In “If You Were Broke Would You Settle For Someone Less Than Ideal,” poor Amanda was destined to fail in comparison to six figure earning Victoria the way I wrote the comparison. I didn’t do a good enough job painting Amanda’s situation as a woman who was just getting over heart break and not looking for anything serious. It was easy for readers to paint Amanda as the villain for accepting financial assistance from a potential suitor.
Despite my own admission that I, too, would settle for someone in exchange for financial assistance, it was interesting to see 100% of the assault go to Amanda and not myself. Spend some time reading the comments. Perhaps it’s easier to look down upon a stranger rather than a familiar host. But what I hypothesize is that there is a HUGE double standard between men and women that cannot easily be eradicated.
It’s easy for those of us in good relationships or those who have money to dismiss settling for money and someone when we really can’t say! It’s like a billionaire telling us we should all pay more taxes while he continues to pay a 15% effective tax rate due to most of her income coming from long term dividends. Please don’t judge others if you aren’t in their shoes.
Now that you know the true goal of the “If You Were Broke” post to highlight double standard attitudes between men and women, I’d like to craft an argument as to why it’s OK to be a resourceful person. In the future, I’d like for all of you who love to criticize people about their choices to consistently criticize everybody all the time. Equality for all!
THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING RESOURCEFUL
Amanda may be lacking funds, but she is an independent woman who knows a lot of people in the food and entertainment industry. Because she is attractive and has a friendly personality, she’s able to live a life above her financial means. There are tens of millions of people with revolving credit card debt living similar lives. We aren’t crucifying them are we?
In my circle, this is called friends taking care of friends no matter what their financial situation. Many of Amanda’s friends are older and therefore have more money and connections. Who are we to fault someone with friends with means? Having connections is how many people get ahead. To not utilize one’s resources would be foolish. If your father was the President of Yale for 20 years, of course you’re going to apply and get in. If you’re 7 feet tall, you definitely should consider playing basketball. If you have a hard head and an ability to write about various topics that consistently receive criticism from readers, then perhaps you should be a blogger!
I know plenty of Goldman Sachs classmates who were able to land their front office jobs because their mother was a partner, their parents were Asset Management clients with a minimum of $20 million with the firm, or their father was the Prime Minister of Canada or even China! If you were Goldman, why wouldn’t you hire the son of a powerful country’s leader to make it easier to win banking business? Sure my classmates were plenty smart as well, but let’s not kid ourselves. Being smart only gets you so far. A wise person knows his or her attributes and smartly magnifies the good parts to get ahead, looks included.
Amanda lives a life that belies her financial situation because she is resourceful. Amanda didn’t ask to be born attractive, but she’s certainly not going to hide her appearance from the world. People treat attractive people better and Amanda understands this indisputable law like everybody else. Amanda logically gets an outsized percentage of wealthy suitors chasing after her. So when she hears my question about settling for a less than ideal partner to save her, it’s nothing special because they are a dime a dozen.
A favorite quote from the “Broke” article:
I enjoy that both the women do the opposite of what they said. The one girl (Victoria) who said “no” is dating a wealthy guy and the girl (Amanda) who said “yes” is in love with the bartender. Also don’t be surprised Amanda likes the pudgy bartender. Girls are also attracted to social status as much or more than looks and there is no profession on earth with as much feigned social status as bartender. Everybody in the room is sucking up to you for free drinks, they all are trying to get your attention, you know and are friendly with most people. It is like being a mini-celebrity.
Again, it’s so easy for us to say one thing and do another. Commenter Shaun makes a sagacious point that despite Amanda saying she would settle for a wealthy suitor – for which she has many – her main squeeze at the time was a bartender who isn’t wealthy nor is he even that attractive. That shows us that Amanda doesn’t really care so much about wealth as much as the chemistry between two people. She might very well love to party, which her bartender boyfriend at a trendy establishment facilitates. But one can only party so much before something more needs to kick in.
DOUBLE STANDARDS BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN
Although good looking guys are rare compared to good looking women, handsome men are also nothing special because women continuously de-emphasize looks and emphasize character and financial stability. One close female friend I’ve known for 18 years said she doesn’t care a bit about looks, only the possibility of the man being able to provide her a fabulous life. What? That’s a new one, but I’m listening. This is coming from a woman who went to Cornell, and then to Boston College and is now earning six figures a year as a lawyer.
When men settle for a woman for financial means, it’s a cute novelty. When women do the same thing, the claws come out from competing women and disdain appears from men who are pissed such attractive women don’t go out with them. Every guy is insecure in some way by their finances. Nothing irks a better looking, more charismatic, highly educated guy more when a rich fella takes away a beautiful woman from the dating pool. It’s similar to the constant envy you see from engineers for management personnel who make much more. The engineers were the smartest kids in school, but are the blue collar workers in most tech organizations.
From a guys perspective, we completely understand the rules of the game. More fame and wealth provides us more mating selection no matter what we look like. Billy Joel and Simon Cowell are rocking it! Hence, deep down we appreciate men who are able to go way beyond their league because they’ve done something successful with what they can control.
Because looks are mostly outside of our control to the extent that clothing, makeup, and surgery can help, the resentment among women for other beautiful women is quite palpable. I wrote an entire post entitled, “To Get Ahead In The Workplace Don’t Hate Beautiful Women” which explains from a manager’s perspective how difficult employee relationships can be between women. Being a being woman with very few female friends is absolutely normal.
WOMEN ARE IN CONTROL
Are women sometimes their worst enemies? How can there not be disappointment if such high expectations are created for career, money, and love? Men experience the same pressures, but on a superficial level we are more accepting of other men with big guts and unkempt beards. We don’t really talk amongst ourselves about how unattractive another man’s woman is because another man’s woman is sacred. Yet I hear women bash other women all the time! The only thing men like to compare notes on is our careers. Everything else doesn’t really matter.
Why doesn’t society let women act more like men in the relationship category? Men give each other high fives the more partners they get. If a woman wants to be our sugar mama, men are celebrating at a bar with a round of shots to meet more women! If a woman wants to find a sugar daddy, we talk about her lack of fortitude, courage, and honor and wonder why she can’t just make it on her own. There’s a no win situation.
So for all you liberated women out there with multiple lovers, enjoy! Don’t feel ashamed if some man wants to take care of you and you aren’t head over heels in love with him. Both you and him know what you’re getting yourself into. And for those who frown upon liberation, well there’s nothing you can do to stop it because equality is exactly where men and women are headed.
Readers, why do you think women are so much more critical of other women than men are of other men? Why do you think a double standard continues to exist between men and women in terms of relationships? What are some of the ways we can bring to light such double standards and fix them so that our daughters can live in a better environment?
Photo: Courtesy of RMA art collection, SF.