Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Kept" Man Can't Keep With "Double Standard"

Dear Tazi:

Why it is society has such double standards, with women coming out on top? I am a twenty-something man who lives with my fiancée in a very nice luxury apartment. We would like to get married, once I have paid off my student loans, but we currently live together with her paying the rent and the bills; partially so I can pay my loans down faster and partially because she makes ten times as much money as I make. Everyone I know makes jokes about me being a "gigolo" (to the point where they start singing that old David Lee Roth song) and I am sick of it! Even my own father has secretly called me a "kept man"!

If the situation were reversed, and I was the one making all the money and paying the bills while my girlfriend concentrated on paying off her loans nobody would say a thing! Do you have any suggestions to get people off of my back?

Not a Gigolo

Dear Not a Gigolo:

For the record, "Just A Gigolo" was originally recorded in America by Louis Armstrong. Roth re-popularized it in the '80's for new audiences. Sorry, but that was bothering me; now, onto your issue...

I can understand why you are vexed by your friends' mocking of your living situation, but you are not entirely correct when you say "If the situation were reversed...nobody would say a thing!" Plenty of women would be cautioning your fiancée about putting her financial security in a man as opposed to depending upon her own ability to support herself, and/or pushing her to get married ASAP. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself: If the situation was reversed - and you were the breadwinner - would your marriage be put on hold? Or would you and your fiancée be planning a wedding or even already married, and planning a family?

In this case, to compare the "double standard" between men and women is to compare apples and oranges. Traditionally, when a woman makes so much less than a man, she is expected to quit her job to become a homemaker while her husband remains the breadwinner - even if she desires to do otherwise. Different pressures are put upon women in this type of living situation. I suggest that you examine these differences by supposing that your role was reversed. Discuss the matter with your fiancée, and get her feelings on the subject. Open communications is one of many keys to a healthy, successful relationship and if this is an issue that is troubling you it needs to be discussed.

As for what to tell your friends who hassle you, ask them point-blank what they would do in your situation. Would they choose to live alone, in an apartment they could afford on their own? Would they move back home with Mom and Dad? By turning the tables and putting the onus on them to respond, they might just discover that they are living in a glass house - and should not be throwing stones when they see you through the windows. If they still refuse to stop teasing you, perhaps you need to find more mature friends.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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