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webwench 01-15-2005 09:01 PM

"Men Just Want Mommy" -- Maureen Dowd opinion piece
 
What say you?

Quote:

Men Just Want Mommy
By MAUREEN DOWD
January 13, 2005

A few years ago at a White House Correspondents' dinner, I met a very beautiful actress. Within moments, she blurted out: "I can't believe I'm 46 and not married. Men only want to marry their personal assistants or P.R. women."

I'd been noticing a trend along these lines, as famous and powerful men took up with the young women whose job it was to tend to them and care for them in some way: their secretaries, assistants, nannies, caterers, flight attendants, researchers and fact-checkers.

Women in staff support are the new sirens because, as a guy I know put it, they look upon the men they work for as "the moon, the sun and the stars." It's all about orbiting, serving and salaaming their Sun Gods.

In all those great Tracy/Hepburn movies more than a half-century ago, it was the snap and crackle of a romance between equals that was so exciting. Moviemakers these days seem far more interested in the soothing aura of romances between unequals.

In James Brooks's "Spanglish," Adam Sandler, as a Los Angeles chef, falls for his hot Mexican maid. The maid, who cleans up after Mr. Sandler without being able to speak English, is presented as the ideal woman. The wife, played by Téa Leoni, is repellent: a jangly, yakking, overachieving, overexercised, unfaithful, shallow she-monster who has just lost her job with a commercial design firm. Picture Faye Dunaway in "Network" if she'd had to stay home, or Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction" without the charm.

The same attraction of unequals animated Richard Curtis's "Love Actually," a 2003 holiday hit. The witty and sophisticated British prime minister, played by Hugh Grant, falls for the chubby girl who wheels the tea and scones into his office. A businessman married to the substantial Emma Thompson falls for his sultry secretary. A writer falls for his maid, who speaks only Portuguese.

(I wonder if the trend in making maids who don't speak English heroines is related to the trend of guys who like to watch Kelly Ripa in the morning with the sound turned off?)

Art is imitating life, turning women who seek equality into selfish narcissists and objects of rejection, rather than affection.

As John Schwartz of The New York Times wrote recently, "Men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses, and evolution may be to blame."

A new study by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates, suggests that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors.

As Dr. Stephanie Brown, the lead author of the study, summed it up for reporters: "Powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less-accomplished women." Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them.

"The hypothesis," Dr. Brown said, "is that there are evolutionary pressures on males to take steps to minimize the risk of raising offspring that are not their own." Women, by contrast, did not show a marked difference in their attraction to men who might work above or below them. And men did not show a preference when it came to one-night stands.

A second study, which was by researchers at four British universities and reported last week, suggested that smart men with demanding jobs would rather have old-fashioned wives, like their mums, than equals. The study found that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to get married, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.

So was the feminist movement some sort of cruel hoax? The more women achieve, the less desirable they are? Women want to be in a relationship with guys they can seriously talk to - unfortunately, a lot of those guys want to be in relationships with women they don't have to talk to.

I asked the actress and writer Carrie Fisher, on the East Coast to promote her novel "The Best Awful," who confirmed that women who challenge men are in trouble.

"I haven't dated in 12 million years," she said drily. "I gave up on dating powerful men because they wanted to date women in the service professions. So I decided to date guys in the service professions. But then I found out that kings want to be treated like kings, and consorts want to be treated like kings, too."
Hey, I know I'd rather say "I'm just too successful and brilliant for them!" than "I'm not so good at the dating..." :) More seriously, though, I've never liked seeing hackneyed social biology applied wholesale to entire swaths of the population, and see little difference between what Maureen Dowd is saying here, and what is so often said about women: "They're just looking for daddy."

LaughingGravy 01-15-2005 09:37 PM

I feel there's definitely biology involved. Yes, men would like somebody to take care of them ala mom. Why not? The traditional family unit was developed over eons for good reason. I'm not saying that it's the only good way,of course. Society has evolved to be supportive of many relationships, family, and otherwise.
I don't agree with the idea of the fear of a woman cheating due to a successful career or high IQ.
My wife is a college grad with what I believe is a high IQ. Definitely my equal if not more in that regard.
Her Mom was a stay at home as well. We made a choice together that she would be the stay at home, if kids ever came and I was the bigger bread winner in the foreseeable future. Yes, financial sacrifice. My dinner is made for me virtually every night, though I could do it myself. I work full time, including limited travel and the occasional week long trade show as well as pilot lessons thrown in. She, on the other hand has a great social life compared to me. Kids are not full time in school and have never been at day care or after care.

The point of having a partner who is less complex does have some merit in that my wife doesn't have a big career that she has to really worry about.
It also means that we can talk about my day occasionally and vent a little.
She, of course, talks about her day. I happily listen and offer support as they are a handful. And they're good kids too!

Unfortunately, I've definitely seen instances of women I know not being promoted because they may have children in the future. That just outright sucks, especially as most employees are treated as disposable anyway.
Anyone can be replaced in their job, unless it's the owner of the company. :sun_smile

GermanStar 01-15-2005 10:11 PM

I can only speak for myself. When I was married, I did my own laundry and more than half of the cooking, and my ex didn't work. Definitely not looking for mommy. OTOH, it could be that I'm so self-reliant that I'm not suitable material for a true partnership.

suginami 01-15-2005 10:58 PM

I tend to agree with the studies.

Men want to marry women who will take care of them. They are also afraid of women who either are or who they preceive to be smarter than them. It intimidates most men.

Why? Men desperately want to make their wives happy, and if their wife is smarter than them, it is intimitading, and smarter women are harder to please.

azimuth 01-15-2005 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by webwench
What say you?



Hey, I know I'd rather say "I'm just too successful and brilliant for them!" than "I'm not so good at the dating..." :) More seriously, though, I've never liked seeing hackneyed social biology applied wholesale to entire swaths of the population, and see little difference between what Maureen Dowd is saying here, and what is so often said about women: "They're just looking for daddy."

i cannot speak for all, or even many, men. I will say that in my case, I did not marry my wife because she was smart and successful, even though she was. I did not marry her because i admired her accomplishments, i.e. a black belt in tae kwon do, even though i do (she can beat me up... :eek: :D ). i did not marry her because she is beautiful or sexy, even though she is. I married her because she was all these things, yet humble enough to know that the world did not revolve around her alone and for this i fell hopelessly, helplessly in love with her.

i'm still not sure why she married me. I know that i married "up". I vowed that from the day we were married to the day we part, at the end of days, I would work hard to deserve her. I can only hope that is enough.....

aklim 01-16-2005 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaughingGravy
Unfortunately, I've definitely seen instances of women I know not being promoted because they may have children in the future. That just outright sucks, especially as most employees are treated as disposable anyway.

Well, think about this for a while. Lets not get into the 5 letter words of right and wrong. When a couple has a child or children. Who do you think takes more time off before, during and after? Who is less likely to go back to work after the child? Who is more likely to take time off after that? Add all of that together and what do you have? IMO, you have an employee that has less longevity than a male. Put sex aside for a minute, if you have 2 employees, lets say they are both male for the sake of arguement. One of them has indicated to you that he might move out of state and the other you know has a very good chance of staying put. Who do you think you will promote?

MS Fowler 01-16-2005 06:21 AM

Irony alert!
Isn't it the liberals ( like M.D.) who lecture the rest of us about not judging by the group? Yet, they are the very ones who practice "group judging" in thier daily activites.
You could call it hypocracy.

webwench 01-16-2005 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aklim
When a couple has a child or children. Who do you think takes more time off before, during and after? Who is less likely to go back to work after the child? Who is more likely to take time off after that? Add all of that together and what do you have? IMO, you have an employee that has less longevity than a male.

I'm not so fond of judging (or being judged) by the group I belong to. An employer doesn't know what his prospective employees' childbearing plans are, and I think it's none of their business. I think there is a right and wrong here.

el presidente 01-16-2005 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by azimuth
i cannot speak for all, or even many, men. I will say that in my case, I did not marry my wife because she was smart and successful, even though she was. I did not marry her because i admired her accomplishments, i.e. a black belt in tae kwon do, even though i do (she can beat me up... :eek: :D ). i did not marry her because she is beautiful or sexy, even though she is. I married her because she was all these things, yet humble enough to know that the world did not revolve around her alone and for this i fell hopelessly, helplessly in love with her.

i'm still not sure why she married me. I know that i married "up". I vowed that from the day we were married to the day we part, at the end of days, I would work hard to deserve her. I can only hope that is enough.....

True love, my friend :sun_smile

el presidente 01-16-2005 08:27 AM

<snipped from the article>

The study found that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to get married, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.

FWIW, I am definitely marrying "up"....I'm hoping for a Mr. Mom scenario :crowngrin

aklim 01-16-2005 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by webwench
I'm not so fond of judging (or being judged) by the group I belong to. An employer doesn't know what his prospective employees' childbearing plans are, and I think it's none of their business. I think there is a right and wrong here.

No, but playing the devil's advocate here, which is the better investment when you see a woman of childbearing age and a man?

dolebludger 01-16-2005 03:12 PM

webwench:

The last time I was single I was 40. Sure, I dated a few 23 year olds and a few nitwits of various ages, and out of disgust for these types developed a couple of policies. First was the policy against my dating "20 somethings." I called it my "no trainee" policy. :) Second was my "no incompetents" policy. Women who did not have some sort of career going for them and who did not live in a presentable place and drive presentable cars were out! She didn't have to be a CEO or live in a mansion or drive a Ferrari or anything like that, but just presentable. IMO, guys who do what your initial post says they are doing are getting into a real "high maintanence" situation, and I don't think they will like it in the long run.

Thanks,
Richard :) :) :)

Botnst 01-16-2005 03:35 PM

I married the first woman who'd have me just as I am. I've wanted to be better than that ever since. For both reasons, I owe her my life.

koop 01-16-2005 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Botnst
I married the first woman who'd have me just as I am. I've wanted to be better than that ever since. For both reasons, I owe her my life.

Well put

MS Fowler 01-16-2005 05:19 PM

Web Wench,
Which group would that be? Mercedes-owning intelligent women who are pilots and jump out of airplanes
I am sure there are a few more qualifiers, but you get the point--you are unique.


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