From The New York Times
By Alex Williams
FOR Whitney Hess, a 25-year-old software designer in Manhattan, the tension that ultimately ended her recent relationships was all right there, in the digits on her pay stub.
The awkwardness started with nights out. She would want to try the latest downtown bistro, but her boyfriends, who worked in creative jobs that paid less than hers, preferred diners.
They would say, “Wow, you’re so sophisticated,” she recalled. A first look at her apartment, a smartly appointed studio in a full-service building in TriBeCa, would only reinforce the impression. “They wouldn’t want me to see their apartments,” she said, because they lived in cramped surroundings in distant quadrants of Brooklyn or the Bronx.
One of them, she said, finally just came out and said it. “Look,” Ms. Hess recalled him saying, “it makes me really uncomfortable that you make more money than me. I’m going to put that out on the table and try to get over it.”
Yes, money equals power. Great. And yes, it may be outside of the cultural norm for the lady to bring home the bacon. But it’s not emasculating. She didn’t beat you in arm-wrestling in front of your college roommate. And she only figuratively has your balls in her purse and that, by the way, is entirely your fault. Smart women have spent millennia being equal (or semi-equal) partners to powerful men. Everyone contributes in his/her own way. And just because her job is high paying, it doesn’t mean it’s rewarding. Those hand sculpted Elvis statuettes may not fetch much money but it’s sure easier to sleep at night than foreclosing on orphanages (or shooting Bambi’s mom). Even if her job is lucrative and pleasant (sign us up!), there are still trade-offs: long hours, irregular schedule, gut-wrenching stress, et cetera. So buck up, enjoy the gravy train and figure out some way to make your contribution equal. If need be, read Little Children, but we cannot advise that you have an affair. That would be irresponsible on our part. And you could get Hep.