Women Who Earn More Than Men – And The Men Who Resent Them!

From the New York Times

For Whitney Hess, a 25-year-old software designer in Manhattan, the tension that ultimately ended her recent relationships was all right there, in the digits on her pay stub.

The awkwardness started with nights out. She would want to try the latest downtown bistro, but her boyfriends, who worked in creative jobs that paid less than hers, preferred diners.

They would say, “Wow, you’re so sophisticated,” she recalled. A first look at her apartment, a smartly appointed studio in a full-service building in TriBeCa, would only reinforce the impression. “They wouldn’t want me to see their apartments,” she said, because they lived in cramped surroundings in distant quadrants of Brooklyn or the Bronx.

One of them, she said, finally just came out and said it. “Look,” Ms. Hess recalled him saying, “it makes me really uncomfortable that you make more money than me. I’m going to put that out on the table and try to get over it.”

But he never got over it, she said.

“The sad thing is that I really liked the guy,” she said. “If that hadn’t been an issue with him, we’d probably still be dating.”

Ms. Hess’s quandary is becoming more common for many young women. For the first time, women in their 20s who work full time in several American cities — New York, Chicago, Boston and Minneapolis — are earning higher wages than men in the same age range, according to a recent analysis of 2005 census data by Andrew Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College in New York.

For instance, the median income of women age 21 to 30 in New York who are employed full time was 17 percent higher than that of comparable men.

Professor Beveridge said the gap is largely driven by a gulf in education: 53 percent of women employed full time in their 20s were college graduates, compared with 38 percent of men. Women are also more likely to have graduate degrees. “They have more of everything,” Professor Beveridge said.

The shift is playing out in new, unanticipated ways on the dating front. Women are encountering forms of hostility they weren’t prepared to meet, and are trying to figure out how to balance pride in their accomplishments against their perceived need to bolster the egos of the men they date.

A lot of young women “are of two minds,” said Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families, a research organization. “On one hand, they’re proud of their achievements, and they think they want a man who shares house chores and child care. But on the other hand they’re scared by their own achievement, and they’re a little nervous having a man who won’t be the main breadwinner. These are old tapes running in their head: ‘This is how you get a man.’ ”

YOUNG affluent women say they are learning to advertise their good fortune in a manner very different from their male counterparts. For men, it is accepted, even desirable, to flaunt their high status. Not so for many women.

“Very, very early in a date,” said Anna Rosenmann, 28, who founded a company called Eco Consulting LA, in Los Angeles, and earns up to $150,000 a year, “a man will drop comments on how much his sales team had made for the year, which meant his bonus was blah, blah, blah.”

But, she said, “that’s not how we were raised.”

Instead, she said, she starts out dates being discreet. “I don’t talk about myself,” she said. “When people ask me, I’m going to be very honest. But I definitely don’t say, ‘My name’s Anna, I’m 28 and I own a business.’ ”

Ms. Rosenmann said that dating considerably older men helps her avoid innuendos from younger men who feel threatened by her professional success. She said that when she has gone out at night with men her own age and has to turn in early to be fresh for work, they have commented , “Oh, Anna’s an adult, she has a real job.”

So as not to flaunt her own salary, Lori Weiss, a 29-year-old lawyer in Manhattan, has found herself clipping price tags off expensive clothes she buys on shopping binges, or hiding shopping bags in the closet just so men she was dating would not see them lying around and feel threatened by her spending power.

“A lot of guys don’t want to admit they have a problem with it,” she said, referring to income disparity. “They don’t want to be ‘that guy.’ But I think it’s ingrained.”

She said one boyfriend “wasn’t too comfortable with me paying for things” on dates, so to make him feel better, she would surrender to his wishes. The two would just “stay home and cook, or just get something cheap,” she said. “We’d skip a movie.”

Women said the income disparity becomes obvious in all facets of dating: where you live, what you like to do for fun and how you travel. It often comes down to minimizing who they are — successful, focused women — with their dates, who may be lagging a bit behind.

Although these women often say it is men who have issues around their higher salaries, sometimes it is the women themselves who are uncomfortable with the role reversal.

Hilary Rowland, 28, bought her first condominium when she was 18, using money she had earned from an online business started when she was 15. Last spring, Ms. Rowland, who lives in New York, started dating a 34-year-old musician.

“I usually always fly business or first,” she said in an e-mail message. “The one trip where he paid for the flight — we stayed at a friend’s place — he didn’t tell me the details, then flew us economy on a 6 a.m. flight with a two-hour stop-over, from Salt Lake City, to save money. I would have rather paid myself and flew business at a regular hour.”

“When we broke up,” she added, “he was upset that I gave my ‘ex’ more gifts than I gave him. Meanwhile, the only gift I’d gotten from him was a small notepad.”

Ms. Rowland, like some other women interviewed, said that she has come to the conclusion that it would be easier to date someone in the same economic bracket.

“I love traveling, going to the opera and good restaurants,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be Per Se, but good food is important in my life. It’s sometimes hard to maintain the lifestyle I’m used to when I’m in a relationship with a guy who makes less than me, since I don’t want to be paying for the guy I’m with all the time.”

The discomfort over who pays for what seems to be not really about money, plain and simple. Instead, it is suggestive of the complex psychology of what many of these women expect from their dates (for him to be a traditional breadwinner) and what they think they should expect (Oh, I just want him to be a nice guy).

On a first date at a lounge in Hell’s Kitchen, Thrupthi Reddy, 28, a brand strategist in Manhattan, watched her date down several cocktails to her one, then not even flinch when she handed the waitress her credit card. Initially miffed, she recognized her own contradictions.

“You wonder if you’re being a hypocrite,” she recalled, “because all date long I’m telling him how independent I was, and how annoying it was that men wouldn’t date strong independent women.” (The relationship ended after six months.)

Michael R. Cunningham, a psychologist who teaches in the communication department at the University of Louisville, conducted a survey of college women to see if, upon graduation, they would prefer to settle down with a high school teacher who has short workdays, summers off and spare energy to help raise children, or with a surgeon who earns eight times as much but works brutal hours. Three-quarters of the women said they would choose the teacher.

The point, Professor Cunningham said, was that young professionally oriented women have no problem dating down if the man is secure, motivated in his own field and emotionally supportive.

At least, that’s what their responses are in surveys. Talk about the subject with women a bit older — those who have been out of college long enough to be more hardened — and what you hear is ambivalence, if not downright hostility, about the income disparity.

Jade Wannell, 25, a producer at a Chicago ad agency who lives in a high-rise apartment building, started dating a 29-year-old administrator at a trucking company last year. “He was really sweet,” she said. But “he didn’t work many hours and ended up hanging out at home a lot. I was bored and didn’t feel challenged. He would finish work at 3 and want to go to the bar. The college way of life is still in them at that age. All they want to do is drink with the boys on Saturday. I was like ‘Let’s go to an art gallery’ and all he wanted to do was go to the bars.”

TO her, his lack of income masked a greater problem: a lack of drive.

“I have to say that I didn’t like his career, I didn’t think he had the goals of someone I would eventually like to be with or have respect for,” she said, adding, “It wasn’t the job, it was the passion.”

Unyi Agba, 27, an advertising executive with a small firm in Boston, almost always dates professional men, but when she goes out with someone earning less money, there is tension. “This is a topic that’s traveled in my own female circles a lot in the last year,” she said. Across a restaurant table with a man who earns less, “it’s never explicitly said, but there are nuances,” she said. “Things are said like, ‘Boy I’m going to be really broke after this dinner.’ ”

And her response?

“Silence.”

Okay, guys, what are YOUR thoughts on this thorny issue?

 

2
6

Join 5 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (135 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 31
    verbosity

    Jamie,

    I must respectfully point out that whether you believe you and I may or may not be in different worlds, is irrelevant. Again, this forum is to discuss the posted subjects, not to speculate about the posters based upon nothing.

    Additionally, I will kindly point out that I did not call you or your sentiments illogical. Simply put, the words you chose (“Ironically, not too many posts above we had men calling women who supported themselves the cause of all social problems . . .”) grossly exaggerate previous posts to an illogical conclusion. There is no personal attack at you or your sentiments. You offer nothing to contradict my assertion of an illogical conclusion but to mischaracterize what I said.

    Further stating that I am calling your sentiments illogical therefore is clearly either a mistake or intentionally done to misstate things. I would like to think that it is the former.

    Additionally, you addressed that post specifically to me, therefore, it is most reasonable to assume the ‘mind spinning’ crack was directed to me, not the board in general. So, I disagree with your characterization it was directed to the board.

    Respectfully, if you do see holes in my hypothesis, then by all means, discuss them, not me or other posters personally. As I have stated before, I have provided articles, surveys and the article upon which this thread is based as support for my posts. A cursory look at previous posts by you and others reveals a shocking lack of contrary evidentiary support.

    Even further, your statement “Take an evolutionary psychology course, sociology, gender.. Its been done” is rude, patronizing, condescending and without merit. I do not make cracks about the personal details that people reveal as personal anecdotes for the points I make here. I can make several here, but won’t.

    You further wrote, “I do not need to manufacture some general conclusions about the ways things are.” just before the above evolutionary psychology crack. While you may not need to manufacture general conclusions about the way things are, that is precisely what the majority of people in this country must do. Business owners and managers must make decisions (ie. – conclusions) based upon the best available information to raise prices, produce more, etc. Judges have to make decisions (ie.- conclusions) based upon the evidence presented to them. Doctors must make conclusions about the symptoms and injuries that present based upon the symptoms and pathology. Potential homebuyers must make conclusions about the market in their area based upon the way things are to buy now or wait for further prices falls. I could go on, but I believe I made my point. It may be you do not like the conclusions I or others posit. That is fine. Please refute these conclusions with something. Do not make an ad hominem attack on me or anyone else simply because you do not like the conclusion absent contradicting evidence.

    I do not know that you like or dislike what I write. I do not care. However, I can say with certainty that your posts specifically directed at me are rude and condescending (as shown above). Where they have logical flaws or misstatements, I have also pointed out said flaws or misstatements, not attacked you personally. However, any poster should be aware that I do not tolerate personal rude attacks toward me. Let us discuss the subjects fully, thoroughly and vigorously, but without personal rancor which is unsubstantiated.

    Lastly, you have repeatedly stated on several posts in this thread you make more money than your husband. That is fine and kudos to you for career success. However, I submit that as a counterpoint to the assertion that the vast majority of women seek men who make more (see above references), it falls woefullly short. As I said, a broken clock is right 2 minutes of the 1440 minutes in a day. Those 2 correct minutes do not invalidate or refute the other 1338 ones, which is what I am talking about.

  2. 32
    lorelei

    Hi, Jamie -

    I didn’t find your comments rude, patronizing, condescending or without merit. That is a subjective assessment, one which, frankly, also has no place in a discussion if the goal is rational and respectful discourse. On the contrary, you are intelligent and witty and no more irreverent than Evan can be in his writings, which is a feature of this blog that keeps us coming back for more.

    I don’t believe your financial situation makes you as rare as the 2 correct minutes on a broken clock. I don’t feel I need to refute the assertion that the “vast majority of women seek men who make more” because that is an overgeneralization, but I will quote the Professor who was interviewed in the article cited by Evan:

    Michael R. Cunningham, a psychologist who teaches in the communication department at the University of Louisville, conducted a survey of college women to see if, upon graduation, they would prefer to settle down with a high school teacher who has short workdays, summers off and spare energy to help raise children, or with a surgeon who earns eight times as much but works brutal hours. Three-quarters of the women said they would choose the teacher.

    The point, Professor Cunningham said, was that young professionally oriented women have no problem dating down if the man is secure, motivated in his own field and emotionally supportive.

  3. 33
    J

    Not sure if this is best to post under this particular blog topic, or another – maybe the “Should the man pay for the first date?” In any case, this was on http://www.ican‘tbelievehesstillsingle.blogspot.com and is a real profile or personal ad from a guy. I’m sure there are some real doozies from women too. This one is for the amusement of whomever will get a kick out of it. I will not presume to assume I know who of our posters, male or female, that this will amuse.

    Subj. heading on I Can’t Believe He’s Still Single was:
    Be careful what you wish for…

    Posted Monday, January 7, 2008
    Older for Younger
    Age: 55
    Location: Tennessee

    Seeking younger woman…..if you ….are 25-40 SWF…petite…..like to sit around all day in your flannel nightgown stuffing your face with chips watching Judge Judy, Springer, and Oprah…..smoke at least two packs a day…want to live off my nice income….never do laundry…cant boil water and wouldnt know a sauce pan from a poodle….have five kids from five different men all within four years of age…couldnt handle a vacuum if your life depended on it….have no clue how to make a bed…owe more on your credit cards than I make in a year….havent balanced your checking account in years….dont own a car but want me to buy you one…want to travel the world at my expense…prone to cheat with the neighbor while I’m at work….will use my razor on your legs and not tell me….havent brushed your teeth in months…..have no clue what feminine hygiene refers to….if you can give swearing lessons to sailors….and would make a priest blush at confession….if you fear your bar will start to charge by the pound to get in…and certainly if you drink cheap wine….then you may be the woman for me. I can promise you the most erotic, wild, passionate, and pleasing 8 seconds of your life twice a week.

    Now, if you find humor here. Please send a picture at least five years old prior to your unexpected weight gain and a letter filled with nothing but lies about yourself and I will get back to you. It just might work for us. Serious inquiries only please.

  4. 35
    verbosity

    Hello all,

    Lorelei cited Professor Cunningham’s survey of COLLEGE (emphasis added) women, and his conclusion “that young professionally oriented women have no problem dating down if the man is secure, motivated in his own field and emotionally supportive.”

    This does not refute the things I cited at all. In fact the very next paragraph of the article reinforces my (and others’) point..”At least, thats what their responses are in surveys. Talk about the subject with women a bit older those who have been out of college long enough to be more hardened and what you hear is ambivalence, if not downright hostility, about the income disparity.”

    If anything the articles and surveys I cited augment the article’s thrust. Unfortunately, the vast majority of women seek men who make more is a fact borne out by surveys of POST-COLLEGE adults. Believe me, I wish it were not an overgeneralization.

    I cannot make anyone acknowledge that women more often than not demand money (or its equivalent) for their company. Oh well. Simply put, men have to realize that 7 out of 10 women they meet have money on their minds, and to act accordingly. While 30% aren’t great odds, they are better than zero.

  5. 36
    J

    Not all of us live our lives based on statistics, polls and surveys. Many of us were never personally questioned to base empirical and statistical data on, nor were we polled on these subjects or have we subjected ourselves to taking a survey on such.

    I am totally cool with it if you do do that or you use it to prove your points. Or perhaps this is what you have found to be true in/from your own personal experiences. Your opinion, your interpretation of the facts as you see them. Your right to express them.

    And I have no reason to argue with you as I can’t win – not because I don’t have any valid points, but because I believe you have a very strong opinion on these matters and will not be swayed. This is how it/you appear to be, in any case.

    Everyone else here also has a right to their feelings, opinions, and interpretation of the facts as they see them. And a right to express them here in a respectful manner.

    Again, I have no beef with that – but knowing that seems to be the case means I have no reason to try to persuade you to see anything otherwise. Nor does anyone else, if what appears to be true is.

    As to refuting your argument(s) – you can engage in that all you want to in court and here too- with anyone who wishes to do so. You have implied that we don’t refute your arguments because we can’t prove we are right or you are wrong.

    Some of us don’t g.a.r.a. about that. Isn’t why we read Evan’s blog and comment. Most of us are looking for less conflict and better ways of talking, debating, and relating that help us get more of what we want out of dating and out of life more often and that make us more giving in return of what others are seeking.

    There is a difference between friendly debate and exchanging of ideas and maybe hearing or learning a new or different view from you own that gives you new insight and/or new facts to go on to further your own knowledge and become more of the successful dater and potential partner you’ve always wanted to be, and sort of getting up in someone’s face and striving to prove them wrong about whatever is or isn’t their opinion.

    Yes, some people do that here and that too is your right. I don’t have to care for it, nor do I have to agree with you – though I won’t say I always disagree with all of your points either. Neither do I have to waste your time or mine anymore trying to prove you incorrect in the generalities you keep making about women.

    I and other ladies have tried to show a different perspective and state that specifically, we are not all like the women you and a couple of others make a point (pointedly) to NOT espouse (in both senses of the word ; 0 ). Sometimes we have put forth a better effort than others, me included.

    I personally don’t care to be called on the carpet if I chose not to respond to another’s comment and be told that I didn’t respond because I knew I was wrong or I couldn’t support my argument. Or be told that I am incorrect in my logic and facts and be subjected to a major rebuttal for stating my opinion or what I know or feel to be true.

    I am me – and I don’t fit a lot of the stereotypes. Some yes, but not a lot of them Nor do a lot of other quality women out there.

    I know, Verbosity, that you will continue to post and that’s cool, and I will continue to read the comments sections of Evan’s entries and post if I feel like it too. But I am not going to justify how I feel or what I think to anyone because he or she says I have to or says that I can’t.

    You are welcome to your facts – and they are your facts, because they are true for/to you. Some of us have found the facts to be a bit different in our own lives with people we know. There is room for both – we don’t all live the same lives or know the same people. And welcome to state them as well. But your facts don’t have to be my facts because they are not all inclusive for me.

    There are men out there whom I wouldn’t date if they paid me. I am dead certain there are women out there that you all would gladly pay to go away ; ) – some of you may even think that would be me. No amt. of money or status turns a “personality” sow’s ear into a silk purse.

    I wish everyone the best of luck in finding both who, and what, they are looking for in dating and in life.

    On a separate note, I do appreciate the opportunity to hear from all of you and to learn and grow. I appreciate the fact that while yes, Evan does promote his books, services etc., he does also give real answers to questions for free without leaving people hanging and just saying “buy the book”. I was appalled, Evan at how many people were really harsh and belligerent in the yahoo comments towards you and your efforts.

    I may not agree with everything said by everyone all the time here, but I still appreciate that the people who comment here can state differing opinions without being ugly about it. And they do. Thank you all for that.

  6. 37
    J

    Sorry for the less than wonderful grammar and punctuation in my previous post. Proper commas and such often go out the window when I get long winded.

    Also understand Verbosity, that I was not trying to call you out in my previous post, just decided that one post to respond to some of your others and to some of your assertions would cure me of the need to leave a whole bunch of them stating a lot of the same things.

    Things I believe, feel, and know to be true from what I have read and experienced. May not be so for you.

    In any case, have a good one and thank you all for letting me have an opinion and the right to state it.
    J

  7. 38
    J

    Re: Verbosity’s statements:
    “I cannot make anyone acknowledge that women more often than not demand money (or its equivalent) for their company. Oh well. Simply put, men have to realize that 7 out of 10 women they meet have money on their minds, and to act accordingly.”

    Not going to try to prove or disprove this, but would like to acknowledge that I do think it is more likely that men in certain fields are targeted by women who are very interested in his income and earning potential (and would bet this also is true of men who target women in same fields for same reason). I think a lot of people, and women especially who are concerned with the man’s wallet are likely to go for lawyers, doctors, stock brokers, famous sports stars – men who they believe make the big bucks.

    Not saying that is the reason all women chose to date men in these professions (or vice versa), just acknowledging that it does happen in the dating world. And I do believe there are also good guys out there who might not get a fair shake if their income is a great deal lower than the woman’s. I believe a big disparity or extreme difference in anything – whether it is money made, personality highs and lows – yours vs. your partners, ambition, education – can make having a successful relationship more of a challenge. One person is bound to feel the difference a great deal at times, if not most of the time. Sometimes both feel it.

    This is as true of women making more than men as it would be if he made a lot more and felt like he was paying for everything all the time. Or if he makes a lot less, but still feels that way.

  8. 39
    sensical

    To those of you who keep moaning about how women dig guys with bucks, give it arest already. Yeah most do, though I don’t happen to be one of them.

    I just don’t think it’s particularly productive to focus on that point. I concede to it. And still find it no less unfair to judge men as mates by their wallets than to judge women by their hotness. Life is unfair, right?

    I think the people who complain about the rules the most are the ones who are losing the game.

  9. 40
    Hadley Paige

    To J: “Neither do I have to waste your time or mine anymore trying to prove you incorrect in the generalities you keep making about women.” “You have implied that we dont refute your arguments because we cant prove we are right or you are wrong.
    Some of us dont g.a.r.a. about that.”

    OK, guys I want to issue an apology. I am not hung up on statistics, it just seems that way. It appears that comments here to fall into 2 categories. (i) what people have experienced as individuals and statements of what they want; and (ii) people making generalized statements about populations (successful women, short men, etc).

    I would never question the validity of a person’s personal experiences, BUT when people start making generalizations, then we have to be very careful that both the facts are correct AND the inferences drawn from the facts are valid. This is a great challenge as there are many logical pitfalls. So I will from time to time point out these errors of logic. I hope it doesn’t get too tedious.

  10. 41
    Jessica

    Would agree with you Hadley, that it is prudent to back yourself up with actual data if going to state something is a fact or make statements about something in terms of either absolutes, or sweeping generalizations. Or when just stating what research or studies have found. Or even, doing so when trying to make a point : ) with something other than, or in addition to, your own experience or opinion(s). You/your meaning any of us here. Just want people to take into account that there is still room for interpretation of facts and statistics and that some of us may still fall outside of the subsets (maybe incorrect phrasing here?) of persons who make up those facts or data. Thank you for the comment and the apology, Hadley. I know it wasn’t to me personally, but it is still noted and appreciated.

    Have a good one! Jessica

  11. 42
    verbosity

    I would second Hadley P also.

    For J, if I may, it seems we state much the same thing re: percentages, though from different perspectives. I don’t live my life by them, but I do acknowledge the probabilities that such stats, etc, illustrate. I think you do have to acknowledge that these probabilities do exist and adjust yourself accordingly. Obviously, a great deal of life (the kind we prefer I think) occurs in the minority percentages of things I and other have cited.

    I trust that others do not think I disregard someone else’s personal experiences, just as I hope that if I use a survey that says 74% of women would marry for money, it does not mean I think ALL women want that (which I believe is Hadley’s caution). It simply means I believe a large majority of women at large do, based upon some research (and particularly experience where I live). It appears from J’s post that she does not place income and money as the overwhelming priority in dating. Therefore, it appears she lives in the 26% (as opposed to 74%), something I applaud, and wish I saw more of. That said, I am sure that many who live in this 26% zone have a few friends that follow the other route….

    J, I am truly sorry if you or any other reader thinks that I simply seek to prove them wrong. That is not the case at all. This forum is about expressing different perspectives. That said, I think both sexes are usually unwilling to see the other’s side of the story. Perhaps it is this topic, I do not know. For my part, I am shocked that not one female poster (save for J) acknowledges any kind of double-standard regarding the issue of women (generally speaking) having issues with men they date who earn significantly less. Based upon what I’ve seen, it’s very widespread. Trying to stay on-topic. ;-)

    You can call me angry if you want (which seems to be the usual tactic – a fallacious one I might add), but I am stating my personal observations and conclusions, which seem to be supported by some research. That doesn’t prove me right and someone else wrong. It just means there’s more support for the point I made, not that someone else’ is invalidated entirely.

    I also agree with Hadley and second re: his last sentences.

    So when do we see the NYT article on women who resent men who earn more than them (women) in the dating arena?

  12. 44
    Selena

    m–
    If only! Thanks for saying what I imagine many of us have been wishing for some time. Rotflmao.

  13. 45
    J

    I don’t know if I would say that women resent men for making more than they, but we do care or we wouldn’t have spent so very many decades fighting for equal pay for equal work ; ) I’m sure there are women who out and out still resent when a man makes a lot more (if doing similar job), but there are a lot of us who just want the same opportunity. This has improved tremendously in the last 40 or so years. [ I did bold some key points and it didn't transfer over from Word nor would it let me do them separately in this post. ]

    But not as quickly as many think. And the Wage Gap still exists in many (not all cases) though it is a great deal more narrow than it was in 1963 or before:

    Food for thought –
    (this was written 4-5 years ago) Article by Borgna Brunner –

    http://www.infoplease.com/spot/equalpayact1.html
    (link to full article as originally printed)

    The Wage Gap
    A History of Pay Inequity and the Equal Pay Act

    by Borgna Brunner (infoplease.com)

    June 10, 1963: John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act into law. Almost four decades later, men’s and women’s salaries have yet to reach parity.

    NOTE/KEY POINTS:
    *The wage gap is a statistical indicator often used as an index of the status of women’s earnings relative to men’s.

    The wage gap is expressed as a percentage
    *** (e.g., in 2005, women earned 81% as much as men) and is calculated by dividing the median annual earnings for women by median annual earnings for men.

    ***In 2005, for example, women under 25 working full-time earned 93.2% of men’s salaries compared to those 25 and older, who earned 79.4% of what men made (there are some reasons listed – end of article – for why older women made less that do make some sense)
    Since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed, the closing of the wage gap between men and women has been at a rate of about half a penny a year.

    Rosie the Riveter: Patriotic and Underpaid

    Because of the large number of American women taking jobs in the war industries during World War II, the National War Labor Board urged employers in 1942 to voluntarily make “adjustments which equalize wage or salary rates paid to females with the rates paid to males for comparable quality and quantity of work on the same or similar operations.”

    Not only did employers fail to heed this “voluntary” request, but at the war’s end most women were pushed out of their new jobs to make room for returning veterans.

    Help wantedSeparate and Unequal

    Until the early 1960s, newspapers published separate job listings for men and women. Jobs were categorized according to sex, with the higher level jobs listed almost exclusively under “Help WantedMale.” In some cases the ads ran identical jobs under male and female listingsbut with separate pay scales. Separate, of course, meant unequal: between 1950 and 1960, women with full time jobs earned on average between 5964 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in the same job.

    It wasn’t until the passage of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963 (effective June 11, 1964) that it became illegal to pay women lower rates for the same job strictly on the basis of their sex. Demonstrable differences in seniority, merit, the quality or quantity of work, or other considerations might merit different pay, but gender could no longer be viewed as a drawback on one’s resum.

    The Courts Nix the “Going Market Rate” for Women

    The act was gradually expanded over the next decade to include a larger segment of the workforce, and between June 1964 and Jan. 1971 back wages totaling more than $26 million were paid to 71,000 women.
    Two landmark court cases served to strengthen and further define the Equal Pay Act:

    Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co. (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit:
    Ruled that jobs need to be “substantially equal” but not “identical” to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer cannot, for example, change the job titles of women workers in order to pay them less than men.

    Corning Glass Works v. Brennan (1974), U.S. Supreme Court:
    Ruled that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the “going market rate.” A wage differential occurring “simply because men would not work at the low rates paid women” was unacceptable.

    The blatant discrimination apparent in these court cases seems archaic today, as does the practice of sex-segregated job listings. The workplace has changed radically in the decades since the passage of the Equal Pay Act.

    But what has not changed radically, however, is women’s pay. The wage gap has narrowed, but it is still significant. Women earned 59% of the wages men earned in 1963;

    in 2005 they earned 81% of men’s wagesan improvement of about half a penny per dollar earned every year.

    Why is there still such a disparity?
    Why Such a Wide Wage Gap After Nearly Four Decades?

    A variety of explanations for the persistent wage gap have been offered. One is that older women are factored into the wage gap equation, and many of these women from an older generation work in jobs still subject to the attitudes and conditions of the past. In contrast, the rates for young women coming of age in the 1990s reflect women’s social and legal advances.

    In 2005, for example, women under 25 working full-time earned 93.2% of men’s salaries compared to those 25 and older, who earned 79.4% of what men made
    [have cut a couple of paragraphs here]

    Conclusion of Article:
    Women have made enormous progress in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act, but the stubborn fact remains that four-and-a-half decades later the basic goal of the act has not been realized.

    But not as quickly as many think. Food for thought –
    Article by Borgna Brunner –

    http://www.infoplease.com/spot/equalpayact1.html

    The Wage Gap
    A History of Pay Inequity and the Equal Pay Act

    by Borgna Brunner

    June 10, 1963: John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act into law. Almost four decades later, men’s and women’s salaries have yet to reach parity.
    Related Links
    Women’s History Month
    Women’s Earnings as a Percentage of Men’s
    Median Annual Earnings by Sex
    Median Annual Earnings by Sex and Race
    The wage gap is a statistical indicator often used as an index of the status of women’s earnings relative to men’s.
    The wage gap is expressed as a percentage (e.g., in 2005, women earned 81% as much as men) and is calculated by dividing the median annual earnings for women by median annual earnings for men.
    Since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed, the closing of the wage gap between men and women has been at a rate of about half a penny a year.

    Rosie the Riveter: Patriotic and Underpaid
    Because of the large number of American women taking jobs in the war industries during World War II, the National War Labor Board urged employers in 1942 to voluntarily make “adjustments which equalize wage or salary rates paid to females with the rates paid to males for comparable quality and quantity of work on the same or similar operations.”
    Not only did employers fail to heed this “voluntary” request, but at the war’s end most women were pushed out of their new jobs to make room for returning veterans.
    Help wantedSeparate and Unequal
    Until the early 1960s, newspapers published separate job listings for men and women. Jobs were categorized according to sex, with the higher level jobs listed almost exclusively under “Help WantedMale.” In some cases the ads ran identical jobs under male and female listingsbut with separate pay scales. Separate, of course, meant unequal: between 1950 and 1960, women with full time jobs earned on average between 5964 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in the same job.
    It wasn’t until the passage of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963 (effective June 11, 1964) that it became illegal to pay women lower rates for the same job strictly on the basis of their sex. Demonstrable differences in seniority, merit, the quality or quantity of work, or other considerations might merit different pay, but gender could no longer be viewed as a drawback on one’s resum.
    The Courts Nix the “Going Market Rate” for Women
    The act was gradually expanded over the next decade to include a larger segment of the workforce, and between June 1964 and Jan. 1971 back wages totaling more than $26 million were paid to 71,000 women.
    Two landmark court cases served to strengthen and further define the Equal Pay Act:

    Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co. (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    Ruled that jobs need to be “substantially equal” but not “identical” to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer cannot, for example, change the job titles of women workers in order to pay them less than men.
    Corning Glass Works v. Brennan (1974), U.S. Supreme Court
    Ruled that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the “going market rate.” A wage differential occurring “simply because men would not work at the low rates paid women” was unacceptable.
    The blatant discrimination apparent in these court cases seems archaic today, as does the practice of sex-segregated job listings. The workplace has changed radically in the decades since the passage of the Equal Pay Act.
    But what has not changed radically, however, is women’s pay. The wage gap has narrowed, but it is still significant. Women earned 59% of the wages men earned in 1963; in 2005 they earned 81% of men’s wagesan improvement of about half a penny per dollar earned every year. Why is there still such a disparity?
    Why Such a Wide Wage Gap After Nearly Four Decades?
    A variety of explanations for the persistent wage gap have been offered. One is that older women are factored into the wage gap equation, and many of these women from an older generation work in jobs still subject to the attitudes and conditions of the past. In contrast, the rates for young women coming of age in the 1990s reflect women’s social and legal advances. In 2005, for example, women under 25 working full-time earned 93.2% of men’s salaries compared to those 25 and older, who earned 79.4% of what men made.

    Equal Pay in the Millennium?

    Does this imply that once the oldest generation of women has retired the wage gap will shrink considerably? Perhaps. But even the narrow wage gap of 92.1% that applies to women under 25 looks less rosy when you consider commentator Katha Pollitt’s take on it:

    Young men and women have always had earnings more compatible than those of their elders: starting salaries are generally low, and do not accurately reflect the advantages that accrue, or fail to accrue, over time as men advance and women stay in place, or as women in mostly female kinds of jobs reach the end of characteristically short career paths.

    (The Nation, April 14, 1997)
    Women have made enormous progress in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act, but the stubborn fact remains that four-and-a-half decades later the basic goal of the act has not been realized.

  14. 46
    J

    I appreciate both Hadley and Verbosity taking the time to reply to my posts and respect both of you and your opinions/feelings. Thank you for your time and your efforts.

    I think some of the numbers that still exist today are still likely to be a bit depressing and disheartening in a lot of areas – for both men and women. Whether they pertain to the dating, job/work force, financial, or other realms.

    Though the world is a much better place for the most part – for most people – than it was in the past. More opportunity/opportunities overall than anyone had 50 or 100 or more years ago. And even more recently than that.

    So I find myself trying to focus on whatever the positive numbers or information might be or I get too discouraged.

    I do agree though that when one is seriously tempted to take something too personally, being able to look at statistics and percentages and say, Aha – 60% of men tend to not write back after a first date or 80% will go for bigger boobs and sex if they can get it, or 74% of women would marry for money or 65% of women won’t date what they consider a short man … (NOTE: Made these numbers up except for the one quoted by Verbosity about women and money) – is very helpful.

    After, of course, I have looked to see if I might HAVE done or said anything that did contribute to the undesired action/reaction, situation, outcome, etc. It still takes two people to make, or break, a friendship, relationship, partnership or whatever. Even if we didn’t do anything directly, or don’t think we did, the choices we did and didn’t make still play into it.

    In some cases, we may find we still keep managing to date men who look at us more for our bodies (or what we don’t have) and rate us by hot or not even though there are men out there – somewhere ; ) – who could see us as beautiful and enticing because we have a brain and a great personality, sense of humor, and a giving/caring heart. Same goes for men – some of it is that yes, there are a lot of people out there who pre-judge us for surface (some say shallow – I think that depends on the degree in which these factors hold weight, and how much weight they hold) reasons in general – but if you find that you are constantly with that kind of person, then it does also have something to do with who you seem attracted to, the choices you make, probably your mindset at the time.

    There are great men out there – I know this, because I have dated some of them – and a lot of really good women out there. It just takes some real work to find, and KEEP, one of them.

    This may sound sappy – but I consciously remind myself of good things from past relationships and good/great things about past partners. Specific things – to keep my spirits up and remember that there are wonderful opportunities to be had and experienced even if I have gone through a lot of dating duds (meaning the total experience – not judging the people specifically or calling them such) and will likely have to weed through some more before I find another guy who thinks he is truly lucky and blessed to have me in his world and I him. And you know, still thinks so weeks, months, or even years, later.

  15. 47
    J

    Sorry about the paragraphs running together in cut and pasted article above! I goofed second time I attempted.

    For those who find most women are STILL very interested in a guy’s “money maker” or more accurately, money holder and are most interested in being a “money taker” …

    A popular song(very catchy lyrics and tune, I might add ; ) ) that was #1 on the charts for 8 wks… In 1941
    (found on http://www.lyricstime.com)

    la-dah-dah, la-dah-dah, dah-dah-dah etc.

    Hey, listen to my story ’bout a gal named Daisy Mae
    Lazy Daisy Mae
    Her disposition is rather sweet and charming
    At times alarming, so they say

    She has a man who’s *talldarkhandsome*, large and strong
    To whom she used to sing this song

    Hey, Daddy, I want a diamond ring, bracelets, everything
    Daddy, you oughta get the best for me

    Hey, Daddy, gee, don’t I look swell in sables?
    Clothes with Paris labels?
    Daddy, you oughta get the best for me

    Here’s *’n’amazing* revelation
    With a bit of stimulation
    I’d be a great sensation
    I’d be your inspiration

    Daddy, I want a brand new car, champagne, caviar
    Daddy, you oughta get the best for me

    Hey, Daddy, I want a diamond ring, bracelets, everything
    Daddy, you oughta get the best for me

    Hey, Daddy, gee, don’t I look swell in sables?
    Clothes with Paris labels?
    Daddy, you oughta get the best for me

    Here’s *’n’amazing* revelation
    With a bit of stimulation
    I’d be a great sensation
    I’d be your inspiration

    Daddy, I want a brand new car, champagne, caviar
    Daddy,

    , Daddy,

    You oughta get the best for me , la-dah!!

    “Daddy” by Sammy Kaye

  16. 48
    Mattie

    I don’t really think financial differentials should matter at the dating stage – unless they’re huge, that is (which has got to be a red light of one sort or another). Dating is supposed to be fun, isn’t it? If you add yet another source of anxiety to the process – and, God knows, we’ve all got insecurities aplenty as it is! – then you are negating the object of the enterprise, aren’t you?

    For what it’s worth, my observations – and years of experience – demonstrate that the young woman who wishes to marry and have a family frequently opts for the male who’s not only the most compatible with her but also the best present/future provider she can find.

    And she is almost certainly right to do so.

    For this is nothing more than common sense: women ARE paid less than men (certainly in Britain, where the differential can be gobsmacking – not to say infuriating). And if children enter the equation, it is STILL mostly the mother who takes time off work (let alone undergoing pregnancy, lactation and the rest).

    Cold? Detached? Calculating? Possibly. But consider this: women who throw themselves on the mercy of Romance and that old chimera, love-at-first-sight nearly always end up in the manure. With any unfortunate resultant children covered in crap as well – which they emphatically neither asked for nor needed.

    Unless we have equal pay + more recognition of the demands of parenthood, and employers respond accordingly, then we are still going to find that many decent, responsible, grown-up women ready for the (at least notionally) long-term commitment of marriage and the lifetime commitment of motherhood will – given a choice – be more likely to opt for the Good Provider. Meaning, of course, him with the mucho moolah – comparatively speaking – or prospects of acquiring same on a par (at the very least) of a racing certainty …

    Is definitely what I’d go, were I granted my time over again!

    Golddiggers – of both sexes (I married one of these blokes, alas) – exist; but – happily – tend not to be in the majority. Most of us do what everybody else does, i.e. the best we can in the circumstances.

    Several of my female friends are principal breadwinners, and partnered and with children. Where the husband contributes adequately (matter of perception, for parties involved – and nobody else’s business), this works fine. An ex-colleague (male) has been a house-husband for much of his second marriage, which is higly successful – not least because he’s very proud of, and encouraging towards, his wife. He has raised twin sons from babyhood to teens, and also managed to complete another degree and build up a now-flourishing part-time practice in international banking training – which fits in with the family. He’s happy, fulfilled and … a much better cook than his missus, anyway!

    Where the male partner doesn’t pull his weight, it tends to end in him being awarded the Order of the Boot – unless he pulls his socks up, that is, on a sufficiently constant basis to avoid being ordered to sling his hook. And, in such a context, the ‘weight-pulling’ isn’t necessarily a matter of financial input – there are other ways of contributing to the running of a household (see above: gourmet grub helps a lot, especially when shopped-for and prepared by somebody else).

    By the same token, there are plenty of women who’d rather be at home with and for their kids – at least until the children are at school full-time. Again, I know women who’ve interrupted their careers for this purpose. Both mothers and children concerned have benefitted from this arrangement, as far as I can tell. But maybe they’re the lucky ones? It is the preserve of the few. At least over here, where the non-working mother clusters at the top and the bottom of the household income index.

    So I suppose I’m arguing in favour of a bit more flexibility from both sides on money – it’s important (I’ve tried living without it, and that … sucks!); but it’s not the Most Important Thing of All. Thus, it’s something – yet another matter! – that has to be negotiated. And re-negotiated, according to the requirements of the stage you’ve reached. Finally, it’s something that each couple has to deal with – between themselves. Only they can determine their respective/collective needs and wants.

    And perhaps we all ought to campaign a bit more for flexibility from employers, government, etc. on this score?

    Oh, and speaking personally, I have no experience of being ‘taken care of’ by a man. Financially, emotionally, or whatever-else-ally. Not since my late father, that is.

    What’s it like?!

    Best to you all – and many, many thanks for your thought-provoking and fascinating comments.

    Mattie xx

  17. 49
    verbosity

    Mattie does have some excellent points, and states some of the dating and financial tensions well. She wrote, “I dont really think financial differentials should matter at the dating stage – unless theyre huge, that is (which has got to be a red light of one sort or another). Dating is supposed to be fun, isnt it?” I agree completely. However, in practice it works out quite differently.

    Mattie makes an excellent case that women who wish to 1. marry and 2. have a family (I presume children) are absolutely right in pursuing the best providers they can find. She cites unequal pay and childbirth (with attendant issues she cites) as the main reasons for this. I do not necessarily condemn ladies who seek this, and understand why women in general would like this.

    What I’m about to write is not attributable to Mattie, as it seems she tries to see all sides. However, here is where there is usually a lack of appreciation of many men’s concerns regarding this issue. Mattie is in England, where it seems much of the issues concerning wage disparity and time off/etc, are different than here. As I have previously cited, women in the metropolitan areas usually make more than men for the same positions. Also, here in the US we have the Family Leave Act (or whatever it’s proper name is) for I think it’s 3 months of paid time off after birth. Those facts do, I believe, greatly reduce the argument favoring seeking the best male providers.

    Often overlooked in these discussions are the divorce laws. You may say divorce laws? We’re talking about the beginning of a relationship, not the end. Unfortunately, most marriages (if that is the goal of women seeking men who are good providers) wind up in divorce court.

    Of divorce court. A brief family law tutorial. In the western US, where I live (AZ) the divorce rate approximates 65% as of 2005. In Calif, the world’s 8th largest economy (and about 40+ million people alone), it is over 70%. These states have what is called ‘No-Fault’ divorce, which means if you are tired of being with someone, you are out. No adultery, abuse, etc., need be committed. Further, these divorce laws state that everything earned & acquired during marriage belongs 1/2 to each spouse (absent valid prenup).

    You may think “So what?” Here’s what – It operates as wealth redistribution. Mattie stated, “By the same token, there are plenty of women whod rather be at home with and for their kids – at least until the children are at school full-time. Again, I know women whove interrupted their careers for this purpose. Both mothers and children concerned have benefitted from this arrangement, as far as I can tell. But maybe theyre the lucky ones? It is the preserve of the few. At least over here, where the non-working mother clusters at the top and the bottom of the household income index.”

    Here’s the issue with the ladies who would rather stay at home with their kids and the divorce law wealth redistribution – they win (figuratively speaking). The community property (1/2 earnings) give women little incentive to return to work after having children. Then, no fault divorce makes it easy for them to leave. Upon leaving, they get 1/2 of everything – house, retirement plan, cash accounts, etc. Then, since husband’s been working to support everyone, wife gets primary custody usually, and with it, increased child support (which she does not have to account for). I’m not castigating women per se, but the system provides too much of an incentive to screw the men. Give someone enough incentive to do something, and they will. With little incentive to re-enter the workforce (since they own 1/2), often they do not. Whatever skills they had then become stale and unmarketable.

    I’m reminded of a matter where I consulted – a divorce case. Wife hadn’t worked in 15+ years. She just wanted out. He never cheated, etc. He had a professional practice, kids were in private high school, they lived in a nice, not extravagant house. After tax, he brought home about $13k/month. In the end, she kept the house, got 1/2 the retirement, got 1/2 of the business, child support (he still paid their private school insurance, clothes, etc), a new car, etc. After all of the expenses were added up, she got $10k of the $13k per month. He ended up in an apartment living on the rest. Keep in mind, she simply wanted out. There were no allegations of abuse, maltreatment, etc. So he has to start over at age 50. The lesson from this? While women have every incentive to seek men who earn more, men have absolutely no incentive to partner with these women.

    Maddie wrote, “Both mothers and children concerned have benefitted from this arrangement, as far as I can tell.” She’s correct. Men haven’t. What I’m saying is that there is little incentive for men to marry given this legal playing field. I’m not picking Mattie’s point apart, just contrasting the competing interests. The divorce laws arose from a time when women did not obtain higher educations and had few employment opportunities beyond seamstresses and teachers, and men divorcing them often would result in their destitution. This is not the case today. There are more women in universities now than men, and they can do the same jobs men can do. Therefore, the need to protect the majority of women from destitution because they have few employment opportunities no longer exists.

    I do agree with Mattie’s sentiments re: more flexibility re: money issues. She provided a thoughtful post. Apologies for the length. It is difficult to provide adequate backstory for the points.

  18. 50
    J

    Verbosity – have you looked at what it costs to have and raise a kid these days? I don’t think women are getting rich off their three months paid maternity leave – whatever money comes in from that goes into the pot for raising said impending child.

    I know plenty of people with both parents working – one or both with relatively good jobs – who are still struggling to pay the mounting costs of raising a kid, putting him/her through college and pay daycare – because if both HAVE to work, then they have to pay someone else to watch the kid. Babysitters often charge at least $10 an hour and that is often per kid.

    If you really feel that many women are just dying to have a kid so they can then turn around and divorce the guy and take half of everything he has – then I doubt any of us will persuade you differently. There are plenty of now single moms out there who entered into marriage because they loved a man dearly, wanted so to have kids with him, and wanted it to be forever after. Most do not want to get divorced when there are children involved.

    I also know of a lot of women – personally – who left with not a single, damn thing but the clothes on their backs and the kid or children because the man was abusive or being so hateful about even providing for their kid that they just wanted out. They wanted NOTHING.

    There are also men who are mistreated or who don’t get enough rights where the kids are concerned. And there are women who do take guy to the cleaners. Also, if the guy has a lot of money, there is that whole support the kid “in the manner in which he was accustomed to living” bit. Well, if you normally spend a lot of money on your wife and kid while you are together, and you live in one of those states, then you know if you get divorced that the manner in which they are accustomed to living is going to cost you more. Not saying is or isn’t fair.

    Personally, I don’t see why someone needs $22,000 or whatever to raise a small child – whether they were spending that much when married or not. Nor do I understand how someone can come into a marriage with assets they owned BEFORE THAT individually, or family heirlooms and suddenly the other party gets them. Or how you give your wife jewelry that your kids were to inherit, and then wife number two takes possession of it.

    I don’t understand a whole lot of things or think they are fair. Divorce is one of the risks you take when you get married. And even people with the best of intentions find themselves in untenable situations.

    You know that there are rules about any money made when someone was your partner, and all that crap. You know them far better than I do. Even if the wife stayed at home, they consider she helped earn the money by supporting him, raising the kids. I am stating this in very unscientific, very non-legal terms and I am certain you all can through all the figures and statistics and such back at me. Most people in “No fault” states know at least the basics of what that means before they get married. Again, the risk they take. Those who believe that is wrong need to somehow change the laws, or live somewhere else : ) Or not get married. Could always go the partner route without every marrying and then keep whatever is yours – I think.

    Or do the prenup thing if you are that concerned someone may divorce you or clean you out. I mean you in a general sense here – as in anyone who has this concern.

    For every guy who has gotten somewhat taken for his money or been screwed over with his kids, I know of at least one woman who has nearly ended up on welfare or had to not let the man know where she was so he wouldn’t kidnap the kid, or try to hunt them down and hurt them. Why welfare? Because she didn’t work to take care of the kid, or isn’t trained because she was raising the child – sometimes by choice, but more often because couldn’t afford child care, or he told her “no wife of mine is going to work”.

    I am not saying that women don’t end up taking half or getting money, but I don’t believe that most of them marry for money, or even more for just how much they can get when they break it off – purposefully. I also think people have kids and get married far too easily and far too quickly without considering a lot of things to see if there really is long term potential there.

    And even really good people make mistakes or grow apart. Aside from marriages that break up over cheating, or the death of a child, or financial disagreements or struggles. I think having a lot of money can also be a problem. People leave people for a lot reasons.

    I do think it is too easy to get a divorce in this country – at least in some states. Many people I know must not live in those, though, because most found it incredibly difficult – literally and legally as well as emotionally. And financially, as well.

    I might be incorrect, but I thought Mattie meant that the women who can stay at home and be family oriented only and raise their kids are the lucky ones because few can afford to do that these days – even if both the man and woman want her to stay home – many women have to bring in another income. And of course, some want to as well.

    If you are a divorce lawyer, then I understand why you don’t view marriage very favorably, or women for that matter. Again, these are just my impressions after reading your comments. I don’t envy you your job in the slightest, though I’m sure it pays pretty well. If you are a divorce lawyer (I don’t know that you are)… look at it this way, at least you are one guy who is profiting from all of these women who are supposedly just using guys for the money and they up and leaving them.

  19. 51
    J

    Question: Isn’t No Fault – two-sided and sort of equal opportunity? Guy can also walk away with no reason and if she makes more money than him, doesn’t he get part of what she has earned all along? I know I have seen men who were married to a woman who made more or she had a job and he didn’t and he got the spousal support and what not. Witness Kevin Federline – though I hate to use him as an example.

  20. 52
    Mattie

    Verbosity:
    I write only of what I know, drawn from my experience and observations. Thank you, but I am aware of the position of women prior to e.g. the Married Women’s Property Act of the 19th century. And, in the UK at least, the term ‘to start a family’ means ‘to have a child/children.’

    I do not know anyone who has benefitted from divorce. Certainly, all the women I know have to work extremely hard, whether married or not, simply to keep up with the cost of living here (petrol = 1 a litre, for example; average house price in UK, even taking into account recent stagnation in domestic housing market = 185k; and a rail journey of c 150miles would cost you more than 150 for the return trip) – and that’s without taking into account that bastard Bottler’s increasing demands on the wallets of the middle classes.

    Personally, I divorced my husband 14 years ago because he became violently abusive – partially as a consequence of him having discovered the dubious delights of certain illegal substances, the berk! Apparently, I was not earning enough money – this was during the downturn in the economy in the early ’90s, for which I could hardly be held responsible. The marital home was mine; I owned and lived in it before the marriage. (Having my own home has always been a key determinant of my sense of security. Besides which, I am a domestic animal at heart – and love to have a hearth, as they say in France.) I had also started and kept going my own pension plan (which is now, of course, near-worthless! But again, due to global financial factors rather than to any fault of my own).

    My husband was also unfaithful. In the end, he found another woman – one who had a much more valuable property than mine. I didn’t terribly mind that; by then, I no longer wanted him and was happy to draw a line under the whole sorry affair, try to learn from it and move on towards a new start.

    Due to the fact that I had re-mortgaged my hard-earned London home in order to settle my then-spouse’s debts, and both property market and marriage promptly went into freefall, I started again from scratch financially post-divorce. At age 44 – which I would not recommend.

    Had I (a) not married, I should now be in my own home – and mortgage-free since 2000; had I (b) not re-mortgaged my property to help my husband, the same would have applied. I took full responsibility for the latter action, and regard myself as to blame for whatever happened to me as a result from then on. After all, I am the only one who has to live with this (no children upon whom to impose suffering, thankfully – although I had always wanted children).

    Thanks to the fact that women are routinely paid less than men in the UK (and, yes, in my last job I discovered that my predecessor in the role, who happened to be male, was paid 30% more than I. And he was: (i) younger; (ii) not nearly as highly-qualified; (iii) was not a specialist in the sphere concerned, and (iv) a tosser) – it took me 6 years to get my feet back on the housing ladder.

    [The above is just ONE example of inequality between the sexes in remuneration, BTW. Space forbids me from citing all the others I know of - let alone the masses of research data on the subject.]

    Post-divorce, I worked very hard, made sacrifices, etc. (lived in some frightful gaffs, including a room over a pub!) – doing so mosty cheefully as all this merely constituted collectively a means to an end, and I was determined it would be strictly short-term. Happily I made it: ended up with a little house I loved in a beautiful place, complete with cat, share in pony – and a reasonably well-paid job in a splendid city not-too-far-away to fund the lot.

    Nirvana!

    However, having taken on a (small – 47%) mortgage at nearly 50, I was over-exposed when the next economic downturn hit. This was compounded by the fact that ageism kicked in simultaneously, putting the boot in very, very hard ever since.

    Upshot was I had to sell my house to have something to live on after less than 3 years’ residence. I said ‘goodbye’ to the pets – not allowed in rented accommodation – relocated; re-trained at my own expense and luckily secured offers of work in just the place I wanted to be in France (I am fluent in the language and have lived there before). Was delighted, and really looking forward to new life.

    Just before I was due to depart for provincial France, hitherto-unsuspected critical illness made a dramatic appearance. Was near-fatal, and took a long time to recover during which time said offers of work and much of my residual capital (up to that point ring-fenced for outright purchase of house in France) evaporated.

    I kept going, re-locating where necessary in order to try and find work (relocated x 7 between sale of home and Sept ’05), and divested myself of nearly all my possessions. Now up to 1,500th rejection for employment! But fit (gym nearly daily), and keeping spirits up.

    Before I bought my last home (and it will be my last; I can never get back to home-ownership, given my lack of capital and the elusive nature of well-paid employment for such as I), I was involved in a relationship with a divorced man. He dumped me as soon as a rich widow hove into view. His parting shot? “She’s a good woman. Her husband died.” Meaning, presumably, I’m a bad one because I divorced my husband for getting into drugs, near-bankrupting me and scaring the shit out of me into the bargain?! Ah, that’ll be the famous masculine logic, I suppose …

    What has come to my notice very forcibly during this period was the following: (a) when I was Mrs Senior Manager in FTSE-company with desres in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, I found that lots of nice, prof chaps were interested in me. And (b) since becoming Mrs Ex-justabouteverything (!), I note that the nice interested chaps stay away. Instead, there has been a near-constant stream of ‘separated’ (ie married) men who’ve assumed I’d be grateful and gratified to assume the honour of becoming their occasional shag at their convenience. Or types like the twice-divorced serial liar (sic) who blithely advised me on the grounds of my looks alone: “You’d be perfect as a f***-buddy, while I’m looking for a real woman with a career and a home of her own that I can fall in love with.” Seriously …!

    It seems I was supposed to be grateful for each and all of these charming accolades and tributes to my fading charms. Oddly enough, I’m not in the least flattered!

    They can’t take me seriously as a partnership prospect, it seems, because of my poverty.

    Aaargh!

    And all this when I stood on my own two feet, economically speaking, for my entire adult life. Believe me, at the risk of boasting, I could have married into wealth. I had several opportunities. But I wanted to marry for love, respect, friendship, as much equality or complementarity as possible, etc., etc.

    Now I find myself extremely alarmed by the paradigm social shift that dictates a person may only be judged or valued according to the sum total of his/her material worth. Oh, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
    Irony of ironies: I never countenanced this view, myself – nor was I brought up to entertain it.

    I recall my admiration then – and now – for an American friend in London back in the ’80s. She was (and I expect and hope still is) a bright, bold New Yorker: tough, generous, straight-talking – and always prompt to offer a helpful hand in difficult moments. Her marriage to an Englishman went phut after only a few years. She left him, taking with her only those possessions that were hers and hers alone. They’d lived in his house, and so the house would remain. Yes, she acknowledged, she could have sued for some of the house’s value, thus enforcing him to sell it. But she wasn’t prepared to do this. Why not? Because it had been his house before they met, and she’d contributed very little – aside from her own contribution to running costs, and her having bought and affixed tiles to the kitchen walls (because she had wanted to have the kitchen tiled!).

    She walked away. And, in her mid-30s, started again from scratch – retaining the friendship of her (very nice) ex, and the increased admiration of her friends. I bet she made it, too. She deserves many good things, that one.

    Doesn’t anybody respect courage, initiative, self-reliance and self-determination anymore? Most people, after my experiences of the past 7 years alone, wouldn’t be standing – let alone fully functional and trying to formulate viable plans!

    Maybe you are right to take such a dim view of marriage. I think this is understandable, although a great pity. And far, far too restrictive. Just because the situation’s unpromising doesn’t necessarily mean you, too, will be a loser.

    Me, I understand that I can never marry again. Nobody’d have (the new, impoverished) me! By the same token, I should find it impossible to live with a man, in the light of the fact that the house, etc., would all be his. And I’d not only NOT have a share as of right by virtue of having contributed to ‘our’ home, but also would not or never would be in a position to claim such a right. As far as I’m concerned, anyway. I’d feel bloody insecure, living in somebody else’s place – not least, he could so easily chuck me out – sending me straight back to square one. Which, I am horrified to admit, is where I am now … again!

    But I have not lost hope of finding a chap who’d accept me as I am and, appreciating what I have to offer, would be prepared to be companion, lover, friend and share some of my interests such as walking, riding horses, books, music, history … If not, alors tant pis: at least I’ve tried, and given life as much of my – evidently innacurate – shots as poss!

    Good luck – and don’t take too much notice of the dreary divorce stats, etc. Always assume they won’t apply to you, as you – yes, YOU – are a winner, and will therefore win. If you fail – well, hell: it’s THEIR LOSS!!

    But please – a personal request: don’t now proceed to analyse my situation to death, forthelovaGawd! I spend enough time dealing with the dreaded ‘it’; enough NOT to need people, who neither know nor understand me or my circumstances well, telling me what’s wrong with me/the circs!

    Best,
    Mattie x

  21. 53
    verbosity

    Mattie,

    I understand that I am over-analytical at times, and this can be a bit much to some readers. So, I will endeavor not to comment upon your situation much. Also, I would like to thank you, honor your openness, and empathize with you (as much as is possible in this format). Abuse should not be tolerated.

    The point I try to make is that within the dating arena and ‘the system,’ there is little incentive for a man to choose women who seek his providing skills. Also, that the system punishes men (or women) who are honorable, and do nothing wrong, but provide great incentive to those of lesser character.

    By way of example, simple reverse the sexes in your life’s example. This is what men face, generally speaking, since generally speaking women target men who earn more (thread’s subject). Men do not, generally speaking, target women for their earning capacity. I would think that, however, your situation falls in the minority. I would also like to comment (not to you, specifically, but in general) that many men also receive abuse from women of all kinds, physical and emotional. It often goes unreported for many reasons. But I digress…

    I’m reminded of some ladies sitting at the cafe in the gym I used to frequent (USED TO, being operative). Here they were, sitting in their designer clothes, impeccably coiffed (in a gym, no less!), discussing exactly how much longer they needed to stay in their marriages, and how it will increase their alimony, how much they will get, and how they will still be young enough to play like kids once divorced. Meanwhile their husbands were out earning so they could sit & do this! As a guy hearing this, you have to weigh that. You’re dumb not to.

    It’s been my anecdotal experience that women are far more savvy about the family law system than men, and know how to use it for their advantage at all stages of the dating/mating process. As an aside, I’m an attorney, and have more than a passing acquaintance with the divorce laws, having consulted on several divorces (difference capacity), and, more importantly, having dated a divorce lawyer. I simply see no legal reason to do it (marry or date another divorce lawyer – hahah!).

    I am specifically not saying all women are gold-digging, baseless, characterless sponges. Hardly. There are lots of great women out there. I just do not feel they are the majority (I’m sure I’d hear argument on this from some – don’t bother), but a substantial minority for sure. I’m trying to focus on this minority. Kinda like a gold miner panning for gold. You have to sift a lotta dirt to get the gold powder, let alone a nugget. But you have to sift more sometimes, depending on how much gold is in your location, no? This is where divorce stats & surveys come in…

    I applaud your optimism, and do appreciate that you and every lady can give specific concrete examples of times & places where they or their friends did not take ‘the low road.’

    I agree that it is important to be optimistic and focus on the positive. I do, think one has to be aware of the negatives also… Love may be blind, but it needn’t be deaf, dumb, and stupid, either.

  22. 54
    J

    You know, Verbosity – there are a lot of women like me who might date a guy despite, yeah, I said DESPITE, the fact that he is a lawyer or doctor. Not because of … Most guys assume we go after men with high powered careers and deep pockets – but many of us actually avoid men who make a lot of money – or are perceived to – for a variety of reasons. For me, dating a man with really big bucks is exception not the rule – even if they were rampantly pursuing me. Which a few have.

    And there are men who feel the same way about women in similar careers.

    I do know one lawyer (aspiring actually) who I would date, but alas, he is already married to my cousin. : ) And does not have a lot of money, either.

    Dating a divorce attorney conjures up images of puckering up to a Pitbull for me personally. This is perhaps unfair of me and I will admit, that impression is largely based on other than personal experience on my part.

    What makes us really good at what we do can be a huge draw – personality and character traits, especially – and a big drawback as well. For all of us.

    Again, I do believe your experiences and things you have seen and heard have given you your beliefs, ideas, opinions, feelings and I am not trying to discount them. I do think those women from your gym sound reprehensible. Perhaps it was “gallows humor” and they cared more than they sounded like they did. And perhaps they were money grubbing, vulture harpies – or at least, very much acting like them.

    I would agree with you that in terms of your comments: “I am specifically not saying all women are gold-digging, baseless, characterless sponges. Hardly. There are lots of great women out there. I just do not feel they are the majority.” – that to try to convince you otherwise would be fruitless. I had already deduced as much : )

    As this is/these are your truths as you live and see it/them.

    Just as Mattie’s comments are her truths for her – and for others to whom they might be relevant or apply, and/or who can learn from them, even if they are outside our personal realm of experience. Understanding just where she is coming from and where she has been lends credence to her posts, just as it does you for yours. Even if we don’t always come to the same conclusion as the poster.

    Conclusion may be the wrong word here – dead on my feet after being up early reading about Global Evolution for work. Really cool book, though…

    With all due respect, Verbosity, and I do truly mean that with no sarcasm or malice attached, I don’t think such women and references even belong in the same post with someone like Mattie.

    I just flat out commend you, Mattie, period! No qualifiers, no ifs ands or buts.

    You are an extraordinary lady who is clearly as resourceful and resilient as she is intelligent and funny. And giving. I am very sorry to hear of your travails – most especially of the life-threatening illness – and some pretty crappy storms you have weathered. You are clearly a very strong woman and person, and I agree with you that there are few people who could get through what you have and not only be standing, but on your own two feet, and standing strong even though you still face some challenges.

    I agree with you and with Verbosity that no one should have to be subjected to abuse – male or female.

    Thank you for sharing – Mattie. Your points were quite eloquently made and you set a fine example. I will only speak for myself, though I would bet there are others who would concur wholeheartedly. Sending lots of hugs and positive energy your way as well as sincere well wishes for a very bright present and future. You already have plenty of wisdom and good humor.

  23. 55
    hunter

    to J,

    …women don’t like to be labeled, “golddiggers”, or, they are not drawn to men with “high powered careers”, they are “attracted” to “successful” men.

    I agree with you not all attorneys make gobs of money, kind of like, neither do, many, physicians/medical doctors, surgeons….hhhmmhh…

  24. 56
    Mattie

    To J:

    A thousand thank-yous for the – clearly characteristically – kind comments (I am not convinced I entirely deserve ‘em, tho’!). Your generous gestures of friendship are fully and warmly reciprocated.

    Mxx

  25. 57
    J

    To Mattie – You are most welcome and thank you.

    Hey Hunter –

    Actually, I might not have expressed myself as clearly as I would have liked to – I didn’t mean that as you say, “not all attorneys make gobs of money, kind of like, neither do, many, physicians/medical doctors, surgeons.hhhmmhh”

    Though I know that is true. There is a huge expense associated with becoming a lawyer, doctor, dentist, surgeon, etc. as well as a great deal of time invested. I think many women (and men who find women in these careers) may assume that they do (make a lot of money and some do still attempt to take advantage of that).

    I only meant that some of us are leery of dating men in certain types of careers, and not because of the money they do or don’t make. But there are plenty of guys who also might not date me because I don’t make a lot of money and I’m not in a high powered career. Can still be successful even if you don’t make a lot of money, and hopefully, still also be attractive to some ; )

  26. 58
    verbosity

    Just to be clear, I only brought up the attorney part to indicate how I have seen the system operate to screw good, honorable people in the dating/marriage process.

    I would like to commend J for sharing her perspective. I do think that she falls into the minority, meaning that she doesn’t seek money as the primary goal in dating. As I posted before, there are articles and surveys to support my unfortunate conclusion that the majority of women seek men for money first, other things second.

    Those ‘ladies’ (vipers, anyone?) I mentioned were most definitely not kidding. If you’ve been to Scottsdale, you know what I mean. I do understand that you disagree with my belief that the majority of women seek men for money. I provided some articles, and also the article upon which this thread is based to support my conclusion. Perhaps we can agree to disagree on that point :-)

    I must respectfully take issue with something J wrote, however. She wrote, “With all due respect, Verbosity, and I do truly mean that with no sarcasm or malice attached, I dont think such women and references even belong in the same post with someone like Mattie.” I believe J doesn’t have malice in writing that, but I think such an admonishment is inappropriate. Mattie wrote a very personal, intimate response to my general observations on how the ‘system’ works. Just because Mattie’s response was so personal, that doesn’t mean I or anyone else cannot further an opinion regarding the subject of earnings in the dating arena, even if it may seem to contradict Mattie.

  27. 59
    Liz

    Men who make less money than you do are less likely to help with house chores, too, I found, because of that deep-seated resentment. It sets up a reactionary need in them to assert atavistic male traits, primary among them not to take anything resembling the “female” role in labor division. I found myself bringing home more of the bacon, and also cooking it and cleaning the pan afterwards. ;P It even affected the sex, and he introduced more of a “power” dynamic to (in his own mind) rectify the ego blow to being in a relationship with someone who earned more than he did. I can’t recommend dating someone who earns less.

  28. 60
    starr

    My view on this issue, a women can have higher income than a man, and if a man is threatened by this they should just be happy that his wife has a good paying job and is making a name for herself, if i was a man i wouldn’t be threatened by my wife making more money than i am. i would be happy that we juat had money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>