Tag Archives: breadwinner

Hitched: Stop With The Female Breadwinning Trend Stories Already

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Here’s this article entitled, “The Flip Side Of Being A Female Breadwinner,” another one of those what-does-it-all-mean pieces (yes, there’s an evolutionary psychologist quoted, if you’re playing Navel-Gazey Trend Story Bingo back at home) that takes one person’s experience and blows it up in hopes of making a statement, vaguely tinged with some kind of shame about not doing things properly, about the way women and men live and work now and the way things should be, or ought to be.

The ultimate conclusion of these kinds of pieces? Life is complicated, and no you can’t have it all, and no, we have never heard of anyone who is not a white, middle-class woman because if we did we would have to approach this topic with actual thought and nuance and situate it in a socio-historical context that took long-term economic and political trends into account, and that would be harder than drawing simplistic conclusions about culture and gender roles according to a self-selected sample of friends and “experts.”

I don’t think there’s a “flip side” of being a female breadwinner because I don’t think there are exactly two ways to be a female breadwinner: a way in which everyone is happy in a world of gender roles gone topsy-turvy, and a way in which everyone is swimming miserably upstream. Women — particularly single mothers, particularly women of color- — have been “breadwinning” for years. Keep reading »

Sexism Still Pays Off For Men

Growing up, my mom and dad shared the responsibility of bringing home the bacon…well, the proverbial bacon — we’re Jewish. Anyway, my mom was a realtor and good at her job, but I’ll never forget her main competitor. His wife didn’t work and he was a jerk, the kind of guy who used too much hair grease and put his cheesy head shot up at bus stops. While my mother kept me in enriching after school programs, this other slick Realtor dude would scam his clients for sympathy by dragging his son around to meetings. One particular prospective female client even told my mother she was going to go with this guy because he was really his family’s breadwinner. Puke — that’s some serious girl-on-girl crime! I was always proud of my mama for Mary Tyler Moore-ing it up in the face of sexist foolishness, but apparently this chauvinist realtor isn’t the only man who has cashed in on close-mindedness.

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