Thursday, September 09, 2004

Poor, Abused, Free (??) Women

There was mention of an article in the news today, about how women actually benefit from our high divorce rates. Apparently their ability to leave loveless marriages and relationships shows their strength and freedom as women. I cannot find the article that was mentioned, but I did find this one. Check out some of these quotes.
'A man who lives with a woman will not only eat better and drink less, he also goes to the doctor sooner with symptoms,' reports Penny Mansfield, Director of One Plus One, the marriage research organisation. 'There is someone to nag him about taking care of himself.' For women, the health advantages of getting married are less clear. While better nutrition and healthcare - the result of being part of a double or higher income unit - may be part of the package, there is also the extra burden that comes with looking after other people. Even when women work the same number of hours paid employment as their partners, they still do nine hours more domestic work a week.
Whether a woman decides that the extra work of marriage is worth it comes down to the emotional and practical support that she gets from her partner. Research at One Plus One found that men consistently overestimate their own contribution to domestic responsibilities and underestimate that of their wives. 'It's this gap between expectation and reality which seems to trigger a woman's desire to leave a marriage,' says Helen Wilkinson. 'Once a woman starts to feel unsupported by her partner, she also realises that she feels just as alone as she ever did as a single person. In which case, she may ask herself whether she wouldn't be better off on her own.'
Men, on the other hand, are less affected by the quality of the marriage, and more concerned with the simple fact of its existence. Just being married, even to someone who makes your heart sink, brings men significant satisfactions. No wonder, then, that they have to be dragged into divorce kicking and screaming: for every seven separations initiated by women, men bring only three.
If that doesn't make you nauseous, I don't know what will. So women, born in a country where we are free to make our decisions and do what we want, take all the burden. I suppose the man that no longer gets to go out with his friends, has to work even more to make sure he can continue to provide for an expanding family, and gets to come home to nagging, chores, and running the kids to soccer....I suppose he doesn't take on anymore stress from being married! Reality is, it is a stress and a joy on both parties. Being married brings with it the responsibility of someone else, their feelings, their life plans....and also companionship, someone to care for you when you are sick, and hopefully, someone who compliments your life and makes it better. This article mentions a woman who complained that her husband did nothing with the children when they were married, and at least now, that they are divorced, he does something with the kids every other weekend. Did it occur to her to notice his lack of help around the house before she got knocked up? Did she try letting the house go to pot and just enjoy her children and family? Did it occur to her that perhaps, just perhaps, she was being petty and nagging, and therefore he resisted any suggestions that he should help around the house? Probably not. After all, all men are assholes, and all women are put-upon princesses waiting for their Prince Charming. No wonder there are women out there having sex changes - my own gender causes me such embarrassment, I see the logic.