All Career Women Really Want Is Husbands

There are far, far cheaper ways to find a husband.
Publish date:
August 29, 2012
sexism, careers, bad advice, seriously just stop talking now

Ladies! Looking for a husband? Have you considered going to business school? It only costs upwards of $80,000 for a top-flight school, and you can expect to spend two years in a grueling schedule of classes. Along with that, you have presentation prep, meetings with recruiters, harassment from male students, trips for career development and school associations -- which you’ll need to belong to if you want a strong resume on graduation. But I guess you won’t be needing that resume, because you’ll have yourself a rich banker husband!

The Grindstone, which describes itself as a website for career women, has a totally bizarre opinion piece up (h/t Jezebel) describing the quest for an MRS degree (hahaha). It seems the author saw a parody video and didn’t quite understand what kind of satire it was supposed to be, and decided to run with it, interviewing women in business schools to see if they’re on the hunt for husbands. They're such a nice perk, you know.

The response from many, of course, was that they went to business school to, uh, get an MBA because it will help them develop careers. This isn’t the kind of degree you get for funsies, especially in this economy. Along the way, many of them responded, they might find a partner, which would be great because presumably that person would have similar interests and priorities.

Other respondents pointed out that given the considerable time demands created by business school, they didn’t exactly have a lot of spare time to be on the prowl for dating prospects, let alone future husbands. And given the high stakes of business school, they weren’t really interested in being distracted from their work -- which, make no mistake, is what is required to get an MBA -- so they weren’t exactly stalking the halls in search of a gold ring.

Photo credit: ruifernandes.

Look. My maternal grandmother went to college in the era when “women felt tremendous societal pressure to focus their aspirations on a wedding ring,” as the author puts it. And yeah, she did get married out of college. But along the way? She became a skilled programmer who participated in the development of some of the core underlying products that still power the software industry today, and was a valued member of dev teams up until her retirement.

Was she interested in finding a husband while there? Obviously, yes; she wanted a husband and kids. But she also wanted a career, she worked hard for it, and she didn't compromise that.

This article manages to snidely dismiss women who were pioneers of their time, pursuing higher education in a society that very much thought they belonged baking at home. Whether they were studying philosophy (ew, gross, how useless!) or engineering, they dealt with harassment from male students and teachers, had to complete the same demanding coursework that everyone else did, and were treated as lesser-than by the college and universities they attended.

These women deserve to be lauded for breaking through barriers instead of mocked with the smug assertion that they went to school solely to get married. Reducing them to cardboard cutouts flipping through bridal magazines and waiting for a husband to whisk them away is just straight-up offensive.

And women in business school today hardly deserve the slap in the face implied here, that their main aspiration in life is to get married and they’re apparently willing to get in debt up to their eyeballs to do it. There are far, far cheaper ways to find a husband.

Photo credit: cheriejoyful.

Is marriage a goal for many people of all genders? Sure thing. A lot of people want to get married or form lasting romantic partnerships without specifically getting hitched, because they want to find people to share their lives with. Having that goal doesn’t mean you’re consumed by it at the cost of everything else, though. Most people want, uh, lives worth sharing with partners, you know? Which means they want to become their own people, bringing their own skills and experiences to the partnership.

It’s not uncommon for people to find their future life partners while in college or university but it’s not because they’re attending school with that in mind. It’s because in that environment, they get to meet people with shared interests, concerns and priorities. They interact with people who are passionate about the same things, and who have similar career plans and life goals. Unsurprisingly, when you find someone with a mindset and personality than complements yours, you might start dating, and you might just decide that person is The One.

Whether that person is a dude, or a lady or someone of another gender entirely and whether or not you want to or can get married. It’s hardly shocking news that people who meet each other in school choose to get married, but that doesn’t mean they were necessarily looking for that to happen.

Her concluding line is the best: She confidently asserts that every lady going to business school is obviously in it to get a ring on it, and anyone who says otherwise must be lying. A world where people might not be interested in marriage, or could be putting it off to focus on other things, is apparently inconceivable.