January 19, 2010

It's men who are marrying up now.

Link.

The question is whether they can figure out how to do it well. It's not the same for a man as for a woman, because you don't have the whole weight of tradition assuring you that you're doing something beautiful and good or making you feel that you need to do something more up-to-date. That might make it easier or more difficult.

ADDED: Here's the WaPo's treatment of the same material, with more detail about the underlying research.

AND: So the NYT relied on it's standard Story of One Woman approach, the WaPo went with a dry presentation of the report, and New York summed it up crisply with insightful humor:
This is good news in that it signifies that women's earnings have increased so that they are more on par with men's, and that everyone is getting more comfortable with the notion of equity among the sexes. It is also kind of bad news in that it may encourage that subspecies of men who have, anecdotally if not scientifically, been proven to be congenitally lazy (budding musicians in their mid-twenties), and in that it throws a wrench in the story single women in New York have been telling each other over the years, which is that the reason they are single is that they are simply too amazing for dudes to handle, and that their rare combination of brains, beauty, wealth, and success intimidates men to the point that they have to run away and seek shelter with inferior mates because otherwise they might shrivel up into raisinlike creatures under the light of their awesomeness.

106 comments:

rhhardin said...

Marrying up, Bush at the Al Smith dinner October 2001

My opponent and I have had some strong differences. Let me tell you a few things I've learned in this campaign. He's a man who clearly respects and loves his wife and family. Like me he married-up. I've also learned he is a person of energy, skill and determination. This year, Mr. Vice-President, I can't wish you success, but I do wish you well.

curiously cited at democratic underground. Maybe they see it as political weakness.

wv: pantie

rhhardin said...

October 2000, that should be

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julius Ray Hoffman said...

So is the NY Times saying that these women achieved all the goals of Feminism and now that's... a problem?

And then there's this bit:

“We’ve known for some time that men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being,” said Stephanie Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and research director for the Council on Contemporary Families, a research and advocacy group. “Now it is becoming increasingly important to their economic well-being as well.”

What sexist bigotry! Men should be up in arms about this kind of degrading bullshit!

rhhardin said...

“We’ve known for some time that men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being"

a study apparently not including the hard sciences, which are an escape from women.

The Crack Emcee said...

I want A BIG WEDDING! The BIGGEST WEDDING EVER!

I'm off to start planning it, riiight now,...

Expat(ish) said...

Poo. Any man with a functioning IQ will say he's married up.

And it's probably true.

Heck, my wife has a Ph.D. and runs a biotech. I'm happy to remember when school lets out so I can do pickup!

-XC

Ann Althouse said...

re George Bush The linked article is specifically about marrying someone with more money and education. I'd like to set to the side the conventional male presentation of his wife as superior -- his better half. The use of the phrase "I married up" to refer to that is a common witticism, and it's funny because of the contrast to what women have conventionally done, which is trade beauty and youth for money and power.

ricpic said...

Her legs. If her legs are good I'd be willing to marry down.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Crack- Be sure to post a picture of your rock here! It'll show us all how much she loves you.

Chris said...

I've "married up" in pretty much all my relationships although only one was an actual marriage. The problem with being a poor bastard is that though your wife is totally into you, her people tend to be quite suspicious.

shoutingthomas said...

Feminism! Ugly shit.

And here I thought that Evergreen College was a fictional place, invented by Larry of BlameBush! fame, invented solely to ridicule progressives (i.e., backward-ists).

Evergreen College... what a hoot!

rhhardin said...

Marrying up has always meant social status.

Scott M said...

If true (said cynically), what do you expect?

The boomers have successfully moved us from a obligation/responsibility centered culture to a rights-centered culture with all the rampant narcissism that entails.

Boys aren't raised to be men anymore. They're raised to be myn. They are not allowed to be aggressive or competitive and are assaulted on all sides by an advertising and entertainment industry that wants them to remain that way. Toss in an extra message stating "you're an idiot and a woman is the only thing that can save you", a message that pummels them every day judging by what I've seen on afternoon and early evening tv (which is why I don't watch much at all).

Add to that empirical evidence of public education stressing science and math less, topics in which men generally excel, and we're setting ourselves up for failure.

We already embrace mediocrity and seemingly disdain true excellence. Men used to be raised to excel and to look after those around them. Now men are just raised to care about numero uno and work towards unlocking more gear on Modern Warfare 2.

My two-month-old boy will not fall into that category.

Greg said...

"But some women find that the dating pressures are intense. Syreeta McFadden, a 35-year-old Columbia and Sarah Lawrence graduate who is between jobs after working in real estate development, said: “With men of any ethnic group, it’s a little intimidating for them to encounter smart women. Money is tricky. "

So let me get this straight, she has NO job and I am supposed to be the one under pressure?

Salamandyr said...

I think it's nice that women are getting over their hang-ups to only "marry up", which becomes harder and harder the further up the social ladder you climb.

Witness the lamentations of Maureen Dowd, whose cries she "just can't find a man" are pretty much only made true because she insists on finding a man as well off as she. I bet if she included plumbers, cab drivers, or pharmacists into her field of "datable men" she'd have much more romantic luck.

Marrying up can be difficult for men, trained as we are to be "providers", but I think if a man is capable of stepping into the provider role, he can be comfortable with the fact that he doesn't need to.

paul a'barge said...

Hm. Top of the story at the NYT link ... a stylist is described as the female who was "up" in the relationship?

I quit reading at that point. I'm not buying it for one minute.

Where does the NYT find these writers? Is there some nincompoop pool they draw from?

Rich B said...

Ann-

I agree with Paul. You ought to dump the Times and read up.

WV: demantz as is Demantz is always looking for a womantz wit more money.

Joan said...

Or as my genius friend the textile designer says, she asks on first dates or meeting men in bars, ‘Do you have a passport and a library card?’ ”

Yet another story in which the women reveal themselves to be the exact opposite of good marriage material. Yeesh.

I found it striking the offhand way in which the article stated how much better women are doing economically than men, these days. Incomes rising faster, losing fewer jobs in the current troubles, more highly educated. You'd think that our society actually, you know, supports women, instead of being the oppressive misogynistic nightmare we all know it be.

Triangle Man said...

Men can only marry up if women are willing to, or need to, marry down. Educated and financially successful women may be having a hard time finding mates with equal or higher status. Seems like this might be a natural consequence of more women being more educated and having more money.

Henry said...

Where does the NYT find these writers? Is there some nincompoop pool they draw from?

Journalism majors?

traditionalguy said...

The need for a woman to feel protected can be satisfied by things other than money...such as civility and social skills, graciousness to the woman's family and attentiveness to the other spouse's needs and desires. We all need our companion for life/spouse to be a genuine and be good person who is safe for us. No Narcissists supermen are needed. Even traditional Rich men can be arrogant men who take a spouse for granted as another of their toys in life. IMO today's women need to get a strong Pre-nuptual Agreement and pick love with a safe person over wealth any day. (P.S., for their own protection Christians are warned not to marry unbelievers).

Martha said...

My son, 27 years old and a recent law school graduate, reports that several married women he knows in his law school class are the breadwinners in the family and the husbands stay home and take care of the baby. The husbands have Ph.D.s in English or physics or even business but they have been unable to get a job that pays anything close to the salary the lawyer wife gets. My son says the husbands seem "happy" with the arrangement--the women not so much when baby prefers Daddy to Mommy.

bagoh20 said...

"Where does the NYT find these writers? Is there some nincompoop pool they draw from?"

Yea, all these article have the same very narrow perspective: urban, degree chasing for at least half their adult lives, constantly talking about the men they don't need.

A Sarah Palin type never appears, but they are out there and they can write.

Writers who have actually done something outside their apartment and have gotten dirty a little are so rare now days.

The result is very sterile and self-indulgent.

knox said...

What Joan said. I too noticed the self-important nastiness of that quote: Do you have a passport and a library card?

Sounding sophisticated is more important to this woman than finding a man. Or common courtesy, for that matter.

bagoh20 said...

Everyone should marry up.

Tibore said...

Da hell?

"That might make it easier or more difficult."

Jeez... tautological much? When did vapid idiocy become acceptible in articles there?

DADvocate said...

With more women than men in college, medical school and law school, this shouldn't surprise anyone. With the educational establishment's hostility towards men, it will continue.

men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being,

I had the same reaction, bull crap. I've seen recent studies that showed just the opposite.

I'm with Joan and Knox, too. Any self-respecting man wouldn't bother with such self-absorbed women for more than one night. Sometimes it's not the money or status, it's the personality disorder.

ironrailsironweights said...

From the very first sentence of the Times article:

Beagy Zielinski is a German-born 28-year-old stylist who moved to New York to study fashion in 1995 and stayed.

Since when do 14-year-olds move to different countries to study fashion?

Peter

TMink said...

“call you high maintenance if you look like you don’t need anyone to take care of you.”

Right. Men don't know the difference between no maintenance and high maintenance.

Sure.

Smells like massive denial on the part of the woman that said that to me.

Trey

Sofa King said...

men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being,

Yeah, pull the other one.

Larry J said...

Or as my genius friend the textile designer says, she asks on first dates or meeting men in bars, ‘Do you have a passport and a library card?’ ”

Yet another story in which the women reveal themselves to be the exact opposite of good marriage material. Yeesh.


What such self-absorbed women don't understand is that the more restrictive criteria they put in place, the lower their odds on finding someone who fits. Then, they have to hope that the "perfect match" likes them in return. For many men, women like that are a turnoff. Snobbism isn't attractive.

Scott M said...

@Sofa King

men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being,

Yeah, pull the other one.


LOL, I thought the same thing when I read that. I have a very happy marriage to a great women and I love my kids.

That being said, as much as these things define me and my life, I can very clearly remember what it was like being single and childless.

I don't think I required any psychological crutches at all. I fell in love and we decided to get married. The mere statement that men require marriage more than women for mental well-being just proves the person who made the statement doesn't get out much.

Sofa King said...

The mere statement that men require marriage more than women for mental well-being just proves the person who made the statement doesn't get out much.

It tells you what kind of "men" they choose to hang around with, for one thing.

From Inwood said...

Interestingly, as noted, marrying up has two meanings: one's social status vs. the new spouse & on the other hand one's physical & mental attributes.

I married up in the latter sense. (Not sure exactly who determines the former, but let’s assume for these purposes.) My mother was horrified & embarrassed.

Perhaps a false assumption & an over-generalization on my part based on too small a sampling, but it seems to me that my friends who were above average in intellect but who married someone of lower intellect were surprised when youth faded that spousal conversations were, er, tough & that in some cases they had kids who did not have the same intellect as they.

From Inwood said...

Can we say tht a guy who goes from a conservative mag to a column in the NYT has "jobbed" down?

traditionalguy said...

A responsable husband who is secure enough in himself to admire and let his wife's skills develop without feeling threatened by them, or trying to take credit for them himself, is a winner.

Scott M said...

The mere statement that men require marriage more than women for mental well-being just proves the person who made the statement doesn't get out much.

It tells you what kind of "men" they choose to hang around with, for one thing.


Coakley voters, I'm betting.

Scott M said...

A responsable husband who is secure enough in himself to admire and let his wife's skills develop without feeling threatened by them, or trying to take credit for them himself, is a winner.

That cuts both ways, though, doesn't it?

traditionalguy said...

Scot M...Marriage is not for everyone. Men don't need marriage anymore than they need children and grandchildren. But marriage is a wonderful blessing for many men, especially the Guardian personality types to live a full and satisfying life.

edutcher said...

There's all kinds of marrying up. An old saying out West goes:

Marry a gal twice as smart as you and you'll end up just about even.

I know a lot of guys of whom it can be said, "She was the best thing that ever happened to him". And she, of course, almost always isn't Miss Gotrocks.

OTOH, there's John Kerry who's made a career of it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

About time. Some of us have been tired of carrying your butts for the last 6000 years.

Titus said...

My husband and I make comparable salaries but the big difference is he comes from money, I don't. He would not even have to work-to have his problems, huh?

I am fine with being the housewife but I don't know how I would feel not having my own money.

When we move to Bangalore I will be the housewife. Maybe I can star in the Real Housewives of Bangalore, that would be cool.

Paddy O. said...

"passport and a library card"

I get the passport thing. But library card? Really? Is this a sign of sophistication?

Do cosmopolitan men hang out in libraries? I would think that a membership at a local museum or some other cultural marker would mean more. Or, at the very least, being part of Amazon vine. But, library card?

From Inwood said...

Speaking of “looking down”, there’s a great article in the latest Commentary: href=" www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/why-jews-hate-palin-15323?page=all>"Why Jews Hate Palin"

(Unintended consequences: C4 will come forth with his usual Joos' rant. ☺)

Apropos of this Althouse thread, the author says:

Unless [Palin]is content to write off significant segments of the electorate (and she may be)…She will have to make voters comfortable with the idea that she is neither ignorant nor lacking in intellectual agility…And she must explain why her particular life skills and experience are more reliable indicators of successful leadership than elite credentials. Much of the country may be primed to hear a critique of the shortcomings of Ivy League–educated elites, but voters will expect to hear just how it is that Palin’s background, philosophy, and proposals would mark an improvement over the present.

All that, even if done expertly, may only minimally lessen the animosity toward her. Palin’s anti-elitism and her embrace of social conservatism, which are now integral to her persona, will in all likelihood continue to make her unpopular with the great majority of Jews. She is not about to change her appearance, her stance on abortion, or her disdain for media elites. And Jews are not about to cast aside their preference for those leaders whom they perceive as intellectually worthy—and socially compatible.


Read the whole thing, as they say.

Meade said...

bagoh20 said...
Everyone should marry up.

I totally agree.

May I recommend UP in high country of Colorado?

Expat(ish) said...

Funny, I always tell my wife that married men don't live longer, it just seems longer.

Bada-bing.

As SofaKing says - I remember being unmarried and childless. Which is why the saddest move I've seen in years is Nick Cage in Family Man.

That I can't imagine.

-XC

From Inwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
From Inwood said...

Back to the drawing board re references!

John said...

I am amazed that nobody else has brought this up yet.

Meade is a fine fellow and all that. However, even with all is sterling attributes he does seem to have married up.

John Henry

Joe said...

the women not so much when baby prefers Daddy to Mommy

I was working long hours (60+ a week) when my first, a girl, was born yet she and I bonded almost instantly and she vastly preferred me over her mom, which drove my wife far more crazy than she let on.

Ironically, the youngest, also a girl, was, and remains, the almost complete opposite of her sister. My wife discovered that having a child almost permanently attached to you has its downsides (though I think she liked it far more than she let on.)

David said...

Again: "Just about everything about the New York Times can be explained . . . "

Hurry up, guys. Charge for "content."

Joan said...

Joe, don't be too hard on your wife enjoying the clinginess of your youngest. There's a special sweetness to it, because you know you're not having any more.

At least there was for me.

FWIW, I was making more than my husband when we met & married, by quite a bit. I had been in software development over a dozen years and was doing consulting work on the side as well. Fifteen years later, I'm home with the kids and he's underwriting my teaching certification - not only am I not earning, I've gone back to school. I am especially blessed.

Lem said...

The incongruity of equality is a stubborn thing.

Meade said...

Thanks for the compliment, John Henry.

Let me assure you - and I think I can safely speak for all of her husbands, past, present, and future - there is no man who could marry Ann Althouse in any direction but up.

Bruce Hayden said...

Stating the obvious, women have to do this, since, at least at graduation from college or graduate school, they are slightly more numerous at each level and at least as well qualified. The result is that it is getting ever harder for more and more women to marry up.

But this isn't going well. It is suggested that this is one reason that so many Black women don't marry these days - the educated ones don't have anyone to marry up to, and are loathe to marry down.

There seems to be something askance with women marrying down. Neither sex really seems to like it, and I think women do worse with it than men do.

I do know that my marriage fell apart when I was grossly underemployed right out of law school. I was the primary care giver of our kid, and she brought home most of the money. To this day, I think that she really resented deep down the forced role reversals.

And I think that this is maybe part of the problem, that women marrying down may view the guy as being lazy and not pulling his weight if he doesn't bring home as much as she does. Obviously, with all those professional women happily married to underemployed PhDs, this isn't always the case.

veni vidi vici said...

You know that the double-"o" in a name like "Coontz" is pronounced like a "U" with umlauts, bringing into question whether the name itself (which is no English word as presented) wasn't "anglicized" from something more unfortunate, but perhaps more accurate in light of her comments.

Meade said...

She'll either love me or leave me for quoting this but, at my advanced age, I completely agree with this thought of Saul Alinsky's (from his 1972 Playboy interview):

[O]nce you accept your own mortality on the deepest level, your life can take on a whole new meaning. If you've learned anything about life, you won't care any more about how much money you've got or what people think of you, or whether you're successful or unsuccessful, important or insignificant. You just care about living every day to the full, drinking in every new experience and sensation as eagerly as a child, and with the same sense of wonder.

Lem said...

When we move to Bangalore I will be the housewife. Maybe I can star in the Real Housewives of Bangalore.

Boots in Bangalore..

Freeman Hunt said...

Article assumes that what constitutes "up-ness" is the same for both males and females. Evidence?

Expat(ish) said...

@Freeman, funny, I was just thinking that.

In our scout troop there is a mom who is a big deal executive at a company. I'm sure she has at least one more zero on her salary than mine. Her husband essentially is an odd-job carpenter/mechanic/plumber/electrician.

They are great together. And when people find out what she does and what he does she just raises her eyebrow and looks wise.

Great gal. And by any conventional measure she "married down." But not in her eyes.

I blame Disney. You ever notice the pauper marries the princess, but if the prince marries the pauper she is either "fairy blessed" or "beautiful" or a princess in disguise?

-XC

Hoosier Daddy said...

Let me assure you - and I think I can safely speak for all of her husbands, past, present, and future - there is no man who could marry Ann Althouse in any direction but up.

I have this image of disheveled, red eyed Mead reading that in a prepared statement while blinking SAVE ME! in Morse Code.

;-)

Brian Day said...

I know that several people have already commented about the library card, but in the age of the internet, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, & used book stores, who really needs a library card unless you need access to specialized technical books/journals?

As far as a passport goes, I'd ask instead, "How many National Parks have you visited?"

Fred4Pres said...

I married up. No doubt about it.

Dave said...

I'd be in trouble on the library card thing too. I keep my library at home. I'd be tempted to ask in return: Do you own a copy of "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill.

edutcher said...

John said...

I am amazed that nobody else has brought this up yet.

Meade is a fine fellow and all that. However, even with all is sterling attributes he does seem to have married up.

John Henry


Let me say this for the male sex. Maybe Ann is the one who feels she married up. After all, her whole demeanor has taken on a joy most of the people who comment here have not only noticed, but told her how much they like it.

As I said, there's all kinds of marrying up.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Let me say this for the male sex. Maybe Ann is the one who feels she married up.

Well I think Meade is a Hoosier so it does make sense she'd feel that way ;-)

The Gold Digger said...

Her husband essentially is an odd-job carpenter/mechanic/plumber/electrician.

Because the smart woman knows that the best husband to have is a husband who can fix things. One of the most romantic things my husband ever did when we were dating was drive from Milwaukee, where he lived, to Chicago for a cheap flight to Memphis, where I lived, so he could repair my washing machine.

Even though I had told him I didn't want to see him for a month.

He slayed that major appliance dragon. And I decided maybe I was foolish for wanting a dating break.

muddimo said...

You actually told your husband-to-be, who apparently cared about you for some reason, that you didn't want to see him for a month? Nice. Real nice. Women, the sensitive gender.

The Crack Emcee said...

Julius Ray Hoffman,

"Be sure to post a picture of your rock here! It'll show us all how much she loves you."

Fat chance of that: you do understand my handle, don't you?

As far as the NYT is concerned, I don't think I've ever seen them entertain the idea there could be something wrong with women, or a woman, or the cultural implications of what NewAge has blessed us with. Check out this article - broken into two parts:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/

science/earth/18family.html?em

The women are clearly delusional, nagging their men over nothing, but the NYT implies there's something wrong with the men - that they're being defiant, rather than correct, logical, and normal. These women need help, not the encouragement they're getting from articles like that.

Screw the NYT.

Larry J said...

In our scout troop there is a mom who is a big deal executive at a company. I'm sure she has at least one more zero on her salary than mine. Her husband essentially is an odd-job carpenter/mechanic/plumber/electrician.

They are great together. And when people find out what she does and what he does she just raises her eyebrow and looks wise.

Great gal. And by any conventional measure she "married down." But not in her eyes.


She may realize that the best husband for her is someone who loves her.

Or he may be hung like a horse.

The Crack Emcee said...

Sorry, Ladies, my last comment should've read:

"I don't think I've ever seen them entertain the idea there could be something wrong with feminism, or a woman, or the cultural implications of what NewAge has blessed us with."

There's nothing wrong with women,...

The Gold Digger said...

Muddimo,

Yeah, I was an idiot. We'd been dating for about six months and he was ready to get married but I'd been laid off just before we'd met and I wanted to make sure I wanted him and just not financial security, so I thought I should find a job first and then make a decision about us.

Fortunately, he did not let my idiocy put him off. Good men like him are hard to find. :)

Freeman Hunt said...

Crack, that link was hilarious and scary. Now that's some nagging. Wow.

Synova said...

"There's nothing wrong with women,..."

Meh.

Not that I want to get into it with you, still, my first thought was that assumptions were being made and no evidence presented starting with the very first woman "stylist" with the "insecure" boyfriend. Sez who? For all we know (and what is actually the *most* likely) she gave off constant "you're not good enough" signals.

I've met *one* man who figured that if his wife worked she wouldn't "need" him.

I've met *dozens* of women who were judgmental about a man's lack of ambition or accomplishment... and half a dozen more who got the job or college degree and left... which makes the first fellow I mentioned seem like he might have had a legitimate concern.

As the the "up" thing.

When men say it, it means "smarter than me, improve the gene pool."

For women "up" means wealth and social class.

Women would be smart to start thinking of it the way men do... forget wealth and social class and go for intelligence and gene pool.

Synova said...

I followed Crack's link, too.

Wow.

I think that some people totally deserve to be lonely, shriveled, old maids.

Oh, you want a real shock and blast to the past... find some episodes of "Major Dad" and watch them. Watch the major feminist peacenik mother tell the kids that what Dad says, goes. Period. And then think about how *recently* we all seem to have lost our minds.

fivewheels said...

When a man says he married up, he's complimenting his wife.

When a woman says she married up, she's complimenting herself.

I will make no comment on whether this is a common dynamic.

Larry J said...

The women mentioned in Crack's linked article remind me of former smokers or, as was so aptly noted in the great Paul Newman movie, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,

There's no one on Earth so self-righteous as a reformed whore.

Of course, Judge Roy Bean never met a new-born environmentalist.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Amen! I have just opened the door and finally accepted the Savior that God has given to His people to guide them out of the darkness.

To think: A man, born of the Jewish tribe, betrayed by a fellow blogger, and ultimately revealed as the Messiah himself!

If you are as troubled by the things you read in these links, my friends, all you need to do is accept Roissy into your heart. Let Him guide you and you will be saved.

Freeman Hunt said...

Did you actually read Crack's link JRH?

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Freeman Hunt- Dude, I not only read that article, I lived that life!

Then I got a divorce and got saved...

Sofa King said...

Does this undercut at all the trope about unequal pay, ERA etc? Or is affirmative action for women still needed?

Joan said...

Far be it from me to point out that New York got something completely backwards, but this:

it throws a wrench in the story single women in New York have been telling each other over the years, which is that the reason they are single is that they are simply too amazing for dudes to handle,

is completely backward. Men marrying up means women are marrying down, which confirms the hypothesis that NY is imagining now has a spanner in its works.

I didn't read the whole NY story, though, but I still don't see how they can make this argument. Then again, I'm working on about 3 hours of sleep today, and am trying to distract myself from the MA Senate election, so maybe I'm the one who is addled.

vbspurs said...

Doesn't Meade consider himself one of those marry-uppers?

He seemed to imply it (educationally at least) in the NYT article I read recently via Ann's linkage.

Cheers,
Victoria

Joe said...

Meade married someone from Wisconsin, is that up or down?

vbspurs said...

My dad, a medical doctor and an officer with a high rank, nevertheless can be considered to have married "up". My mum comes from a way more socially distinguished family than he does -- but a funny thing happened when they married. He paid for her to continue her education and she became a shrink in time.

Because, as he put it, the only thing that matters is brains.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Meade married someone from Wisconsin, is that up or down?

Ann is from Delaware, she's a Yankee. Meade is from Ohio, right? A Midwesterner. I'd call that evens.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

For me, this is the most disturbing part of the article Crack linked:

In the ensuing discussions, Ms. Birkhahn said, her husband argues that the changes she is making may have a large effect on their lives but have little or no effect on the planet. He fought every step of the way against the gray-water system she installed in their bathroom to recycle water to flush the toilet, calling it a waste of time and money, she said. The system cost $1,200 to install.

Ms. Birkhahn said she found it hard to dispute his point but thought it was irrelevant. “I am trying to be a role model for my son,” she said.


What sort of role model is she?

She thinks that she's showing him how to be a good environmentalist. But children don't care, except in the sense that they know they are doing what they are told to do. They have no notion of the large-scale global narrative.

What she is actually showing him is that the global narrative of Environmentalism is more important than the human relations between wife and husband, and between mother and father. She's demonstrating that men must submissively provide whatever women want. Most importantly, she's showing her son that she is in a dominant position of power over his father, and he'll grow up thinking that is how all families are.

The Crack Emcee said...

Larry J,

"There's no one on Earth so self-righteous as a reformed whore."

You leave my totally religious, End Times-studying, mother out of this!

What I think is interesting about that article is how no one asks where these women are being indoctrinated. Nobody just becomes a fruitcake environmentalist (as opposed to, say, a mere conservationist) they're getting this stuff from somewhere - and it ain't just from those public service-type "green" commercials we're all familiar with. I'm telling y'all, dig into it and there's a cult at the bottom of the pile. That's what I found with my wife, and I've found it with almost every "progressive" idea out there. Most Democrats don't understand the connection because they've got so much invested in the belief they were given(environmentalism, "wellness", multiculturalism, etc.). I've connected Bill and Hillary Clinton to "psychic" Jean Houston and Ken "the theory of everything" Wilber. The Daily Kos was started by an astrologer, etc.

If people would investigate, and diss, the Left's "spiritual" proclivities (sp?) as the Left does Right-Wing Christianity with abandon (notice the attack on Pat Robertson - swift and sure) we could nip this shit in the bud, but quick, dragging down Tom Harkin, Jane Harmon, Dennis Kucinich, and a whole host of others.

It would be easy,...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Depending on your definition of someonehood, he might have even married someone from Texas.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yeah, the thing with the son was especially heinous. Also, teaching him what, besides how to be a bad spouse? How to be illogical?

kentuckyliz said...

I will just say this: it is tough to be a happy bluestocking whose engine only revs for the working man.

*sigh*

Especially when it breaks all the family rules.

Especially when the working man doesn't particularly care for the bluestocking generally.

Wired wrong!!!

bagoh20 said...

Women need to think "men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being" for their own.

William said...

There are so many different dimensions in a relationship that an up/down metric is meaningless. Who's the wave, who's the rock, what's the flotsam?

Bryan said...

Hmmm. I'm not even sure it is possible for me to marry up.

Meade said...

Ms. Zielinski, the fashion stylist, said her best friend, a man, told her once: “ ‘You are confident, have good credit, own your own business, travel around the world and are self-sufficient. What man is going to want you?’ He laughed, but I found that pretty depressing.”

Her disease is in her conceit of being "self-sufficient."

Penny said...

"Her disease is in her conceit of being "self-sufficient.""

Didn't read it that way, Meade.

I thought I was hearing a woman say that she has done all she can to become her own person, and now she is ready for a good man to put the exclamation point, period or end of paragraph on this "personal growth" phase.

She is acutely aware that she isn't "fully formed" without that, but...

Where are those men, who like her, have completed their personal growth phase and are ready to "punctuate", if I can put it that way.

There's not one thing wrong with an overachieving woman or an overachieving man. Problems crop up when underachievement, in either sex, becomes the norm.

Synova said...

"Problems crop up when underachievement, in either sex, becomes the norm."

I disagree rather strongly.

The problems crop up when one person doesn't think that the other person cares about achievement as much as they do (or that they care about achievement over their family.)

But this isn't a new or different problem, as I explained to my 17 year old today, talking about this thread.

No couple is going to be at the same point about anything, ever. Not ever ever. One person will want the house cleaner than the other. One person will feel that the money shouldn't have been spent, or should have been spent and resent the tight wad. One person will be a bit more energetic and usefully busy, the other will want to put his or her feet up once in a while.

And it doesn't have to be a big difference. It just has to be a difference and one or the other person has to think that they are the one with the right notion of cleanliness or the right amount of ambition or the right priorities or the right child rearing beliefs or the right food choices...

The article Crack sent us to had a good example... "he" is committed to "green living" and rides his bike 12 miles to work instead of driving, but that's not good enough because he likes a nice long shower. "She" is right, and is angry that he is not as committed and is upset that he won't do every last thing she thinks they should do.

It's the same with achievement, over achievement or under achievement; the level of ambition or unambition; personal drive or laid-back-ness.

Juba Doobai! said...

Guess you never heard GWB et al introduce their wives, eh?

Penny said...

Synova, on a personal level, I don't disagree with what you said at all. My concern is more about the "collective".

It just doesn't feel right to me that women are outpacing men in going to college. It feels dead wrong to me that their unemployment statistics are so much worse than that of women, and that marriage, homeownership and a family may be slipping off their radar. In general, none of these things bodes terribly well for our society moving forward.

Almost Ali said...

One of the intended consequences of women's lib was the resulting transformation of women into public property, ie sexual freelancers.

Hard to imagine being a young man today, given the choices. Marriage is no longer an institution, but a way-station - or maybe a mid-life crisis.

For many it's a calculation, at least according to the article, the research. Which means, up or down, a marriage built on nothing, except its price/earnings ratio.

Time to call it something else, and certainly nothing akin to romance.

Meanwhile, what do parents here tell their sons? I know what I tell mine; domestic contracts are subject to eminent domain, don't kid yourself.

The Crack Emcee said...

Penny,

"I thought I was hearing a woman say that she has done all she can to become her own person, and now she is ready for a good man to put the exclamation point, period or end of paragraph on this 'personal growth' phase.

She is acutely aware that she isn't 'fully formed' without that, but...

Where are those men, who like her, have completed their personal growth phase and are ready to 'punctuate', if I can put it that way."


What you seem to see as normal ("their personal growth phase") is what I see as the problem: this idea of "finding yourself" - where the hell have all these people been? (Probably driving perfectly good people crazy over nothing but their crackpot personal obsessions.) I don't want to be with some nutcase "searcher" who, as an adult, haven't figured out the basics of their identity - and will blame me because they're crazy:

Be a self-possessed guy and they're drawn to you, thinking they can learn something. Then they resent you for it. Then they become obsessed with bringing you down. Oh, they'll show you! That's one way to "discover your true potential", ain't it? Sure, sucker-punch someone who was perfectly fine without you. That'll maybe make them into the insecure, quivering mess you are, which is all you need to put a (temporary) smile on that sad clown mask you know is your face.

Such people need psychiatric help - not a man.

The Crack Emcee said...

On Bill Clinton, cultism, NewAge, etc.:

"In Israel, as in most countries of the world, there is no law against cults. Even in France, the only country where such legislation has been passed (the 2001 About-Picard law), the prohibition is restricted to 'registered organizations that violate human rights and the principle of freedom.' A number of provisos were softened in the wake of harsh criticism from politicians and observers both in France and abroad, among them former U.S. president Bill Clinton. They argue that the French law itself violates the principle of freedom.

This law lets a court dismantle a cult and arrest its heads within 15 days. It has so far been enforced in only one case, which is not controversial: against the leader of an apocalyptic cult who ordered his disciples to commit suicide. The Church of Scientology, whose leaders were convicted four months ago of fraud and embezzling money from their followers, has not been banned even though the judges noted explicitly that it is a cult.

Such a law is not possible in Israel. The very fact of discussing it would force lawmakers to deal with religious organizations, New Age groups and mutually hostile nonprofit organizations in a traditional, multicultural society where awareness about cults is entirely dormant. (For example, the 1994 incident in which Rabbi Uzi Meshulam barricaded himself and his followers in his Yehud home over the issue of vanished Yemenite children. This was not interpreted as a cult but rather as religious-messianic activity.)"


Broken into two parts:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/

spages/1143862.html

Say it again, party people:

"Awareness about cults is entirely dormant."

But we know all about the cultish idea (that leaves the door open to cultism) that you should "find yourself", riiiiight?

kramnrublaw said...

Women rarely marry-up. Go up and down any city block in America and knock on every door. I promise that you will find very few homes in which the husband earns less and has less of an education than his wife. You will however, find many couples in which the husband earns more and has a more advanced education than his wife.

This is marriage, people. It is nothing more than a financial transaction. Love only comes after you meet someone's financial and educational prerequisites. Human exploitation is marriage.

I have been on both ends of the financial and educational spectrum and I can tell you from experience that women want status. Even if they already have relatively high-status, they still search for someone who exceeds their own. They don't have dating woes because men are intimidated by their status. It is because they don't give any man who earns less or has less of an education a chance. They eliminate them immediately after they find out what the man does for a living and how much college education he has under his belt. That is why men do not approach them. Men are smart enough to understand that they do not have a chance. They would rather salvage their pride than have it ripped away by a woman. Thus, they do not approach you.

The comical irony is that while these women are "marrying-up", their husbands are technically marrying-down in terms of money and education. In most marriages there will be an imbalance between partners, in terms of income and education. That means that one of the partners married up while the other married down.

I know women hate these generalizations, but they exist for a reason. Sometimes generalizations are pretty accurate. Only 1 out of the many couples I am friends with has a husband who earns less and has less of an education than his wife. I am sure that many of you can say the same for your group of friends.

I removed myself from the dating pool once I graduated college and started working because I noticed that women were now finding me more appealing. The difference was like night and day. All of a sudden women were still interested in me after I mentioned my line of work. This was not the case when I had no degree and earned $15 an hour. I always noticed them becoming distant after I told them I earned that amount.

I prefer to remain single for life while maintaining platonic relationships. After witnessing how women decide who is good enough for their time, I realized that I could never trust a woman. I would always find myself questioning whether or not she would be with me if I earned less and has less of an education. Damn, ignorance truly is bliss. Unfortunately, my eyes have already been opened. It would be impossible to shut them again.

P.S. Could we please stop believing that women with high-standards will grow into lonely, bitter, old-maids? They will always be able to find a suitable mate. They may make age requirement and physical appearence adjustments to their dating requirement list, but they will still marry-up the social ladder. Sorry guys, this is the harsh reality. It is the men who grow lonely and bitter from years of rejection. Things will only grow worse for men in the future. I suggest that men stop putting so much value on having a woman. Once you remove the value, it levels the playing field.

Melanie Simms said...

Men are DEFINATELY marrying up as evidenced by the men I have dated over the last 10 years; lover #1 dumped me for a woman whose family had money, lover #2 dumped me for a woman who quote "owns a million dollar home and whose father is a NY stockbroker" lover #3 dumped be for a hot blonde doctor, lover #5 dumped me for a pharmacist with a phd; it NEVER ends. I am attractive but overweight, 45 years old now, trying to complete my BA degree and have a self-employed income of about 28,000 a month; I guess I just dont make the grade anymore :(

Melanie Simms said...

Oh oops, I mean 28,000 A YEAR! lol
I wish I made 28,000 a month; I'd be doing alot less complaining -- who would need to worry about a man then, I could just buy love.