This just in: Working women still conniving C-words (and other charming headlines)

September 26th, 2007

roaches.jpgChildless women “hostile to working mums” In the UK, with maternity leave lasting up to a year and “the right to ask for flex work” now an option, boardroom-bound non-moms see working moms as corporate enemies to be quashed like cockroaches. (I’m paraphrasing, people.) Furthermore, “the Working Mothers’ Report found that 52 percent thought it easier to blame a faulty alarm clock or heavy traffic than to admit that child-care problems had made them late.” (UK Telegraph)

Is she really going out with him? Now that women in their twenties who work full time in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis are bringing home more bacon than their male counterparts, they’re fraught with new dating dilemmas (says this article). Specifically, guys who make less and are intimidated by the fact that their girlfriend makes more, or guys who just can’t keep up financially (say, if she wants to go to a pricy restaurant and the opera but he wants to stay at home and swill beer). I dunno, even before researchers were announcing that women consistently made more than men in some age groups/cities, I developed this little dating tenet known as Don’t Date a Moocher, Slacker, Stoner, Agorophobe, or Drunkass Loser. At the same time, I’ve dated a number of respectful, respectable guys who said they’d be happy to be a stay-at-home househubby if we ever shacked up, an idea I rather like since I destest most domestic duties. And I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way. What I’m saying is, this smells like another BS “Style” section trend story. What do you think? (New York Times; now free online!)

Do working women need permission from their employers before getting knocked up? This is an older piece, but worth sharing: “The US has the most limited parental leave policies in the world; conservatives are furious about efforts to catch up.” Of course they are. Rat bastards. (AlterNet)

Too many tchochkes on your desk? Don’t expect a promotion any time soon. “If more than one in five items that adorn a worker’s office or cubicle is personal in nature, others may view that worker as unprofessional.” In case you were wondering, “this is largely an American phenomenon.” (Michigan Ross School of Business)

Mary-Kate (Needs A Steak) Olsen: I don’t just shop, I work hard. The life of a celebrity is haaa-aaard! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. (Fametastic)

Entry Filed under: Coffee break,Money honey,The singles table,Working moms

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sonia  |  September 26th, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I read the New York Times article the other day and immediately called my mother to bitch about it. It reminds me of “research” that has been done since the 1980s showing that there aren’t enough men to go around, that educated women have a better chance of being killed by terrorists than of getting married, etc. While I don’t doubt that there are a lot of men who have not yet joined the twenty-first century and do feel threatened by successful women who can support themselves, what I love about articles like this is that the issue is always framed as a women’s problem (Women: You are never going to get married, and it’s your own fault) rather than as a men’s problem (Men: Get over yourselves) or even a societal issue or one that indicates much deeper problems in our culture regarding the entrenchment of assumptions and beliefs regarding gender roles that are no longer (if they ever really were) compatible with society and the way we live our lives.

  • 2. Michelle Goodman  |  September 26th, 2007 at 10:08 am

    sonia, thanks for your brilliant insights. i completely agree!

  • 3. Rita  |  September 26th, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Wow. “Putting Money on the Table” made me really uncomfortable. I’m sure the women interviewed are nice, hardworking people, but because of the structure of the story they come off like elitists who ultimately want to find their very own sugar daddy. Although I liked how there was some discussion of their own money insecurities, not enough emphasis was placed on the problem men tend to have when the roles are reversed. Why should someone have to take the blame for a breakup for liking a bistro over a diner? The issues are deeper than money. That story only skimmed the surface and reinforced the idea that even top dollar making women want to be taken care of at the end of the day.

  • 4. Sonia  |  September 26th, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    At the same time, I do think that what you said, Michelle, about this being a BS style section trend story is probably right. Someone at the New York times knows someone whose boyfriend broke up with her because she made more money than he did, and suddenly this is a problem for all women everywhere. I know that we like to pretend that class doesn’t exist in American, but several of their examples really seem to be more an issue of social class than of how much money individual men and women are making. These are issues that you’re always going to encounter when you are in any kind of a relationship with someone who is in a different class; I think that because historically women have always been encouraged to date and marry up class-wise, everyone (men and women) is uncomfortable with the tables being turned, and that might be why these women come off as such elitists in this article.

  • 5. Elizabeth  |  September 26th, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    On a completely different note, my boyfriend, James, and I had a good chuckle over Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen apparently naming their sportswear line, Elizabeth and James, after us.

  • 6. Meg H.  |  September 26th, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    I found you from

    This is a great blog!

  • 7. Michelle Goodman  |  September 27th, 2007 at 8:44 am

    thanks, meg, and all else who’ve commented on this thread. (feel free to continue.)

    fwiw, i’m not sure i find the women interviewed in the NY Times piece elitist so much as realistic. it’s easier to be with like-minded people. if you’re ambitious and your sweetie isn’t, well… it can be hard, whether you’re a man or woman. if you like swanky shit and s/he doesn’t, it can be hard, again, no matter what your sex. i don’t think this implies at all that women want to be taken care of, just that they want an equal partner who’s in the same place as they are with regard to career/drive/spending/recreation. i’m more inclined to agree with sonia, but i will call this a lifestyle/tax bracket/life choices issue rather than a class issue.

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Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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