“There is no law against a woman earning more than a man – only the law of human nature.”

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.

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4 thoughts on ““There is no law against a woman earning more than a man – only the law of human nature.”

  1. Yes, I tried it two or three times. It didn’t work. Call me insecure, however i’m simply going off experience. It does seem like it being hardwired into the DNA causes a lot of problems. As a man, it can eat into your drive, work ethic and when it starts to affect your performance in the bedroom… then you know you really have problems! Whether you live or walk around in a patriarchal or matriarchial society, London to Jeddah, West or East… when you really look between the lines I think you’ll find most successful marriages work where the woman is running the show by mutual agreement… be it overtly or behind the scenes. I don’t think it’s possible to have a successful relationship as a man unless you look at the woman as just ever so slightly better and more deserving than yourself. No pedestals, but you really have to wake up in a place where you feel like “you know what, I’m the asshole of this partnership and she’s clearly my better half” and work from there. Learning that we’re all equal and born with equal rights is an important part of education, and yet I believe there’s a refreshing moment when you can tell yourself “school’s out” and start celebrating each other’s differences with a little character and flavour into the mix. But what would I know? The only time any of us get to say we’ve got a successful relationship on our CV that went the distance is the day we check out of this planet onto bigger and better things. I’d like to believe in the end I’ve managed to land into relationships, be it with family and friends, where our dreams are never seen as mutually exclusive from one another’s path like you said. Hopefully that continues. There are also plenty of other things besides money that have to be accounted for… things like intellectual capital and well, sometimes, just good old fashioned banter at the dinner table. Intangible things you can’t put a price on.

      • Yeah I do ramble on a bit don’t I? Haha. I’ve been sharing your blog around like a complete freshie. It’s my early morning read. Keep writing!

  2. I would want us to earn around the same and definitely wouldn’t be comfortable with my partner earning a lot more than me. Money is power after all. I believe in love but I have experienced it too and know it comes with power struggles. Also, to have your partner buy you stuff you can’t afford is essentially putting you in a very child-like position, I think women need to move away from that kind of dependence, it’s not particularly healthy for any adult.

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