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Careers, Marriage, and Douchebags August 23, 2006

DouchebagForbes.com recently posted a completely asinine commentary by a douchebag named Michael Noer about how it’s a bad idea to marry a career woman.

Noer’s point was this: according to social scientists, career women (women working more than 35 hours a week and making more than $30,000) suck at marriage. In his own words, “recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.” Noer’s genius viewpoint in its entirety is here. (Update: Forbes, sensing Noer’s douchebagginess, has reformatted the original article to read as a point-counterpoint. But really, they printed the thing as a stand-alone two days ago.)

What a fucking idiot. Besides being a complete misogynist who is probably being divorced as we speak, he’s also a moron. His problem is basing his whole ludicrous theory on vast emptiness of “social science” which is just about the biggest oxymoron since “compassionate conservativism” or “homeopathic medicine.”

These days, being a social scientist is easy. All you need is to do is have a rudimentary understanding of statistics, an opinion, and about 50 or so people to interview. It’s important that you have no formal scientific training, but it does help if you can write reasonably well (see Malcolm Gladwell.) Then all you need to do is ask your 50 buddies a few open ended questions, draw whatever conclusion you wish, and watch the special interest groups swing from your nutsack.

You definitely don’t need to trouble yourself with any of the rigorousness that real scientists and mathematicians have to deal with, like regression analysis, making objective observations or using a statistically significant sample size. Don’t worry about having to peer review your “scientific” study; all you need to do is write it up, and if people like what it says, you’re a genius.

This is how we get brilliant broad sweeping sociological certitudes such as: bare skin on TV makes teenagers have sex; five people in Brooklyn single-handedly stopped the 1980s crime wave in NYC; and republicans have better sex than democrats. It’s all total bullshit, but for some reason, people love to believe it. This is exactly what Michael Noer is counting on.

Strangely, after rattling off about five or six questionable studies about how women in the workplace ruin marriages, Noer cautions us about assuming that association implies causation. Noer must really be an idiot, because he’s refuted his entire thesis with this statement; every “study” he cites proves nothing other than simple correlation. (More likely, he’s counting on his readers being idiots in not figuring this essential point out.)

Take, for example, the John H. Johnson study he cites that implies that for women, increasing hours in the workplace are correlated with an increased risk of divorce. It seems to us that it’s plenty likely that the causal relationship flows in the opposite direction. Could it be that women who are in shitty marriages, perhaps because they married douchebags like Michael Noer, might be driven to spend more time at the office? There are probably a million other logical explanations for the data, but does it really matter? The study in question probably only had 75 data points, is only applicable to a 2 block community in Dayton, Ohio, and likely has a margin of error of +/- 84.2%.

Anyway, we’ve come up with a study on our own, with shocking conclusions. We’ve just interviewed everyone sitting in the room with us, and after normalizing the data, here’s what we’ve concluded (scientifically, of course):

- 100% of all Americans agree that Michael Noer is a douchebag.
- 100% of Americans believe it’s “likely” or “very likely” that his wife left him for a co-worker with a bigger dong.
- 100% of Americans believe that it’s still better to marry a career woman than a prostitute or Russian mail order bride.

Got a crazy social study of your own to share? Post it below, or you can always share your career woman marriage horror stories with us here.


1. Jeannie - August 24, 2006


This guy is really a great catch. If I wasn’t already married I may have tried to seduce him with my xbox skills.

2. CFI - August 24, 2006

Why is “homeopathic medecine” an oxymoron?

3. Steve in Princeton - August 24, 2006

Gosh, that post rebutted Noer good. The way you meticulously took apart his arguments with countervailing facts and logic. Without once using the word “douchebag”.

Some of us marriage-minded single guys are concerned Noer might be on to something. So here’s a real reason he might be all wet, what do you think?:

Who’s to say Noer has the causation right? Wouldn’t a “career woman” be much more demanding of her husband, and less dependant on him for income? Might she be more likely to make the marriage decisions many rich men do? That is: Marry someone attractive and complementary, then trade in later for a newer model. This isn’t about “career women” being unstable or untrustworthy. It’s about them acting like men.

Could this explain Noer’s correlations? Because I’m not ready to believe that “career women” are just lousy.

4. Alf - August 25, 2006

I’d like a chick with xbox skills! Career women are great. I couldn’t do half the fun stuff I like to do like buy expensive snowboard equipment that I rarely use if my wife stayed at home.

5. Anonymous - August 30, 2006

Love the blog, but the entry made Noer’s piece sound a LOT worse than it actually was. I have no idea if “career” women have a higher divorce rate, but this wasn’t the blatant attack on ambitious working woman I expected. And the counter point was mostly a lot of “I’m proof of why the piece is wrong,” or “this is a benefit of a two-earner couple” which makes no sense (in terms of disproving an arguement) given this is all about likelihoods.

I’m mostly taking away from his piece that “career women tend to have higher stats for X, Y, Z based on some social science studies” that aren’t even well cited. But not even as something I believe - just something I heard. It’s a stupid opinion piece, not a scientific paper, so attacking it for stuff like lack of regression analysis is too easy.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a woman having a career. We all know that. But there are tradeoffs, right? Maybe Noer is correct and they do have a higher divorce rate. Why not address his points? Well, aside from the obvious reason that the entry wouldn’t be as much fun to read. But it’s a bit disingenous to attack someone for methods using the same (or slightly more degenerate methods (i.e. personal insults))

6. Like I am Going to Write that Down - September 19, 2006

In My humble opinion:

Needy insecure males should never apply for a top position with a career woman.

Marriage should not be a struggle between The Power of the Penis Or The Victory of the Vagina. It should be the coming together of both parts forming a parnternship of equal happiness.

7. Anonymous - April 23, 2007

Thank you. You have helped someone more than you could know.