In today’s New York Times (the online version) I stumbled upon an article that I think is not only well written but poignant and relevant. This Putting Money on the Table article discusses the fact that now women in the 21 to 30 age bracket in large cities like New York are making more money than the men in those same cities. Most people would think, “Wahoo, women are finally catching up,” right? Well although that’s true, the problem the women are encountering is that dating a man of lower earning is tough. Men have issues with earning less, some women have issues with earning more. Society has taught us, even into my generation, that the man is typically the bread winner and the woman is typically the one who will stay home when she gets knocked up.
Before I get too far into my missive about wages, this article is particularly interesting to me because I imagine in no time it will personally be ringing true. There are two ways this will be affecting me: the first is that people who are my age in a city like Boston are still in undergrad or grad school, so forget those men making any money if I’m dating them. Secondly, there’s the wage disparity even for men in my general age bracket who might be professionals. Depending on how my job works out, I’ll probably be kicking their asses in the wage department.
Now how should women feel about this– problem? dilemma? — social occurrence? I fully understand the hope in women that they will be some male’s “little princess” and spoiled, but that just isn’t possible in the monetary sense if the man isn’t making as much. And sometimes relationships need compromise, which is to say, actions speak louder than words/money.
I can’t say how this issue would make me feel if it confronted me tomorrow, but in reflecting upon a male who is very special to me, I don’t know that he will ever make as much money as me in his intended career, but he plans on having a higher education (grad school) and who knows, may end up liking his line of work more. But above that, he’s kind, and I feel that would win out over big bucks any day of the week. Then again, I met said male as a student and not a professional, I could see it being different if careers were more of a defining thing than major and city of origin, the defining factors in college.
In any case, it’s something to think about as I move into my professional life tomorrow and hope I don’t crash and burn.