It is 2010 and any guy who has a problem with a woman making more money than him clearly is in a situation where his mind must be trapped in the Hot Tub Time Machine and it is stuck in the 80’s. I never have understood those types of men. And while I will honestly say that I do not know a lot of these types of men, I am not going to play the oblivious game with women and act like I don’t know that these people exist. For the sake of honesty and righteousness for such a discussion I will not only say that these men exist, but I will go a step further and say that some men are intimidated or even jealous of a woman’s success! But I have to plead ignorant about how many men actually have this sort of stigma in reality vs. the perception of it. I have always felt that who my lady is and how she represents herself is in some ways an extension of my own representation. I can only see it as a feather in my cap to have a lady who does well for herself professionally. Yeah fellas! My lady is cute, sexy and she gets paid! Boom! What you working with? And even if she is not making money in the top percentile of young single people I am going to let her know how proud I am of what she does. There are a lot of successful women in this world who are doing well professionally but are not necessarily killing them at the bank. But my adoration and pride is not based on that. It’s based on her doing her job well. I would be just as quick to brag about my lady being a social worker with a lot of awesome and important responsibilities as I would if my lady was a plastic surgeon. But the attitude that I have about a woman making money and being a bread-winner is based on a sense of fairness that I have for my view of people and not some old stereotypical archetype that is based on a time when women were not afforded that same sorts of professional opportunities in the workplace.
Any woman who has had a healthy dating life knows that the male ego is a real thing. Sometimes good…sometimes bad. But it is indeed existent. But sometimes we rely on its existence as an easy scapegoat or justification for what we see as something not falling in our favor. In a matter of just the last two weeks I listened to two of the most powerful women in the country speak to the wretchedness of a male ego not being able to be put in check. Barbara Walters intimated that Courtney Cox and her husband David Arquette split up because she was much more successful than he. And as the enormously talented and successful Serena Williams sat and scrubbed the feet of the matriarchal Oprah “I really only need to go by my fist name” Winfrey, she explained to her that “men need to feel important and it’s very hard to do that with a powerful woman. It takes a VERY special guy to be able to do that.” Now these very wise and sage women are so correct on so many levels. It does affect some men, as Barbara Walters said, for them to have a mate that is more successful than themselves. Some how men have resigned themselves to the belief that their authority in their home is entirely tied to the money that they put into the bank account. And for some people, that is a real dynamic in their home so I would never discredit someone’s anxiety over such an issue. I was just a little disappointed that Ms Walters, the woman who I had watched with my grandparents for years do the most exclusive interviews with people all over the world, went there, as an initial response to why their marriage didn’t work out. Never mind the fact that her husband accused her of having and “emotional affair” with her co-worker. Just as it disappointed me to hear Oprah’s comments about a man needing to feel important……. Well I don’t know about what type of relationships Oprah has ever had but I do need to feel important! Duh!!! Important to the woman who I am with. Not more important than the woman I am with. Just as I have always tried to do what it takes to put the woman who I am with first at any time that I can. I am not going to just skip out on work one day because she is feeling neglected, but when it comes down to an opportunity to spend some free time with her I make it a point to show her that she is important to me by planning a day with her over doing a bunch of nothing with my boys. It is my responsibility to show her that she won’t have to battle with my mother or grandmother for my attention or love. I want her to feel important and I want to feel important to her. So when Oprah framed a man’s desire to feel important as some sort of overly macho character flaw that a man has to overcome to be with a powerful woman I was taken aback. But after reflection I understood what I was hearing from both women. I was hearing two women from a different generation speak to their reality. Two wildly successful women with two extremely public personal lives that have molded them in a way to believe that relationships are not conducive to their lifestyles. But never blaming the unusual circumstances of that lifestyle that they have aspired to live and lead. But rather the unyielding deficiencies of the opposite sex that cannot handle the fact that a woman would be more successful than he.
It is hard for me to be upset with these two women….even though on many levels I feel that part of their assessments are based in some sort of defensiveness that makes them look outwardly to make sense of their lack of success in love. And both sexes have it. This instant sort of defensiveness that makes them criticize others before looking inwardly. Men are quick to call a woman a gold-digger when she is not interested in him and he gets a slight inkling that her decision is money related. He only faintly gives credence to the fact that he has made no upward progression professionally or monetarily in the past 10 years in a profession that he complains about constantly. And for a lady to always talk about how fabulous and successful she is in the face of countless men that don’t seem to be quite as smitten with her as she is with herself, smacks of this out of touch with reality sort of mantra that never allows us to see our own flaws that we all have. Money is important! To those who have it as well as to those who don’t have it. And it is difficult to judge people because they view money differently than you do. Part 2 tomorrow!