(Update by SB Sarah: Forbes has relaunched the article, this time with a rebuttal alongside it, advocating men live up to the responsibilities of home, family, and keeping your damn mouth shut when you have nothing of value to say. No wait, that last one is my recommendation. Sorry.)
(Update! Forbes has pulled the article and the slideshow, so I’m linking to a couple of enterprising Livejournallers who’ve copied and pasted the text in their entirety to their journals. For the pictures that accompanied the slideshows, check out the remix at Gawker. When I have a moment, I might try re-creating it because it the pictures and the text together were so deliciously stupid.)
…because professional women are cheating bitches who are impossible to please.
Be sure to check out the accompanying slideshow.
I like this particular bit:
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).
That last part just kills me. Your house will be dirtier if both you and your wife are working. Goddamn uppity women! Git back in the kitchen and git mopping! And bring me a sammich!
Look, numbnut, if both spouses are working full time, of course the house is going to be dirtier than if the wife stays at home and dedicates herself to domestic chores. Jesus fuck, am I being too Captain Obvious here? What the author also neglects to mention is how in households in which both spouses work, women often still end up doing the lion’s share of the housework.
And this bit of tricky dickery cannot go unremarked:
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.
Notice how the author very cunningly doesn’t mention which spouse is more likely to cheat when working outside the home. Working outside the home increases the odds of infidelity, period, and god forbid that women be as susceptible to temptation as men. We much prefer them on those nifty pedestals—well, as long as they can dust, vacuum, mop and do laundry while attached to ‘em.
Further down, the author debunks himself quite neatly, though he tries to side-step it:
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.”
So, to sum it up: Working outside the home will make matters worse when things are kind of shitty to begin with, because it provides women with the means to meet other people with whom they may be more well-suited as well as the money to make it on their own.
OH REALLY YOU DON’T SAY HEY GET THE NEWS CREW ON THAT REVELATION, WILL YOU?
And this bit from the slideshow is just too, too precious:
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.”
Lord forbid that a woman get used to having a fun, active, entertaining life. Also, I’m sure the fact that high-paying jobs are higher stress and require longer work hours than lower-paying jobs has nothing to do with the wealthier couples feeling more stress and unhappiness once babies arrive on the scene. No, it’s because professional women are SPOILED BITCHEZ.
But to tie this to romance novels: How many of you have noticed how contemporary romances oftentimes demonize the working life, specifically for women? I’ve noticed several stories about women on the verge of burnout who find fulfillment in a life filled with babies and domesticity, or who find themselves time-travelling to a simpler past, back when a man was a man and a woman was a woman and a staph infection was a staph infection and could kill your ass if you so much as looked at it cross-eyed, or other such malarkey. I also notice a preponderance of heroines who claim to love their jobs, who muse repeatedly how their jobs are their life and they’re superlative at them when in fact they turn out to be incompetent, borderline insane morons—who, more often than not, cock up the birth control and end up conveniently pregnant.
Yes, I realize romance novels are escapist fiction, but not all of us dream of escaping into a life filled with Diaper Genies. Some balance would be nice, is all I’m sayin’.