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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Successfully stupid

As a plastic philosopher once said, Math is hard!

Carolyn Kaufman, 33, has a doctorate in clinical psychology and teaches college in Columbus, Ohio. She is a perfect example of a woman who has everything except a date. "I have this crazy belief that I have the right to expect my potential partner to be at least as successful as I am, and to have as many things to offer as I do," she says....

Even Kaufman's dream of marrying her equal may be wishful thinking: Experts say that highly accomplished men tend to marry women who are lower on the professional and educational food chain than they are, traditionally choosing women over whom they can exert control.

Spacebunny emailed me this article, which is of the sort that always provides both of us with a good deal of amusement. The first amusing thing is the female notion of success - Kaufman isn't successful, she's merely managed to sit through sufficient years of schooling and get a job teaching afterwards. BFD. Second, for the Nth time, what men want and what women want are two very different things. When I look at every successful guy I know, defined as an annual income of at least $500k, I notice four things about their relationships, and they all are in long-standing relationships complete with children, if not necessarily marriages.

A) The women range from pretty to smoking hot.
B) Both the men and the women tend to view their roles as complementary, not identical. It's a division of labor thing, do-it-all-and-have-it-allers wouldn't understand.
C) The man doesn't want his wife to work, he wants her to be available in his rare down time. Her primary complaint tends to revolve around there not being enough of that down time.
D) The women are more likely to not have a college degree at all than to possess an advanced degree.

Believe me, a guy who owns a private company with 45 million in revenue isn't impressed by a college teacher and he certainly couldn't care less about the paper she bought from a paper-selling institution. What smart, educated, "successful" women are apparently too stubbornly stupid to recognize is that what they have worked so hard to achieve is not what most men want, and they bring almost nothing to the table as far as successful men are concerned. And it's not a question of control, that's ridiculous, as a man has far more control over his employees than over his wife. The strong preference for a non-ambitious mate is much more a matter of allowing him to step out of his driven and competitive existence every now and then and take it easy for a change.

Miss Kaufman is entirely correct, her belief is crazy. It is both crazy and self-defeating how many women believe, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, that racking up accomplishments will somehow make them more desirable, when all they're actually doing is rendering themselves less desirable to the sort of men they want most, while simultaneously reducing the pool of men that are potentially acceptable to them.

Now, there's nothing wrong with holding out for what you want. But if you're going to play against probability, it helps to understand that you are doing so. I didn't like hearing Big Chilly tell me when we were seven that I was never going to be an NFL quarterback - in fact, I punched him, thus setting off our one and only fight - but as it turns out, he was entirely right.

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