Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Has Equality Gone Too Far?

I’m all for equality between men and women, I think it was long overdue. Women deserve equal pay to their male counterparts, no question about it. I am attracted to strong independent women and I’m really not attracted to women who take on a subservient role in a relationship. I have nothing against women wanting to be housewives or who want to look after the children but if they would rather work then I’m fine with that. I’m not attracted to women who allow the guy in the relationship to make all the decisions without having any input of her own.

Women have fought hard to get equality from men and you could say that they haven’t yet quite got equal pay and opportunities but they have definitely got better prospects than to lead an independent lifestyle than women have ever had in the past. However as a guy I’m starting to think the balance is maybe going too far. Maybe I’m alone in this and maybe I’m going to look like a male chauvinist pig and am going to be doomed to leading a eternal single lifestyle after I am finished writing this post but I’m going to say it anyway – I think in many aspects women are more equal than men.

Women have the right to go to work AND they can be looked after in a relationship. In truth I have no problem with that. As a man I am somewhat old fashioned in that I think it when I am in a relationship it is my duty provide my girlfriend or wife with a stable environment in which we can live. If she wants to contribute to that lifestyle by working herself, fantastic - that makes my responsibility somewhat easier. Where I draw the line is if that relationship were to end I don’t see why I should continue to support her unless there are kids involved. If we had kids together or if I was a father to her kids for any length of time even if they weren’t biologically mine I would feel I should contribute in someway to their upbringing by being a father figure and by providing some sort of income so that they may live the life that having two parents can provide.

However in some cases you see women divorcing from their husbands and demanding money as part of the divorce. They have no kids together and they still demand that their ex husband provide them with an income. Personally I am all for the house being sold and the proceeds split equally 50/50 that way the both parties in a relationship have what it takes to get on with their lives separately. Today we all have what it takes to go to work and live independently, providing for ourselves without the need to have a significant other to provide for us.

Well that’s not quite true, with house prices as they are I can’t buy a house on my own as house prices have in the past few years exploded when compared with my annual wage increase. However that has less to do with not being able to live an independent lifestyle than it has to do with house price inflation. It seems today that you need two incomes to buy, but instead of buying I can rent.

Ignore that for a second, I went off on a tangent there. What I’m trying to say is as a guy I feel I have fewer options than a woman. As a guy I don’t get the chance to be looked after. I have to work. I have no choice in the matter. I suppose I could perhaps marry Demi Moore or Michelle Pfeiffer and be set for life, well as long as I am living with them anyway, but being realistic that’s probably not got much chance of happening. Truth is I wouldn’t want to be looked after; I’m too independent to rely on someone else providing for me. I like my independence, I value it.

However I pick up the papers and see Paul McCartney getting divorced from his wife. I don’t know how long they were a couple for. I don’t really pay a lot of attention to celebrities but it doesn’t seem that long ago when his 2nd wife died of cancer, so say they were together for somewhere in the region of 2, 3 or 4 years. He’s apparently worth £1billion. Personally I think that’s way too much money for any man. His wife seems to agree with me and is supposedly demanding a fifth of his wealth. As much as I think he has more money than any man needs I really don’t see how she deserves any of his income. They have no kids together. I don’t know what age he is but he must be close to 60, as an ex-Beatle he amassed his vast fortune throughout his life probably most of it before she even became a part of it. It’s not like she contributed to his wealth by playing the supportive wife role while he went off to work each day. Maybe he insisted that she gave up working while they were together, there could be a case of loss of earnings money. I agree that he has a duty to provide her some means in which she can put a roof over her head. However as a woman today she has more opportunities for providing herself an income than probably her mother did, certainly more opportunities than her grandmother did, does she not have some sort of responsibility to provide for her own lifestyle after the divorce?

Now she may want 200 million but the reality is it’s unlikely she will get as much as that, she might get 40, 50 or 100 million which she will be happy with. Paul has so much money I don’t really care how much he loses out of this but I think the message is wrong. What this divorce says to me is that ordinary man and woman can fall in love, get married, buy house together, fall out of love, get divorced and the woman can demand an income for being in the relationship despite the fact that no kids were ever involved. Beyond splitting the house sale 50/50 I don’t see why there needs to be any extra money exchanged hands between the couple when a relationship ends. If he insisted that while they were together that he did all the providing and as a result she lost her job skills or pension rights then I can see a case for providing extra. However in a world where both sexes have equal right to work and near equal opportunity and wage prospects there must surely come a responsibility with that to play fair. Guys cannot continue to provide just for being in a past relationship.

So am I alone in this. Are women getting to be more equal than men or am I just seeing it all wrong?

1 comment:

J.a.G. said...

The McCartney's actually have a daughter (yes, I like me some celebrity gossip...sue me)so there will be some money flying about for sure. If only it would accidentally fly into my pocket.

It's all circumstances, for me, when I look at it. A co-worker divorced (no kids) after 3 years and they split 50/50. My parents split after 26 years and my mom got the whole house and my dad kept his pension. The sis and I were both out but the mom had been caregiver/home maker when we were young and therefore had less in pension etc.

(oh how embarrasssing that I know...)Nick Lachey was suing Jessica Simpson for money in their divorce. So it can happen on the guys side as well.

People get crazy when they feel hurt, vicious and vindictive, and that's why I think separation of assets has gone the way it has.