It’s kind of funny to see how confused the crew over at Jezebel is in response to this very strange article by Erin Gloria Ryan. Erin argues that women should NOT go to business school because it will delay their reproductive plans, will offer no real economic value and besides, business schools are filled with douchey frat boys who are all majoring in how to be a dick.
Spending time when you could be having babies… um, not having babies puts you years behind your peers who stayed in the workforce.
A Vanderbilt study found that mothers who graduate from élite institutions are more likely to opt out than graduates of less selective ones, particularly when those women have M.B.A.s. Another Harvard study found that among Harvard college graduates with professional degrees, women with M.B.A.s have the lowest labor force participation rates.
If anything, when a young woman considering a Harvard M.B.A. looks at the choices of her predecessors, she should be even more skeptical of the value of the degree.
I think is my favorite comment:
I second the opinion that this [article] is disgusting. If it was intended to be satire, the effect has been lost in the offensive down-talking…and the lack of humor. You can say a lot of this same stuff about any graduate education, but where would we be if every woman listened to this instead of her goals & interests.
Indeed, VanillaBean. Where would we be?
Why, we might be in the sort of society that recognizes that women’s ambitions and skills tend to differ from men’s, and that we are doing a piss-poor job as a culture in talking to women honestly about what their true “goals and interests” are likely to be.
What Erin hit on, almost certainly inadvertently although maybe not, is that women with advanced business degrees find that those degrees give them an opportunity to dodge a bullet they didn’t know was coming: they can choose to be full-time mothers, and most of them do exactly that.
Why does an advanced business degree give women that choice?
Because the degree puts them in contact with high-income men, or men with the potential to earn a high income. Grad school is an excellent place to earn an MRS, and the kinds of jobs women with newly minted MBAs get lands them in a large pool of high-income men aka “investment banks”.
Not really, because the fact that women with business degrees find themselves actually having a choice when it comes to deciding how to raise their families comes down to LUCK. The vast majority of women in business school probably think they’re going to kick-start some kind of awesome “career”, but when the first little bundle arrives, they realize cubicles SUCK and home is where they really want to be.
We are doing such an enormous disservice to men and women alike when we teach women their “goals and interests” should be the primary motivating factor in deciding what to study at college, and then following that up with some giant lies about what those goals and interests will be.
So let’s talk specifics. Let’s begin with the assumption that almost all women will want to be out of the workforce when they have young children at home.
What kinds of jobs make sense for women who plan on taking a huge chunk of time off? Obviously, the jobs dominated by men are off the table, because we NEED those jobs to be done or society as we know it simply collapses.
When women enter male dominated professions, two things tend to happen: the wages that normally accompany those professions begin to decline, and we end up needing MORE workers in that occupational category.
Why? Because women don’t work as many hours as men.
Medicine is great example of that. Women now make up half the nation’s medical students, but once the ladies do the math, their ambitions take a sharp turn. Four years of pre-med is usually complete around 22 years of age. Another four years of med school takes them to 26 years of age. Add two years of residency on top of that just to qualify as a GP and the lady doctors are suddenly seeing the wall looming directly in front of them. Another four to eight years to qualify as a specialist, and most of them can kiss husbands, kids and families goodbye.
Instead, they quit at the GP level, and then argue for fewer hours, so they can spend more time with their children. It takes two women GPs to cover the patient base of one man. Obviously, wages decline for each individual doctor.
It’s been proven repeatedly—female doctors “will not work the same hours or have the same lifespan of contributions to the medical system as males”
Women physicians make less than male physicians because women traditionally choose lower-paying jobs in primary care fields or they choose to work fewer hours.
Even when women ARE specialists, they still make less money than men. Because sexism? Nope. Because they accept lower wages in exchange for time.
…female doctors were taking less pay in exchange for regular schedules or other family-friendly benefits
It’s not really a problem until you consider the enormous expense of training doctors, and then combine that with needing to train twice as many women doctors to replace retiring male physicians.
As long as women understand that they WILL and SHOULD make less money than their male counterparts, owing to the fact that their hearts will always be more firmly in the kitchen than the operating room, I have no problem with women as doctors.
In fact, I think it’s a pretty sensible choice, because it gives women an unassailable credential that they can use to transition back to the workforce when and how they like.
Credentials. That is what women should be striving for. Something, that once you have, you have for good. Credentials are what give women choices.
The single most sensible credential I think any woman can pursue is an accounting designation. An accounting designation (CA, CMA, CGA, CPA) gives women enormous career flexibility, and requires only a minimum amount of maintenance to remain in effect. Accountants work in every industry, from 80-hour-a week-big-name accounting firms to hang-out-a-shingle and do the books for the local cornerstore.
You work when you want to work, and you can ramp up when you have finished the business of raising a family.
Accounting and medicine are not the only occupations with credentials. There are lots of them. Go to beauty school and become a hairdresser, by all means. You can cut hair and do foil highlights in your kitchen while the kids are little and work for the big salon when they hit grade school. Some credentials you don’t even need to go to school to earn. C++ or Java programming languages can be learned on-line. For FREE.
Do some recreational programming or work for a charity part time while the kids are little to keep your skills up to date and then consider full-time employment later on.
The point is that women should PLAN to be out of the workforce while their children are little. If that doesn’t happen, well, fine. But at least you have a choice.
Of course, Operation Raise Your Own Children requires one tiny little upgrade: women will need to financially rely on a man. Preferably a husband. Who is preferably actually the father of the children she is at home raising.
And here is where we run into a massive, massive problem.
Women have been taught to hate and fear men and to never rely on them for anything. Which would be funny if it weren’t so blindingly, enragingly stupid. Our whole fucking society relies on men. Water, power, communications, protection, transportation – they are all designed, implemented, operated, maintained and repaired by men, and since the lights continue to go on and shelves in the grocery store continue to be stocked, it looks like men can indeed be relied upon.
Last night, after following the commentary on yesterday’s article, my husband and I were discussing MGOTW. Men who are simply opting out of marriage and family altogether, which as Goober points out has benefits for individual men, but is completely ruinous for society.
My husband came up with a good analogy, I think.
Let’s say you’re a black man or woman, and your whole life, all you have dreamed about is becoming a doctor. You dream of saving other people’s lives. It’s not just a “want”, it’s a calling. A force within you that cannot be ignored.
But there’s a hitch.
At any time, any one of your white patients can legally enslave you. Just apply for personal ownership, and boom, you’re a slave now.
Would you still be a doctor?
I figure that’s what MGTOW boils down to, and the men are saying “hell no, not a fucking chance”.
It’s easy to say “the laws have to change”, and I’ve trotted out that little truism myself. But what laws? And how should they change? We can make divorce harder, but will that stop women from divorcing? We can make custody agreements more fair, but will that stop women from destroying their families? We can outlaw alimony and enforce a more fair division of assets, but will that stop women from dividing up the assets?
Women have always had one power that men will never have: the power to give birth to new life.
I think that’s where the solution will need to originate. Some mechanism to mitigate against that power. The idea of robo-wombs makes me ill, quite frankly, because it’s all too easy to imagine a nightmarish Matrix scenario of rows and rows of human beings coming into existence without the profound human connection pregnancy entails.
But reliable, reversible male birth control. That could be a very real solution. No woman can become pregnant without the explicit permission of the man she wishes to father her child. Pre-gestational agreements determining who gets custody of the child in the event of relationship breakdown could be an amazing bargaining chip. The role of the law would simply be enforcing those agreements.
If we wrest the power to control the creation of life from women’s hands, and make certain that power is shared, we may have a solution to men’s unwillingness to be enslaved at the whim of women.
Let all the divorce and custody and division of assets laws stand as they are. Pre-nuptial agreements, when carried out properly, can circumvent all those laws. Pre-gestational agreements can do the same. Women who wait until the last minute to get pregnant will be making themselves more amenable to fair agreements, and any woman who knows she will lose custody of her children should she decide to trade in for Husband 2.0 because 1.0 just isn’t doing it for her anymore will have cause to reconsider.
If co-habiting couples can agree on who gets the IKEA couch when they break up, before they have even moved in together, why not have agreements about who keeps the house and the kids BEFORE the kids are even conceived?
Well, this post took a detour from my original intention, which was to spell out for women how to plan their lives assuming they WILL take time off from work, but it all makes sense at the end of the day. Women can’t make any plans of the sort without a man to rely on, and men have approximately zero incentive to financially support a woman for years upon years when the result can be utterly ruinous for him.
Male birth control.
That’s where we should be throwing our healthcare dollars. The ramifications could be life-altering, for all of us.
Sadly, BigPharma isn’t interested in the most promising avenues of research, because BigPharma makes a lot of money selling pills to women every month.
Perhaps BigPharma is being a little short-sighted, though. Once men understand just what kind of power a reliable, reversible method of birth control gives them, you might see every last fertile man in the nation lined up for a dose.
And that’s a lot of customers.
A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.
Women better be brushing up on their own strategy, not only in terms of their jobs, but in terms of negotiating how that baby is going to arrive. There won’t be any “oopsie I forgot to take my pill” bullshit once we have true equality in birth control.
Equality. That’s the goal, isn’t it?
Lots of love,