Women who outearn their men. Already, younger people’s relationships look radically different. A recent breakdown of census data showed that in all but three of the 150 biggest cities in the United States, young women age 30 and under are making more money than young men. Even if that changes when the women have children, such a vast shift in earning power suggests that the next generation may make different decisions about whose salary counts more and who should be the family’s primary breadwinner. This is all happening despite widespread ambivalence. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 67 percent of Americans said that in order to be ready for marriage, a man should be able to support his family financially, while only 33 percent said the same for women. A 2007 Pew survey found that working mothers increasingly say they would rather not work full time. And another Pew study out today shows the nation divided over the sweeping changes to family structure that have unfolded over the past half-century, with about one-third of Americans generally accepting these changes, one-third skeptical about them, and one-third opposed to them.
Still, I’ve lately started to encounter more and more women who outearn their husbands. Some couples seem to ease into the dynamic naturally—the woman is a born workaholic and the man lives at a slower pace, picking up contract work, savoring his afternoon coffee. One mother at our preschool can’t stop bragging about her stay-at-home husband—although I am still startled by the sight of him hanging around the school, helping the teachers make handprint T-shirts. Some dynamics are not so pleasant and confirm the few studies claiming that these unions tend to be more unstable. One woman I know never seems to run out of ways to call her husband, who works as a part-time airline mechanic, a loser. Another complains about the small things: Why does he spend all her money on dress socks if he hasn’t had a job interview in over a year and why does he have to subscribe to every damned sports channel and why will he never clean up after himself? In a couple of cases I know of, the disparity never felt natural and the couple got divorced.
These last two women then became part of a different but related trend—the exploding number of single-parent households headed by women, either because the couple got divorced or because they never married in the first place. (Right now, 42 percent of children are born to single mothers.) This, too, is creating a vast new sphere of society where women are in charge, and where tricky and sometimes uncomfortable power dynamics can develop between men and women.
Feminism has destroyed the American infrastructure of home and family. Thanks to these wonderful Feminists, women are now forced to work, are taking jobs from the men, and are not at home rearing their children as they should be. Thus, outsourcing the raising of their children to others. Single motherhood is a very sad and growing phenomenon as more and more couples divorce as a result of this malfunctioning infrastructure. Men feel emasculated and useless while women feel overpowered and greatly dissatisfied. The roles reverse and women become masculine as men become more feminine. Something clearly needs to be done to put an end to this insanity!!