Forbes flips off "career girls"

By Jessica Englund

Last week, I read in BITCH magazine some very intersting articles. The most interesting being a piece on career “girls” and why they are to be avoided.


Writer Jennifer Pozner from BITCH, wrote an article called “Forbes flips off “Career Girls”” which turned out to be much more upsetting than I was hoping. You can find the article here. Basically, Forbes editor, Michael Noer, wrote an article trying to persuade men to not marry career “girls” saying that men would be more likely to suffer “alchoholism, clinical depression and suicide” as well as “increased rates of cancer, stroke, and sexually transmitted disease[s].” I guess what I don’t understand is how its is possible for a person to seriously believe that by marrying a woman who is a ‘carrer girl’ will damage your health. Noer tries to explain by saying “For our purposes, a ‘career girl’ has a university-level (or higher) education, works more than 35 hours a week outside the home and makes more than $30,000 a year.” So, find a woman who cannot support herself without a ‘man’ to help her. In a nutshell, only marry women who are “uneducated, financially dependent wage slaves who are more likely to put up with husbands who prefer to treat their wives like maids rather than partners.” That from BITCH.


2 thoughts on “Forbes flips off "career girls"

  1. Hmmm… the first thing I thought after reading that article was “Girlfriends: Marry a guy who already knows how to cook an edible meal, clean up after himself, and do his own laundry.”
    Funny that Noer specifically ended the article with

    “A word of caution, though: As with any social scientific study, it’s important not to confuse correlation with causation. In other words, just because married folks are healthier than single people, it doesn’t mean that marriage is causing the health gains. It could just be that healthier people are more likely to be married.”

    He then fails to notice his own radical causation misfire: a woman choosing a career may not be the direct cause for marriage deterioration, but in fact a cause of satisfaction and choice in her life (um, Friedan, anyone?). Maybe, for instance, the men in these women’s lives weren’t willing to transition from their childhood paradigm into one of more equal sharing of household duties now that the women had as many work responsibilities as their husbands… and then the women chose to opt out of their unequal partnerships. Because they could. Because they were no longer socially or financially isolated from independence. And whoever said it’s the women’s fault that their houses are dirtier when they start working? Isn’t he insulting his own gender by assuming men are really that big of idiots with a broom or a chicken breast and box of instant risotto? Give me a break, this sounds to me like the cry of a helpless man!
    Of course, though, fun as it is, we can’t put all the responsibility and blame on the men. Both spouses share the responsibility for coming to agreement on a reasonable divvying of duties. That means men may have to agree to learn some new skills if they don’t have them already, and women have to recognize and speak up when they’re doing too much. I certainly witnessed too many women from my mother’s generation that thought that to have a career they had to keep up on all the duties they would have had as stay-at-home-moms as well as keep up a 40hr/wk work schedule. I still puzzle over why more of them didn’t demand more help with the stereotypical “women’s work” around the house.
    …which brings me back to my original point. Women have realized we want more out of a marriage than turning into grown-up babysitters, so let’s make our own choice: “Women: don’t marry a guy who can’t do his own laundry, cook, or clean up after himself.”

  2. While it’s alarming (to say the least) that this article escaped out into the media at all, I think we’ll all feel a little vindicated to hear the outcome of this story of blatant sexism in the media… check out this update on Michael Noer from Wikipedia:

    On August 22nd 2006, published an article written by Noer, “Don’t Marry Career Women,” which included statistics used to defend a thesis that men were unhappier in marriages in which the women earned more than $30,000 a year, as opposed to marriages in which the women worked less. The article attracted controversy among readers and bloggers while some supported it. Many accused Noer of blatant sexism, as well as misrepresenting or misinterpreting the statistics he quoted. Due to the furor, it was taken down after one day. Hours later, it was republished with a counterpoint piece entitled “Don’t Marry A Lazy Man,” by Elizabeth Corcoran, a Forbes Senior Editor based in Silicon Valley. Forbes opened up a Reader Response forum to discuss the issues raised by the two articles, and Steve Forbes, the magazine’s editor-in-chief and leading shareholder, issued a public apology.

    You can read Elizabeth Corcoran’s counterpoint alongside Noer’s article in the Forbes archived point/counterpoint.

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