This idea that women need to get married for financial protection is bizarre

(272 Posts)
NewFem Thu 09-Dec-21 01:00:32

I’ve encountered this view so many times here and it doesn’t make any amount of sense to me. Can someone please explain this to me how it applies to modern life?

Girls go to school and receive the exact same quality of education that boys do.
Girls, I read outperform boys in SATs, GCSEs and at A-level.
Girls attend university at higher rates than boys do, across most ethnicities in the UK.
Girls outnumber boys in highly paid professions like medicine.
Girls also study science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at university in increasing numbers.

Women are perfectly capable of being educated, having a high salary and making a living for themselves. I know plenty of women who are homeowners by themselves and manage to buy a house individually with no help. So why is there still this idea that we need men for financial security. It doesn’t make sense.

When it comes to children and childbirth, most women don’t give up their careers so protection doesn’t apply to them either. I looked this up, in 2019, 75.1% of mothers in the UK were in work. In 2020, 71.8% of mothers in the UK were in work.

In 2019, only 28.5% of mothers with children below 14 years old reduced their working hours to accommodate childcare. This means most women (71.5%) did not reduce or limit their working hours. So it isn’t true for the majority of mothers that most women give up working after they’ve had children or that a man’s career remains unaffected and a woman’s career declines because of childcare. Therefore we need marriage to have protection.

At least this is my opinion based on data and my own life experiences. Open to hear other points of view though

OP’s posts: |
steff13 Thu 09-Dec-21 01:06:09

So it isn’t true for the majority of mothers that most women give up working after they’ve had children or that a man’s career remains unaffected and a woman’s career declines because of childcare.

It's not being said to the majority of women, though, is it? It's usually being said to women who have quit their jobs to care for children, who love with a man in a home he alone owns, and who has very few legal rights if he just decides to kick her out on the street. Marriage affords a woman legal rights to property, spousal support, etc., should the relationship go bad.

DorothyZbornakIsAQueen Thu 09-Dec-21 01:06:11

Sorry, what's your argument?

RoomOfRequirement Thu 09-Dec-21 01:07:15

Men get paid more than women, and women are more likely to give up careers/take long maternity leaves/go part time/have pension contributions reduced/take years out/take parental leave for childcare reasons.

If this is not the case, and the woman has not sacrificed a single thing to raise children that the man has not, the advice wouldn't apply. However time and time again on MN we see unmarried women give everything up and be left with nothing. The advice is for them.

Anordinarymum Thu 09-Dec-21 01:07:58

Glad you have it all sewn up. Real life has a habit of kicking you right up the arse in so many ways. Just read some of the stories on here and apply your logic to them, which is dead in the water

timeisnotaline Thu 09-Dec-21 01:08:00

So 75.1% of mothers work (less now post COVID) and of those 28.5% of them reduced hours for parenting? So that leaves us with 47% of mothers either don’t work at all or have reduced their hours. That sounds like a lot of women to me who have reduced financial independence due to a caring role for their dc.

Sparklfairy Thu 09-Dec-21 01:09:42

Its very simple. When children are added to the equation, women often sacrifice their earning power and careers permanently.

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timeisnotaline Thu 09-Dec-21 01:09:50

And of course how many single mums? Who of course work the same or more because they need the money but are financially burdened by taking on the majority of financial and parenting overheads for their dc. Being able to take some of the marital equity makes a real difference there too despite them being invisible in your statistics.

Blossom64265 Thu 09-Dec-21 01:11:15

I earn more than my husband. We are both high earners. That doesn’t mean my earning power has not been negatively impacted by having children. I would out-earn him by even more if we were childless.

I still find the legal protections marriage provides valuable, especially during the pregnancy and early childhood years when the risk of complications and hence risk of interruption to income is so high.

timeisnotaline Thu 09-Dec-21 01:12:04

steff13

*So it isn’t true for the majority of mothers that most women give up working after they’ve had children or that a man’s career remains unaffected and a woman’s career declines because of childcare.*

It's not being said to the majority of women, though, is it? It's usually being said to women who have quit their jobs to care for children, who love with a man in a home he alone owns, and who has very few legal rights if he just decides to kick her out on the street. Marriage affords a woman legal rights to property, spousal support, etc., should the relationship go bad.

Quite. You wouldn’t need to say it to me, I earn more than my dh, manage our money, jointly own the house, and he’d be vanishingly unlikely to dump the dc on me full time in the event of a split. But there are a lot of women you do need to say it to!!

timeisnotaline Thu 09-Dec-21 01:12:38

But @Blossom64265 makes very good points, all that applies to me too.

GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing Thu 09-Dec-21 01:16:53

If you become a sahm, go part time or in any other way sacrifice your earning potential to care for children, whilst their father dedicated himself wholly to his work (or mainly) then you need to be married to protect yourself. You see yourself as “working as a team” in doing this, but you need to make the team official by marriage or civil partnership. Otherwise, you’re not a team, your a mug and the person who’s taking advantage of you.

NewFem Thu 09-Dec-21 01:19:13

DorothyZbornakIsAQueen

Sorry, what's your argument?

That the common idea that women need to get married “for protection” doesn’t make sense for most women. This is because the majority of women work, earn their own money, are financially independent both before and after having children so don’t need to rely on a man’s money to survive.

OP’s posts: |
SnackSizeRaisin Thu 09-Dec-21 01:24:08

So a quarter of mothers don't work at all? Well they all need to be married, obviously. Then a further 28% of the remainder have reduced hours. So they should be be married too.
Then from those who don't reduce their hours, there will be a significant proportion who still limit their career through choice or necessity, at least while children are pre school age, which could be 10 years if they have a few children. They don't show up in your figures.

I have to say I do t believe that 72% of mothers carry on working full time anyway. In my circles no one has - and that is mostly people with a degree, most with either a PhD or in a profession such as law, medicine etc. Of those several have gone part time AND taken a less challenging role.

Quite apart from that, in the event that one parent dies, if they were married the surviving parent gets a significant pay out from the government.

steff13 Thu 09-Dec-21 01:24:24

But again, that argument is being made to a small number of women on MN who have left themselves financially vulnerable.

I earn $95K a year. I own a house on my own. I have a sizeable pension. I am 100% certain that other posters on MN would tell me not to get married.

Bouledeneige Thu 09-Dec-21 01:25:22

I agree. What protection exactly is it that a man provides?

IceSlushSnow Thu 09-Dec-21 01:25:46

The OP is obviously very young and naive.

steff13 Thu 09-Dec-21 01:27:31

Bouledeneige

I agree. What protection exactly is it that a man provides?

It's not the man it's the marriage contract that provides the protection.

NoSquirrels Thu 09-Dec-21 01:28:05

Where is your data from?

NewFem Thu 09-Dec-21 01:30:38

NoSquirrels

Where is your data from?

The Office for National Statistics

OP’s posts: |
timeisnotaline Thu 09-Dec-21 01:32:36

And we’ve replied that after you subtract single mothers from the 53% of mothers who are the ones who work and cut hours, you’re not left with ‘most women’. Ie working on the assumption your stats are correct then your conclusions are incorrect. One might even suspect some bias.

timeisnotaline Thu 09-Dec-21 01:33:06

*work and haven’t cut hours

Rainbowqueeen Thu 09-Dec-21 01:34:43

Inheritance tax. Applies to unmarried couples but not to married couples.

I think you need to get sone stats on mens average salaries and women’s average salaries Also on where women and men who start their career at the same time with the same qualifications sit on the career ladder after 5 years, 10 years etc.

You have only skimmed the surface

immersivereader Thu 09-Dec-21 01:39:36

So they should stay single to remain solvent? Or raise children alone?

Because, yes, women do not need to be in a partnership to be financially stable, but two incomes are better than one. And two people can collectively raise kids easier than one (in principle).

I do agree with the fact that girls/women are encouraged to be 'rescued' by the myth of some ridiculous prince. Whereas as op said, women are more than capable of rescuing themselves.

Prince charming /Cinderella /Knight in shining amour Hollywood myth has a lot to answer for. It's directed at young female children from an early age and results in women being unnecessarily reliant on men, with unrealistic expectations of them.

TurquoiseBaubles Thu 09-Dec-21 01:40:29

I don't know a single couple where, on separation, the mother doesn't take on the majority of the child care. Even in the rare instances when the care is in theory 50:50 it tends to be the mother who has the children when they are sick, who takes on extra days and who pays for substantially more of the day to day expenses (clothing, school lunch, birthday presents for friends etc, the "little stuff").

As for families who have children with special needs; in every single case I know of the mother has reduced work hours to take on the extra care, and on separation the child has stayed almost full time with the mother.

In all those cases, being married does at least help.

Obviously if a couple stay together for ever marriage makes no difference (until one dies obviously) but that's a rarity these days.

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