Mortgages and PhD


Hi Smoobles,

funny that I should spot this post as I put one up myself that was very similar only a few hours ago. I too couldn't get a mortgage but we've just been into town and spoken face to face with a high street lender and managed to get a mortgage with a 90% LTV at 6.6%. The rate isn't as good as what we had originally applied for, but we now have a mortgage promise and the house we have put an offer on is now off the market!

It really worked talking to a human. The woman we delt with was excellent, helpful and informative. And we've now secured our dream house! Yay!

So there are lenders out there, but on the phone they are too inflexible. I can give you the name of the lender if you want, but expect I can't post it as advertising isn't allowed I don't think! Needless to say, the lender is the high street bank who make adverts with people who sing and dance to well known tunes. Oh, and a guy called Howard sang on some of the ads. Hopefully that helps you, but PM if you need the exact name.

This sort of discimination is stupid, so glad someone realises that we are valuable members of the community and we are earning a crust!


Shani, good to hear from you. Glad someone is coming into this with some interesting and valid counterpoints rather than just emotional backlash and casual misandry.

i think (note: i think, not "i know") there might be something in your posts that you are not quite aware of. in a nutshell, you are wishing for less income (power), if only you could get rid of all that responsibility (worrying about the mortgage etc.).
that's the "perk" of being poor/powerless/discriminated against/dependent/the victim: you don't have to bear the responsibility.
the other way of looking at the same thing is of course: you don't get the make the decisions.

Absolutely right. I guess because of all the responsibility I have right now for my team I would JUST LOVE for someone to come and whisk me away. However, I dont think women DO give up all their power when they do start families, they have an opportunity to develop another aspect of their life, in a way men often are excluded from. Women can also go back to work, and are doing so in greater numbers. Still that doesnt take away from their attendant problems, but the fact they CAN go back means they still potentially retain much of their identity.

i was going to say that if you just replace "becoming pregnant" with "becoming a full time dad" in your wish, it would be totally do-able, if you really wanted it.

But realistically speaking, how many women would want in reality would want a "beta" male? How many full time dads are there? The unfortunate truth is that our society still regards such men as unacceptable and devalues them more than if a woman decided to be a full time mother. It remains an option that is viable for many women, but very, very few men.


As a married woman I find that quite insulting....
I don't think I'd have married someone who wasn't capable of switching over to the full-time (or, at least, predominant) carer role if it was more appropriate. I'm not convinced that I'm particularly unusual. And I'm not sure that would degrade my husband's contribution to the family in any real well, to me or other people.....


Apologies in advance if this post appears rude.
BHC to me is coming across as very immature and narrow-minded and with very little understanding of the ways that other people live. 'beta-male'? please, don't project your worries onto other people. Perhaps you can finish your PhD and see where you may end up, your earning potential may change considerably and you may even be in a position to work flexibly.

I could continue with a rant, but I'm going to post two links to short movies from a film festival held recently.
It's the level of response your post deserves. - check out the two films 'Bargain' and 'The Furry Cheque Book'. Now, if only you could be so ingenious! 'Be My Brother' is also quite good.


I had a fairly long response but the browser crashed. This is verging becoming bullying, with pointless name calling and people wilfully misinterpreting and making inferences from vague comments. That post about the films being a prime, needless example.

If anyone wants to debate mortgages, gender roles, wish fulfilment please follow the example of Shani, who avoids making attacks but debates the points and the underlying concepts.

If you want to accuse me of being sexist, inflamatory, hateful, narrowminded or any other ad hominem attacks I suggest you contact a moderator and let them know. The forum has strict guidelines and mods presumably would remove posts if they were any of the above.


As I said, I apologise if my post came across as rude. However, to criticise you as narrow-minded in the context of your post is in my opinion about as much response as is warranted. I take it that you may not have watched the films. If you had your accusations of bullying might instead have sharing a laugh at nobodys expense.

You have based your opinion on what you have seen in your own family. This is not a good starting-point to a discussion on mortgages, family life, exploitation, etc.


My two-penneth regarding all this bickering over gender roles:
I always thought that as PhD students, ergo (relatively) well educated, we are taught to be open minded and consider other views, look at everything from all angles.  If you don't agree with someone's ideas, debate ensues. The operative word there being "debate", with inferences of polite consideration for opposing thoughts, not machine-gunning someone down merely because their opinion clashes with your own entrenched view.

Get a grip, people.  :-s


To be honest I'm not particularly convinced that moderators can actually do anything about 'narrow minded' posts....
Taking the previous post into account, I'd be perfectly happy with this except for the fact BHC is making out that society in general/ women view men who take on caring roles negatively. And since we're not living in the 1950s I felt it necessary to attempt a disavowal of this position.
To suggest that women must be the primary care giver, that pregnancy (and then reliance on men) is a 'way out', that men who take on caring roles are 'beta males' (with all the connotations that this brings), is hardly enlightened. Nor do I think that any of (my interpretation) of what's been said be put down to a misunderstanding. I'm all for the live and let live approach to life, but only where it doesn't affect other people. And putting views like this into the public sphere has potentially dire consequences for equality.....


======= Date Modified 27 Feb 2009 09:44:57 =======
(sigh) tempted to post yet again after abandoning the thread. Yes, too often, humour/live and let live/comedy is used as an appropriate garb to legitimise problenatic attitudes. That's what critical scholars would have to say (for instance, the literature on sexist or homophobic or classist comedy genres, where the scholarship cannot possibly adopt a "oh it's all just for fun attitude"). And lest I be misinterpreted and cause 5 more posts on this, I am not equating offensive content with the post here, I am just saying that "oh it's all just a general comment, or it's just a joke, or it's not really something I'd DO"...these arguments are perhaps problematic.

I agree, it is not something that can be moderated. Look around us...and see how difficult it is to pinpoint what counts as 'offence' and what is offensive to whom and why. the BBC seems to be struggling for instance to decide what offends whom, after the very eventful last two years with offensive content coming up in comedy or reality tv.

But as a forum for debate, what has happened below is I think, not 'bickering'. People have used personal to broader societal instances to argue a point that certain attitudes towards gender stereotypes are problematic. That is fine, I think.


@ Pamplemousse:

But what happens when perceived ideas, such as "beta male" or a woman's reliance on a man are personal choices of the individual? In other words when the male is happy to be a full time carer and a woman happy to be subservient to the male, it is not their opinion that either state is denigratory to them, rather your (not YOURS per se) beliefs that they are subservient are in fact deeply offensive to them.

I put it to you that either view is an opinion and criticising it is somewhat inappropriate. What do you think?


Hey there forumites, just to let you all know that I am monitoring this thread. As long as you all continue to toe the line and don't resort to personal insults etc, I'll stay out of things. I'm sure you'll all agree that you don't need nannying by us mods - I reckon there's nothing wrong with a healthy debate, but let's keep things friendly please.

On a side note, I would also ask you all to remember that when you're reading people's posts on the forum, things can easily be misconstrued (eg. sarcasm, light-hearted/throw-away comments) due to it being written rather than a verbal, face-to-face exchange, so please always be aware of this and take it into account when using the forum.



On a related note:

I am female, single and would like to do a PhD soon. But as I'm 35, this is all looking as if it's going to clash with my final years of fertility.

In the same way that BHC may sometimes wish he were the opposite sex, I am currently fantasising about having kids but being a father instead of a mother! Because in most cases the woman's life changes far more than the man's when a child comes along...

And that's partly societal, partly biological. Perhaps I will find one of those house-husband type men. But if not, maybe I won't have kids at all.

A very competitive world is tough on all of us, and there are advantages and disadvantages to being male and female. :p


I tend to agree Hypothesis - these are all valid choices. In my experience the choice of who works full time and who is primary carer is largely made on finances and in most cases I have known the man is by far the larger earner. I do have a male friend, now a lecturer part-time, who did childcare and PhD while mother worked - she earned much more than he did. In cases where the man earns little or nothing, the mother generally works but I haven't noticed that the men in these cases have been very helpful either with childcare or housework - so it's been the worst of all possible worlds for those women and many of them went on to be single working mums (which was a considerable improvement over time).

I do think there are a few women who think it is an escape of some sort to give up work and have kids - boy are they in for a shock though (unless they are loaded and have a nanny and housekeeper too). Most women understand that life will get busier and more, not less, stressful after kids whatever they do. I also think it's fair to say that some women who want children and know they intend to stay home with them prefer partners who are more financially solvent. But that is a certain kind of marraige, based on traditional roles that perhpas wouldn't suit many of the posters here. It's a choice though - and one that I see works well for some families. I think it can be hard for a man to stay home because male status and self-esteem tends to be more dependent on job status. I think it's also just plain boring for a lot of people - men included.

Horses for coarses as they say. Someone has to take good care of the kids - and that's the first priority, however that is arranged. I'd like people to have more choices.


I mean - these men have NOT been very helpful - duh!



Reading this thread, I do get the impression that everyone's opinions are all made up - which would make it a bit pointless to continue the discussion. But that might be an artefact of the medium. So here goes...

However, I dont think women DO give up all their power when they do start families, they have an opportunity to develop another aspect of their life, in a way men often are excluded from. Women can also go back to work, and are doing so in greater numbers.

I agree, insofar as I'd like to change the focus from individuals making decisions, to couples (after all, it takes two to make a baby). This has been pointed out before. Now, there are many different ways in which couples work. But let's assume for now that they make their main, important decisions about careers and family planning, together. (And thus, indeed, women do NOT give up all their power when they decide to become stay-at-home mums).
Most couples are under some sort of financial constraint. So once the time comes round to decide who should reduce their wage-earning work by how much and who should take on how much unpaid care work, the different wages between men and women (which might not exist in individual cases of couples, but are in fact the norm) will push the couple towards making certain decisions, whereas other arrangements might be financially impossible or come at a huge cost.

As you correctly point out, BHC, this often means that the man (let's stick with heterosexual couples for now) does not have the option of becoming a stay-at-home, full time dad, and thus cannot develop this part of his life as he might like to.
But does that mean that the woman has more choices than the man?
No indeed. Whereas.../ If the man does not have the option of becoming the prime carer, the woman does not have the option of becoming the prime breadwinner.
It's their choices as a couple that are limited, and it affects both of them. If the woman did have the option, a real choice, that would mean that so would the man.

Yes, women can and do go back to work, some never leave work. But, two things: First, can they also go back to their careers? And second: Once they do earn again, they have more options - but so do their husbands/partners.

I'm basically saying that if you view the issue from the point of view of couples, every option is an option the couple has, and if the couple does not have any options, then neither man nor woman has options.

This would create an image of perfect equality, and it is probably experienced like that by many couples. However, this only works as long as the couple stays together (and we know that divorce rates are high...). Once a couple splits up, the unequal SOCIAL valuation of paid vs. unpaid work is bound to create a power and wealth imbalance between that part of the couple who was the main breadwinner and the other part of the couple who was the main home-maker... I'm not saying that the breadwinner will automatically be happier, but he/she WILL be wealthier and less dependent.

So men and women are equal, in that wages differentials might force them into an arrangement neither of them particularly likes - maybe both the woman is unhappy as homemaker and the man is unhappy as breadwinner... but there is no choice. However, once the couple breaks up, the equality (of choices, of (lack of) options) disappears.