No wonder overloaded women try to marry rich

<span>‘Until there is truly equity in the workplace and men shoulder their share of family and household responsibilities, women will continue to look for an escape.’</span><span>Photograph: Getty</span>
‘Until there is truly equity in the workplace and men shoulder their share of family and household responsibilities, women will continue to look for an escape.’Photograph: Getty

I read Emma Beddington’s column with delight (Young women are telling each other to ‘date rich’. How terrifyingly retro, 9 June). I was raised to think that I can achieve whatever I want, always with the reminder that generations of women before me fought for equality. Moving to London for my studies, I became acquainted with the concept of women studying just to find a rich husband and to be a housewife and mother. This idea was utterly foreign, even incomprehensible, to the career‑oriented 19-year-old me.

A decade later, I am surrounded by female friends who now regret not having found a rich husband – who are faced with rising living expenses, a ticking body clock, ridiculous housing prices, seemingly out‑of‑reach childcare and fertility costs, and a never-ending parade of hopeful online dating matches. Yes, life is hard working as a man, but for women there are some more items on the list: you need to push for a good career, look fabulous, find a nice husband, have kids, be part of Forbes’ 30 under 30, be an executive but not forget to have a clean white kitchen and make kids’ birthday cakes.

So I am not surprised that women my age find it so much easier to find a rich husband, Bridgerton-style, and be happy ever after. It seems like feminism is going backwards, and it shakes me to the core. Two things need to change. Governments need to create support for working women and mothers. Not low‑hours subsidies for lower-income households, but models where you can be sure that your child is well looked after for a reasonable amount while you work. And fertility treatments need to be heavily subsidised. But most importantly, stigmas need to change.

Maybe it’s also time to give some credit to men that having a career is hard, but where is the ambition that we can do that too as women? I never lacked that, but then I come from a very supportive family and – despite many setbacks and patronising people I encountered in my career – I never gave up thinking I’m capable and deserve to make it. Life and work experience make for interesting life partners. So if you won’t do it for yourself, your daughters or the future of feminism, get educated and get a career to avoid your future millionaire husband from replacing you with a younger model.
Shamin Vogel

• Sadly, I can understand this desire of dating rich in the younger generation. They have been bombarded by influencers and celebrities showing off a lifestyle that is unachievable for most. As women, we are working twice as hard for less pay, less recognition and fewer promotion opportunities. We also shoulder the burden of family and household duties on top of our full-time jobs. Who wouldn’t think that this was a bit of a bum deal and that a better option would be to marry a rich man to take care of you?

Until there is truly equity in the workplace and men shoulder their share of family and household responsibilities, women will continue to look for an escape from the overloaded unfair burden that we are expected to carry.
Rachel Fowler
Droitwich, Worcestershire

• Emma Beddington’s article focused on women trading love for financial security. The modern gold-digger’s male counterpart is perhaps the hobosexual. Professing love, they’re really after secure accommodation. Date four and they’re at your door with their bags, telling you a story about how they’ve lost their accommodation for a reason that definitely isn’t their fault. And they just need to stay for just a few days, but they never leave.

Perhaps if Jane Austen were alive today she would write: “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single person of good income with a three-bedroom, two-bath house in Islington must be in want of a spouse. Particularly if it has polished floorboards, period features and outdoor space.”
Claire Elizabeth Brown

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