'Does it feel right for a woman to earn more than a man?' poll

edited 6 December 2011 at 8:25PM in Money Saving Polls
44 replies 4.6K views
135

Replies

  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    wozearly wrote: »
    I'm struggling to see how the poll question is offensive. Investigating people's views towards traditional social stereotypes isn't offensive...its perpetuating them that some people might find offensive.

    As mentioned in the opening to the poll, if you looked back a hundred years then most men would overwhelmingly have chosen to be sole wage earners - being able to 'keep' a family without the women and children having to work was seen as the mark of a successful man and was what society at the time expected from a man, in order that his wife could devote her time to raising the family and keeping the home.

    Conversely, it was expected for a woman to aspire to doing this and be judged on how well behaved and successful her children would be, how happy the home was, etc. If she had to work, and actually earned more than her husband, then clearly she'd made a bad decision of husband. Women weren't supposed to seek success in the man's end of the world, and vice versa.


    Those attitudes now seem completely archaic, but its interesting to see how much of it might remain in some shape or form. The only 'problem' with the poll is that we don't know why people might have picked certain options.

    For example, a man might prefer to be the sole wage earner because this makes it a given that he won't be asked to stay at home and raise a family, which may honestly not be something that he would want to do or feel he would do well. Likewise, a woman might prefer the man to be the sole wage earner for the opposite reason. In this case, the gender of the wage earner is irrelevant; its more about having the economics of being (or not being) the wage earner on your side to get what you want from the relationship.

    Or they could both be stuck in the values of 100 years ago, of course.

    The results of the poll so far seem to suggest that attitudes are primarily "it doesn't bother me", with a significant minority hedging slightly towards the traditional stereotype, and the rest scattered across the other options.

    A victory for equality...at least amongst the MoneySavingExpert site visitors. :cool:

    I wish i'd said it like that - but that's basically why I did the poll!
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • luxor4tluxor4t Forumite
    11.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I earn more than DH, but the only person who had any feelings about that is MiL - and we're not sure why!
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • edited 6 December 2011 at 11:28PM
    Mara69Mara69
    1.4K Posts
    edited 6 December 2011 at 11:28PM
    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    The whole poll came about from me overhearing a discussion of a group of women who all felt uncomfortable that they earned more than their partners. I was surprised by this and thought it was worth working out how widespread such a feeling is.

    The comment above (quote abridged) was taken from a thread started by another poster. Martin said this:
    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    PS I wont be respondng in this thread any more - if you have any points please address them in the poll discussion link. So everything is in one place.

    As requested....I recently spoke to a journalist who was intended to write an article on this subject. Originally going to be in the Mail, then (I think) The Telegraph. So it is still a subject that warrants discussion.

    Incidentally, I earn more than my husband - and he works far harder than me. I can't vote as none of the options apply to me.
  • edited 6 December 2011 at 11:41PM
    katsukatsu Forumite
    4.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 6 December 2011 at 11:41PM
    I'm a woman, earn more than my husband and we are both fine with that. I am happy to buck the old fashioned convention.

    We grin when people assume he will pay in a restaurant or hotel, and he will then hand me the bill.

    I have asked him in the past if he is fine with it (as I worried he might feel bad when people treat us like he will pay etc) - he says he enjoys the lifestyle we have, which would be more restricted if I earnt the same as him, so it is all good.

    I have found it is still a traditional assumption in many places that the man is the main wage earner and I look forward to us soon moving away from it as it is occasionally quite annoying to be treated like a second class citizen (I rang to book a hotel in the US and got asked for my husband's name to reserve the room, even when I tried to explain I was paying).
    Debt at highest: £8k :eek: Debt Free 31/12/2009 :D (ten years and counting :j). Original MFD May 2036, MF Dec 2018. Save £12k in 2020 member #41
  • No of course it isnt right for a woman to earn anything at all.

    Women who choose to have children - they already HAVE a career.

    Theyve got a career - theyve got the children - theyve got the lot - so what are they complaining about?

    Those without children should spend their time to find a man that can provide for them.

    I would feel ashamed to have my wife going out to work - she has a career - cleaning the home, raising the children.

    She has been entrusted in the most reponsible job in the world and all I hear her complain is she wants to go glass collecting in a pub!

    These women who are so selfish to go to work and neglect their children - preferring other people to bring them up. Disgusting.
  • hotbanana wrote: »
    No of course it isnt right for a woman to earn anything at all.

    Women who choose to have children - they already HAVE a career.

    Theyve got a career - theyve got the children - theyve got the lot - so what are they complaining about?

    Those without children should spend their time to find a man that can provide for them.

    I would feel ashamed to have my wife going out to work - she has a career - cleaning the home, raising the children.

    She has been entrusted in the most reponsible job in the world and all I hear her complain is she wants to go glass collecting in a pub!

    These women who are so selfish to go to work and neglect their children - preferring other people to bring them up. Disgusting.


    Obviously you're kidding and playing Devil's advocate aren't you? Do you not think that your full time cleaner/nanny has the right to want a career? To work towards other achievements? Maybe if you shared the housework and the raising of your children with her she could do this? Maybe she would like some intellectual stimulation? Should she not be "allowed" to have this just because she's a woman?

    "these women who are selfish" - is it selfish to want to put food on the table and a roof over their heads? You may be lucky enough to have a job to provide enough for your family, not everyone is. And before you say that these lazy men should find such a job, first of all explain where these jobs are, because at the moment there are thousands of people doing work they are way overqualified for.
  • timbstoketimbstoke Forumite
    985 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    I put "wouldn't" really think about it because thats the closest answer, but it's not quite right. If my partner is working, and or unemployed and seriously looking, what she earns wouldn't concern me. However, I would have a problem being the only breadwinner, expected to look after her because of her old fashioned attitude.
  • d4zzad4zza Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'd prefer my partner to make more than me as, right now, I make a significant higher amount than her, so if she then made more than me, we'd have loads more disposable income!! :rotfl:
  • happyinfloridahappyinflorida Forumite
    807 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    I was the bigger earner when I was last working - it worried me and I kept asking my hubby if he minded and reassuring him but he's the worlds best hubby so it was ok! All our money goes into a joint account - it has done since soon after we moved into our first home together as I wouldn't have wanted to live with him if I couldn't trust him financially!
  • I have been the only earner since our first child was born - I was earning more than hubby, as he had health problems & could only work part time. It was hard to know how to 'give' him money at first, but he pays all the bills, so gets a monthly bank transfer which covers everything, plus we have a joint credit card that I pay. He is not awkward about asking me for money, and tbh I like not having to justify purchases to him, so for us it works for me to earn more/ all.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Avro Energy and Green cease trading

What it means for your gas & electrity

MSE News

Energy mythbusting

What really makes a difference?

MSE Guides

Free £6 Amazon credit for some

When you add £50 to gift card balance

MSE Deals