Sad Truth About Professional Women

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I came across two very interesting articles today: (1) Women M.B.A.s More Likely To Divorce Than Men and Women Lawyers Have Higher Divorce Rates, Need Loving Husbands

Researchers have actually carried out studies on the correlation between the qualification of a woman and the probability of such woman getting a divorce. The key conclusions from the studies are as follows:

1.      Female professionals are up to three times more likely to remain unmarried than men.

2.      Women with law or medical degrees divorce less often than those with only bachelor’s degrees, but are still more likely to divorce or separate than their male counterparts.

3.      Women with M.B.A.s divorced or separated more often than women with only bachelor’s degrees

In summary, the study just goes to show that more a woman earned or become educated, the more likely she is to be single (unmarried or divorced) and without children.

Of course, if this study was to hypothesize a higher divorce rate among professional women compared to stay-at-home women, it would be understandable as professional women make more money and have no or less children, are less financially dependent on a spouse and a clean break is easier without the complication of children, and thus lack the monetary incentive or need for unity of the family nucleus that keeps the stay-at-home women from divorcing in an otherwise unsatisfactory marriage. But the comparison is not between professional women and stay-at-home women but rather professional women and professional men.

At this juncture, I would like to refer to a previous post “only girlfriends and mothers” in which I tried to argue that professional women get married for all the wrong reasons. They are marrying after establishing a good career path to say “I am accomplished” and having 1 child to say “I have done it, I have it all”.

Call me naïve or old fashioned, but I do not buy into the whole “both spouses having demanding professional aspirations and hence both trying to shoulder the family responsibilities equally”. This is especially true in the private sector of the legal profession where “the practice of law, currently is built around a model that requires single-minded devotion to the firm, the maximum number of billable hours, and, depending on the lawyer, additional hours devoted to business development and networking.  While these requirements appear on their face to be gender-neutral, in practice, they are not.  Most individuals cannot meet these standards and/or will not be perceived to meet these standards, unless they have someone else to help them handle other aspects of their lives—childcare, housework, attending to elderly parents, etc.” There is no place for multi-tasking between your job responsibilities and your family responsibilities when the former demands all of your time. Imagine working a 12-14 hour workday dealing with unreasonable clients, impossible deadlines and office bureaucracy only to go home for a “second shift” – cleaning, cooking, helping the children with their homework, laundry- responsibilities that are sometimes drudgery or, at best, tedious. Worse yet imagine making quality time for just the both of you, which after careful consideration to each other’s work schedule seem always not possible.

For me, I think the worse problem is the “chip on shoulder” mentality. Professional women have fought against the odds of gender discrimination and for years have to, over and over, prove themselves in a man dominated work place where unfortunately men have made it every hard for them. Now, to be asked by a man to balance or stop a hard earned job for the sake of the family is, for a professional women, to surrender or submit to the every creature she had struggled and busted horns with her whole life. She would ask “why should I take a professional “backseat” when I have worked just as hard or even harder than you have to get here?”

Fortunately for male professionals, many of us prefer or choose stay-at-home wives or wives with less-demanding careers that allow the wives to take care of the majority of household matters.  Female professionals, by contrast, typically do not have stay-at-home husbands and often have husbands with equally demanding careers. This is not because there is no such type of men called “stay-at-home husbands” but rather professional women are only attracted to similar or more successful men i.e. men who are high-earners, ambitious, in other words professional men. Professional men who like to do everything with these professional women except marry them.

End of the day, men lets me honest with ourselves; all we, men really need is “a housewife ready with our slippers and dinner when we get home” or for the few men who have no problems with the spouse working, a spouse who is willing to take a professional “backseat”.

Let me end with a joke, we all know “who’s behind a successful man?” (Answer: a woman) but do you know “who’s behind a successful women?” – Answer – her divorce lawyer 🙂

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