In The Importance of Brad and Jennifer… and Maureen Dowd, James D. Miller has a few words to say about work-life balance and gender differences:
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd complains that men with high-powered jobs would rather marry secretaries than their career equals. She further laments that the more a woman achieves in her career the less desirable she becomes to men. Dowd, of course, blames this situation entirely on men. But Dowd is wrong because it’s women, not men, who are at fault here.
Although children are a blessing, they’re also time sinks. Two married people can’t both work jobs for 60 hours a week and have enough time to raise a few kids properly. Realizing this, many men who intend to have several children and time-intensive jobs often seek women who are more child- than career-oriented. But what about ambitious women? What do they need to do?
The majority of working parents can find enough time to spend with their children, but only because most of us have jobs that don’t require 60+ hours of work each week. But the few who intend to climb to the very tops of their career ladders and are therefore willing to devote nearly every waking hour to their jobs face a choice of (A) not having children, (B) having neglected children, or (C) having a spouse who is willing to devote little time to his or her job. Dowd shouldn’t attack ambitious men who have chosen option (C). Rather, she should convince career-oriented college women that they should stop dreaming of marrying investment bankers and start looking for men who don’t want high-status, time-intensive jobs.