Marriage class

The New York Times is running
a series of articles on class divisions in the
United States. Today’s
article
(registration required) focuses on a couple who married across
class lines:

The religious difference—he is Roman Catholic, she is Jewish—posed no
problem. The real gap between them, both say, is more subtle: Mr. Croteau
comes from the working class, and Ms. Woolner from money.

The husband is a high school dropout
and a car salesman. The wife, the daughter of a doctor and a dancer, is educated
and wealthy. According to NYT, this is a problem because "in a quiet way,
people who marry across class lines are also moving outside their comfort zones,
into the uncharted territory of partners with a different level of wealth and
education, and often, a different set of assumptions about things like manners,
food, child-rearing, gift-giving and how to spend vacations."

I thought four things as I read this:

  • Pretty much every man marries out of his league. Adam did. I did. A good
    wife makes a man better than he ever could have been without her, no matter
    how much money she has.
  • The title of the article is A Marriage of Unequals with the subhead When
    Richer Weds Poorer, Money Isn’t the Only Difference
    . Maybe it’s just
    because I come from a working class background, but that strikes me as
    a little offensive. Hasn’t the Times received enough bad press
    for its hidden bias without baldly spelling it out on the front page?
  • If a religious difference is
    no problem (especially between a Catholic and a Jew) , then there’s no
    real religious difference. Why even bring it up?
  • How is this news? Or even a human interest feature story? Every couple
    in the world has to move into the uncharted territory of partners who did
    not
    grow
    up
    in the
    same
    house
    as
    each other.
    My wife
    and
    I come from
    similar backgrounds, and we’ve had to make some painful adjustments
    to our habits and assumptions.

My World Studies professor in college was a conservative Christian. He required
us to read the NYT every day because, despite its liberal slant, it was still
the finest news reporting organization in the country. I really don’t think
that’s true any more.

10 thoughts on “Marriage class

  1. After moving abroad, I’ve come to learn just how badAmerican news reporting is. If we ever move back, we’re subscribing to a foreign newspaper.

    Anyway, just what you’ve said about that article sounds fairly offensive. I don’t know what to say except what you’ve already said. Why bring up the religious difference? Just to make a areligious subnote?

  2. I’ve personally grown sick of American reporting and did branch out overseas to the BBC, enjoyed it for a while then got fed up with the anti-American rhetoric. Are there any media outlets out there that aren’t biased? No one say Al Jazeera.

    Question: Did Adam really marry out of his league?

  3. It sounds to me that people are being warned off from such a social “faux par”.

    I listened to an interesting radio show not too long ago and it turns out that Al Jazeera is an approved news agency in the UK whilst Fox News isn’t. They think Al Jazeera is more reliable, and from what I hear I agree. I think the BBC is still one of the best and because you can get these shows over the net it gives people no excuse.

    When I lived in the US for a year I always found it funny that there was about half a page dedicated to world news (and this was normally US related) in the paper, and how major world events were not even being reported.

    It has always frustrated me though that I have to rely on these people to tell me what is news and what is not. There are so many things going on in the world that are filtered out, and especially with things like the Iraq war, it makes me think, “what is the truth?”

  4. The Times is a joke. I don’t think they have any credibility left – it’s MSM for the MSM.

    I read that article this morning, too. What caught my attention about that sentence regarding their faiths was…well, if it wasn’t an issue…how…well, how attached were each of them to their faiths?

    The class comments were irritating, though. All the way through. Talk about a burr under the saddle!

  5. You could try the National Review (check it out online). It is openly biased towards intellectual conservatism. But you might not like their take on class, either.

    You can’t get any real world news. My daughter is supposed to be writing a paper for her Global History class on the civil war and genocide in Sudan. Anybody have any sources to suggest???

  6. The Sudan is gonna be a tough topic to unearth. Hundreds and hundreds being slaughtered and not even a blurb on the news. Sad.

  7. Rey: I’m glad I’m not the only one who questioned the “Adam married out of his league” comment. At best they were in the same league and at worst Adam was in a slightly better league, since Eve fell to the serpent first and convinced Adam to do the same.

    Looking at in objectively that’s what I see.

  8. If two people were ever exactly in each other’s league, it was Adam and Eve, because they were quite literally made for each other. I was just trying to point out, tongue planted firmly in cheek, that one reason God made marriage was to make man better than he could ever have been on his own. A wife completes a husband and makes him better, so the fact that every man marries “up” is sort of inherent.