Marriage a la Mode
This one's for all the college-educated lonely hearts out there, just in time for
It's for the women who gobble up books with titles like "He's Just Not That Into You," who sign up with multiple matchmaker Web sites, who maybe even thumb through well-worn copies of the Mars and Venus books.
Ladies, you seem to be focusing on matrimony as the answer to your worries -- and overlooking a key truth about marriage today: that tying the knot is becoming more of a boon for men than it is for women.
An educated, working wife is a valuable asset. And if you're a bright single woman of a certain age with a career, you ought to consider yourself a catch. Not that I expect to see that message embossed on heart-shaped candies anytime soon. "Will u be my sugar mama?"
The recession, added to longstanding trends such as deindustrialization and the decline of union jobs -- which have affected male workers disproportionately -- is hastening this cultural shift away from traditional ideals of married families.
Median household income rose 60 percent from 1970 to 2007 for married men, married women and unmarried women. But for those wifeless chaps, it rose only 16 percent. Ouch.
Many a family budget has been salvaged by the woman's income after the male is laid off. Other studies show that men, not women, are now more likely to report that work conflicts with family life. Talk about role reversals.
Still other studies (including one conducted for the
Studies like these cast withering light on the constant complaining we hear from conservatives who fancy themselves defenders of the traditional family. It seems all that feminist agitation for equality might have been beneficial to marriages -- and men -- after all.
These findings also ought to lead us to shed outdated cultural assumptions about women who reach a certain age without marrying -- namely, that ladies who wait too long are bound for disappointment and spinsterhood.
Apparently, these old assumptions die hard. Look for the next breakthrough best-seller in dating self-help to be "
I envision a somewhat different title: "Marry Up, Men: The Case for Choosing Accomplished Wives and the Happiness (and Paycheck) They Bring."
Little Girls Really Don't Need to Walk in Our Shoes
I'm a fan of sensible shoes -- the low-heeled, wide-toed variety that allows me to walk without limping or tripping. I save those shin-torturing, bunion-producing pumps for special occasions. So I don't understand the latest trend in little-girl fashion: kindergartners in high heels.
Helping Women Help the World
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn argue that "the brutality inflicted routinely on women and girls in much of the world" is "one of the paramount human rights problems of this century." Their statistics are numbing: every year, at least two million girls worldwide "disappear" due to gender discrimination. But Kristof and WuDunn go beyond moral outrage.
Family-friendly workplace benefits (flex time, job sharing, telecommuting, and so on) were on the rise before the recession of 2008 took hold. I've been wondering recently how bad a whacking this category of benefits has taken.
Women's stagnation in the corporate penthouse continues, according to Catalyst, a New York-based organization that aggregates data about and presses for women's advancement in the corporate hierarchy.
Mammograms: See Past the Controversy
Backlash to the shifting guidelines on breast cancer screenings highlighted one rather disheartening truth: When it comes to our health, we women may not be as empowered as we think. How else to explain the torrent unleashed when it was put before us that mammograms are not as effective for some women?
Sometimes Good Enough is Just Right
I've often joked that children are the most stressful factor in a marriage, especially for those of us who juggle work and family. Rushed, conflicted and usually overwhelmed, mothers who toil outside the home feel there aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with parenting obligations, job duties and household chores. Life turns into a never-ending to-do list, a blaring alarm that's can't be quieted
If You Have a Friend, You Have It All
After a few months' hiatus, I spoke to my best friend from childhood. Though we live hundreds of miles apart, we can tell each other anything, picking up the strands of various subplots -- children, siblings, work, health -- right where we left off. We vent, we rage, we analyze, we pick apart. We laugh. A lot. Mostly, though, we just let it all hang out. And my, my, my, that feels so dang good.
Websites for Traveling Women
Ed Perkins On Travel
Although most of the travel industry still thinks of travelers as traditional couples, an increasing number of women are traveling alone or with other women. Here's a brief overview of web sites tailored toward women travellers ...
Work-Life 'Balance' Laid Bare
Can you both tend the home fires and stoke a high-powered career? Is it possible to juggle the third-grade play with the 11th-hour executive-board meeting? If you take a few years off to raise Suzy and Jose, can you still reach the office mountaintop? These are questions that have been on women's minds for decades, but over the years the so-called work-life balance has become the accepted formula for women who want to 'have it all.' Now comments by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch have reignited the old debate ...
Recession Tip For Wives: Lay off Your Laid-off Husband
By Lindsay Lyon
Male breadwinners have lost their jobs at a greater clip than women during this recession. Roughly 74 percent of the approximate 6 million jobs lost since December 2007 have been men's, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And more than a few therapists say they're seeing an uptick in relationship problems as a result. It's not so much that husbands are resentful of their breadwinning wives. Resentment, they're noting, often flows from the other side.
Time is Ripe for Enjoying Simple Things
By Ana Veciana-Suarez
Confusing times call for simple pleasures. It's the safest way to indulge with minimal payout. So now friends share frugal tips over store-brand coffee. Staycations have replaced the Riviera. A few have abandoned cars and opted for public transit. It's all about doing more with less, about being happy with enough.
(c) 2010, Mary Sanchez - The Kansas City Star
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