real life

'Husband-hunting' should be taught in schools

Bec with her husband Brad and daughter Ava

By BEC SPARROW

I know. I know. It’s a headline shocking enough to seriously piss off Germaine Greer.

Last week Helen Fraser – the CEO of the Girls’ Day School Trust (a group of single sex private schools across the UK) –  mused that  ‘How to Choose a Husband’ should be wedged somewhere between Algebra and Modern History on her girls’ school time-tables.

Hold the phone. What did she just say?

Our teenage girls need to be taught ‘Husband-Hunting 101′?

You’re shocked. I know. Me too. And I’ve immediately got visions of classes being taught by Patti Stanger.

But  it’s not what you think.

Fraser truly believes that if women want to have a career, a marriage and kids — then they need to be taught how to find a partner who is going to be supportive in seeing them fulfil their dreams. As Jezebel reports:

“While speaking to a GDST conference in London, Fraser said it’s not the glass ceiling that’s the biggest problem for women today, it’s the “nappy wall,” speaking, of course, of diapers and how choosing to have a child can be a major setback in a woman’s career. Fraser argues that if we want to get around this, we need the right partner:

“It’s about finding one who really understands it is important for you to thrive and do well in whatever you choose to do. They should be cheerleaders and take pride in their wife’s career as they do in their own.”

So, that sounds ideal in any romantic partnership, but how exactly would you teach girls to do that?

You can read the rest of this article here.

Amen to that. (Except part of me thinks it’s incredible that we’re having some kind of ‘revolutionary’ discussion about the novel idea of having a partner who is supportive of your dreams and ambitions. I mean, come on!  Shouldn’t that be a given?)

Anyway.

You know just weeks before my first novel The Girl Most Likely hit the bookstores in 2003  (remember bookstores?  Let’s all reminisce for a moment …)  I read a newspaper report on the state of Australian writing at the time.  One quote leapt out at me and it was this:  “The average earnings of writers in Australia is $2000 per annum.”

I still vomit a little tiny bit every time I recount that sentence. Now granted that article was published a decade ago. Times have changed. Authors are now earning $635 per annum. Joking. Not so much.

I could count on one hand the number of authors I know who can do the job full-time.  For the rest of us, it’s about taking on other work (and I’m lucky in that regard because I have an awesome job with Mamamia).  But despite the fact that my novels  have yet to reach Harry Potter status, my husband Brad champions my writing career as though it were his own.  My work, my life, my dreams are taken seriously … even though I earn a fraction of what he does.

Of course, not all my ex-boyfriends were so supportive.  But you know what?  That’s why they’re exes. Even Patti Stanger would hi-five me for that.

How easy or hard have you found it to find a partner who supports your career?  Is Helen Fraser right?  Should we be teaching our girls how to find supportive husbands?

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