So, to follow up on a brief twitter discussion earlier, why do some men appear to feel threatened by independent women who earn more than they do?
Disclaimer: this blog post is not here to debate the relative difficulties of work compared to childcare – there are lots of other posts you can go to for that discussion.
Is it simply the awkwardness and insecurity that comes from going against their own heritage and societal norms? Or is it deeper, an in-built genetic need to be the provider?
Or is this for men, the equivalent to many women’s quest for thinness – the area of their life where the expectation to conform to a certain stereotype is for the majority, unrelenting?
For all of us who go out to work, it does take a lot of time, effort and energy and takes us away from the other important things in our lives.
I know it’s important to me to feel that I’m being well-rewarded for that. But there are such huge disparities between what different jobs pay, and in many cases, no correlation whatsoever between pay and the amount of effort, skill, qualifications, commitment and/or time a job involves, so it seems contradictory and a great shame that so many people appear to gauge their self-worth or confidence based at least in part on what they earn.
I was interested (but not altogether surprised) that during the twitter discussion, a number of men chimed in with the fact that they find successful women very sexy (which was much appreciated, thank you). But that is rather different from wanting to be in a long-term relationship with all the social and financial implications that involves.
Of course, like everything, it does come down to personality, some men are more than happy to be with women who are outwardly more highly paid and successful than they are. And some men are happy not to earn money at all. But it really does take a certain confidence to feel that way.
In my experience, most men who genuinely do not rely to some extent on their career or business success for their confidence, do have other areas of focus in their lives, maybe family commitments, political success or a hobby or pasttime they feel passionate about. Or maybe past successes in business or other areas which they can look back on.
It is interesting that this is still a topic for discussion: a woman may now be able to earn as much or more than a man, but it is still not, by many, regarded as the norm.
Of course, these are just my musings, and no doubt this is a reasonably contentious area. So I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂 But please be kind xx