About Women’s Lib?
By Peter Rost
20 November, 2006
don’t follow the gossip press, and I couldn’t care less
what Britney Spears does. But last week I had to get out of my protected
environment and take the train to New York to film a documentary and
not even I could avoid the headlines and the magazines on the floor
of the train. So I figured I’d use Britney Spear’s wellpublicized
divorce to make a point about women. And about men.
Apparently Britney, who is
worth between $150 and $300 million, depending on which gossip magazine
you read, is about to get divorced. To make things even juicier, her
husband Kevin Federline, who the press calls K-Fed (by the way, doesn’t
that sound like a drug? At least he seems to have been on drugs most
of his marriage . . . ) has apparently spent his married years with
hookers, strippers and was caught with his pants down at the Regency
hotel when his wife stormed in. The hotel staff apparently relented
and gave her a key, even though she wasn’t signed in, so he got
a bit of a surprise. And now two of the hotel employees have been fired.
(Can anyone stomp and demand a key to anyone’s room at the Regency?)
Problem for K-Fed is that
Britney had this ironclad prenuptial agreement, so now K-Fed is allegedly
threatening to sell a sex tape of the two lovebirds having consensual
married sex. Perhaps not what Britney expected.
And the price tag is expected
to be around $30 million for that tape. So K-Fed wants $50 million from
Britney and the kids, or something like that in return for not selling
the tape, to which he holds copyright, of their sex.
First, isn’t it sad,
if true, that a sex tape with Britney can bring in more money than any
Michael Moore movie has ever brought in? Ok, don’t answer that.
I liked “Bowling for Columbine,” but I didn’t like
“Fahrenheit 911” so much, so I’m hoping for his next
Second, why is everyone beating
up on Britney for marrying this deadbeat who made like $30,000 before
marrying her, while she made millions? Shouldn’t we encourage
our young and wealthy women to marry down to spread their wealth? Ok,
don’t answer that one either, because, yeah, she could most certainly
have found someone who appeared less sleazy than K-Fed, but then again,
Britney isn’t the most classy girl either.
And here’s my real
point, what really concerns me, about women.
I’ve read many times
that women really don’t go for men who are authors, artists, photographers
and other free professions, unless they are already very wealthy or
famous (they apparently like rock stars). As an author that hurts a
Women apparently prefer doctors,
businessmen, accountants—anything with a stable income. Funny
thing is; men don’t seem to be that way. They simply prefer to
marry their pretty secretary, I guess to get the same service at home
as they expect at work. In fact, nearly half of single women believe
their professional success is intimidating to the men they meet. And
that is outright sad.
I don’t know if any
of this is really true, but those of you watching “Sex and the
City,” may remember the episode when Miranda, the tough lawyer
(who turned out to be a lesbian in her real life), tells a man she meets
at a speed-dating event that she's a flight attendant. He tells her
that he's a doctor. Both of them, however, are lying, she to diminish
her status, and he to inflate it.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett has presented
a study of smart women who weren't getting married or having children
at the same rates as other women. In her book “Creating a Life,”
she created panic among successful women, writing “Nowadays, the
rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less
likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child.” She claimed
that high-achieving women who were still single at age 30 had a less
than 10 percent chance of ever marrying.
Maureen Dowd from the New
York Times has fanned the flames and blamed her own single life on her
career success. In her book “Are Men Necessary?,” Dowd wrote,
“I was always so proud of achieving more—succeeding in a
high-powered career that would have been closed to my great-aunts. How
odd, then, to find out now that being a maid would have enhanced my
chances with men.” (That sentence sure made me understand how
she picked the title of her book.)
I guess it doesn’t
help that back in 2004 researchers at the University of Michigan published
a study in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. The study claimed
that the men in their sample preferred to marry a woman whom they considered
to be a subordinate, rather than a woman they considered to be a superior
or a peer.
I’m not sure if any
of this is true, personally I vastly prefer smart women. But maybe they
don’t prefer me anymore now when I’m no longer a doctor
or a Vice President at Pfizer, but simply an author. Then again I’m
already married so I don’t have to worry. (Uh-uh . . . maybe that
means I should worry. I better have a chat with my wife.)
Anyway, as I look around
me it certainly seems to be true that men’s fragile ego makes
them prefer women who submit to them and make them feel good.
So I think it is wonderful
when smart, talented performers like Britney Spears are able to get
married. Because, of course, K-Fed didn’t just take her for her
money. Then he would be like a wom . . . !
But seriously, one key reason
women go for rich men is the same reason people rob banks, “that’s
where the money is.”
And the fact that poor men
prey upon rich women shouldn’t be surprising. It is only sad that
in 2006 so many men still feel emasculated by a relationship with a
smart woman and so many women still feel they have to submit to a man
Peter Rost, M.D.,
is a former Vice President of Pfizer. He became well known in 2004 when
he emerged as the first drug company executive to speak out in favor
of reimportation of drugs. He is the author of "The Whistleblower,
Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman." See:
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