December 15, 2010

Human Nature (and Frank Reality) Will Out

Justin Katz

It's very interesting to see some of the self-deception of Western society's last half-century begin to unravel:

Yes — feminists look away now — most of the girls I talked to are intent on marrying a rich man.

This idea is buoyed by a culture of celebrity that sees attractive women marrying well and then enjoying ­luxurious lifestyles as a result. ­Because of this, matrimony is ­increasingly viewed as an alternative career choice for the ambitious younger generation. ...

... I think most women — if given a truly free choice — would choose to stay at home and look after their children in their infancy.

The trouble is that most families rely on the salaries of both parents, so it's not really an option.

It goes without saying, although it sometimes seems we are expressly forbidden to say it, that having a rich husband would provide that option. When I go to pick up Nancy from school, there are three ­distinct camps of women at the gates: the frazzled working mums like myself, rushing up at the last minute.

Then there are the childminders of those women still at work. Then there are the stay-at-home mothers — and if you imagine the latter group to be tubby drudges in unflattering tracksuits with fuzzy, unkempt hair, think again.

As with much else, socially, we addressed the wrong problem, moving into the modern age. It wasn't that women were stuck in the house doing chores while men went off to exciting careers each day. It was that vestiges of less enlightened (and less affluent) times continued to affect the images that we projected to ourselves.

But we attacked externals, striving to make women just like men in every regard, and now we've got a collapsing marriage culture and incomes deflated by the near doubling of the workforce — with each household expected to have two. And so, a domestic structure that once was available across the economic spectrum now requires a rich man.

Of course, the rich one needn't be the husband, and of course, there remain many paths through life, but had previous generations been a bit more circumspect, pursuing a course of evolution rather than revolution, it's easy to imagine that we'd currently be continuing to progress rather than musing about the possible benefits of regression.

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Some few years ago I dated a female associate at one of Boston's larger law firms. I remember mentioning another woman at the firm I had known casually. The response was "She is a hero at our firm". Asked why, she replied "She married our richest client".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 15, 2010 10:48 AM
... I think most women — if given a truly free choice — would choose to stay at home and look after their children in their infancy.

That's not the case with most professional women I ask, with exception of the first 3 to 6 months. After that most I know look forward to returning to their careers.

Posted by: Russ at December 15, 2010 2:59 PM

Claptrap and unproven assertions! Worthless drivel to fill up space and stir up the troglodytes.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at December 15, 2010 7:36 PM
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