By Shira Boss
Now that women have solidly earned their place in the work force, many find themselves still yearning for something men often have: wives.
“The thing I most want in life is a wife. I’m not kidding,” said Joyce Lustbader, a research scientist at Columbia University, who has been married for 29 years. “I work all day, sometimes seven days a week, and still have to go home and make dinner and have all those things to do around the house.”
It is not just the extra shift at home that is a common complaint. Working women, whether married or single, also see their lack of devoted spousal support as an impediment to getting ahead in their careers, especially when they are competing against men who have wives behind them, whether those wives are working or staying at home. And research supports their argument: it appears that marriage, at least marriage with children, bolsters a man’s career but hinders a woman’s.
One specialist in women’s studies dismissed wife envy as something women “are usually joking about” and another called it “a need for a second set of hands, regardless of gender.” But therapists who work with couples on equality issues say it is no joke.
Rats. We think that Nostradamus predicted this. ‘And the last days will be at-hand when the wives know their value.’ There was a study done a few years ago that suggested that the job of housewife, if outsourced, would earn somewhere in the $60,000 range. So is that the answer? Outsource? Or should spouses just look at who makes the most and the other has to sacrifice parts of their career for the greater good? Or is it the person who ‘likes’ their job the most that gets to shirk the sharing of duties? This article really doesn’t raise any new questions and it certainly doesn’t answer any of the old ones. Maybe people have a somewhat inflated idea of how much they do. Maybe most men do think that they’re pulling their weight at home. Maybe they think their slightly (statistically anyway) inflated salary means that they are doing their fair share. Check out Leslie Bennetts’ essay from Tango on this (Home Inequality). As for why married men get on so well at work, Alec Baldwin best summed it up in The Departed, “Marriage is an important part of getting ahead: lets people know you're not a homo; married guy seems more stable; people see the ring, they think at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch; ladies see the ring, they know immediately you must have some cash or your cock must work.”