12 february 2014

I enjoyed this article on how to treat romance in the light of feminism and absolutely agree with the approach. The mention in passing of the conflict in some (heterosexual) marriages when the female makes more than the male brought up such a strong recollection of the first time I read a study along those lines. I was still eighteen, in my first semester of college, and taking a women's studies course. I had listened to enough Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, and Dar Williams in high school to know that I was basically obligated to spend at least one semester learning about the power of womyn (grrrrls?), and I actually ended up taking another one in feminist literature as well, later, if only for the hope that I'd have one class where I wasn't the only girl.

I was doing my reading late one night or early one morning in the dining hall. Taking a junior-level course as a freshman (I'm a douche, this is not a humblebrag, just a straight-up one) definitely throws you in deep for having hundreds of pages of reading a week. I remember so clearly doing a double take. I had been going through a list of all the benefits of a two-income household, and nodding with a sense of preliminary satisfaction: less incidences of depression among wives, a closer equivalency in housework — though it wasn't yet equal, surely that would resolve by the time I'm getting married! — and then it was like a car screeching to a halt as I got to a statistic that marriages do end in divorce more often when the wife is making more money than the husband. Truly, this is a stark look into my egoism as an 18-year-old, how much this freaked me out, but the facts will show that I was more ambitious and making higher grades than my boyfriend at the time.

Little did I know, my future husband was out there somewhere, having already given up on attending high school, getting no grades at all.