Penelope Trunk, marriage expert, is once again telling women how to be married. Trunk is instructing women to choose a husband based on whether they want to work or not. Telling women that they must choose between being a mother or being a breadwinner, Trunk then explains our various options. These options are, in a nutshell: be the breadwinner, marry a breadwinner, or hire a couple of nannies.
If you pick the ‘both people work and hire a nanny’ route, Trunk says “you will need to find a husband who earns more than you” because if you don’t, you will just breed and flee:
Statistically your marriage is high risk if you and your husband are both in the workforce and you earn more than him because surveys show that you will resent him. This is not logical, or social, it is primal. Statistically, you will marry a guy who does not make as much as you and then you will have kids and get a divorce. Because women hate the feeling of out-earning their husbands.
Your other primary option, “Don’t bother with earning money”, still focuses on a husband making a lot of money – because women hate having to do all the domestic work if they attempt a part-time job (“The problem with this scenario is that part-time jobs don’t offer advancement or a lot of money, so you need to be with a guy who will work full-time.”):
You will have to work hard to not get resentful about this. And really, who could blame you? The best antidote for this resentment is money. If the guy makes a lot of money you can hire people to help you and then you don’t have to be upset that the guy is not helping you.
The other solution? Yep, pick a guy with money and just stay home!
…[P]ick a guy who will earn enough so that you don’t have to work. Because statistically speaking, you will not want a full-time job, and you definitely won’t want a job where you have to earn six figures, because that’s way more than full-time.
She includes helpful tips on how to choose a husband based on what you want to do with your life, a decision which Trunk seems to think needs to be made by the time you are 25. Telling women, “There will be people who say you can’t choose who you fall in love with. This is a lie, of course. There are a million people you could fall in love with. If one is impractical, just go find another,” she focuses her ‘how to choose a husband’ strategy on the Myers-Briggs type indicators, which is probably about as reliable an indicator of long-term compatibility as astrological signs.
Trunk does remark that “there is no scenario where you have a big job but do not work long hours…And that is fair: why should you get a big important job and be home all evening for your kids when everyone else has to work twelve hour days to have big important jobs?” which is something I do agree with. But the rest of her advice seems so venal and calculating that I have to wonder exactly how she chose HER husband?