Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh for-- really?

I have to admit that follow ForbesWoman on the Facebook. After their post this morning, however, I'm not entirely sure why. I'll save you the FB typos and just say that the post went to this article on "Smart girls marry money". Sure, girls. Right.
Now, I personally don't believe in marriage (that's why I'm not married), and I honestly could give a crap about what other people do with their personal lives. My issue here is the sheer intellectual laziness and incongruence that is this entire 500 word article.
"It's time to start treating your life like reality," says the headline. "We live in a world that runs on dollars and good sense." And then goes on to advocate that women wake up to the fact that they're going to miserable 4evr unless they marry a man with a fat wallet. It's called the "Gold Digging Imperative". Marry a rich guy so that you can take vacations and get hot-stone massages instead of being a "lady lawyer, doctor, or MBA still slaving away after 40" like a man. EW!
The biggest problem with this article (and the viewpoint it promotes) is this:
"The average guy believes most gals are only looking for money, but the truth is too few of us are interested in their income at all. The modern gal is earning her own cash and is looking for emotional security.

Too bad it doesn't exist.

What's worse, national statistics show women suffer far more economically than men when marriages fail. With this in mind, we have some advice: Instead of looking for love, let's look out for our own security, the kind you can count in dollars and cents."
In essence, instead of preventing economic disparity after a failed marriage, marry someone who has way more money than you so that when he dumps your ass you get a huge alimony check. If you live in an alimony state, that is. Not to mention the fact that if a woman takes care of her own assets, marries, and then divorces, but still has those assets the economic disparity isn't going to to be as great. The other thing that it's important to remember here is that the perpetuation of the idea that men should be in control of the finances is what usually gets women into trouble at the end of their marriages. Sure, she pays the bills, buys the groceries, whatever; but he's in control of the debt. The house. The three water-logged boats sitting useless in the backyard.
Women fare worse in divorce because our society is set up to shit on them economically. We're taught, and teach each other, that we shouldn't worry about money, just find a man. We're discouraged from going into "masculine" fields of work, like engineering, law, medicine, when those fields pay more. And as a woman business owner, I have lost count of the number of people who have paid me less respect for my business prowess because I have a uterus. (Of course, my business is makeup, so I get a little more credit than the woman who owns a construction company. At least I'm in a field that I know something about.)
There are other issues with this segment too. For instance, assuming that the "average guy" thinks that women are only after money in relationships. That really should say "the average misogynist", which by my own research is about 15% of the male population (and an opposing 15% of the female population, including the authors of this book and the publishers of Forbes). The truth is, most guys I know are more interested in having a spouse to whom they feel themselves equal in all arenas, including finances. In relationships where there is a good deal of economic disparity, neither partner is happy.
The message is clear, ladies: marry a man who has lots of money so that you don't have to work. (And we wonder why certain conservative groups paint all poor people as being lazy...) And gentlemen: no matter how awesome she is, you're going to have to pay for it somehow or another. Let's just demean everybody, shall we?
However, in reality the bottom line is this: smart women make their own money, and most people marry within their own socioeconomic class. It's not a secret. Cinderella, the fairy tale upon which the "Gold Digger Imperative" is based, doesn't follow what happens to the girl after she marries Prince Charming. Do you really think they lived happily ever after?
For g-d's sake! Even the women who do become successful solely through the glory of their squacks have to work for it! Real life is going out and making it for yourself, not just depending on someone else (a man or otherwise) for your own fulfillment, happiness, and hot stone massages. It's the American dream!
Why does ForbesWoman hate America?

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