Sorry sisters – women DO want men to be providers
23:04 GMT, 29 May 2012
Well, I could have saved them the trouble, but research from America claims that most women instinctively want a man who will provide for them.
Evolutionary biologists have discovered, it seems, that the nuclear family evolved when men discovered women preferred males who provided for them and their children to those who were constantly clubbing each other in a battle for supremacy.
For thousands of years, this model of two parents, with the male looking after the female, proved successful — but new figures released by the Office of National Statistics to mark the Diamond Jubilee reveal that husband-providers have become an endangered species.
Outdated: The traditional nuclear family is an increasing minority
There are fewer marriages and four times more divorces today than in 1952, when the Queen acceded to the throne.
In 2012, a third of Britons live alone and the traditional nuclear family seems set to become almost as outdated as the Morris Minor (1952’s most popular car).
So what is going wrong One factor, I suspect, is the rise of the career woman. In many ways, I’m all for this: after all, I am one myself, and I would certainly want my daughter to have a career and to be capable of providing for herself. But it’s had an undeniably emasculating effect on some men.
Modern: The rise in the number of working mothers, and women being breadwinners, has emasculated some men
This, combined with the trend of more and more men staying at home to bring up the children while their high-earning wives go out to work, has changed the whole order of family life in many households — and placed an immense strain on many marriages.
Is this progress Do we really want a world in which wives routinely make the money while their husbands become adept at managing the home, children and the supermarket shop
When I married my husband, he was a junior doctor earning considerably less than me. For several years, I was the breadwinner — and when you know the mortgage is dependent on your salary, it gives you a different perspective on life.
It didn’t affect our marriage because I always knew the day would come when, as a consultant, my husband would earn more than me.
But a friend who is a mother of three recently went back to work full-time because her husband, a graphic designer, decided he’d rather work for himself than have his creativity compromised by working for a company.
She finds she can’t forgive him for failing to be the main provider, when he could be if he chose.
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Of course, life is complicated, and a successful marriage is based on supporting each other through the bad times as well as the good. If a man’s been made redundant or has lost his job through ill-health, then it’s not only understandable but right that his wife take over the breadwinner’s role, if at all possible. But nothing will persuade me that men are better equipped than women to take on childcare — or that most men really want to. My husband is a loving father who was desperate to have children. He’s also a workaholic who’s never happier than when he’s working six days a week.
When I tell him that (like every
working mother I know) I’m racked with guilt and worry endlessly about
our children’s wellbeing, he’s genuinely amazed.
He never gives a second’s thought to whether they’re eating enough fruit, getting enough sleep or have made enough friends.
He worries only when there’s something major to worry about, such as when they’re ill or unhappy. This is normal. A good father should have implacable determination to provide, the strength to protect and the stamina to survive.
I couldn’t care less how he manages in the supermarket (I already know the answer: barely). Because what’s far more important than being a good role model in the supermarket is to be a good role model as a man.
Tony Blair told the Leveson Inquiry on Monday: ‘There was never an implied deal between New Labour and Murdoch.’ His former media adviser Lance Price has a different recollection. He told the Today programme: ‘The understanding between News International and Blair and New Labour was that if they were given a pretty free rein to pursue their business interests, we would receive political support from their newspapers. And that’s pretty much what happened.’
I know who I believe.
Torment: Gareth Malone has revealed he was bullied at school
Once a bully, always a bully
The Choir’s Gareth Malone says that, in retrospect, he wishes he’d stood up to the bullies who tormented him at school by calling him gay.
Clearly the experience has stayed with him, but despite what happened to him, Gareth has gone on to have a happy, fulfilled and successful life.
That’s more than can be said for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s victim. As a schoolboy, Romney pinned down a weeping, terrified classmate he suspected of being gay and cut off his hair.
This was an odious act — especially as Romney has failed to show any remorse, even though his victim, now dead, was haunted by the incident all his life.
Like Gareth Malone, his victim didn’t stand up to Romney. Let’s hope his fellow Americans find the courage to do so. No matter that it’s 47 years after the event — bullies don’t change.
David Beckham, who appears bare-chested on the cover of next month’s Elle magazine, has confessed to being ‘a little shy’. He presumably loathes posing in his pants and showing off his perfect chest. So I’m forced to conclude he does it purely for the benefit of middle-aged women everywhere. Which makes him not just shy, but noble, too . . .
Beauty: Emilia Fox looked stunning in her champagne coloured gown
Emilia out-foxed the Bafta trash
I found the Bafta awards bizarre. Why no major accolades for Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife and Sherlock — series that kept most of the nation watching, and talking, for months I’d say that the awards ceremony was a triumph of style over substance, were it not for the fact that — with the exception of Emilia Fox’s stunning pale gold outfit — most of the dresses were hideous.
Shane Warne describes fiancee Liz Hurley’s bed linen designs as ‘super sexy’. He needs to watch out. He’s looking less masculine by the day — and being able to discuss soft furnishings doesn’t help.
Ken Clarke’s about-turn on secret court hearings, in response to a Mail campaign, happened to coincide with a gloriously unposed photograph of him yawning in post-prandial repose at the cricket. For reasons unknown — a corn, I imagine — he’d taken one Hush Puppy off and poked his shoeless foot through the railings.
He may not be the most brilliant government minister, but he’s certainly the most likeable. Which, these days, puts his price above rubies.
Get back in the pool! British Olympic diver Tom Daley has been busy promoting his autobiography
No medals for models
In the past few weeks, diver Tom Daley’s been all over the television and newspapers, plugging his new book. The publicity culminated at the weekend with a cover shoot for a glossy magazine featuring him gazing moodily into the distance, shirt open to reveal a slightly hairy chest. He’s clearly loving the attention — what teenage boy wouldn’t — but what on earth is he thinking The time for all that is after he’s won a medal. At the rate Tom’s going, there won’t be one.
Get back in that pool, Tom — or are you worried the chlorine will ruin your hair
Kylie’s just celebrated her 44th birthday — and if her recent appearance on The Voice is anything to go by, she’s already stuck in a middle-aged rut. If she wants to continue being so lucky, lucky, lucky, she needs to take a leaf out of Madonna’s book and reinvent herself — or at the very least, ditch the hotpants and change her hair.
I’ve long admired pop singer Beyonce. She’s hugely talented and her fabulous hit Single Ladies — whose central message is that men should commit to marriage — is a brilliant anthem for women everywhere. She’s claimed to have lost 60lb in less than four months since the birth of her first child in January, thanks to a combination of eating a lot of lettuce and a punishing exercise regime.
As someone who also put on 60lb with my first child — and, 16 years on, still hasn’t lost the last stone — I find this hard to believe. Or perhaps I’m just jealous.