To paraphrase, “if a woman earns more than her husband – his penis may as well fall off.” Needless to say that’s a very controversial view, but Tony Parsons – Grazia contributor – is not alone in thinking it.
His words were spurred by those of actress Chloe Sevigny who claimed that men were “intimidated” by her earning more than they do. Is that surprising? Not really. After all, it isn’t only economics that may make men feel intimidated by a woman – many things factor in – looks, education, even how funny or how likeable they are. Is that weird? Not really. After all, women get ‘jealous’ (for lack of a better word) of their friends all the time, too.
Since the beginning of time we have lived in a survival of the fittest type world. Do more. Work harder. Be better essentially, than everyone around you. And that is without taking into consideration the imagined – and often, the real – differences between men and women.
It would be difficult (and silly) to argue that men and women are on a completely equal plane without completely ignoring the plight of many cultures and instances in which women are oppressed by their male counterparts and by societys ideals for them. But, in the Western world at least, women really do have it pretty good.
Some argue that feminism is no longer about equal rights, but about having special privileges for women. Does living in an equal society mean that the definitions of what a man is and what a woman is have to be completely altered?! Do women have to go out and change the tires of a car while men cook dinner and breast feed the children for society to be considered equal? Would you want to do that any way? Isn’t the fact that you can enough?
While discussing husband material with a friend the other day, my homie made a very good point. It was of course very, very, very far down the list but she said “If I really liked and wanted something, I would want my husband to be able to buy it for me.”
This of course is worlds away from Channel 4’s recently aired montrosity entitled “sex, lies and deceiving guys” which portrayed the way in which some women tricked and used men into buying them gifts. Things they would never buy (nor would ever be able to afford to buy) for themselves.
My friend wasn’t saying that she was going to sit at home and put her feet up and wait for her husband to buy her things. On the contrary – she is an ambitious girl and works very hard to get to where she one day wishes to be. The argument is that it’s nice to feel looked after every once in a while. Almost as nice as it feels to be able to look after yourself.
Now in terms of whether she’d want her husband to earn more than her, I can’t speculate. Coming from my own point of view however, I would. Why? I’m not entirely sure. One thing is certain however – ambition is sexy. Motivation is powerful. Striving for something more and better and working f*cking hard for it are qualities I find alluring and essential in a man. Especially in someone I am actually going to marry. On top of that; I guess it kind of just goes back to that feeling of being looked after. Does that mean I don’t want to earn my own money? Of course not. Because those are qualities I seek in myself too.
At the end of the day it is
only an insecure man who would have a relationship-ending problem with his partner earning more than him. Real love would allow him to encourage her, to be proud, to love her for it. The word partner in itself suggests that it is supposed to be a partnership, not a competition. And life of course throws things at you that you can’t really decide or choose. But if I could, I would want my husband to earn more than me.
Why? Because providing is an act of love. It’s hardwired in the DNA of men to hunt, gather and look after his family. Because, as much as I like looking after myself, it’s nice sometimes not to always need to.