caro thinks

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date 2001-04-19:15:00
on being a woman Another interview with a Man, Farsam, 26.

Caro: I got cell phone minutes to burn before they expire. Wanna chat? Where are you?

Fars: Yeah! I'm in the car.

Caro: Can I interview you?

Fars: Yeah. What's your interview question?

Caro: Has a woman ever turned you down for a relationship or a date on the basis of your income?

Fars: No.

Caro: Do you have any male friends who have been turned down by a woman because they weren't making any money?

Fars: No. I can't know what this is about?

Caro: No, you can. I'll tell you when I'm done. Do you have any relatives or friends of the family who chose their mates on the basis of the man's earning potential?

Fars: Do I have to tell you who?

Caro: No.

Fars: Yes, one.

Caro: Is she an American? [Farsam's parents are Persian immigrants, and they are members of a large cliquish community of extended family and other random Persians.]

Fars: No.

Caro: Persian?

Fars: Yes.

Caro: Was she born in Iran?

Fars: Yes. Why can't you tell me what this is about?

Caro: I will. Is that the only one you know of?

Fars: Yes.

Caro: Do you believe that women commonly choose their dates or fiances primarily on the basis of how much money the man will make?

Fars: Oh, yeah! You know they do!

Caro: How do you know?

Fars: College women? Oh, yeah! They do that all the time!

Caro: How do you know?

Fars: Don't you think they do?

Caro: Do you have any friends you knew in school who did this?

Fars: Yes! I knew a girl in high school who got married when she graduated from college, and she's pregnant already!

Caro: And her husband makes a lot of money?

Fars: Yes.

Caro: And you think that the guy's earning potential was the reason she married him?

Fars: Oh, yeah, it had to be!

Caro: Did she tell you this?

Fars: No, but it makes sense.

Caro: So you believe that college women generally choose their boyfriends on the basis of income?

Fars: Definitely! It has to be a factor!

Caro: Why do you say that?

Fars: There's a really well-defined stereotype. There wouldn't be that stereotype if it weren't a common phenomenon.

Caro: The stereotype of a woman who will only date men of a certain income?

Fars: Or education level. They won't date anyone who isn't in law school or med school, because those guys are going to earn good money.

Caro: But you don't know any such women?

Fars: No. Can't you tell me what this is about?

Caro: In a second. Tell me more about the stereotype of the college woman who will only date men of a certain earning potential.

Fars: They know they aren't going to do anything, they want to stay home, so they pick somebody who can take care of them. I think most women are like this.

Caro: You believe most women figure in income when choosing to date someone?

Fars: Of course. They'd have to. It's a very important factor.

Caro: Really? Why?

Fars: Because it indicates something about the person's character.

Caro: Like?

Fars: Ambition, determination, responsibility. Don't you think so?

Caro: Yes I do, but now we're not talking about income level as a deciding factor anymore. We're talking about character traits as expressed through the ability to earn a self-sufficient living.

Fars: My brain isn't working right right now. So what's this about?

Caro: Have you read The Myth of Male Power?

Fars: No.

Caro: Remember that SOLO discussion I said I was engaged in? Someone started citing statistics from the book, especially regarding how men have to prove their financial worth before they get to have sex. I wondered if maybe I was just out of the loop on this issue, because I don't know any women who even consider this a factor. So I started interviewing people.

Fars: Oh, it has to be a factor. It just makes sense.

Caro: Ah.

I'd actually expected Farsam to give me a lot of empirical data to support the theory that men don't get to have sex until they prove their financial worth to women, given the way I've heard members of his community talking about wealth and marriage. Surprise.
capitalism Allows people who don't want to think, to behave like animals, and still feel like intelligent, advanced human beings, because there is running water and microwave food, no matter how brutishly you behave.
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