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October 21st, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I just read yet another article on how more and more women are out earning their husbands, but I’m not linking to it because the conversation, frankly, has become old hat.

Will someone please explain to me why I should give a damn or be concerned if I were to ever date a woman who earns more money than me? It’s 2009, but even if it was 1909, I wouldn’t have a problem. As a matter of fact, I’ve been okay with this since around 2005, when I was a 20-year-old college student dating a 28-year-old lawyer.

Now to be fair, she was a domestic attorney, and for those who know anything about the law profession, domestic attorneys don’t bank quite as much as their corporate or malpractice counterparts. Still she had more than me and a house and a car in its current year of make. Meanwhile I had a meal plan, a dorm room (with strictly enforced visiting hours, to boot), and a 1995 Nissan Maxima (I actually called it a Minima, because it did the minimum amount of work a car could do) with power windows you had to roll down by hand.

Steadman Graham I was not (Oprah, she wasn’t either), but for the year-and-a-half we were together, money, or the lack of it, was never an issue for her, for me, or for us.

So when I read about these men who whine over not being the breadwinner in their family anymore I have to scratch my temple and wonder what the hell is wrong with these guys.

The reason no man should have a problem with a woman making more money than him is not because it means nothing but easy living — enjoying the spoils of someone else’s hard work is never a good look, no matter the gender — it’s because discriminating against a woman just because she brings home more coin than you is the male equivalent of a woman discriminating against a man who doesn’t make enough.

In other words: They’re acting like a bunch of gold-diggers, but I call them pride-diggers.

A pride-digger is a man who ties his self-worth to his wallet. If a woman is making more than a pride-digger, he gets itchy and uncomfortable with the role-reversal, thus making it difficult for him to see how good she is to him and for him. He won’t rest until he’s back to being the breadwinner, and so he digs and digs and digs as far as he can to earn more just so his pride can be realigned back in place.

If you ask me, it’s all a bunch of foolish, dogmatic, traditionalism. No person should ever measure a man by whether or not he makes more than his woman. He should be measured by how happy his woman is with him.

When I was with my ex, the esquire, I stayed in the picture for one year and probably made as little money as I ever have in my life. But if she had to stay late at work, you can bet I would drive out to her office to keep her company and bring some take out if she was hungry. What I realized is all I needed to keep her happy was make her laugh, put it down in the bedroom, and encourage her on days when she was ready to give up on her job.

Those three things are lessons I have  applied to every girl since the esquire, but not because what was good for her is good for the rest of the ladies. It’s because making a woman laugh, putting it down in the bedroom, and lifting her spirits when they are down are priceless attributes a man can and should provide to his woman for free. Men should take some pride in that.

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  • DeeMarie

    Excellent points!

  • Kandeezie

    Most of those kinds of guys don’t dig to earn more, they dig and dig and dig into the girl’s self-esteem until they either break up or break her.

  • Dililah

    Interesting point. I think I have to agree

  • CaramelButterfly

    Well said Jozen! Put in down!

  • Leah

    Hi. I love you. That is all.


    Get em pimpin. Every chick in the world right now wants to be a 16 year old shakin her ass on youtube. And far be it from me to knock “16 year old” b*tches saving America the drive across town to your local Strip & Tip but chances are if that isn’t your thing you may be dealing with a woman with the potential to make more than you. I went to college so I want a girl that did to. I read books so I want a girl that does to. I get guap…you know the rest.

    I plan on one day letting ninjas in on the real secret to a working relationship (where to find your chick/dude, how to manage living together, finances, yada yada yada) but the game aint to be told.

  • leah

    preach pastor.

  • Black Girl Thinking

    Excellent post.
    “A pride-digger is a man who ties his self-worth to his wallet.” <—-very well said I totally agree!

  • BoomShots

    Maybe it was dumb luck on my part but for the majority of my dating life I have primarily dated and had relationships with women who made more money than I did. I can never recall it ever bothering me, maybe it was because I never tied my self worth to my wallet. But then I was never pumped up on being some kind of “Alpha man” in that sense.

    I do have to say that the older I have gotten the more incomee disparity as become an issue. Many of the women I meet now, no matter how much they actually make seem quite concerned with how much I make. While I am doing quite well comparatively speaking and value what money allows you to do, it has never been a determinant to me for how I feel about someone.

    Well as long as they are not looking for me to pay their bills, then you just a bum.

  • Succubus29

    Kandeezi,have to agree with you sister… The institution of the “black family” would be better if these gentlemen would just dig and dig to become the bread winner… “No person should ever measure a man by whether or not he makes more than his woman. He should be measured by how happy his woman is with him.”<–Amen

  • E-Dub


  • justSami

    You learned the lessons and how to apply them… how do we get the rest of the men around here to catch on?? 😉
    Another great post, Thanks!

  • Dell

    Your comments are so elegant that one could easily fall right into its trap. Let’s forget about the Oprahs and Steadmans of the world, shall we. They are far from the norm and can play by their own made up rules. The vast majority, which includes you and your esquire, does not have this luxury. Here is why…

    This discussion in my mind has nothing to do with money. Instead, it is directly tied to the heart of a man. I love a good laugh, someone lifting up my spirits and hot sex. Except for the later of these, as you like to refer to as “wonderful “MANLY” attributes”, I get a healthy dose of these from my girlfriends on the regular.

    My darling, sex is the culprit here. One thing tied to sex is children. How do we keep forgetting about this!?! When children comes into play, I would hope a woman is with a man that can do more than lay it down in the bedroom but is also man enough to take care of his family! There are more than a million single moms in the world today, which by the way results in many, many more millions of children without fathers. This is real! Having fun isn’t high on the agenda anymore, at least not for these single-mothers and fatherless children!

    What terrifies me is that your message is spread all over as acceptable behavior for men today! Wrapped up in what you call foolish, dogmatic, traditionalism! Hey, what about realism!?! For real, more and more kids are growing up without fathers! Would you attribute this behavior of the “MAN” as pride-diggers, or just freaking irresponsible! Let a man be a man and take care of his business of being a man if that is what he chooses to do! God knows it is what he should do! Stop coming up with more crazy, all of this new IDEOLOGY is why our society shot!!! Wake the H-E-L-L up! (Do spell it out. I don’t mean any harm.)

    One “what if” for you; what if you got your esquire pregnant and she had major complications during the delivery of your child and could not work anymore. What would you be able to do for your child? Stop playin!

  • me-me

    There are some women who rub their bank accounts in the faces of men. there are some women who constantly bash or discredit their men for earning less and forcing them to wear the skirt in the relationship. we’ve all seen it. it’s the sadest power trip.

    i had a friend who would show up to her dates in her new mercedes, stereotypical black woman name brand purses and shoes- louis, coach, etc.. and then wonder why the man would not call her back. she would make the excuse.. oh he’s intimidate by my success. i said the men you date are lawyers and doctors.. maybe they don’t want a woman boasting over herself or wearing their money. maybe they think you’re a label whore. she says.. you make more than decent money but you attract and date the same kinds of men. i said the difference is.. I DON’T WEAR AND DRIVE MY MONEY. that way a man can see how he can IMPROVE my life since men like to take care of things. after he gets to know me and sees that my total life’s debt will be paid off on 12/31/09, then he sees the blessing in having me. your lifestyle screams, BILLS, PRE-NUP NECESSARY, and SHOPPING HABITS.

    I am from the south and I desire to have a man assume the role as man in my life. i’m more concerned about your leadership skills than your wallet. I work in a well paid, white male dominated field, so i know i will run into brothers who make less than me, BUT i do not flaunt or flash in front of them or make them feel less than because my accounts might be more attractive.

    i’m willing to bet that these types of women who make the excuse “men are intimidated by me”, are the main ones saying there are no good men and eating cookies and ice in bed on their birthday. don’t forget the drawer full of AAA batteries…

  • Dell

    Let’s not blame the woman again yall!

  • me-me

    why not dell? it’s not full blame.. it’s shared blame.

    yes, there are insecure men and women.. TRUE. but there are also boastful men and women who degrade the opposite sex based on who has the biggest bank roll.

    no point in catering to one side of a discussion. i can appreciate a man not allowing social standards to make him feel “less than a man” for earning less than his woman. i do not like to hear a man whinning about making less… if it hurts that bad, find someone you make more than and wife her. however, i also know that there are women who THRIVE off belittling men because they earn more than them.

    if we’re not going to speak truth , then it’s no point in talking.

    we must also understand that the argument that some black conspiracy theorist are making is that black women are making more than black men to further drive home the fact that america thinks you suck. Stereotypes of black men: jobless, baby daddies, jail birds, HIV catalysts, and to top it off we are making your women make more than you.. u get the point.

  • Dell

    Me-Me, I appreciate your comments. Yeah, there are more than some issues in black America that needs to be address and here is where I agree with you, which is also the reason why we need to look a little bit deeper and turn the f### around!

    What do you say about all of these fatherless children!?!

    The problem isn’t who makes the most! The problem is that the “man” ain’t sticking around for no longer than it takes for him to stick it! It’s not about how society makes a man feel. Here goes a little traditional, dogmatism for ya, “as a man think of himself, so shall it be done unto him”. How are we defining a man today? Why, do we keep babying the men! In case, you are blind or immune to the fact that “men” have less and less to do and now, low-and-behold, he is not expected to give a crap about anything, not even wanting to be the leader, breadwinner, or head of his own household! This is ridiculous!

    Yeah, no one should make the other feel bad but there are bigger fish that need to be fried! Like, where the hell is daddy!

  • Dell

    By-the-way, I am single (never married) with no children. I also grew up with both parents in the household! Fatherless children is the issue and the biggest truth that any of us should care about!

  • me-me

    true, there are deeper issues, but his topic today was about men feeling comfy or not feeling comfy making less than their mates.

    however, i feel everything you’re saying (being the product of a two parent- original father and original mother duo (married for 33 years)) i can’t stand a dead beat dad.. nor can i stand making excuses for cowardice.

    some people replicate what they see.. but i hate hearing folks say..MY FATHER WASN’T THERE SO I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE A FATHER. huh? no one does. i don’t know how to be a mother, but when i become one i’m sure i will fall in line if i’m worth anything. HOWEVER, I place a portion of the blame of having to raise “father-less” children on women. a man who runs away from responsibility did not start showing these signs once the sperm made it to the egg. we (women) need to wake up and start thinking.. if this man gets me pregnant, then what? there are some folks that take the necessary precautions to prevent pregnancy and it still happens, but we need to know the nature of the person we are sleeping with.

    again, it’s shared blame. shame on the man for abandoning a child… but shame on a woman for laying down and conceiving with an irresponsible lame, thus making her just as irresponsible if not more.

    if nothing else we should start realizing that we MAKE the decisions. if i choose to sleep with a lame, and i choose to keep to the baby (or for some- they got pregnant on purpose (hmph)), i am choosing to raise him alone by default because the man is lame. and that would make me crazy.

  • Dell

    I agree Me-Me. The topic today, intent was about what you said. However, as the article points out, “No person should ever measure a man by whether or not he makes more than his woman. He should be measured by how happy his woman is with him.” WHAT!?! Has it come to this and is this regardless of how temporary and without responsibility? This way of thinking can get is all in a lot of trouble and on some levels contributes to the fatherless issues that exist. Yeah, I also agree with you about how the women are also to blame. No she is not without blame but she, in most cases, is the only one that is left to deal with the consequences of two adults actions. So, can sista get a what-what?

  • 100%

    I love this posting. From the subject matter to the writing…all around goodness.