How Housewives Hurt Career Women

7:38 PM 1/29/2006 Guy W

I will talk about two ways that generalization has led to unfavorable outcomes for females. The first is with labor market discrimination against women and the second is with women being raped by men because some (or maybe most) men believe that all women like to be raped (the rape fantasy argument).

In the past women weren't allowed to have many jobs and were kept inside the home to take care of the child, make the food, and so on. This is a different story today. The law allows women to work. The only thing women need to do to become a CEO or a doctor is to choose to become one. However, a considerable number of women voluntarily chose to become housewives. Whether this is because of some innate desire by these women or because they have no other choice is not entirely clear. I will now talk about so-called rational discrimination and how the voluntary actions of women to become housewives can actual have adverse effects on other women trying to pursue a career.

A baby is produced inside a mother's womb. Babies are not produced inside the male. This biological difference is what disadvantages women because if a woman is pregnant she will need to stay home for nine months. In this time the firm that hired her now must find a replacement. Some, if not most firms argue that this is reason why women should be paid less. Ash Karbasfrooshan explains the problem as such:

"I have no problem paying a woman the same as I would a man. But if the woman wants to take maternity leave, I would encourage her to take a long enough leave so as to properly take care of her newborn. I would support her as much as I could and even promise that her slot would be available when she returned. Problem is that I only hire the best. And because this woman was the best at what she did, well, I would have to hire someone to replace her while she was on maternity leave.

"This means that I would have to pay two salaries; two benefits packages, not to mention stress out about finding a new role for the replacement when the new mother decides to return to work. For this reason, I should be allowed to pay her less. I am not saying that I would... after all, if she is the best, she can go get a salary at par elsewhere - but for argument's sake, I should be able to pay her less."

If you were the leader of a company and you had two equally intelligent and productive people, one was female and the other was male, and knowing that men have almost zero percent probability of taking time off work to take care of the children while the woman's probability of taking time off work is significantly above zero, then who would you hire?

What if you were a female and during the job interview you told the employer that you will not have children. The employer, knowing that you have made a commitment to not have children that we assume is a genuine and honest commitment, may then weigh the woman equally to the man. However, this is illegal. Asking a job applicant during an interview whether he or she plans on having children can land the firm in court. It is an illegal interview question because it is discriminatory. This therefore leads to a situation in which firms cannot distinguish between the females who are committed to working hard and the ones who just want to stay home and raise children. Because it is impossible for firms to distinguish between these two groups of females (the housewives versus the career woman) then the firm has not choice but to lump them all as one-and this is likely to result in lower pay.

This is generalization. Some call it rational discrimination or statistical discrimination. This may be one argument for discrimination in the labor market. It is important for firms to separate those women who are committed to have no children to those who want children and become housewives. Very often firms try to discriminate by rejecting women who already have children, but such action is often demonized by the media. Fact is, if a woman chooses to have children, then she may do so (there is, after all, nothing wrong with having children) but if she has children then many may agree that she should face the consequences of her action. If not...if firms are not able to discrimination against housewives, this drives down the wages of all females, punishing hard-working, successful, university educated women for the actions of those who decide to take a more submissive position in life.

This brings me to another topic and that is rape. Many men have the idea that women want to be raped. They believe that the woman's innate desire to become a housewife, a product of her desire to assume a submissive position, applies not only in domestic affairs but also to sex. That is, just as women have an innate biological desire to submit herself and cook food for the man, clean the house, and so on, so too the woman wants submit to the man in bed. Vanessa Burton, in a men's magazine, gives the following advice: "I have yet to meet a woman who doesn't like being ravaged by a lover. Why? It's all about psychology; if you ravage a woman, she can believe that you were in control and she was the damsel in distress. Turn her around, hold her wrists behind her back with one hand, and wrap your other hand around her hair, lightly pulling it. Penetrate her, doggy style."

Plumplvr explains his experience: "I don't get it. Every so often I run across a woman who seems to have this strong fantasy about being raped. Perhaps it's the need for a strong man? Take Mandy. Years back I briefly dated a gal I'll call Mandy (no, not her real name)...Mandy had always been on the kinky side, loving wild, rough sex. She told me she had this fantasy about being raped. Having some guy force himself on her, just doing whatever the hell he wanted and treating her like shit. I didn't get it (still don't) and told her as much, but she strongly hinted (practically begged) me to play it out sometime."

This rape fantasy idea is a problem for the average man because, if he wants to please a woman, and if, in his mind, he believes that women want to be raped as many women say, then one way he can really please her is to rape, which technically means having sex with her against her declared will. Of course, you may say that this example is different to the housewife versus career woman example because a man can easily distinguish between a woman who wants to be raped and a woman who doesn't want to be raped. But if you ask a woman who actually wants to be raped whether she wants to be raped and she says yes, then if you have sex with her it wouldn't be classified as rape because she consented. Therefore, as with the housewife versus career woman case, the man is left with the problem of not be able to distinguish between the two types of women. The submissive housewife is the equivalent of the woman who wants to be raped and the career woman is the independent woman who doesn't want to be raped. Yet just as you can imagine a firm dumping a well qualified woman with no desire for children because the firm cannot distinguish her from a potential housewife, so too the man is not able to distinguish between the woman who wants to be raped and the woman who does not want to be raped. In fact, in the same way that some men (and even women) argue that the females have biological properties in them that make them more inclined to being a stay-at-home mom, so too some men and women may argue that females have biological properties that make them more inclined to be raped.

To sum up, women can be divided into two types: the submissive women and the dominant women. In the labor market the submissive women are the housewives who opt for a position of financial dependence. Because of anti-discrimination laws that prevent discrimination against the submissive women, the dominant woman loses. In issues of sex, the women who fantasize about being raped by a man-with their inability to clearly express this desire verbally-make it difficult for the independent woman to clearly express her desire to not be raped. Such an expression may be misinterpreted because the submissive woman has garbled the system of communication. This too brings down the dominant woman by making them victims of rape. And because of this, all women suffer.

Word Count: 1400


Ash, K. (n.d.) Interacting With Women in the Workplace, AskMen. Google "askmen interacting women workplace" without quotes.

Burton, V. (n.d.) Bold Things Women Want In Bed, AskMen.
Google "askmen bold things women want in bed" without quotes.

Plumplvr. (2005) I don't Get It. ASSM.
Do a Google Groups search for "plump lvr i don't get it" without quotes.