GQ’s Guide to Convincing Your Bride to Sign a Prenup Is Totally Delusional

What Women Really Think
Sept. 13 2013 2:57 PM

GQ’s Guide to Prenups Is Totally Delusional

Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng reportedly signed a prenup. Just like us?

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

GQ published a guide for how to convince your bride to sign a prenup, written by Siobhan Rosen and clearly aimed at starting a dialogue about gender, relationships, and money with questions like: Who should pay for her lawyer? (He should.) And: Should you blame your parents for making you ask her to sign? (No.)

All very thought-provoking, I'm sure, in some alternate universe where there are enough Americans left with assets to bother protecting. In our universe, however, income inequality has hit rates that would have embarrassed the fat cats of the 1920s. Half the money made in this country goes to only 10 percent of earners (note that the word is "earners," not "workers," to encompass people whose investments and not their labor do the earning for them). More than one-fifth of income in this country only goes to 1 percent of earners. Most of the canoodling lovebirds out there looking to make a lifetime commitment don't have much more than an aging television set and a collection of illegally downloaded MP3s to protect. Rosen’s piece makes about as much sense to most of us as an article about how to talk your maid into polishing your brass toilet seat.


GQ has always marketed itself to people who have plenty of disposable income, of course, but the gap between the rich and everyone else has grown so vast that it’s hard not to wonder who are these people buying what it's selling. Maybe that’s why Rosen quotes a lawyer saying: “It's not just the mega-wealthy people doing it anymore … It's a lot of normal people, too." Right.

Rosen does acknowledge the very limited scope of her potential advisees, toward the end:

I just want to drive home the potentially catastrophic consequences (think: Roland Emmerich movie, but in your apartment) of broaching this subject. This could ruin your marriage-to-be. And once it's out of the bag, there's no going back. Consider: Do I really need one? Am I an 89-year-old billionaire with a Tony Soprano robe? Is my betrothed a 23-year-old bottle blonde with remote-control boobies named Schmanna Schmicole Schmith?

There have been a number of think pieces lately in places like Salon, the Atlantic, and the New York Times asking if economic pressures are dis-incentivizing marriage for those people who actually need to work for a living. Articles like this one in GQ don’t help, nor do bridal magazines stuffed with expensive dresses, ads for resort vacations, and fancy table settings. It all sends the message that getting married is just too expensive for normal people. Every time a diamond ad suggests men should spend two months' salary on an engagement ring, the message is crystal clear for the paycheck-to-paycheck crowd: This whole process is not for you. And then you get a bunch of sad and troubled articles wondering why working-class people have kids without bothering to get married first. Maybe it's because they can take the hint that they're not welcome into this fancy institution.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.