Posts tagged " career women "

Update: From Bibs to Boardrooms

December 8th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 11 comments

My husband and I love hearing comments on all our posts, be they Thought Tools, Ask the Rabbi, or my Musings. This week’s Ask the Rabbi question focused on whether retirement meant something different to women and men. One response came from Claire, who started her comment with these words:

Thank you for validating stay at home mothers, especially homeschooling ones. I passed the CPA exam 8 years ago and was just getting ready to return to work (part-time) while my children were in school. I learned more about the Common Core and decided against it. I actually think the way things were being “taught” was part of the reason why my son was confused. I knew he was capable of much more so I decided, once again, to focus on my family first. I began homeschooling him and have been very thankful for that decision ever since. I would say the only difficult “thing” for me is that, at times, I feel uncertain of my future once my children grow…

Claire’s concern resonated with me as I’m sure it did with others. It also reminded me of a very early Musing I wrote almost ten years ago. I thought that some of you might not have all my Musings memorized (just kidding!) and that this piece might deserve reposting. Enjoy.


Professional Wives

August 25th, 2006 Posted by Susan's Musings 2 comments

There’s been quite a brouhaha going on over at Forbes Magazine. It all started when author Michael Noer published an on-line article with a pretty provocative opener.

“Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career. ”

The article proceeds to list studies showing that the chances for a happy marriage are lessened when a wife out earns her husband, or even has a strong commitment to a professional career. Not surprisingly, in a world where Harvard president Lawrence Summers was ousted for a pretty innocuous statement about differences between the sexes, a fury erupted both at Forbes and elsewhere.

The article was yanked though later re-instated along with a rebuttal article by Forbes writer Elizabeth Corcoran. Now, she certainly was at a disadvantage having to write on the spot, but her article reads like it should appear in Oprah rather than in Forbes. Her arguments for dealing with what she classifies as her colleague’s “downright dangerous story” seem to fall into two categories. Firstly, she is a career woman and is happily married and secondly, men have a responsibility in marriage too.

Quite frankly, her own marriage has nothing to do with anything since Mr. Noer never claimed that studies show that 100% of marriages involving career women don’t work and as for the second point, I can’t seem to make the connection between the fact that men have a responsibility in marriage and the studies quoted.

For my own part, I wouldn’t advise anyone to marry or not or indeed to run any part of their life according to a study. It’s so terribly inconvenient when, as frequently happens, conflicting studies appear or the methodology of a study is questioned or years later it turns out that the study didn’t actually say what people thought it did. And by definition, studies deal in generalizations while people are unique

Notwithstanding that, I would certainly tell my children, who have to listen to my advice whether they want to or not, and anyone else who might ask, that marriage is a partnership with a much greater chance of success when one party, and in 95% of the cases it will work better for that party to be the wife, sees overseeing the marriage as her priority, while the other partner sees providing financial stability as his. This has nothing to do with the fact that cleaning help can be hired and meals can be eaten in restaurants. (Though there is a world of difference between a meal cooked by a stranger and a meal cooked with love.) It has nothing to do with the fact that women can be competent and succesful in business. It has everything to do with the fact that it is all too easy for the husband/wife relationship to be relegated to a back burner, whether or not there are children, and just as in any business, you want to make sure that someone is responsible for taking the pulse of the enterprise and adjusting accordingly. If both partners are immersed in outside careers, neither has the energy or time to constantly monitor and make adjustments, or arrange for the other to do so, as needed. Marriage is a career in itself.

For anyone looking to get married, I would suggest ignoring studies and instead looking for a few long-term, happily married couples whose lives reflect what the single hopes to have. They should then spend time with and have many conversations with those couples to find out the realities of married life really are from those who actually have managed to build a successful one.

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