Women’s Priorities: Money No. 1, Men No. 2? by The Love Goddess

Flannery O'Connor © AP

Editor’s Note: Who is the wisest of them all? Who is more dedicated to your pleasure than anyone on earth? Who can help you when you’re going online for the first time to find love; or when your lover’s children hate you; or when you want to strangle your husband? Why, the Love Goddess, of course. She promises nothing less than celestial wisdom, heavenly sex, divine dating. Read on …

On the cover of this previous Sunday’s New York Times Book Review is a review of the new biography Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, by Brad Gooch. There, sitting on her porch in a single strand of pearls and a wry smile, is the Georgian author, her crutches — she had lupus — leaning against her rocker. O’Connor, observes the book’s reviewer, Joy Williams, told stories “raw and vivid … And she got away with not writing about ‘relationships’ or sex.”

Ever since I can remember, this has been the bane of women authors’ existence, that the greatest compliment offered them is that they avoided writing about that which women have for centuries been put in charge of. By surrounding the word relationships with quotation marks, the reviewer further hints at the disdain for the topic, relegating it to one as tiresome and intellectually bankrupt as its twin horror: child care.

But a sea change is coming, my earthly lovers, and relationships as a topic worth investigating seriously, even intellectually, is, I promise you, here — right here, in fact. With the majority of households in the nation now unmarried ones, guess what occupies the brains of many of these 90-million-plus single Americans? You guessed it: relationships. And sex.

Moreover, with women making up close to 60 percent of college students, with 30 percent of working wives now out-earning their husbands (and another thirty percent more earning the same amount), with women poised in the next year to control two-thirds of the nation’s private wealth, they’ll hardly have time to be love guardians. They’re too busy, too successful and earning too much money. Wealth Manager, the leading publication for registered investment advisers serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, is conducting the inaugural Women in Wealth Management Survey, and will name the 50 top women in wealth management in its April 2009 issue.

Men, on the other hand, who already show signs of disenfranchisement and an inchoate longing for the days when women’s attention was exclusively on them, not on wealth management, will no longer be quite so fast to denigrate the topic of relationships. In fact, in the last few weeks, your goddess has been accosted at gatherings and in e-mails — “What’s going on with my relationships, goddess? What am I going to do?” — from men.

No, the new problem for women is that they’ll take heat for wanting more power to manage not men, but to manage their new treasure: their wealth. Kate McBride, editor of Wealth Management, says, “While many firms recognize this, and women feature prominently at the top of some firms, the question remains about why the number of women in wealth management is relatively low compared with men in the business.”

But back to Flannery O’Connor, and to my prediction that you at wOw are in the forefront of this sea change by welcoming the Love Goddess with such open arms. For relationships have always been at the center of literature. From Faulkner to Tennessee Williams to O’Neill, the family and its intricate, tortured connections has been the story, just as it has been for some of our best women authors, maybe not Flannery O’Connor, but certainly, Edith Wharton, Alice Munro and Jane Smiley.

So, dearest lovers, whether we take on intellectual issues or new love creams, here in the Love Goddess’s domain we will remain focused as ever on lofty crucially important topics: your husband or lovers, your children and stepchildren, your parents and friends — and of course, all aspects of your mental, physical and emotional well-being. And we will win a Nobel Prize one day.

-TLG

Like all savvy goddesses, the Love Goddess has her own blog, which you can visit by clicking here.

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