Forbes.com yanks articles over marrying-career-women flap
Bowing to blogospheric criticism, Forbes deleted two articles from its Web site on Wednesday, one of which was titled "Don't marry career women."
The article, written by Forbes.com executive editor Michael Noer, included excerpts from a series of social science papers and reported that long work hours for women consistently increase the odds of a divorce but similar jumps in men's work hours often don't.
By itself, summarizing the relatively dry sociology literature probably wouldn't have drawn much of a response. But Noer was intentionally flip, advising in the first paragraph of his article: "Guys: A word of advice.... Whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career." Outrage soon ensued .
Noer's article appears to have been offline for a few hours before it was reposted with a rebuttal written by Elizabeth Corcoran, who works in Forbes' Silicon Valley bureau. Corcoran concluded: "So guys, if you're game for an exciting life, go ahead and marry a professional gal."
"The story about careers was taken down so we could put up a new, enhanced package which includes Michael's original story," Debbie Weathers, director of editorial communications at Forbes.com, wrote in an e-mail message to CNET News.com.
Weathers said, however, she could not explain why a second article by Noer was also deleted but not restored as of 9 p.m. PT Wednesday.
That article was published in February and is titled "The Economics Of Prostitution." It cites a paper on prostitution by two female academics, economists Lena Edlund and Evelyn Korn, and invokes economic theory to analyze the differences between wives and whores.
The paper's language is as stilted as you might expect from academic economists, but well within the economic mainstream Nevertheless, blogs like Gawker.com quickly started suggesting that Noer has "issues" with the institution of marriage.
What next? Well, if critics hate Noer's economic take on things, wait until he starts writing about an article by Gary Becker , a Nobel laureate in economics, that demonstrates cash payments for organs would, naturally, increase their supply and decrease deaths.
Or economist Steven Landsburg's suggestion that spikes installed in steering wheels would decrease accidents . Or pretty much anything that economist David Friedman has written, including his idea in Law's Order of abolishing speed limits, setting a massive fine for accidents, and letting drivers buy insurance that lets them drive a certain speed for a certain amount of money.