Women can’t be well-off without a man ‘in possession of a good fortune’?

James Taranto, the right-wing newspaper columnist and author of the daily “Best of the Web,” always struck me as a bit sexist, what with his constant references (borrowed from Limbaugh) to, for instance, a “blogress” when discussing a female blogger or “reporter-ette”. But the last item in today’s Best of the Web takes the cake. Discussing research that found an inverse correlation between obesity rates and the value of one’s home among women, but not men, Taranto concludes that researchers missed the obvious: Rich men apparently like hot (presumably thin) wives.

For each $238,000 drop in property value, the report found, obesity rates went up 80 percent among women. Taranto quotes various theories about why the effect would be more pronounced among women: Women are more influenced by the home environment; higher-priced homes tend to be in more walkable neighborhoods or closer to grocery stores; obesity in women is more related to financial insecurity.

All that overlooks what to Taranto seems obvious:

No one seems to have thought of the most obvious explanation. As Jane Austenobserved: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Imagine a man in possession of a good enough fortune to buy a snazzy house in Seattle. Now think about what his wife would look like.

I guess in Taranto’s world, the only women who live in nice houses are those married to men who were already “in possession of a good fortune.” Perhaps Taranto has already forgotten Cindy McCain who certainly did not need John McCain to afford too many snazzy houses to count. I guess the thought of a woman earning her own good fortune is just beyond Taranto’s ken.

One Response to Women can’t be well-off without a man ‘in possession of a good fortune’?

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