I remember telling someone I was dating that I had gotten a raise at work. He wanted to know the amount and since I trusted him, I shared the new number. Before I finished my sentence, he blurted out, almost relieved, “I make more money than you.” It wasn’t so much the statement of fact as much as it was the fact that he felt he needed to say it that made me feel a way. And while my first thought was, ‘Ok n*gga, so what?’ All I said was, ‘Ok…’ and I kept on going with my conversation.
Looking back on that now, it seems like a red flag I didn’t think was such a big deal. If there ever were a time when I made more money than him, would it have been an issue? Judging by the tone in his voice, probably so. Not an issue for me but certainly one for him.
But according to a recent article published by Refinery 29, it’s the women in these female-breadwinner-type situations who find themselves wishing their men made more.
When the women who were currently earning more than their boyfriends or husbands were asked how they would feel if they were going to always be the breadwinner, they used words like “exhausted,” “tired” and “resentful.”
One woman said, “It makes me feel a little weary sometimes, like I may never get a break, or get to pursue something I might really love, but if I COULD do something I really loved while making enough money to support us, I would be perfectly fine with that.”
These same women also expressed frustrations about having to clock so many hours at work and then still be expected to come home and complete household chores. Refinery also cites a study that reported that the men who do take on more household chores feel more emasculated than those who don’t and were less likely to have sex.
I found all of this information a bit alarming, really. Aren’t we fighting to close the gender wage gap? Wasn’t the Women’s March on Washington poppin’? Why is it that women feel so perturbed earning more than their male partners?
Jamilah Lemieux had this theory.
Before I read the piece, I wondered what she meant. But afterward, I’m struggling to see it any other way.
Particularly when, Black men and women come from a history of both parties having to work, either forcibly and then out of necessity in order to support and care for the family. While I’m sure it was still harder for Black women to make more than their male counterparts back in the day, I’m sure it’s happened a time or two. And I would strongly doubt that it was the women who felt a way about it. The men, sure? That’s a trope with which I’m familiar, the male ego being what it is.
This right here, is something different. You can read the full Refinery article here.
Tell us, what do you make of all of this? Are you surprised to discover women resent being the breadwinner in their homes?