"God blesses those who take out his sweet spirits." - Just Another Cassio
Question #93235 posted on 07/30/2020 10:48 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

From an economic standpoint, which is more advantageous to a young woman: academic talent or physical beauty?

Most of us would like to think it's the former, but consider the following example: I have a friend who attended BYU on a scholarship and is now working a normal management job. She and her husband enjoy a modest but stable standard of living. Meanwhile, my friend's stunningly beautiful little sister skipped out on college and just moved up to Provo, taking a job as a waitress to make ends meet. In her off time, this young woman got on Tinder and swiped until she found a successful man who was already raking in six figures (matches are basically guaranteed when you're as good-looking as she is.) A year later, they were married. Today, my friend's little sister has a beautiful home, drives a luxury car, and gets to have all kinds of fun...all because of the man she married.

You may not appreciate the implications of this example, but would you agree that the easiest way for a woman to get a high standard of living is to marry up? And that physical beauty is the key, since men mostly go for looks?

Could you imagine a successful professional woman going for a handsome man with no career ambition?


Max Weber


Dear Readers,

The asker of this question has a long history of asking questions. And what I mean by questions is that they try to use the Board as a platform to constantly push their world view on everyone. It's a world view that many writers over the ages have found misogynistic, reductionist, and often pretty despicable. When we answer their questions in a way that they don't like, they continue to complain and ask their question again, and again and again. 

To save everyone the trouble of reading all of their many question, I've decided to translate every question they ever ask.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Here I ask a question that isn't actually a question, but is really just me trying to share my misogynistic world view because I have no life.

Here's a totally loaded straw man example that totally proves my point. Now if you don't agree with me you are ignorant and stupid.

Now I'm gonna say something about how you can't possibly disagree with misogynistic world view, and how you know deep down that you are wrong and I am right.

Many times I will throw in some obscure general authority quote here to let you know that if you disagree with me you are an apostate.

Now I'm gonna throw out a question that tries to paint the world is unfair toward men. But really I'm just bitter because women don't want to be with me because I'm a misogynistic jerk.


My hobby is getting mad at the 100 Hour Board for not agreeing with me

Hope this helps,

-Misogyny Translator


Dear (Weber was a sexist, but his interpretivist view on science influenced the creation of modern feminism which views all historic work in the 'hard' sciences as inherently masculine and therefore incomplete), 

Actually, I can think of several easier ways for ~anyone~ to achieve a high standard of living, because marriage actually can take a lot of work and effort too!

  • 1) Be born to a rich family who sets you up for success so you can be a charitable spinster who inspires younger generations
  • 2) Have a wealthy relative die (preferably naturally, not murder), and they leave all their money and assets to you in their will.
  • 3) Discover a magic jinn or genie and wish for immense and ongoing wealth
  • 4) Get involved in an underground exotic animal trading ring (hey, you didn't ask if these ways of getting rich had to be legal) 
  • 5) Learn that the actual highest standard of living is achieving enlightenment, become a nomad seeking a higher way of life and abandon your worldly cares 
  • 6) The truly wealthy are those who feel love and friendship in their lives - become the next Mr. Rogers. 
  • 7) Master the art of lucid dreaming, create your own reality where you are the richest, most influential person. Unfortunately, I see this one going downhill quickly as power corrupts your mind, you realize happiness from money is fleeting, and you descend slowly into sleep-driven psychosis as reality becomes unsatisfactory and dream life becomes a nightmare.
  • 8) "Time is Money, Money is Power, Power is Pizza, and Pizza is Knowledge" - April Ludgate. Therefore, by the transitive property, knowledge is pizza, pizza is power, and power is money. Your two methods of getting rich are education or eating a heckin' lot of pizza (though, by this logic, eating pizza is equivalent to taking a college course on international economics, right?)
  • 9) Play Cookie Clicker. You will be a cookie billionaire merely by clicking. Which is a far better pastime than harassing a bunch of college kids on the Internet. 
  • 10) Invest a little bit each month into a mutual fund account at a young age. It takes literally minimal effort and by the time you're 50 years old, your money will have made so much in interest you can fund your next trip to IncelCon!

Anyway, regarding your question: 

Could I imagine a successful woman going for a man with no career ambitions? Absolutely! The heart wants what it wants, you know. Of course, since you're asking the question, you already know what kinds of reactions other people might have to this. It is pretty disappointing that we don't allow men to entertain hopes of being amazing stay-at-home dads too, don't you think? Unfortunately, toxic masculinity and gender role indoctrination makes that difficult for everyone! I know there are many women out there who would love to marry a homebody husband who supported their career ambitions. Alas, society doesn't place the same expectations for economic contribution on women as it does for men. The doctrine of separate spheres (driven by the Industrial Revolution) created this idea that women belong in the home and not earning money. While it has become much more acceptable for women to work (as long as they're single or childless, that is), men are still assumed to be the breadwinners. 

As a result of these societal expectations, many men report feelings of inadequacy, guilt, envy, or contempt when their wife makes more money than them because toxic masculinity culture tells them that a woman being more successful than them is somehow emasculating. A wife making more money than her husband can be a major contributor to divorce. I don't get it either! What about a successful woman is threatening? (Oh, here's some sources: one  two  three)

In short, social pressure makes a financially hypogamous relationship unlikely and perhaps stressful, but not impossible. And it's not that all financially stable women think SAHDs are dead weight husbands. Some men just can't handle being in a relationship where their wife or SO makes more money than them.  

Okay, sure sure, there is also evidence that being traditionally attractive can win you lots of real-world advantages like more job offers, promotions, lighter prison sentences. The world can be an ugly place, Weber. I can't deny that. Sometimes, people care more about money than being in a caring relationship. Sometimes, people care more about having an eye-candy lover than experiencing true connection. Sometimes people are just shallow as hell! But you know what? Not everything is so reductionist. Men aren't slaves of passion and women aren't manipulative seductresses. Wealthy or poor, model-status or humble and homely, most of the world just wants to be happy. I think the more hurdles we can remove in the pursuit of happiness, the better. 

You know, it seems like what we've learned here is that we really need to work to eliminate sexism and the gendered wage gap (so women can more easily support their families, thus reducing the pressure for men to be seen as breadwinners), and work to change our understanding of gender roles in our ever-evolving society! That way, gendered financial dynamics play less of a part in relationships, and men and women can be valued equally for their contributions to the broader economy as well as in private life. Win-win for everyone! I'm so glad you agree. 




Dear you,

Dude. Why are you so fixated on what women look like? As the years pass and you continue to ask questions on various themes dealing with women's physical appearance (often with points about how shallow women are), it's just getting creepier. It's weird and more than a little unhealthy for some guy who graduated college more than a decade ago to continuously harp on the bodies of college-aged women.

- Writer


Dear you,

Looking at your question in economics leads me to this answer: it depends. Sure your fine example fits your preconceived notion, but what about a counter hypothetical? Let's say an intelligent (academically talented?) woman marries a man/woman who teaches high school. Well, it could be that they end up making, let's say $120,000/year combined. Then let's take a very attractive woman who is not highly educated and marries a man/woman who makes $200,000/year. Then a recession hits or the spouse in either case becomes disabled or dies or they get divorced. Now who is better off economically? Probably the woman who has at least a college education and has a reasonable job.

Also, there are plenty of women making more money then men they are married to.

-Sunday Night Banter


Dear LF,

Honestly, I'm pretty confused at what your main point here is. Sure, marrying someone who already makes a lot of money can be less work than getting a degree. So what? You seem to be trying to imply that because a woman's physical beauty in context of marrying for status is economically valued by society, it should be economically valued by society. That's circular--i.e. invalid--reasoning, buddy. (But alas, because you think you're logical you won't actually recognize any flaws in your logic. And when people get sick of pointing out the same glaring flaws over and over again, you interpret it as a concession that you're right.)

Even though your logic is already flawed by reason of being circular, let's still take a look at the economic implications of primarily focusing on marriage as a vehicle for a woman to gain economic well being. We don't even need to do a thought experiment here, because for the majority of history woman have been primarily valued for their potential to be married off and produce children. This system has not worked out well economically for women. It has led to women not having basic rights and being forced to live on the mercy of the men in their lives. Women have not been able to have say in politics that influence how they are able to live, hold land or run businesses, pursue interests not tied to the roles of wife and mother, and have been essentially reduced to objects instead of people.

Economically, your goal is to have the power to consume the goods and services you want. History has proven that when society focuses on marriage for women as their primary avenue for economic well-being that power is actually taken away from women. It's true women who "marry up" are able in some instances to consume more, but ultimately the power to consume stems from their husbands instead of themselves. While this kind of dynamic can still function, it's foolish, and economically nonsensical to say that instead of valuing the ability to increase your own human capital and consuming power ("academic talent"), you should instead value something that fades over time and is primarily dependent on factors completely out of your control just to have access to someone else's consuming power.