I’ve since lost the link to the original Voxday post, but this comment by Cail Coreshev is a valid criticism of dual-income marriages that one doesn’t often read from more mainstream sociological pundits:
Good comment, but it’s too bad he threw in that sop to getting an “education” before marriage. The “she needs it for a financial backup just in case” attitude is a big part of the feminist narrative. It leads to women entering marriage with one foot out the door, trying it out for a while before deciding whether to go with the backup. By the time she gets that college degree “just in case,” she’s already burned through several of her most attractive, fertile years; and unless she’s unusually virtuous, has been on the carousel learning bad habits.
It makes logical sense to reduce your risks as much as possible, but taking risks together is one thing that bonds a couple. When people like my parents and grandparents started a life together, owning very little and highly dependent on each other to make ends meet, it bonded them in such a way that they couldn’t imagine having done anything else. If a man died and widowed a young mother with no skills outside the home, that sucked, but it was very rare, and that’s what family and community are for. But when a married couple are both financially stable and don’t particularly need each other, you don’t get that interdependence. Instead you get a lot of people wondering if they could be doing better elsewhere.
I’ve made similar points that working wives are 1) tempted to infidelity (physical or emotional) by close proximity to high status male bosses not their husbands in corporate environments, 2) men are less inclined to emotionally invest in, and therefore materially provide for, careerist women who are financially self-sufficient, and 3) marital egalitarianism kills sex lives dead.
There are many good reasons why the feminist idea of a successful marriage is a warped one. Humans are not (yet) an androgynous blob of asexually-reproducing drones. Women love men who come closest to the masculine ideal, and men love women who come closest to the feminine ideal. This means, in real life, women love powerful confident men who serve as the oak tree under which they can find shelter against the storms, and men love to shelter pretty, vulnerable, feminine women whose first instinct is to nurture rather than swim with the corporate sharks.
Cail’s theory that shared risk — and shared vulnerability — helps bond couples is also worth pondering. It’s not hyperbole to say that women who depend on “having a backup in the event of a broken marriage” unwittingly encourage the breaking up of their marriages. Not a sermon, just a shiv.