example: why I don’t think “feminist” is a dirty word

a friend of mine reminded me about feministing.com yesterday, and I found a link to a horrible forbes article called, charmingly, “Don’t Marry Career Women.” I should have posted about it yesterday when it was live, but it was just too squalid. Apparently forbes caught on, and they yanked the very horribly funny slideshow illustrating just WHY you shouldn’t marry a careerist. I found the list (and some quotes and smart commentary) at feministe. the reasons are:

1. You are less likely to get married to her.
2. If you do marry, you are more likely to get divorced.
3. She is more likely to cheat on you
4. You are much less likely to have kids.
5. If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy.
6. Your house will be dirtier.
7. You’ll be unhappy if she makes more than you.
8. She will be unhappy if she makes more than you.
9. You are more likely to fall ill.

the original photos from the goofy slideshow are here, if you’d like to read along. my favorites: the cheating, and the cheetos. edited to add: brilliant sans-photos captures of the original slideshow, so you can see the amazingly high-brow text.

Now, doesn’t this read just like a 1950s pamphlet? Some of them are ridiculous, like #3 (obviously contact with men who are not married to you leads directly to cheating) and #9 (the rationale for this one is that women are the ones who monitor their husbands health, make drs appts, etc., and without that MOTHERING it’s easier for the masculine health to suffer). What’s really horrifying, though, is that regardless of how weird and messed up the author is, at least one other person, probably 3 or 4, thought that this was an appropriate article for forbes to print. you know, forbes? the magazine for businessPEOPLE? the one that profiles women CEOs? the one that lists the best companies for women to work for? totally bizarre.

So today the article has been watered down to appear as a point-counterpoint piece and is here. there are some vile message boards here for readers to discuss and that are full of hate and reactionaries.

And just to emphasize how amazingly bad this whole thing is, the article originally appeared in the Forbes careers and leadership section. because, you know, only men are leaders. And honestly, some of the assumptions about men that are required to suspend disbelief and make this point are very insulting to men, too.

this whole fiasco is a sterling example of why feminism is still relevant. As long as there are people out there who think, honestly, that this is the sort of thing that is appropriate to introduce into the public discussion through a heretofore respected publication, well! Obviously we have not reached equality, and even more obviously, we have an incredibly long way to go.

edited again: lest we think the author is a rational and logical thinker, another article he wrote for forbes.com called the economics of prostitution has been mirrored here. and also, turns out dude is the executive editor of news for forbes.com, so maybe there weren’t any checks on his writing. however, you’d think SOMEONE would have caught on that he doesn’t really seem to have a healthy concept of marriage or of women.