Who says men and women are equal? Not me

15 October 2010

I’ve got a friend who works for a big sales company. She is intelligent, attractive and earns a hideously high wage. But for as long as I’ve known her, she has been desperate to find a rich husband and quit her job. She would like, as she puts it, to ‘do lunch’, get mani-pedis all day and be at the financial beck and call of her spouse.

I completely disagree with her on every point of this. I like earning my own money and spending it how I like. I like having a job and being financially independent.

Not a week goes by in the media that we don’t hear about how many women want to become housewives or footballers’ wives when they grow up. It seems it’s now a career choice, as legitimate as being a teacher or an engineer.

I absolutely detest the idea that women ‘should know their place’ and that a place for the women is ‘in the kitchen’. I can’t cook, won’t cook and would never want to learn just to please my ‘hunter-gatherer’ partner. I’m quite happy with a takeaway from the local curry house that we’ve gone half and half on.

According to government figures, in 79% of couples, men earn more than women. While maybe not surprising, it shows women are the proverbial second-rate sex when it comes to earning power. And so, women are paid less in the office and then maligned in the media.

A slightly scarier statistic is that 7.9 million of women are completely dependent on their spouse for money, according to pension provider Scottish Widows. More women than men don’t have a pension, and employers contribute less to women’s pensions than men’s.

I can’t help but think that while the lifestyle might look attractive at face value, it doesn’t help women’s financial awareness. It breeds a false sense of financial security, and lures women into thinking that they don’t need to provide for themselves. It’s primal, and it stinks.

Even worse, research has shown that if women DO dare take home more their man each month, the husbands are more likely to cheat because they feel ‘emasculated’.

Thankfully, as a journalist, I doubt I’ll ever earn more than any partner. Otherwise, I’ve got a life of spinsterhood and cats to look forward to.

Do you think you’ve got the balance right with money in your relationship? Let me know below.