by Damon Carr, For New Pittsburgh Courier
Politics can be described as a process to make others look weak, bad, or dumb to make another look strong, good, or smart. It’s an effort to further one’s own agenda at the peril of another. Politicians are not the only people politicking. It’s a cultural phenomenon. It’s ingrained in practically every society to some degree. It’s manifested in “isms”—racism, sexism, and classism to name a few. I’d like to point out some biases towards women. There was a time women couldn’t vote or work. There was a time, women couldn’t obtain a loan or a credit card without her husband’s signature. Currently, women continue to fight for a seat at the table and earn equal wages. The average woman earns $.80 for every $1 her male counterpart earns doing the same job with the same background. These biases towards women created a cultural norm where women were overly dependent on men. Women were relegated to second-class citizens throughout the world, but also within their household. They couldn’t vote—no voice. They couldn’t work—no income. They couldn’t get a loan without their husband’s signature—no independence. In life and in relationships, women particularly back in the day, “went along to get along.” They tolerated a lot because they felt they didn’t have better options.
Let’s fast forward to the present day. Women still have a lot to overcome, but they’ve overcome a lot. They have a voice. They have careers. They can finance themselves or obtain financing without a husband’s signature. They’re independent. They no longer have to “go along to get along.” They engage men in relationships because they want to, not because they have to. This has created a shift in roles and influence when it comes to men and women in relationships. It’s also created confusion and controversy when the woman is the breadwinner in the family.
I solicited the help of one of my best friends and author Jamie Rucker. Jamie writes on subjects about men and spirituality. He’ll be releasing a book soon.
Jamie speaking: Society has spoken, and the verdict is in! The Honorable Societal Judge has declared that stay-at-home fathers are no longer to be viewed as real men. Well, maybe we haven’t reached this point yet, but how close are we? The identity of today’s man is constantly under attack. In a world where women have become the breadwinners in many families, the roles women and men play in these relationships has drawn some scrutiny. This is due to the fact that men are born and reared with a natural propensity to lead and provide. What does this mean for the stay-at-home men?
Can a stay-at-home husband/father still be acknowledged as the priest of his home? Does his lack of employment declare that he is then stripped of his rightful position as the head of his family? Can he still command respect from his wife, children, and peers? These questions and many more are sure to be revealed as the foundational structure of the family continues to shift. What does this mean going forward? Society is filled with people that have a healthy balance of commendatory vision that understand the importance of being open-minded. I maintain that the heart and servitude of a man must always trump his wallet. If his heart is right, respect is due.
Damon here: It’s “self-worth,” not “net worth” or “income” that defines the character of both men and women. Money is amoral. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s neither male nor female. Money takes on the attitudes and characteristics of its beholder. If there’s an issue with a woman being the breadwinner within the family, the issue is deeper than money. It’s personal. It’s a sign of issues within the character of him or her. What is it about the man that makes him feel less than because she makes more? Why would a man feel his role as a leader of the household is threatened because she makes more? If a person’s respect for you was based on money, there was never any respect for you to begin with. For when the money goes, so does the respect. What is it about the woman that gives her an inflated sense of pride because she makes more? A woman who feels she doesn’t need a man because she has her own money or makes more money was in the relationship solely for money. Where’s the love?
I’ve talked about being equally yoked financially in a previous article. Being equally yoked financially isn’t about who makes more—the man or woman. Being equally yoked financially is about having a similar work ethic and similar vision. It’s about wanting the same things out of life. It’s about having similar goals, dreams, and priorities for your life. It’s about purposely working together to achieve a desired end. It’s about understanding when you’re married, you are one economic unit. There is no I, me, he, or she. It’s we and ours. It’s not that she makes $60,000 per year and he makes $50,000 per year or vice versa. We make $110,000 per year.
It doesn’t matter how much money a woman earns, she still desires a strong man that’s willing, able, and ready to lead, protect, provide, honor, cherish and respect her. It doesn’t matter how much a man earns, he still desires a strong woman, that’s willing, ready, and able to adore, support, uplift, respect, love, and care for him.
Times have changed. Roles have changed. In the old days, men earned a living. Women did the domestic duties including rearing children, cooking and cleaning—which has economic value. Now that women work and have eased the burden of men being the sole earner, it’s only natural that men assist in the domestic duties and ease the burden of women being the sole person rearing the children, cooking and cleaning.
It’s often stated that a woman is a man’s helpmate. The reality is man and woman are each other’s helpmate.
(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached @ 412-216-1013 or visit his website @ www.damonmoneycoach.com)