The role of men and women in marriages is equally essential because their input to the union determines its success or failure. Traditionally, men were proud of being the sole breadwinner, and women were less concerned about how much their husbands earned as long as they could provide for the families. Some factors such as discrimination against women in education and employment may have significantly contributed to the scenario. However, the emphasis on ending the gender gap changed men’s and women’s perceptions about the person they marry, financial status, and stability. Tierney claims that men’s pride as the sole breadwinner has declined while women increasingly prejudice men based on how much they earn more than ever and uses evidence from studies and his observation to support his argument.
First, men’s willingness to marry a woman earning more than they do has increased over the years, showing the decline in their pride. Tierney indicates that “it is not universal for women with fortune good marriage prospects because pride makes some men determined to be the chief breadwinners.” However, changes have been witnessed over the years as more men have started to appreciate the value of their wives’ paycheck. Women earning power has become one of the factors some men consider before deciding to marry someone. Tierney adds that young men in colleges would prefer marrying girls who are likely to earn more money. Additionally, unmarried men under 35 years are uninterested in marrying someone earning less than they do or women who are unlikely to have steady jobs (Tierney). Economic changes and increased demands in families may have contributed to these changes. Thus, marrying a woman who earns more helps offset family’s financial burden.
Second, the decline in males’ pride is evident as men do not insult and talk ill about their counterparts who earn less than their wives. This point means that more men support the idea of marrying men with same or higher earnings than ever. Tierney indicates that “men’s pride the only breadwinner was important” This may imply that men were more concerned about what their friends said regarding their earnings compared to that of their wives. Men must have realized the importance of sharing familial financial burdens to ensure everyone enjoys better living standards. Therefore, other men consider a man who dates and marries a woman earning more than him as the luckiest because the wife eases the burden of settling all bills.
Third, women’s prejudice against men based on their financial prospects or level of education has increased. Good family relationships and committed partners are important to most individuals. Nevertheless, the amount of earnings and level of education influence the person one chooses as husband or wife. Tierney states that “women are less willing to marry someone with less education or much lower earnings”. Educated individuals who earn more in their lives indeed have better living standards. However, it does not mean that such people can make good marriage partners. The possible reasons that make women more inclined towards marrying up are guaranteed financial stability and security and having less or an equal share of familial financial burden. Indeed, high-earning women are unwilling to lower their standards, prioritizing more on how much money their partner earns.
Fourth, women’s prejudice against men based on financial resources manifests when highly educated and earning women seek someone with the same mate value. Tierney notes that such women have “higher standards for their partners…their superior intelligence, education, and income give them high mate value.” As a result, less educated and those who earn middle or low income are not options for such women. This aspect also means that men with lower financial capability cannot have any meaningful social interaction with highly educated and earning women because they are not the latter’s type. Therefore, the women’s prejudice minimizes the possibility of initiating and maintaining relationships that lead to marriages when men are willing to swallow their pride.
Lastly, the decline of men’s pride and rise of females prejudice is also evident when women with higher earnings become intolerant to their husbands’ weaknesses. Tierney notes that “marriages in which the wife and husband earn roughly the same are more likely to fail….” A woman’s high earnings do not affect the commitment of the husband. On the contrary, it makes wives less committed to the relationship and more likely to imitate divorce. Probably, women in such marriages find their husbands’ financial support insignificant triggering the urge to terminate that union and look for someone else with higher earnings.
Conclusively, the decline of men’s pride and increase of women’s prejudice against men based on their financial prospects and level of education widen the gender gap in society. Although women’s advocates have successfully ensured equal opportunities for males and females in education and employment, they have forgotten to design appropriate measures to address any possible negative impacts of such achievements. They emphasized women’s financial and educational empowerment, triggering the latter’s prejudice against low-income earners and less-educated men. Consequently, men are having a hard time finding partners even when they are willing to swallow their pride.
Tierney, John. “Male Pride and Female Prejudice”. New York Times. 2006, Web.