The Null Device

Interesting Salon article on the gap between men's and women's earnings and its causes:
You choose one of those fields that are respectable and interesting and offer an absurdly low ratio of income to effort, like public-school teaching or social work; or you have a series of dead-end and nonlucrative jobs rather than a career; or you do embark on a career, say in law or banking or advertising, but you take it less seriously, and ensure that you will never make partner or the equivalent. You make it clear that your career will not come first in your life. You can even make it clear that you are going to need to be taken care of. And surprisingly enough, men respond protectively.
Nietzsche called this process of scorning what you can't have ressentiment. It's a status order internalized in the form of rules, like "Don't do your homework -- that's not cool," or "Majoring in computer engineering will scare attractive men away," or the perennial "If you work out too much, you'll bulk up." Women's eroticization of traditional power relationships makes evaluating a boyfriend for his earning power seem acceptable, rather than mercenary, to most men and women. And it's one small step from assessing a man's spending power to assessing your own salability.

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