Lately I’ve noticed a lot of articles which talk about the positive and negative rise of women in the workforce. A recent Economist article, “The Natural Order”, mentioned that census bureau data in the US showed that four in ten American children live in household in which their mother is the primary breadwinner. In typical American fashion, this sparked outrage from everyone’s favorite channel, Fox News and a panel of four distraught men went on about the impact on the poor children and how this is tearing marriages apart. One of the guests, RedState editor Erick Erickson, stated that this trend is defying biology:
“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”
Fox News blogger Suzanne Venker writes on a similar note to her fellow colleagues in her post, the “War on Men” – that men don’t want to get married because “women are not women” anymore. They are angry, bitter creatures who won’t let men take care of them. The solution of course is: “Fortunately, there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.”
So basically women should let men dominate them in work/life or the end of human society is in sight!
Another perspective is shown in the Globe and Mail’s article “Female breadwinners: Good income, bad outcome?” which talks about men’s problems with females earning more. Basically as women become more educated and earn more, if they are married to men who are less educated and earn less, the marriage tends to end in divorce due to the frail man-ego. As well, the Economist did an article in 2011, The flight from marriage, which had some interesting statistics on women in Asia marrying later and the percentage of them not marrying increasing over the years. The reasoning behind this shift in Asian society is due to women becoming more educated, wanting a man with higher education than themselves and having a job increases a woman’s autonomy. She has more options which include not having a husband as she can support herself.
The guru that I often listen to is my 98 year old grandmother. While growing up, she was not allowed to have an education and was put into an arranged marriage at the old maid age of 18. Throughout my life she often told me that the only way for me to be happy in the future was to obtain a good education and job, so that I can support myself and not depend on men. Being trapped in a bad marriage is worse off than not being married. She was way smarter than my grandfather I think, so she was not that happy. I wonder what choices she would have made if she had options. Maybe I wouldn’t exist…alas…
These debates will continue until women and men are considered “equal” by general society – but then again, this may never happen due to gender differences. Often, I have been jealous that my husband has never had monthly menstrual pains or have to imagine the horrors of child birth. Complaining about this in business class made me seem like a dominant man-woman as my male classmates nodded nervously in agreement.
Another issue in these debates is that there is never a thought to consequences. So if a women has children and is dependent on her husband, what happens if he dies/divorces her/leaves, etc? This is a similar issue with pro-life arguments – people want all children to live, but no one wants to take care of them. Do people practice what they preach? Usually no!
My alternative solution to all this is to have all future generation of children created in artificial cabbage patch wombs, have robots do housework and parents put on the same schedule for “balance” family time at the end of the day. Then one day, all the future children go berserk due to some DNA split gone wrong, blow up the planet Earth and the debate ends…hm…we can make a movie from this!