Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

What is wrong at Forbes?

Come one, come all! See the amazing “Don’t Marry Career Women” article at Forbes. Marvel at the reasoning! Take a trip back down nostalgia lane to a time when cars were big and women stayed in the kitchen!

Seriously, did someone over at Forbes go insane? Here’s the first paragraph:

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.

One of the “Nine Reasons To Steer Clear Of Career Women”: You’ll have a dirty house.

What?!? This is the kind of reasoning I heard when I was growing up during the Seventies, and even then I’m not sure most people who said it really believed it anymore.

Link courtesy of Boing Boing

Update: I had to post a link to Gawker’s tale, told from the stock photos used by Forbes to illustrate the Nine Reasons.

Update, redux:
The link to the actual article has stopped working. Here’s a link to the Google cached version.

Update, again: Forbes put the article back up as half of a Point/Counterpoint article, at the original link.


  1. FTM

    A certain aspect of this is being missed entirely:

  2. Lorrie

    I’m not sure there is a binary position to this as FTM would lead us to believe. I am what you probably would call a ‘career woman’ – I am educated, making a fair bit of money, and working too many hours because my job depends on me and I do gain a certain satisfaction and self-worth out of my job. I am also in a wonderful marriage with a ‘career man’ (using the definition I have set out above).

    Do I think our marriage suffers due to our work lives? No… we work hard to communicate throughout the good times and bad and provide each other with a lot of good esteem. Do we do a lot of traditional household stuff – NO – we have a cleaning service do a lot of the household cleaning and restuarants cook a lot of our food. Do we have children? No. But do these things affect our relationship with one another? Absolutely not. And they do not make up a marriage as well.

  3. FTM

    There’s more to life than work.

  4. Shane

    True enough, but Forbes’ definition is extreme, to say the least:

    “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.”

    That doesn’t really indicate a person whose life is entirely devoted to work over family. In fact, it ignores a large number of working women who make under $30K and work over 40 hours a week, sometimes to feed their familes.

    The article doesn’t seem to be focused on family time so much as stereotypes of relationships where the wife makes more money than the husband. As such, I’m still wondering why Forbes thought it interesting enough for a fairly large spread, at least on the Web.

  5. Shane

    Almost forgot…and let’s not even get into the education factor. It’s an article devoted to the idea that women shouldn’t accomplish more in certain parts of life than their husbands, or “there might be trouble.” That’s insulting to everyone.

  6. FTM

    What if the article is right? What if “career women” are more likely to be unhappy in a marriage? Do we still have reason to angered by the article?

  7. FTM

    And, for the record, I’m married to a woman wih a master’s degree. She is more educated than me… Our marriage is very happy. Of course, she is a stay at home mom for the next 5 years.

  8. Shane

    First of all, congratulations. 🙂

    Yep, primarily due to the same sort of thing that afflicts a lot of articles where journalists cover research. When you’re used to writing in a “human interest” vein, I think it’s hard to convey a point bolstered by research results. I don’t know whether the author ran across these studies and decided to write an article, or whether he decided to write an article and went looking for the studies, but there’s a big disconnect between the tone of the article and actually trying to connect it to data. I have to come back to the definition of career girl, for instance. Where did he get that from? Did the studies show significant differences at that cutoff point? Can’t tell from this.

    Reading through this, it really looks like either his editor butchered his original piece, or he decided to write an article and went out to find some studies. I’m just not seeing where he’s actually citing research to support lines like this:

    “Not a happy conclusion, especially given that many men, particularly successful men, are attracted to women with similar goals and aspirations. And why not? After all, your typical career girl is well-educated, ambitious, informed and engaged. All seemingly good things, right? Sure…at least until you get married. Then, to put it bluntly, the more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you. Sound familiar?”

    I’m not sure he really can. The style of writing is personal; the research is aggregate. Of course, we’ve seen that in a lot of articles about health risks as well.

    I’ve noticed studies before that point out degree of difference in education, no matter which way it goes as far as husband vs. wife, is a significant predictor of marital success. The larger the degree, the less likely the marriage is to succeed. It would be interesting to see how the studies he cites and these other studies would play together.

    In the interest of disclosure, my wife and I are both similarly educated. Which one of us makes more money depends on the year. Hasn’t really been an issue, but I don’t know how typical we are compared to the people in the research.

  9. FTM

    You’re absolutely right about the research being aggregate. I have, however, met a number of “career women” who seem to have a chip on their shoulder–they don’t like it when other women have a child they need to leave to take care of. They don’t like it when I take a week off for the birth of a new child.

    Again, this “research” of mine is personal experience, but there does seem to be this “us vs. them” attitude when it comes to career-oriented people and family-oriented people. Ultimately, career is just a job, it can’t love you back…

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