September 24, 2007

Who's the Adult Around Here?

This article has been making the rounds in the feminist blogosphere, so I'll throw in my two cents.

Putting Money On the Table

Some quotes:

For instance, the median income of women age 21 to 30 in New York who are employed full time was 17 percent higher than that of comparable men.

Professor Beveridge said the gap is largely driven by a gulf in education: 53 percent of women employed full time in their 20s were college graduates, compared with 38 percent of men. Women are also more likely to have graduate degrees. “They have more of everything,” Professor Beveridge said.

The shift is playing out in new, unanticipated ways on the dating front. Women are encountering forms of hostility they weren’t prepared to meet, and are trying to figure out how to balance pride in their accomplishments against their perceived need to bolster the egos of the men they date.

That's sad. It also illustrates how patriarchy's tentacles have wound themselves into every fabric of our lives. In a time when accomplished young women should not waste one iota of their time catering to anyone's ego, especially a male's, this mindset remains.

Ms. Rosenmann said that dating considerably older men helps her avoid innuendos from younger men who feel threatened by her professional success. She said that when she has gone out at night with men her own age and has to turn in early to be fresh for work, they have commented , “Oh, Anna’s an adult, she has a real job.”

As opposed to...the non-working, Halo-obsessed, beer-soaked, juvenile status of the speaker? Talk about a dead giveaway.

So as not to flaunt her own salary, Lori Weiss, a 29-year-old lawyer in Manhattan, has found herself clipping price tags off expensive clothes she buys on shopping binges, or hiding shopping bags in the closet just so men she was dating would not see them lying around and feel threatened by her spending power.

Grrr. When are we as women going to get over this nonsense? This is one good thing that comes with age. My response to this would be: "Screw you, if you can't accept my salary, my clothes, my apartment, my job and my ambition, then get the hell out of my life and go back to your mother's basement. I ain't stroking nobody's ego."

Of course, this is easier said than done, with all the subtle messages to the contrary threaded throughout this culture. This is why it's so important for young women and old to stand up and repeat this over and over again, to anyone who will listen (and everyone who won't). The sheer weight of numbers, and the refusal to accept anything less in our personal lives, is the only way to get this across.

Feministe also has an excellent take on this.

UPDATE: Oops, this is the New York Times after all. To get in try this login: spacetwinkie and cupcake. Or use Bugmenot.

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