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Why Are Women Still Treated as Less than Men?

Updated on July 18, 2011

Isn't this 2011?

I am truly baffled. Today I read an article which focused on a study done here in the United States. The study stated that marriages were happier when the wife was thinner than the husband. Excuse me? Really? This is the key to a happy marriage? If a woman starves herself or works out daily, her man will be happy? If she puts on a few pounds and is unable to lose it, that is the entire reason for the failure of her marriage? How many WOMEN were questioned in this study?

So, let me get this straight. A man has the right to gain as much weight as he wants, but a woman must be sure she always stays thinner than him. How many other people find this statement as ludicrous as I do? Show of hands? How about we work out and eat good food to live longer and stay healthier? That goes for both partners in the marriage. Or if the couple is not interested in healthy eating or exercise, then sit down together and enjoy that plate of nachos, together, not just him, both of you,

I do not understand how we can still place so much emphasis on the woman making or breaking a relationship. The majority of the cheating usually comes from the male in the relationship. How about we do a study about how many marriages are happier when the male takes part in the housework, child rearing and stays home at night cuddling his spouse rather than prowling the bars for other women? I will bet the divorce rates drop drastically if a man would sit with his wife and fold the laundry once in a while or bathe the children while she is cleaning the kitchen after dinner.

Yes, I know that there are many couples who live in equal homes. There is no longer these gender based roles as I just described. However, it is still the minority and not the majority. That is quite stunning and very disturbing in a country where the female workforce is in full swing. Most families cannot exist in this country if they are not a two income household. So why is there still this nonsense brewing all of the time? Why are women who are home raising the children rather than in an office treated as if they do nothing all day except watch television? Why are they looked down upon?

I no longer work full time out of the home. This is partially my choice. I have a disabled child who required one of us to have flexiblity in order to take care of his needs. Since my husband had the greater salary, and I wanted to be with my kids, it was me. However, I work part time, I write and I am in the process of establishing a business from home. I also shuttle 3 kids all over the place, take care of my home, make 3 meals a day, everyday, do all the shopping, manage the household budget, make all of the doctor appointments, handle the household and car repairs, be sure we all have clean clothes,towels and sheets, chaperone playdates and class trips plus do homework and school projects with everyone. I am sure I am forgetting a few things, but is that not enough? And yes, be a wife,and a woman besides being the children's mother. A woman at home with her children deserves the same amount of respect that a woman leaving them in daycare and going to the office gets from the world. Both woman are equally hard workers, and should not be judged for the life they live. Everyone has their reasons for where they are, some are choices, some are not.

However, I am so concerned with the American woman. Why do we disappear? I went to college, achieved a Master's Degree, worked full time for many years. I have struggled since I became a wife and a mother not to disappear behind my husband. So many women do. I open my facebook page up in the morning and I read about intelligent friends of mine who get up every morning, deposit their children to school or daycamp and proceed to spend the entire day at the gym, and the salon before heading home to cook dinner and clean the house. This is everyday. I don't understand. Maybe its me, but where did they go? Didn't they want to do something for the world when they were growing up? Certainly they didn't aspire to have a washboard stomach or perfectly manicured nails at all times, or did they?

Yes, I did indeed say we should not judge. I am not, I am just curious. I am often frustrated because I want to to do so much for the world. I truly do. But I have placed my children's needs before my own. That is why I am typing a Hub at 12:30 am when my house is silent except for the sound of my fingers on the keys. My husband put my daughter to bed and the teenage boys straggled up the stairs behind them, so I took advantage of the peace and quiet to express what has been on my mind. I want to educate the world about kids with Special needs. I want to write, I have so many ideas in my head, they have been flowing, fluently, vividly since I was 8 years old when I wrote my first "book", I need to get them all down in print. I want to do so many things, I am educated, I want to use my degree, my experiences of having 3 premature babies and raising a family that revolved aroung a special needs child to teach others how to handle all of this and still be happy and successful. There is so much one can do. I just do not understand a life that is only working out, looking pretty, scrubbing their houses and shopping. There is so much more.

I also feel this attitude is to blame for where women still are. Women are supposed to be preoccupied with how we look all of the time. We are supposed to focus only on pleasing others instead of ourselves. I am desperately trying to show my daughter that it is not about how she looks, but who she is. She is a wonderfully intelligent, gifted little girl. Yes, she is also pretty and of course I do not encourage her to be dirty or disheveled, but I do not tell her that its all about how she looks. It is about what is inside of her that counts, not what is on the outside. She is incredibly sensitive, and I want her to keep that because she will always have empathy for others and not see them for their exterior, but for their soul. But listen to people when they speak. They will always speak to boys about sports and cars, sometimes school. But to girls, they will say, "don't you look pretty today. I like your hair." and things like this. It is just the way we are conditioned. My daughter can put on her soccer uniform and goalie gear then hurl herself on a soccer ball to make a stop in a mud puddle. It doesn't bother her. Yet, she can still clean up, put on a nice outfit and fix her hair. She knows she can do both. She can design a dress for her doll, paint a picture and then go outside and collect insects or shoot hoops with her brother. There are no gender based activities. She can do what she chooses.

I suppose my daughter is luckier than I was. Sports were not encouraged in my lifetime. I was sent to dance school and wore the sparkly costumes until I was too awkward to carry them off. I joined the drama and the glee club, the school newspaper, the yearbook staff, activities that were challenging but clean. My brothers were Boy Scouts who went camping, started fires, spent time in canoes and got dirty. My Brownie troop did arts and crafts, but no hiking or camping. Times were different. I was born in the sixties when things were just starting to come alive for women.

So back to my question. If we started our revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, why are things still the way they are today in 2011? Why when a woman goes to divorce court devastated because her husband has left her after 35 years for a woman half his age, does she get treated by the court like she was a parasite all those years sucking away his life and finances instead the truth: that she was raising his kids and cooking his meals while he made his money. Then when they should both be enjoying the fruit of BOTH of their labor, he decides he will spend the golden years with a young girl who did nothing to help get where he is today. And the court rules in his favor, and leaves the loyal wife to fend for herself after years of forsaking her career to assist him in building HIS up. Where is she supposed to live? Who will hire her with no experience? Doesn't matter, it must be because he was thinner than her. That explains it all. The study to end all studies, it has solved the divorce problem in the United States...amazing.

Seriously ladies, don't lose yourself. Hang on, keep your head above water while you are raising the kids and doing the right thing by making them respectable human beings. I was there, and I finally saw it. I am fortunate, my spouse worked with me so we both know now how important it is for neither spouse to be more important than the other. We are a team, we work together. I learned that I have to ask him to do certain things, but once he knows I what I need, he will do it, its not an issue, he is not a mindreader. The same can be said for me as well.

Enough with these studies, what about equality? Women are STILL getting paid less than men in the workplace for the same position. There is often talk about how a woman cannot be President because women have hormone issues. Really? We are still going to use that as an excuse when there are all sorts of treatments and medications available to those who truly do have hormone problems. Maybe we don't have a woman president because she would tell it like it is, not put up with whining and procrastinating and clean up the messes that all of the men have made.

The study is nonsense. Marriages are happier if they are built upon mutual respect. The spouses involved do not think they are better than each other, they do not spend time complaining that they do so much more than the other. They savor their time together. If something has to be done, they work together to figure out how they are going to handle it. If one spouse has too much to do with the work outside the home, they respect the fact that the person who is at home is handling a great deal on the own and vice versa. It is about understanding and respect. Yes, love too, but for success, respect is often more important, as well as communication.

Weight? Really? That is what we in the United States have decided makes or breaks a marriage? Time to waste some more time and money on a new study....Why these studies that about marriage are absolute hogwash.....


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    • bizymomof3 profile imageAUTHOR

      Joann Marotta Nellis 

      6 years ago from New York City

      Thanks for your input. Yes there are statistics that I should've have added yo my hub thus changing a few issues. However I was ranting about the study which simplified relationship issues to a silly dilemma about weight. As you noted its a symptom of more. Also as you correctly noted, women run fortune 500 companies. I am in the process of starting my own consulting business, so the fluorescent nailed,orange skinned,gym is my life mall rats that live all around me were getting under my skin. Many have college degrees. But I guess the truth is that while proud of my MS in education and English, the are most proud of their MRS and I shouldn't give it another thought!

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      7 years ago

      It sounds like whatever article you read really touched a nerve! :-) Great rant!

      You honestly can’t deny there are a lot more (options) for women in this era. In fact more women are graduating with college degrees than men.

      We actually have some female CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies as well as congresswomen and U.S. Senators. Women have thrown their hats into the ring to run for president of the United States. If a black man can be elected it’s just a matter of time before a woman is elected. There are (Billionaire female entrepreneurs) such as Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, and Liliane Bettencourt just to name a few.

      A little girl growing up in this day and age can see possibilities their predecessors could never imagine!

      Life however is a (personal journey) and our lives are the results of “our choices” and “our decisions”. Given all the possibilities for women the most important one is having the option to live their life as THEY Choose. Although you may not agree with some of the things women have chosen you have to realize it is (their choice). Each of us selects our own friends, lovers, and spouse. We choose our own careers and in some cases women do as you do “they put their family ahead of their goals”. Nonetheless it’s all by choice.

      With regard to weight, men, and marriage.

      One of the reasons you don’t see commercials for men to buy creams and lotions that promise a “youthful image” or Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem that focus on men is because men aren’t as competitive with other men with regard to appearance.

      Married women look down on single women, Older women often despise younger women and they knock each other’s wardrobe, hairstyle, and so on. It’s no surprise that some women feel the need/pressure to look as young and hot as possible to hold onto their men. This is especially true if they have chosen a lifestyle preference of being “taken care of” over making their own way. Not long ago someone found that the more attractive a wife was the higher the income her husband had.

      Men have been groomed to believe if we earn a lot of money (we can have any woman we want regardless of our looks). You will probably never ever see a female version of Hugh Hefner (80+ year old, thinning hair, denture wearing woman) dating 24-year-old handsome young men.) Men could care less if a woman is a doctor, lawyer, CEO, or a cocktail waitress at TGIF. If he thinks she is “hot” he will buy her drinks all night long, buy her clothes, pay off her credit cards, and play the role of “Knight in shinning amour”

      Your following statement: “I do not understand how we can still place so much emphasis on the woman making or breaking a relationship. The majority of the cheating usually comes from the male in the relationship.” According to statistics (Women initiate 66% of all divorces)

      Many women who have been mistresses will attest to “The husband rarely leaves his wife” by choice. Men usually try to hold onto what is good in their primary relationships while addressing other needs on the side. Not many men are going to run to the courthouse because they wife does not want to have sex, nags/complains, or even gets fat. I suspect those marriages that ended because of the wife’s weight gain was (due to the woman filing for divorce because she discovered her man was cheating on her.)

      One man’s opinion! :-)


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