Thursday, June 23, 2005

But The Oven is Chrome...

Sometimes, the mainstream media is just too funny. Check out these gender-related links.

Married men earn more if wives do the chores
Well duh, if you don't have to iron your own clothes or cook your own meals, you can concentrate more on your career. How, exactly, is this groundbreaking news?

The Man and I have discussed one of us staying home if we have kids. But for now, the extra 3% that either of us could make by having a stay-home spouse just isn't worth giving up a two-income household. If I get the job I interviewed for, I will be making much more than 3% of his salary. And we're both musicians, with expensive habits to support! (To clarify: I'm talking about gear, not drugs.)

Another thing to think about: If you have a stay-home spouse, you'll likely have to pay child support and alimony if you get divorced. Again, that's going to be more than 3% of your paycheck. I think it's great if some couples don't have to worry about that, because they're happily married and wouldn't consider divorce. But for many couples, divorce is a reality... and one they pay for in more ways than one!

F1 boss calls Danica, repeats sexist remark

The dude said, "You know, I've got one of those wonderful ideas — women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."

Heh. Heheh.

Whine of the Week
So the above comment made Bernie Ecclestone the 'Whiner of the Week'. I can agree with that - he is totally an old whiner. But I don't take him seriously.

Really, I don't know why people are surprised by his remark. I'm not famous or amazing like Danica Patrick, but I get comments like that all the time just for being a chick drummer. You get used to it. And for the record, I think Patrick has handled herself with class.

Anyone who thinks we've achieved gender equality certainly hasn't tried to do anything that defies a gender stereotype. People will give you shit for it, plain and simple. That goes for men as well as women. But when you're doing something you love, you deal with it. Patrick obviously loves racing. Yeah, she has to put up with douchebags like Bernie Ecclestone. But she's doing what she loves, and she's laughing all the way to the bank.

While I appreciate your choice, many of us choose the other way without it being because bias or prejudice (which I'm sure you know). For example, my wife is a stay at home and I work. There are two major reasons for that. The first is that her earning potential initially doesn't exceed the costs we would incur (daycare, work clothes, etc.). She would need to work for several years to reach an earnings potential that would be of value to the family. The second is that she enjoys being a stay at home mom (not every second, of course), but that is fulfilling for her in the same way that working is fulfilling for me.

We've had many long conversations on the topic and come to the conclusion that a family has three main areas of responsibility.
1. Earning income to support the family.
2. Raising the children.
3. Taking care of the house.

There are two adults involved and we have split those responsibilities up equally between us. I take care of #1, my wife takes care of #3 and we share #2 between us. In the past, when I earned less and my wife also worked, we split #3 between us as well.

Not sure where I'm going with this, I guess just commenting and trying to show that a "traditional" household isn't necessarily so due to any particular bias or prejudice. Oh, and I'm quite aware that this could cost me dearly if we get divorced. Then again, my wife's willingness to stay home and free me up to work has contributed significantly to my increased earning potentials. So, at least some of what I earn is directly due to her support. Would I begrudge her that share of my wealth? She is investing in me with the view that it will benefit her later.
I think that the connection between stay at home wife and high earnings may be spurious. It is more likely that these men have stay at home wives because they can afford for a partner to stay home. Thus, there is a correlation between earnings and stay at home spouse, but they both arise from a third cause. Or the higher earnings may be said to cause the stay at homeness of the one spouse rather than the other way around.
Thanks for your comments. I respect you and your wife's decisions as well.

What I like about what you said is 1) that you share the duties of raising the children and 2) that you give your wife credit for some of your success. I think that's often overlooked.

Other feminists have criticized me for being too hard on stay home moms. I can see how my attitude can come across that way. However, my sister is a stay home mom, and I think she's a very strong woman. She has a great husband and, like your wife, she invests in her husband because it directly benefits the entire family. There's nothing wrong with that (and in fact, I'd rather be supported by a man than by the government -- at least choosing a man requires a vote solely by me).

Where I differ from most feminists and also most conservatives is that I don't believe in court-ordered alimony or automatic custody given to mothers. I believe that couples have the right to make their own private agreements which may include alimony, but I don't think one person should automatically have a right to another person's paycheck just because they're getting divorced. I also tend to be hard on stay home spouses who complain that their working spouses aren't giving them enough money. They are just blaming someone else for their financial woes, in my opinion.

If my fiance and I have more kids, we may find that one of us wants to stay home or work part-time. For now, it's best that we both work.

A little off the topic... I will never play the "mommy card" at work! I didn't do it as a young single mom, and I won't do it as a married one either.
Vache Folle,
You could be right. It makes sense to me that a stay home spouse allows the working spouse to focus more on his/her career (which results in a higher paycheck), BUT I can't prove it. And your logic makes sense too -- someone with a higher paycheck can afford to have a spouse stay home. So it could go either way, or some of both.

Actually, I hope you're right. I can just see traditionalists using this study as an excuse to ban women from the workplace. "See, we never should have let those damned women work! It's hurting men!"

But if it's true that there IS a wage premium for having a stay home spouse, could it be partly responsible for the male-female wage gap? Men are more likely to have a stay home spouse, and therefore more likely to have that wage premium. Hmmm...
a less republican media would present a one-income family as a 97% pay cut. that's the real story.
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