To me, gold-digging, is a little bit like pornography in that we're not exactly sure of its definition, but we just say we know it when we see it. (More often than not, though, I think it's just a sexist insult flung at women.) In this way, I agree with Wright that wanting to marry within one's social class shouldn't be a source of shame. She says this matter of marrying a wealthy man is not about choosing to depend on a man like some kind of crutch, but aligning with a man who meets your "standards," (to use her words) when it comes to bank balance and lifestyle matters. She writes, "being successful in our own right should buy us the privilege of seeking a man who can equal or top our standard." Call it "marrying sideways," perhaps. But even that seems verboten to discuss. Writes Wright, "...feminism came along and things changed. As women now have the ability to support themselves, they ought to be able to marry based entirely on inner qualities like temperament and compatibility (woe be unto women who fancy themselves more compatible with wealthy mates, it seems)."
Marrying someone within my social class will be more incidental than it will be planned or plotted. That's just who I socialize with. Still, I feel guilty for thinking about my hypothetical future husband this way at all. But Wright doesn't sound especially guilty in her Sirens piece. Maybe because she recently watched the Marilyn Monroe flick, How to Marry a Millionaire and thought, "Six decades ago, no one would have given the wealthy-man-seeking post a second thought."
That observation may or may not be true, but one thing's for certain. Where love and class intertwine—and I quote Facebook here—"it's complicated."
Do you think about social class much when it comes to dating? Tell us in the comments section below!