Dennis Hackethal’s Blog

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Published · 2-minute read

A Woman’s Plight to Choose

Women have an important decision to make in their early to mid-twenties: do they want a family or a career?

For too long, women have been told they can have it all. They have been lied to. They cannot have both a family and a career.

A career means working hard and rising the corporate ladder for decades before you reach anywhere near the top. Most people, including most men, don’t have careers at all – they have jobs, as Kevin Samuels would say. A successful career usually requires dedication and sixty-hour work weeks for years. Most people don’t manage to succeed at that even if it’s their single focus. It’s too hard. Feminists have romanticized most men’s lives and ‘careers’.

If a woman does have a career, then by definition, she will get promotions and rise the ranks. Because women are hypergamous, the pool of potential husbands shrinks accordingly, making it harder to find a man to start a family with just in terms of women’s preferences. Women don’t want to be with men that aren’t at least on their level. Worse, if a woman already has a husband and begins ‘outranking’ him in terms of wealth, education, job title, or similar markers, she might leave him and look for a better one, which is generally a bad idea for most women. It will backfire.

If she does either find a husband or stay with him and wants to get pregnant, a 9-month to 2-year break per kid puts a serious damper on any career. For many, it’s a career killer. But even with a regular full-time job, her children won’t see their mother as much. Something’s gotta give.

Too many women focus on their ‘careers’ – again, they’re really just jobs – for too long and then wake up in their mid-thirties and decide they want to have children. It’s not only biologically risky but also exponentially harder to find a man at that point. Men do not care about a woman’s career, success, or education; these attributes do not make women more attractive in a man’s eyes. Men instead care about youth, beauty, and, if they want children, fertility. Therefore, women reach peak attractiveness in their early to mid-twenties. During that time, women are in the best position of their lives to attract a high-quality man. The longer women wait, the more the quality of men they can reasonably expect to land declines.

In the mid and late 20th century, otherwise-traditional wives told their daughters to prioritize education and financial independence so they wouldn’t suffer under the thumb of a husband. That was a legitimate concern as husbands were more authoritarian back then. I don’t think that’s generally the case anymore, so there’s less of a risk, but it’s still considerable: if being with someone is a mistake, depending on them financially only entrenches that mistake.

However, if a woman wants a family, then more likely than not, she will depend on her husband financially, even if she has a job. If not on him, then on the government or the kindness of strangers. In other words, the choice comes down to either starting a family or being financially independent. Again, something’s gotta give. And many people never reach financial independence without a partner in the first place.

Women are in a uniquely disadvantageous position when it comes to these life-altering decisions because they need to make them so early in life. People often speak of the ticking biological clock in terms of pregnancy – which usually refers to a woman’s early thirties. But by that time, it’s already getting late to start focusing on family. The clock really starts ticking in a woman’s early to mid-twenties.

This is the woman’s plight to choose. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. As is well known, men don’t have the same kind of time pressure, nor do they need to choose between family and career in the same way. Lying to women by saying they can have it all, or helping them evade the issue in general, is a disservice to them. There are some rare exceptions, but having both a career and a family is too difficult for the vast majority of women. Marriage is hard enough. Having kids is hard enough. Pursuing a career is hard enough. Doing all three at the same time is just not realistic.

I think parents of daughters should make the issue very clear around age 20. In my opinion, young women would be wise to try both a career and a serious relationship so they can have an informed preference by age ~25 and then choose accordingly – keeping in mind that, for women, starting a career later in life is more doable than starting a family later in life.


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