the top "most popular stories" in the sidebar on the left of this page (, but the link to the story is broken and i can find no other reference to it. interesting.

Most of your links bring up "File not found" in Firefox.

Forbes is a waste of paper. You're better off getting Fortune, but first "borrow" the insert card inside and subscribe for 1/10 the price, or read a library copy.

One interesting thing in today's print copy of the Wall Street Journal was that living in a cheaper house is a wiser investment than a million dollar house - even when they fixed it to remove most of the reasons why expensive houses cost to much. Plus, bonus, you don't have to compete with your neighbors.

Same with crappy cars. Smart rich guys and gals don't drive Beemers or Bentleys, they drive Toyotas.

I actually don't disagree with the points made in the Forbes post...sure, if you are marry an independent and ambitious woman, you are more likely to get cheated on, or get a little hate when you get a raise, or have non-sparkling floors.

But the alternative: hitching your train to someone too lazy or untalented to work...that's a hell of a lot worse.

Its the mindset of those sorts of people (the men who follow this crap and the women who pattern their lives around such crap) got me to thinking about the unwritten Point 10. Something along the line of "She is more then likely to be a confused lesbian - so she will expect you to be 'senistive' to her needs".

I'm also reminded of this old joke:

Lady Astor, Social Reformer: I would rather commit adultery than drink a glass of beer.

Voice from the audience: Who wouldn't?

i think their 404 page is pretty funny given the context of this particular article: Something's gone awry!

I checked to see if google had a cached version of the site (no dice) but I found a few funny parodies at boingboing

FNARF, good point about crappy cars.

Want to be a millionaire? OK, here's a short list:

1. Live below your means in housing - live in a cheap condo or townhouse but in a neighborhood where you're wealthier than most people. Then don't move, to save on transaction costs.

2. Buy a used or inexpensive car or take the bus. This saves tons. When you buy a car, drive it for at least four or five years. Consider buying a car that's about two years old - most price drops are the first two years.

3. Save at least ten percent of your income - AFTER paying the mortgage.

4. Spend less on clothes - find fashions that work for you that don't go in or out of style and wear them. If female, use inexpensive accessories - note that pearls, if worn for a lifetime, are a wise investment.

5. Stop spending so much on day to day stuff - make your coffee at home, brown bag four days a week, read books from the library (they have CDs too).

OK, that was the short list.

P.S.: Lots of guys who don't care much about money, esp. brainy types, would be perfectly happy marrying a rich career woman, provided she wants to have sex a lot.

Sorry, everybody - Forbes took the story down. That's why the links no longer work.

Next time you can save yourself the hassle of all that retyping and just link directly to Gawker...

♥ makes a good point...

You know you're doing something right when you piss the feminists off and their mangina supporters as well. Get that sex change yet Hugo?

Feminism has destroyed the family in America. You destroy the family; you destroy the country.

That's precisely what we're seeing.

Feminism = Suicide

Yeah, and bring back slavery.

Forbes has re-posted, along with a kinda weak response from a female editor:
And I don't think it's fair to criticize ECB for having the same obvious response to the article as other bloggers out there...

Yeah, whoops.

No remarks about how the role of marriage and the roles of both parties therein has changed in our sophisitcated society either, and I think that's the real point to be made. And it's not a bad thing.

The article kind of makes sense, but it's geared to loser guys with no self-esteem. But the article contradicts everything I've read that people who marry later and/or have higher education get divorced less often (sorry, too lazy to find a linky).

Agree or disagree, this article was researched-based and the facts speak for themselves. Since male bashing is now everywhere from pop music to TV commercials to several summer films, I think women should be able to handle the article.

Here's seom spin about when the article was pulled and why.

Plus we find out that Noer also wrote a gem called "The Economics of Prostitution," in which he compared "wives" to "whores" that was also pulled. I'd really like to see that one!

1. I already believe in myself, so I don't need Forbes' list to tell me what's what. They can throw up all the stats they want. Yay.

2. That aside, with a wildly successful woman, I have a shot at taking on my dream job as househusband. I've done the hump-busting thing for long enough already; I just want to take our future kids to the Seattle Center rollercoaster in the early afternoon.

3. Fnarf, "bring back slavery"? It never left. Currently residing in 3rd world, a la "cheap labor". Maybe not so much "slaves" as "serfs" though.

America is the most sexist country ever. A woman can't become a multi-millionaire here and demand the perfect home life she deserves. If we had a black woman president, America would not be sexist and a woman could raise seven kids and be president of Halliburton.

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