Last month, the New York Times ran an op-ed by a woman named Wednesday Martin, whose years as a resident of the Upper East Side had opened her eyes to many aspects of life north of 63rd Street that would sound entirely foreign to those living in other NYC neighborhoods (/the rest of the world). Specifically, the concept of the "wife bonus" stood out to Martin, wherein stay-at-home mothers and wives of financiers are awarded a bonus based on both their spouses' firms' performance for the year and their own ("how well she managed the home budget, whether the kids got into a 'good' school," etc). The wife bonus concept didn't sit well with a lot of people, though in the weeks since the piece ran, few if any have decided to stand up and defend it like they're advocating for a civil rights group or something. Until now. Take it away, Polly Phillips:
I get a wife bonus and I deserve it, so STFU
By Polly Phillips
As I tally up the total, I can’t help but smile — I can easily stretch to both pairs of shoes, and still have plenty left of my five-figure bonus. These pricey pairs of designer footwear will join a lineup of Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Diane Von Furstenburg and Rupert Sanderson heels and a closet crammed with handbags from Prada, Chanel and Anya Hindmarch. Every single one was bought with one of my annual bonuses — the nod from a happy boss for a job well done. But, in this case, the boss in question is my husband, Al. The role he’s rewarding me for is my work as a stay-at-home wife and mother. And the luxury labels are purchased with the “wife bonus” — 20 percent of his own company bonus — that I’m proud to receive for putting his career before my own, and keeping our lives together...Since Wednesday Martin wrote about the “wife bonus” in her book “Primates of Park Avenue” and I’ve confessed to receiving payment for the wifely services rendered, I’ve been surprised and disappointed by the reaction I’ve received from other women. Many of them have sniggered, assuming that my bonus is bedroom dependent, or have accused me of betraying feminism and living in the ’50s like a desperate housewife...to put those (dirty) minds at rest — the size of my bonus has nothing to do with my performance in the kitchen or the bedroom. It’s entirely dependent on how my husband does at work, and how well his company performs.