March 9, 2012

JAMES TARANTO: What used to be a normal family life is now available only to the affluent.

Eventually, however, her career “succumbed,” as Reuters oddly puts it. In truth, this is no tragedy but a hypergamous happy ending. Mancini left the labor force because her husband was doing so well that he could afford to support the whole family: “She quit in 2005 when her six-digit income was overtaken by his seven-digit one.”

For Mancini, it was a liberation. She tells the wire service: “At that point, it was clear that my wage had become family pocket money. There was a real opportunity to do other things that did not require being chained to a desk.”

An increasing number of affluent women with affluent husbands are casting off the chains of professional work, according to a forthcoming Federal Reserve study that Reuters apparently obtained in advance . . .

For women with lower levels of education, the picture is markedly different, as Charles Murray shows in “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” One-income households have become common at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum as well–but because women are less likely to be married at all, while men are less likely to be in the labor force.

Marriage and male responsibility for families were once the norm at all levels of American society. Feminism was supposed to liberate women from dependency on men. Instead it has helped to create a two-tiered culture in which the norm is for women to be “chained to a desk,” but those who hit the jackpot in the mating game can realistically aspire to escape that status. Nice going, ladies. Happy International Women’s Day.

Feminism has always been about promoting the interests of affluent women.

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