Some women in Manhattan are being paid wife bonuses by their husbands for good housekeeping.
Wednesday Martin started studying the women of the Upper East Side after moving there to be closer to her in-laws and a good public school. She uncovered a culture of powerful, well-educated women that power dressed for the school run and managed the household like a ceo.
The husbands, who ran hedge funds and private equity firms, were the breadwinners. The women did not work outside the home, but instead spent a lot of time working out and ‘intensive mothering’, or managing their children’s education to ensure they got into the best schools.
A map of employment across Manhattan shows that there is a strong trend for unemployed women on the Upper East Side, shown by the orange strip on the east side of central park:
Martin told the New York Times that she once heard one of these women, who had a business degree but no job, say she would wait for her bonus before buying a table at an event.
She discovered the wife bonus – the not uncommon practice of a bonus outlined in the pre-nup or post-nup, distributed not only on how well a husband's fund had done but on a wife's own performance. This could include how well she managed the home budget and whether the kids had got into a 'good' school.
The bonuses gave the women Martin spoke to some financial independence and the money to participate in an elite social sphere where women were expected to buy $10,000 tables over lunches.
Martin said the bonuses were evidence of a sex-segregated society where women were dependent and disempowered.Reuse content