Wednesday, May 17, 2006

False Analogy

Men As Beasts of Burden

Marty Nemko

There are five widows for every widower.

Kevin, 37, is a computer programmer, making $80,000 a year, $48,000 after taxes. His wife, Lisa, stays home to take care of their two-year old. She is pregnant with another child, and eager for them to buy a home. Kevin doesn’t like being a programmer, but fears that a career change will mean a salary cut.

I asked Kevin, “Is owning a home important to you?” He replied, “It’s very important to Lisa.” I asked him how he felt about having the second child. He sighed, “Okay, but Lisa really wants it.”

I asked, “When you first called me, you said you feel the stress is killing you. Should you be shouldering all the family’s financial responsibilities?” He pursed his lips: “Lisa reminds me that before we got married, I agreed to have two kids. She says, and I guess I agree, that to bring our kids up right and maintain a home is a full-time job. And she doesn’t have my earning capacity.” Kevin rubbed his head.

Over the past 17 years, I have been career coach to 1,500 middle and upper class women and to 500 middle-to-upper class men. Because of our relationships’ confidentiality, I have learned much about what women really think on a number of issues.

Most surprising to me, is that at least half of the women, including many graduates of elite colleges, either don’t want an income-earning job or will only work part-time in an unusually pleasant job.

A recent New York Times article suggests that my clients are not an anomaly. It reported that the number of stay-at-home moms has increased 13 percent in less than a decade, and among working women, 2/3 work part-time. This is true even of graduates of prestigious colleges, women who were bestowed a fiercely competed-for slot at an elite college on the assumption they would use that coveted degree to make a big difference in the world.

Few of those women’s application essays indicated they planned to be housewives. Yet among Stanford’s class of ’81, in just their first decade after graduation, 57 percent of mothers spent at least a year at home full-time. One in four stayed home full-time for three or more years. A survey of the women from the Harvard Business School classes of 1981, 1985, and 1991 found that only 38 percent of all women—even if childless--were working full time. And beyond the elite colleges, among white men, 95% of all MBAs in the U.S. work full time, while the number for white women was just 67 percent.

And “full-time” doesn’t mean the same for men and women. Among my 1,500 female clients and many friends, very few are willing to sacrifice work/life balance to work the 60+ hours a week it normally takes to rise to the top of a profession.

Yet women’s groups complain that women are “underrepresented” in the power professions: senior executives, professors, etc., because of a glass ceiling they claim is erected by men.

Of course, there are many ambitious, achieving women who are men’s equals or superiors. But many of my female clients and friends prefer the life of a housewife, perhaps augmented by a pleasant little part-time job, even if it means their husband, whom they claim to love, must work long, hard hours on jobs few women would consider. For example, the vast majority of people who work in iron foundries, coalmines, and other clanging, polluted environments are men. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 92 percent of workplace deaths occur to men.

Dan, a client of mine (name changed) avoided breathing carcinogenic air, but his life is still at risk. He has two masters degrees in counseling, but in the big city, where it seems there’s a therapist under every rock, hasn’t been able to land a job as a counselor. He has a few private clients, which in total earn him $6,000 a year. He adds $8,000 as a mock patient in a medical school, and at night, Dan, 54, moonlights as a waiter at a large restaurant. He says, “It’s almost ¼ mile from the kitchen to the farthest table, so when I get home at one in the morning, I’m exhausted. But I’m still so wired, I need a couple of glasses of wine to get to sleep. If I’m lucky, I get five hours of sleep before I have to get up again.”

Dan’s wife Denise, a Cornell graduate, is 47 and says she’s a musician. But in their years together, her net income has averaged just $800 a year. When Dan encourages Denise to get a job that pays, she objects:“ But I love being a musician. I’m trying to make a living at it.” He keeps urging her to get a paying job, but after a while, he gives up. He can’t make her get a job.

Meanwhile, Dan continues to drag himself through life like an ox yoked to a plow, a beast of burden. “I don’t know how long I can keep this up.” Statistically, he’s right. Medical science is unequivocal that stress and overwork kills. No doubt, that contributes to their being five widows for every widower.

To be fair, many men prefer their wives to stay home, but often, the impetus comes from the woman. Many women use dubious arguments to convince their husbands that they should have, at most, a part-time job:

It’s better for the children. Yes, on average, kids with a stay-at-home-mom do somewhat better, but that is largely because couples that can afford to have mom staying at home are, on average, from a higher socioeconomic class, which confers many other benefits on the child.

A number of studies indicate that being a working mom doesn't hurt and may even help the child. For example, the most recent study (July 2003) Caring and Counting: The impact of mothers' employment on family relationships by Tracey Reynolds, Claire Callender and Rosalind Edwards, reports, "...the mother's work had a positive impact on their family relationships. The mother's employment provided skills and resources that meant they could meet their children's emotional, developmental and material needs better. Their relationship with their partner was enhanced because they shared the financial burden of providing for their family and had more common interests." The book, Ask The Children, is based on in-depth interviews with 600 parents and more than 1,000 children in the third through twelfth grades from diverse backgrounds. It found that "having a working mother is not predictive of how children assess their mothers' parenting skills, based on a number of attributes strongly linked to children's healthy development and school success. These include 'being someone I can go to when I am upset' and 'knowing what is really going on in my life.'" This study's results were reported to the public in a cover story in Working Mother magazine called "Hey Moms, Drop the Guilt!" Millions of children with working moms do just fine. What counts most is quality time: reasonably consistent, loving, limit-setting but not punitive parenting, even if it begins after the workday.

Lest you think I haven’t practiced what I preach, my wife went back to work full-time, nine weeks after our daughter was born, and she turned out just fine: well-adjusted, voted UCLA’s outstanding undergraduate student, whereafter she got a White House internship, after which she went to Yale Law School, is now a successful attorney and about to marry a wonderful guy.

And even if a child accrues some advantage from having a stay-at-home mom, that advantage is usually more than outweighed by the pressure added to the husband’s life and the lifestyle decrement that comes from the lack of a second income. One such decrement is that men who must earn all the family income are precluded from considering rewarding but not lucrative careers such as teaching, and most jobs in non-profits, the arts, journalism, etc.

Adding to the unfairness, women, on average, are more motivated than their husbands to have children to begin with. The man is often pressured, subtly or not subtly, into parenthood, with all its added financial and time demands.

Taking care of the kids and home is a full-time job. These women stretch homemaking into a full-time job with activities far less beneficial than a second income to the family and certainly to her husband’s health and quality of life: preparing home-cooked dinners most nights, sitting with other moms watching a playgroup when a babysitter could do that, etc.

Being a homemaker is at least as stressful as being in the work world. These women point to their having to deal with a frequently crying baby or claim that being at home is a three-ring circus. But fact is, a significant percentage of many stay-at-home moms' days are spent on low-stress tasks such as supermarket shopping, playing with the baby, making dinner, and chatting with friends while baby is napping.

That life is much less stressful than most out-of-home jobs, which are filled with unpredictable commutes, ever increasing workloads because of the relentless downsizing, bosses with unrealistic expectations, co-workers who don’t pull their weight, and tough tasks, which if not completed satisfactorily can result in criticism or even firing.

I don’t have your earning power. Dr. Warren Farrell’s research debunks the flawed research that claims women earn 79 cents on the dollar. When controlled for hours on the job, performance evaluations, and years of experience, women earn $1.01 for every dollar men earn.

And the reason women have fewer years of experience is that they disproportionately elect to stay home with their children, or even if they work “full-time,” they work far fewer hours than their male counterparts so they can spend more time with their kids or on their avocations. Many more women than men —full-time workers and not-- ensure they have time for yoga, get-togethers with friends, art class, gardening, and visits to the day spa. Since 2000, despite the economic downturn, the number of spa visits nationwide, the vast majority of which are made by women, has doubled!

Women don’t just spend on day spas. They’re, overall, the bigger spenders. Yes, men buy more tools and technotoys but women, even when they contribute little or nothing to the family income, are the predominant spenders: clothing, jewelry, therapy, home redecorating of no interest to the man, etc. Most shopaholics are women. Every expenditure loads additional pressure onto the primary breadwinner, which is usually the husband.

Most of my male clients have accepted their plight of having to work, work, work at unrewarding, even dangerous jobs. Biology, parents, and society have programmed men to be the hunter, the provider, to keep their nose to the grindstone, no matter what. Too many wives only encourage it. Just today, a client of mine who earns more than $200,000 a year as a not-partner attorney at a major law firm, exclaimed, “If I don’t push NOW to make partner, my wife will kill me!”

Usually, the wife won’t kill the husband, but often will divorce him, at least in part because “he wasn't a good provider.” And most courts reward her with custody of the child and a requirement that the father pay child support and/or alimony.

When I ask a male client to step back and think about it, many of them realize that their wives have tried—usually successfully--to subtly or not so subtly coerce them into being the primary or sole breadwinner, the beast of burden. Those women make the above arguments, plus use manipulative techniques such as crying, guilt-tripping, screaming, avoiding the topic of getting a job, and forever promising to look for work but making feeble efforts.

Meanwhile, many men live bleak lives: work 10+ hours, commute home, and drop into the couch exhausted. And their reward: an early grave. Despite obesity being more prevalent among women, there are five widows for every widower. Yet all we hear about is another fundraiser for breast cancer.

If a husband hasn't done so already, he should consider having an open discussion with his wife about work and money. For example:

  • “Will buying a house or having another child put too much financial pressure on us?”
  • “If we decide to make those high-cost expenditures, do we want to put all the financial burden on one partner so the other can stay home to raise the child? Or should it be divided more evenly?”
  • “Should I refuse to work at an unrewarding high-stress or dangerous job?”

The elite colleges should issue the following exhortation to their students, male and female: "As you well know, the diploma you will receive from this institution will open the doors of influence: from medical research to non-profit directorship, from corporate leadership to stewardship of the arts. In accepting one of the precious few student seats at this institution, you tacitly accept the responsibility to society to make the most of that coveted degree. We encourage you to aim high, to use that degree to make the biggest difference you can for humankind. As important as being a good parent is, you don't need an elite degree to do that."

(I changed a few irrelevant details about my clients to protect their anonymity.)

Dr. Nemko is available to speak on gender, race, career, and parenting issues. Contact him at mnemko@earthlink.net or 510-655-2777. 400+ of his published writings are free on www.martynemko.com.

http://www.martynemko.com/articles.shtm


At my first reading of this article I was extremely annoyed at the author. First, because clearly this was a vicious attack against stay-at-home mothers (who in my opinion even one of them is worth dozens of Nemko’s version of a mother). I mean dumping your kid off with a babysitter when they aren’t even 3 months old yet is not something to brag about and to paint this as being a viable and good choice for most families (even if they have other options such as working p/t, becoming a SAHM, working out of their home, etc.,) is laughable. Families do this if they have too, it should not be their first and only choice.

Not to mention that the biggest problem facing industrialized civiliations is not figuring out how to keep every women gainfully employed within her field after graduating them from college (that probably ranks as problem #10,082, coming in right after addressing the problem of meteorites hitting city pedestrians as they’re out walking their dogs) . In other words not a very significant issue in the general scheme of things. The more important issue remains how to convince most women in western civilization to say yes to having children when they have 1001 reasons to say no. Otherwise at the rate most of western societies are going, there won’t be any of us around to care about either issue.

Just for the information of the ignorant, the whole mother/child bonding process is not just for the sake of the child, but for the sake of the mother, as well as everyone else in society who benefits when mothers bond with children. Since men contribute little or nothing to the process of bearing life (that burden or honor has been chosen for women to carry alone) that means most women should have at least two kids (one to replace her and one to replace her husband since he can’t replace himself). This just to keep a nation’s population numbers stable. Additionally we have to factor in the lack of gender-neutralized feminists adding any human capital to the pool; which means some women might have to bear three children depending upon how many of these gender neutrals are ultimately spawn.

Now properly bonding with her first child probably convinces a mother to go on to have a few more other then just the first one. As opposed to having her charge back to work 9 weeks after delivery, which probably contributes to her view of a child as nothing more then an expensive burden to everyone, including herself. Something to do once just for the heck of it, (maybe, or not at all ever), with the ultimate goal being to move on afterwards to more important things such as getting back to work as quickly as possible

This article contributes to that attitude.

The second annoyance was that I picked up many analogies within the article which painted a false picture of the professional men the writer was referencing. As no educated man today works like a “beast of burden” in our society, none. This is a clear exaggeration of what our society requires from professional men today. As for the most part a professional’s ten-hour day can easily include a two-hour lunch, another hour or so of general goofing off on the phone, internet, coffer klatches, etc., and a vast number of meetings which extend into nothing more then general gab fests which serve no useful business purpose whatsoever.

Painting even 10 hours of this kind of activity as “Men as Beasts of Burden” is a joke.

Once again, I find men who inhabit the professional classes of western civilization reaching into the archives and coming up with old statistics or statistics of other classes/races of men and trying to claim them as their own. Yes, there was a time in our history that men did work as ‘beasts of burden’ but that was the same period where women died in childbirth, before the days of safe and reliable birth control, just plain worn out from one pregnancy/delivery after another.

These times have long past for both sexes.

Just because the mother’s life is somewhat easier then the father’s after she goes through the initial inconvenience and disfigurement of her body, the painful medical procedures that go on for months and the final god-awful 10 to 20 hours of being a bleeding and bloody mess in order to finally deliver a child (while, I might add, men sit there contributing absolutely NOTHING to the entire process) doesn’t mean she isn’t contributing something which is of equal value (if not more) as going to work everyday.

One can make the case (and I frequently do) that a mother is contributing something of more value then a working person. Since unless you are discovering the cure for cancer or saving the world from an alien invasion, you are quite replaceable in whatever job you have, whereas a woman in her role as a mother is not. The ancient Spartans considered pregnancy and childbearing to be the equivalent of what male soldiers contributed to their societies on the front lines in times of war. Thus they considered a woman to have fulfilled her patriotic duty to her society after having children and required no wartime service from her. Now considering that joining the military is voluntary in all of the west today and few men actually join the military anymore, one could say that women are still fulfilling our duty, while MOST men are not.

The little bit you are asked to do which is basically working an ordinary JOB seems to be too much. Now you are comparing yourselves to “beasts of burden”. Please that is such baloney. Men are actually responsible for most of this immigration mess we are in today, as your refusal to do any really hard-dirty jobs is what has led to men from other countries coming in here to do the jobs that are really ‘beasts of burden’ jobs.

Sorry if men don’t wish to hear that, it’s just tough.

Take it up with God, evolution or nature if you don’t like the way it worked out. Women bear the next generation and receive the honor for this, or curse as some would say.

Again, you don’t like it, tough.

Regarding the fact that men die today sooner then women, well that happens quite simply because you do more dangerous things. As even when men come out of the military, for instance, many of you then go on to getting killed in motorcycle accidents. Clearly motorcycling, wind surfing, mountain climbing, white water rafting, driving cars fast, these are all sports men primarily do and it leads to a higher death rate for them (not to mention that more of you are lawbreakers, drug and alcohol abusers) but I’m just talking about the ‘fun’ things you do that get you all killed sooner then women.

It used to be thought men died sooner due to wars, but even when you are NOT in wars, men continue doing the same sorts of dangerous things that keep your death statistics high.

Clearly it’s an issue of male dominance.

The same with working many of the most dangerous jobs in the work force by the way. The men who will join the armed forces generally are the same ones who will join the police force, fire department, state police, etc., in civilian life. Even though many men claim they are forced into dangerous jobs, a lot of these men profile themselves into dangerous jobs.

Additionally as I saw above, I find men still do many sorts of dangerous things for recreation, even if they are professionals and their jobs are not dangerous.

For instance, I watch many history shows that have men doing, as a hobby not a job: dregging up old mines and salvaging old rusted mining equipment for repair and showing to others, pulling up old WWI and II planes/ships from the bottom of lakes or seas to refurbish, again, just for fun. Recreating historic battle fields and fighting the fights over again. JUST FOR FUN…and who are most of the people who play paintball…MEN. Again, can be dangerous but men do this for recreation.

So don’t act like men die from being forced into dangerous jobs…as even when you don’t have to take dangerous jobs, you place yourselves in danger by pursuing dangerous hobbies.

So again, it’s an issue of male dominance.

Another additional point which I have heard many men commenting upon especially around Mothers’ Day when your jealousy of mothers becomes more obvious: it makes no difference whether or not every lower life form on the planet also gives birth in a similar manner as human mothers do, since lesser life forms operate on instinct and have no choice in the matter. Thus, it takes nothing away from human mothers who CHOSE to bear a new life and bring it into the world. As many women can (and frequently do today) opt out of the whole bearing children situation just by using birth control for their entire reproductive lives.

So never assume this is something women HAVE to do and will continue doing, if they continue receiving this disrespectful treatment. It’s not a given by any means that a good number of women will continue bearing the nation’s future generations, not by any means. As it’s not equivalent to a bowel movement which is necessary biological function. Giving birth is not in the same category, not since the advent of cheap, reliable and safe birth control. It is a choice women make not a bodily function we have no control of, not anymore anyway.

AND since we are being totally honest about usefulness in social roles, I must add that the ONLY socially constructed useful thing men ever provided is the ‘backup and support’ to the women of their societies which allowed a mother to be home, having her children and raising them. Thus if, for whatever reason, men have decided they no longer wish to do this, I can see you rapidly losing any value to the societies you reside within.

Between the higher crime rates, endless civil unrest and wars over nothing that men constantly generate amongst each other in every society, people can easily decide that a world with more woman and fewer men can exist very nicely on the planet. Remember women have already shown that they can live in a world run by a few alpha males in government, as our voting patterns clearly demonstrate: we are not adverse to men being in charge even when women are the majority of voters…

So if most men continue being more trouble then they are worth, well they can easily wind up following the dinosaurs…

21 comments:

silverside said...

I find these whiny articles really overreaching. These guys supporting their wives with three kids neatly forget that she put him through law school as a secretary by day and a waitress by night. They also forget that chances are, she's not staying out of the workforce for 20 years plus, more like 3-4 tops. And we forget all the starry-eyed girlfriends and wives who support "artist" husbands. Charles Frazier, who wrote Cold Mountain, was one of them. (At least that gamble paid off). I remember seeing in the New Yorker about a famous jazz musician who was supported by a woman for years while he rethought his style. Then there are the deadbeats who continue to be musicians or poets forever. As you know, my ex has devoted himself exclusively to his hobbies since 1991. No paying work for him; he has a "laid back lifestyle" and wouldn't be happy at a factory or an office. Actually, this is what one of the custody evaluators said about him (in his defense!) The same guy apparently didn't care whether I had important hobbies that meant something to me or whether I liked working.

Interesting that women are always dismissed as leaches, even with three kids under five to take care of, while the musician-guys get a pass. Of course, if the woman with three kids under five gets a job, she's automatically a Bad Mother who Puts Her Career First. You can't win with these asshats.

NYMOM said...

Exactly...

That's what most of this complaining about stay-at-home mothers is. Men wanting to spend their money on their hobbies, instead of what they consider 'wasting' it on their families. Remember when men were the only ones working they also were the ONLY ones with any say about how the household money was spent. So if it came down to a new car for him versus new drapes and carpet for the house, obviously the one making the money won that argument.

Although everyone in the family benefits from the house looking better, only the one who drives the new car benefits from that, another boy toy to showoff. Most of these idiots want women working so they can continue pissing away their money on crap they can't really afford, when their money has to pay all the bills.

I think we have a bunch of men out there who just haven't grown up yet, they are like damn teenagers wanting to spend every cent they make on expensive sneakers and GAP jeans...

My ex was the same way.

He had managed to get into a job before I met him, that provided him free rent and free utilities including telephone. So basically he only made his car payment every month and then pissed away the rest of his entire check.

I was paying for all of the food, buying for him and his three kids and my ONE CHILD, paying the cable, buying ALL the clothes for everyone as he never placed aside any money for the kids' school clothes or even birthdays and Christmas gifts...

Every extra including any vacations, school clothes/ supplies, money for extra school activies, I had to put out for...

Of course my child came into the relationship used to a higher standard of living, since even though I made less then him, I spent it more carefully...so in order to integrate us as one family I had to either have my kid do without as his kids did or pay for everything to bring them up to my child's standard. I chose to bring them up to my child's standard and winded up after divorce, having spent all my savings and gone $20,000 into credit card debt between shopping for clothes for everyone, including him, birthdays/ Christmas gifts. I mean I even had to give his kids money for them to buy their mother a Christmas present.

But what else could I do? Like you I picked a loser.

What men fail to realize is that if they continue this slide into irrelevancy, more women are going to continue becoming single mothers. Many of these men are already pretty useless and they are heading into totally useless now.

I mean if I have to clean, shop, cook, do everything pertaining to the house (since as the author claims men aren't that interested in the home) bear the children on top of working to pay half the bills...what in the HECK do I need a man for...

Short answer: nothing...that's what the author fails to realize.

NYMOM said...

BTW, silverside...I just finished reading an interesting book "The Sibling Society" (by Robert Bly, not my favorite author but this book wasn't bad) anywhere he talks about the long-lasting adolescence of people today, particularly in the US. He mentions how even when he travels he can pick out Americans from crowds as they have the most youthful and childlike open faces, not mature looking at all...

He is talking about men and women, but I got the impression he was mainly talking about men, when he mentioned how many people are extending adolescence into their 30s today...still living at home, not married, probably spending every penny they make (IF they work) on CDs, expensive cars, other gadgets, etc., How many guys I know who have a car and are still living with their mothers, for instance. I mean owning a car USED to be (when I was growing up anyway) a sign of maturity. Today it's frequently a sign of irresponsibility.

Even your ex with his mother (or his girlfriend's family) AND the taxpayers with that EIC business STILL paying his bills. Just like you said that custody evaluator painting his refusal to get a job as very understandable...WTH, I don't feel like getting up and working in a job either, but I do it because I have to...like every other mature adult knows they have to do.

That's the thing that bugs me the most about these gender-neutral feminists as well. It's almost like their support of gender neutral custody is empowering these guys. As previously if a man was like your ex, every other adult in society including his mother and every other authority figure, would be working with his wife to force him to mature.

TODAY, these idiots get custody of children, convince their mothers to pay their bills and their ex-wives to give them child support so they can just continue playing all day using your kids as another excuse to be immature...

So feminism is actually enabling the worse of men to get over on everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hi NYMOM.

Have you emailed Marty Nemko to give him your thoughts on this? I read his article a long time ago and immediately emailed him to give him a piece of my mind. He replied, still disagreeing with me although gracious for the most part. He did ask if I had shown his article to my husband :-). Of course DH did read it and told me to please pay no attention to this crap--that I was NOT sending him to an early grave and he would be far more stressed if we were both at work and our kids were with strangers all day.

I DO understand the professional pressures of which he speaks. Having been in the legal profession I'm familiar with the long hours, the pressing deadlines, the high stakes and expectations, the throwing up in the restroom before critical court appearances (even my practice and procedure prof, the most arrogant SOB you ever saw, freely admitted to having often done that). But part of the job of the SAH spouse is (or should be) to take ALL of the other domestic pressures off the employed spouse so they can enjoy the family time they do have.

I laughed at the bit about the yoga classes and day spas. In our neighborhood there are only a few at-home spouses that I'm acquainted with--one SAHD around the corner, two SAHM's on the cul-de-sac behind us, and me--and NONE of us has any time for stuff like that. It appears that Marty Nemko simply has never done this job and has no clue what it's all about.

I'd also be interested in knowing if he tells you the same thing he told me: that my response to his article was atypical and that just about everyone else thought he was spot-on. I read the responses in the American Spectator and mine was FAR from atypical.

Thanks.

Anne

NYMOM said...

I never contacted him at all as the article was old and I plucked it from another website. I didn't know if it was appropriate to respond to such an old article.

I figured he put it out on the internet so it was fair game and as long as I cited the article as his, that was the extent of what was required.

Additionally, I'm not as tactful as you and I probably would have ended up in a huge argument if I had contacted him, so I just decided to leave well enough alone. I don't need any more enemies.

Also, I don't believe that everyone agreed with him at all...or maybe where he initially posted it mostly men read, so that could explain it. As where they posted the link to his article on another site MOST of the people on that link DISAGREED in their responses, but most of the responses were from women.

The other thing I don't agree with is that professionals, even lawyers, are ever working like "beasts of burden" even if they put in 8 to 10 hour days.

It's ridiculous for someone to believe that.

Further down on my blog I referenced an article stating how the mens rights movement is stealing the statistics of black and hispanic men and using them to paint ALL men (and boys) as being discriminated against. Now they are trying the same thing with this 'beasts of burden' business vis-a-vis their jobs.

Men die earlier in the west anyway, not due to working like 'beasts of burden' at all but due to the fact that they take more dangerous jobs (by their own choice, their decision) even the armed forces is ALL VOLUNTARY now so nobody forces them into it.

Additionally men, in general, take more dangerous chances in life, such as MOST criminals are men: bank robbers, carjackers, hit men, mob enforcers, etc., Men even drive faster, which is why their insurance is higher, and last but not least men take up hobbies like riding motorcycles, sky diving, hunting, etc.,

So even when they have safe jobs like being lawyers, they have dangerous hobbies and recreational pursuits...

Why don't they sit home and read books, watch TV, get a cat to play with, go to chatrooms for recreation like women do...then they'll live long lives...

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe you're right about not contacting him. I just suggested it because he appears to be someone who is particularly open to feedback of all types. He has a website, too, but most of his articles are about career strategies.

About professionals, I certainly can't speak for all of them but I know that the legal profession, at least, involves a great deal of stress. It's the reason why, despite the financial rewards and the ever-increasing number of law school applicants, MANY attorneys eventually realize that they only have one life and leave the field to do something else. Believe it or not, almost a quarter of my classmates graduated no longer wanting to be lawyers (the final year is particularly exhausting), but most had student loans to pay off so they had to go on and do it, at least for a time. I would hate to have married one--we'd probably never see him!

After I left the profession and moved into teaching my family property prof, with whom I keep in contact, did not chide me for wasting my degree and experience but congratulated me. "Good for you," he said. "It's a much better way to live."

So while I can relate up to a point, Mr. Nemko is nevertheless exaggerating this notion of parasitic wives living lives of luxury while the guys work all day. The simple truth is that toddlers don't allow any such thing. LOL

Thanks,

Anne

NYMOM said...

Yes, I agree the hours are long but clearly to discribe what attorneys or just about any other professional really does today as "beast of burden" work is not really correct. Working like a beast of burden is just as it sounds: hard, physical, back-breaking labor.

Regarding what you said about toddlers or even infants, that is a job where you won't get any sleep, but it's also not a job where you are a 'beast of burden' either...

I mean breast feeding an infant alone for the first few months probably takes up MOST of your time. As breast milk is more easily disgested and so the baby is always hungry. Since it takes about 40 minutes or so to nurse, your entire day can be taken up with just sleeping and nursing every few hours.

Actually this is why I believe so many mothers stopped nursing. It was too time consuming in our busy world whether or NOT you worked. I mean frankly I don't know how women did it in our past especially when they had other children even and a household to care for...

In the wild usually the young have already left (or at least stopped nursing, before a mother gets pregnant again...

Anyway, I read somewhere that they are starting to believe this could be why so many people are developing peanut allegies now as many parents and babysitters to get kids to sleep longer are putting cereal in their bottles. This just started in a big way when I had my first baby (in the 70s) and I remember many many people telling me to do it to get my daughter to sleep more...

Anyway, many cereals have peanut-based oils or other peanut-based ingredients in them; so infants start forming antibodies against peanuts very early and this is what leads to all these allegy reactions to peanuts we've been heading about lately.

PS: a horror.

Anyway I've noticed with my grand daughter and all her little friends (she was a playgroup raised kid although my daughter could have worked p/t but didn't wish to) anyway they all eat nothing but cereal and milk, preferrably sweetened, but I won't buy that for my house...but every kid today exists on a LOT of cereal and milk.

This is another little discussed result of mothers rushing off to work early...not investing the time to properly expose their child's palate to a proper diet. AND guess what no babysitter or daycare is going to bother with that for every kid if you don't. They'll just feed them whatever is easiest for them and that usually spells a bowl of cereal and milk.

I even see toddlers being stuffed with dried cereal in the park day and night to keep them full probably...

Anonymous said...

Except for the denigration of men, we finally agree on something. It's ridiculous to claim children are just as well off without their moms at home.

Some of it I can't agree with because my husband DOES work a very dangerous job out of necessity, and could see himself as a beast of burden, were he the type to use such phrases or pity himself. And I could not have made the choice to stay home and continue to care for my children full time if he did not continue in his work. So I'm grateful to him for putting his children's needs first, and for recognizing that children need a parent at home, and being willing to make the sacrifices necessary to seeing that our children have always had that. Nor is he irresponsible enough to pursue dangerous hobbies outside his work. He's too busy doing the heavy work on the house and being a good father to the children and a good husband to me.

I don't see how mothers could be the ones to stay home on anything approaching a large scale were men not willing to work as necessary (which for many WILL include dangerous jobs as not all are or can be "professionals.") It just wouldn't be economically feasible.

While men don't bodily carry the children, good men spend the time of pregnancy working (in our case really hard and at substantial risk) so that the mother can take proper care of herself and the coming baby, then they spend the next 18 - 21 years providing continued support, guidance, love, protection (to both mother and children) and contribute to the upkeep of the family home (a thankless and arduous task in many cases, including ours.) Also I couldn't have gone through the birth nearly so calmly without his presence and emotional support.

At any rate if I could erase the disparagement of men from this blog entry I'd have to say I agree with the rest of it, and find the original article a piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

"I mean frankly I don't know how women did it in our past especially when they had other children even and a household to care for..."

I used to wonder the exact same thing when I was nursing our son. Even our daughter, who got used to bottles in the NICU and never learned to latch-on, required about six bottles a day and took forever to drink them (which is why I used to blog a lot more then than now). Then our son would need his meals and snacks (he was also a slow, frustrating eater), and of course there would be our regular meals to prepare. For a while I used to laugh about being "just a waitress." I guess in ages past older siblings used to help with a lot of the child care. I remember my grandfather, who was one of the younger kids in the family, saying that his oldest sister was as much a mother to him as their own mother was.

"Anyway, I read somewhere that they are starting to believe this could be why so many people are developing peanut allegies now as many parents and babysitters to get kids to sleep longer are putting cereal in their bottles. This just started in a big way when I had my first baby (in the 70s) and I remember many many people telling me to do it to get my daughter to sleep more..."

You still hear a lot of that, even though all experts will tell you it's a myth that cereal makes them sleep longer, and even besides the risk of allergies it predisposes kids to over-eating and obesity. It seems that no sooner does the baby arrive then everyone starts asking when he's going to start on cereal. It's ridiculous. The doctor told us we could start cereal at 3 mos if we wanted to but that babies don't really need any solids until about 6 mos. So we just waited till then. Although we do still carry a small container of Cheerios out in public it's because when the kids want a quick snack away from home it's the least messy alternative. We try to stick to fruit or yogurt for snacks at home.

Our nephew loves Froot Loops for snacks. Did you ever smell the inside of a Froot Loops box? Pew-wee! We won't let our kids even start down that sweetened-cereal path. For all they know Cheerios, Wheaties, Shredded Wheat and oatmeal are the only cereals in the world.

Anne

NYMOM said...

"At any rate if I could erase the disparagement of men from this blog entry I'd have to say I agree with the rest of it, and find the original article a piece of crap."

Sadly we can't separate the two, as what you call the 'disparagement of men' I call 'truth telling. It's exposing the web of media propaganda and statistical lies that men have built up over the last few decades in order to, not just disparage women in their role as mothers, but to snatch custody of our children from us. Much of this is instigaged for financial gain by men...

So this man who wrote this aricle has quite a followng and speaks for many men. AND I don't see a lot of men who are construction workers and doing other dangerous and 'beast of burden' jobs starting blogs up to defend mothers...but interesting enough there are hundreds of women arguing with me
to defend men.

So until I see men defending mothers as you all defend them, this blog continues full speed ahead...

Anonymous said...

Because the men who really do work as beasts of burden (and they do exist; I live with one and know many others who do) don't have time to sit on the internet blogging about their thoughts. They're too busy putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their wives' and children's heads, then spending what little time they have left bonding with their families. They defend their families from harm, no doubt, but they don't have time to respond to every crackpot article that circulates the net (such as the one you have been commenting on.) They're busy, you know, living their family lives. And many of them doing a darn fine job of it too. There is no reason to paint ALL men with the same brush; outside of a deep-seated emotional problem, perhaps a past trauma(s) but that isn't really healthy.

You want women to stay home and mother then don't give any credit to the men who enable them to do so, and provide lots of other perks to go with it. Just to clarify - the government can't take care of all of us; not without (you guessed it) PLENTY of beasts of burden to keep fueling the economy and unfairly taking their money and handing it to women who want children but refuse to associate with anyone with the stink of "male" on him.

I defend mothers and I defend good fathers. I suppose if I'd never known good fathers I wouldn't do so, but I've known plenty. No reason to disappear them simply because it makes some people uncomfortable.

NYMOM said...

"I defend mothers and I defend good fathers."

Well the problem is most women are quick to defend men; but we don't get the same treatment in return when we are under attack. As EVERY site this article was posted on ALL of the men agreed with the author. I didn't hear even ONE man disagreeing with him.

So clearly if both men and women are going to defend men; but men don't feel the same obligation to defend women when we are attacked, then the public gets an unbalanced perspective. This is often how ordinary people gets a skewered perception of what is really going on...that article is a good example of what I am talking about.

As I guarantee you that every young woman reading it would feel uncomfortable telling anyone she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom someday in the future and every young man reading it would be hostile to the idea of his wife staying home with the children as well. Plus I didn't see even ONE rebuttal by a public figure against what he wrote. Yet I guarantee you that if a woman had written a similar article about most stay-at-home fathers being lazy loafers, just taking advantage of their wife and children when they should be working to contribute money to the household, there would have been dozens of responses, many from women, attacking the author as anti-father.

Privately women have told me they emailed him or just disagreed with him, interestingly however no men told me they disagreed with the article. Well a private email or disagreement is just between you and it's recipient, no one else is aware of it, so it does little public good and makes it appear more people agree with the author then disagree.

Even your comment about "women who want children but refuse to associate with anyone with the 'stink' of male on them" is a vast exaggeration and distortion about the reality of why so many women are just going ahead and having children without being married. As MOST of those women were in relationships with men trying to get married for years; before they just went ahead and chose to have a child on their own. Even looking at the census shows that it's older women becoming single mothers now, not so many young teenagers anymore, a whole different population.

Remember women's timeline is not as long as men. Women's fertility begins declining when she's 27/28 years old and continues that decline each year until she enters menopause. We cannot wait until our late 30s/early 40s for our male counterparts to decide they are finally ready to settle down. Our eggs are hardboiled by that time.

So to paint this situation as women just chosing not to associate themselves with the 'stink' of men is not correct.

The bottom line is that the system of women, from about the age of 16 or so, having casual sex with men is clearly a system that favors men. As 1.) it takes away any incentive for men to get married as not only can they get sex anytime they feel like it; but 2.) even if a woman has a child, a single man's legal rights to this child are exactly the same as a married man's once he gets his name placed on the birth certificate.

So who does this benefit? Men, of course, not women that's for sure.

Thus, you need to think a little bit before you attack a blog such as mine which is unique (as much as anyone might hate to admit it) in defending women in their role as mothers...as NO OTHER BLOG EXISTS that consistently does this.

Plus, it continues the sorts of distortions about the reasons WHY single women are becoming mothers and allows men a free ride for what their irresponsible behavior contributes to this phenomenon.

It's actually as bad as the Nemko's article for continuing public ignorance about what is really happening...

Thus, you've contributed to MORE ignorance...

NYMOM said...

"Our nephew loves Fruit Loops as a snack. Did you ever smell the inside of a Fruit Loops box?"

Yes, it terrifying that people consider this as food for any living being, especially a child. I recently was diagnosised as being pre-diabetic, so I've become more aware of NOT eating so many processed foods anymore and have to prepare everything differently now.

I've also become aware as you said of the smell of things now. Just the other day someone placed a cup of instant hot chocolate next to me and I could smell the aroma of it very clearly and was getting sicken by it. It actually smelled like a potent chemical 'stew'...

Yuck.

I never ate a lot of junk food really, although my diet was very high in starch: potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, etc., which I have to cut back a lot of that now as that contributes to being diabetic as well...it's not really sugar so much as glucose which is formed when eating that starchy stuff (which I love)...

Oh well...one more cross to bear as they say...

Anonymous said...

Well first let me say I wasn't attacking your blog. Second, I wholeheartedly abhor the idea of women throwing themselves around casually regarding sex. It is certainly of no benefit to society for women to sleep around casually - though while it might PLEASE men I don't think it benefits them. But that's a long story.

By the way, just out of curiosity, what do you do with genuinely bad and abusive mothers? I know they exist because I had one. I would have been far better off with my grandparents, who actually loved me, than with my mother who most assuredly did not. I don't think mothers as bad as she was are common, so don't get me wrong - I've only met one other person who had a mother who was that bent on destroying her offspring...what's worse, is that in both instances we would think "Well she just doesn't have it in her" but both were plenty capable of treating their other child like pure gold, and even that golden child's future offspring, while continuing the abuse of their hated child well on into adulthood until I had to simply cut all ties with her. (The other person I know is still trying to cut those ties, but it's not easy.) Like I say I know this is rare, but it does happen. Do you have any thoughts on that? (Please don't make this one about men, or somehow it must be their fault - men had nothing to do with this.) Let me tell you, it really ruins the rest of a person's life to have someone who hates you THAT MUCH raise you.

Anonymous said...

By the way you're so right about processed foods. Over the last several years the smell has become intolerable - it's some type of cardboard/chemical smell - yuck. Not fit for man nor beast. (Woman or weast? Heh)

NYMOM said...

"Like I say, I know this is rare, but it does happen."

AND clearly as I have said many many times before, abusive mothers should not have custody. That's a given and just like in our past, abusive or neglectful mothers had their rights terminated and a father or other relative were then given custody.

That is a very different situation however then what goes on today, where even fit loving mothers are not guaranteed custody of their children. This is true even of newborns btw, you could lose them before you leave the hospital under current law...

So let me say this: abusive PARENTS are rare, OKAY. As most PEOPLE are normal, so most of us do NOT abuse our children.

So really we cannot continue bringing up this issue every time we discuss public policies regarding custody of children and how it impacts ordinary people, as this has LITTLE to do with what I talk about on this blog.

The issues I discuss presupposed BOTH parents are normal, ordinary, everyday people. That's a given I presume and in that scenario (ALL things being equal) MOTHERS should always have automatic custody of their children.

Quite simply mothers invest more, risk more, simply contribute more to getting children here. Men invest little and should have lesser rights because of this...

Sorry.

Unfortunately women cannot continue being expected to continue making the lion's share of the investment in this area only to be expected to drop into secondary status five seconds after giving birth. It's not fair to us and quite frankly if it continues, few women will bear children. We're already suffering a vast drop in birth rates and most of it is due to these ongoing custody wars every mother is expectred to deal with now after the birth of her child...

Many of these custody fights are instigated by men who are abusing the legal system to do an end run around the rights that God, evolution or nature has already designated as belonging to mothers and the children we alone bear. It's attempting to get the court to ignore the rights mothers already have through natural law and hand them over to men under cover of some phony equality argument...

So abuse has NOTHING to do with the issues I discuss on this blog. I find people tend to use it when they run out of other arguments.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I understand about abuse then. Fair enough that for your purposes you're presupposing normality and lack of abuse. I wasn't personally trying to argue, I was just curious. Thank you for replying.

I don't quite understand how after the birth of a child (which women do go through, for nine months and then the labor/delivery) the next 18 or more years are (or normally would be) both people raising said child...and the monetary contribution assuming the mom stays home and the dad provides all the money - how that could be called "little or nothing." How are women supposed to be able to stay home and raise the children if the husband doesn't work, and why would that contribution be considered so worthless, when it's what gives her that freedom in the first place? At least, normally, that's what gives her that freedom. This is the part I guess I'm not getting. I don't know; despite having to work my husband has always been very hands on with regard to the nuts and bolts care of the children - from baby care right up through a close relationship with both in adulthood. They wouldn't trade their father for anything; and most normal people with normal families (who aren't ripped apart by divorce) feel the same about their fathers; I don't see why that doesn't count for anything. Of course incentives for divorce (benefiting either sex) need to be quashed, IMO, it certainly doesn't help the children to have either parent ripped away.

NYMOM said...

The problem is that fewer and fewer men are providing these things anymore. AND that article by Nemko is just another example of the sorts of dialogue going on (behind mothers' backs) about how much men resent having to provide for a stay-at-home mother anymore. You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to notice it.

It's appears to be having a definite change on most women as well, since MOST mothers are working, even mothers of very young children now. AND when you factor married working mothers into the equation, not even counting all the never-married working mothers (who, btw, generally get absolutely NOTHING but aggravation from their child's father) then what are the unique contributions or real value that we are talking about which men are supposedly contributing to the family????

I mean I want to be fair about this but I just don't see how we can be, since what men consider fair (which is pretty much designate them with the same legal and moral authority as a child's mother when they contribute practically NOTHING to the equation) would be patently unfair to every women who becomes a mother.

I mean if a woman wishes to become a lawyer, a doctor or even a plumber, just like men, she must go to school for all the requisite training and get the grades and fulfill every single requirement just like men do before she gets that designation. That's the way it is with every other accomplishment in the world...EXCEPT becoming a father, then you do practically NOTHING and suddenly you have the exact same rights as a mother who has to do everything????

How is that justice????

AND God forbid you should bring up this obvious fact in polite company. Everyone looks like you have grown two heads or something. But in my opinion, it's ridiculous that no sensible person has ever mentioned this obvious fact before.

AND of course, I agree, the problem then morphs into trying to rip this person away ONCE YOU HAVE GIVEN AWAY TO THEM YOUR NATURAL LAWFUL RIGHTS AS A MOTHER. Of course, it's a problem then which we cannot backtrack from. Almost like our illegal immigrant problem. We gave these people defacto citizenship and rights just by allowing them to stay and not saying anything at the time. So women who have done a similar thing are stuck. Correct. As their children already see these men as an equal to their mother...

YET, this blog is about brainstorming to stop this from continuing....that's what it's about so that future mothers are not faced with this same situation and don't have to be looking over their shoulder waiting for the next custody fight or abduction attempt by some power-crazed idiot...

So that's the long and the short of it.

Anonymous said...

Well I can't disagree that you make some valid points there. It is a tragic shame if things have gone that far, it is a tragic shame that most mothers even of the very young run off to a job (though I honestly can't blame just men for that - the feminist movement is right behind that as well - I can't count how many women have told me "Oh I'd go INSANE staying at home; I NEED a career to fulFILL mySELF" blah blah blah. I don't think it's all just a reaction; it seems this is all interrelated. Women abdicate their roles and men abdicate theirs...but neither is a good thing, surely? Wouldn't it be best if most children could have a mom who could stay home with them comfortably while the husband performed his role as breadwinner and protector for the mother?

Well whatever, it's been interesting talking to you; I may not wholly agree on everything but I appreciate your up-front answers to my queries.

NYMOM said...

Definitely gender neutral feminists are at fault here. As I have mentioned numerous times, these feminists are the 'mothers' of the fathers rights movement in more ways then one.

However, now that men and women are both 'equal' in the eyes of the law vis-a-vis children, we cannot continue ignoring the constant custody infighting this has led to, along with the drop in women even having kids. As what woman is going to want to have kids with this possibility hanging over her head???

I mean think about it yourself. Would you have even had any children if you suspected that you could lose custody of them in a few years time? I've had the opportunity to observe the behavior of a number of young women who were related to a mother who lost custody of her son. NONE of them had any children after that (this was over ten years ago) including the sister of the custodial father. Clearly she had second thoughts about taking this risk herself...

So this situation has a devasting impact far over and above the immediate effect on just the mother involved. It radiates out from her to every other young woman who knows about it. It actually serves as a means of intimidating other young women, which is what infuriates me the most about it. That through their support of gender neutral custody, these feminist jackasses have now handed every man a club effective against every woman, as soon as she choses to become a mother.

Mike, Nicki, and the boys said...

Found your reply to this article insightful. I found your blog by hopping along after reading a review for "The Broken American Male" on Amazon the review referenced Marty Nemco's essay. I was pretty much in shock and ended up searching for opinions on his article because frankly, I was too stunned at the moment to form a constructive criticism in my brain. Thank you for your writing skills and thank you to all the comments below. You made for great reading! I'm a stay at home mom of 2 boys in Germany right now.