Women with careers

Sonic Charmer says that men don’t and shouldn’t want to be with women with high-powered careers:

This isn’t feminist, or enlightened of me, to put out there. But more importantly, I think it’s the truth: a woman’s high-status career is bringing nothing to the table that is of any use to a man. It’s not like he can think “well she’s making $X so I can slack off”. (Or, he can think that, but be beta.) So her career does not relieve him of any responsibilities. It doesn’t help him. All it does is take her attention and focus out of the home for extended periods of time. But his attention and focus has to be out of the home for extended periods of the time (because he’s a man – unless he wants to be thought of as not one).

In this way, a woman having a powered career is about as much use and appeal to a man as if she had a time-consuming hobby. For women, careers are options. For men, they are obligatory. If a woman with a JD or an M.D. had a family and decided to take time off for the career, absolutely no one would think twice about it. Good for her! But if a man were to do the equivalent – raised eyebrows. Oh, there might be a bunch of faux “I think that’s great!” comments from certain types, but they wouldn’t really mean it. Deep down.

I agree with what he says . . . but. My wife makes almost 33% more than I do and it definitely has some advantages (and disadvantages).

Advantages: The money is nice. Really nice. We don’t yet have kids, so a job that keeps my wife busy is nice. Also, did I mention that the money is nice? Lots of extra money and some additional time to myself everyday is worth a lot to me. I really can’t overstate this.

Disadvantages: You – as the man – need to be aware of the imbalance created by the situation and act accordingly. As kids come along, it’s going to be harder for your wife to work 60 hours a week.

I think the disadvantages are manageable if you know what you’re doing. We have organized our life such that we can live indefinitely on my salary alone. If my wife stops working, we’d have to make some adjustments to our living standards, but they’d be manageable. In other words, I would – like Sonic Charmer – recommend against relying heavily on your wife’s income. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a worthless consideration. Any beta-ization that occurs because you are the primary breadwinner is manageable with basic game. You let yourself turn into a beta, it’s not forced on you by economic circumstances.

4 Responses to Women with careers

  1. CorkyAgain says:

    Once I finally got to the point where my salary was larger than hers, she divorced me.

    After the divorce settlement and the child support payments, she was way ahead of me again.

  2. Ah. A key point is that, if you don’t have kids, of course it’s all different – now you just have extra money, and free time. Sure, great! But with kids, the free time goes out the window anyway, and a good bit of the extra money she gets is eaten up by the daycare/afterschool/etc you need to pay for so she can go and work (as well as bumping you both into higher marginal tax brackets). So, there’s that.

    I wouldn’t be worried about modest numerical differentials in salaries or things like that. I’m talking more like, she is a ‘high-powered career’ and the guy is not…one salary being double or more the other.

    But the real key is in your last paragraph: regardless of what she makes, you can’t rely heavily on it anyway. She always holds, and wants, the ‘check out of career’ option (the guy, certainly, doesn’t). And it’s interesting that you’ve organized your live such that it would work on your salary alone – implicitly, pricing in/hedging her ‘check-out option’ already. I think this is wise. Cuz if a couple does build up a lifestyle on the assumption of her income’s permanence, inevitably she will resent it – ‘it’s not like I can quit and focus on babies with our expenses, [sigh]’. And that goes double if the guy’s career is far less high-powered than hers. So, the guy still needs to stay with, and focus on, his own career, regardless of hers. But that just raises my question, (once the family starts) what is her career actually doing for him?

  3. […] – “Women with Careers“, “Moral Revolutions“, “Review of “The Vampire of the […]

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