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Telling your daughter to "marry a rich man"

(38 Posts)
thefinerthingsinlife Mon 06-Sep-10 16:50:33

Whilst waiting to collect my dd from school today, I overheard a conversation involving a man, two women, and two young girls (probably aged 6/7).

The man turned to his daughter and said "don't worry that you're not academic, you just have to make sure you marry a rich man". One of the women then piped up "I wish I had" angry

I was so shocked and angry that someone would actually say that to their daughter.

Kathyjelly Mon 06-Sep-10 17:59:22

I'd be more angry that a father told his daughter she wasn't academic, like he knew everything and it was a done deal so she shouldn't try any more.

The rich man bit is pretty shallow but perhaps the whole thing was said in jest.

But then my dad used to believe that educating women and "wasting university " on them was a waste of his taxes because all they did was go off and have babies anyway.

Somehow the world keep breeding ignorant tossers, no matter how many years pass!

thefinerthingsinlife Mon 06-Sep-10 18:04:26

TBH I was angry about the whole thing.

It may have been said in jest but it didn't come across that way sad

Tortington Mon 06-Sep-10 18:08:02

i say it to my kids boys and a girl all the time - in jest but mean it really.

my eldest is shacked up with a wc girl my youngest is seeing a wc girl too - just hope that dd keeps her head on and factors mney into the equation.

i think that is quite different from saying that your thick so marry a rich man, or from saying that your daughter need to marry rich becuase she can't earn her own riches.

i do however think that its a factor to consider - yes seriously. go for someone with a bit of money - amongst other things ( big dick, considerate trustworthy etc)

StealthPolarBear Mon 06-Sep-10 18:08:29

guessing the woman was his dw...
if it wasn't a joke then that's bad

Notyetamummy Mon 06-Sep-10 19:51:24

I've a feeling that it was probably a joke. I sometimes say that I should have married a rich man when I get home from a long day and don't have much money (only one more year til I qualify and have more yippeee!)but I don't really mean it. I wouldn't swap my DH for a millionaire.

I would be worried about him saying that his DD is not academic though.

bedlambeast Mon 06-Sep-10 20:12:56

Message withdrawn

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 07-Sep-10 11:42:42

All these jokes rack up though don't they. Realised a while ago that for girls "who will you marry?" takes up some of the space that "what will you do when you grow up?" should occupy.

I mean I always thought about what job I would do etc, but also gave quite a bit of thought to "will i marry someone with a big house/a top-notch human rights lawyer (wink)/someone whose career will take us round the world?". Because the idea that the husband's status dictates the wife's lifestyle (see J Austen) is still with us IMO.

BertieBotts Sun 26-Sep-10 10:48:09

My mum is always telling me I should marry a rich man. Even when I was little I remember saying things like "Mummy, when I'm grown up and I marry a millionaire I'll buy you a big house." confused It's funny actually because I seem to attract men with money while actually not caring that much. Ambition and passion mean more to me. So I probably wouldn't go for someone who sat around not being arsed to get a job but it wouldn't be the fact they were skint that put me off.

She even bought me a mug though the other day with a hideous cartoon woman on it, which says "Coffee, chocolate, men. Some things are just better off rich!" I hate it. If it wasn't for the fact that I can't bear to waste anything useable I'd be tempted to "accidentally" break it.

My mum is lovely but her feminist principles are sadly lacking. We have illuminating conversations about my grandad though who is one of the most blatantly sexist people I know, while being totally oblivious to it himself. Gems include "Oh I find the good old 'yes dear' shuts them up! Ha ha ha!" and proclaiming to find female voices irritating because they are too high. I think my Grandma must have been a saint!

Goblinchild Sun 26-Sep-10 11:38:08

'I would be worried about him saying that his DD is not academic though.'

Maybe she isn't. Perhaps she struggles with numeracy and literacy and reading and finds the daily stress of having to try and be academic at school a daily nightmare.
Perhaps she loves the fact that her dad isn't saying 'Well, we'll get you a tutor for a couple of hours a week and do Kumon and have you assessed and and and then you'll be an academic child I can be proud of.'

Yes, telling her that the answer to her possible future fears is to marry a rich man is shallow and limiting. There are better alternatives. But I'd rather his levity than some of the god-awful pressurised parenting I see from some mothers.

sarah293 Sun 26-Sep-10 11:41:23

Message withdrawn

abouteve Sun 26-Sep-10 11:47:42

I've said similar to my DD in jest (but secretley mean it). Not that she isn't academic, because she is, 'when you are a top this marry a top that so you won't struggle'. Its just a bit of gentle guidance rather than get saddled with a lazy sponger.

NomDePlume Sun 26-Sep-10 11:49:24

I've told mine to aim for a fulfilling and financially self-supporting career AND to find a partner with the same.

Fingers crossed I've ticked all boxes confused

cece Sun 26-Sep-10 11:50:32

I've told my DD to find a career she loves but that also pays well.

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Sep-10 11:53:29

I would never say it to DD. Not that I don't want her to be financially secure, or that I'm so confident she will be able to make her own money.

But money can be lost.

What I want for DD more than anything is for her to have someone she loves, who loves her.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sun 26-Sep-10 16:09:01

What I wonder is, do people say anything to their boys about who they should marry? I never see parents talking to their boys about their future wives in the abstract (i.e. someone with long legs/good career/big house).

sarah293 Sun 26-Sep-10 17:01:20

Message withdrawn

onimolap Sun 26-Sep-10 17:12:21

I just think it's rather sad that it's being put in terms of money to one so young. OK, he might be right and she might not be academic; but he could say she could be a ballerina, or an athlete, or a painter, or an actress or a hairdresser or something.

Yes, we all know that a certain level of income makes life much more comfortable, but shouldn't 6 yr old still be pretty oblivious to that? Mine still thinks she's rich because she's saved up £3 from her pocket money.

onimolap Sun 26-Sep-10 17:13:14

I just think it's rather sad that it's being put in terms of money to one so young. OK, he might be right and she might not be academic; but he could say she could be a ballerina, or an athlete, or a painter, or an actress or a hairdresser or something.

Yes, we all know that a certain level of income makes life much more comfortable, but shouldn't 6 yr old still be pretty oblivious to that? Mine still thinks she's rich because she's saved up £3 from her pocket money.

fuschiagroan Sun 26-Sep-10 17:16:33

I got/get told it a lot

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sun 26-Sep-10 17:43:45

What's objectionable about it is not the idea that money comes in handy. It's the idea that "marrying a rich man" is what she will do with her life - just that.

It's a hangover from the days when no matter what class a woman was born into, if she married a doctor she was a doctor's wife, if she married a coalman she was a coalman's wife, AND that was her identity.

My career makes me who I am, DP's doesn't. I don't expect anyone to refer to me as "a teacher's wife" or whatever. If you tell your little girl to "marry a rich man" (espcially in the context of "instead of achieving at school") it's giving her the idea that getting married is her life's work. It's not 1810 any more is it?

Tortington Sun 26-Sep-10 17:45:57

ive told all mine boys and a girl to make sure they marry rich.

so far they all have avg>poor (monetary and otherwise wink) bfs and gfs

i dont see whats wrong with telling them that

enlighten me.

ClovisHandrail Sun 26-Sep-10 17:48:25

You can say marry a rich man as much as you like but they have better odds if they are well-educated.

So your best bet is to invest in education and hope they end up in a career surrounded by men with good potential.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sun 26-Sep-10 17:56:07

Custardo - did you see my post just above yours? It's the giving them that idea as an alternative to a career that's the problem. It's worse to do it to girls because it may be "ironic" but there's a massive history as I've mentioned above.

Also probably a good idea to promote to your kids the idea of making their own money - we've all read the threads where the person can't leave a bad situation because they have been living off the abusive's partner's income.

AliceWorld Sun 26-Sep-10 17:59:15

I don't want to be in a world where parents say that to our kids. However I can see why parents would say it, and don't blame them as individuals, but I do blame the structures that mean it makes sense.

I wouldn't say it to my kids, but I am often struck by the luxury I have to behave like that. I am middle class through and through, not rich at all, but also not in a situation where I would pretty much ever fall through the net and have nothing. So I have the luxury of not having to worry about money in that way. I'm only talking at the level of knowing I won't lose my house or starve, nothing more than that.

But if someone comes from a background of having precious little, having generationally had precious little, living in an area where pretty much everyone has precious little and there being precious little in the way of options, I wouldn't blame them for saying it. It is dreadful that people are in that position, and that it will be getting worse soon, but imo that is structural not individual.

Of course, it may not have been like that at all in the example given, but in general terms I wanted to add that dimension.

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