Yes, women out-earning men is indeed a problem

Note: The following article was originally published at the Washington Examiner.

Just because something’s not supposed to be said doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It just means you’re not supposed to say it.

In a segment Wednesday about men in decline and what it means for the country, Tucker Carlson pointed out “study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don’t want to marry them.” When marriage rates drop, he adds, it causes “a spike in out-of-wedlock births and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow.”

Unsurprisingly, pointing this out was considered blasphemy by high-profile feminists, such as the ladies on “The View,” but Carlson is absolutely right. No matter how much women earn, they prefer to marry men who earn more than they do. Ergo, women out-earning men in spades today is a problem because marriage rates decline as a result. Why do you think women continually ask where all the good men have gone?

It’s truly insufferable that Carlson’s haters — or as Carlson describes them, those “mindless cultural leaders” who “act like it’s 1961 and think the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives” — blasted him for telling the truth, even though they know perfectly well what he said is true.

It’s those very same mindless leaders to whom Carlson’s observation particularly applies. Feminism is an elite woman’s game, and the more elite women are, the more they want to marry men who are more elite than they are.

Over at the HuffPost, Lee Moran was shocked Carlson had the audacity to look at the attendant costs of a country saturated in high-earning women (as opposed to cheering this phenomenon as a “victory” for feminism) and claims he cites “unnamed” studies to defend his point.

I hate to burst Moran’s bubble, but the studies are manifold — and they’re available for anyone who cares to find them. To start, here’s one published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Here’s another published in the academic journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Despite women’s gains in education and in the workforce, the traditional pattern of women marrying dominant men persists. Even when women marry men who are less educated than they are, they continue to marry “up” in income.

“Despite their comparative lack of education,” notes Wendy Wang of Pew Research Center, “men are still overwhelmingly more likely to be the primary earners in their families. More than 7 out of 10 husbands, 73 percent, take home more money than their wives.”

Not only do women want to marry men who make more money than they do, men are relatively indifferent to a woman’s socioeconomic status. They’re more interested in a woman’s attractiveness and fertility, which means higher-status women must compete with attractive lower-status women for higher-status men.

What we’re left with, then, is an abundance of rich women and unemployed men.

One solution to this problem would be for women to marry men who are less educated and less wealthy than they are. While this may be somewhat more prevalent today (and, as Carlson noted, may be something women should do), they generally don’t do it.

There is one other possible solution: Women could stop being so consumed by professional success and invest more time and energy on building marriages and families. That would leave room for men to become the career-successful partners women want them to be.

Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen soon. Not only is it considered backward to suggest a woman value marriage and family more than career, men have been conditioned to step aside on behalf of women everywhere. “Men are bombarded with a message that modern women value the opportunity for self realization through work,” wrote the late Geoff Dench. “So the chivalrous thing to do these days is for men not to strive too hard to hold down a job or seek promotion but to stand aside and let women go for it themselves.”

All of which is to say to women: Be careful what you wish for.

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, speaker and cultural critic known as “The Feminist Fixer.” She has authored several books to help women win with men in life and in love. Her most recent, The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage, was published in February 2017.

Reader Interactions


  1. “Men are bombarded with a message that modern women value the opportunity for self realization through work…” Yes, and many of them have bought into this hook, line, and sinker, to which men who know themselves, and also the biological & evo-psych basics in & between the sexes (regardless of the decades-long messages of nonsense coming from the Collectivist & Feminist camps) will simply move along and will not engage in the power struggles that ensue, nor in the expectations for the fairy tale that outpaces their current lifestyle.

    Men are largely sick of being the mule, the plow horse, and being an ancillary in a woman’s life who she stands on and disrespects, denigrates, and lacks respect for:

    Men are still largely expected to go “get” and “do” for a woman and any future/current children, and women go and get for themselves, and if they have any, their children. Many women seem to adopt an idea of “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine” kind of mentality, and it’s summed up in the popular quote from Paris Hilton “Every woman should have four pets in her life: A mink in her closet, a jaguar in her garage, a tiger in her bed, and a jackass who pays for everything”. Any investment of energy dedicated toward her never-ending wants, “needs”, and being a clown to entertain her is much better suited to be put into work, self-improvement, and personal interests, as the condescending, dehumanizing, & objectifying nature of it all has worn out its welcome. Likewise, if a man is sacrificing solely for someone else and never reserving anything for himself, he’s out of alignment and lacking integrity simply as a result of doing so. It is a betrayal of self, and a form of self-hatred.

    “So the chivalrous thing to do these days is for men not to strive too hard to hold down a job or seek promotion but to stand aside and let women go for it themselves.” This is sheer nonsense. I’ve never known ANY male, “manhood” defined (vis-a-vis external or societal definitions) or not, to ever step aside or minimize themselves in order to let a woman go ahead and get a job or promotion. If anything, the energy is that of wanting to remove oneself from corporate environments rife with females and the precarious interactions that ensue, since false sexual harassment, assault, etc. claims can still destroy a man’s career, and for some reason the false accusations seem to largely go unpunished.

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