Forbes says, “Don’t…

Forbes says, "Don't Marry Career Women". God, it pisses me off when someone takes a bunch of studies and draws one-sided conclusions from them that support the main argument they wanted to prove coming in. It's even more annoying when they manage to publish the piece in an influential magazine.

I shouldn't take pleasure in the fact that on one of my mailing lists, a former colleague of the author's says that Noer's had three broken engagements so far. Not a surprise, eh?

And frankly, I wish they'd published a better refutation than the Corcoran, which is mostly fluff. I wrote the below in five minutes -- couldn't Forbes have paid someone to do it properly? (Read his piece first; it's short and aggravating.)

Noer Point: Women who quit their jobs and stay home with the kids are likely to be unhappy. His conclusion: your wife wil be happier if she never works outside the home.

Actual Counter: How happy (by comparison) are the women who never work and stay home with the kids? The studies I've read suggest that they're generally unhappier than women who continue to work, at least part-time, because human beings are generally happier with more variety in the kinds of work they do. Unsurprisingly, then, men who do a combination of child-care and outside work are also likely to be happier than men who only work outside the home, but we never seem to talk about that at all. Sigh.

Noer Point: Men whose wives work outside the home are more likely to fall ill. His conclusion: you will be healthier if your wife never works outside the home.

Actual Counter: It's true that men whose wives work outside the home are more likely to fall ill (probably because their wives aren't cossetting them quite as much). In fact, all men who marry (whether their wives work or not) generally live longer than single men, probably because of that extra care they get from their wives. But be aware of the price tag -- women who marry live on average four years fewer than single women do. They take care of their husbands and families to such an extent that they sacrifice their own health. Men, your long life comes at the price of hers -- show me the love there, huh? How about everyone takes some of the responsibility for keeping an eye on their partners' health and well-being? Or do we *want* it to be a one-way street?

Noer Point: Professional women are more likely to cheat: His conclusion: She meets too many attractive men in the workplace; if you keep her isolated, she won't have an opportunity to cheat on you.

Actual Counter: If you're so terrified of your wife cheating on you that you need to keep her away from all other men, then many your marriage isn't so stable, eh? Are you sure she's safe at home? She might meet the mailman, or the garbageman, or a neighbor! Horrors! Better lock all the doors and only let her out of the house when supervised.

Noer Point: Your house will be dirtier if your wife works outside the home. His conclusion: Apparently, this is cause for great alarm.

Actual Counter: God, we needed a study to tell us this??? Who the hell cares? If you care (men or women), clean up. If you don't, don't worry about it.

Noer Point: Professional women are more likely to get divorced. His conclusion: don't let her work, and she won't leave you.

Actual Counter: How many women who have only worked in the home would like to get divorced but are too afraid to, because they know they don't have a work history or the professional skills that would let them support themselves and their children? How many women stay in miserable (sometimes abusvie) marriages because they don't think they have any other options? How many would walk away if they could?

And so on and so on... Essentially, his piece only makes sense if you're such a selfish bastard that you're willing to sacrifice your wife's happiness for the sake of your own. Maybe that's the kind of man that Forbes is aimed at? God, I hope not.

Argh, I say argh, I say argh.

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