Woman + Career = Bad marriage material, according to Forbes.com executive editor

August 26, 2006 at 1:38 am (Uncategorized)

A few days ago I stumbled across an interesting post at the bitemarks blog written by Kristin Maverick. Apparently Michael Noer, executive editor at Forbes thinks that career women do not make good marriage candidates, and that men everywhere should beware!

Why? Because, dear reader, “recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.”

Noer implies that women who care about their jobs put career at a higher priority than family, reaping devestating consequences for the husband and children.

It made me think of my own life and how I choose to prioritize my relationships. I remember when I was first starting out as an intern at my current employer. Since I was working for experience and not cash, I went back to my token high school and college job at Peet’s Coffee & Tea and added another job as a hostess for a fancy French restaurant to make ends meet.

My boyfriend absolutely hated it.

I worked nearly every weekend, and when I did have days off I was too tired to be much fun. It was miserable, and when I was bumped up from intern to paid full-timer he happily informed me that I could now quit my other jobs. Which I promptly did. After that, my life went back to the appropriate balance of work and relationship time.

I am very invested in my job and my future career path. I do, however, like most women, make sure that the important relationships in my life take priority over other, more temporal things. The job I have today may not be around in five years, but if all goes according to plan, my relationships will. In fact, I happen to be quite close with a fellow PR practitioner that manages to juggle a high level job with taking care of her young daughter. Aside from being a trusted friend and mentor to me, she is one of the best mothers I know: living proof that it is possible to have a successful professional AND family career.

I agree with Kristin in that Michael’s contentions could apply to either man or woman. A man is just as able as a woman to become a workaholic, if not more prone, and an absent husband is no better than an absent wife.

Forbes apparently realized this as well, since they responded to the article’s highly negative reaction by posting a new article from Senior Editor Elizabeth Corcoran as a counterpoint to Noer’s: “Don’t Marry A Lazy Man.” Corcoran adeptly mends the open sore by discussing the problems that men bring to a marriage, speaking up for career women everywhere, and ending with the following advice:

“So guys, if you’re game for an exciting life, go ahead and marry a professional gal.”

Besides the counter response, Forbes also posted a link on their site for discussion of the two articles. Despite Noer’s distasteful article, I must give kudos to the Forbes team for trying to remove the foot from their mouth and recognizing readers’ concerns.

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